Virginia Living Museum reopening to public on Saturday

Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — After 82 days of being shut down due to the pandemic, the Virginia Living Museum has announced that as the state moves into phase 2 of reopening, the museum doors will open too.

The museum opened its outdoor trail and gardens to VLM Members on June 2 and beginning Saturday, June 6 at 9 a.m., the indoor facility will be open to the public.

The Virginia Living Museum is a landmark in Newport News as it combines an aquarium, zoo, botanical garden, science center, and animal exhibit. During the closures, the Animal Welfare and Conservation Team worked tirelessly to care for over 1,000 native animals housed at the museum including the mammals, birds, reptiles/amphibians, fishes, and gardens.

“This devoted group of staffers emphasize that the animals indeed miss human interaction and will welcome the return of guests,” VLM officials said in a statement released.

The reopening comes with some strict safety guidelines set in place to protect guests, staff, volunteers, and VLM animals:

  • All staff, volunteers, and visitors are required to wear face coverings.
  • There will be one-way directional pathways.
  • Social distancing will be enforced.
  • No one with a fever or symptoms of COVID 19 or known exposure to a COVID 19 case in the prior 14 days, is permitted in the establishment.
  • Limited capacity will be set per official state guidelines. 

“Any public location where people are present provides an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 and the Virginia Living Museum can not guarantee a guest will not be exposed during a visit,” said a VLM representative.

Additionally, the VLM said that the following “high touch” areas will remain closed:

  • Wild Side Café
  • Wild Things Museum Store
  • Dinosaur Discovery Trail
  • Children’s Learning Garden
  • All Planetarium Shows/Abbitt Planetarium
  • Changing Exhibit Gallery 
  • Discovery Centers  

Virginia Living Museum updates and membership information can be found online.

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