Many Richmond area cultural institutions including museums, attractions and other sites are opening again this month – July 2020. A number of institutions and attractions have released a joint statement as Virginia continues to lift additional COVID-19 restrictions. The statement, endorsed by several cultural institutions in the area, reflects a set of shared values and provides visitors, staff and volunteers with a unified response during this challenging time. Included is a list of shared protocols and safety measures that gives visitors a clear idea of what to expect in the coming weeks and months as these organizations reopen.
The joint statement reads: “We want to assure all attendees that we are committed to providing everyone with safe, secure and supportive access to our facilities. In the midst of a pandemic and a region-wide reassessment of our fraught racial history, we believe our cultural resources play an important role during these uncertain times. While we anticipate most sites will open in some capacity by early July, we will continue to use these shared principles and the facts on the ground to ensure the best experience for visitors.”
The following institutions have agreed to these standards described below: Agecroft Hall and Gardens, The American Civil War Museum, The Black History Museum And Cultural Center of Virginia, The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design, The Children’s Museum of Richmond, Henricus Historic Park, The Institute for Contemporary Art, John Marshall House, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, The Library of Virginia, Maymont, The Poe Museum, Preservation Virginia, St. John’s Church Foundation, The Science Museum of Virginia, The Valentine, The Virginia Holocaust Museum, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), The Virginia Museum of History and Culture, and The Wilton House Museum.
Standards for Richmond, Virginia Museums’ Visitors and Staff:
- Facemasks will be required of visitors, staff and volunteers (as required by Executive Order), with exceptions for young children.
- Capacity will be reduced to provide guests space to socially distance. In some cases, pre-registration/timed tickets may be required.
- Contactless payment and use of credit/debit cards for purchases will be strongly encouraged.
- Social distancing will be required, and may be encouraged with barriers, designated walk routes and additional signage.
- Hand sanitizer and similar options will be available at all institutions.
Programs and Experiences
- Programming will be temporarily suspended to reduce contact within large groups.
- Alterations or adaptations to hands-on exhibits and experiences will be made to reduce interactions with high-touch surfaces.
- Cleaning protocols will be expanded, especially in restrooms and high-touch areas.
- Each site will clearly post their institution-specific guidelines and protocols on their websites, on social media and onsite.
Richmond’s Museums Highlight History, Art, Science and More
History, art, science and more is the focus of Richmond’s numerous museums. Whether going to beat the heat, entertain the family, show out-of-town visitors around or go on a date, museums fit the bill. Please check websites for the most updated information, locations, hours, and directions. Also confirm that admission is FREE for those listed below as this may change after posting here.
Let us know of other Richmond museums with free or paid admission by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Richmond, Virginia Museums
Agecroft Hall – is a majestic Tudor mansion brought to Virginia piece by piece from Manchester, England located on 23 beautifully landscaped acres overlooking the James River. Hosts The Richmond Shakespeare Festival in the summer. (Richmond)
American Civil War Museum – The museum consists of three distinct attractions in three locations that were recently merged that together tell of a complicated and dramatic aspect of American history – Historic Tredegar, White House and Museum of the Confederacy and the American Civil War Museum – Appomattox. Children 5 and under are free. (Richmond)
Armour House & Gardens – Edmund Christian built the house that is now the property of Henrico County and preserved as a historic site, at Meadowview in 1915. On the park grounds, archeologists identified two prehistoric Native American sites. (Henrico County)
Beth Ahaba Museum and Archives – The Beth Ahabah Museum & Archives collects, preserves and exhibits materials that relate to Jewish history and culture – with particular emphasis on Richmond, Virginia – so that Jewish history and culture may be documented, interpreted and passed on to future generations. (Richmond)
Black History Museum & Cultural Center – The Museum seeks to become a permanent repository for visual, oral and written records and artifacts commemorating the lives and accomplishments of Blacks in Virginia. Our goal is to become a statewide resource on the many facets of Black history through exhibitions, discussions and celebrations. (Richmond)
Branch Museum of Architecture and Design – The Branch elevates awareness of the transformative power of architecture and design. Many exhibits and programs are free are very low-cost. (Richmond)
