School may be out, but that doesn’t mean the discovery has to stop! The Virginia Discovery Museum offers Day-Off Camps for children in preschool and early elementary throughout the school year when Albemarle County and Charlottesville public schools close for Teacher Workdays. These half-day camps provide active and engaging enrichment opportunities around a central theme that changes each season, plus campers enjoy a special playtime in the galleries before the Museum opens. This winter, all of VDM’s Day-Off Camps and Discovery Workshops from January through March will take us on a grand exploration of the ways life and living things amaze us as we explore Earth’s intricate, extraordinary “web of life”. The Web of Life Curriculum supports Virginia’s Standards of Learning for K-5 learners, and specific Camp dates and descriptions can be found under Upcoming Camps below.
Living Machines - CAMP FULL
Monday, Jan. 16 | 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. | Spots Left: 0
Ages 4-8: This winter, all Day-Off Camps will take us on a grand exploration of the ways life and living things amaze us as we explore Earth’s intricate, extraordinary “web of life” through VDM’s new Web of Life Curriculum. A more specific camp description coming soon.
- Campers with any of these symptoms are asked to refrain from visiting the Museum.
- All campers must wear a mask. If a camper does not have a mask, one will be provided for them.
- All parents/guardians must Check-In at the front desk before dropping off campers at the Museum.
- Nut-free lunches and labeled water bottles must be packed and placed in designated cubbies in the Museum’s coat room.
- No food, gum, or drinks are allowed in the Museum galleries, except water bottles.
Check-In & Check-Out
- 9:00-9:30 a.m.: Arrival & Check-In
- Takes place in the Museum’s front lobby area.
- All parents/guardians must check in with a staff member before dropping off their child(ren) at the Museum.
- Camp participants will enjoy supervised play in the Museum’s front gallery until all campers arrive. The Museum will be closed for general admission visits during this time.
- 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Camp Activities & Gallery Playtime Breaks
- Camp activities will take place in the Creation Station camp room and will be interspersed with playtime in the Museum galleries.
- Creation Station will be closed to general admission visitors, but the Museum galleries will be open to the public.
- 12:00-12:45 p.m.: Lunch Time
- Campers must pack a nut-free lunch and water bottle.
- Takes place in the Creation Station camp room.
- Creation Station will be closed to general admission visitors.
- 12:45-1:00 p.m.: Pick-Up & Check-Out
- Parents/Guardians are asked to wait in the front lobby area, and the camper will be walked up by a staff member or volunteer.
- Campers and their families may stay and play in the Museum galleries as long as they wish following the camp day, but parents/guardians must first check-out their child at the front desk so that staff knows the camper has been picked up.
Exhibits & Amenities
- VDM’s Flight Lab exhibit is currently closed due to COVID restrictions.
- VDM’s public drinking fountain is currently shut down due to COVID restrictions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will VDM be open for general admission during Camps?
Yes, VDM will be open for general admission visits during Day-Off Camps, but the Creation Station camp room will only be open to campers.
Who else will be in the camp room during Camps?
At least one VDM staff member and between one and two volunteers will be present during every Day-Off Camp. All staff members and any volunteers who will be in the building have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and will be wearing masks.
How often is the Museum cleaned?
A crew will be on site daily after the Museum closes to clean and sanitize.
Registration & Waitlists
What is required to be eligible for Camp?
Children must be at least 4 years old and fully independent in the bathroom.
What if the Camp I want to participate in has filled?
Day-Off Camps have a maximum capacity of 12 children. If you have an interest in a Camp that is full, please contact Education Manager Lara Musser at firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 977-1025 x106 to add your child's name to the waitlist. In the event of a cancellation, those on the waitlist will be contacted in the order their requests were received.
Does VDM offer financial assistance for Camps?
In accordance with the Museum’s mission, VDM does offer a limited number of scholarships for all of its programs, including Day-Off Camps. For information about applying for a scholarship, contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at email@example.com or (434) 977-1025 x102.
How do I apply my 10% annual member discount?
To apply this discount to camp registrations made online, you must have an active annual membership and will need to create a Website User Account and link it to your membership record by following these instructions. If you have already created a Website User Account, click the registration link for the camp you wish to register for and sign in using the link at the top of the registration page. If you need help applying your 10% discount when using our online order forms, please contact Visitor Services Manager Matt Berman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 977-1025 x103.
How do I set up my Website User Account?
Did I successfully link my Website User Account and membership?
Contact Visitor Services Manager Matt Berman at email@example.com or (434) 977-1025 x103, and we’ll make sure everything is all set.
Cancellations & Refunds
What is VDM’s cancellation and refund policy for Camps?
A minimum of 6 children is required for a camp to run. If a camp is canceled by the Museum due to insufficient enrollment or other extenuating circumstances, the registration fee will be refunded to all registrants.
Individual cancellations must be made at least 2 weeks before the corresponding camp to be eligible for a refund. If an individual cancellation causes the camp roster to fall below the required minimum, the refund will be contingent upon the vacancy being filled. If an individual cancellation is made within two weeks of the camp, the registration fee will be forfeited. No refunds will be issued after a camp begins.
Drop-Off & Pick-Up
Does VDM provide food or should I pack a lunch for my child?
Due to COVID restrictions, the Museum does not provide any food or snacks during Day-Off Camps and VDM’s public drinking fountain is turned off. Families are asked to pack nut-free lunches and water bottles for campers to help us maintain a nut-free environment for our friends with food allergies.
Where can I park to drop off and pick up my child?
VDM validates parking for class registrants at the Market Street Garage and Water Street Garage. Both locations provide the first hour of parking for free, and program participants receive an additional hour of free parking – for a total of two hours – when they request a validation ticket at VDM’s front desk. The Museum is also located next to the Downtown Transit Station, and Charlottesville Area Transit offers a Free Trolley that stops at the station as it travels through Downtown and the University of Virginia. Click to learn more about parking downtown or more about public bus routes and fares.
Click the icon in the upper left corner for map legend and details.
Do Camps include gallery playtime?
Yes, Camps do include playtime in the Museum galleries, both in the morning before VDM opens to the public and interspersed among activities throughout the Camp day. Campers and their families may stay and play in the Museum galleries as long as they wish following the camp day, but parents/guardians must first check-out their child at the front desk so that staff knows the camper has been picked up.
To learn more about Day-Off Camps, contact Education Manager Lara Musser at firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 977-1025 x106. For scholarship information, contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at email@example.com or (434) 977-1025 x102.