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Holiday Shopping Guide

Monday December 7, 2020

You can get everyone crossed off your list with a shopping weekend in Martinsville – Henry County.

Plan a Family Fun Weekend in MHC

Monday November 2, 2020

We have your ultimate guide to a weekend full of family fun that everyone is sure to enjoy.

Virginia Museum of Natural History nominated for prestigious National Medal for Museum and Library Service

Wednesday October 28, 2020

Museum nominated for the award by Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.)

Stargazing in MHC

Friday October 9, 2020

Look up! 

Drive-thru Dinosaur Experience POSTPONED until Thursday, July 30!

Friday July 24, 2020

Due to severe weather, the Drive-thru Dinosaur Experience has been postponed until Thursday, July 30 from 5 to 8 p.m.

50 Things to LOVE in MHC!

Friday July 17, 2020

We composed a list of 50 great things to LOVE about MHC.

World Emoji Day Answers

Friday July 17, 2020

Answers for World Emoji Day for MHC.

Drive-thru Dinosaur Experience At Virginia Museum Of Natural History

Monday July 13, 2020

On Thursday, July 23 from 5 to 8 p.m., the museum is hosting the Drive-thru Dinosaur Experience

Virginia Museum of Natural History to reopen on a limited basis June 19

Thursday June 18, 2020

Virginia Museum of Natural History to reopen on a limited basis June 19

Virtual Reptile Festival (June 12-13) and Drive-thru Reptile Experience (June 13)!

Monday June 8, 2020

Virtual Reptile Festival is June 12-13; Drive-thru Reptile Experience is Saturday, June 13 from noon to 3 p.m.

Updates from Virginia Museum of Natural History

Thursday April 23, 2020

Tales of Ancient Life

Shop Now for Future Fun Experiences in MHC

Thursday April 9, 2020

When you are ready, we are here!

Spring Break Fun in MHC

Monday March 9, 2020

Low-Costs, BIG Fun 

Spring Break Science Camp for ages 6-11 is April 6-10!

Monday March 9, 2020

Spring Break Science Camp for ages 6-11 is April 6-10!

National Day of Unplugging is March 6th-7th, 2020

Thursday March 5, 2020

The 2020 National Day of Unplugging is March 6th-7th from sundown to sundown

Grapes & Grains is Saturday, April 18! Reserve your tickets today!

Thursday March 5, 2020

Grapes & Grains is Saturday, April 18th from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

#LOVE is in Bloom in MHC this Valentine’s Day

Tuesday February 4, 2020

Valentine’s Day is here and, for many ladies, so is the moment they have been waiting for! The VisitMartinsville team is here to help you from your proposal, to your wedding day. Valentine’s Day is a fun and loving day for many people and we want to take the work out of it for you. From the jeweler to the “I Do” venue, let us help you start those plans!

It all starts with a ring! Martinsville – Henry County is home to two locally-owned and operated jewelry stores that can help you pick the perfect engagement ring for your soulmate. Whether you prefer a modern style, a ring with a vintage flare, or you want to design your own, our local jewelers are ready to help. You can also shop for wedding bands and gifts for your wedding party.

The Jeweler’s Edge offers more than 30 years of experience in jewelry sales and repairs. They are also a member of the Diamond Council of America and are certified in Diamonds and Gemstones. Stop by the store to browse their extensive collection, including estate pieces, or to have them create a one-of-a-kind piece for your future bride. You will also find an assortment of jewelry that will make perfect gifts for your groomsmen and bridal party.

Mark’s Jewelers, located in Uptown Martinsville, is owned and operated by local goldsmith Mark Gillipsie who has 32 years bench experience. Drop in and say hello and see what treasures are available. 

You bought the ring, she said yes, now it’s time to pick the perfect venue for your perfect day! What’s your wedding style? Elegant and chic? Charming and rustic? Outdoors and fun? Martinsville – Henry County is home to numerous venues that offer the perfect setting for your perfect day. Consider these venues:

The Bassett Train Station Event Center is located in the renovated historic train station in Bassett, Virginia. The Event Center has a historic appeal with added modern amenities.

