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Museum Events

Critter Encounter – Live Animal Shows

Through Sept 4

Time:  12 noon, 1pm, and 2pm daily – Wason Education Center Lobby

Animals in the wild are the real survival experts.  They have to make their way through a challenging world everyday. How do they do it? What skills and tools do they use?  You will learn some their secrets in this 15 minute Live Animal Encounter.

Cost: Included in Museum admission.


Diary of a Hammerhead – through Sept. 4

Open Daily

If you thought you knew everything about sharks, think again…Experience the epic life of Harriet Hammerhead, a great hammerhead shark! Take a peek inside Harriet’s diary to explore hammerhead sharks and their importance as apex predators and keystone species of the world’s oceans. This traveling exhibit highlights shark biology and conservation. Look for the panels of the diary to surround the central staircase on the upper level of the Museum.

Cost: Included in museum admission.


 Great American Eclipse – August 21

Time: 1:30 – 4:30pm (expected window of partial eclipse)

Get ready for the Eclipse! View this rare celestial event at the VLM. We will offer telescope views of the Sun throughout the eclipse and provide eclipse glasses to our visitors for direct viewing. In inclement weather, we will attempt to display a live webcast of the total solar eclipse in the Abbitt Planetarium for all to enjoy.

Cost: Included in museum admission.  For more information.


Fall Native Plant Sale – September 16-17, 23-24

Member Preview: September 14, 4-6pm

Time: 9am – 4pm

Choose from a large selection of summer and fall blooming native wildflowers, shrubs and small trees for a variety of garden sites and styles at the Virginia Living Museum’s annual fall plant sale. Many of these are excellent plants for attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and other wildlife to your yard. Fall is the best time of year to do the majority of your heavy gardening. All plants are nursery propagated. Sale held rain or shine.

Cost: Admission to sale is free.


Butterflies:  Wings of Wonder – October 7

Time: 10am – 3pm

Butterflies are amazing creatures in so many ways – their vibrant colors, their different shapes, sizes and patterns and the important roles they play in nature’s web of life. The Virginia Living Museum will celebrate the wonderful lives of butterflies with special exhibits, live butterflies, crafts and games. Activities 10am to 3pm, the museum is open 9am to 5pm Activities included in museum admission of $20 adults, $15 children (ages 3-12), ages 2 and under free.


Night of the Living Museum – October 20 and 21

Time: 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Tickets go on sale September 1.

Are you ready for a “wild” night of spooky animals, trail walks, pumpkin carving, pirates and princesses?

Night of the Living Museum returns to the Virginia Living Museum for its 18th year on Friday, October 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. This is a non-scary Halloween event for families with kids ages 12 and under.

See the spook-tacular laser show “Fright Light” at 8:30 p.m in the Abbitt Planetarium. This is a frightfully awesome mix of terror-ific tunes runs an hour long with wild and weird laser images accompany songs from Black Sabbath, Garbage, The Who and many more! “Fright Light at 8:30 p.m.” tickets are $3 for VLM members, $6 for non-members in addition to Night of the Living Museum admission. Song selections are family friendly.

You can catch a 30 minute version of “Fright Light” at 6pm, 6:45pm, 7:30pm or 8:30pm (longer, scary version) for $2 for members, $4 for non-members for a shorter laser show experience! Song selections are family friendly.

Cost: VLM members $10 per person, non-members $15 per person. Those with advance tickets will be granted special access through green garden gate.

Children ages 2 and under are free. Children 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

The museum will close at 4 p.m. on Oct. 20 and 21 to prepare for the evening event.

For more information.


Oyster Roast – November 11

Time: 3pm – 6pm

Tickets go on sale September 1.

Enjoy all-you-can-eat fresh local Rappahannock Oysters, fried seafood, chowder, dessert buffet, craft beers, wine, full bar, DJ/live music, commemorative glass, raffles & more at the Virginia Living Museum’s sixth annual Oyster Roast!  Voted Best of the 757 Gold for Outdoor Festivals four years in a row by Coastal Virginia Magazine, this event is always a sell-out.

Food will be provided by Mathews Lions Club and Waypoint Seafood & Grill. Desserts by Stratford University Culinary Students.

New this year, the Virginia Living Museum has partnered with St. George Brewing Company to brew an exclusive Oyster Stout! The Stout will have big, bold flavor  that pairs well with seafood.

Enjoy live music by Louis Vangieri and Phil Poteat.

Cost:  $50, $60 week of event, Age 21 and up.  Tickets include commemorative glass and two beverage tickets for beer or wine!

For more information.


Turkey Pardoning – November 22

Time: 11am – 1pm

For the eighth year, the Virginia Living Museum will celebrate the long and healthy life of its wild turkeys during the annual Turkey Pardoning.  Wednesday, November 22 at 11am a city official will pardon the turkeys during a brief ceremony on the outdoor trail beside the Turkey/Deer Habitat.  There will be turkey-related crafts and objects on display.