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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!

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Discount Museum Programs


Alexandria Archaeology Museum
105 N Union St., Ste. 327, Alexandria, VA 22314 | (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
Admission: Fee-based

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!

Children’s Science Center Lab
11948 Fair Oaks Mall, Ste. L, Fairfax, VA 22033 | (703) 648-3130
Admission: Fee-based

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.

Freedom Museum
Manassas Airport, 10600 Harry J. Parrish Blvd., Manassas, VA 20110 | (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 | (703) 780-2000
Admission: Fee-based

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 | (571) 258-3800
Admission: Fee-based

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!

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
901 Amherst St., Winchester, VA 22601 | (888) 556-5799
Admission: Fee-based

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley offers a variety of educational opportunities and fun events for the family! The museum boasts four gallery spaces and six-acres of gardens surrounding the historic Glen Burnie House, and two historic home sites. The museum’s gardens are intimate and invite discovery for all ages from April to October. The museum also hosts a variety of events that include free admission days, events designed especially for children, summer concerts, and more. Be sure to check out their event calendar for more information.

National Museum of the Marine Corps
18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Triangle, VA 22172 | (877) 635-1775
Admission: Free

Experience more than 237-years of American history through the eyes of a Marine. Visitors can follow a Marine’s footsteps through the recruiting process and battles fought in times of conflict and war. The museum’s calendar of events details ongoing exhibits and events, including family days. Plus, there are educational activities and handouts relating to the month’s theme. Guided tours happen daily and are based on availability.

National Sporting Library & Museum
102 Plains Rd., Middleburg, VA 20117 | (540) 687-6542
Admission: Library: Free/Museum: Fee-based, with free visits on Wednesdays and the last Sunday of each month

Visit the National Sporting Library & Museum’s beautiful 6-acre campus in Middleburg, VA! With a focus on preserving and promoting the history and love of horse and field sports, the museum was founded in 1954. Visitors can explore country recreations such as angling, horsemanship, and foxhunting! Take a peek into the museum’s extensive art and library collections showcasing works and literature related to a variety field sports, enjoy one of the exhibits on display, or watch a polo match!

Science Museum of Virginia
2500 W Broad St., Richmond, VA 23220 | (804) 864-1400
Admission: Fee-based

The Science Museum of Virginia offers a day full of wonder and learning for both kids and adults alike. With historic architecture as its backdrop, this museum is full of innovative and cutting-edge exhibits and activities. The exhibits are intentionally designed to provoke creativity and expand your mind, all while learning about life around us — from animals and planets to bioethics and gravity. Don’t miss out on the 360-degree movie experience in “The Dome” or any of their Live Science presentations, which have been known to include cow eye dissection and even rat basketball!

Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum
19 W Cork St., Winchester, VA 22601 | (540) 722-2020
Admission: Fee-based

The Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum moved to its location in Winchester, VA in 2014 and it is still worth the drive! This kid-focused museum features 3-stories of exhibits, including an Encounter Zone, Action Zone, Explore Zone, and Sky Level. Each boasts loads of touch and play areas — with exhibits that encourage problem-solving, creative thinking, and collaboration. Best of all, the kids don’t know they are learning — they just think they are having a great time!

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air & Space Museum Pkwy., Chantilly, VA 20151 | (703) 572-4118
Admission: Free; however, parking is fee-based

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, is a great place for not just aerial enthusiasts — but anything that has to do with air and space! Its two huge hangars display thousands of aviation and space artifacts. The Center also boasts an IMAX Theater and an observation tower, which gives you a 360-degree bird’s-eye view of Washington Dulles International Airport and the surrounding area.

Torpedo Factory Art Center
105 N Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314 | (703) 746-4570
Admission: Free

The Torpedo Factory boasts the largest number of publicly accessible working artist studios in the United States. Watch and interact with a variety of resident artists within seven galleries and 82 working artist studios. Visitors will learn about painting, ceramics, photography, jewelry, stained glass, fiber, printmaking, and sculptures, and more from the artists themselves.

Virginia Air & Space Center
600 Settlers Landing Rd., Hampton, VA 23669 | (757) 727-0900
Admission: Fee-based

Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton offers a variety of exhibits great for all ages. The whole family will enjoy learning about Aircraft, Spacecraft, Adventures in Flight, and more. Check out the Space Quest exhibit that is an interactive exhibit focusing on NASA’s role in going to the Moon and Mars. For the youngest members of the family, be sure to visit the new Space Racers interactive exhibit specially designed for children ages 3-6. Virginia Air and Space Center also features an IMAX theater offering a variety of shows and showtimes. Click here to connect with their exhibits.

Disclaimer/Terms: These opportunities are subject to last minute cancellations and changes that might not be reflected in this post. Please, always confirm by calling/clicking.

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