Washed Ashore: Ocean Awareness Through Art, June 7 - September 28
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center will be the first venue on the East Coast to host Washed Ashore: Ocean Awareness Through Art. This exhibit which runs from June 7 – September 28, uses giant sea life sculptures made entirely of marine debris collected from beaches to graphically illustrate the tragedy of pollution in our oceans. On June 8, Worlds Ocean Day, the exhibit’s creator will give a free presentation at 2 p.m. in the Aquarium’s six-story theater entitled, “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.”
“Lidia,” a 10 ft. tall seal sculpture will greet visitors near the Aquarium’s outdoor seal exhibit and entice visitors to see the remaining 13 sculptures, mostly located in the changing exhibit gallery. Along with unique art pieces, the exhibition includes educational signage and programs that encourage reducing, refusing, reusing and recycling. The exhibit is free with Aquarium admission thanks to the sponsorship of the Lee A. and Helen Gifford Foundation, The Oceanfront Inn, and TFC Recycling/Recycling Perks.
The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium (Opens May 31!)
Now the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center offers high flying fun with guests climbing to platforms, making their way through ropes courses, and zipping through its Owls Creek green marshlands with the new addition of The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium.
At the park, guests can climb in the Adventure Forest or in the Labyrinth. The Adventure Forest spreads through about 6 acres of the canopy just north of the Marsh Pavilion. After completing a safety briefing on how to use “always-locked-on” gear, guests climb into a main tree platform where they can choose from 13 different trails that are color coded to indicate degree of difficulty. Trails are marked just like ski runs, with some suitable for novice, some for intermediate, and some for advanced climbers. These trails include more than 170 challenging crossings made of rope, cable and wood. Among these crossings are more than 20 zip lines. The most challenging trails are up to 55 feet above the ground. The longest zip line runs 315 feet and crosses Owls Creek.
The Labyrinth is a climbing area similar to the Adventure Forest, but it's scaled down for younger climbers ages 5 - 9 and even parents who are young at heart. It includes 40 platforms with various crossings between them.
The Aquarium and The Adventure Park are separately ticketed activities. For more details about The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium visit either www.virginiaaquarium.com or www.virginiabeachadventurepark.com. Call (757) 385-4947 (385-IZIP) for further information or group reservations.
Opening MAY 29, is the movie Great White Shark. Misrepresented, maligned and on the verge of extinction, the great white shark is an iconic predator: the creature we love to fear. Great White Shark will explore the great white’s place in our imaginations, in our fears and in the reality of its role at the top of the oceanic food chain. Key figures in the history of shark research, people whose lives have been changed by contact with the great white will tell us of their experiences, culminating in a direct encounter between man and shark. Also playing this summer is the movie Under the Sea 3D. Movie schedules and advance ticket sales are available at www.virginiaaquarium.com.
BEHIND THE SCENE EXPERIENCES
Guests can enhance their visit to the Virginia Aquarium by purchasing Behind the Scene Tours with seals, sea turtles and sharks. For details visit www.virginiaaquarium.com.
Bonus Experiences, free with Aquarium admission
World Oceans Day, June 8, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Help us make a splash and celebrate World Ocean's Day 2014! A day full of fun including story times and activity carts will help guests learn more about the marine environment. A passport to Ocean Literacy scavenger hunt will lead guests on a tour through the Aquarium and a chance to win prizes. Meet divers in the Chesapeake Bay Aquarium and find out what it's like to be underwater with the fishes. Participate in other fun activities throughout the day.
Wildflower Wednesdays, every Wednesday June - August (10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Marsh Overlook)
Wildflower Wednesday is a unique program aimed at educating guests of all ages about the importance of native plants. The wildflower garden, which contains native Virginian plants, is the first and oldest garden planted at the Virginia Aquarium. Our horticulture team is available for tours and to answer any questions and youth volunteers will lead crafts for our younger guests. It is truly a great opportunity for all to explore and learn about our native garden and to teach and engage our younger guests - our future gardeners!
Shark Shenanigans, August 4 - 8 , Bay & Ocean Pavilion
Join us in the Bay and Ocean Pavilion as we celebrate one of the oceans most mysterious residents…sharks! Guests will have the opportunity to learn interesting facts about sharks, discover the shark sixth sense, make a shark hat, and view educational programs throughout the day.
Birds of Prey Day: Featuring Vultures! September 6, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Marsh Pavilion
Join us in the Marsh Pavilion as we celebrate nature’s best recyclers! Guests will learn interesting facts about vultures, take a “vulture” scavenger hunt, make vulture vomit, and meet a live vulture at the meet the keeper talk!
JUST FOR TODDLERS, free with paid admission
Toddler Tuesdays, 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Bring your preschoolers on Tuesdays for this age-appropriate program that includes stories, songs, and an adventure in the Aquarium. These 30-minute programs are held in the Marsh Pavilion. On the third Tuesday of the month, we feature a puppet show: June 17, July 15, and August 19.
Toddler Trek, Thursdays, 11 a.m.
Join us for Toddler Trek Thursdays, an outdoor exploration session for early learners and their parents. Every Thursday, take an easy 30-minute stroll along the Nature Trail to discover a new animal, color, or shape through fun outdoor activities. This program meets in the Marsh Pavilion and takes place inside during inclement weather.
Discovery Days, ages 4 - 6
Programs include age appropriate discussions, activities and crafts. All programs are from 2-3:15 p.m. Fee: $7 members, $10 non-members
Pre-registration is strongly recommended: call 385-0278 or email programs@VirginiaAquarium.com.
Sharks!, June 5, Bay & Ocean Pavilion Classroom
Sharks are amazing animals remaining virtually unchanged since the age of dinosaurs. Come learn all about sharks and the characteristics that kept them at the top of the food chain for so long.
Life on a Piling, July 17, Bay & Ocean Pavilion Classroom
Look closely at an underwater piling and you'll see a creeping, crawling, clinging menagerie of animals. We'll bring a collection of creatures from the Aquarium pilings into the classroom for hands-on exploration.
Dog Days of Summer, August 7, Bay & Ocean Pavilion Classroom
Ever wonder how animals stay cool in the summer. Come join us as we explore ways different animals stay cool and meet our great horned owl who takes her "socks" off to stay cool.
Top Dog, September 4, Marsh Pavilion Discovery Room
Everything in nature has a job even the smallest of creatures like insects. Learn about food webs and how each animal must do their part.
Copy Cat Mimicry, September 18, Marsh Pavilion Discovery Room
Are you good at playing hide and seek? Come learn about a few animals that could teach you a thing or two about hiding.
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums whose mission is conservation through education. The Aquarium is located at 717 General Booth Boulevard, just south of Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach. For more information on exhibits, movies, boat rides and special events, call (757) 385-FISH (3474), (TDD 385-4305) or visit www.VirginiaAquarium.com.