The Commonwealth of Virginia is blessed with an “uncommon-wealth” of natural wonders, among the most diverse in the country. At the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia, this natural heritage comes alive. In 1987, the Museum became the first living museum east of the Mississippi, combining the elements of a native wildlife park, science museum, aquarium, botanical preserve and planetarium. Today, the Virginia Living Museum continues to be a museum leader in its use of native wildlife to present its message – stimulating knowledge, awareness and appreciation of the living world. Visitors to the Living Museum encounter more habitats, wildlife and plant species than would be encountered in a lifetime of outdoor adventures in Virginia. The exhibits showcase all of the state’s regions from the upland coves of the Appalachian Mountains to the salty offshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean and feature more than 245 different animal species. The Museum’s unique exhibits are also a vital component in its extensive education programming.
The Museum believes in hands-on education; that by experiencing science it will become memorable. More than two million students have visited the Museum since 1987. All of the Museum’s classes are correlated to Virginia’s Standards of Learning and targeted to specific grade levels. For Museum members and visitors, there are special programs and weekend safaris to the caves, swamps and fossil banks of Virginia, helping to bring science and nature up close and personal to young and old alike. With more than 400 active volunteers, the Virginia Living Museum is testimony to the appreciation and overwhelming support it receives from the local community. In the Strategic Plan adopted in 2012, the Museum expanded its mission into the area of human health, to explore the connections between humans, animals and the environment. With this new initiative, the Museum has begun expanding programming and exhibits into new areas designed to improve health awareness in our community and to promote the science education necessary for emerging health‐related careers.
The Virginia Living Museum has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums since November 1976. It was accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in March 2009, becoming the first institution in Virginia and the 12th in the country to be accredited by both organizations. The Virginia Living Museum is a certified Virginia Green attraction committed to minimizing its environmental impacts by preventing pollution wherever feasible in its operations.
Summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Outdoor areas close at 4:30pm
Daily Winter (Labor Day to Memorial Day) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. / Noon to 5 p.m.
Outdoor areas close at 4:30pm – Mon-Sat Sunday
Thanksgiving, Dec. 24, 25, Jan. 1 Closed
The Museum is located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, VA, just 2 miles off I-64 at Exit 258A