- Build a Fairy House: Take inspiration from nature! Use your imagination to construct whimsical structures for woodland creatures, real and imagined. We will use sticks, bark, fallen leaves and other natural materials to build homes for tiny forest friends.
- Drop-In Gardening: Come by the Jane Saunders Farm Garden and join our educator for hands-on planting, watering and harvesting. We might even spot some caterpillars!
- Pumpkin Carving Artist by Bloemendaal House at 1 – 4 p.m.
- “Scary” Storytime in Grace Arents Garden at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m.
The Science Museum of Virginia is on track for an exciting fall as it revs up to host the touring exhibition “Hot Wheels™: Race to Win™.” Guests have the green light to accelerate their understanding of STEM concepts while the exhibition makes a pit stop in Central Virginia beginning Saturday, Sept. 25.
The exhibition offers a look at the thrilling world of racing, investigates the scientific process for designing super-fast cars and helps guests who have the need for speed understand how it is achieved. Using Hot Wheels® die-cast toys, guests can work together to build and test the fastest and safest speed machines on the planet.
“Hot Wheels are fantastic hands-on tools for exploring speed, power and performance, all of which include elements of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Virginia C. Ellett Director of Education Timshel Purdum. “The challenge, creativity and experimentation the cars, tracks, loops and jumps offer are critical for developing problem-solving skills and building confidence in future scientists and engineers. This exhibition reminds us that play is an experience, one that fosters freedom, self-expression, imagination and joy.”
Guests can participate in the Pit Stop Challenge in which they race the clock — and their family and friends — to change tires and refuel the car. A six-lane downhill speed track, booster power track, adjustable angles track and timing track are just a few of the ways guests can test their theories regarding cause and effect as well as force and motion. Real race car parts, authentic artifacts and captivating memorabilia round out the immersive experience that has guests observing, predicting and measuring potential and kinetic energy, gravity, mass, inclined planes, distance, averages and more. After leaving the Science Museum, guests are encouraged to continue discussing themes covered in the exhibition on their next road trip or with wheeled vehicles in their home.
“This family learning experience provides hands-on opportunities for parents to explain complex physics concepts in fun ways using the popular Hot Wheels™ toy cars as they experiment with different principles to see which makes a car go fastest,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the organization that produced the exhibition.
Introduced by Mattel in May 1968, the 1:64-scale cars were innovative toys, which should come as no surprise as the original design team included an automotive engineer and rocket scientist. Before Hot Wheels, die-cast cars were not agile and didn’t have much variety. The thick-gauge wire axle coupled with a special plastic bearing reduced friction, which combined with a track designed by a female engineer allowed the original “Sweet 16” offerings to go faster and farther than existing vehicles at the time. Plus, the candy-colored metallic “Spectraflame” paint jobs made the toys eye-catching. But it was the groundbreaking wide-back-wheel design that made Hot Wheels the winner, and what lead to the famous brand’s iconic name.
Today there are more than 800 models and 11,000 variations of Hot Wheels, and more than four billion Hot Wheels die-cast cars have been sold. The popularity of the vehicles spans generations, and has even jumped out of the toy box as hobbyists have created 20 life-size models of Hot Wheels cars since 2001.
“Generations of children have enjoyed the thrill and speed of racing with Hot Wheels,” said Julie Freeland, Senior Director, Global Live Events & Attractions, Mattel. “This interactive exhibit now brings families together to learn what brings racing to life in a fun and memorable way.”
To complement the exhibition, the Science Museum will have race-themed demos and educational activities throughout the building as well offer digital STEM materials to support guests’ drive for knowledge from home.
“Hot Wheels™: Race to Win™” is included with Science Museum admission. Discounts are available for teachers, military personnel and EBT cardholders.
During the run of the exhibition, guests are invited to bring a new, individually packaged Hot Wheel to the Science Museum when they visit. The Science Museum will donate them to elementary students visiting on field trips from under-resourced schools, along with a STEM activity to help the students explore engineering, force and motion from home. Donation bins will be located at the Guest Services desk.
“Hot Wheels™: Race to Win™” was produced by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Mattel, and is locally sponsored by TowneBank and Woodfin. It is on display at the Science Museum until Jan. 23, 2022.
The Science Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance of their visit at smv.org.
Poe at the Pump House
All profits of the event will go to preserve the Pump House.
Come for a tour of Richmond’s own historic Byrd Park Pump House and listen to Edgar Allan Poe’s greatest works being read by an Edgar Allan Poe actor! This historic building, and its open air ballroom, offers the perfect venue and environment to hear Edgar Allan Poe’s greatest works.
