Water World

Virginia Aquarium gets extensive makeover, adds attractions.

wendy nelson

MARINE LOVERS REJOICE—the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach is undergoing a major expansion that will add a number of attractions to its 80,000-gallon water world by this summer.

Among the new additions to the park’s South Building is the Jelly Gallery, which will feature lively displays of jellyfish from around the world, and the new Undersea Super Powers Gallery, which includes a giant Pacific octopus aquarium and an Indo-Pacific invertebrate touch pool. The center’s new Toddler Play Area boasts several age-appropriate activities themed around the ocean, science, and nature, plus a new Watershed Exhibit allows for hands-on water experiments, pollution solution activities, and marine scientist role play, among many other features. A new Vet Center connected to the South Building will house staff and facilities needed to care for the park’s animals. Visitors can get a glimpse behind the scenes in the Windows into Conservation Gallery, which highlights veterinary care, conservation work, and the water quality lab.

“I am looking forward to welcoming guests into our expanded South Building,” says Cynthia Spanoulis, executive director of the Virginia Aquarium. “Learners of all ages will have the opportunity to experience the thrill of seeing—and mimicking—otters play, to marvel over the wonders of jellyfish, and to understand the importance and role of our watersheds. Be prepared to be inspired and to have fun exploring.” VirginiaAquarium.com


This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue.

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