Virginia Museum of Natural History, Martinsville

4.5
#96 of 235 in Museums in Virginia
As the state’s museum of natural history serving the entire Commonwealth and beyond, VMNH has award-winning exhibits, ground-breaking scientific research and collections, and innovative educational programs for all ages. With its outreach education programs, online resources, and traveling exhibits and displays, the Virginia Museum of Natural History is truly an institution without walls.

VMNH Mission: To interpret Virginia's natural heritage within a global context in ways that are relevant to all citizens of the Commonwealth.

•VMNH is accredited by the American Association of Museums, a distinction earned by fewer than 5% of museums across the U.S.

•VMNH became a state agency in 1988.

•The museum celebrated the opening of its new world-class facility in March 2007, drawing visitors from all 50 states and 20 countries.

•The VMNH Foundation’s annual Thomas Jefferson Awards honor Virginia businesses, groups and individuals for their contributions to and support for natural science.

Research and Collections

VMNH has developed a strong reputation for significant research and important collections, which now number more than 10 million items. Research at VMNH, lead by its seven doctoral curators and curators emeritus, focuses on studies of Invertebrate Paleontology, Vertebrate Paleontology, Recent Invertebrates, Archaeology, Mammalogy, Marine Science and Geology. While the museum’s primary geographic strengths are in Virginia and the Southeastern United States, the collections and research programs span the globe with programs in China, Peru, Brazil, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Russia and Tanzania.

Education

The museum's innovative education programs reach students, teachers, and the general public statewide and throughout the region. From "at-the-museum" programs to outreach education programs that bring the museum to locations across the Commonwealth, the museum's education programs are correlated directly to the Virginia Standards of Learning and the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. VMNH educators are leaders in the field of informal science education throughout the state, providing a vital link between the museum's important research and collections programs and all citizens of Virginia and beyond.

Exhibits

In addition to its important programs in research, collections, and education, the museum also features award-winning permanent and temporary exhibits both at the museum and through remote sites. Along with the museum's permanent exhibitions, the current special exhibits Living off the Land and Documenting Diversity help to translate the museum's groundbreaking scientific research into easily understood language and concepts that supplement and highlight the Virginia Standards of Learning and the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. From the permanent exhibit galleries Uncovering Virginia and How Nature Works to the new Hahn Hall of Biodiversity and the Fossil Overlook, the museum's exhibits connect visitors to the stories of Virginia's natural past, present and future.
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Virginia Museum of Natural History Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
70 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Interactive exhibits are intriguing. Live reptiles are interesting. Virginia soil content are educational.  more »
  • This museum has the best fossil display of the places I have been lately. Yes, the exhibits are few. But the building has a library and many labs with people available to answer questions. Plenty of i...  more »
  • This was a surprise that I did not know we had in So. VA. They have some great fossils and minerals to see. We played with a wooden dinosaur fossil "puzzle" for awhile. There are other learning activi...  more »
Google
  • Its very affordable. I spent less than $40 on tickets and SOUVENIRS for 3 people! The exhibits were beautifully set up and interactive. The kids had fun especially with the fossil dig, the ant farm, and the pirate ship playground.
  • Wonderful time at the museum!!! We enjoyed ourselves. The exhibits were interesting to my grandkids. They enjoyed the dig site and the playroom. To watch them show each other what they 'found' was really nice.
  • It is a terrific museum and you get to talk personally with their friendly staff. The Ice Age exhibit opens tomorrow and is very well done. Great destination for the family and the children will have a ball.
  • Great place for a family outing. Very cool fossils on display. A great family-friendly enviornment.
  • Had such a great time at this museum. Very informative, fun displays in a laid back atmosphere.
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