Sunday, May 19, 2013

Virginia Discovery Museum

I'd wanted to visit the Virginia Discovery Museum in Charlottesville under our (reciprocal) science- museum membership, but it had expired before we'd made it. The good news is that it costs $2 less per person ($2.50 less with AAA membership!) to visit the Virginia Discovery Museum than it does to visit any of the three Children's Museum of Richmond (CMoR) locations.

Like CMoR (but unlike Amazement Square in Lynchburg), the Virginia Discovery Museum is geared more toward toddlers or kindergarteners than other school-aged children. Even though my thirteen-year-old would've been bored out of his gourd, I was thoroughly charmed for several reasons. We parked right beside the elevator in the Market Street Parking Garage, which kicked us out into the beautiful, enclosed Downtown Mall:

Like CMoR, the Virginia Discovery Museum is all on one floor (ahhhh), and strollers are permitted (ahhhh). Overall, I just felt like it was an experience I could more easily navigate without a helper than so many others. As it turns out, however, I had an adult companion in my friend Karen, who deserves her own post sometime in the near future.

The Toddler Room and Karen's Daughter Izzie


Open Studio

Left: TreeHouse Room, Right: Virginia Frontier area

Little C'Ville: Panera Bread (Amazingly realistic!)

Little C'Ville: Paramount (Popcorn on the floor just like in a real theater!)

More Little C'Ville (Panera/Paramount/Bee Corner)

I didn't manage to get good photos of either the pipe organ or the Airways tubes: both of which are so fun! But I enjoyed great success in photographing my very favorite part of the Virginia Discovery Museum: a kiddie carousel (the last of its type, supposedly) featuring 1910 Mangell's castings of Marcus Illion's horses.

I didn't realize (until another woman's child got on) that kids were allowed to ride!

Bottom line: you wouldn't be able to beat me away from the Virginia Discovery Museum with a stick. It's only a one-hour drive from my house. It takes 30-45 minutes for me to drive to the CMoR locations, where I spend more emotional energy in getting everyone inside safely and more money for admission. (I did have to pay $2 to park in the Market Street Parking Garage, but only because we were at the Virginia Discovery Museum for longer than the two, free hours I received with the museum's stamp. Still less than $20, total, for admission and parking!) I look forward to many, many more trips to Charlottesville with my little kids!


  1. I love it! I want to go! The boys want me to take them to Louisville's Frasier Art Museum again - they had such a good time. They don't get to dress up but it's one of the best museums I've been, too - Have a sweet, blessed week!

    1. Have you been to the Slugger museum? I took Cade when he was 6: loved it!

  2. these are beautiful and your excitement is contagious

  3. great pictures...i love the open air mall it is in ...the chalk wall and there is a really cool used books comparison to amazement square i was a little let down by this one but my boys enjoyed it so....smiles.