MilitaryBridge is partnered with The Virginia Living Museum in Newport News. The VLM is a must visit and a great place to visit over and over again with all of the great events and activities.
Virginia’s Animal Attraction
Virginia’s natural heritage is the star at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News. See endangered red wolves, bald eagles and a loggerhead sea turtle. Touch live spider crabs and fossilized dinosaur tracks. Living exhibits depict Virginia’s natural heritage from the mountains to the sea. Hands-on activities, an observatory, state-of-the-art digital planetarium, outdoor boardwalk, green living demonstration house, native plant and conservation gardens add to the experience.
YEAR-ROUND OFFER: Visit the Virginia Living Museum Admissions Desk with a MILITARY PHOTO ID and receive 10% off a general membership or $1 off per family member for daily admission tickets.
Check out the latest events on the museum calendar and follow us on Facebook.
Open Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday noon-5pm.
Virginia Living Museum April-May calendar
March 15 – April 27 Beguiled by the Wild: The Art of Charley Harper
The whimsical and delightfully colorful works by master illustrator and artist Charley Harper (1922-2007) are returning to the Virginia Living Museum. Harper was best known for his highly stylized wildlife prints, posters and book illustrations. He called his style “minimal realism," capturing the essence of his subjects with the fewest possible visual elements. Using graphic shapes and bold colors, Harper distilled and simplified complex elements. There are also interactive art activities based on Harper’s style, including tangrams and rubbing stations. Budding artists can sketch a natural science item from the museum’s collections. The exhibit is built around the personal collection of Museum Executive Director Page Hayhurst and her family. It also includes 60 prints from Harper’s Birds at Feeding Stations series that first appeared in the Ford Times Magazine in the 1950s. These prints are being shown courtesy of the Harper estate. Scan a QR code with your smart phone and listen to podcasts (mp3) of puns about artwork in the exhibit and enjoy an interactive experience of both sight and sound! Sponsored by National Exterminating Co., Inc. and Old Point National Bank.
March 15 – April 27 Spring Planetarium Shows
Choose among three shows in the Virginia Living Museum’s Abbitt Planetarium. Introduce your little astronomer to the wonders of the sky with “Friendly Stars” at 12:30 p.m. A staff astronomer takes a tour of the current night sky in “Virginia Skies” at 1:30 p.m. “Art of Hubble” showcases stunning images from the Hubble Space Telescope and the science behind the images. It is shown at 2:30 p.m. The planetarium is open Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets $4 in addition to museum admission.
April 5 Sporting Clay
You’ll have a first-class, down-home good time with sportsmen and sportswomen who appreciate the outdoors and enjoy a friendly competition in this sixth annual team fundraiser for the Virginia Living Museum. Some call sporting clays “golf with shotguns.” Held at Old Forge Sporting Clays, Providence Forge. This event is a non-registered event for NSCA. Teams of four $550. Presented by Ferguson. Register in advance at 757-534-7487 or thevlm.org
April 5-20 Spring Break in the Planetarium
The Virginia Living Museum’s Abbitt Planetarium is open daily with four shows during spring break. “Art of Hubble” showcases stunning images from the Hubble Space Telescope and the science behind the images. It is shown at 11:30 a.m. (except Sunday) and 2:30 p.m. Introduce your little astronomer to the wonders of the sky with “Friendly Stars” at 12:30 p.m. A staff astronomer takes a tour of the current night sky in “Virginia Skies” at 1:30 p.m. “Laser Retro” at 3:30 p.m. lets viewers rock on to music from great ‘80s bands. Tickets $4 in addition to museum admission.
April 8-10 Spring Break: A World of Wildlife Art
The art of Charley Harper will provide the inspiration for budding wildlife artists in this program for ages 6-8 at the Virginia Living Museum. Kids will use a variety of mediums and live animal models to portray our natural world. 9:30 a.m. to noon. $85 (includes $15 supply fee). Register at 757-595-9135 or thevlm.org.
April 9 Young Professionals Trivia Scavenger Hunt
You never outgrow the VLM! Young professionals can grab some friends and co-workers and come out for a trivia-fueled scavenger hunt through the Virginia Living Museum. Beer, wine, and snacks will be served at this fun, unique networking event. 6 p.m. $10.
