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Changing Exhibits

Coming to outdoor spaces this fall…

Join us for Building Wild with Nature!

September 28 – December 6

Kids and adults alike love to build. Explore different building stations from September 28 – December 6. Your imagination will soar as you use blocks, branches, bricks, stumps, twigs and logs to build habitats for both animals and your friends at locations throughout the campus.

  • Build with Big Blocks
    Using an illustrated blueprint, add big colorful blocks to the existing base to create a castle. Once you finish building your castle, enter and enjoy your massive structure in the Museum conservation garden green.
  • Build with LEGO®  Bricks
    Use your math skills to create homes for people and/or animals with LEGO bricks. Imagine what your structure could look like and then use your engineering skills to create your home in the patio adjacent to the Goodson Green House.
  • Build with Spheres & Rods
    Connect spheres and rods together in multiple ways as your imagination guides you. Discover different angles as you change connection points on the spheres. Team up with others and share ideas as you build together under a tent in the Conservation Garden.
  • Build with Sticks and Stumps
    Use simple natural resources to build a branch tepee or use the nature block table sets to create whatever you can imagine! This natural area is nestled in nature in the Conservation Garden.
  • Build an Eagle Nest
    An average bald eagle nest is five feet wide and three to four feet deep – the largest nest built by any North American bird! Help an eagle build its nest by placing and weaving the sticks between the tree trunk uprights. Step inside your nest to see how it feels! Eagle Nest build is located in the Conservation Garden.
  • Build a Fairy Garden
    The legends of fairies and their imaginative role in nature inspires us all. Build a garden home using small fairy statues and garden figurines for a miniature world that needs big imaginations to create! The Fairy Garden is found at the base of the trees flanking the Conservation Garden.
  • Build a Paleontologist Camp
    Venture down the trail to the Dinosaur Discovery Trail and take on the role of Paleontologist to engineer oversized blocks to create your own dinosaur base camp!  Be sure to check out the 16 realistic statues along the trail and enjoy dig pits, dino fossil huts and playground as well.


Building Wild with Nature also features two companion programs on specific days:


Preschool Pals Playdates

Tuesday Mornings, Oct. 1 – Dec. 3

Every Tuesday morning beginning Oct. 1 join the Museum for coffee, toddler play and a Preschool Pals Planetarium show from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Sip on coffee while you watch your little scientist explore in the natural world and build in our toddler friendly indoor build zone where we will present a new building activity each week.  Activities include playing and building with activities appropriate for toddlers!

Activity Overview
October 1 Coding with Color Blocks Use blocks/LEGOs to match cards with same pattern or design.
October 8 Water Bin Play in a water bin.
October 15 Rice Bin Play in a rice bin.
October 22 Slime Drawing Use flattened sealed bags of gel to create drawings.
October 29 Sand Playdough Play in a sand play bin for sensory development.
November 5 Apple Art Create Apple Art
November 12 Water Beads Find toys hidden in bins of water beads.
November 19 Float or Sink Test various objects in a water bin to determine if they will float or sink.
November 26 Lego Sorting Organize blocks and Legos.
December 3 Dino Wash Station Wash toy dinosaurs!
December 10 Nature Play Play in leaves, pinestraw and dirt texture bins.
December 17 Animal Meet and Greet Meet and learn about our animal ambassadors!

Plus, guests can take in a Preschool Pals Planetarium show starting at 9:45 a.m. (Show cost: VLM Members free, non-members $4 plus Museum Admission). See full list of Planetarium shows here.


Special Build Saturdays

Dates: October 12, November 2 and November 23

For the serious builders ages 7+, let curiosity and creativity go wild during Special Build Saturdays! For an added fee, these programs will spark your imagination and inspire you to build creatively with everyday materials around you.  Special Saturdays include:

  • October 12 – De-construction/Re-construction: With adult supervision, we will be taking apart recycled electronics to find out what’s inside. Using the pieces we find inside, we’ll recycle them and construct something entirely new! The program will be presented beginning at 10:00 am. (Cost is $13 for members and $15 for non-members)
  • November 2 – Rube Goldberg Machine (cancelled): Mouse trap. That crazy contraption, where this falls into that thing, and itmakes the ball move, which knocks that thing over, you have seen the videos! Whatever you call it, come do it with us! Using found objects and special building materials, come build a Rube Goldberg machine at the VLM! Our educators will be on hand to help test your creations and videos demonstrating some of the world’s best Rube Goldbergs will be playing throughout the morning. This program will be presented beginning at 10 am. (Cost is $13 for members and $15 for non-members)
  • November 23 – Cardboard Overload: Ever wanted to make a giant fort? How about make a castle with secret doors and tall towers? How high can you build until it falls over? Come explore big building projects at the VLM! Guests will have unlimited access to all our building materials, including a huge (and we mean HUGE) collection of recyclable cardboard and hard plastics to bring your craziest construction designs to life. This program will be presented beginning at 10 am. (Cost is $5 for members and $7 for non-members.)

Each Special Build Saturday program is recommended for ages 7+, and all children must be accompanied by an adult (at no extra charge).


Purchase Tickets Now

We challenge you to build habitats for both animals and humans. There is no limit to where your imagination can take you as you build and imagine with nature!








We’re going tiny this Winter…

Tiny TITANS – Dinosaur Eggs and Babies

January 18 – May 3

Bring your little ones to learn about how dinosaurs raised their tiny titans.  On display in our Changing Exhibits Gallery, this special exhibition is a remarkable hands-on exhibition that offers an astounding array of authentic dinosaur eggs and nests collected from all over the globe – including those of each of the major plant and meat-eating dinosaur groups. Kids can dig for eggs, dress up like a parent dinosaur to brood their nest, and feel the texture of dinosaur eggs. Cute babies and fun dino facts will keep everyone entertained on your next trip to the museum. Babies grow fast so make sure you catch them while they are here from January 18 to May 3, 2020!

Tiny Titans was developed by Charlie and Florence Magovern of The Stone Company, Boulder, Colorado in association with the Harvard Museum of Natural History. The Magoverns gained national recognition when their work was featured as the cover story in the May 1996 issue of National Geographic Magazine. Tiny Titans is now promoted by Silver Plume Exhibitions, an exhibit design and management company founded by Charlie and Florence’s daughter, Alanna and her husband, Nicholas Regester.

Coming Summer 2020

Roaring, stomping, animatronic dinosaurs are back!  Journey back millions of years to the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods and experience life-like dinosaurs around every turn.