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STEAM-Inspired Museums & Play Places

These local and regional museums, planetariums, and more allow kids to see STEAM principals — science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics — up-close and in action!

Choose Your County:
Arlington | Fairfax | Loudoun | Prince William | Regional


Arlington County

David M. Brown Planetarium | Arlington, VA
Run via Arlington Public Schools, The David M. Brown Planetarium provides a multitude of programs for public and school group viewing. During the school year, the planetarium shows programs for public viewing on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For additional information, please visit the Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium.

Fairfax County

Children’s Science Center Lab | Fairfax, VA
The recently opened Children’s Science Center Lab precedes The Children’s Science Center, set to open in 2020 in Loudoun County, which will 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.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
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.

Loudoun County

Gum Spring Library | Stone Ridge, VA
Sterling Library | Sterling, VA
Rust Library | Leesburg, VA — coming soon!
The Loudoun County Library system offers a wealth of STEAM resources and opportunities. The library system boasts dedicated studios (MILL Studios (Makers in Loudoun Libraries)), as well as tools and space for use and exploration.

Prince William County

Irene V. Hylton Planetarium | Woodbridge, VA
The planetarium at CD Hylton Senior High School, also known as the Skydome Planetarium, contains a star projector capable of projecting 1,354 stars, the five visible eye planets, moon phasing, daily and yearly motion, the celestial coordinates, and other reference lines on a thirty-foot curved dome. Special effect projectors create solar and lunar eclipses, aurora display, meteor and meteor showers. There aren’t currently any public shows scheduled, however, check back often, as the shows are breathtaking, hypnotic, and worth the drive.


Science Museum of Virginia | Richmond, VA
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 | Winchester, VA
The Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum moved to its new 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!

More regional opportunities include:

Virginia Air and Space Center | Hampton, VA
Children’s Museum of Virginia | Portsmouth, VA
Virginia Air & Space Center | Hampton, VA
Science Museum of Western Virginia | Roanoke, VA
Virginia Discovery Museum | Charlottesville, VA
Virginia Living Museum | Newport News, VA
Virginia Museum of Natural History | Martinsville, VA

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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