Make learning fun with a trip to one of these 29 kid friendly Virginia Museums. Whether it’s an afternoon adventure, an all day exploration, or part of a weekend travel itinerary, these museums are sure to engage your children – and you!
Kid Friendly Virginia Museums
Whether your child is a toddler or a teen, you’re sure to find just the right kid friendly Virginia museum. Here’s a quick tour of some family favorites. Be sure to check their websites for special exhibits along with updates regarding admission.
To help find the museum(s) that’s a match for your family, we’ve grouped them by interest, given you the links, and highlighted what we think is great about each one.
Children’s Museums – the Tiny Jewels
Children’s museums encourage learning by letting little ones do what they do best – play! Typically, these museums are ideal for toddlers, pre-schoolers, and kids in younger grades. Exhibits often focus on creativity, imagination, and making learning fun. These museums offer timed play sessions that require advance registration and ticket purchase, so be sure to check those websites.
Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum: Located in the heart of Winchester, exhibit areas focus on the arts, mathematics, sciences, and humanities. Seasonal sock skating on the rooftop.
Explore More Discovery Museum: This Harrisonburg children’s museum has a TV studio, a functioning lab, and guest artist workshops.
Amazement Square: A Lynchburg favorite family spot, this museum has one of the tallest climbing structures in the US interconnecting all four floors, even extending onto the roof!
Virginia Discovery Museum: Charlottesville is known for the University of Virginia. Child Development Labs UVA is partnering with the museum in a Living Lab – short, fun activities for learning and growing.
More Museums for Young Children
Kids Square Children’s Museum: Roanoke’s museum for kids abides by Albert Einstein’s words “Play is the highest form of research.” Wonderful space for “sensitive friends.”
Wonder Universe: If you’re in southwest Virginia, stop by this Christiansburg children’s museum. Lots of classic kid fun exhibits along with a therapeutic sensory environment.
Children’s Museum of Richmond (Downtown): Enjoy an old fashioned carousel and a living tree house. There’s also a Chesterfield location.
Children’s Museum of Virginia: This Portsmouth museum engages children up to 11. It even includes a planetarium and an exhibit of over 800 trains.
Museums for Budding Scientists
Museum of the Shenandoah Valley: While most would think of MSV for history and art, the Winchester Museum has a Makerspace for both kids and adults. Tools, suggested activities, and equipment along with materials for purchase.
Science Museum of Virginia: One of the most technically advanced digital planetariums on the planet. Live science experiments. This kid friendly Richmond museum is great for all ages.
Science Museum of Western Virginia: Located adjacent to Roanoke’s Kid’s Square. Who wouldn’t like the giant Lite Brite? And explore the museum’s Touch Tank.
Check out these Kid Friendly Science Museums, Too
Virginia Museum of Natural History: You don’t have to drive to DC to see dinosaurs or get your flight fix. See something new at this Martinsville science museum in the southern part of the state.
Danville Science Center: The town of Danville is just a half hour from Martinsville, so be sure to add this unique little gem with its Digital Dome to your must see list.
Museums for History Buffs
Museum of the Shenandoah Valley: After you hit the Makerspace, take a few minutes and travel back in time to when the Shenandoah Valley was settled.
Frontier Culture Museum: Learn about the Valley’s early settlers through living history at this Staunton museum.
History Marches On Here
Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum: While you’re in Staunton, be sure to spend some time at the birthplace of America’s 28th President. Kids love the 1929 Pace Arrow Limousine.
Blue Ridge Institute & Museum: Ferrum College established this museum as a tribute to life in the Blue Ridge Mountains. From music to moonshine, these are the roots of this part of Virginia.
Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia: If you’ve visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture, then make time for this thought-provoking museum in Richmond’s historic Jackson Ward.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: This Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum annex by Dulles Airport in Chantilly boasts both a Concorde AND the Space Shuttle Discovery.
Virginia Museum of Transportation: Here’s another Roanoke stop to add to your list. Rail, road, air, and ship exhibits are all there.
Richmond Railroad Museum: Located in a restored Southern Railway Station, take a walk through Central Virginia’s historic railroad past.
Railroad Museum of Virginia: Trains shaped Virginia’s history. Learn the story of Engine No 1134 – found abandoned in Roanoke and brought back to life at this Portsmouth museum.
Museums for Military Enthusiasts
National Museum of the Marine Corps: Located in Triangle next to MCB Quantico, this museum is one of the top attractions in Virginia.
AAF Tank Museum: The machines of World War I and WWII are on display in a giant hangar in Danville. Take a ride inside one of these vehicles!
Military Aviation Museum: Check out the other World War machines vital in Allied victories at this Virginia Beach museum. Seasonal plane rides!
Nauticus: While you’re in the Virginia Beach area, head over to this museum featuring the Battleship Wisconsin. The Hampton Roads Naval Museum is also part of the Nauticus network.
Don’t Forget These Kid Friendly Virginia Museums
Virginia Living Museum: Located in Newport News, this museum connects folks with nature through conservation and education. Home to more than 250 Virginia animal species.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: No list of family friendly spots would be complete without an art museum. Richmond has one of the best in the country.
Roanoke Pinball Museum: Yes, we saved the best for last! This is an interactive museum, so play the games and have some fun!