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Ready. Set. Build! at the Virginia Living Museum beginning Sept. 28

Ready. Set. Build! at the Virginia Living Museum beginning Sept. 28

New ‘Building Wild with Nature’ features 7 build zones


Newport News, VA (September 12, 2019) – Join the Virginia Living Museum for Building Wild with Nature, coming to outdoor spaces September 28 to December 6, 2019.  The Museum’s newest fall experience allows kids and adults alike to use their imagination to build habitats for animals and humans with a wide variety of materials and themes.


Guests’ imagination will soar as they use blocks, rods, branches, spheres, bricks, stumps, twigs and logs to build habitats for both animals and humans at seven different building stations throughout the campus. Building stations include:


  1. 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.


  1. Build with LegoBricks

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.

  1. 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.


  1. Build with Natural Resources

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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.



  1. 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 Playdate- Tuesday Mornings October 1- December 3

Every Tuesday morning beginning 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! 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).  For a list of changing activities visit:


Special Build Saturdays – 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: Mouse trap. That crazy contraption, where this falls into that thing, and it makes 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).  Tickets can be purchased at:

The museum is located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, I64, exit 258A. Admission is $20 adults and $15 children (ages 3-12). Children ages 2 and under are free. For more information call 757-595-1900 or visit the website at


The Virginia Living Museum is a non-profit 501(c) 3 museum and education center whose mission is connecting people to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation.


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