Virginia Living Museum to open permanent dinosaur trail

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(Courtesy of Virginia Living Museum)
(Courtesy of Virginia Living Museum)

For more than 25 years, dinosaurs have been a popular seasonal exhibit at the Virginia Living Museum. On Oct. 15, as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the museum will open a permanent “Dinosaur Discovery Trail.”

According to a press release from the museum, the permanent outdoor exhibit will showcase 16 creatures that ruled the earth during the Mesozoic era. Visitors will be able to walk down the trail to see realistic one-third to full-size dinosaurs from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The dinosaurs range in size from a miniature Ankylosaurus to a 16-foot-tall Brachiosaurus.

The trail will also include a children’s play area with dig pits for amateur paleontologists, including a 30-foot-long Allosaurus skeleton. The area will also feature 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.

“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,” Fred Farris, museum deputy director and designer of the exhibit, said in the release. “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. Bringing dinosaurs into a woodland setting makes them come alive.

Museum members will have a special preview of the trail from 9-11 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), and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Call 757-595-1900 or visit thevlm.org for more information.