VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Join the flock and celebrate winter wildlife in Virginia Beach during the 2023 Winter Wildlife Festival! For the 13th year, Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is hosting the annual festival from January 28 through February 5 and offering over 50 programs and activities, many of which are free, that invite attendees to embrace and enjoy nature.

The winter season is a special and unique time of year to explore our coastal habitats and learn about the wildlife that calls Virginia Beach home, including waterfowl, songbirds, whales, seals, terrapins Sand more. Register for festival activities online at and join the Winter Wildlife Festival Facebook group ( to connect with the community on all things winter wildlife.

Festival highlights include:

Saturday, January 28 at Princess Anne Recreation Center

  • Workshops offered from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Free but registration required)
  • Exhibit Hall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring live animals, exhibitors, children’s activities, door prizes, and more (Free and open to the public)

Sunday, January 29 at The Goode Center at Virginia Wesleyan University

  • Keynote Speakers presenting from 2:30-4 p.m. (Free): Join award-winning literary naturalists J. Drew Lanham and Jamie K. Reaser for an exploration of migration at the interface of nature and human nature. They will invite you into the deep terrain of birds and birders through the recitation of selected works from their upcoming anthology, Dawn Songs: A Birdwatcher’s Field Guide to the Poetics of Migration

Jan 28 through Feb 5

  • Trips & Excursions throughout the week (Prices vary; Registration required) including Blue Goose Birding Tram Tour, False Cape After Dark, Owl Creek Watch, Whale-Watching Boat Tour at Virginia Aquarium, and much more
  • Birding Challenge is designed for all ages and birding levels. Compete in teams of 2-5 members to observe as many bird species as possible in a day. Registrants receive a t-shirt,and divisional prizes are awarded. ($15 per person; Registration required)

All Month - Jan 1 through Feb 5

  • Photo Contest for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Enter your bird’s eye view in the photography contest for a chance to win exclusive prizes across five different categories: wildlife, festival in action, landscape, youth, and people’s choice (Free to participate; see full contest rules, some restrictions apply)

For more information, visit or call (757) 385-1100. Sign up for Parks & Rec email newsletters at Find us on Facebook at

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