From 4:00-7:00 PM on October 23rd we are offering 3 one-hour long sessions, starting on the hour at 4:00, 5:00, & 6:00. Please arrive at the front doors of the Pump House a few minutes early to sign in with an event volunteer.
These one hour sessions will include a history tour of the Pump House and readings of Edgar Allan Poe’s work.
We are limiting tours to 20 people and we will be taking measures to keep visitors safe while inside the building.
- As always, we require hard hats while inside the building, which will be provided as well as sanitized after each use.
- As a Covid-19 response this event requires visitors to wear masks at all times, hand sanitizing, and social distancing where possible.
- The building is not ADA accessible and those with mobility impairments may find some sections of the Pump House difficult to maneuver. Please reach out any further information or questions.
- Kids are welcome, but are recommended to stay near an adult during the tour.
- And as much as we love animals, the Pump House is not a safe place for them and they are not permitted, other than service animals.
Harvestfest Festing it up at Lewis Ginter this Weekend
This two-day event has a festival vibe with live music, food, and adult beverages, plus family-friendly activities.
Harvestfest at Lewis Ginter is Saturday, Oct. 23, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and included with regular Garden admission.
Not only do you get all the beauty that is Lewis Ginter you get a mini-festival live music, food, and adult beverages, plus family-friendly activities.
- Ken Kellner Trio – 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the Cochrane Rose Garden
- Hazeltone – 5-8 p.m. outside of Bloemendaal House — Hazeltone is a regional Roots Rock original music band with influences coming from The Doors, John Mayer, Neil Young and others.
- Ken Kellner Trio – 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the Cochrane Rose Garden
- Gypsy Roots Jazz Duo – 1:30-3:30 p.m. outside of Bloemendaal House
Science Museum Debuts Two New Features in The Dome
This fall, the Science Museum of Virginia is featuring two new shows in The Dome that guests may add to their visit: “Birth of Planet Earth” and “Antarctica.”
At more than 9,000 square feet—or almost a quarter acre—the Science Museum has the only Dome theater in Central Virginia, and the largest Dome screen in the state. Stadium-style seating, a wrap-around screen, the world’s first “8K” digital full-dome system and an ever-changing lineup of features combine to create a thrilling, immersive experience that helps curious-minded guests of all ages connect to the world and beyond.
Released in 2019, the planetarium show “Birth of Planet Earth” debuted Oct. 1. It is currently playing Tuesday through Friday at 1 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at noon. It has a 25-minute runtime, and is followed by a live guided journey through the cosmos hosted by a Science Museum educator.
Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, “Antarctica” is a giant-screen film released earlier this year that recently took home Best Cinematography at the Jackson Wild Media Awards. It will begin playing at the Science Museum Nov. 1, and runs approximately 45 minutes.
“Birth of Planet Earth” uncovers what it took to achieve Earth’s wonder by exploring the formation of our solar system and the origins of our planet that occurred some 5 billion years ago. Guests will learn how the aftershocks of a supernova, the violence of Jupiter, a chance collision with the proto-planet Theia, the gift of a moon and water combined to make life possible. The cosmic journey also examines the possibility that our galaxy is filled with solar systems that have planets similar to our own, both in size and in their ability to sustain human life.
“Antarctica” investigates the mysterious and hostile—but beautiful—continent at the bottom of the world. Virtually untouched by humans because of its extreme conditions, Antarctica is home to an abundance of exciting creatures that thrive. However, climate change is threatening the arctic and the wildlife living there, and it is up to communities around the globe to protect it. Guests explore pristine, frozen mountain peaks to the otherworldly arctic sea floor to learn about how the world plans to preserve Antarctica.
During regular operating hours, admission to “Antarctica” or “Birth of Planet Earth” is available through a combination ticket that includes access Science Museum exhibits. Admission is $20.50 for adults; $18.50 for youth (ages 6–12) and seniors (ages 60 and older); and $15 for preschool-aged children (ages 3–5). Discounts are available for teachers, military personnel and EBT cardholders. Infinite members receive free admission to the Science Museum and all Dome shows.
“Antarctica” was created by BBC Earth and distributed by SK Films. It received support from the National Science Foundation and the British Antarctic Survey, an institute of the Natural Environment Research Council.
“Birth of Planet Earth” was produced by Spitz Creative Media, NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Lab, Thomas Lucas Productions, Inc., in association with Tellus Science Museum. The project is supported by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, and was funded in part by the National Science Foundation.
The Science Museum is located at 2500 West Broad St. in Richmond.