Science Museum of Virginia

After exploring Richmond on the first day, we stayed the night at the Homewood Suites (which was AWESOME and I would recommend!) and got up early to head to the Science Museum in the morning. The museum is located on Broad street, right next to the Children's Museum. Unlike the Children's Museum, they DO honor the reciprocity for the Children's Museum of Virginia membership, so if you have that for our local museum- it's free! This was my second time to the museum, but a first for my mom and R. It wasn't crowded which was great as they have lots of hands on things to do. Below are some highlights of the morning:

First Floor: 
Be sure to check out the speed exhibit. We were able to track our running speed and compare it to other living things. We also kicked and threw balls and found our speed for those. This area has lots of hands on things for little ones. It also has a hurricane wind simulator, which Bubbie got into, but I didn't put R in. Side note- they have a robot who plays air hockey. Very cool.



Also be sure to check the Going Places room. This is all about transportation and will appeal to any kid who likes planes, cars, and boats. Outside of the museum there are trains for kids to walk around too. The museum actually is a historical landmark from when it used to be a train station.


Second Floor: R loves aquariums and fish, so we made sure to see the animal labs. There is also a section on honey bees. Don't skip the art lab in the back corner if you've got little ones who like to create. They have the old school Spirographs that you don't see much anymore. When Neil and I went, this was the location for their "Rat Basketball" show, but I've heard it's been moved to the third floor so check if you go.They use Pavlov's old trick on rats instead of dogs. You can watch them compete in a real basketball game.
Basement: I would save this floor for last because once you're here, you may have a hard time getting them out. This floor has the Boost exhibit which is pretty cool. You start by getting a chip, and place it in each station as you go. Each station measures different aspects of your health, such as how far you can jump, your tightrope walking skills, balance, and memory. Then you take that card home and can find out all of the data. R wanted to be a tight rope walker. They even have a conveyor belt that measures reaction times that I swear is a remake from an old I Love Lucy episode.

Also on this floor is the kids play area, Lightplace. The area is for ages 5 and under, and even has a padded space for ages 18 and under. There are toys, a climbing area, books, and several light activities. Both R and I loved the giant light bright area. There are two weekly programs for little ones, the Young Naturalist, Tuesdays at 10:30 and Animal Keepers, Wednesdays at 10:30. Each includes a 20 minute educator-led story, song, and activity. There is no additional cost for the program.


Visiting Info: 
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9:30-5, Sunday 11:30-5
General Admission: Adults 13-59 $15, Youth 6-12/Seniors $13.50, Ages 3-5 $10, 2 and under free.
Dome admission: add four dollars
Activie duty military, retired military, and veterans with ID receive free admission. The museum also offers reduced rates for low-income families through a program called Museums for All Initiative.

Be sure to check out the list of things going on daily when you arrive.

Overall, we loved this museum. We spent the morning there, but could have spent longer if we didn't need to get on the road. I'd come back, and I'd really like to check out one of the programs if we are back in Richmond on one of those days sometime soon. I love Richmond. I think there is so much to do and see. In fact, every time we go I find something else that I want to do! It's the perfect short drive get away.

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