Museum extends Tuesday visitation hours
The Virginia Museum of Natural History will be open to visitors until 7 p.m. on Tuesday evenings beginning January 15. The extended hours coincide with the opening of the special exhibits Dinosaurs and Dinosaur Discovery and allows individuals and families a better opportunity to experience all of the museum's exhibit galleries during the work week.
"Our goal is to make the museum as accessible as possible to everyone," said Ryan Barber, deputy director of the museum. "With the opening of the dinosaur exhibits, we expect that interest in visiting the museum will be high and we believe now is a beneficial time to offer extended hours."
The special exhibits, Dinosaurs and Dinosaur Discovery, will be on display at the museum from January 12 through August 25, with the Dino Day family festival held on January 12 to celebrate the opening of the exhibits. The festival will include games, activities, crafts and special presentations by renowned paleontologists.
The exhibits bring spectacular displays of full-size cast skeletons, as well as real fossil bones of a variety of dinosaurs that roamed Earth during the Mesozoic era, a timeframe that stretched approximately 250 million years ago to 65 million years ago.
Also included in the exhibit is a walk-through maze, with a series of dinosaur murals on the inner-walls of the maze and dinosaur specimens awaiting participants at nearly every turn.
Some of the most prominent components of the exhibits are the life-size cast skeletons of some of the most ferocious and carnivorous dinosaurs to roam the planet, including a 40-foot long skeleton cast of an Acrocanthosaurus and a 12-foot long skeleton cast of the meat-eating Deinonychus.
The exhibits also mark the return of one of the museum's most popular displays to ever be exhibited, "Cera" the animatronic triceratops.
Beginning January 12, the museum will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours offered each Tuesday until 7 p.m. The museum is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.