Summer Camps

< Back to Programs

Discover Your Child’s Summer Adventure

Camps at the Virginia Discovery Museum embody all that summer should be: exploration and fun! Whether your child is brand new to the camp experience or already knows the ropes, our week-long, half-day summer camps for children 4 and older provide opportunities for kids to gain confidence, make friends, and explore a range of enrichment-focused topics through creative, engaging, and hands-on learning and play experiences. Plus, campers enjoy a special playtime in the galleries each morning before the Museum opens to the public.


Details  |  2024 Camps  |  General Policies  |  FAQs  |  Contact


Camp Schedule

Monday-Friday
Times: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
(Child Packs a Lunch)

Summer Camp Check-In & Check-Out

Ages

Children 4 to 8*
Space: 16 Kids Per Camp
(*Unless Otherwise Listed)

General Policies for Museum Camps

Registration

Each Camp: $325/Child
Annual Members: 10% Off
(Limit 3 Camps Per Child)

Scholarships, Cancellations & Refunds


Upcoming 2024 Summer Camps

Eight of the available nine 2024 Summer Camps are full. Update: Spots are only available in Chess Mates.

Summer Safari - CAMP FULL

July 15-19  |  9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  |  Spots Left: 0

Ages 4-8: Calling all animal-lovers and eco-explorers! From the African savannah to the Amazon rainforest, discover the incredible creatures who call Earth home.

JOIN WAITLIST

Camp: $325/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Register By: July 1 at 5:00 p.m. Capacity: 16 Kids.

Olympic Village - CAMP FULL

July 22-26  |  9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  |  Spots Left: 0

Ages 4-8: Ready to play across the globe like an Olympian? Join Team VDM as we play, craft, and discover our way through the 2024 Olympics. Let the games begin!

JOIN WAITLIST

Camp: $325/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Register By: July 8 at 5:00 p.m. Capacity: 16 Kids.

Chess Mates

July 29 - Aug. 2  |  9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  |  Spots Left: 5

Ages 7-10 Only: Like to play chess? Interested in learning this timeless game? Join guest instructor John “Tex” Teixeira, a three-time Albemarle and Charlottesville area chess champion with 45 years of experience playing and coaching, as we exercise our mind muscles; practice basic mechanics and gameplay; and develop creativity, executive function, and math skills, all while having fun. Note: Suitable for players of intermediate skill and above.

Register Online

Camp: $325/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Register By: July 15 at 5:00 p.m. Capacity: 16 Kids.

Medieval Times - CAMP FULL

Aug. 5-9  |  9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  |  Spots Left: 0

Ages 4-8: Knights, queens, castles, and … maybe even dragons? Travel back in time to explore the facts and fantasy of the high Middle Ages!

JOIN WAITLIST

Camp: $325/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Register By: July 22 at 5:00 p.m. Capacity: 16 Kids.

Galaxy Quest - CAMP FULL

Aug. 12-16  |  9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  |  Spots Left: 0

Ages 4-8: Who knows what’s out there among the stars? Hop aboard Starship VDM as we set out on a voyage through the solar system, galaxies, and beyond!

JOIN WAITLIST

Camp: $325/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Register By: July 29 at 5:00 p.m. Capacity: 16 Kids.


General Policies

Camp Participants
  • Campers with any of these symptoms are asked to refrain from visiting the Museum.
  • Masks are encouraged but optional for all campers. If a child does not have a mask and would like one, VDM will provide one for them.
  • All parents / guardians must Check-In at the front desk before dropping off campers at the Museum.
  • Nut-free lunches and labeled water bottles must be packed and placed in the designated bin in the Museum’s coat 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.
    • Campers 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 Breaks
    • 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.
  • 12:00-12:45 p.m.: Lunch Time
    • Campers must pack a nut-free lunch and water bottle.
  • 12:45-1:00 p.m.: Pick-Up & Check-Out
    • Parents / Guardians are asked to wait in the front lobby area, and campers will be walked up by a staff member or volunteer.
    • Campers and their families may stay and play in the Museum galleries as long as they wish following the camp day, but parents/guardians must first check-out their child at the front desk so that staff knows the camper has been picked up.


Frequently Asked Questions

COVID Concerns

Will VDM be open for general admission during camps?

Yes, VDM will be open for general admission visits during camps, but the Creation Station camp room will only be open to campers.

Who else will be in the camp room during camps?

At least one VDM staff member and between two and three volunteers will be present during camps. All staff members and any volunteers who will be in the building have been fully vaccinated against COVID.

How often is the Museum cleaned?

The Museum is cleaned daily, and a crew will be on site after the Museum closes to clean and sanitize.

Registration & Waitlists

What is required to be eligible for camps?

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

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

Camps have a maximum capacity of 16 children. If you have an interest in a camp that is full, please submit a waitlist request through our online Summer Camp Waitlist form. 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 a limited number of scholarships for all of its programs, including camps. Contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at operationsdirector@vadm.org or (434) 977-1025 x102 for information about applying for a scholarship, or submit a Summer Camp Scholarship Application online.

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 registration forms, please contact Visitor Services Manager Matt Berman at matt@vadm.org or (434) 977-1025 x103.

How do I set up my Website User Account?

You can follow the instructions here or contact Visitor Services Manager Matt Berman at matt@vadm.org or (434) 977-1025 x103.

Did I successfully link my Website User Account and membership?

Contact Visitor Services Manager Matt Berman at matt@vadm.org or (434) 977-1025 x103, 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 campers 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 corresponding 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

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

VDM validates parking for camp participants at the Market Street Garage and Water Street Garage. Both locations provide the first hour of parking for free, and camp participants 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.

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

Due to food allergy concerns, the Museum does not provide any food or snacks during camp. Instead, camp participants are asked to pack nut-free lunches and labeled water bottles each day to help us maintain a nut-free environment for our friends with food allergies.

Does camp 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. Additionally, campers and their families may stay and play in the Museum galleries as long as they wish following the camp day, but parents / guardians must first check-out their child at the front desk so that staff knows the camper has been picked up.


Contact Us

To learn more about Summer Camps, contact Programs & Gallery Manager Sabrina Collins at sabrina@vadm.org or (434) 977-1025 x105. For scholarship information, contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at operationsdirector@vadm.org or (434) 977-1025 x102.