Virginia Living Museum’s New Dinosaur Discovery Trail

Celebrating VLM’s Big 5-0 with a new permanent outdoor experience.

On Oct. 15, the Virginia Living Museum (VLM) in Newport News held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open its new permanent outdoor Dinosaur Discovery Trail. Those present at the ribbon-cutting included members of the community and government representatives, in addition to museum donors, exhibit sponsors and the museum’s executive director Page Hayhurst.

The museum’s deputy director Fred Farris designed and helped to build the $500,000 exhibit, which took one year to construct and was opened as part of the museum’s 50th anniversary celebration. The trail features 16 dinosaurs, including a miniature Ankylosaurus, a 16-foot tall Brachiosaurus and several nests with baby dinosaurs. Says Virginia Gabriele, marketing director for VLM, “The exhibit appeals to all ages, even the youngest kids know their dinosaurs.”

The trail provides the opportunity for children to participate in realistic dig pits and uncover fossil replicas. There are also educational displays of real Ice Age fossils and dinosaur bones, and a whale specimen from Hampton Roads, says Gabriele.

In addition to the opening of the Dinosaur Discovery Trail, VLM is offering a program called “Dinosaur Prophecy,” which will be held Nov. 18-19 at 1:30 p.m. This presentation looks at the extinction of different dinosaur species even prior to the well-known cataclysmic events of the Cretaceous period. For more information about this event and those listed below, go to TheVLM.org


Upcoming events at Virginia Living Museum:

Nov. 19 Virginia Skies

This classic planetarium presentation looks at the Virginia sky and includes discussion with staff astronomers about the seasonal visibility of certain planets and constellations. Free for members. $24 for adults, $19 for children. Includes museum admission. Begins at 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 22 Behind the Scenes Tour

Appropriate for those aged 4 and up, this background look at the museum’s operations takes visitors into animal support areas and up on the catwalk above the Chesapeake Bay Aquarium, guided by a knowledgeable member of the curatorial staff. Free for members. $32 for adults, $27 for children. Includes museum admission. Begins at 3:00 p.m.

Nov. 23 Annual Turkey Pardoning

Each year, before Thanksgiving, VLM celebrates the life of its population of wild turkeys with exhibits and activities. A special ceremony begins indoors and then moves to the Turkey/Deer Habitat trail. Free for members. $20 for adults, $15 for children. Includes museum admission. Begins at 10:00 a.m.

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum