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Virginia Museum Of Transportation: 3 Reasons Why Young Kids Love It

Even kids can understand the thrills of transportation, whether it’s the speed of a car or the first time we watched a train pass by. Learning about transportation starts at the young preschool age and it can lead to a lifelong passion of trains, cars or planes. If you’re visiting Virginia’s Blue Ridge area, as a family, then you’ve got to check out the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke. It’ll bring those thrills to life for young kids and they’ll absolutely love everything the museum offers.

Virginia Museum of Transportation with Kids

When the museum first opened in 1963, it showcased all modes of transportation, but primarily focused on Virginia’s railroad history. After a flood hit the original museum location, they re-opened in 1985 to the location where they are now – a 45,000 square foot building adjacent to active Norfolk Southern mainline tracks on 5.75 acres of land in downtown Roanoke.

By simply walking through the doors, adults and children will immediately be in awe of the museum exhibits that welcome guests. They have over 2,500 pieces of artifacts and the largest collection of diesel locomotives in the South. The kids will love exploring all of the hands-on exhibits and checking out the outdoor rail yard. It truly brings everything they’ve learned about transportation in school to life.

Check out these 11 Things To Do In Roanoke Virginia That Kids Will Love – including the Kid’s Square Children’s Museum! Virginia’s Blue Ridge Area is a fantastic area for families, with many things to do. Pro tip: dine at Tuco’s Taqueria after visiting the museum.

3 Reasons Kids Love Virginia’s Museum Of Transportation

If you’re planning a full day of exploring Roanoke, Virginia as a family, be sure to set aside a few hours for the transportation museum. You can easily spend a morning or afternoon, with the kids, at the museum. Check out all of the reasons the Virginia Museum of Transportation is worth visiting with kids.

Virginia Museum of Transportation vintage cars

So Many Rows of Planes, Trains & Automobiles

The museum is divided into different exhibits that represent certain time periods for planes, trains and automobiles. Each of the exhibits showcase different size artifacts, with some being hands-on and others for observing only. I love that the model train exhibit has a few lower windows that’s perfect for toddlers to observe. Outside, in the train yard, the kids can climb aboard some of the trains and take photos in front of them. Kids love the size comparisons of the different artifacts on display.

Model trains at Virginia Transportation Museum

The Virginia Museum Of Transportation Brings History To Life

It’s difficult for kids to understand the depths of history, but it’s easier when they’ve got multiple ways to learn. The transportation museum does a great job at depicting the types of public transportation that was used in the state of Virginia’s history. History comes to life because the museum’s exhibits touches on multiple senses – really allowing kids to fully absorb what they’re learning. My kids find that much more interesting than just opening a book.

Fire truck at Museum Train Yard

Unique Museum Events That Are Designed For Kids

Any time is a great time to visit the museum, but they offer designated events that are perfect for different ages of kids. Check the museum’s Facebook page for upcoming events. They offer summer camps, themed “mommy and me” events for toddlers, family movie nights and STEAM-related events for kids. Even if you don’t attend during one of the events, the museum is very family-friendly during normal admission hours. Parents can easily bring infants in strollers as well.

Playing inside train conductor room

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of our family’s favorite Roanoke museums for kids. They’ll learn a lot, love the hands-on exhibits and there is plenty of fun photo opportunities. Connect as a family while learning about Virginia’s transportation history, and then explore more of Downtown Roanoke when you’re done!

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