Virginia Aquarium Happenings through October

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Regular Hours Resume
Virginia Aquarium extended summer hours (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.) end Labor Day, September 3. Normal operating hours (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) resume, September 4. The Aquarium is open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

International Vulture Awareness Day, September 1, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Marsh Pavilion
Meet our resident turkey vultures and participate in games, crafts and activities to learn more about these misunderstood birds that face a variety of threats in many areas where they live. Free with Aquarium admission.

Volunteer Open House, Thursday, September 20, 4 – 7 p.m.
Learn how volunteers work either behind the scenes for stores or exhibits, amidst the guests as docents, or on the beach with stranded marine mammals or sea turtles. Representatives from Virginia Aquarium departments will be available to answer questions. An escorted min-tour of the Aquarium will be given as well. Volunteer applications may be submitted at the open house or at a later date.

Commotion in the Ocean, October 20, 8 p.m. – midnight
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center's Commotion in the Ocean annual fund raising event will be held October 20, from 8 a.m. – midnight. Last spring, the event was officially recognized as Best Charity Gala by the Virginia Living Magazine.

This year, Commotion in the Ocean will feature the band Carbon Jam. Guests can dance in a nightclub atmosphere, compete in “throwback” games like ping-pong and foosball, shop the silent auction mall of travel packages and exquisite merchandise, partake of abundant food and beverages, and enjoy the Aquarium exhibits in a festive atmosphere.

Commotion in the Ocean tickets cost $75 per person, and include admission, food, beer and wine. Valet parking is provided. Advanced tickets are highly recommended.  To purchase tickets visit

The event is organized by the Aquarium Connection, a group of Hampton Roads’ young professionals who raise money for the Virginia Aquarium Foundation. This year’s Commotion in the Ocean proceeds will help the Virginia Aquarium invest in technology upgrades for educational programming as well as the research & conservation division.

Monster Madness, Friday, October 26, 6 – 9 p.m.
Celebrate Halloween early by attending the Virginia Aquarium’s annual Monster Madness where adults and children dress-up and enjoy nature-themed crafts, storytelling and a chance to meet some “creepy” creatures.
The event costs $10 each for adult and children. A paying adult must accompany children.


Dolphin Watching, through October 8!
Observe bottlenose dolphins and their dynamic behaviors during a 90-minute ocean excursion. Experienced educators on board will introduce you to Virginia’s favorite seasonal visitors. Call 757 385-FISH for more information or visit for the schedule. Dolphin sightings are not guaranteed. Trips may be cancelled due to boating conditions.
FEE: $21 per adult (12 years & over); $15 per child (4 – 11 years old)

Cruise the Creek, through October 8!
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 otter activities. Call 757 385-FISH for more information or visit for the schedule. FEE: $7 per person; $5 for members or combo tickets.

Guests can enhance their visit to the Virginia Aquarium by purchasing Premium Experiences. This includes the immersive experience Seal Splash as well as Behind the Scene Tours with seals, sea turtles and sharks. Visit for details.

3D IMAX® Theater
See a film in a theater that is six stories high! Nature-related films get top billing at the Aquarium’s 3D IMAX Theater and, occasionally, full-length feature films. To find out the Aquarium’s current offerings and film schedule, call (757) 385-FISH or visit: Advance ticket sells are encouraged and available on the website.

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 mail

September 6 - The Cat’s Meow
Animals like to be the biggest, prettiest, and strongest.  Dress up as your favorite animal, as we explore the different ways animals try to prove that they are the best.

September 20 - Playing Opossum
When scared, some animals go so far as to play dead, spit-up their stomachs, or leave their tails behind.  Join us as we investigate the neat ways animals react when they’re scared.

October 4 - Trekking through Nature
See the colors, smell the marsh, hear the birds, feel the fur and let the natural world tickle your senses as we hike on the nature trail.

October 18 - Creatures of the Night
Owls, bats, insects and more…come learn what animals come out at night in the trees or on the forest floor.  Learn what allows some animals to be nocturnal and meet one of our resident owls.




BONUS EXPERIENCES, free with Aquarium admission

Wildflower Wednesdays, through August 29, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Join us in the Wildflower Garden, outside the Bay & Ocean Pavilion, to learn how to turn your yard into a backyard habitat for wildlife. Free with Aquarium admission.

Myths and Mysteries of the Dark, October 6 – 9, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sea pigs and vampire squid are just two of the fascinating creatures that live in the dark. Guests can take the Myths and Mysteries of the Dark Challenge to find out about these and other denizens of the dark!

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