Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond

4.2
#3 of 12 in Childrens Museums in Virginia
The Science Museum of Virginia is a science museum located in Richmond, Virginia. Established in 1970, it is an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is housed in the former Broad Street Station, built in 1919.HistoryEarly proposalsIn 1906, the Virginia General Assembly approved funds for the construction of a simple "exhibits center" to display mineral and timber exhibits being assembled for the Jamestown Exposition of 1907. After the exposition ended, many of the items were moved to Richmond's Capitol Square. The "State Museum", as it came to be known, opened in 1910 and over the years displays of natural history specimens from a variety of State agencies were added to its collection.In 1942, the General Assembly created a study commission to consider the establishment of an official State science museum, and in 1943, that commission strongly endorsed the creation of a "Virginia Museum of Science". Unfortunately, the fiscal restraints and pressing concerns of World War II, and the recession which followed it, prevented the General Assembly from taking further action, and in 1946, the General Assembly suspended further work on a State science museum pending the identification of appropriate space and funds.By 1964, the General Assembly once again considered what to do with the "State Museum". A new study was commissioned, and once again, the establishment of a "museum of science, archeology, and natural history" was proposed, but this measure died in committee. Shortly thereafter, the museum's displays and collections in the basement of the state's Financial Building were gradually disassembled and their collections were dispersed to various State universities.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
326 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • August 13, 2017
    very informative and interesting!!!! Many interactive hands on displays!!! the Da Vinci display was awesome!!! the theater was also great!! another Must See in Richmond VA!!! I have been going to the ...  more »
  • August 8, 2017
    The museum is large and very hands on for children interested in science. The Da Vinci exhibit was here when we visited and it was truly amazing. All the models of his machines and a room dedicated to...  more »
  • August 5, 2017
    My husband and I went one afternoon as we have lived in Richmond for awhile, but have never been. There were a few interesting interactive displays, but for the most part, this museum is geared toward...  more »
Google
  • July 1, 2017
    A couple of exhibits are currently closed, but even just the open part is worth the visit. There is so much to do, explore, and learn. You really need more than one day. The exhibit about speed is fun, and features one of the fastest planes ever made. The dome show, Planet 9, is fully engaging and informative. The cafe is not great. Museum volunteers are knowledgeable, helpful, and funny.
  • June 6, 2017
    I LOVE this place!!! Great atmosphere, great people. Its gorgeous. If I had kids, I'd sign them up for membership so they could explore adventures much more gratifying than video games. I may go see some of these explorations myself with my Hubby! :)
  • June 27, 2017
    Very accommodating for persons in wheelchairs. Was not overcrowded. Friendly staff and volunteers. A range of impressive collections of various cultures and periods. My next visit will be longer than the 4 hours spent this time.
  • July 5, 2017
    Go early. This place starts to fill up. Many, many exhibits and programs for all ages. All well managed and assisted by engaged volunteers. This place is fabulous.
  • May 8, 2017
    The admission price (14.50) is not worth what you get in the museum. The building itself is beautiful, it's been converted from a old train station. There are 2 large exhibition halls with a few smaller labs scattered throughout. Definitely geared towards children. There are also no directories anywhere in the building, which I thought was so weird and inconvenient. Maybe a good place to go if you have kids.

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Where to stay in Richmond

Richmond boasts a wide array of accommodations, including inns and national chain hotels. Those who want to take full advantage of the city's rich historical heritage should consider staying in the Northside area, home to a number of historic districts, or near the Boulevard, where you can find most of the city's museums. There are a number of apartment vacation rentals available in residential areas of the city; neighborhoods close to Virginia Commonwealth University are generally a safe bet for those wanting to take advantage of lively eateries, quirky stores, and bars.
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