Chesterfield County Museum and Old Jail – The recently reopened 1892 jail thrills visitors as they experience how prisoners were incarcerated in cells that pre-date the jail’s closure in the 1960s. Exhibits focus on the history of law and order and Virginia history. (Chesterfield County)
Children’s Museum of Richmond – Fun for children of all ages, at four locations – Short Pump, Chesterfield, Fredricksburg and Downtown which has hot weather outdoor water fun. CarMax $1 nights at CMoR Central occur on the second Friday of the month from 5-7p.m. Military always get $1 of admission price. (Richmond)
Chimborazo Medical Museum. FREE of charge. Chimborazo Medical Museum sits on the site of the Civil War’s famous Chimborazo Hospital, where between 1861 and 1865, more than 75,000 Confederate soldiers received treatment. (Richmond)
Dabbs House Museum – Dabbs House is a historic house museum with exhibit galleries and a research library. The Dabbs House served as General Robert E. Lee’s field headquarters during the summer of 1862. The museum provides a place to learn about the history of the Dabbs House from its use as a residence for the Dabbs family to its tenure as Henrico’s police headquarters from 1941-2005. Open Wednesday-Sunday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Henrico County)
Edgar Allan Poe Museum – The collection is the most comprehensive in the world with permanent exhibits that focus on Poe in Richmond and as varied as disease and death in Poe’s era. Tongue-in-cheek gift shop is worth the visit for a funky and morose souvenir. (Richmond)
Elegba Folklore Society – The Elegba Folklore Society is a year-round, lively celebration of African and African American culture in Richmond. Enjoy art and imports in the cultural center. Sway with our performance company in the warmth and feel of an African village. Participate in a guided heritage tour along the trail of enslaved Africans and of other notable sites. Signature events include The Capital City Kwanzaa Festival, Down Home Family Reunion, a Celebration of African American Folk Life, and Juneteenth, A Freedom Celebration. (Richmond)
The Fed Experience – Tours are facilitated by members of the Economic Education department that works with teachers, students and the public to enhance understanding about the economy and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s role, and to support informed financial decision‐making. Gleaming gold and shining silver, and other examples of money through the ages fill the Federal Reserve Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University – Features the art of our time and provides an open forum for dialogue and collaboration across the region and throughout the world. FREE but certain programs may require reservations. (Richmond)
John Marshall House – Tells the story of the Virginian who was known as the “Great Chief Justice: for his role in creating the modern Supreme Court in the early 1800s. Self-guided plus changing exhibits as well as guided tours. (Richmond)
Keystone Tractor Works.– Displays include displays of the last century of agricultural heritage incorporating fully restored antique farm tractors, ongoing restoration projects and other farm related equipment as well as antique road trucks, classic cars, vintage gas pumps, oil cans, automotive signage, clocks, advertising posters of yesteryear and more. Military, fire and police, and seniors receive discount off admission fee. (Chesterfield County)
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden – Offers year-round beauty on a historic property with more than 50 acres of spectacular gardens, dining and shopping. More than a dozen themed gardens include a Conservatory, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Asian Valley and Cherry Tree Walk. (Richmond)
Maggie Walker National Historical Museum – Devoted to the life of a woman committed to civil rights advancement, economic empowerment, and educational opportunities for Jim Crow-era African Americans and women. As a bank president, newspaper editor, and fraternal leader, Walker served as an inspiration of pride and progress. Today, Walker’s home is preserved as a tribute to her enduring legacy of vision, courage, and determination. Free admission. (Richmond)
Magnolia Grange – Part of the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia. Built in 1822 by William Winfree, the Federal-style plantation house was originally part of a large land grant to John Worsham in 1691. Magnolia Grange welcomes visitors to an interpretation of life in a county mansion of the early 19th century. Price vary for tours (typically around $5 per person). (Chesterfield)
Maymont – An historical Guided Age mansion, nature conservatory and botanical garden with events like concerts. Children can enjoy the Farm Barn and play with the chickens, goats, and other animals or watch the fox and bear roam around and play. Visit the indoor nature center or hike the trails around the park and see birds, butterflies and more. It’s FREE! Some fees for mansion tours or other special events. (Richmond)
Meadow Farm Museum/Crump Park – An 1860 living history farm site and museum, presents programs and exhibits on the culture of the rural South. Costumed interpreters provide insight into the lives of Dr. John Mosby Sheppard, the owner of Meadow Farm, and his family. On selected weekends, they demonstrate seasonal activities in the farmhouse, barn, doctor’s office, blacksmith forge, kitchen, fields, and pastures. (Henrico)
