Adventure Us: Science Museum of Western Virginia

There’s good news for Roanoke families looking for activities on long sweltering summer afternoons: after being closed for over a year, the Science Museum of Western Virginia is open to the public again!

Located downtown in Market Square in downtown Roanoke, the Science Museum is a great place to spend multiple afternoons. Spread over two floors of the Center in the Square, the Science Museum contains a variety of fun and interactive exhibits that explore the wonders of the world around us.

For a family like ours with wide-ranging interests that touch many fields of science, the museum has something for everyone. For the animal lovers among us, the museum offers an array of treasures: a collection of animals from scorpions to frogs to snakes, an aquarium with a variety of fish, and an adjoining touch tank with crabs and other marine life, with helpful staff on hand to guide your kids. (The butterfly garden, which has been a highlight in the past, is currently uninhabited). For the builders among us, there are stations to make creations out of foam blocks, build and launch paper airplanes, and construct ball raceways out of tubes. And there are many other hands-on exhibits dealing with the science of motion, sound, electricity, the human body, and countless other topics. Throughout the museum, there are opportunities for learning and play, whether it be the mega Lego-style blocks or the arcade machines.

It’s hard to take full advantage of the museum in a single visit. That’s why we’ve found the annual membership to be worthwhile. Thankfully, the museum has been especially accommodating during the recent pandemic season, extending their memberships to account for their long period of closure. We have also found the extra passport package to be particularly valuable; for just $25 extra, you gain free access to hundreds of other participating museums with your Science Museum membership. We have used this passport feature several times on family trips, more than making up for the price of the membership. (You can find the complete list of participating museums on the Science Museum website; note that the passport admission only applies to museums that are over 90 linear miles from your home.)

The Science Museum also holds many special events and summer programs for children of all ages, pertaining to fields from astronomy to animal science. Check their website or Facebook page for upcoming activities that might be of interest to your family!

Stimulate your kids’ minds and creativity this summer with a trip (or trips) to the Science Museum of Western Virginia!

Name: Science Museum of Western Virginia, 1 Market Square, Suite 4, Roanoke, VA 24011

Time from Roanoke: <15 minutes

Activity Options: Hands-on scientific adventures!

Nearby Food: Tons of restaurants in downtown Roanoke

Nearby Attractions: Tons of options within the Center in the Square building (Harrison Museum, Children’s Museum, Pinball Museum are just a few); Taubman Museum of Art, Transportation Museum, Elmwood Park, Roanoke Farmers’ Market, many others attractions within walking distance

More Adventure Us

Cristy Carr

Cristy and her family keep busy writing, tutoring, homeschooling, homesteading, and adventuring in the beautiful Appalachian mountains.
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