Day-Off Camps

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Teacher Workday Camps

School may be out, but that doesn’t mean the discovery has to stop! Throughout the school year, the Virginia Discovery Museum offers Day-Off Camps when Albemarle County and Charlottesville public schools close for Teacher Workdays. These half-day camps for children 4 to 8 explore a variety of new topics through fun and engaging hands-on activities, experiments, games, crafts, and collaborative challenges – all in a small, safe, and socially-distanced setting with our fully-vaccinated staff. Plus, campers enjoy a special playtime in the galleries before the Museum opens.


Details  |  Upcoming Camps  |  COVID Policies  |  FAQs  |  Contact


Frequency

Select Teacher Workdays
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
(Child Packs a Lunch)

Day-Off Camp Check-In & Check-Out

Ages

Children 4 to 8
Space: Limited to 12 Kids
(1:6 Staff-to-Child Ratio)

COVID Policies for Museum Camps

Registration

Camp: $50/Child
Annual Members:
10% Discount

Scholarships, Cancellations & Refunds


Upcoming Camps

Kids-titutional Convention - CAMP FULL

Monday, Nov. 1  |  9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  |  Spots Left: 0

Ages 4-8: Pizza for breakfast? Skateboarding in school? Paw Patrol puppies for president? Join us for a morning of election day creativity and games as we campaign for what’s really important to kids: fun! At the Kids-titutional Convention, kids run the show.

JOIN WAITLIST

Camp: $50/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Register By: Oct. 27 at 5:00 p.m.

Harvest Hijinks - CAMP FULL

Tuesday, Nov. 2  |  9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  |  Spots Left: 0

Ages 4-8: Halloween may be over, but fall is still all around us. Put on your favorite leaf-peeping hat, and join us for some fall fun as we discover the science and art behind the changing seasons through crafts and experiments.

JOIN WAITLIST

Camp: $50/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Register By: Oct. 27 at 5:00 p.m.


COVID Policies

Camp Participants
  • Camp participants with any of these symptoms are asked to refrain from visiting the Museum.
  • All camp participants must wear a mask. If a camper does not have a mask, one will be provided for them.
  • All parents/guardians must Check-In and sign a waiver at the front desk before dropping off camp participants at the Museum.
  • The Museum does not provide any food or snacks during Day-Off Camps. Families are asked to pack nut-free lunches for camp participants to help us maintain a nut-free environment for our friends with food allergies. Lunches will be stored in a designated location until lunch time in the Creation Station camp room.
  • No food, gum, or drinks are allowed in the Museum galleries, except water bottles.

Check-In & Check-Out
  • 9:00-9:30 a.m.: Arrival & Check-In
    • Takes place in the Museum’s front lobby area.
    • Camp participants will enjoy supervised play in the Museum’s front gallery until all campers arrive. The Museum will be closed for general admission visits during this time.
  • 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Camp Activities & Gallery Playtime
    • Camp activities will take place in the Creation Station camp room and will be interspersed with playtime in the Museum galleries.
    • Creation Station will be closed to general admission visitors, but the Museum galleries will be open to the public at 65% capacity.
  • 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Lunch Time
    • Takes place in the Creation Station camp room.
    • Creation Station will be closed to general admission visitors.
  • 12:45-1:00 p.m.: Pick-Up & Check-Out
    • Parents/Guardians are asked to wait in the front lobby or front gallery, and camp participants will be walked up by a staff member or volunteer.
    • All camp participants must be picked up by 1:05 p.m. to allow Museum staff to clean the Creation Station camp room. Camp families who choose to stay and play in the Museum galleries are asked to stop by the front desk to pay admission or check in under their membership.

Exhibits & Amenities
  • VDM’s Amazing Airways and Flight Lab exhibits are currently closed due to COVID restrictions.
  • VDM’s public drinking fountain is currently shut down due to COVID restrictions.


Frequently Asked Questions

COVID Concerns

Will VDM be open for general admission during Camps?

