It's a Life Experience
Come explore over 800,000 gallons of one of the best aquariums and live animal habitats in the country at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. Check out our hundreds of hands-on exhibits, outdoor aviary, nature trail, and marshlands. Plus you won't want to miss our 3D IMAX® Theater. Of course with a screen six stories tall and eight stories wide, it'd be impossible to miss!
Bay & Ocean Pavilion
From the rivers to the Chesapeake Bay and finally, into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, this Journey of Water through Virginia introduces you to the many aquatic animals and plants that are native to the state. See the largest collection of Chesapeake Bay fishes and meet a horseshoe crab at the Chesapeake Bay touch pool. Observe Loggerhead, Kemp's ridley, and Green turtles in the Chesapeake Light Tower Aquarium. Watch in wonder as sharks, stingrays and other ocean dwellers navigate Norfolk Canyon Aquarium. Learn about the science of oceanography through engaging, hands-on exhibits. Restless Planet, opened in 2009, features 6,000 new animals including Komodo dragons, rare Tomistoma crocodiles and more. Four immersive habitats, new hands-on exhibits, and 110,000 gallons of new aquariums show forces that shaped Virginia to become the landscape it is today.
See river otters, seahorses, snakes and other marsh dwellers. Take a closer look at life in the "macro-marsh," where plants and animals are magnified up to ten times their normal size. Then walk outside on an elevated deck through a half-acre bird aviary to see 55 different species of native birds.
Enjoy the scenery on this 10-minute walk that meanders through salt marsh and woodland preserve between the Aquarium's buildings. Climb the 30-foot observation tower to get a view of Owls Creek from tree-top level. During the summer, stop by activity carts stationed along the trail, where an educator will provide information on the plants and animals in and around Owls Creek.
A Hands-On Experience
Does a stingray really feel like wet bologna? What do a horseshoe crab's mouth and a toothbrush have in common? Find out for yourself at our two touch pools. Examine skulls, shells, shark jaws, and other artifacts at our Curiosity Carts. Try out some of our 300 interactive exhibits to learn more about marshes, the bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
IMAX® - Larger Than Life
Experience life on a larger scale in the Aquarium's own 3D IMAX Theater. The film experience doesn't get any better than this. Images jump out into the seats off a screen that's big enough to show a life-sized whale. And our state-of-the-art sound system is so realistic, you'll be crouching in your seat for cover.
The Aquarium's 3D IMAX Theater is open daily and showcases a variety of films ranging from educational pictures to major Hollywood releases. Click here for latest show times and more information.
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums (AMMPA).