Escape to the Shenandoah Valley for a Shenandoah Safari! Explore the seven-acre gardens at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley and look for sculptures of a wildebeest, rhino, zebra, and other animals made with tens of thousands of LEGO bricks in Nature Connects, an inspiring exhibition featuring the art of Sean Kenney.

Travel back to the prehistoric past and take a selfie with a T-Rex at Dinosaur Land. Bring the kiddos to Old Town Winchester’s Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum for hands-on learning and fun, including a vet area and living collections. Look for signs of wildlife on a guided hike in Shenandoah National Park, take a trail ride on horseback, and talk about bears with a park ranger. Head to Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge for close encounters with live animals, including African rhinos, giraffes, and zebras.

Overnight options include a grand historic hotel in Winchester and lodging in Shenandoah National Park.

Your Shenandoah Valley Safari awaits!

 

If you love LEGO® or animals, you don’t want to miss Sean Kenney’s Nature Connects! This outdoor exhibition presents a series of 13 sculptures built with more than 800,000 LEGO bricks. Created by artist Sean Kenney, Nature Connects uses beautiful works of art made from simple toy blocks to explore animal endangerment, the balance of ecosystems, and mankind’s relationship with nature. Stroll through seven acres of formal gardens and look for a mother polar bear and her cubs, a snow leopard on the hunt, a disappearing rhino, a life-sized zebra, and more! Read the media release here.

On view through September 4, 2023, Nature Connects is open 10–5 Tuesday–Sunday (open from 10–5 on Labor Day Monday, September 4, 2023).

Note: service animals only; no pets.

Nature Connects is created by Sean Kenney Design and produced by Imagine Exhibitions, Inc.  

Nature Connects is created by Sean Kenney Design and produced by Imagine Exhibitions, Inc.  

        

Mission Partner

Exhibition Partner

Community Partner

Education Partner

Painter–Lewis, P.L.C.

F&M Bank

Four Winds Tree Experts

Frederick Block, Brick & Stone

The George Washington Hotel—A Wyndham Grand Hotel

H.N. Funkhouser & Handy Mart

HP Hood LLC

Lantz Construction Winchester

Reader & Swartz Architects

Shenandoah Foot & Ankle Center

Six Star Events, LLC

TWG Insurance

Virasec IT Support Services

Yount, Hyde & Barbour, P.C.

Nature Connects admission—which includes gallery admission—is $15, $10 for youth (13–18) and senior (60+), $4 for ages 5–12, and free to MSV members and ages 4 & under.

Admission is free to active military & their immediate family and to individual veterans (military ID required). Those receiving food assistance/SNAP benefits may also enjoy free admission to Nature Connects for up to four family members (EBT card required to receive free admission). Questions? Call 540-662-1473, ext. 235 or email visit@theMSV.org.

Save 20% on tickets buy purchasing online admission here!

Buy Tickets

A 20-minute drive from the MSV in White Post, this classic roadside attraction entertains visitors of all ages with a display of sculptures that includes 50 huge dinosaurs, a giant King Kong, and enormous octopus. Open in 1963, Dinosaur Land has been called “one of Virginia’s most endearing roadside attractions.” Dinosaur Land offers a fun, family-friendly, and uniquely prehistoric twist on an animal-focused adventure to the Shenandoah Valley. Shopping for a dinosaur lover? Don’t miss the gift shop!

Combine a visit to Dinosaur Land with your visit to Nature Connects at the MSV. Get more info on this must-see attraction here:

Dinosaur Land
3848 Stonewall Jackson Highway
White Post, VA 22663
540-869-2222

Located in Natural Bridge, about two hours south of Winchester, Virginia Safari Park is Virginia’s largest and only drive-thru zoo. At the park, you can see more than 1,000 free-roaming animals out of your car windows! A 180-acre preserve, the park also includes a petting area and opportunities for daily animal encounters (including feeding select animals). Several animal species at the park are represented in the Nature Connects exhibition, including rhinos, zebras, and wildebeest.

Learn about zebras, rhinos and more at the MSV and then see these amazing animals in real life at Virginia Safari Park. Get information about a safari drive-thru, a safari village walk-thru, feeding the animals, and special animal encounters at Virginia Safari Park here.

Buy your tickets for a family adventure at Virginia Safari Park here and mark your calendar to celebrate World Rhino Week at Virginia Safari Park from September 17–24.

Virginia Safari Park
229 Safari Lane
Natural Bridge, VA 24578
540-291-3205

In historic Old Town Winchester, less than a five-minute drive from the MSV, the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum is a perfect add-on to a family trip to Winchester to see Nature Connects. With the museum’s primary audience of children ages birth to 10 years and their families, the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum is committed to learning through play with hands-on exhibits throughout four floors of fun! The Museum’s 14 exhibits are designed to spark curiosity and inspire learning through exploration & creative play.

Get more details on the Discovery Museum—and its amazing rooftop view of Winchester—here:

Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum
19 West Cork Street
Winchester, Virginia

A Historic Grand Hotel in Old Town Winchester

Spend the night or a weekend at The George Washington—A Wyndham Grand Hotel. Just one mile from the MSV and set in a grand red brick building dating from 1924, this upscale hotel is in the heart of vibrant Old Town Winchester and is a short walk to shops, restaurants, and nightlife. Dine in the hotel at George’s Food & Spirits, enjoy The Half Note Lounge (live entertainment on weekends), an indoor pool modeled after a Roman bathhouse, and make an appointment to rejuvenate at the Saumaj Health Spa. Book a special Nature Connects package at The George Washington for Labor Day Weekend!

The George Washington—A Wyndham Grand Hotel
103 East Piccadilly Street
Winchester, VA  22601
540-431-2498

Stay in Shenandoah National Park

Heading south from the MSV to Virginia’s Safari Park? Stay & play in Shenandoah National Park! Lodging is available at Skyland and Big Meadows Lodge.

About 90 minutes from the MSV and located at the famed Skyline Drive’s highest elevation—3,680 feet—Skyland offers accommodations ranging from premium rooms to detached small cabins and preferred and traditional rooms, suites, and pet friendly rooms. Guided horseback and pony rides are available at Skyland (get info here)! Big Meadows Lodge—which is located one mile from the large, grassy meadow at mile 51 on Skyline Drive ideal for gorgeous night skies viewing—offers accommodations ranging from main lodge rooms to detached small cabins, preferred and traditional rooms, suites, and pet friendly rooms. Take a hike and look for wildlife or enjoy a “Wild About Bears Talk” at the Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51) as well as a Young Naturalists Program. Get details on summer programming offered by the National Park Service here.

Shenandoah National Park Lodging 
877-847-1919