April 11-12 Birding Cup Challenge
The Virginia Living Museum’s second annual Birding Cup event encourages people to go outdoors, breathe in fresh air, walk, look and listen throughout the Peninsula’s wild and not so wild areas. This event is a timed search for as many species of birds as can be found within a 24 hour period. Counting begins at 6:30 p.m. April 11 and ends at 6:30 p.m. April 12. Teams of three to five members may count in any or all of the following six areas: Newport News, York County, Hampton, Poquoson, Williamsburg and James City County. Prizes will be given to the experienced and novice birding teams that count the most species of birds and the individual with the largest contribution. The event ends with a dinner at the Virginia Living Museum. Information and registration available at thevlm.org or call 757-595-1900 ext. 217.
April 12 Star Party/Lasers/Mars Madness
Free observing begins at sunset at the Virginia Living Museum. Enjoy free NASA exhibits and activities about Mars. Take a tour of the current night sky in Virginia Skies at 7:30 p.m., followed by three laser shows: Hypnotica (family) at 8:30 p.m., Laser X (hard rock) at 10 p.m. and The Wall (Pink Floyd) at 11:30 p.m. All shows $6. The Wild Side Café is open 6 to 9 p.m.
April 15 Birding on the Boardwalk
It’s spring! What birds are coming to Virginia? Before the Virginia Living Museum is open to the public, take a morning walk with Assistant Education Director and avid birder Rock Moeslein around the boardwalk to see what kind of bird life activity is happening here. Are birds setting up territories, nesting or just passing through? After the walk there will be a short bird lesson. Ages 18 and above. 7:15-8:30 a.m. VLM members free, non-members $5 (does not include museum admission). Register in advance at 757-595-9135 or thevlm.org.
April 19, 26-27 Spring Native Plant Sale
Choose from an incredible array of beautiful and unusual native plants for a variety of garden sites, from wet ponds to dry rock gardens. Many of these are excellent plants for attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and other wildlife to your yard. Native plants are good choices for area gardeners because such plants tolerate the area’s weather and serve as food and shelter for area wildlife, while also providing a good show in the garden. The Virginia Living Museum’s horticulture staff holds this annual sale as a fund-raiser, but the real goal is to introduce the gardening public to the incredible variety of native plants that will do well in the landscape, and to educate them about those which are better left in the wild. All plants are nursery propagated and many are not yet available in the commercial nursery trade. Sale held rain or shine. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Admission to sale is free.
April 19 Story time
The third Saturday of the month is story time at the Virginia Living Museum. Hear “Home for a Bunny” by Margaret Wise Brown and see a live rabbit. Recommended for ages 2 and above. 10 a.m. Included in museum admission.
April 22 - June 24 Tai Chi
Based on ancient Chinese self-defense martial arts strategies, the modern version of Tai Chi as a form of exercise utilizes slow, smooth, graceful movements to achieve physical and mental relaxation. “Yang Style 24 Forms” Tai Chi is a fast-paced class at the Virginia Living Museum well suited to students who want a refresher course, however, no previous experience is required. The class will be taught by William Hansell, who has studied Taiji Chuan for 30 years. 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for 10 Tuesdays. $50. Register at 757-595-9135 or thevlm.org
April 26 Earth Day Celebration at the Virginia Living Museum
The Virginia Living Museum celebrates the Earth with a day of special activities. Learn ways to help the environment by reducing, reusing and recycling waste. Visit the Goodson Living Green House and Conservation Gardens for green building and gardening tips. Several environmental organizations will have displays and information about conservation measures. Earth-friendly vendors will show and sell green wares. There will also be crafts, eco-friendly giveaways and earth-friendly animal shows. Watch the museum’s animals receive toys, treats and other enrichment activities to stimulate natural behaviors. The animal playground will be open all day with several special guests. Bring your batteries, cell phones, cosmetic kits, old sneakers and computer electronics for recycling.
April 29 Kenya Safari Information Meeting
The Virginia Living Museum and the Virginia Zoo are planning a classic safari to Kenya Nov. 5-15, 2014. Organized by Classic Escapes, the trip includes the services of an East African naturalist and is escorted by Greg Bockheim, executive director of the Virginia Zoo and Page Hayhurst, executive director of Virginia Living Museum. Features include
three days at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a privately-owned 24,000 acre reserve with a luxurious tented camp that has magnificent views of Mt. Kenya, and wildlife drives in search of the ‘Big Five.’ Watch a parade of elephant, giraffe, zebra and impala. This is followed by three days of wildlife-viewing opportunities in the Maasai Mara Reserve, the site of one of the world’s largest and the most spectacular animal migrations. The reserve is inhabited by many of Africa's most popular wild animals, including lion, cheetah, elephant, leopard, black rhino and hippo. There are also over 500 resident species of birds in the park including ostrich, larks and sunbirds as well as the lovely Lilac-breasted Roller. Optional excursions are available before, during and after the safari. Learn about the safari during this information meeting at 6 p.m. Admission is free. Register in advance at 757-595-9135.