Richmond Railroad Museum – The Richmond Railroad Museum is operated by the Old Dominion Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, and is housed in the restored historic Southern Railway Station in Richmond. The museum contains many interesting exhibits relating to Virginia’s history, including authentic fixtures and furnishings, a gift shop, and a gallery devoted exclusively to Richmond’s largest HO scale model railroad. On view on the grounds are a real steam locomotive, baggage car and caboose, along with track cars, signals and other railroad artifacts. Tours are conducted on the weekends by knowledgeable hosts. (Richmond)
Richmond National Battlefield Parks – Richmond National Battlefield Park, are a collection of 13 park units scattered across Hanover, Henrico, and Chesterfield counties and the city of Richmond. Read up online to get the most of the locations, offerings and events
St. John’s Church – Takes you back to A year prior to drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, when Thomas Jefferson attended the Second Virginia Convention held inside St. John’s Church. Alongside George Washington, Richard Henry Lee and other important figures in the American Revolution, Jefferson listened as Patrick Henry gave his now-famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. (Richmond)
Science Museum of Virginia – Features hundreds of experiential exhibits, awe-inspiring artifacts and interactive technologies, the Museum presents dynamic science programming to hundreds of thousands of guests each year. Permanent exhibitions focus on space, health, electricity and Earth—to name a few—and hosts visiting exhibitions from around the world. The Dome theater, at 76 feet, is the largest screen in Virginia and provides guests with the ultimate immersive experience. (Richmond)
University of Richmond Museum – Feature the varied collections at the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, Print Study Center, Gallery of Design from Nature, and collection of Massive Rocks and Minerals. (Richmond)
Valentine History Museum – The museum’s permanent and changing exhibitions are dedicated to the history of Richmod. Founded by Mann S. Valentine II 1898, it was the first museum in the city.Military with ID FREE for up to 5 family members. Children 6 and under are free. (Richmond)
Virginia Fire & Police Museum – Located in the oldest standing firehouse in Richmond, Virginia. The building, which served as the home for Steamer Company number 5 from 1849 to 1968 and for the 3rd police station from 1865 to 1898, was slated for demolition in 1976. However, the building was saved to serve as the home for the museum. The museum offers visitors a lesson in police and firefighting architecture, uniforms, and equipment, and provides an educational program on fire and life safety. (Richmond)
Virginia Museum of History & Culture. The signature exhibition, The Story of Virginia, features more than 500 artifacts and covers 16,000 years of Virginia history from prehistoric times to the present. Along with rotating temporary exhibitions, you will be able to see long-term exhibitions, including Landscapes of Virginia, The Memorial Military Murals by Charles Hoffbauer, and Silver in Virginia during your visit. (Richmond)
Virginia Holocaust Museum – Dedicated to depicting the Holocaust through the personal stories of its victims. (Richmond)
Virginia House – Formerly an English manor house, Virginia House was relocated to Richmond in 1925. The home is now owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society and open by appointment only. (Richmond)
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts – Collections include European, American and Decorative art with notable traveling exhibitions. General admission is FREE (some special events may require a fee). As year-round participant of Blue Star Museums, VMFA provides FREE admission to special exhibitions for all active duty, National Guard, and Reserve military personnel and their immediate families. (Richmond)
Virginia Union University Museum and Galleries – Collection include artifacts from Papua New Guinea, masks and sculptures from West and Central Africa, Coptic crosses from Ethiopia and an extensive collection of African American Folk art. (Richmond)
Wilton House – Wilton House Museum is not only Richmond’s sole 18th-century public plantation home but also home to a premier decorative arts collection with a collection of more than 1,400 objects. These 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century pieces include silvers, ceramics, textiles, paintings, documents, and furniture. FREE admission for teachers, press, members of NSCDA, military personnel and dependents, and children 6 and under. (Richmond)
More things to do in and around Richmond:
- RVA Dog-Friendly Parks
- 12+ Free Things to do in Colonial Williamsburg
- RVA Historic Sites
- Free Art Galleries in RVA
- 50+ Things to Do in Richmond
- Orchards and Berry Farms
- Things to Do: RVA
- Things for Kids to do in Richmond
- 50+ Events & Festivals
- FREE (or cheap) Movies
- Special Resources
- Military Discounts
- FREE for Kids (or really cheap)
- Birthday Freebies
- Garage, Moving, Estate Sales and more
- Richmond’s Kids Eat Free or Cheap Deals
- Metro Richmond Zoo
- Richmond boat launches and marinas