Open House Information

Open houses are rare opportunities to see the inner workings of one of the nation’s premier wildlife hospitals, as well as meet some of the wildlife that serve as the Center’s education ambassadors.

As a wildlife emergency room and hospital, the Wildlife Center is not usually open to the public. The seasonal open houses are the times during the year when visitors may tour the Waynesboro facility.

COVID-19 Response: To take preventative measures against the possible transmission of COVID-19, the Center is canceling open houses scheduled on Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 22. Open houses draw more than 100 people from all over Virginia to the Center in a single day; given the close contact within the Center’s facilities, the staff feels that it’s safer to cancel these upcoming events to prevent possible transmission to all involved.

At this point, the Center hopes to hold the April 5 open house, though will be continuously reassessing based on recommendations from health organizations and the current status of the virus in Virginia.

  • Saturday, March 7 with tours at 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm [all tours are now full] 
  • Saturday, March 14 with tours at 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm [all tours are now full] 
  • Sunday, March 22 with tours at 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm [all tours are now full] 
  • Sunday, April 5 with tours at 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm [all tours are now full] 

Each open house includes a tour of our medical clinic, exam room, and operating suite.

You’ll also meet some of the Center’s education animals – the non-releasable animals that are permanent residents here, including Buddy [a Bald Eagle], Gus [a Barred Owl], and Hudson [a talkative Gyrfalcon]. [As these animals live in outdoor homes, these tours are offered weather permitting.] Patients and patient enclosures will not be seen during the Open Houses.

There is no charge, but reservations are required – and we generally fill up quickly. A limited number of spaces are available for each session.

To reserve your spot:

  • Please reserve your spot using this webform. No phone calls, please! We need to keep the lines open for wildlife emergencies. 
  • One of our staff members will process reservations in the order in which they are received. We will send you an email confirmation to let you know that you have made it into the open house.

Please note: Reservations for open houses may be made for up to five individuals; children should be accompanied by parents or guardians. Open house tours are not recommended for children under the age of five. We encourage larger groups [schools, scout troops, etc.] to contact our outreach department to make alternate arrangements.

Join our email list to receive future updates about open houses! The Wildlife Center typically offers three summer open house dates in July; Fall open house dates take place late August - early October; Spring open houses are late February - early April.