Group Planetarium Shows
In the Virginia Living Museum’s Abbitt Planetarium Theater, visitors experience the wonders of space as if they were actually there. Using state-of-the-art digital projection technology, visitors are immersed in the environments of the planets, travel to distant galaxies, fly past the wonders of our universe, and marvel at the beauty of a clear, dark night sky – all from the comfort of an armchair. This system can project a view of the skies from anywhere on Earth across a time period of 200,000 years, or as seen from any other known body in the universe.
Book a private show for your group.
Two Holiday Features
Star of Wonder: Mystery of the Christmas Star
Experience the journey of the Magi around you. Since 1965, the museum has journeyed in the footsteps of the Magi. Over the years, the scientific thinking has changed, archaeology has revealed new clues, and our understanding of who the Magi might actually have been has grown. The show was completely revised in 2008 to offer a truly immersive look at the journey of the Magi while examining the latest clues and seeking once more to understand the appearance of the Star of Bethlehem.
Get into the holiday spirit with the music of the season and dazzling laser effects! Featuring classic holiday favorites like Burl Ives’ “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” modern hits like Randy Travis’ “Jingle Bell Rock,” and unique reimaginings of timeless songs like Enya’s beautiful “Oiche Chiun (Silent Night),” this delightful program is fun for the whole family. It’s an animated Christmas light display like no other you’ve ever seen!
Black History Month
Follow the Drinking Gourd
“Follow the Drinking Gourd” takes us back to the days when freedom was nothing more than a dream for those held in slavery. Some looked for hope to a certain constellation with its bright shining star. The story is a poignant and inspiring tale of one African-American family’s desperate flight to freedom and how they used constellations to guide the way. The program is based on a children’s book, “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter. This production incorporates historical images from the local region, Winter’s original artwork and music by Lovey Williams into a timeless experience that can be enjoyed by all ages.
“Follow the Drinking Gourd” is shown on Saturdays in February free for the general public. No museum admission required. It is also available as a private show all year long. Great for family reunion groups.
Recommended: all ages
Cost: FREE ADMISSION (museum admission is not required)
Lincoln: The Case of the Missing Moon
Abraham Lincoln is synonymous with honesty and forthrightness. But before he was president, he was a simple country lawyer. In his most famous case, he defended a man against accusations of murder using “facts” found in an almanac. For over a hundred years scientists and historians have been asking one question…did Lincoln falsify the document that set his client free? Did “Honest Abe”…lie?
Night of the Titanic
Global climate change is much in the news in our modern era. But the Earth’s climate has been changing for as long as our planet has existed. This multi-media planetarium program that combines “fully immersive” computer animation with the latest scientific research, allows viewers to experience what it was like to stand on the deck of the doomed ocean liner Titanic on the night she sank. Learn about the unique conditions in Earth and space that — coupled with human errors — contributed to the sinking of the ship on April 15, 1912. Discover how the loss of the Titanic has helped us learn more about Earth’s changing climate today.
Oasis in Space
Discover the uniqueness of our home planet as we tour through the solar system, seeking that most basic necessity for life – water. Does water exist elsewhere in the solar system? Can life survive beyond the confines of Earth? Incorporating the latest results of astronomical research and exploration, including recent data from robot explorers, Oasis In Space offers a new perspective on a substance of obvious importance to our planet.
Skies of Jamestown
Imagine yourself on a ship on the open sea. No land in sight in any direction. At night, the only light comes from the brilliant stars shining high above. Those stars are vital to your survival. Without them, you have no hope of finding your way safely to the land called the New World. Thus it was for the men who made the dangerous journey across the Atlantic Ocean from England to Virginia. And when they landed on this virgin shore, they still looked to the sky, and the stars, that reminded them of the home they had left behind. This program includes a live discussion of the stars, planets and other heavenly bodies we see today in skies above Jamestown.
Two Small Pieces of Glass
Four hundred years ago, a simple adjustment to a child’s spyglass revealed for the first time an infinite and perplexing universe to our eyes and imaginations. Join us today, as the world‘s great telescopes, born of that serendipitous moment, gaze ever further into the distant past — and into our future. A brief look at the current night sky is included.
Explore the evening skies above Virginia in this classic planetarium presentation. A staff astronomer will discuss seasonal constellations as well as any planets visible. Additional topics may be explored depending on celestial happenings around the time of your visit.
Planetarium (Open Wednesday-Sunday September through May, daily during the summer and holidays)
During Regular Museum Hours
Planetarium add-on to Admission $4.00 per person
During Scheduled Evening Shows
Evening: $6.00 per person
Double Feature Combo: $10.00 per person
*(Scheduling of Planetarium shows depends on staff availability)
The planetarium can be reserved for a private showing for up to 71 people
For reservations or more information, please contact Reservations at 757-595-9135 or by email.
Advance deposit with signed contract is required. Cash, check or credit cards (VISA, MasterCard and Discover) are accepted. Cancellation without penalty is 30 days prior to visit. Planetarium total fee is due 15 days prior to visit along with signed contract. Reservation is not guaranteed until payment is received