Science Museum of Virginia knows about fun!
In Spring of 2016 we had a chance to take it in as part of slow travel trip to Myrtle Beach. We stopped in for a couple of hours and really enjoyed it.
To start, for anyone visiting, it is right next to a very beautiful, engaging children’s museum. That children’s museum is not part of the ASTC Passport Program. And when you go there, thinking it is, the employee I encountered will make you feel really dumb and not be helpful at all to say, hey, there’s a museum right next door, maybe that’s what you are looking for?
With that said, walking in to the Science Museum of Virginia, located at 2500 West Broad Street in Richmond, VA, it almost looks a little stodgy. It is in a historic building, an old train station built in the years 1917-1918. I had some trepidation bringing my five and three year old in. My fears were quickly relieved when we visited the first exhibit, LightPlace. It was beautiful. Natural light poured in. Engaging materials spread throughout a largish space. Activities for moving, thinking and relating to other children. It was a great start.
We visited the Art Lab, which had materials available for free creating, and also a project for children that wanted to engage that way. The mini-ions were able to engage with the art materials at whatever level they wanted to. I definitely had some new art treasures stuffed in my bag as we left.
Next we went to what I think was a traveling exhibit; a tinker space to build. We spent the majority of our time there, constructing vehicles, robots, all kinds of things. I couldn’t get the mini-ions out of there!
The part I liked the most was the movie in the dome. It was included as part of our admission, and I’m so glad it was because I usually don’t spring for those kinds of things. The movie we saw was called We Are Stars and it was phenomenal. Soooo good. We may go back to that museum just so we can see it again. If I could buy it, I would, but I can’t find it available anywhere to watch at home. If you know of how I can get it, please, PLEASE tell me.
We didn’t have a chance to try any of the food options, but if we do make another stop there, we’ll definitely try it out.
There was construction happening, likely a new exhibit opening up, which looked really exciting.
I would say the Science Museum of Virginia was fantastic for the younger ages (particularly in LightPlace which is primarily for the under six set) and older. We saw a school group there in the age range of 9-11 so it leads me to believe even older would enjoy it. You could easily spend four to six hours there.