Oct. 7, 2016
For more than 25 years, dinosaurs have been a popular summer exhibit at the Virginia Living Museum. On Oct. 15, as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the museum will open a permanent outdoor Dinosaur Discovery Trail.
This permanent exhibit will showcase 16 of the majestic animals that ruled our earth for more than 150 million years. Visitors will walk through the woods to see realistic one-third to full-size dinosaurs from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The dinosaurs will range in size from a mini Ankylosaurus to a 16-foot-tall Brachiosaurus. There will be a mini Apatosaurus photo op and a half-size T. rex.
The trail will also have a children’s play area, dig pits for amateur paleontologists, including a 30-foot-long Allosaurus skeleton, and three huts full of dinosaur and Ice Age fossils, including real dinosaur fossils collected by museum staff in Montana in 1990 and an actual whale specimen found in Hampton Roads.
“Everybody loves them and there’s nowhere you can go to see a dinosaur in real life,” says museum Deputy Director Fred Farris, who designed the exhibit. “Bringing dinosaurs into a woodland setting makes them come alive!
“This will be an amazing place of discovery and play for kids—-from dinosaurs to real, touchable fossils, from authentic dino dig pits to interactive play items. Kids can let their imaginations go wild as they play and imagine a world full of dinosaurs. It may also inspire kids to become a paleontologist or other type of scientist in the search for answers to so many unanswered questions about our world.”
Museum members will have a special preview of the trail from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Oct. 15. The trail will open to the public at 11 a.m.
The museum is located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News (I-64, exit 258-A).
It is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.