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UPDATED Feb 25th: 

  • MUSEUM IS OPEN! Our animals are waiting~Nature is calling!
  • Be sure to MASK UP! Indoors and outdoors for your safety and all our living things.



   Join us LIVE on Facebook the second Saturday of every month for STARGAZING: LIVE STARturday Night at 7:30pm – March 13, 2021.




The Abbitt Planetarium is CLOSED for large groups (general public), but is now available for private shows of 9 people or less for any planetarium show of your choice.  Click for Schedule.

For questions on private shows call the Reservations Office at757-595-9135, Monday – Friday, 9 am – 4:30 pm.





Dinosaur Discovery Trail is now open to foot traffic.  Social distancing and face coverings are required. Fossil huts, playground, building area and dig pits remain closed.  Dino on the Loose scheduled for February 20, 2021 from 1-1:15pm.




Wild Side Café is closed for renovation.  Re-opening date set for April 2021.




The Wild Things Museum Store is open daily from noon-5pm.


Under the guidelines of the Commonwealth of Virginia that the animal attraction is open daily from 9am-5pm!

Is the Museum open?

 YES! Of course. 

What areas are open?

The Main Museum Building, Outdoor Boardwalk Trail (including the Dinosaur Discovery Trail to foot traffic) and Conservation Gardens. Also the Abbitt Planetarium for private groups of 9 people or less.

The following experiences remain closed

  • Touchtank
  • Wild & Well – role play area – VIEW new area about Bobcat!
  • Wason Education Center 
  • Goodson Living Green House 
  • Huts, build zone, playground, dig pits and touchable experiences are closed on the Dinosaur Discovery Trail 
  • Children’s Garden and Playground 

Am I required to wear a mask/facial covering?

Yes, state guidelines required facial coverings for ages 5+ while inside and outside.

I am a Member, how do I get in?

Your membership card and Photo ID will be checked on entry. 

My Membership lapsed, can I renew it?

Yes, Please! Renew your membership online before you arrive or at Admission point.

Can I become a Member now?

Yes, Please! Memberships are always available and your Member card is fully digital  JOIN NOW!

Memberships make great gifts!  Purchase now.

Are you limiting capacity?

Yes, capacity will be based on state guidelines.

Will I have to wait to get in?

If the grounds are at capacity, you may be asked to wait until capacity relaxes and appropriate social distancing is available.

Can I make purchases onsite with cash?

No, the museum will not accept cash onsite at this time at front desk or museum store.

Are there seating areas?

Picnic tables are available in the center of the Conservation Gardens and in the picnic areas surrounding the parking lots. Guests are invited to enjoy these areas while Social Distancing.

Is there food available? Can we bring our own food?

The Wildside Café is currently closed for renovations and will reopen in April 2021. You may however, bring your own food/drinks and utilize the picnic tables appropriately spaced on the grounds as mentioned.

What services will be unavailable due to COVID19 protocols?

    • Water fountains remain unavailable at this time. Bring your own water. Boxed water is available for sale at the Wild Side Cafe.
    • Stroller & wheelchair loan service
    • Group Programming/Live animal interactions

Will there be separated Entry/Exit points?

Yes, entry is through the Main Museum and please follow the ONE WAY signs outdoors.

What else is different now?

    • The Museum has a one way directional flow to accommodate social distancing. Follow arrows and signage. Stay 6 feet from the person/group in front of you.
    • The Admission Desk has shields between guests/staff.
    • High Touch points have been eliminated or marked with appropriate signage.
    • Additional hand sanitizing stations are available.
    • Restrooms are marked as single family use.

NOTE: Some imagery shown throughout our website does not represent current operational and safety guidelines.

Important Information For Your Visit:

In accordance with CDC guidelines we have enhanced public sanitization procedures and implemented additional measures for distance spacing and screening.

Therefore we ask that all Guests and Team Members comply with following:


      Face covering required

                                               Everyone ages 5+ is required to wear a face covering during their visit both indoors and outdoors.


     Social distancing

                                                Practice social distancing and keep at least 6 feet (2 meters) between your travel party and others.

     Ground markings

                                                When present, please stand on the ground markings until the group in front of you moves forward.

        Wash hands often 

                                                Wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds.

 Avoid contact with people who are sick

           Use hand sanitizer when required

                                                At select locations including when exiting the aviary, use of hand sanitizer is required.


            Follow Team Member direction

                        Please follow directions from our team members and have patience as we work through these new operational procedures.


Please note the CDC advises that older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. 

Guests should evaluate their risk in determining whether to attend. 

People who show no symptoms can spread COVID-19 if they are infected, any interaction with the general public poses an elevated risk of being exposed to COVID-19, and we cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed during your visit.

We appreciate your cooperation during this unprecedented time. Visit the CDC website for the latest guidelines.

Due to the evolving nature of this novel environment, details are subject to change without notice.


Stay connected with these opportunities:


Order a Personalized  Animal Message for yourself or someone special. It’s a great gift and a wonderful way to help support the Virginia Living Museum. Each videos will feature an ambassador animal and will be customized to your specifications.  The  30-60 second long video will be delivered to your email address within 5 business days.

Click for VLM Virtual Messages




As a non-profit Virginia Living Museum’s closure has a significant financial impact on the Museum and most critically – funds needed to provide essential daily care and food for our 250 living animal species. Our amazing Animal Welfare & Conservation staff continue to  deliver the highest level of care to our Animal Ambassadors, providing diets and medical care daily. We may be closed- but our needs remain the same.

Donate NOW to our Emergency Animal Support Fund