Virginia Aquarium Spring Happenings

Monday, March 11, 2013

"The Communion of the Commons: Living in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed"

Sunday, May 19, 2013, 1 - 4 p.m., Virginia Aquarium 3D IMAX® Theater

Whole Foods Market, Virginia Beach, presents Barton Seaver, chef, author and newly appointed Director of Harvard’s Healthy and Sustainable Food Program. Seaver is on a mission to restore our relationship with the planet — through dinner. As a National Geographic Fellow recognized for his leadership in ocean sustainability, Seaver will share his global experiences to connect people, cultures, and ecosystems through food. “It’s about giving fish their proper place of respect on the plate.” stated Seaver. His books, “For Cod and Country” and, newly released, “Where There’s Smoke,” will be available for purchase and signing. Please make reservations early by calling the Aquarium’s Guest Services office at (757) 385-0300.


Sensible Seafood Fest

Thursday, May 23, 7 – 10 p.m.

The Virginia Aquarium will host its fourth annual Sensible Seafood Fest May 23. This spring event highlights the freshest of regionally-sourced, sustainable ingredients. The Sensible Seafood Fest adults-only event appeals to foodies’ taste buds as well as all who would enjoy sampling from more than 25 Sensible Seafood restaurant partners. Local beer and wines will also be featured.


As guests follow the food trail through the Aquarium’s Bay & Ocean Pavilion, they can visit exhibits and learn about regional efforts focused on restoration, sustainability, and environmental stewardship at educational booths provided by participants such as Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads, Lynnhaven River NOW, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and Virginia Marine Products Board. The title event sponsor is PNC Bank.


Tickets are $45 per person ($40 for Aquarium members). This includes all food plus three beverage tickets.

For more information call 757-385-0300, or to purchase tickets online visit



3D IMAX® Theater

Current film offerings and schedules are available at or by calling 385-FISH. “Sea Rex 3D” and “Under the Sea 3D” runs daily through March 31. Beginning April 1, a new movie will join the theater line-up: “Flight of the Butterflies in 3D.” This epic new giant screen 3D adventure captures one of the longest migrations on earth and the inspiring true story of one scientist’s stunning discovery.

Bonus Experiences, free with Aquarium admission.


Play Date for the Animals

Marsh Pavilion 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday, April 27

Flying high, hunting for worms, splashing in the water, and making a soft bed are just a few of the things that animals do in a busy day. Discover and observe how treats, treasures, and training encourage the Aquarium's critters to create comfy homes, eat right, play well with others, explore their environment, and stay healthy. Join us for special activities and crafts, training sessions, and make enrichment toys for our animals to enjoy! Enter into a drawing for a special behind the scenes tour to learn more about the Aquarium's animals and their habitat.


Party for the Planet

11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sunday, May 5

You are invited to a party, a party for planet Earth! This nation-wide celebration will help aquarium guests to discover ways to connect to the local environment and how we can all make a difference. Everyone loves a good party and there's no better place to celebrate than with our fabulous friends from land, sea, creek and river that make our beautiful planet the awe inspiring place that it is! Activity stations will include: live animal programs, building a toad abode and creating a conservation catcher.


SUNWISE Day at the Virginia Aquarium

11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Friday, May 24

You and I should protect ourselves from the sun's harmful rays by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, using sunscreen, and by staying in the shade. Take the SUNWISE challenge to find out how the Virginia Aquarium resident animals protect themselves from the sun's harmful rays.





Winter Wildlife Boat Trips through March 31

This season’s Winter Wildlife Boat Trip season has had some phenomenal sightings humpback and fin whales as well as dolphins and bird. Each species has fully demonstrated their individual behaviors, often quite close to the boats and their guests. The two-hour trips typically run on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and costs $28 per adult (ages 12+) and $24 per child (ages 4-11). Tickets may be purchased at either Aquarium building or at the Virginia Beach Fishing Center in Rudee Inlet. For further information, current schedules or cancellations, visit or call (757)385-FISH for reservations. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.

Dolphin Watching Trips Begin April 1!

Spring breakers and their families can enjoy a full week of Dolphin Watching Boat Trips scheduled April 1 – 7. Beginning April 10 trips will run every day except Mondays and Tuesdays. May 1 trips begin daily. Call 757 385-FISH for more information or visit for the complete schedule.


Bottlenose dolphins and their dynamic behaviors are observed during a 90-minute ocean excursion. Experienced educators on board will introduce you to Virginia’s favorite spring and summer guests. Dolphin sightings are not guaranteed. Trips may be cancelled due to boating conditions. Trips depart from the Virginia Beach Fishing Center at Rudee Inlet. Tickets may be purchased there prior to the trip or at the Virginia Aquarium. FEE: $21 per adult (12 years & over); $15 per child (4 – 11 years old)


Cruise the Creek Trips Begin April 1!

Explore Owls Creek during a gentle 30-minute pontoon cruise focused on salt marsh ecology. Scan the mudflats for fiddler crabs and animal tracks, listen for the calls of osprey and kingfishers, and look for signs of muskrat and other activities.


Spring breakers and their families can enjoy a full week of Dolphin Watching Boat Trips scheduled April 1 – 7. Afterwards, trips will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays through May 19. Beginning Memorial Day weekend Cruise the Creek Trips will be offered daily through the summer.


Call 757 385-FISH for more information or visit for the schedule. FEE: $7 per person; $5 for members or combo tickets          



Discovery Days, ages 4 - 6

Programs include age appropriate discussions, activities and crafts. All programs are from 2-3:15 p.m. in the Marsh Pavilion Discovery Room unless otherwise noted. Fee: $7 members, $10 non-members

Pre-registration is strongly recommended: call 385-0278 or email


April 4 – Copy Cat Mimicry

Some animals protect themselves by making themselves look like other animals.  Put on your detective hat as we try to figure out who the imposters are.


April 18 – A Walk in Nature

Look for flowers, smell the marsh, hear the birds, feel the fur and let the natural world tickle your senses as we hike on the nature trail.


May 9 - Marvelous Mommies

Mothers’ Day is just around the corner!  Learn about some exceptional mommies of the animal kingdom and make a Mothers’ Day craft.


May 23 - Life in a Log

Look for beetles, worms, salamanders, and much more as we investigate this dark, damp and seldom explored habitat.


June 6 - Life on a Piling

Look closely at an underwater piling and you’ll see a creeping, crawling, clinging menagerie of animals.  We’ll bring a collection of creatures into the Discovery Room for hands-on exploration.

JUST FOR TODDLERS, free with paid admission

Toddler Tuesdays,
11 a.m.

Bring your preschoolers on Tuesdays for this age-appropriate program that includes stories, songs, and an adventure in the Aquarium.  On the third Tuesday of the month, we feature a puppet show.  These 30-minute programs are held in the Marsh Pavilion.

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.

Early Expeditions, Wednesdays, 11 a.m.

Every Wednesday, bring your toddler to the Conservation Station in the Bay and Ocean Pavilion to solve an animal mystery. Hone your problem solving skills and help us figure out the "who, what, when, where and why" of the animal world. 

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