In 2001 a children's museum opened in Lynchburg, Virginia. Housed in a civil war era building, Amazement Square, The Rightmire Children's Museum aims to help children learn through hands-on interaction and play.
The 29,000 square foot building that houses the museum has in the past served as a grocery store, a warehouse and an infirmary for the Confederate Army. The museum, located at 27 Ninth Street, has won several prestigious awards including two "Museums of America'' awards presented by the Institute of Museum and Library Science.
The exhibits are many and cover a variety of interests. There is also some good old-fashioned playing to be done at the museum. The Amazement Tower is an indoor climbing feature that includes zip lines, slides, ladders and tunnels. It spans the entire four floors of the museum making it the tallest climbing feature in the United States.
Below is a description of some of the permanent exhibits that can be found at Amazement Square.
Once Upon a Building
Visitors can get a look into every aspect of planning, designing and erecting new buildings. Vocations such as architect, building planner and construction worker are also explored.
Visit a recreated village of the Monacan Nation. Explore what daily life is like in such a village and get a taste of what it might be like to be an archaeologist where guests can participate in "the dig'' which mimics a real dig site.
Your Amazing Body
This exhibit encourages visitors to learn as much as they can about the various systems of the human body. The exhibit further aims to teach how choices can have either a positive or a negative effect on the health of the body.
This space is filled with craft supplies where children can create their own pieces of art while getting tips from one of the "artists in residence''.
Big Red Barn
This exhibit was designed with the youngest museum visitors in mind. Toddlers will learn about farm life and even have the chance to "milk'' a life size (pretend) cow.
Raceways and Voltage Village
This is the science gallery of the museum and it allows visitors to explore electricity, gravity and other scientific principles.
In addition to the permanent exhibits, there are also a variety of changing exhibits. Past exhibits have included Ancient Egypt: Life & Afterlife on the Nile and Discover Silver which explored how silver has been used in the United States throughout the years.
There are also special programs offered throughout the year including group sleepovers where groups can spend the night in the museum while enjoying a theme that you select. Sleepover themes include Air & Space, Art in Action and Animal Safari.
Sometimes the hours are altered for a special event, so it is a good idea to check the museum's schedule, as well as current exhibits, when planning a visit.
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