The DMV boasts plenty of museums, landmarks, planetariums, and more that appeal to a wide variety of ages and interests!
Alexandria Archaeology Museum
Located within the famous Torpedo Factory Art Center (a former naval munitions factory on the banks of the Potomac River), guests will learn how Alexandria’s archeologists, volunteers, and students study and manage archeological resources important to our local community’s history. Their popular public laboratory even lets visitors see artifacts from the latest digs being preserved and cataloged!
Arlington National Cemetery
Located across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place of hundreds of thousands of military veterans and their immediate families, beginning with the Civil War, as well as reinterred individuals from earlier wars. The 600+ acre cemetery, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has a rich and controversial history that dates back to 1802 when George Washington Parke Custis, the adopted son of George Washington, acquired the land.
Children’s Museum of Richmond
With four locations (the closest being in Fredericksburg, VA), the Children’s Museum of Richmond (CMoR) boasts a wide variety of hands-on, touch-and-play exhibits that encourage children away from the notion of “look, but don’t touch.” Touching, playing, and exploring at CMoR is expected and celebrated!
Children’s Science Center
The Children’s Science Center, located in Fair Oaks Mall, invites visitors of all ages to enjoy STEM-focused fun! At a variety of centers and zones, as well as a hands-on experiment bar, kids will learn science, technology, engineering, and math concepts through touch, feel, and play!
David M. Brown Planetarium
During the school year, the David M. Brown Planetarium hosts weekend public programs. Plus, throughout the year they offer special seasonal opportunities too; learn more and see the full schedule by visiting Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium here.
Freedom House Museum
Be an advocate for change as you learn and reflect on our nation’s past at the Freedom House Museum. Located in downtown Alexandria, VA, this establishment was once one of the largest slave-trading companies, trafficking Black men, women, and children from 1828 to 1861. Now the museum opens as a way to honor their lives by showcasing the area’s Black history and experience in America.
Located on the grounds of the Manassas Airport, the Freedom Museum 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.
George Mason University Observatory
Located at George Mason University, this STEM destination gets visitors a little closer to the stars! Boasting many high-powered telescopes, including a 32″ one, the observatory offers public events and tours given by world-class astronomers, researchers, and educators.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Mt. Vernon, VA
Did you know George Washington’s Mount Vernon is open 365 days a year? Open to the public since 1860, Mount Vernon is the former plantation estate and burial location of George Washington, an American political leader, military general, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797.
In addition to a 1735 mansion and the tomb of George and Martha Washington, the property includes a memorial dedicated to the enslaved people who lived and worked on the estate. Mount Vernon also has many interpretive spaces, such as the Pioneer Farm and Washington’s Gristmill & Distillery — all to better understand our first President’s ambitious and profitable business ventures. Enjoy guided and self-guided tours, seasonal and special events, and more. Visit Mount Vernon online today to plan your visit.
Irene V. Hylton Planetarium
Located on the campus of CD Hylton Senior High School, this planetarium is home to a star projector capable of displaying more than 1,300 stars, the five visible eye planets, moon phasing, and more on a thirty-foot curved dome! Special effect projectors also create solar and lunar eclipses, aurora displays, and meteor showers. Visit their calendar to learn more about special opportunities to visit, including their annual holiday laser shows!
Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum
Through various exhibits, hands-on activities, and seasonal events, the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum highlights 250 years of Loudoun County’s agricultural heritage.
Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Located on the largest green space in the city of Winchester, VA, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley endeavors to preserve and enrich the cultural life and heritage of the Shenandoah Valley. Part of the region’s cultural center, guests are invited to also enjoy seven acres of formal gardens and an 18th-century residence, the Glen Burnie House.
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, commonly known as the Udvar-Hazy Center, is the second location of the National Air & Space Museum, the original of which is located on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Also part of the Smithsonian family, this destination is a great place for aerial enthusiasts or anyone interested in exploring anything that has to do with air and space! Like its sister museum, the Udvar-Hazy Center showcases the history and science of aviation and spaceflight as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology/geophysics.
Its two huge hangars display thousands of aviation and space artifacts, including a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde, and the Space Shuttle Discovery! The museum also boasts an IMAX Theater and an observation tower that gives visitors a 360-degree bird’s-eye view of Dulles Airport and the surrounding area.
National Museum of the Marine Corps
As the historical museum of the United States Marine Corps, visitors of all ages are invited to experience hundreds of years of American history through the eyes of a Marine. Visitors can follow a Marines’ footsteps through the recruiting process to battles fought in times of conflict and war.
National Museum of the United States Army
Ft. Belvoir, VA
As the Army’s national landmark, the National Army Museum is an enduring effort to tell the Army’s story and honor the accomplishments, sacrifices, and commitment of American soldiers. The Museum is the first comprehensive and truly national museum to capture, display, and interpret over 240 years of Army history. The Museum brings to life history in times of war and peace as told through the eyes of soldiers.
National Sporting Library & Museum
Located in historic Middleburg, the heart of Virginia’s beautiful hunt country, the National Sporting Library & Museum tells the story of horse and field sports through books and art. Their inviting 6-acre campus, a world-class research library, and fine arts museum highlight the rich heritage and tradition of horsemanship, shooting, steeplechasing, fox hunting, flat racing, polo, and much more. The museum offers various educational programs, exhibitions, and family activities throughout the year.
Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum
Located in the heart of historic Winchester, VA, the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum is worth the drive for Northern Virginia families! This kid-focused destination features 4-stories of exhibits, each boasting loads of touch-and-play areas that encourage problem-solving, creative thinking, and collaboration. Best of all, the kids don’t know they’re learning — they just think they’re having a great time!
Turner Farm Observatory Park
Great Falls, VA
Permanently mounted telescopes allow for excellent sky gazing at the new Observatory Park at Turner Farm! This roll-top observatory includes an Observation Room complete with three telescopes and a retractable roof, and an Orientation Room for educational programs. For more information on future programs, visit the Analemma Society.
Torpedo Factory Art Center
The Torpedo Factory Art Center, a former naval munitions factory on the banks of the Potomac River, is home to the largest number of publicly accessible working artist studios in the US. With three floors to explore, this unique destination seeks to foster connections between artists and the public and ignite the creative spirit! The Torpedo Factory Art Center is also home to the Alexandria Archaeology Museum (see above).
Disclaimer: Events/opportunities are curated from public sources and are subject to changes/cancelations that might not be reflected on DullesMoms.com.