The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville will host its first-ever Bonez & Booz Halloween and Fall Festival on Saturday, October 29 from 4 to 10 p.m. The inaugural event, which is designed for both families and adults, will feature a festive atmosphere that includes fire performances, stilt walkers, magic shows, carnival games, costume contests, a beer garden, food trucks and more.
“The museum is excited to offer visitors a brand-new experience that revolves around the festivities of Halloween,” said VMNH Visitor Services and Events Manager Robbie Hendrix-Wirt. “Many people are in search of a fun, festive and safe event during this time of year and Bonez & Booz checks all the boxes.”
The event, which primarily takes place outdoors, will feature a variety of stage shows, including fire performances, magic shows, and live music throughout the evening.
“We wanted to make sure we have on-stage entertainment taking place all evening long and that the quality of entertainment is top-notch,” said Hendrix-Wirt. “The fire performances will be presented by performers from Imagine Circus located in Raleigh, North Carolina and the magic shows will be performed by the talented illusionist Nelson Oliver. We are also bringing in Martinsville-natives Riggs Roberson and Griffin Haley, who are mainstays on the region’s festival circuit, to provide live music. Their blend of blues, country, jazz, soul, and southern rock will offer something for everyone.”
In addition to on-stage entertainment, the event will feature many on-going activities, such as face painting, balloon animals, caricature art, a photo booth, costume contests, and carnival games, including an inflatable shooting range for kids and adults provided by the Henry County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
During Bonez & Booz, the museum will also be opening up its exhibit galleries for flashlight tours.
“Because this event takes place in the evening and most of the activities will occur outside, we’re going to be able to offer flashlight tours of the exhibit galleries for the first time ever,” said Hendrix-Wirt. “From 4 to 6 p.m., the exhibit galleries will be open as normal for anyone who wishes to tour them. From 6 to 8 p.m., the galleries will be closed for guided flashlight tours for children, which will be led by museum staff. We will then briefly close the galleries and, at 8:15 p.m., they will be re-opened to all visitors for self-guided flashlight tours. The museum will have a very limited number of flashlights available on a first-come, first-served basis and visitors are encouraged to use the flashlight capabilities of their mobile devices.”
As with all museum events, science will play a prominent role during Bonez & Booz.
“The museum’s scientific collections consist of over 10 million specimens and quite a few of them could fairly be labeled as bizarre and, in some instances, flat-out creepy,” said Hendrix-Wirt. “This event serves as an opportune time for our scientists to show-off some of those specimens for visitors to experience.”
Bonez & Booz will also feature a large variety of food and drink options, including a beer garden and a variety of food trucks offering items, such as barbeque, hot dogs, sandwiches, sausages, cotton candy, candy apples, and more. Food trucks scheduled to be on-site include, DaddyQ’s BBQ, The Outdoor Host, D’s Hot/Ice, Super Dogs Hot Dog Cart, and Bahama Sno-Shack.
A full list of entertainment and associated times is listed on the official Bonez & Booz webpage at www.vmnh.net/events/bonez-and-booz.
Admission to Bonez & Booz is $10 per adult and $5 for ages 3-17. Admission is free for children under 3, museum members, and members of museums and science centers that participate in the ASTC Passport program.
The museum also participates in the Museums for All initiative, offering discounted admission to low-income families. Through this program and additional funding provided by Hooker Furnishings, visitors who present their EBT card and accompanying ID at the museum’s box office will receive free admission to the festival.
Parking at this event will be available off-site. The museum will be closed during its normal operating hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) on Saturday, October 29 in preparation for this event.
For more information about Bonez & Booz, visit www.vmnh.net/events/bonez-and-booz.