Virginia Discovery Museum

The Virginia Discovery Museum (VDM) is an interactive, educational museum for young children in Charlottesville. Established in 1981 to showcase traveling exhibits throughout Central Virginia, the Virginia Discovery Museum grew in leaps and bounds and today is a center of learning, exploration, and discovery for the local community.

Located in Charlottesville's Downtown Mall, the Virginia Discovery Museum aims to inspire intellectual curiosity and educational development for all children within the community through a variety of exhibitions, displays, educational programs and special events. Virginia Discovery Museum



The Virginia Discovery Museum features two galleries which house engaging exhibits and displays, including A-Mazing Airways, a Construction Zone, the Literacy Lounge, a STEM Lab, the Virginia Heritage Area, Creation Station, and a Sensory Studio. Other interactive presentations include Little C'Ville, a mini-town that includes a Sound & MusicStudio, the Discovery Firestation, UVA Children's Hospital, and an Observation BeeHive.

A-Mazing Airways explores the use of the properties of air through an effective pneumatic air system that combines large air tubes, interactive diverter boxes, sophisticated air systems, and soaring manipulatives of all shapes and sizes. Photo:

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»More Exhibits

More Exhibits

The STEM Lab introduces visitors to Math, Engineering, Science, and Technologythrough the principles of gravity, flight, and motion. The STEM Lab features a Flight Lab, which focuses on the principles of flight, and a Magnet Wall that allows children to explore the principles of gravity, cause, and effect, slope, and physics. AnAutomoblox Ramp where visitors can learn the concepts of how gravity, force, and motion work together to make objects move on five ramps of different slopes.

The Literacy Lounge focuses on literacy development through nursery rhymes, book play,storytimes, and early writing skills, while the Construction Zone gives children the opportunity to test their critical thinking and building independently or with other kids.

Children can take a step back in timein the Showalter Cabin and harvest vegetables in a garden, plays games of skittles, checkers or dominoes, collect chicken eggs in the coop and cook a farmstyle meal for the family in the Virginia Heritage Area exhibition. Photo:

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»More Exibits

More Exibits

The Sensory Studio is a designated area where children under the ages of two can explore, discover and imagine with climbing structures, ramps, tunnels, bubble tubes, book nooks and light tables, while the Lite Brite Wall allows kids to create illuminated works of art and improve fine motor skills.

The Creation Station is a multi-purpose art studio where children can create their own masterpieces, and the Sound and Music Studio enables children to explore the concepts of music and its elements such as pitch, melody, vibration, and volume. Little C'Ville is a village environment where children can become postmen, bakers, firemen, doctors and nurses, actors and actresses.

The Pollination Station is all about bees and educates visitors about honeybees and pollination, harvesting fruit and vegetables and selling them at a market. Photo:

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»Educational Programs

Educational Programs

The Virginia Discovery Museum offers a wealth of educational programs, workshops and classes for adults and children. These programs include Poetry Club, Pay What You Wish Day, Story Time, Living Lab, Toddler Time, Kids Club and Art Time.

The Museum presents eight unique week-long and half-day summer camps where children can learn a wealth of recreational skills, such as knot-tying, cooking, painting, sports, sculpting, and of course, making friends!

Events at the Museum include the popular ‘Boo Bash' - a family-friendly party where visitors can dress up and explore the witch's creaky, old cabin, meet the ‘mad' scientists, try Boo Bowling, and win fantastic prizes in a variety of crafts, games, and activities. Photo:

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»Plan Your Visit

Plan Your Visit

The Virginia Discovery Museum is located at 524 East Main Street in Charlottesville and is open from Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm year-round. The Museum is conveniently located across from the Market Street Garage where visitors can enjoy two hours of free parking with museum validation.

The Virginia Discovery Museum can be hired for birthday parties and other special occasions and offer unique birthday packages. These packages include exclusive use of theMuseum's party room, access to both of the Museum's art galleries, free parking across the road for two hours, a professional hostess to help set up, greet guests, and clean up afterward, linen tablecloths and tableware, and exclusive goody bags for each party guest.

Back to: Best Things to Do in Charlottesville, Virginia Address: 524 East Main Street, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902, Phone: 434-977-1025 Photo:

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Things to Do in Charlottesville: Virginia Discovery Museum