Annual Family Science Festival

Strap on your goggles and slip into your lab coat for Kid*Vention, the Virginia Discovery Museum’s annual celebration of everything science! Every spring, this community event inspires children to explore the world around them with all their senses. Meet dozens of local exhibitors as you investigate biology, chemistry, environmental science, engineering, physics, zoology, and more through fun, hands-on demonstrations, experiments, and games.

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2024 Event

Saturday, April 27
9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
(Ting Pavilion)

Suggested Event Parking


Children 2 to 10
(With Adult Caregiver)

General Event Policies


$15 Donation
(Per Family)

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank You to Our 2024 Sponsors

Become an Exhibitor

The deadline to apply for an exhibitor table is April 1, 2024. Tables must stay open from 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

1) Review Exhibitor Fees

Does your business, organization, or group have a passion for science and inspiring our community’s next generation of explorers, scientists, and thinkers? Become an exhibitor at our 24th annual Kid*Vention! Local exhibitors are at the heart of Kid*Vention, which welcomes more than 1,000 visitors each year, and this event provides an invaluable opportunity to connect with families from the area.

2) Apply Online

All exhibitors must complete and submit an application at the link below, including a description of the hands-on science activity, game, or experiment they plan to bring. Activities are subject to review by VDM staff to approve content, age-appropriateness, and repeatability; to avoid duplicate stations; and to assist with event organization.

Apply Online

3) Complete Payment

Exhibitor spaces are limited on a first-come, first-served basis, and the deadline to apply for a table is April 1, 2024, so apply early to secure a spot. If you have any question about applying or submitting payment, please contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at or (434) 977-1025 x102.

General Policies

Event Participants
  • Event participants with any of these symptoms are asked to refrain from attending Kid*Vention.
  • Kid*Vention will take place outdoors at the Ting Pavilion, and masking is optional for this event.
  • All event participants must Check-In before participating in any activities.

Check-In & Check-Out
  • 9:30 a.m.: Event Starts
    • Although activities start at 9:30 a.m., event participants may arrive and check in anytime during the event.
    • Check-In takes place at the Ting Pavilion’s main entrance.
    • Kid*Vention will take place rain or shine.
  • 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.: Festival Activities, Experiments & Games
  • 1:00-1:10 p.m.: Event Ends
    • Exhibitor tables close. The Virginia Discovery Museum, located just a short walk down the pedestrian mall from the Ting Pavilion, will be open until 5:00 p.m. for playtime. Any event participants who visit the Museum are asked to pay general admission.

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID Concerns

Are masks required at Kid*Vention?

Kid*Vention will take place outdoors at the Ting Pavilion, and masks are encouraged but optional for all event participants.

How many people are expected to attend Kid*Vention?

Kid*Vention typically draws about 1,000 visitors throughout the day in addition to VDM staff, exhibitors, and event volunteers.

Event Admission

How much does it cost to attend Kid*Vention?

Event admission is a suggested donation of $15 per family. All donations directly support the Virginia Discovery Museum, which is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, including exhibit creation and maintenance, educational programs, and VDM’s Sponsored Admission Program.

Does my Virginia Discovery Museum membership grant me free admission to Kid*Vention?

No. Membership only applies to general admission visits to the Museum but does not include free admission to annual events hosted by the Museum.

Do I need to purchase or reserve tickets in advance?

No. Kid*Vention takes place outdoors at the Ting Pavilion, and there is no maximum capacity for the event. Families are welcome to show up anytime during the event from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Does my $15 entry donation include free admission to the Virginia Discovery Museum?

No. Due to limited capacity inside the Virginia Discovery Museum, we are not able to offer free admission to Kid*Vention attendees. Event participants are still welcome to visit the Museum, but they are asked to pay general admission.

Parking & Directions

Where can I park for Kid*Vention?

VDM validates parking for Kid*Vention participants at the Market Street Garage and Water Street Garage. Both locations provide the first hour of parking for free, and event attendees receive an additional hour of free parking – for a total of two hours – when they request a validation ticket at VDM’s front desk. Ting Pavilion, where Kid*Vention takes place, is also located next to the Downtown Transit Station, and Charlottesville Area Transit offers a Free Trolly 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.

Contact Us

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? To learn more about VDM’s Kid*Vention family science festival, contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at or (434) 977-1025 x102.