The Museum is currently closed for general admission

Now accepting reservations for private Small Group Visits starting in May 2021

Small Group Visits

Summer Camps

Discover Your Child’s Summer Adventure

Camps at the Virginia Discovery Museum embody all that summer should be: exploration and fun! After hosting virtual camps in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VDM is transitioning back to in-person camps for children 4 and older for 2021. The Museum will remain closed for general admission visits during camp days, and campers will have the opportunity to explore a range of STEAM-focused topics; gain confidence through engaging, hands-on projects; and interact with other kids in a small, safe, and socially-distanced setting with our fully vaccinated staff.


Details  |  2021 Camps  |  COVID Procedures  |  FAQs  |  Contact


Camp Schedule

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

Learn More: Summer Camp Check-In & Check-Out

Ages

Children 4 & Up
Camps Limited to 12 Kids
(1:6 Staff-to-Child Ratio)

Learn More: General Museum COVID-19 Procedures

Registration

$250/Child per Camp
Annual Members:
10% Discount

FAQs: Scholarships, Waitlists & Cancellations


2021 Camps

Spots are still available in June’s Virtual Chess Mates Mini Camp (June 21-23), July’s Virtual Chess Mates Mini Camp (July 7-9), Night Crawlers (July 19-23), and Virginia Pioneers (August 2-6).

Sea, Space & Species - CAMP FULL

June 21-25  |  9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  |  Ages 4-8

Join us on an incredible journey as we dive into the depths of Earth’s oceans; explore our planet’s diverse animal life across land, sea, and air; and blast off into the cosmos to discover the far reaches of space.

JOIN WAITLIST

Camp: $250/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Space: 12 Kids. Register By: June 6.

June Chess Mates Mini Camp (Virtual)

June 21-23  |  9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  |  Ages 6-10

Learn the timeless game of chess with guest coach Aaron Osborne, the current No. 1 Class C player in Virginia! Chess Mates is open to players 6 and older of all skill levels, and students will be divided into one of three 1-hour Zoom sessions (9:00-10:00 a.m., 10:15-11:15 a.m., or 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) based on age and experience. Beginners will have the opportunity to work on basic mechanics and gameplay while more experienced players work on skills development. Students will have the opportunity to play against others participating in their same time slot using the free Lichess platform. The instructor will follow up with all registrants ahead of the first class with session times and rosters.

Register Online

Camp: $85/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Space: 16 Kids. Register By: June 17. Internet & Webcam Required.

Fossil Hunters - CAMP FULL

June 28-July 2  |  9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  |  Ages 4-8

Travel back in time to explore the history of life on Earth through fossils! Dig, construct, experiment, and create as we learn about our planet’s past.

JOIN WAITLIST

Camp: $250/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Space: 12 Kids. Register By: June 13.

July Chess Mates Mini Camp (Virtual)

July 7-9  |  9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  |  Ages 6-10

Learn the timeless game of chess with guest coach Aaron Osborne, the current No. 1 Class C player in Virginia! Chess Mates is open to players 6 and older of all skill levels, and students will be divided into one of three 1-hour Zoom sessions (9:00-10:00 a.m., 10:15-11:15 a.m., or 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) based on age and experience. Beginners will have the opportunity to work on basic mechanics and gameplay while more experienced players work on skills development. Students will have the opportunity to play against others participating in their same time slot using the free Lichess platform. The instructor will follow up with all registrants ahead of the first class with session times and rosters.

Register Online

Camp: $85/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Space: 16 Kids. Register By: July 3. Internet & Webcam Required.

Upcycle Adventures - CAMP FULL

July 12-16  |  9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  |  Ages 4-8

Reduce, reuse, and recycle! Join us on an upcycle adventure filled with crafty creations, earth-friendly art, and science challenges as we discover how to give new life to old materials and transform them into something new.

JOIN WAITLIST

Camp: $250/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Space: 12 Kids. Register By: June 27.

Night Crawlers (In-Person)

July 19-23  |  9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  |  Ages 4-8

Nighttime might be when we get ready for bed, but for many animals it's just the beginning of their day! Discover the strange, spooky, fascinating world of “night crawlers” right here in Virginia as we explore how these nocturnal critters’ unusual adaptations help them in the dark.

Register Online

Camp: $250/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Space: 12 Kids. Register By: July 4.

