Science Museum of Virginia: Largest Screen in VA + STEM Fun

The Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond is a fascinating place.

Did you know that astronauts have to exercise for two hours every day in space? How can you bend light with a laser pointer? What happens when you challenge your brain with puzzles and games?

Source: Science Museum of Virginia

These and other fascinating questions are answered at the Science Museum of Virginia, where you can explore the wonders of:

  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • And math

And all of this is explored through experiential exhibits, films, labs and more.

Source: Science Museum of Virginia

What to Expect

Be prepared to spend at least a full day here if you want to experience everything this museum has to offer.

With a variety of exhibits and awe-inspiring artifacts, this is a world of hands-on learning and discovery.

As you explore the lower level, you’ll be greeted by a plethora of interactive technologies. 

NEARBY: Childrens Museum of Richmond: Dinos, Sun Tubes, Cave + Art

Imagine stepping into a high winds simulator or challenging a robot to a thrilling game of air hockey. You can even race animals to Olympians!

These interactive experiences are designed to make learning an absolute blast.

What to See and Do

The Science Museum of Virginia is full of interactive exhibits and captivating artifacts, guaranteed to captivate the curious minds of your little ones. 

Let’s dive into the exciting world of science and check out some of the highlights:

Source: Science Museum of Virginia

Space: An Out-of-Gravity Experience

Are you ready to start an incredible journey beyond the Earth’s atmosphere?

Step into a simulated zero-gravity environment and get ready for an unforgettable experience.

This exhibit covers 2,000 square feet and is filled with interactive displays and educational content. This is where you go to learn about the wonders of space travel while having a blast.

Source: Science Museum of Virginia

Here, you’ll have the chance to unravel the mysteries of space science and see how different forces come into play when objects are in space.

This exhibit also sheds light on the unique challenges faced by astronauts living and working in a weightless environment which is really neat!

The kids loved learning how they adapt to the absence of gravity and explore the technology that enables humans to explore space.

A note about the Space: An Out-of-Gravity Experience exhibit

This exhibit was designed and developed by a team of experts from the Science Museum of Minnesota and the International Space Station Office of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. So you can expect to experience a scientifically accurate adventure!

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The Forge

This interactive workshop lets you kids explore different scientific concepts through project-based workshops and crafting.

We found these to be engaging for the kids and they definitely learned some new things.

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During the workshop, everyone has the opportunity to work on a specific project and learn about the scientific principles behind it. Some of the fun projects we had to choose from were:

  • Building a simple machine
  • Designing a circuit
  • Constructing a mini rocket

When you’re done with the project, you get to keep it which the kids loved!

Note on Workshops

These workshops are limited to 12 participants, so be sure to register in advance to secure your spot.

The age requirements vary depending on the workshop, with some workshops suitable for children aged 8 and above, while others are designed for kids aged 11 and above.

If you’re bringing younger children, remember that participants under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult.

Source: Science Museum of Virginia

The Domes

The Dome has the largest screen in Virginia! On these giant screens, you’ll watch a 45-minute movie.

During our visit, we watched an IMAX shark movie. The quality and realism of the visuals was great and we loved seeing the wonders of the underwater world like this!

Source: Science Museum of Virginia

Apart from the fascinating IMAX movies, the Dome also offers Astronomy presentations led by knowledgeable astronomers.

Did You Know? The Dome has the largest screen in Virginia!

Source: Science Museum of Virginia

If that wasn’t enough, the Dome also shows giant screen films that cover a wide range of topics. There are many documentary-style films on topics like:

  • Wildlife
  • Natural disasters
  • The human body

Some popular choices include “Great White Shark” and “Antarctica.”

When you visit the Science Museum of Virginia, make sure to check out the current shows at the Dome.

Local tip: Keep an eye out for special events and planetarium shows like “Star Party” or “Planetarium Day” hosted by the Dome as well. They often organize stargazing parties and educational workshops which are a lot of fun. 

Source: Science Museum of Virginia

The Speed Exhibit

The Speed exhibit at the Science Museum of Virginia is definitely one you’ll want to spend some time at.

One of the highlights is the 170-foot SR-71 Blackbird supersonic jet suspended from the ceiling. This iconic aircraft is one of the fastest planes ever built and is pretty awesome to see.

Within this exhibit you’ll find interactive displays and a narrated video that explain the history and technology behind the SR-71.

There are some really interesting facts you learn about this aircraft.

Source: Science Museum of Virginia

The exhibit also has a cool “speed tunnel” where you can test out various speeds. As you walk through the tunnel, you’ll feel the rush of wind against your face, simulating the sensation of moving at different speeds.

This is a really fun and cool way for the kids to understand velocity.

On top of that, the exhibit includes a “light speed” section which covers the concept of light and its impact on our perception of time and space.

Kids will learn about the different ways light travels and how it can be harnessed to measure time and distance.

Source: Science Museum of Virginia

The Boost Exhibit

The Boost is a must-visit for anyone looking to enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

The “creativity challenge” tests your problem solving skills as you have to find solutions to a series of puzzles.

Think your memory is up to the task?

Test your problem solving skills, reaction time and memory at the Boost Exhibit

Put it to the test with the engaging “memory game.” This brain-teasing challenge will see just how good your memory is. Can you remember a sequence of images or words?

Are you quick on your feet? The “reaction time challenge” will put your reflexes to the ultimate test.

Your goal is simple: react as swiftly as possible to score valuable points. It’s a race against the clock that definitely keeps you on your toes!

Source: Science Museum of Virginia


LightPlace is all about interactive fun and skill development, targeting preschoolers with hands-on exhibits. 

They’ll have a blast:

  • Creating their very own holograms
  • Experimenting with light’s bending and refracting properties
  • Witnessing how light can create incredible illusions

The little ones will also explore the different colors of light and how this connects to everyday life.

Like the other exhibits, this one does a great job at introducing STEM topics at a level they can understand.

Source: Science Museum of Virginia

Hours and when to go

The Science Museum of Virginia is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Dome shows are offered at 11am, 12pm, 2pm, and 3pm. Make sure to check the museum’s schedule for show details. 

It’s best to visit on weekdays and arrive early or in the afternoon to avoid crowds. 

Admission and Pricing

The Science Museum offers a variety of admission prices depending on the ticket category and the type of experience you want. 

For exhibition tickets, the prices are as follows:

  • Adults (ages 13-59) are $17
  • Seniors (ages 60+) are $14
  • Youth (ages 6-12) are $14
  • Preschoolers (ages 3-5) are $10
  • Children 2 and younger are free

For exhibition tickets plus a Dome show, adults are $22, seniors are $19, youth are $19, preschoolers are $15, and children 2 and younger are free. 

Getting there and Parking

The Science Museum of Virginia is situated at 2500 West Broad Street Richmond, VA 23220.

The Science Museum offers free parking for all visitors. 

Guests should park in the parking deck located directly beside the museum.

This is the perfect place for some casual fun, knowledgeable on-site staff, new exhibit and a thoughtful design.

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OK Editorial Team

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