Summer Hours: Mon-Sat, 9:30 am-5:00 pm

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Your Visit
    Your Visit

    What is an appropriate age range for the Museum?
    The Museum is recommended for families with newborns to age 8, but many older children enjoy our exhibits and programs, as well. If you’re unsure if your child will enjoy the Museum, we encourage you to visit our Exhibits page or stop by our location on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall for a quick walkthrough to decide if it’s a good fit for your family.

    How long should we plan to be at the Museum?
    It takes about an hour to see everything in the Museum, but our educational play spaces are designed to accommodate your schedule, whether that’s just a quick 20- or 30-minute pit stop or a family day out on the Downtown Mall.

    Is _______________ exhibit still at the Museum?
    Museum exhibits often change, but certain, time-honored exhibits like A-Mazing Airways, the Showalter Cabin, and the Honey Bee Observation Hive are still here. We’d love to hear which exhibits are your favorites and invite you to leave a comment on our Question & Comment Board in the Front Lobby!

  2. Admission

    Can my family leave and re-enter?
    Yes. Admission is valid for the entire day, so you may come and go as many times as you wish from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to hold on to your admission receipt in order to re-enter.

    Does the Museum have any free days?
    The first Wednesday of every month is Wegmans Wednesday at the Museum. Sponsored by Wegmans Charlottesville, this monthly Pay What You Wish admission program waives the Museum’s normal entrance fee for all visitors. In lieu of paying admission on Wegmans Wednesdays, visitors are invited to make a donation to help support the Museum’s exhibits and programming if they would like.

  3. Food & Drinks
    Food & Drinks

    Are food and drinks permitted?
    The Museum does not allow gum, food, or drinks (other than water) in the Galleries in order to accommodate visitors with allergies. If you wish to have a snack, you may sit in the Front Lobby or, if the weather is nice, outside on the benches by the carousel or the tables at the Pavilion.

    Are there places nearby to eat lunch?
    Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall has lots of family-friendly places within walking distance to grab a bite to eat. Three doors down from the Museum is Baggby’s deli, which features gourmet sandwiches and subs, soups, salads, and frozen yogurt. When you visit Baggby’s on the first and third Saturdays each month, a portion of the proceeds benefit our nonprofit museum.

    Some other places to check out include Draft Taproom, a casual restaurant which features a “Half Pints” kids menu; The Nook for diner-style dishes and all-day breakfast; Vita Nova and Christian’s Pizza for pizza by the slice; Marco & Luca for dumplings and noodles; and Revolutionary Soup, which offers many vegetarian and vegan options, to name a few. Craving something particular? Be sure to ask the volunteer or staff member at the Front Desk for recommendations.

  4. Parking

    Where can I park?
    Keep in mind that the Museum is located on a pedestrian mall. Street parking is available around the Downtown Mall, but we suggest parking in the Market Street or Water Street garages. The Museum is also conveniently located next to the Downtown Transit Station and Visitors Center. Visit Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) for more information about the Free Trolley that travels through Downtown and UVA and to learn more about CAT's other routes and affordable fares.

    Does the Museum validate parking?
    Yes. We validate parking for Museum visitors for two hours at both the Market and Water street garages. Be sure to bring your parking ticket with you to the Museum for a stamp. 

  5. Amenities

    Does the Museum offer guest Wi-Fi?
    The Museum is pleased to offer high-speed wireless Internet access to our visitors thanks to Ting Charlottesville. Please inquire at the Front Desk or ask a staff member during your visit for information on how to connect to the “Ting_2.4G@VDM” guest network.

    Are strollers permitted?
    Yes. You may either take your stroller with you during your time in the Museum or park it in our convenient Stroller Room located by the Front Lobby.

    Are lockers available?
    The Museum does not have lockers; however, our Stroller Room, located by the Front Lobby, is equipped with spacious cubbies. You may store your belongings in these cubbies during your visit, but the Museum is not responsible for any valuables.

    Does the Museum have changing tables?
    Yes. Both the men’s and women’s restrooms, located at the rear of the Front Gallery before the Alphabet Hallway, are equipped with changing tables.

  6. Snow Policy
    Snow Policy

    Is the Museum open during snow?
    We are often open when schools are closed on snow days, provided the roads are still passable and safe. Before heading out, call us at (434) 977-1025 or check our homepage, our Facebook page, or with your local news stations NBC29 and Newsplex to see if the Museum is open.

  7. Volunteering

    How can I volunteer at the Museum?
    The Museum is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help us in the Galleries and at the Front Desk, during programs at the Museum, and at special community events. Check out our Volunteer page to find out how you can use your time and talents to help enrich the lives of children in our community through hands-on play and experiential learning and to fill out a Volunteer Application.