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Discovery Challenge

30-Day Physical Fitness Challenge

The Virginia Discovery Museum’s annual Discovery Dash was canceled for the first time in 30 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but VDM invite you to instead lace up your sneakers for the Museum’s first-ever Discovery Challenge, an alternative way to join together in fitness and fun right at home while still practicing social distancing and supporting our community’s only children’s museum! In honor of the Dash’s 30th anniversary and in recognition of May as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, this fitness fundraiser features 30 daily challenges. For just a $30 donation, your family will receive a new exercise to try each morning starting May 1, and on May 31, you’ll finish your Discovery Challenge with an indoor or outdoor Dash of any length.

Details  |  Join the Challenge  |  FAQs  |  Contact Us


$30 Donation/Family
Includes 30 Fitness Challenges
(Runs May 1-31)

Exercises Are Suitable for Participants of All Ages


New Exercise Daily
Includes Staff Demonstrations
(Emails Sent at 9 a.m.)

Concludes May 31 with a Dash of Any Length

Join the Challenge!


The names of families participating in the Discovery Challenge will be displayed on ribbons in the Museum’s front window, and each family will receive a victory certificate to decorate following the Challenge.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Discovery Dash’s cancellation affect the Museum?

Like so many other community traditions, the Discovery Dash was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This cancellation does not just mean missing a day of fun and fitness; it has a profound financial impact on the Museum, as the Dash has traditionally been VDM's biggest annual fundraiser.

How does my donation make a difference?

By participating in the Discovery Challenge, your donation helps preserve the financial stability of an organization that supports over 72,000 annual visitors, 11 percent of whom visit free of charge through VDM’s Sponsored Admission Program; allows the Museum to continue to provide free resources through VDM @ Home; and enables the Museum to survive these challenging times and be here to welcome you when it is safe to reopen.

Can we still participate after May 1?

Absolutely! No matter when you start in May, we’ll email you every fitness challenge we’ve released to that point, then you’ll receive one new exercise daily through May 30 in your inbox as part of our regular schedule.

What is the Discovery Dash?

The Discovery Dash is Charlottesville’s longest-running children’s track race, one passed down from parents who ran as children when it first started along Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall in 1990 to their own children now at its current location at Monticello High School. The Dash welcomes over 300 runners each May to participate in races for all ages, including a 50-yard toddler scramble; quarter-mile, half-mile, and mile runs for children 5-12; a sibling relay for ages 5-14; parent-child relays; and a community-wide school relay.

Contact Us

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at to learn more about the Discovery Challenge.