In 1970, the Science Museum of Virginia was begun. It was founded by the Virginia General Assembly and, over the years, has become the No. 1 center for teaching science hands-on here. In 1981, it opened a large aquarium and a year later, it expanded and introduced the world's largest ever crystal exhibition.

It continued to come up with several world's firsts such as the exhibition of the Solar Challenger which was the world's first successful solar powered airplane in 1982 and 1983 and a planetarium. This planetarium had for the first time in the world equipment for computer and video projection.

Since then, this museum has come out with programs that include weekly educational programming, visiting exhibitions, lectures, overnight adventures, demonstrations, summer camps, dramatic presentations and outreach programs.

It's a wonderful place for the entire family to spend time at. Kids can enjoy watching the kugel ball, a sculptured stone that floats on water. Our kids' favorite part is the traveling exhibits. In fact, this museum is popular with kids because they enjoy the hands-on exhibits in the physics and space section.

In the section upstairs, there are exhibits on the human body, besides one on forensics where kids can participate and find out "whodunit" by using a small neighboring animal room. They might also enjoy a show where rats play basketball, or an animal exhibit in which snakes and black widows come up close.

There's also an IMAX auditorium which is a great hit with adults and kids.