We Can't Wait to See You!

Laws of nature. The scientific process. Monopoly rules. Each gives us policies or steps to follow that help us set expectations of things to come.

The Science Museum also has a set of operating protocols that we follow to help ensure every guest has the best experience as they discover their world. If you’re into details like us, take a gander below at how we run things!

Science Museum of Virginia Operating Policies 

Science Museum Regular Operating Hours

  • The Science Museum is open Tuesday–Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Gift Shop is open Tuesday–Sunday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Click here to view any special hour changes.

Science Museum Admission

  • It’s recommended that everyone – including Science Museum members – pre-purchases tickets online before arriving. We have a sweet new ticketing system to make it easier than ever to plan ahead!
  • Members should log in with their email and password before adding tickets to your cart to receive the member discount.
  • Guests wishing to purchase tickets under our Museums for All program or guests who qualify for teacher or military discounts should call 804.864.1400 to receive a promo code to be used when purchasing tickets online.
  • Please follow the directed flow to check in at the Science Museum. We’ve got this down to a science – get it? – to help ensure a quick and smooth check-in process.
  • Photography is frequently taken at the Science Museum for marketing purposes. If you do not wish to appear in these images, please notify Guest Services upon arrival.

Personal Protection 

  • The Science Museum does not require masks indoors for guests and staff. We recommend that unvaccinated guests wear a mask. Guests or staff who would like to continue to wear a mask indoors are welcome to.

While at the Science Museum 

  • Please ask a staff member or a volunteer if you have any questions while you’re visiting!
  • Be respectful of other guests. Please recognize if there is a line for a popular experience and move along after your attempt so others can enjoy it, too. Trust us, we know it’s tempting to keep playing the air hockey robot.
  • We’re a big museum, but not every room is huge. If spaces like the Art Lab or Animal Lab are crowded, try checking out another spot and head back later. The animals will still be there!
  • Please observe the age restrictions in LightPlace, our space for early learners ages five and younger. The big kids have the rest of the Science Museum so let’s reserve this space for our younger scientists.
  • The concession stand outside The Dome will remain closed at this time. But have no fear! If you need a snack, we have a "grab-and-go" café on Level 1 as well as vending machines in Rotunda.
  • Do we need to say shirts and shoes are required? Okay. Shirts and shoes are required. And something covering your bottom half as well. And please refrain from wearing clothing with adult language or that depicts adult situations.
  • No firearms are allowed in the Science Museum.
  • Never stop learning! Science is all around you all the time.

Cleaning Procedures

  • Thorough cleaning and sanitizing has always been a critical part of our daily operations. Our cleaning procedures are based on the Centers for Disease Control guidelines using Environmental Protection Agency registered disinfectants.
  • A professional cleaning team is on-site during Science Museum operating hours to sanitize and clean the restrooms, all public spaces, common areas and exhibits. This includes the frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as door handles, elevator buttons and handrails.
  • Deep cleaning takes place when the Science Museum is closed. The floors are mopped and vacuumed, restrooms are cleaned and all surfaces are sanitized.
  • An electrostatic sprayer is used on upholstery and solid surfaces in The Dome and LightPlace at the close of business each day.

Indoor Air Quality Measures 

The following air quality measures have been instituted based on current directives from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

  • The Science Museum has increased outdoor fresh air intake from 10 percent to 20 percent.
  • The Science Museum is changing all 20 percent pleated air filters currently used in our air-handling system to MERV-13 air filters to capture more contaminants. These more advanced filters address pollen, dust, dust mites, mold, bacteria, pet dander, oil smoke, smoke and virus carriers.
  • The Science Museum is researching and developing a procedure to eliminate viral contaminants through the use of Bipolar Ionization and hopes to have this technology in place by the end of the year. This process uses high-voltage electrodes to create reactive ions in the air that react with airborne contaminants, including viruses, and eliminates them.
  • Humidity is being maintained in the building 40 and 60 percent to better control airborne contaminants.
  • The Science Museum has commenced a purge cycle on all air handling units to pull in 100 percent outdoor air twice a day to reduce VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the envelope. This is done once in the morning at start-up and in the evening after sunset. The purge cycles are designed to run anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours depending on environmental factors.
  • The Science Museum has exhaust fan systems in its restrooms and is working to ensure that all building restrooms have adequate exhaust ventilation to maintain optimal negative pressure in each.

So there you have it. Some of the ins and outs of how the Science Museum runs. Please be sure to check out all the things you can do at the Science Museum as well as accessibility information before your visit. Until you join us in person, you can start your STEM discovery at home with some of our digital content.

And now for your reward for making it to the bottom of the page. One of our favorite jokes: 

A photon is going through airport security. The TSA agent asks if he has any luggage. The photon says, "No, I'm traveling light."

Updated June 3, 2022