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Ice Age Festival

Due to complications in shipping, we regret to announce that the Stegodon cast skeleton will not be on display. However...we are thrilled to announce the additions of some phenomenal animal mounts that will now be on display, including caribou, polar bear, arctic fox and much more!!  Visitors will get to view and compare animals of the Ice Age to modern animals that inhabit some of the colder climates on our planet today!

Festival admission is only $7 for adults ages 19-59, $5 for children and youth ages 3-18, and $5 for seniors ages 60+.  FREE for museum members and children under 3.

Bundle up as you make your way to the Virginia Museum of Natural History on Saturday, January 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the first-ever Ice Age Festival, featuring mammoth-sized (literally) displays from the Ice Age.

Spectacular displays:

  • Witness the full skeleton cast of a woolly rhinocerus, a 12+ foot-long extinct species of rhinoceros that lived during the last Ice Age.

  • A cast skeleton of a saber-toothed cat will also greet visitors!

  • The VMNH Paleontology Department will have a variety of specimens and displays on hand.  Meet the VMNH scientists and learn about their work in the field and in the labs!


Dr. Katy Smith of Georgia Southern University will present “Give me a home where the mastodons roam: exploring the lives and deaths of a uniquely North American beast”
The American mastodon was one of the most prominent members of the Ice Age landscape in North America until its extinction at the end of the Pleistocene (around 10,000 years ago). The causes of this extinction remain a mystery, but clues to these causes can be found in fossil remains. In her talk she will explore mastodons from three different regions of the United States, and share how studying the fossils of these animals can help us understand how they lived and shed light on why they went extinct.

Dr. Katy Smith is an Associate Professor of Geology at Georgia Southern University and Curator of Paleontology at the Georgia Southern University Museum. She earned her Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Michigan in 2010, and has been working at GSU ever since. She has been studying the lives and deaths of mastodons since the early 2000s, and has no plans to stop anytime soon.

Virginia Master Naturalists representatives will present information about Pleistocene (Ice Age) mammals.


The VMNH Department of Education & Public Programs will present a variety of hands-on activities, games and crafts for children and families throughout the festival (exciting details to be announced!)

Visiting exhibitors and presenters:

  • Schiele Museum of Natural History
  • North Carolina Fossil Club
  • Appalachian State University
  • Southwestern Piedmont Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists
  • And more!

Sponsored by:

Bassett memorial hospital logo MHC Tourism