The Virginia Marine Science Museum houses the state’s largest aquarium in two buildings. The aquarium features a variety of attractions including a 300,000-gallon tank with all kinds of marine life, and IMAX Theater, and touch tanks. The Virginia Aquarium is a great thing to do with kids if you are visiting the Virginia Beach area.
The Virginia Science Museum features a collection of engaging, hands-on exhibits as well as an outdoor aviary, a ten-acre marsh habitat, and a three-mile nature trail. Some of the featured animals include harbor seals, loggerhead turtles, great horned owls, sand tiger sharks, and komodo dragons. There is also a range of exhibits including the Malaysian Peat Swamp, Chesapeake Bay Touch Pool, Indonesian Volcanic Island, and Coastal Desert and Mediterranean Sea. One of the very best aspects of visiting the aquarium is the interactivity with the marine life. For instance, the harbor seals exhibit includes a 60-minute program that affords the opportunity to meet with trainers and get close and personal with the seals.
The exhibits are pretty cool and may make you wonder if you are in fact still inside. A perfect example of this is the Malaysian Peat Swamp, an expansive exhibit that resembles what Virginia would have looked like during the Carboniferous period. You not only get to see rare animals like Tomistoma crocodile and snakehead fish, but you also will hear thunder and feel the dripping water and dense humidity. The exhibits at the Virginia Marine Science Museum replicate the ecosystems with careful detail and attention.
One of the best parts of the aquarium is how the marine life is set on display. In certain parts of the facility you walk through tunnels with fish, turtles, and sharks swimming above and all around you. You get the sense that you are immersed in an underwater exploration pod. The staff at the aquarium makes every visit informative and much more enjoyable. You’re sure to have questions, especially when you see some of the rare species at the aquarium. The knowledgeable staff is more than happy to assist with any questions you may have.
The IMAX Theater is just one more appeal of the Virginia Marine Science Museum. There are a number of films playing at any one time. Guests will enjoy 3-D experiences including films on sharks. All of the movies are suited for families. There are also sea excursions offered through the aquarium. You can go out on a boat with a captain and a naturalist for whale watching excursions and many more exciting trips. The Winter Wildlife excursion, Dolphin Watching tours, and Cruise the Creek rids are particularly popular amongst guests of the aquarium.
The Virginia Aquarium is located one mile south of the main Resort Area in Virginia Beach. There are a number of admission packages and discounts for groups. Pricing depends upon if you also want to visit the IMAX or take one of the excursions. The aquarium is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, with the busiest hours being from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The next time you travel to Virginia Beach, consider a visit to this awesome facility. It’s fun for all ages and offers a wide variety of things to do.