Yes, VDM will be open for general admission visits at 65% capacity during Day-Off Camps, but the Creation Station camp room will be open to camp participants only.

Who else will be in the camp room during Camps?

At least one VDM staff member will be present during every Day-Off Camp. All staff members and any volunteers who will be in the camp room have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and will be wearing masks.

How often is the Museum cleaned?

All camp participants must be picked up by the scheduled Check-Out time to allow our staff to clean the camp room. Each day after closing at 5:00 p.m., the entire Museum is cleaned by a professional cleaning crew.

Registration & Waitlists

What is required to be eligible for Camp?

Children must be at least 4 years old and independent in the bathroom.

What if the Camp I want to participate in has filled?

Currently, Day-Off Camps have a maximum capacity of 12 children. If you have an interest in a Camp that is full, please contact Education Manager Lara Musser at lara@vadm.org or (434) 977-1025 x106 to add your child's name to the waitlist. In the event of a cancellation, those on the waitlist will be contacted in the order their requests were received.

Financial Assistance

Does VDM offer financial assistance for Camps?

In accordance with the Museum’s mission, VDM does offer scholarships for educational programs, including Day-Off Camps, on a limited basis. For information about applying for a scholarship, contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at operationsdirector@vadm.org or (434) 977-1025 x102.

Annual Members

How do I apply my 10% annual member discount?

To apply this discount to camp registrations made online, you must have an active annual membership and will need to create a Website User Account and link it to your membership record by following these instructions. If you have already created a Website User Account, click the registration link for the camp you wish to register for and sign in using the link at the top of the registration page. If you need help applying your 10% discount when using our online order forms, please contact Visitor Services Manager Matt Berman at marketing@vadm.org.

How do I set up my Website User Account?

You can follow the instructions here or contact Visitor Services Manager Matt Berman at marketing@vadm.org.

Did I successfully link my Website User Account and membership?

Contact Visitor Services Manager Matt Berman at marketing@vadm.org, and we’ll make sure everything is all set.

Cancellations & Refunds

What is VDM’s cancellation and refund policy for Camps?

A minimum of 6 children is required for a camp to run. If a camp is canceled by the Museum due to insufficient enrollment or other extenuating circumstances, the registration fee will be refunded to all registrants.

Individual cancellations must be made at least 2 weeks before the camp to be eligible for a refund. If an individual cancellation causes the camp roster to fall below the required minimum, the refund will be contingent upon the vacancy being filled. If an individual cancellation is made within two weeks of the camp, the registration fee will be forfeited. No refunds will be issued after a camp begins.

Drop-Off & Pick-Up

Does VDM provide food or should I pack a lunch for my child?

Due to COVID restrictions, the Museum does not provide any food or snacks during Day-Off Camps and VDM’s public drinking fountain is turned off. Families are asked to pack nut-free lunches and water bottles for camp participants to help us maintain a nut-free environment for our friends with food allergies.

Where can I park to drop off and pick up my child?

VDM validates parking for class registrants at the Market Street Garage and Water Street Garage. Both locations provide the first hour of parking for free, and event guests receive an additional hour of free parking – for a total of two hours – when they request a validation ticket at VDM’s front desk. The Museum is also located next to the Downtown Transit Station, and Charlottesville Area Transit offers a Free Trolley that stops at the station as it travels through Downtown and the University of Virginia. Click to learn more about parking downtown or more about public bus routes and fares.

Click the icon in the upper left corner for map legend and details.

Do Camps include gallery playtime?

Yes, Camps do include playtime in the Museum galleries, both in the morning before VDM opens to the public and interspersed among activities throughout the Camp day. Camp families who choose to stay and play in the Museum galleries after a Camp concludes are asked to stop by the front desk to pay admission or check in under their membership.


Contact Us

To learn more about Day-Off Camps, contact Education Manager Lara Musser at lara@vadm.org or (434) 977-1025 x106. For scholarship information, contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at operationsdirector@vadm.org or (434) 977-1025 x102.