Museum Policies & FAQs
Although the Virginia Discovery Museum remains closed for general admission due to the COVID-19 pandemic, starting in May 2021, our fully vaccinated staff is excited to open our doors for the first time since March 2020 for prescheduled, in-person Small Group Visits for up to 25 people. Before visiting, please review our general Museum rules, policies, and FAQs below, as well as our specific COVID Procedures and FAQs for Small Group Visits. We strive to create a safe, healthy, clean, welcoming, and fun environment for all visitors.
Admission & Visit | Photography | Sickness | Cleaning | FAQs
Admission & Visit
The Museum may close due to snow or inclement weather, special events, and holidays, so be sure to check our website before planning your visit.
When Checking In:
- Adults must be accompanied by a child to enter the Museum. Adults unaccompanied by a child must be escorted at all times by a VDM staff member, if one is available. If a staff member is not available, the adult may not enter.
- Visitors must have at least one adult for every three children younger than 3 and at least one adult for every five children 3 and older.
- The Museum prohibits visitors from carrying firearms, knives, and weapons of any kind, regardless of whether visitors are licensed to carry those weapons. The only exception to this policy is on-duty local police officers and other federal and state law enforcement officers.
- Smoking and alcohol use are prohibited. Visitors under the influence of any legal or illegal substance may not enter.
During Your Visit:
- Food, drinks (except water bottles), and gum are prohibited in the Museum galleries. These items are restricted to the lobby and stroller room.
- Children must be supervised by an adult at all times.
- Walk in the Museum galleries; do not run.
- Use inside voices; no shouting or screaming.
- Treat visitors and exhibits with respect. No pushing, hitting, or throwing. Share and return exhibit pieces where they belong after playing.
Snow & Inclement Weather:
The Museum is closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
By visiting the Museum or participating in Museum programs and events, visitors grant permission for any photographs of them and their dependents to be used for educational and promotional purposes. If a visitor does not consent and wishes to opt out of this policy, they are asked to please inquire at the front desk, contact a staff member using our Contact Us page, or call the Museum's general line at (434) 977-1025.
If you or your child have a fever or are too sick to go to work or school, then you are too sick to visit the Museum. Visitors with the following symptoms are asked to refrain from visiting the Museum until symptoms subside:
- Flu-Like Symptoms (Headache, Fever, Chills, Lethargy, Muscle Aches, Cough, Sore Throat)
- Upper Respiratory Infections (Nasal Congestion, Runny Nose, Scratchy Throat, Painful Swallowing, Cough, Watery Eyes).
- Diarrhea or Vomiting
- Conjunctivitis or “Pink Eye” Infection
- Impetigo (Infectious Skin Disease That Shows Up As Small Pimples That Turn Into Red Blisters in a Circular Pattern)
- Strep Throat (Child Must Be on Antibiotics for 48 Hours Before Coming to the Museum)
Museum staff may ask a visitor to leave the Museum if symptoms are present.
The Museum is committed to keeping our space clean and safe for our visitors. We follow recommended cleaning practices for children’s museum, based on guidelines set by the Association of Children’s Museums and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Staff and volunteers are on-site during operating hours to clean and disinfect restrooms, common areas, and exhibit spaces to eliminate the spread of germs.
- Dirty toy bins are accessible in both Museum galleries for manipulatives that have been put in a child’s mouth or otherwise soiled. Visitors are encouraged to notify a staff member or volunteer if an exhibit or exhibit piece needs attention.
- All exhibits, surfaces, and public areas are disinfected with a cleanser recommended for hospitals at the close of business each day. Flooring is mopped and vacuumed on a set schedule to ensure all areas are cleaned. Costumes and fabric materials are washed on a set schedule.
- Staff and volunteers sanitize and wash their hands throughout the day. While sanitizer is available throughout the Museum, we encourage visitors, volunteers, and staff to wash their hands with soap and water whenever possible.