Mystery & Magic - CAMP FULL

July 26-30  |  9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  |  Ages 4-8

Calling all super-sleuths and mini magicians: Solve mysteries and create magic through science! From invisible ink to magic milk and fingerprint forensics to wizarding wands, join us as we explore STEAM concepts with a sprinkle of “sorcery”.

JOIN WAITLIST

Camp: $250/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Space: 12 Kids. Register By: July 11.

Virginia Pioneers (In-Person) - 1 SPOT LEFT

August 2-6  |  9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  |  Ages 4-8

Have what it takes to live on the frontier? Travel back in time as we explore our very own Showalter Cabin and learn, play, and craft like Virginia pioneers.

Register Online

Camp: $250/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Space: 12 Kids. Register By: July 18.

Color Quest - CAMP FULL

August 9-13  |  9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  |  Ages 4-8

Join the VDM staff over the rainbow! Embark on a colorful quest through radiant reds, gentle greens, vivid violets, and every hue in between as we explore the color spectrum through STEAM.

JOIN WAITLIST

Camp: $250/Child. Annual Members: 10% Off. Scholarships: Apply.
Space: 12 Kids. Register By: July 25.


COVID-19 Procedures

General Rules
  • All parents/guardians must sign a waiver during Check-In.
  • All campers must wear a mask. If a camper does not have a mask, one will be provided for them.
  • All campers are encouraged to social distance while in the Museum, but this will not be enforced.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the Museum, except water.
  • Lunches must be packed and placed in designated cubbies in the Museum’s coat room.

Check-In & Check-Out Procedure
  • 9:00-9:30 a.m.: Arrival & Check-In
    • Takes place in the Museum’s front lobby area.
    • All parents/guardians must sign a waiver.
    • All campers must wear a mask for the duration of camp.
    • Parents/Guardians will not be permitted beyond the lobby area.
  • 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Camp Activities
  • 12:00-12:45 p.m.: Lunch (Outside at a designated spot near the Museum.)
  • 12:45-1:00 p.m.: Pick-Up & Check-Out.
    • Parents/Guardians will wait in the lobby area or outside the Museum, and the camper will be walked up by a staff member or volunteer.
    • All visitors must exit the Museum by 1:00 p.m. to allow for the arrival of the daily cleaning crew.


Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Concerns

Will VDM be open for general admission during camps?

No, VDM will remain closed for general admission visits during camp days.

Who else will be in the Museum during camps?

At least two VDM staff members will be present during every camp. All staff members and any volunteers who will be in the building have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and will be wearing masks.

How often will the Museum be cleaned during camps?

A crew will be on site daily following camp to clean and sanitize. All visitors must exit the Museum by 1:00 p.m. before the cleaners arrive.

Registration & Waitlists

What is required to be eligible for camp?

Children must be at least 4 years old and independent in the bathroom by the start of camp.

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

All 2021 Summer Camps have a maximum capacity of 12 children. If you have an interest in a camp that is full, please fill out our online Waitlist form or contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at operationsdirector@vadm.org or (434) 977-1025 x102 to add your child's name to a camp waitlist. In the event of a cancellation, those on the waitlist will be contacted in the order their requests were received.

Financial Assistance

Does the Museum offer financial assistance for camps?

In accordance with the Museum’s mission, VDM does offer scholarships for select educational programs, including Summer 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 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 Marketing Manager Matt Berman at marketing@vadm.org.

How do I set up my Website User Account?

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

Did I successfully link my Website User Account and membership?

Contact Marketing 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 campers is required for a Summer 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 start of the corresponding camp to be eligible for a refund. Individual cancellations must be received by email to operationsdirector@vadm.org. 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 start of the corresponding camp or a camper fails to pass Check-In health procedures, a deposit of $50 will be forfeited. No refunds will be issued after a camp begins.

Camp Preparedness

Does VDM provide food or should I pack a lunch?

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Museum does not provide any food. Families are asked to pack nut-free lunches each day 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 Museum visitors at the Market Street Garage and Water Street Garage. Both locations provide the first hour of parking for free, and Museum 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.


Contact Us

To learn more about Summer Camps, visit Camps FAQs or contact Education Manager Frankie Szynskie at frankie@vadm.org. For information about camp scholarships, contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at operationsdirector@vadm.org.