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Virginia Discovery Museum
East end of the Downtown Mall
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Voice: 434-977-1025

The Virginia Discovery Museum is designed with interactive exhibits for ages 1 to 10. In 2002, they were named one of the top 50 children's museums in the United States by "Child" magazine. One of the reasons for this is the friendly staff and volunteers that are always here to interact with the children.

There are several permanent exhibits for the kids to play and learn in. These include an observation bee hive where you can watch the worker bees and the queen bee. There is an 18th century log house. Climb up to the bedroom in the loft, explore the living quarters, and dress up in the period clothing. At the Take-a-part table, kids can do just that, take apart the items here to see how they work. The museum uses donated items like old typewriters and such. The kids can use tools and have at it. There is an art studio where kids can always make something to take home. Cut, paste, color, and paint, this is always fun.

Walk through the Rainforest Hallway to the back gallery where they have original exhibits that change three times a year. During our visit they had "Circus! Many Places, Many Faces" which showed how circus acts vary in different parts of the world and offered many ways for children to try different types of circus performances such as balancing, acrobatic feats, and clowning around.

There are many programs and events happening throughout the week and when there is no school. Toddlers will enjoy Wednesdays with activities for ages 2 to 6. Poetry Club is on Tuesdays and Storybook Dance is on Fridays. You will want to check their calendar for all their other programs. And be sure to bring your parking lot ticket in. They will validate it for two hours of free parking.

KAT'S VIEW

The Discovery Center was cool. They had a hermit crab that they took out of the cage and it ran around on the carpet for the children to touch. They had some bees where you could see their Queen if you could find it. She was twice as big as the other bees. They also had really big beetles and cockroaches, but the cockroaches were always hiding under things in their pen.



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