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Just For Kids

Learning through hands on play has been an initiative at the Virginia Living Museum.  We have several offerings for our visitors that actively engage and inspire young naturalists to be conservationists, gardeners, horticulturists, vets, animal keepers and paleontologists.

Dinosaur Discovery Trail

Location: on outdoor trail between the vulture and bobcat exhibits

For more than 25 years, dinosaurs have been a popular summer exhibit at the Virginia Living Museum.
In October 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 eras. The dinosaurs range in size from a mini Ankylosaurus to a 16-foot-tall Brachiosaurus. There is a baby T-rex photo op and a half-size T-rex.

The trail also includes a Paleo camp and dig pits for amateur paleontologists, including one with an actual whale specimen from Hampton Roads.

Open daily 9am-4:30pm. Read more….

Wild & Well

Location: lower level at entrance of mountain cove

W&W clinic

Calling all future animal keepers and vets!  Come play, learn and dream in our permanent exhibit, WILD & WELL.  Be an Animal Keeper and role play preparing various diets for the animals in the museum. The new exhibit comes with a play kitchen food bins, animal diet cards and animal holding cages with life-sized stuffed animals! Can you prepare a balanced diet for them?  Then, pretend to be a Vet and diagnose various native animals and prescribe and perform treatment to improve their health with a wide variety of play props, including examination tables, x-ray walls, and stethoscopes!  Who knows maybe someday our young vets and keepers will return to work here at the Virginia Living Museum!.

Funded by: An anonymous donor and Riverside

Children’s Garden & PlaygroundVLM-ChildrensGarden-summer

Location: behind the Wason Education Center

The Children’s Garden is a place for kids, particularly preschoolers, to touch, smell, grow and discover. In the Nature Playground kids can pretend to get trapped in a spider web, hop on mushroom shapes and whisper through talking tubes, and explore a play Hobbit House. The Learning Garden features plants that attract pollinators, birds and butterfly caterpillars; plants that appeal to the senses and vegetables to promote healthy food choices. Kids can use a watering can to give flowers a drink or just sit on a bench and watch for hummingbirds, bees or bugs.

The area opened in April 2013 as part of the Native Plant Garden project.  Open daily.