Visit Virtual Virginia

You don’t have to leave home to tour museums and galleries around the Commonwealth.

Courtesy the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

The Smithsonian Magazine’s annual Museum Day may be cancelled this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore Virginia’s treasures from the comfort of home. This list provides resources on virtual tours, educational activities, and live broadcasts from popular locations throughout the state. Take a walk through time, peruse the options, and most importantly, take a deep breath. We’re in this together.

Note: Did we miss one? Email updates to us (subject: Virtual Virginia Update) and we’ll update the list.

Central Region

Courtesy the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Explore art with the VMFA via Instagram. Patrons can send requests for pieces from the collections to be featured on the museum’s daily post. The museum also offers audio and virtual gallery tours. VMFA.museum

Maymont 

Virtual learning opportunities from the Maymont Environmental Education Team are available, offering book, movie, and craft suggestions for kids. Audio tours of the grounds and mansion are available, as is a virtual tour. Maymont.org

Agecroft Hall & Gardens 

Tune in daily on Facebook for #museumathome with executive director Anne Kenny-Urban to learn about Agecroft artifacts and the 15th century Tudor manor that was transported and reconstructed in Richmond. AgecroftHall.org

The James Monroe Museum

Learn about the life and legacy of America’s fifth president with a virtual tour of The James Monroe Museum. Virtual visitors can also view 3D versions of artifacts in the museum thanks to a project by University of Mary Washington students. JamesMonroeMuseum.umw.edu

Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Watch more than 250 hours of recorded lectures by authors and speakers in the Banner Lectures Archive or take virtual tours of the museum’s current exhibitions. The museum also offers webinars for children and adults on everything from tobacco to women’s suffrage. VirginiaHistory.org/AtHome

The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design

Subscribe to the museum’s YouTube channel for virtual content, including engineering exercises for kids at home or a tour of the Inner Lives ceramic exhibition. BranchMuseum.org

University of Richmond Museums

“A Pound of Whatever Silver He Pleases”: History and Economy in the Late Medieval Eastern Mediterranean from the Lora Robins Gallery Coin Collection is available to view online through the University of Richmond Museums’ webpage. Explore fifty-three coins from the eastern Mediterranean––all from the comfort of home. Museums.Richmond.edu

Poplar Forest

Instead of visiting Jefferson’s personal retreat in person, visit Poplar Forest’s Facebook page for Museum Shop Mondays, educational and demonstration videos, and a Throwback Thursday picture series with before and after photos from the restoration process. The site’s restoration and archaeology departments also posts artifacts from their collection and behind-the-scenes looks at projects on Instagram––follow @poplarforest_restoration and @pfarchaeology for more. PoplarForest.org

Shenandoah Valley Region

Courtesy the American Shakespeare Center

American Shakespeare Center

Play from far away with the theater as you learn about Shakespeare, explore the texts, and watch live stream performances from BlkFrsTV on Facebook. AmericanShakespeareCenter.com

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley 

Connect with the museum online for behind-the-scenes takes, blogs, and the daily item reviewed via social media. Itching to get outside? The museum has plans to open its gardens to debut David Rogers’ Big Bugs exhibition on April 18. TheMSV.org

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum

Check out free virtual tours of President Wilson’s birthplace on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10:30 a.m. Other free tours include topics on Wilson’s Pierce-Arrow limousine, the experiences of the enslaved people who lived and labored in the Presbyterian Manse, and even Wilson’s response to the Spanish Flu pandemic. WoodrowWilson.org/Virtual-Visits

Eastern Region

Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg 

Travel back to 18th century Virginia and learn from skilled tradespeople how to assemble cooperage or brew pale ale, navigate interactive timelines, DIY colonial crafts, or try a new recipe. Plus, take a 360-degree interactive tour of three highlight exhibitions at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. ColonialWilliamsburg.org

Virginia Living Museum 

Join the museum on social media where they post online activities for kids like Awesome Animal Ambassadors, live fish feedings at the aquariums, DIY bird feeders, and Night Night Nature at 8:00 p.m. every night for a bedtime story. TheVLM.org

