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Destination: Dinosaur! 

May 5 – September 3, 2018

Open Daily 9am – 5pm

Roaring, stomping, animatronic dinosaurs are back!  Journey back millions of years to the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods as you visit the Museum’s changing exhibit gallery and throughout the Museum grounds and experience life-like dinosaurs around every turn. Experience an almost 13 foot T. rex in the conservation garden accompanied by a lounging Pachyrhinosaurus photo op. Indoors uncover a Hadrosaur fossil dig, a robotic Stegosaurus, and other life-like robotic dinosaurs. Beware the water spitting Dilophosaurus and baby as you enter the back deck.  The Virginia Living Museum truly is your Dinosaur Destination May 5- September 3, 2018.

Cost: included in museum admission  – $20 for adults and $15 for children (ages 3-12). Ages 2 and under are free.

7 Dinosaur-Themed Experiences:

Animatronic Dinosaur Indoor Gallery

NEW for the May 5 – September 3 time period, the Museum’s indoor changing exhibit gallery will be filled with  11 animatronic dinosaurs including the Amargasaurus and baby, the Chasmosaurus and baby, the Cryolophosaurus, the Amargasaurus with baby, the Coelophysis pair, the Stegoceras pair, and the Suchomimus.  Hands on activities include the Fossil Dig Hadrosaur, and the remote controlled Stegosaurus robot.

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Life-Sized Animatronic T.rex in Garden

NEW for the May 5 – September 3 time period, this animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex will rule over the Museum’s conservation garden. He nears a commanding 13 feet tall which is true to life-sized and is 39 feet 6 inches long! Tyrannosaurus  means “Tyrant Lizard King” because it was one of the largest and most powerful of dinosaurs.  This “King” weighed an average of 6 tons and is a bipedal carnivore. His arms were only 1 meter long with two fingers which were unusually powerful for their size; hind limbs were much longer and very strong. The T. rex had cone-shaped serrated teeth that continually replaced.

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Pachyrhinosaurus Photo-Op in Garden

NEW for the May 5 – September 3 time period, grab your camera for a photo opportunity nesting with the Pachyrhinosaurus in the Museum’s Conservation Garden. This photo opportunity features an adult Pachyrhinosaurus which several children and adults can sit on at one time and post for pictures! You won’t want to miss this outdoor opportunity!

Water Spitting Dilophosaurus and Baby

NEW for the May 5 – September 3 time period, our water-spitting animatronic Dilophosaurus and her baby will be “cooling off guests” with sprays of water as they enter the outdoor trail from the lower level of the Museum. Sure to be a treat in the hot summer months!

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Original Virginia Dinosaur Tracks

Find the proof that dinosaurs were in Virginia at the base of the large staircase in the Museum’s main indoor section. Visit Kayentapus, real dinosaur tracks found in Virginia. The Virginia Living Museum exhibits a trackway left nearly 210 million years ago in what was a vast swampy plain near Culpeper, Virginia. Named Kayentapus, the tracks are the largestmeat-eating dinosaur tracks found in Virginia so far. The trackway, with four tracks, was part of almost 2,000 fossil footprints of dinosaurs and other reptiles uncovered at the Culpeper Stone Company quarry near Stevensburg in 1989.


In the center of the spiral staircase, the museum also exhibits a sculpture of an adult dinosaur that is an artistic interpretation of a living, hunting, dynamic predator in action – a dinosaur that would have been similar to, but not exactly the same as, the dinosaur that left the trackway. The sculpture was created by Keith Strasser of Middle Island, N.Y.

Shows: Live Theater | Planetarium | Live Animal

  • Live Theater The Rex is Right!

    Dates: June 16 through September 3, 2018. Days and times vary. Check the calendar.
    Times: 12:30pm and 1:30pm
    Location:  Outdoor Amphitheater (rain location TBD)
    Length: 20 minutes
    Description: Come on Down! and challenge your family to some dinosaur trivia. Be ready to participate in this interactive, high energy show.
    Cost:  included in museum admission
  • Abbitt Planetarium Did an Asteroid Really Kill the Dinosaurs?

    Dates/Times: Daily  (see schedule)
    Location: Abbitt Planetarium
    Cost:  All day-time programs $4 plus museum admission. VLM members are admitted free to day-time shows.
  • Live Ambassador Animal Shows –  Daring Dinosaurs

    Dates: Daily – June 16 through September 3, 2018
    Times: 12pm, 1pm, 2pm
    Location: main level – How Life Survives Discovery Center
    Length: 15 minutes, will include 3 animal ambassadors
    Description: Travel through time and discover what type of animals were around the same time as the dinosaurs, meet an animal ambassador related to the dinosaurs, and touch an animal ambassador that evolved after the extinction of dinosaurs.
    Cost:  included in museum admission

    Special dates and times:
    May 5  – 12pm, 1pm, 2pm
    Memorial Day Weekend (May 26-28) –  12pm, 1pm, 2pm

Dinosaur Discovery Trail

This permanent exhibit located off the Museum’s outdoor boardwalk trail is our own “Jurassic Park”! The outdoor exhibit is nestled in the wooded area off the live animal boardwalk and showcases 16 of the majestic animals that ruled our earth for more than 150 million years ago. Visitors walk through the woods to see realistic one-third to full-size dinosaurs from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The dinosaurs range in size from a mini Ankylosaur to a 16-foot-tall Brachiosaurus. There is a baby T.rex photo op, a half-size T.rex, plus several nests and baby dinosaurs.

The trail also includes a Paleo Camp for future Paleontologists to build a base camp, four dig pits for amateur paleontologists, a playground and display huts of dinosaur and other fossils, including an actual whale specimen from Hampton Roads.


PLUS, be sure to grab your DESTINATION DINO DARE pamphlet at the front desk.  Not only will it help to navigate through our 7 experiences it will tell you how you can enter to win a Behind-the-Scenes Tour or Dino Party by interacting at #VaLivingMuseum.



Be sure to mark your calendar for special additions including:

Dino on the Loose – (one Saturday a month from 1-1:15pm) a walking, roaring dinosaur on parade makes an appearance in the outdoor Dinosaur Discovery Trail.  Bring your camera! (see schedule)

Cost:  Exhibit and dinosaur experiences included in Museum admission.


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