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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Family Fun at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News

Virginia Living Museum in Newport News
Looking for a fun day trip or weekend getaway to do with the kids? The Virginia Living Museum is approximately a 5 hour drive from most south central Pennsylvania locations and is located in Newport News. Admission ranges from $15.00 to $20.00 per person, special events and tours cost extra.

The museum is home to 250+ animal species that are native to the state of Virginia. You'll have the opportunity to American Alligators, Bald Eagles, Beavers, Barking Tree Frogs, Bobcats, Pelicans, Ducks, Coyotes, Snakes, Lizards, Owls, Egrets, Herons, Squirrels, Sea Turtles, River Otters, Red and Gray Foxes, Raccoons, Skunks, and more!
Virginia Living Museum in Newport News

If you enjoy aquatic animals you'll have the opportunity to see American Eels, Beach Fish, Coral Fish, Flounder, Loggerhead Sea Turtles, James River Fishes, Mountain Stream Fishes, Shrimp, Seahorses, Trout, etc. You'll see some of them indoors and others are located in outdoor exhibits and areas.

During out visit the kids enjoyed the museum's Shark Zone which is a special event exhibit that runs through September 2nd, 2019. You'll learn about our beautiful oceans and the amazing animals that live there. You can touch live "cat sharks" in the touch-tank, track a shark as it swims in the ocean in real time, enter a shark cage and come face-to-face with a Great White Shark (a replica), and dig for shark teeth in Fossil Beach. Shark Zone offers a lot of great hands-on activities for the kids!
Virginia Living Museum in Newport News

The Outdoor Boardwalk is a 3/4 elevated boardwalk that gives visitors the opportunity to see Red Wolves, River Otters, Wild Turkeys, Deer, Red Foxes, Coyotes, Turtles, Bull Frogs, and other animals that are native to the wetlands in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. There are information stations along the way where visitors can stop to read the information about specific animals, plants and the environment related to them. It's a great learning experience and gets you outside into the fresh air.

Outside the museum you'll explore Dinosaur Discovery Trail where you'll see 16 realistic, prehistoric dinosaurs who use to roam the earth. Follow the marked trail to see them up close and along the way the kids can play around in the man-made Dig Pits. A few of the dinosaurs that you'll see along the way include: Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brachiosaurus, Stegosaurus, and others.
Virginia Living Museum in Newport News

Virginia Living Museum
524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd.
Newport News, Virginia 23601

Website: https://thevlm.org/
Phone: 757-595-1900
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaLivingMuseum/

Hours of Operation: Open daily 9am-5pm
Closed: Thanksgiving, December 24th, 25th and January 1st
Virginia Living Museum in Newport News

Inside the museum you'll find the Wild Side Cafe that serves a casual menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is limited indoor seating with over-flow seating located on the outdoor patio that's adjacent to the cafe. If you're looking to do a little shopping you'll want to check out the Wild Things Museum Store to pick up your gifts and souvenirs.

Our family had a great time exploring the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News and look forward to visiting again next year. When planning your visit we recommend that you allow at least 3 hours in your schedule, so that you can see and do all of the wonderful activities that the facility has to offer. You'll want to wear comfortable walking shoes and wear clothing appropriate for the current weather conditions.

Friday, August 23, 2019

The Broadway Series CATS at the Hershey Theatre

The Broadway Series CATS at the Hershey Theatre in Hershey, Pennsylvania

If you enjoy the theater and Broadway Shows you'll want to check out all of the shows that are available at the Hershey Theatre in downtown Hershey, Pennsylvania. If you've never been there before, its easy to get to and within a short driving distance from Harrisburg, Gettysburg, Lancaster, York and the surrounding areas.

Theater is Located at:

The Hershey Theatre
15 E Caracas Ave
Hershey, PA 17033
The Broadway Series CATS at the Hershey Theatre in Hershey, Pennsylvania

The theatre was built between 1929 and 1933. The architecture of the building is breath-taking and beautiful. The building was designed by Lancaster architect Emlen Urban, a famous architect in the area during the late 1920's.

The Hershey Theatre hosts a wide variety of professional Broadway performances, musical concerts and various other forms of entertainment. You will find shows for the kids like Sesame Street Live to Broadway hits like Annie and Jersey Boys.
The Broadway Series CATS at the Hershey Theatre in Hershey, Pennsylvania

We had the opportunity to attend opening night (August 21st, 2019) for CATS, the hit Broadway Show, performed by the "CATS" Company. The show is based on "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T. S. Eliot with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Upon arrive you can expect a line to enter the theatre (normal), but please know that the line moves quickly!!! Once you enter through the doors you'll be greeted by security. If you're taking a bag in with you...it will need to pass security screening before they will allow you to pass through. Once you're in the lobby you'll need to show your tickets to the attendant who will then guide you on where you to need to go.
The Broadway Series CATS at the Hershey Theatre in Hershey, Pennsylvania

During the show you can't use any type of video or audio recording devices and you can't use your camera with or without flash, including cellphone cameras. Once seated please be respectful of others around you. They request that you turn off your cellphones and no talking during the performance.

There are 2 Acts with a 15-minute intermission between them. Act 1 lasted for a little over an hour (about 70 minutes) and featured 11 musical numbers. Act 2 lasted for about 45-50 minutes and featured 9 musical performances, plus the finale.
The Broadway Series CATS at the Hershey Theatre in Hershey, Pennsylvania

Tickets to performances can be purchased online, by phone or at the box office. They make buying your tickets easy and convenient. You can find a seating chart online and order tickets according to where you would like to sit (if available). If you're handicap you'll find a designated parking lot in front of the theatre that you can use. Just a warning though, it can fill up fast, so arrive early as its first-come, first-served. If you need other special arrangements due to a disability, call the box office to see what's available to you.

You will want to check out the Hershey Theatre website for a list of upcoming shows and performances. They keep the list updated and you'll want to reserve tickets early in the ordering process, so that you get your preferred seating. You can connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Gettysburg Campaign Historical Marker

Over the past 9 years we've been following the Pennsylvania Historical Marker Trail all through our great state and documenting them here on the blog. Millions of people walk or drive by these markers every year and never give them a second thought. They're a great source of historic information and we're trying to bring some much needed attention to them.


While following the Historical Marker Trail through Cumberland County we stumbled upon the Gettysburg Campaign historical marker. There are several historical markers throughout central Pennsylvania that are labeled the Gettysburg Campaign with this particular one being located at the intersection of Carlisle Pike and South Sporting Hill Road, while traveling down the Carlisle Pike in Hampden Township.
Gettysburg Campaign Historical Marker in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

Gettysburg Campaign

This campaign's northernmost engagement, known as the Battle of Sporting Hill, occurred just north and west of here, June 30, 1863. The 22nd & 37th New York Militia Regiments, along with Landis's Philadelphia Battery, fought in defense of Harrisburg against the 16th & 36th Virginia Cavalry units. Afterward the Confederates withdrew to Carlisle, leaving some 16 dead. Reported wounded were 11 Union soldiers; 20-30 Confederates.

By: 1997 by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

If you're interested in following the Pennsylvania Historical Marker Trail and/or interested in waymarking them you can find additional information in our Historical Markers section right here on the Pennsylvania and Beyond Travel Blog.