The Mariners’ Museum 

Interesting stories abound on the museum’s blog. Get the backstory on artifacts like the museum’s new Inuit parka made from seal intestines and the logistics of international art shipments. The museum’s park and Noland Trail are still open to the public. MarinersMuseum.org

Jamestown Settlement & the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Explore the earliest history of Virginia, match your personality with a 17th-century artifact, watch videos about everyday life during the American Revolution, and much more. HistoryIsFun.org

Plus, the museums’ Jamestown Settlement and Virginia History Trail apps put history at your fingertips. Look for them on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Stratford Hall

The birthplace of Robert E. Lee is going live every Tuesday on social media with a #TourTuesday highlight. The series will take viewers to stops around the plantation led by the manager of interpretation. A virtual tour of the plantation with sign language interpretation can be found here. StratfordHall.org

Chrysler Museum of Art

Explore the full Chrysler collection in the searchable digital archive, check out past Third Thursday performances at the Perry Glass Studio, or take a Google Arts & Culture virtual tour of the museum. While you’re at it, print out some coloring pages for the kids. Chrysler.org

Northern Region

Mount Vernon 

Join in at noon on social media for a live broadcast at the estate! Can’t make it? Uncover history from the online collections, test your leadership skills as George Washington, or view the live stream of Hog Island Sheep at the Linda Mars Livestock Facility on Mount Vernon’s YouTube channel. MountVernon.org 

Historic Alexandria 

Visit historic Alexandria sites like the Alexandria Archaeology Museum and complete daily educational activities, explore Old Town, or celebrate happy hour virtually with The Hour. VisitAlexandriaVA.com

Manassas Historical Sites 

Follow along the illustrated journey provided by the Manassas Museum System as it guides tourists through seven locations, such as the Southern Railway Depot and Hopkins Candy Factory. ManassasCity.org

Gari Melchers Home & Studio

This spot in Falmouth was the home and studio of prominent portraitist and American Impressionist painter Gari Melchers from 1916 until his death. Visit the site’s webpage for activities, lesson plans, online jigsaw puzzles, printable coloring pages, and online games for children. GariMelchers.org/Education/Learn

Southwest Region

Courtesy The Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Craft a mini banjo and get to pickin’, y’all! The museum has created activities related to its collections, offering history lessons and more. Tune in daily to Radio Bristol for live performances to support local artists. BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org

Taubman Museum of Art 

Check out the museum’s Facebook page for gallery and behind the scenes tours of the museum’s permanent collection vault with more than 2,000 works. TaubmanMuseum.org

Barter Theatre 

Barter on Demand allows audiences to stream theatre productions from home, access bonus features, and educational resources. The premiere will be an adaptation of Peter Pan on March 29. BarterTheatre.com

Blue Ridge Institute & Museum

Discover the folk heritage of the Blue Ridge region through three online exhibits. Topics include the history of moonshine in the Blue Ridge, racing in Southwest Virginia, and earthenware potters along the Great Road in Virginia and Tennessee. Ferrum.edu/BlueRidgeInstitute

Salem Museum & Historical Society

The museum is launching two weekly video series. “White Glove Wednesdays,” hosted by assistant director Alex Burke, introduces audiences to artifacts in the museum. “Around Town” includes the history behind Salem landmarks and other inconspicuous spots. SalemMuseum.org

Kids Square Children’s Museum

Tune in with the kids every Tuesday through Friday when the museum goes live on Facebook at 11:00 a.m. Watch everything from science experiments to read-alouds. Everyone who joins to watch will have a chance to win one of the items they play with on the broadcast. KidsSquare.org

Virginia Museum of Transportation

Explore the museum’s collections on rail, road, air, and ships through its website. Examples of exhibits include a model circus, interviews and biographies of African American railroad workers, and photos of several historical vehicles. VMT.org


Want to see more? Virginia Humanities’ Encyclopedia Virginia has more than 60 VR tours of historic sites across the state, including popular tourist destinations, presidential homes, and historic sites.

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