Virginia Discovery Museum

The Virginia Discovery Museum is located at 524 East Main St., on the east end of Charlottesville's Downtown Mall.

Hours: 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday; Sundays available for private rental only
Daily Admission: $8/person, adults and children (under 1, free)
Yearly Memberships: Starting at $100

Charlottesville's only nonprofit, hands-on children's museum since 1981, the Virginia Discovery Museum brings children ages 1 to 8 and their families together to engage minds, excite imaginations, and explore the world around them through two exhibit galleries -- featuring interactive and imaginative play environments -- and weekly and seasonal educational programs and events!

Travel back in time to experience life in the 18th century as you enter the Showalter Cabin; see what's abuzz at the honeybee observation hive in the Pollination Station; or get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Little C'Ville as you zip down the spiral slide of the two-story fire station, examine patients at UVA Children's Hospital, and serve up delectable treats at the Panera bakery.

Before you leave, be sure to take a spin on VDM's historic kiddie carousel, donated by Fred W. Scott Jr., of Bundoran Farm, North Garden, Va. It features six painted aluminum horses, all of which are 1910 Mangell's castings from a Marcus Illions carving. Illions was renowned as a master carver of carousel animals, and appraiser Materson Gurr Johns Inc. called VDM's carousel "the last known kiddie carousel in this country, of its type." The carousel is open for public use during VDM's normal business hours.

From science to art to history, there's so much for your little ones to discover tucked away in our tiny corner of the Downtown Mall!

  • 20 and Below Capacity Conference Rooms:
  • Casual Dress:
  • Child Friendly:
  • Handicapped Accessible:
  • Smoke Free Environment:
  • Addl Info Meeting Planners: The museum is available for private birthday party and event rentals on Sundays. Call (434) 977-1025 for more information.
  • Addl Info Tour Planners: AAA, AARP, and Military families receive a $.50 discount per person with a valid ID. ACM members receive half-price admission and ASTC members receive free admission with a valid card. Email or call (434) 977-1025, ext. 104, for details regarding large-number or school group visits.
  • Admission - Adults: 8
  • Admission - Children: 8