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|
|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!