New exhibits at the Virginia Aquarium include a close-up look jellyfish life cycles. Image: Kendall Osborne

VIDEO: Virginia Aquarium Debuts New $28.9 Million Expansion

The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach opened its newly renovated and expanded south building on January 14. It’s a major makeover that will give visitors a lot more to see and interact with.

The building will house a variety of new species such as jellyfish, crabs, mantis shrimp, as well as the popular otters.

The new facility includes a large variety of interactive exhibits geared towards toddlers on up. You can be a veterinarian, touch a jellyfish or fish spine, or play in the outdoor area during warmer months.

There is a classroom for visiting field trips. Guests will be able to watch real-time animal examinations through a window to the veterinarian facility. And a lot was done behind the scenes, such as updating electrical and plumbing systems.

The project cost $28.9 million. The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center Foundation raised
$14 million from community donations.

Chesapeake Bay Magazine got a chance to peek inside for a special preview. Get a feel for the new facility below:

Video: Kendall Osborne

The Aquarium’s new building is open now. Plan your trip here.