Virginia Museum of Natural History

There is so much to see and learn about in the Virginia Museum of Natural History! A great staycation idea if you live in Virginia.

Virginia Museum of Natural History - Martinsville, VA

The Virginia Museum of Natural History offers so much and is an excellent learning experience. My family and I have been to the museum a few times over the past few years. We really enjoy all the displays at the museum as well as attending some of their events.

If you’re ever in Martinsville, Virginia, you definitely have to take a day to visit the museum, especially if you enjoy learning about natural history.

Make a day of it and have a nice little staycation in the city of Martinsville! Enjoy a day at the museum, then have a nice lunch before heading home.

Here’s a link to their website so you can learn more:

The Virginia Museum of Natural History

When you first come in to the Virginia Museum of Natural History you walk into a room with a gigantic sloth and a small gift shop with a cafe. Here is where you purchase your ticket to the museum. Tickets are inexpensive here: $7 for adults and $5 for kids. My favorite thing about these ticket prices (other than being so cheap) is that they consider children and youth to be 18 and under.

Before entering the museum, there is a hallway that leads to the restrooms to your left. There are windows along the hallway that allow you to view the paleontologists working. It’s very interesting to be able to watch what is going on in the lab.

The Ancient Hall of Life

Dinosaurs and displays of bugs and creatures of Virginia fill up the first room of the museum, known as The Hall of Ancient Life. Each display has tons of information to help you learn all about what you are viewing. There are also windows here that allow you to get a look at the lab and the workers.

In the corner of this room you will see an Ice Age exhibit with life-size cast skeletons of animals, bugs, and plants that lived during that time period.

Virginia Museum of Natural History - 1st room

Off to the right is a room with a playground for kids where they often have slumber parties. Down from the playground room is a room full of dinosaurs which offers a great learning experience. Here you will find life-size dinosaur cast skeletons as well as well as dinosaur fossils. The Virginia Museum of Natural History has the only known fossil evidence that the T-Rex and Triceratops engaged in battle! You will also find a dino-dig pit which gives kids a real life paleontologist experience as they dig for dino “fossils”.

Virginia Museum of Natural History - Dino Exhibit
T-Rex Skeleton - Museum of Natural History

Hall of Biodiversity

Continuing on through the museum you will walk through the Hahn Hall of Biodiversity. There are plenty of antelopes and lots of other animal collections to learn about here. Covering a wall is 26 species of African antelopes!

How Nature Works

After exiting the hall you will come into a room filled with animals. Here we learn more about how nature works. I could not get over how lifelike these animals look. I kept expecting one to jump out at me!!

Arctic Fox - Museum of Natural History
Black-backed Jackal

Around the corner from the animals you will learn more about how rocks work in nature. There is a model of a volcano in action, landscape models and a huge display of different types of rocks.

The museum continues on with lots of other exhibits to see and a lot more to learn about. Upstairs includes more on marine life, however this isn’t a major focus and therefore not a big exhibit.

Museum of Natural History Events

From time to time the Virginia Museum of Natural History holds events such as a Dinosaur Festival and a Dragon Festival. One year our family went to the Space Festival where we learned more about astronauts and space.

A display table was set up with different items that astronauts use in space. You could touch and try some of their tools and see some of the foods they took with them.

Astronaut Glove
Astronaut Coffee

I’m not sure I would want to drink my coffee from a bag, but at least they get to have coffee in space!

Museum of Natural History Programs

If you live closer to the museum I would definitely recommend some of the programs that the Virginia Museum of Natural History has to offer. For example, there is a homeschool science and engineering academy twice a month. Some of the classes offer labs for the students to get hands on experience. I plan to put my daughter in this program this coming up school year.

The museum also holds summer camps for younger kids, sleepovers, outreach programs, geocache, badge programs for scouts, and so much more. To see more about the programs at the Virginia Museum of Natural History, check out their education program guide.

There is seriously so much to see and do and learn about in the Virginia Museum of Natural History. You can take a day to learn more about natural history and then have some lunch in the Paleo Cafe. Visit the gift shop and grab a souvenir to take home.

Don’t forget to take a picture with the giant sloth before leaving!

Looking for more things to do in Virginia? Check this out:

Staycation - Things to do in Virginia - Mill Mountain Star and Zoo
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Thank you for sharing!

55 thoughts on “Virginia Museum of Natural History”

    1. Yes, that’s my daughter. 🙂 You should visit if you get back to the area. It’s very interesting learning about all the different things that were in Virginia.

  1. This sounds like a great place to visit! Fun, educational and interesting! It looks like there is so much to see, you could easily spend a long time here. Thanks for sharing Michelle, fab post and great photos too! <3 xx

    Bexa |

  2. Stuffed animals freak me out. I’m not sure why, but they’ve always given me the creeps ? The dinosaurs are so cool though! Definitely an interesting museum for broadening your horizons & learning something new xx

  3. That museum looks great! I love natural history museums, I had a chance to visit the natural history museum in London and it was stunning! If I ever have a chance to visit the US, I’ll have this place on the list 🙂

  4. This is in Martinsville, right? Even though I lived there for years, it has been a very long time since I’ve been inside. They’ve done tons of updates. How neat! Brings back a lot of memories 🙂

    Your daughter is adorable and I love how y’all are out as a family, enjoying each other’s company. What a beautiful thing to witness! ♥

    Thanks for sharing your fun with me.

    1. It is! They are constantly updating and adding new programs all the time.

      Thank you! We have the best time when we go out and do things like that. ?

  5. That Ancient hall looks so cool. If we ever happen to go to Virginia, that museum is going to be on our top list places to visit. My older girl loves places like that. It’s very inexpensive as well. Thank you for sharing with us Michelle. Your daughter is so cute.

    1. I hope you do get to visit! It’s a lot of fun! And full of interesting things to do. Your daughter would live the hands-on experience. Thank you!! ?

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