Children's Museum of Virginia

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Coordinates: 36°50′06″N 76°17′56″W / 36.8349°N 76.2988°W / 36.8349; -76.2988

Children's Museum of Virginia
Established 1980
Location 221 High Street, Portsmouth, Virginia
Director Nancy Perry
Website [1]

The Children's Museum of Virginia is the largest children's museum in the state of Virginia. It is located in the heart of Olde Town Portsmouth at 221 High Street. The Children's Museum of Virginia highlights:

  • Life size tug boat for children to play with
  • Bubble play area
  • Life size house
  • Lancaster train area for the little ones to play with trains
  • An exhibit that allows children to learn how food goes from farm to house


The museum first opened in December 1980 when the Lancaster’s donated their personal collection of 5000 toys and trains, lovingly collected for more than forty years. The museum was born in the basement of the Portsmouth library. In 1984 the size of the museum doubled and moved to 1846 Courthouse on the corner of High and Court Streets. At the museums 18th birthday it moved to the 221 location on high street where it is today.


  • 1998- Renovations were made by adding over 30+ interactive exhibits, 63,000 square feet (5,900 m2) and re-arranging the Lancaster Train Set.
  • 2009- The entire building was gutted to make a more new, modern museum. Adding all new exhibits and adding over 9,000 square feet (840 m2) to the existing building.[1]


The museum closed in September 2009 to begin work on the renovations. While the museum is closed a temporary location called Andalo’s Clubhouse, has been set up in the old museum office space located at 420 High St. The temporary location is best location for the temporary exhibit housing because its small area and basic exhibits was well suited for young children.[2]


  1. ^ Alvin Schweizer-Museum Site Director
  2. ^ Official Museum website