Thursday, October 25, 2012

Move Over Virginia Sharks!
Nurse, sandbar and sand tiger sharks in the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center’s Norfolk Canyon Aquarium are about to have some competition in size and reputation. Staff is making room in the changing exhibits gallery for a walk-through replica of the extinct Megalodon, which at 60 feet long, could figuratively be called the mother of all sharks. The exhibit Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived dispels myths, confirms facts, examines its culture, and inspires lessons for science and shark conservation today.

This national traveling exhibition, produced by the Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, with support from the National Science Foundation, opens at the Virginia Aquarium November 10 and runs through February 17. It is free with Aquarium admission. As unique as Megalodon was, so too is the exhibition that tells the story of this enormous creature. The exhibition showcases both fossil and modern shark specimens as well as full-scale models from several collections. Visitors enter a full-size sculpture of Megalodon through massive jaws and discover this shark’s history and the world it inhabited, including its size, structure, diet, lifespan, relatives, neighbors, evolution and extinction over 2 million years ago.

3D IMAX® Theater
Opening November 10 at the Virginia Aquarium 3D IMAX Theater in conjunction with the Meglalodon exhibit is Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World. Audiences will enjoy an incredible voyage, 200 million years back in time, for a face-to-face encounter with the T-Rex of the seas in this IMAX 3D movie on the Aquarium’s six-story high screen. Movie schedules for Sea Rex and other movies and advance ticket sales are available at or by calling (757) 385-FISH.

Holiday Happenings

• SCUBA Santa: Saturdays and Sundays, November 24 – December 23 at 11 a.m.  Be sure to catch a glimpse of the jolly ole’ elf swimming with the fishes in the Chesapeake Bay Aquarium. Free with Aquarium admission.
• Sundays with Santa: Sundays from November 25 – December 23, noon – 3 p.m. Join Santa and his elves in the Marsh Pavilion for festive and fun activities. Free with Aquarium admission.
• Sailing with Santa: Saturday, November 24 and Saturday, December 22, 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.  boat trips. Take a 45-minute cruise on Owls Creek with Santa and his crew! Enjoy refreshments, games and activities. What a unique photo opportunity!  Costs: $17 each (infants up to 12 months are free). Reservations required. Call (757) 385-0300.
• Countdown to 2012: Monday, December 31, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Children and adults get ready for games, activities, and sparkling beverages (non-alcoholic) in the Aquarium’s Promenade Room!  Free with Aquarium admission. 
Guests can enhance their visit to the Virginia Aquarium by purchasing Behind the Scene Tours with seals, sea turtles and sharks. Visit for details.

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
November 1, As the Crow Flies - Look up in the sky, what do you see? Hawks, swans or even geese! Find out what migration means and which birds migrate to Virginia in the fall.
 November 15, Native American Know How - Hundreds of years ago, televisions, grocery stores and cell phones did not exist. Become a Native American for a day and find out how people used to live.
 December 6, Beach Day - Winter blues? Too cold to go to the beach? Come warm up inside as we bring the beach to you. Stick your toes in the sand and learn about the other animals that might be in the sand too.
 December 13, Hibernation Hide-out - This might be your only chance to hibernate with a bear, not a real one of course. Join us as we learn about hibernation and why some animals need to and some don’t.

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