The Children's Museum of Virginia - Portsmouth, Virginia
The new Children's Museum of Virginia is a two-story facility that contains 72,000 sq. ft. of pure imagination. The $13 Million renovation (completed in 2011) includes 12 large exhibit areas on the first floor and three themed areas on the second floor. Once inside there is plenty to ooh and ahh about.
There's a $1 million antique toy and model train collection and display that even serious railroad buffs rate "top of the line." Gadgets and gizmos and games galore. From the make-believe to the unbelievable, the Children's Museum of Virginia, the state's largest Children's museum, caters to all ages and interests.
Pets and Vets
This is a welcoming pet clinic where children are invited to explore pet care, animal communication, and what pets need to live healthy lives.ets and Vets: This is a welcoming pet clinic where children are invited to explore pet care, animal communication, and what pets need to live healthy lives.
Eventually, Everybody Lands at Starboards.
Lancaster Antique Train and Toy Collection
This amazing exhibit is one of the great features of the museum. Designed to look like a train depot platform, railway tracks guide children from the platform area toward the main Lancaster exhibit and collection. Tots will enjoy the Thomas and Friends play area.
About the Portsmouth Museums Foundation
Established in 1992, the Portsmouth Museums Foundation and the Portsmouth Partnership initiated a fund raising campaign that launched the first floor of the Children’s Museum in its present location at 221 High Street. The Children’s Museum, founded in 1982, had its birth in the basement of the Portsmouth Public Library and its popularity prompted a move several years later to the first floor of the Courthouse Galleries on the corner of High and Court Streets. Another expansion was needed in the early 90’s and it was at this point the City of Portsmouth purchased the Leggett’s Department Store. Fund raising efforts enabled the new and refurbished exhibits from the Courthouse Galleries to go in a bright new space on the first floor of the former Leggett Department Store building at 220 High Street in Olde Towne Portsmouth.
The Foundation's mission has been clear - to generate private sector financial support for all four of the Portsmouth museums which include the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum, Children’s Museum of Virginia, Courthouse Galleries and the Lightship Portsmouth
Today, the Portsmouth Museums Foundation is comprised of a 24-person regional board representing Portsmouth, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk and Virginia Beach.
For more information, contact: The Portsmouth Museums Foundation, 420 High Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704-3622. 757.393.8983. Martha Frances Fortson, Executive Director.
Become a Memeber
Several types of memberships are available. All include unlimited admission to all four Portsmouth Museums: Children’s Museum of Virginia, Courthouse Galleries, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum, and the Lightship Portsmouth.
Children can create bubbles of varying shapes and sizes — even ones that are bigger than them.
The exhibit is designed especially for toddlers up to 3 years old. They will have the opportunity to move, play, and explore. Upon passing through a picket fence gate, children may let their curiosities guide them through this safe and interactive nature-themed environment.
Children will explore the essential functions of a bank such as depositing and withdrawing money and storing valuable possessions. It will also introduce them to concepts such as earning and saving, counterfeiting and international currency.
From Farm to Foodmart
Children will recognize their local grocery store environment, full of foods that they regularly see in their store. They will have the opportunity to work in a simulated grocery store, scanning items and checking out groceries. They will also see where much of their food comes from in a variety of hands-on activities.
Here's a wellness center just for kids where they will can fun while learning about sports, work safety, hygiene and fitness.
Shhhh! In this quiet REACH (Reading Enriches All Children) reading area, children may choose to read a book, take a book home with them, or drop a book into a donation box
It's never too early for children to learn about home safety and hazard prevention with hands-on activities. They can play in a real fire truck cab or even play a home fire safety detective game and put out a fire.
Here's what you can expect to see on the second level of the museum:
Dr. Forces Traveling Energy Extravaganza
Children can explore energy and physical sciences through the lens of a fairground / carnival sideshow. The hands-on activities will teach children about magnetism, electrical energy, waves, fluid dynamics, and simple and compound machines.
My Backyard and Beyond
This exhibit give children the opportunity to Investigate a variety of topics through the familiar entry point of their own backyard. There's an interactive environment introducing visitors to recycling and energy consumption. In the 'backyard area', children can explore topics such as biology, ecology, archaeology, geology, and astronomy.
Children will discover a series of engaging spaces, each with a different themes and functions. It's all about hands-on experiences organized around particular art forms, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and architecture.
Here's a look at some of the exhibits on the first floor:
A Working Port
Children will learn about our maritime heritage when the busy ports of Norfolk and Portsmouth come alive in this bustling waterfront area. They may explore the port environment through role play and hands-on activities. Children are introduced to the functions of a port, how tugboats operate, and what goods are imported and exported.
There's even a 'Performance Space' that allows for dance, music and small-scale performances. Two classrooms dedicated to serving groups are available.
So, bring the entire family. Let the imagination begin.
Welcome to Portsmouth. Home of the NEW Children's Museum of Virginia..
Kids are special at Starboards!
We've seen thousands of kids since Starboards Coffee Kiosk opened in 2004.
We offer a variety of snacks and drinks from our menu created just for kids. We offer a selection of juices and healthy snacks. In addition, we offer a variety of ice cream bars including juice bars, Italian Ice bars, Healthy Choice bars, ice cream sandiches and more starting at just $0.95, plus tax.
If you are going to the Children's Museum of Virginia by the Elizabeth River Ferry, you can't miss us. We are right across the street from the High Street ferry landing and just one block from the children's museum
Looking for a quick lunch? We also offer Vienna Beef Frankfurters.