Virginia Living Museum

The Virginia Living Museum was a few blocks down the street from our hotel. While we mainly went to see their Laser iPop show in the planetarium, my family also enjoys zoos and aquariums. (As a side note, I would totally love to have a laser show on the ceiling in my house with the booming 5.1 home theatre system for the soundtrack. Ah, dreams.)

The VLM is basically a little bit of everything thrown into one place. There is an outdoor zoo-type area with beavers, raccoons, red wolves, bobcats, and other animals. Along the outdoor path, there are a variety of plants and trees nicely pointed out with orange circles accompanying their information blurbs. Through September 5, a butterfly house compliments the outdoor attractions. Inside, you'll find the other half of the butterfly exhibit, which features activities for the kids. Also inside is the aquarium/aviary section of the museum. The various fish and birds of Virginia can be found in habitats similar to where they would be found in nature. Each section has two stories. The first floor features the fish, while the second floor highlights the birds.

While the VLM was nice, it was rather small. We were able to visit every section of the museum, including spending time in the butterfly play area, in a couple of hours. Luckily, we were allowed to leave the museum and return for the laser show. I must admit that the laser show was excellent. The music selection kept us quietly singing along while the lasers entertained our eyes. I thought it was much better than the Laser Floyd shows I've seen.

If you are in the Newport News area and need to fill a few hours, the VLM is worth checking out. Just don't expect to spend an entire day there.