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Planetarium Shows

Visit the planets, travel to a black hole, observe spinning galaxies or study the Earth from space in the Virginia Living Museum’s 71-seat Abbitt Planetarium Theater. Using our state-of-the-art digital full-screen projection system, we can recreate the many wonders of the universe, including the stars and constellations of the sky for any season of the year – all from the comfort of an armchair.

All day-time programs $4 plus museum admission. VLM members are admitted free to day-time programs. The planetarium is open daily May 27 through September 5. It is closed for annual maintenance September 6-30, reopening on Saturday, October 1 with shows presented Wednesdays through Sundays.

List of Shows

Virginia Skies

Through September 5
2:30pm daily

October 1 – November 20
Time: 2:30pm Saturday and Sunday

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

Recommended: all ages

Explore the skies above you with this exciting interactive program in the Virginia Living Museum’s Abbitt Planetarium. One of our staff astronomers will take you on a tour of the current skies, highlighting visible planets, deep sky objects, and any upcoming special astronomical events. Once you’ve had your introductory tour, feel free to ask your astronomy questions! We’ll use our state of the art planetarium visualization system to take you to see objects of curiosity and wonder. Different every time you see it, this program is great for the entire family.

Zula Patrol: Down to Earth

ZPatrolMay 7 – September 5
12:30pm daily, plus 4:30pm Thursdays

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

Recommended: ages 8 and under with an adult.

While on a routine fossil-hunting expedition, The Zula Patrol turns up evidence that the villainous Deliria Delight has been travelling back in time to Earth’s prehistoric past to illegally dump her company’s toxic trash. The Zula Patrollers must find and catch her, before her actions cause catastrophic consequences. In the process, our heroes learn all about the formation and development of Earth, and the life forms who call it home.  There’s even a cameo by everyone’s favorite dinosaur, T. rex!

Dinosaur Prophecy

DinosaurProphecyMay 7 – September 5
1:30 and 3:30pm daily, plus 5:30pm Thursdays

October 15 – November 20
Time: 1:30pm Wednesday through Sunday

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

Recommended: ages 10 and above.

Everyone knows the tale of the sudden and dramatic death of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But did you know that numerous species of dinosaurs lived, and disappeared, long before the cataclysmic disaster at the end of the Cretaceous period? Journey with us to four different dinosaur digs around the world as we explore how these amazing creatures died… and lived!

Laser Vinyl

laser_vinylAugust 1 – September 5

Time: 11:30am daily

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission

Remember the days when you bought an album as much for the cover art as for the music…the days of vinyl? Then this laser show is for you. Rock on with solid hits from bands like Journey, Boston, Kansas and many more! This is lasers old school style! Accompanying a fantastic musical concert representing the best of classic rock is some of the most beautiful and stunning laser art ever produced! Reminisce, tap your feet and enjoy a truly fantastic audio-visual event that will rock your body, mind and soul!

This program is family-friendly: Inappropriate song lyrics have been eliminated or blanked. Please note that daytime shows will feature a reduced playlist for time considerations. Song selections are determined by the operator.

Recommended: ages 6 and above

Show Playlist

  • Karn Evil 9–ELP
  • Jump–Van Halen
  • Bohemian Rhapsody–Queen
  • Carry On My Wayward Son–Kansas
  • Rock-n-Roll All Night–Kiss
  • Dream On–Aerosmith
  • Rock-n-Roll Band–Boston
  • Separate Ways–Journey
  • One of These Days–Pink Floyd

Legends of the Night Sky: Orion

Orion-webOctober 1 – November 20

Time: 12:30pm Wednesday – Sunday

Recommended: ages 6 and under accompanied by an adult.

Explore the evening sky and meet a friendly owl who spins a tale of the winter constellation Orion. Presented in dazzling laser lights, this is an exciting and often humorous version of the classic Greek legend of Orion, the hunter.

Made possible by AVI.

Stars to Starfish

starstostarfishOctober 1-14

Time: 1:30pm Wednesday through Sunday

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

Recommended: ages 10 and above

This fulldome show compares the exploration of our universe with the exploration of our Earth’s oceans and underscores the importance of our home’s last great resource. This beautiful excursion features some of the stunning underwater photography and videography of Mike and Jan Davis and many others. Explore our place in the cosmos as we celebrate the Museum’s 50th anniversary.

Made possible by FullDomeFX.

Laser Holidays

VLMrudyroseFeaturing classic holiday favorites like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” modern hits like “Jingle Bell Rock,” and unique reimaginings of timeless songs, this is an animated Christmas light display like no other you’ve ever seen! Get into the holiday spirit with the music of the season and dazzling laser effects!

Show Playlist

  • Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson
  • Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy by Tchaikovsky
  • Up on the Housetop by The Jackson 5
  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer by Burl Ives
  • Winter Wonderland by The Eurythmics
  • Deck the Halls (Orchestra)
  • Jingle Bell Rock by Randy Travis
  • White Christmas by Bing Crosby
  • The Chipmunk Song by The Chipmunks
  • All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth by Spike Jones and His City Slickers
  • Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano
  • Christmastime by The Smashing Pumpkins
  • Oiche Chium (Silent Night) by Enya
  • Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love
  • Frosty the Snowman by The Cocteau Twins
  • Carol of the Bells by David Foster
  • The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole
  • All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas by James Galway
  • Daytime Shows: November 23, 25-27 – 11:30am, 1:30 and 3:30pm.

    November 30 – December 18 – 12:30 and 2:30pm Wednesday – Sunday

    December 21-23, 26-31 – 11:30am, 1:30 and 3:30pm.

    Daytime shows are 30 minutes. Songs are selected by the laserist.

    Closed Thanksgiving, Dec. 24 & 25.

    Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission

    Evening Shows: November 26, and December 17 at 6:30pm. December 10 at 8:30pm

    Cost: VLM members $3, non-members $6

    Star of Wonder: Mystery of the Christmas Star

    VLMChristmasStar10Since 1965, we have journeyed in the footsteps of the Magi, seeking the identity of a mysterious star which foretold the coming of a king. Over the years, the scientific thinking has changed, archeology has revealed new clues about the lands in which these events took place, and our understanding of who the Magi might have actually been has grown. The show was completely revised in 2008 to offer a truly immersive look at the journey of the Magi while examining the latest clues and seeking once more to understand the appearance of the Star of Bethlehem.

    Our presentation of Star of Wonder: Mystery of the Christmas Star is made possible by E&S Spitz.

    Recommended for ages 8 and up

    Daytime Shows: November 23, 25-27 – 12:30 and 2:30pm.

    November 30 – December 18 – 1:30pm Wednesday – Sunday, 3:30pm Saturday and Sunday

    December 21-23, 26-31 – 12:30 and 2:30pm.

    Closed Thanksgiving, Dec. 24 & 25.

    Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission


    Evening Shows: November 26 and December 17 at 5:30pm, December 10 at 6:30pm.

    Cost: VLM members $3, non-members $6




    Special Thanks to the British Fulldome Institute for the use of planetarium shows and clips.