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Museum Events

shark-photo-opShark Week – June 26- July 2

Swim, paddle, wade or sail on in to celebrate SHARK WEEK daily from 10am-4pm  when you can view Shark related items from collections, take a photo in the Shark Week Jaws and enjoy “sharky” crafts.  Don’t forget to find the LIVE nurse shark roaming the Chesapeake Bay Tank or you may even catch an “air shark” or “costumed shark” sighting!

In the planetarium, watch two fish try to save their home by touching the moon in “Kaluoka’hina” showing at 2:30pm. VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

On the last day of Shark Week, July 2, from 10 -4pm, enjoy a fun-filled day of shark-world themed encounters with special face painting, sharky crafts, activities and displays that will put a toothy grin on your face. Learn more about these amazing animals and their relatives, and about the important work being done to preserve their populations and habitats.

juvenile dogfishSaturday, July 2

  • Dig for real shark’s teeth in an outdoor fossil pit – and take them home.
  • See LIVE baby chain dogfish sharks born at the Museum.
  • See deep sea specimens from the Museum’s collection.

Timed Activities July 2

  • 11:30am “Into the Deep” planetarium program $
  • noon-2pm Kolonial Klowns facepainting
  • 1pm Special Shark Tour $ (see below)
  • 2pm Chesapeake Bay Aquarium Feeding
  • 2:30pm Scuba Program in the Chesapeake Bay Aquarium
  • 2:30pm “Kaluoka’hina” planetarium program $
  • 3pm Behind-the-Scenes Tour $

Special Shark Tour July 2, 1pm

Join Aquarium Curator Chris Crippen and learn all about sharks as you help prepare food for our sandbar and nurse sharks, then climb the catwalk above the Chesapeake Bay Aquarium and help feed the sharks.

Age 8 and above. Wear sturdy shoes. Must be able to climb. Maximum 10 people.

Cost: VLM members $13, non-members $15 plus Museum admission.

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“Feathers” Theater Program June 23 – July 30

Dinosaurs were ancient reptiles with tough scaly skin right? Well, sort of.  Paleontologists have been collecting more and more evidence that some dinosaurs actually had feathers when they Feathers-Awere young to help their small bodies stay warm. Want to learn more – and have fun too?  Join us in the outdoor Wason Amphitheater for “Feathers” – a family-friendly short play performed by theater students from Christopher Newport University.

Days/times: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 11am and noon (no show June 25), plus Wednesdays in July at 11:30am and 12:30pm.

Sponsored by
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Friday Night Flicks – members only SOLD OUT

KFP3July 1 – 6-8:30pm

This exclusive event is for VLM members only. The Abbitt Planetarium  will run a series of recently released, animal themed movies.  Second is Kung Fu Panda 3.  When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters.

Hot dogs, popcorn and soda will be available for purchase.

Time: 6-8:30pm

Cost: FREE admission for VLM members only. Tickets must be obtained in advance at the Admissions Desk. Tickets are limited to the number of individuals in a membership. Tickets will be available beginning June 1.
Special showing made possible by AZA and FOX.


Dino Fossil Discovery Day – July 9

VLM-JR-dino-fossilsHere is your chance to get up close and even touch REAL dinosaur fossils!  Learn the difference between fossil “remains” and “traces,” and what kinds of important information scientists are still learning about these amazing ancient animals. 

Jim Rollings will showcase examples from his extensive fossil collection. Jim is a Newport News native who had a 36 year career in museums (including Development Director of the Virginia Living Museum and Executive Director of the Science Museum of Western Virginia) and a great interest and knowledge in dinosaurs. Where most children go through a dinosaur phase…. Jim says, “I never left it.”  His collection comes from fossil digs in the western USA as well as Africa, Canada and China.

Jim Rollings talks about his Therizinosaurus claw casting.

Jim Rollings talks about his Therizinosaurus claw casting.

You won’t want to miss Jim’s 20-minute family-friendly “Paleo Presentations” in the Lab. While some of the collection is touchable, of special interest will be non-touchable offerings including a very rare dinosaur skin sample, a pterodactyl tooth, and tiny bones from a hatchling Coelophysis.

No registration required.

Time: Exhibits 10am-3pm, programs 12:45pm and 1:45pm.

Cost: Included in Museum admission


Dino Pajama Jam – July 9

dreamstime_pajama jamVLM member event

Jump into your favorite pair of pajamas and enjoy an evening of dino fun. Explore the Museum after hours while also enjoying games, crafts, animal encounters, tattoos, dancing and much more. This event is designed for families with children ages 12 or under.

Activities include:

  • Colonial DJ’s: Dancing and Games
  • Crafts: Make-your-own Dino Feet and Color Baby Dino Egg
  • Games: Tip-a-T. rex.,  Walk Like A Dino and Dino Scavenger Hunt
  • Bounce House
  • Temporary Tattoo Station
  • Dinosaur artifacts on display from VLM Collections
  • Dinosaur Mascot (he loves to dance!)
  • Animal Encounters
  • Refreshments
  • Event will conclude with a bedtime story.
Participants are asked to wear their favorite PJ’s!

Time: 7-9pm

Cost: $5 per member (ages 2 and under free). Purchase tickets online or at the Admission Desk. Package available for Pajama Jam and laser show $7.

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