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Special Needs

The Virginia Living Museum strives to accommodate all visitors with special needs. Below is a listing of current options and services.


All of the Museum’s public areas and classrooms are accessible to wheelchair users and to other visitors who cannot use stairs.

Wheelchairs, baby strollers and motorized scooters are available at no charge through the Admissions Desk on a first-come, first-served basis.


All restrooms are handicapped accessible.

A family restroom is available on the main floor near the Wild Side Café.


Museum maps are available in several languages including Spanish and Chinese.


Some changing exhibits have signage in both English and Spanish.


A Spanish Audio Tour on an mp3 player with handset is available free of charge and can be checked out at the admission desk. It provides a walking Spanish tour throughout the museum.


The tours were made possible by the 2015 Spanish Classes at Grafton High School under the supervision of Josie Sevilla. Ms. Sevilla secured mp3 players through a grant and her students researched and recorded the tours as a service to the museum. Visitors may REQUEST TOURS at the admissions desk or enjoy them now.

Walking Audio Tour in Spanish  

Walking Audio Tour in Spanish  


Mp3 Player

                            Mp3 Player

Spanish Audio Tours

Introduction El paseo al aire libre

Coastal Plain Aviary 2 El aviario

Cypress Swamp 3 El pantano de cipris

Children’s Area 4 El área para los niños

Observatory 5 El observatorio

Living Green House 6 El invernadero y los paneles de solar

Planetarium 7 El planetario

Appalachian Mountain Cove 8 La caleta de los apalaches

Coastal Plain Gallery 9 La galería la de llanura costera

Conservation Garden 10 Los jardines de conservacion

Piedmont and Mountains Gallery 11 La galeria de piedemonte y las montanas

Virginia’s World of Darkness 12 El mundo de oscuridad

Virginia’s Underground Gallery 13 La galería subterranea

Wild & Well Play Area 14 Bien y Salvaje


For more information call 757-595-1900. For group tours with special needs call 757-595-9135 or email Reservations.


Museum specimens and other items in four Discovery Centers are of particular interest to visitors with low vision.

Braille guides to items in the Discovery Centers are available for loan at the Admissions Desk.


A video introduction to the museum in American Sign Language for our deaf guests can be viewed here. The video was developed by VLM volunteer Loren Hepp as a Girl Scout Gold Award project. Signing by VLM Volunteer Mayah Bell.

Service Animals

The Museum welcomes companion service dogs. They are the only animals allowed on Museum property.


Visitors with autistic family members are encouraged to visit in the mid to late afternoon or early Saturday morning when the Museum is less crowded.

A quiet room is available on the main floor near the Wild Side Café.

The boardwalk and garden areas offer calming areas for visitors.

Descriptions of programs at the Abbitt Planetarium are available on the Planetarium Shows page and at the Admissions Desk.

Sensory Stories

This resource guide is for guests with sensory concerns to download and print out at home to help best prepare them for a fun and welcoming visit to the Virginia Living Museum.

There are two stories, each with the same message but written for different age levels – one for younger children and one for young adults.

Download and print the story below or ask to check one out at the front desk.

Children Sensory Story
Young Adult Sensory Story


The Wild Side Café’s menu features vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free items.

For additional special needs, please contact the café in advance.