April 30-May 23 Late Spring Planetarium Shows
Choose among three shows in the Virginia Living Museum’s Abbitt Planetarium. Introduce your little astronomer to the wonders of the sky with “Friendly Stars” at 12:30 p.m. A staff astronomer takes a tour of the current night sky in “Virginia Skies” at 1:30 p.m. “Dark” is a full dome movie that explores the nature of dark matter, the missing 80% of the mass of the universe. It is shown at 2:30 p.m. The planetarium is open Wednesday through Sunday. Shows $4 plus museum admission.
May 10 Star Party/Laser Light Shows
Free observing begins at sunset at the Virginia Living Museum. Take a tour of the current night sky with Virginia Skies at 7:30 p.m., followed by three laser shows: Laser Beatles (family) at 8:30 p.m., Laser Queen at 10 p.m. and The Vision Bell at 11:30 p.m. All shows $6. The Wild Side Café is open 6 to 9 p.m.
May 14 Young Professionals Canoe Cookout
The Virginia Living Museum’s young professionals will canoe Deer Park Lake and then enjoy some delicious cook-out classics. 6 p.m. $10.
May 17Nature Photography with Ken Conger
Award-winning photographer Ken Conger will teach a session on nature photography at the Virginia Living Museum. This course is primarily for upper beginners or serious hobbyists. It includes a class segment, short field sessions and review, using Adobe Photoshop CS6. A tripod and laptop with Adobe Photoshop installed would be helpful. Conger photographs wild animals, primarily in national parks and Fish & Wildlife Refuges. In addition to teaching, he leads international photo tours and participates in art festivals along the east coast. Time is 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $155. Register in advance at 757-595-9135 or at thevlm.org.
May 17 Story time
Story and live animal program at the Virginia Living Museum. Hear “Olivia Owl” by Maurice Pledger and see a live screech owl. Recommended for ages 2 and above. 10 a.m. Included in museum admission.
May 24 – Sept. 1 DINOS LIVE!
A new gang of dinosaurs are coming to town this summer at the Virginia Living Museum in DINOS LIVE! This year, for the first time, the VLM will feature the lifelike creations of Billings Productions, North America's leading producer of animatronic dinosaurs.
Tremble at a growling T-Rex, always a favorite with museum visitors and see new dinosaurs making their museum debut. Watch an Edmontosaurus mother tend her brood. There’s even a nest full of eggs ready to hatch. See Euoplocephalus, built like a military tank and weighing in at 3 tons, and Styracosarus, one of the most spectacular of the horned lizards. The dinosaur that highlights the link between non-avian dinosaurs and birds is the Citipati, whose spectacular head crest is similar to that of a modern cassowary. New this summer will be a tented outdoor dinosaur excavation area. Amateur paleontologists can dig through a mound of fossil-filled sediment and then sift out fossils they can take home.
May 24 – June 22 The Really BIG Dinosaur Puppet Show
Imagine the bones and fossils of ancient dinosaurs could come back to life - what stories they might tell. Well, here's no need to imagine any more as Rainbow Puppet Productions presents "The Really BIG Dinosaur Show" at the Virginia Living Museum. Through original songs and the use of over 20 giant puppets, the time of the dinosaurs appears on stage. The program features an eight-foot-tall T-Rex, mama and baby dinosaurs and another dinosaur that's over 16 feet long. (It's not called "The Really Big Dinosaur Show" for nothing!) There will be lots of audience participation. Weekends only, plus May 26 at noon at 1 and 2 p.m.
May 24- June 30 Early Summer Planetarium Shows
Choose among four shows in the Virginia Living Museum’s Abbitt Planetarium. A staff astronomer takes a tour of the current night sky in “Virginia Skies.” Explore how dinosaurs lived and died in “Dinosaur Prophecy.” Enjoy a fascinating retelling of a classic Greek legend in “Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus and Andromeda.” “Laser 2” is the ultimate laser show with Ireland’s ultimate band. The planetarium is open every day. Tickets are $4 plus museum admission.
To learn more about the VLM visit them on MB!