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Dinosaur Discovery Trail

Permanent Outdoor Adventure Open Daily

Permanent Outdoor Exhibit

For more than 25 years, dinosaurs have been a popular summer exhibit at the Virginia Living Museum. In 2016, as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the museum opened a permanent outdoor Dinosaur Discovery Trail.

This permanent exhibit showcases 16 of the majestic animals that ruled our earth for more than 150 million years. 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, dig pits for amateur paleontologists,  and displays of dinosaur and other fossils, including an actual whale specimen from Hampton Roads.

Guests can bring paint brushes for the dig pits from home or they may purchase them from the front desk to conduct their own exploring.

Discover our new additions positioned inside the inner circle around the paleo camp area!

The Dinosaur Discovery Trail features the following dinosaur replicas:

  • Allosaurus
  • Brachiosaurus & Brachiosaurus with twisted neck
  • Dromaeosaurus
  • Giant Pteranodon
  • Guanlong wucaii
  • Hypsilophodon
  • Parasaurolophus
  • Dromaeosaurus
  • Spinosaurus
  • Stegosaurus
  • Tenontosaurus under attack by Deinonychus
  • Triceratops
  • Tyrannosaurus rex
  • Velociraptor

Touchable Photo Opportunity

  • Mini apatosaurus
  • Mini ankylosaur
  • Prehistoric hatchlings

Children’s Play Area

  • 30’ long dig pit of an allosaurus
  • Additional dig pits of dinosaur fossils  and a nest of eggs
  • A giant rib cage crawler playground interactive

Discovery Dinosaur Fossil Stations

Dinosaur Fossil Station

Display of dinosaur fossils (real and replica, including some that can be touched), plus replicas of  various dinosaur skulls:

  • Leg bone of a sauropod dinosaur
  • Footprint of a T. rex
  • Skull of a T. rex
  • Sauropod vertebrae (real)
  • Deinonychus skeleton
  • Maiasaur egg shell (real)
  • Dinosaur coprolites (real)
  • Dinosaur gastroliths (stomach stones—real)
  • Sauropod footprint
  • Stegosaurus plate
  • Coelophysis skeleton

Tidewater Virginia Fossil Station

  • A partially extracted fossil whale jaw embedded in a massive rock formation that demonstrates the amount of work it takes to extract a real fossil
  • Real fossil jaw bones, skulls and vertebrae found in our region.


The Dinosaur Discovery Trail is sponsored by the Virginia Living Museum Board of Trustees.