The Robins Nature Center

Dive into a New James River Experience!

Themed “Run of the River,” the $2.3 million Robins Nature Center renovation project highlights the remarkable ecology of the James River located along Maymont’s southern border in Richmond. The new experience also emphasizes the natural history of the area and environmental stewardship opportunities for the community.

Discover all the exciting new features:

  • River Reach – A 34-foot-tall centerpiece sculpture that inspires active play and learning within a series of netted rising platforms that depict microscopic river microorganisms. Made possible through the generosity of Jeanette Lipman through The Lipman Foundation in memory of her grandson, Sage MacFarlane, who loved everything in nature.
  • Freshwater Interactive Animation – An extraordinary multimedia experience that replicates lifelike interactions with animals and water in a river environment. A collaboration of the Digital Life Project, the Natural History Museum at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Richard Lewis Media Group.
  • Digital Pool Touch Stations – Two virtual shallow pools with touch responsiveness, teeming with wildlife and native plants waiting to be discovered.
  • Run of the River, Activity and Exploration – Lively recreation with rocks to climb, a beaver lodge to visit, a kayak to hop in, and other playful pursuits.
  • Run of the River, Education and Inspiration – Giant river murals, vividly illustrated facts and figures, animal models, and other engaging information about the river ecosystem.
  • My James River Learning Tools – Fun facts, short videos and river trivia in an entertaining app on multiple screens.
  • Dynamic Fish Identification – Realistic digital animal illustrations to identify the aquatic and terrestrial life in the aquariums, learn about their remarkable abilities and instincts, and test your water wisdom.
  • Enhanced Guest Amenities – More merchandise, souvenirs and a book nook in the lobby, improved vending, and digital access to information.
  • Aquarium Upgrades – Improved habitats and heating systems for the fish, turtles and other animals and new lighting that allows better visibility for guests.

The Robins Nature Center, a 29,000-square-foot attraction, is the largest facility of its kind in central Virginia and holds close to 30,000 gallons of aquaria showcasing animals of the James River and Chesapeake Bay. Approximately 45,000 guests – including tens of thousands of local students – visit for hands-on environmental education each year.

This renovation is the capstone project of Maymont’s $26 million dollar Spirit of Generosity capital and endowment campaign. Major funding for The Robins Nature Center upgrades and enhancements is provided by Moses D. Nunnally, Jr. Charitable Trust, The Lipman Foundation, Beirne Carter Foundation, Mary Anderson Harrison Foundation, Barbara A. Peers Trust, and Marietta McNeill Morgan & Samuel Tate Morgan, Jr. Trust.

Thursday & Friday
10am-4pm
Saturday & Sunday
10am-5pm

Free for Maymont members!
$8 (ages 13-64)
$6 (ages 3-12 and seniors 65+)
Free for children ages 2 and under

Get a sneak peek of the River Reach!

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