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Indoor Fun: Museums — Virginia

Schools from all over the world travel to this area to see the museums that are located practically in your back yard. Whether centered on art, history, science, or social studies, there is a museum that will appeal to everyone at any age. Engage in hands-on activities, join a guided tour, watch a film, stimulate your curiosity, and learn something new all while spending quality time with the family and having fun!

Virginia | Maryland | Washington, DC | Discount Museum Programs

Alexandria Archaeology Museum
105 N. Union St., Ste. 327, Alexandria, VA 22314
Connect: Online | Facebook | Twitter | (703) 746-4399
Admission: Free

Learn how Alexandria’s archeologists, volunteers, and students study and manage archeological resources important to the community’s history. The main exhibit is from the Lee Street site and displays findings from the city’s founding in 1749 through the 20th century. The public laboratory lets visitors see artifacts from the latest digs being preserved and cataloged. There are also several hands-on activities available for children and adults alike.

Children’s Museum of Richmond
Multiple locations, click here to connect with each.
Connect: Online | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | (540) 656-2233
Admission: Fee-based; however, see below for some free and cheap admissions opportunities.

Worth the drive, the Children’s Museum of Richmond (CMoR) boasts amazing exhibits and activities that facilitate learning through play. These kid-centric, touch-and-play exhibits allow children to get away from the museum notion of look but don’t touch. Touching and playing is totally encouraged here! The museum has 4 locations: CMoR Central, CMoR Chesterfield, CMoR Fredericksburg, and CMoR Short Pump. Click here to connect with each and view their exhibits. Voted a Frommer’s’ Top Destinations for 2014, CMoR is worth the drive!

• CMoR participates in the Bank of America Museums on Us Program. On select days, just present your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card, along with your photo ID, and enjoy free general admission to more than 150 museums nationwide, with access to fantastic select museums in and around the DMV!

Children’s Science Center Lab
11948 Fair Oaks Mall, Ste. L, Fairfax, VA 22033
Connect: Online | Facebook | Twitter | (703) 648-3130
Admission: Fee-based
See a photo review here

The Children’s Science Center Lab precedes The Children’s Science Center, set to open in 2020 in Loudoun County and offer interactive and hands-on exhibits, activities, and other programs focused on STEM. The Lab, located in Fair Oaks Mall, provides an educational and fun environment for families and kids of all ages via four interactive exploration centers. The Lab is well-staffed with eager and attentive employees ready to help, educate, and encourage.

Love STEM-inspired museums? Check out our guide to STEM-Inspired Museums & Play Places.

Freedom Museum
Manassas Airport, 10600 Harry J. Parrish Blvd., Manassas, VA 20110
Connect: Online | (703) 393-0660
Admission: Free

Located on the grounds of the Manassas Airport, the Freedom Museum complex offers visitors an interactive historical experience. The museum exhibits feature stories of ordinary Americans turned heroes by protecting our nation’s freedom both on the battlefront and on the home front. Tours are self-guided unless advanced registration is arranged with one of the veterans on staff.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, VA 22121
Connect: Online | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | (703) 780-2000
Admission: Fee-based; however, see below for some free and cheap admissions opportunities.

Are you one of the 85 million people who have visited George Washington’s Mount Vernon since it officially opened to the public in 1860? In addition to the tomb of George and Martha Washington and a memorial dedicated to the enslaved people who lived and worked on the estate, Mount Vernon also offers interpretive spaces such as the Pioneer Farm, Gristmill, and Distillery, which help to give visitors a better understanding of Washington’s enterprising and profitable business ventures. The estate also offers a tour of the Mansion, built in 1735 and expanded over five decades to 21-rooms (see a virtual tour here), mansion outbuildings, gardens, and grounds, heritage breed animals, Pioneer Farm, and more! Plan your visit here, and see how much estimated time it will take for each feature.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon is open 365 days a year. Plan ahead and visit on a day with special events, including story time in the Hands-on-History Center, Tribute at the Tomb, special children’s activities, and more! Admission is free every year on George Washington’s Birthday.

Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum
21668 Heritage Farm Ln., Sterling, VA 20164
Connect: Online | Facebook | (571) 258-3800
Admission: Fee-based
See a photo review here!

Take a step back in time and visit Loudoun’s agricultural museum in Sterling! You’ll have the opportunity to explore exhibits (some featuring hands-on activities) that support and promote the farming history of Loudoun County. Your children will also enjoy some educational play time on Claude Moore Children’s Farm, an area designed for kids to touch and play with props. In this interactive exhibit area for families, children can milk a life-like cow, collect eggs from the play chickens, and ride the faux Equi-ponies. The Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum is a place to literally get your hands on some history!

More Virginia Museums —>

Have a favorite place that we didn’t mention? Drop us an email and let us know here.

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Free & Discounted Museum Programs

The following are programs that provide free or discounted admission on special days. Want to learn more ways to get