The 10 Best Educational Activities for Children in Virginia!

Virginia has no shortage of fantastic educational activities for children. Between our world-class zoos, aquariums, historical sites, and science centers, you couldn’t ask for much more. Below you’ll find 10 can’t-miss opportunities that will guarantee a great time and a wonderful learning opportunity for your next family visit.

1. Virginia Zoo, Norfolk, VA

The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, Virginia, offers children the opportunity to see and learn about more than 500 animals. The zoo has been a Norfolk fixture for over 100 years and has exhibits that span the globe. Stop by any Tuesday at 11 a.m. for Zoo Tales, an educational program featuring two different animal stories and visits from live animals. The zoo is always offering new educational programs and opportunities, so make sure to check the website often.

2. Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, Virginia Beach, VA

When you’re finished at the zoo, take a ride to neighboring Virginia Beach for an afternoon at the Aquarium and Marine Science Center. Choose between educational movies presented in IMAX, play dates with the animals and their keepers, and events including Sensible Seafood Week to learn more about the sea. 

3. Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown, VA

The Jamestown Settlement in Yorktown, Virginia, recreates the earliest American colony on the East Coast. Peruse the traditional museum exhibits before walking around the recreation buildings and talking to the interpreters on-site to learn more about what life was like for the earliest settlers. The Kids’ Museum is tailored specifically to children, but the regular exhibit as well as the American Revolution Museum is worth visiting, too. 

4. Virginia Air and Space Center, Hampton, VA

The Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, Virginia, is an extension of NASA at Langley and perfect for the afternoon outing. The center specializes in helping students learn about science, technology, engineering and math. Exhibits are dedicated to various aircraft, spacecraft, space racers, and hands-on exhibits like Adventures in Flight and Engineer It! 

5. George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, VA

Stop by George Washington’s plantation home, Mount Vernon, for a day learning about our nation’s first president. Explore the historic estate that was once George and Martha Washington’s home, along with the colonial era buildings, gardens, museum and education center, and distillery and gristmill onsite. Mount Vernon is open year-round and is pet friendly.

6. The Virginia Discovery Museum, Charlottesville, VA

The Virginia Discovery Museum in Charlottesville, Virginia, is geared towards children less than 13 years of age. Their mission is to “foster intellectual curiosity and development for all children of our community.” Exhibits include the A-Mazing Airways, STEM Lab, Literacy Lounge, Sensory Studio, and more. Weekly programs include story time, poetry club, spatial games club, art time, and more. Check the website for regularly updated special programs before stopping by.

7. Luray Caverns, Luray, VA

The Luray Caverns in Luray, Virginia, provide the perfect opportunity to learn about the largest, most popular cavern in the United States. It is a world-renowned U.S. natural landmark over 4,000 years-old with an incredible array of stalactites and stalagmites. Don’t leave without visiting the organ built into the cavern. 

8. Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail, Shenandoah Valley, VA

The Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail puts kids in the driver’s seat to explore the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains. Join Bucket the snail as you learn about the surrounding area. Parents may want to guide their children somewhat, as the trail includes both educational and purely entertainment activities. Steer your children towards the educational, and there’s a lot to learn.

9. Geocaching at Virginia state parks

The Virginia state parks offer an incredible amount of education activities. One such activity is geocaching. Park visitors use a GPS unit to find hidden treasures scattered throughout the park. Along the way, you can use this opportunity to teach your child about conservation, the importance of wildlife, and nature in general. 

10. Participate in the Frontier Muster and Trade Faire

Teach your children what life was life before modern electronics by participating in the Frontier Muster and Trade Faire at the Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield, Virginia. Participants will dress in colonial attire, learn how to bake apple pies and cobbler as if they were on the frontier, observe spinning and weaving, processing of raw flax, as well as soap making, blacksmithing, tanning animal hides, and more. Make sure to check out the Virginia state park website for details and other regularly scheduled festivals. 

Select a Virginia town to find the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Visit a Museum or Science Center Near You
Enter City / State or Zip code below
Select your town to find the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you:

Accomack County

Albemarle County

Alleghany County

Amelia County

Amherst County

Appomattox County

Arlington County

Augusta County

Bath County

Bedford County

Bland County

Botetourt County

Bristol County

Brunswick County

Buchanan County

Buckingham County

Buena Vista City County

Campbell County

Caroline County

Carroll County

Charles City County

Charlotte County

Charlottesville City County

Chesapeake City County

Chesterfield County

Clarke County

Colonial Heights City County

Covington City County

Craig County

Culpeper County

Cumberland County

Danville City County

Dickenson County

Dinwiddie County

Essex County

Fairfax County

Fauquier County

Floyd County

Fluvanna County

Franklin County

Franklin City County

Frederick County

Galax City County

Giles County

Gloucester County

Goochland County

Grayson County

Greene County

Greensville County

Halifax County

Hampton City County

Hanover County

Harrisonburg City County

Henrico County

Henry County

Highland County

Hopewell City County

Isle Of Wight County

James City County

King And Queen County

King George County

King William County

Lancaster County

Lee County

Lexington City County

Loudon County

Loudoun County

Louisa County

Lunenburg County

Lynchburg City County

Madison County

Manassas Park City County

Martinsville City County

Mathews County

Mecklenburg County

Middlesex County

Montgomery County

Nelson County

New Kent County

Newport News City County

Norfolk City County

Northampton County

Northumberland County

Norton City County

Nottoway County

Orange County

Page County

Patrick County

Petersburg City County

Pittsylvania County

Poquoson City County

Portsmouth City County

Powhatan County

Prince Edward County

Prince George County

Prince William County

Pulaski County

Radford County

Rappahannock County

Richmond County

Richmond City County

Roanoke County

Roanoke City County

Rockbridge County

Rockingham County

Russell County

Salem County

Scott County

Shenandoah County

Smyth County

Southampton County

Spotsylvania County

Stafford County

Staunton City County

Suffolk City County

Surry County

Sussex County

Tazewell County

Virginia Beach City County

Warren County

Washington County

Waynesboro City County

Westmoreland County

Winchester City County

Wise County

Wythe County

York County