Science Museum of Virginia
The Science Museum of Virginia has experiments, computer-animated games and artifacts across several floors. Five permanent exhibitions revolve around the environment, health, energy and space. Learn about renewable energy, watch a scientist dissect a cow’s eye and solve a crime. An IMAX theater screens documentaries on a screen ten times the size of a traditional cinema.
The Science Museum is in the Museum District northwest of Downtown. It is housed in a neo-classical-style building, formally a train station with pillars and a domed roof.
Admission prices vary. Choose from a basic ticket, which only includes exhibitions, to an all-inclusive pass, with entry to the IMAX and Live Science demonstrations.
If you choose Live Science, you’ll be able to watch scientists demonstrating such feats as coaching rats to play basketball, and freezing metal with liquid nitrogen. Demonstration times vary, so pick up a timetable on your way in.
Watch a documentary on the 76-foot (23-meter) IMAX screen. Documentaries on anything from primates in Borneo to the Hubble telescope screen several times a day.
There are snakes, turtles, scorpions and cockroaches in the live animal exhibit. Peer down a microscope at even smaller creatures at an Eco Laboratory. Discover how much you would weigh on Mars, how much energy the world uses, and why some people can roll their tongue and others can’t.
Visit the award-winning solar house adjacent to the main building and learn how to be green at home. The house was designed by students from Virginia Tech to be environmentally sustainable, using eco-materials and energy conservation methods such as solar power.
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. There is plenty of free parking on-site or, if you’d prefer, catch the bus. Five services stop at Broad & Robinson, a short walk from the museum.
Make a day of it and visit the Children’s Museum of Richmond next door.