Plan Your Visit
Explore, imagine, and more at the best hands-on discovery spot in Charlottesville for families with newborns to children age 8! The Virginia Discovery Museum is the city’s only nonprofit children’s museum and welcomes more than 55,000 visitors each year. For more than 25 years, VDM has provided enrichment opportunities in literacy, science, math, and the arts through interactive exhibits, exploratory and imaginative play environments, and educational programs. The Museum also hosts several annual community events, including Kid*Vention, an elementary-aged science fair, in the winter and the Discovery Dash, a children’s track race focused on health and wellness, in the spring.
Pay once and enjoy all-day admission! Visitors may come and go from VDM as much as they please until the Museum closes at 5:00 p.m., and your receipt is your ticket for re-entry. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times, and visitors must have one adult for every three children under 3 and one adult for every five children 3 and older. Visiting the Museum with a school class or other formally organized community group? Reservations are required for large groups, so check out our Group Visits page for more information about booking a trip.
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Parking & Directions
Enjoy two hours free parking at the Market Street or Water Street parking garage when you have your ticket stamped at the Museum’s front desk. The Market Street garage is conveniently located across from VDM along Charlottesville’s downtown pedestrian mall, and the Water Street garage is located about three blocks southwest of the Museum. From Market Street Garage, take the Main Street elevator to the ground level; the Museum is across the brick pedestrian mall to the left, next to our antique kiddie carousel. From Water Street Garage, cross Water Street and follow 3rd Street onto the pedestrian mall; turn right and continue down the mall until you see the carousel.
Public Transportation: The Museum is also located next to the Downtown Transit Station and Visitors Center, and Charlottesville Area Transit offers a Free Trolley that stops at the station as it travels through Downtown and the University of Virginia. Learn more about CAT’s routes and fares at charlottesville.org.