Event Rentals

A great venue for the young and young at heart

Whether you have young children or are just young at heart, the Virginia Discovery Museum’s open layout, bright colors, interactive exhibits, and great location on Charlottesville’s Historic Downtown Mall provide a fun, whimsical, and unique atmosphere for any corporate or social event. Planning a club function, team-building retreat, company party, reception, baby shower, graduation event, reunion, or retirement celebration? Enjoy the entire Museum to yourselves with VDM’s easy, hassle-free Sunday and after-hours facility rentals! The Museum has hosted educational seminars, Scout troop meetings, church group activities, corporate cocktail events, and even wedding parties, and we can’t wait to provide a memorable setting for your next event.

Facility Rentals  |  Member Discounts  |   Reserve a Date  |  FAQs

Facility Rentals

The Museum space is available for private rental on Sundays and starting after 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Rental times are subject to staff availability, and all facility rentals must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. A $50 deposit is required to reserve a date, and reservations made less than two weeks before the requested date are subject to a $35 late fee. Deposits are refundable until two weeks before the event date.

  • Base Rental (2-Hour Minimum Required): $300
  • Cleaning Fee: $75
  • Additional Time: $75 per Half Hour

*Rental times are all-inclusive and should incorporate set-up and clean-up times for your event.

  • Exclusive use of the entire Museum for you and your guests
  • Access to the Museum’s kitchen
  • Use of the Museum’s tables and chairs (Detailed in the Facility Rental Contract)
  • A staff member on site to assist with your event
  • 2-hour parking validation for you and your guests at Market Street Garage

*Alcohol is permitted during private event rentals, and our staff is happy to offer catering recommendations.

Member Discounts

Virginia Discovery Museum annual members receive discounts on the Museum’s facility rental rate for private events.

  • Family-Level: 10% off facility rental rate
  • Discovery-Level: 15% off facility rental rate
  • Explorer-Level: 20% off facility rental rate

Reserve a Date

Have a date for your event in mind? Call (434) 977-1025 x102 or email operationsdirector@vadm.org to find out if the Museum is available for a facility rental. After our staff has helped you settle on a rental time and the facility rental contract has been signed and returned, you can either submit your $50 reservation deposit via the online deposit link we email to you or pay it in person at the Museum. It's as easy as that!

Facility Rental Contract

Please note: The date and time for your facility rental are not reserved until you receive a deposit confirmation email from a Museum staff member. If you do not receive a deposit confirmation email within 48 hours of submitting your deposit, please contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Scheduling

    How far in advance can I schedule my event?
    You may schedule your event as far in advance as you would like, but all events must be scheduled — and the reservation deposit paid — at least two weeks before the requested date.

    What happens if I have to cancel my event? Is my deposit refundable?
    The $50 deposit is refundable for facility rentals canceled two or more weeks before the reserved date. Our staff is also happy to help you reschedule for an alternate available time.

    The party date I’d like to reserve is less than two weeks away; can I still schedule a facility rental?
    As long as the date and time you are requesting is available, absolutely! However, a $35 late fee will be applied to any facility rentals scheduled less than two weeks before the requested date.

  2. Setup

    Can I or my event’s caterers come early to drop off supplies? Is there a place to unload?
    Yes, all supplies can be dropped off before the event in the Museum’s kitchen. We have a small loading zone outside the Museum’s rear exit, located in the Alphabet Hallway across from Creation Station. We’d be happy to give you directions to this area when we confirm your event date and help you unload when you arrive. Just be aware that you will not be able to set up for your event until your rental time starts.

    Please note: The Virginia Discovery Museum is open to the public Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and this door is also an emergency exit; for safety, a staff member must be present for you to use this door. Event guests are not permitted to enter or exit the Museum from this location.

  3. Parking

    Where can my guests and I park during the event?
    We suggest parking in the Market Street Garage, which is conveniently located across from the Museum and provides visitors with their first hour of parking for free. VDM will provide you and your guests with validation tickets for an additional hour of free parking, for a total of two free hours. To get to the Museum from the Market Street Garage, take the Main Street elevator to the ground level; VDM is across the bricks to the left, next to our antique carousel.