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Santa and Sting Rays, All in One Place

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Even though it’s not quiiiite summer, that doesn’t mean that the beach isn't any less fun. The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center (717 General Booth Blvd., Virginia Beach, Va.) is offering up a host of holiday events during December.

    Events include Breakfast with Santa (Dec. 17, 9-10:30a.m.), Sailing with Santa (Dec. 17, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m)., SCUBA Santa (Sat. and Sun. until Dec. 24), and Sundays with Santa (Sundays noon-3 p.m.). Get the details here.

    Around the aquarium, you’ll also find a nature trail that allows you to climb a 30-foot observation tower for tree-top views of Owls Creek. Nearby, the Marsh Pavilion gives you a close look at river otters, snakes, seahorses and other marsh dwellers. A walk outside of the Marsh Pavilion leads you to the aviary, where more than 55 species of native birds will be chirping in your glowing presence.

    We’re almost certain that almost everyone thought (at some point in their life) that they could be a scientist. Well, tah-dah!... enter the Bay Lab. 

    The hands-on educational laboratory and education facility includes a wet lab filled with touch tanks (don't miss the baby sting rays), aquariums and powerful microscopes. With more than 300 interactive exhibits, how could you not feel like a scientist? And not even a mad scientist, because how could you be mad around baby sting rays?

    The aquarium is open daily, 9 a.m.-5p.m. Tickets are $21 for adults and $15 for kids. The museum is about four hours south of D.C., and if you go, 100 Miles of Lights should make the trip extra worthwhile.