Don’t miss stopping at this jewel of a science center that’s located in a yesteryear train station. The museum features permanent exhibitions on space, health, electricity and Earth — and more — along with visiting exhibitions. The Dome theater is enormous at 76 feet and shows IMAX films like “National Parks Adventure,” “Pandas: The Journey Home,” and many more. Ask staff for recommendations on which movies appeal to which ages. Plan to sit at the top of the seats for the best view of the screen. If you’re visiting RVA in late November and December, try to catch “The Polar Express.”
As you enter the museum, look up and you’ll see an exact replica of the Wright Brothers’ original flying machine and look down to see a Foucault pendulum. (Sure, it looks like the pendulum is turning, but it’s actually the slight turning of our planet that’s making the pendulum shift.)
Upon arrival, ask for a daily schedule of events at the museum. Rat’s Basketball (a don’t-miss that explains operant condition with easy-to-understand fun), and many live demos keep the schedule hopping. Open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.