The Heritage Conference & Event Center is located on the grounds of the former Bassett Country Club, which opened in 1926. The Lester Group has since modernized the former clubhouse and renamed it.

The Historic Little Post Office is located on a spacious wooded lot in the heart of Martinsville’s Arts & Cultural District. The building and grounds are full of historic charm. The small, gable-front building is lushly detailed in the Queen Anne Style, with beautiful ironwork and an original stained glass door, providing a beautiful backdrop for exhibits and events.

Mountain Valley Artisan Barn offers 7500 square feet of barn space and endless mountain views for the perfect country setting for your perfect day.

Stoneleigh Estate is a 1926 Tudor mansion nestled in the Virginia foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains overlooking 56 acres of manicured lawns, forest, and recently refurbished formal gardens. It is crafted out of stone from the nearby Smith River. The interior décor is European chic with modern conveniences. Stoneleigh is listed on the National Historic Registry and once the home of former Virginia Governor Thomas B. Stanley. (Featured in the Weddings edition of Virginia Living Magazine in 2018) 

Then comes the perfect reception venue! If you are looking for a venue for your reception, away from your wedding venue, consider these:
The Baldwin Building
Forest Park Country Club
Grand Fiesta Event Venue

Historic John D. Bassett Special Events Center
Martinsville-Henry County Heritage Center& Museum
Mountain Valley Brewing
Piedmont Arts

Spencer Penn Centre
The Uptown Ministry Center
Virginia Museum of Natural History

Need lodging options for your out-of-town guests? Local options include a historic estate, elegant b & b’s, hotels and camping. Find information on the venues below, and others, at VisitMartinsville.com/stay.
Baymont Inn
Comfort Inn
The Fishel Cottage
Hampton Inn 
The Ketchie House
One Starling
Quality-Dutch Inn
The Simmons House

Contact the VisitMartinsville team for more information on local wedding venues and to find out how we can make your planning a little easier. Be sure to ask about obtaining welcome bags for your out-of-town guests by calling (276) 632-8006 or visit us online at www.VisitMartinsville.com/event-planning


Ice Age Festival and 'Wild About Cats' exhibit opening is Saturday, January 25!

Thursday January 9, 2020

Another Ice Age is being ushered in at the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville on Saturday, January 25th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.!

Rediscover Martinsville’s Museums: Virginia Museum of Natural History

Friday December 20, 2019

*This is the first in a series of blog stories.

Winter Break Science Camp at Virginia Museum of Natural History for ages 6-11!

Thursday December 19, 2019

Come beat the cold and join the Virginia Museum of Natural History on your winter break! 

Frog superpowers and the science that explains them

Wednesday December 11, 2019

Thursday, December 12 from 6 to 7 p.m.

Fun Ahead in 2020

Monday December 9, 2019

Plan Ahead 

Next 2nd Thursday Science Talk is this Thursday!

Wednesday November 13, 2019

Lost Variety: Anatomical Innovations in the Reptile Fossil Record.

Science Sundays at Virginia Museum of Natural History

Friday October 25, 2019

"Science Sundays" set for November 3 and December 8 at VMNH!

Dragon Festival is this Saturday!

Thursday October 17, 2019

Science, history and myth collide during the Dragon Festival on Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.! 

Fossil Fever is August 2-11!

Wednesday July 31, 2019

VMNH to have "Fossil Fever" August 2-11.

Dino Festival is this Friday and Saturday!

Tuesday July 23, 2019

Dino Festival is Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27.

Dino Festival Is Friday, July 26 And Saturday, July 27!

Tuesday July 2, 2019

Come to the Virginia Museum of Natural History July 26th and 27th for Dino Festival 2019.

Bug Festival is Saturday, June 15!

Thursday May 23, 2019

Bug Festival returns to the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

Local Businesses Win “Best of Virginia” 2019 Awards

Saturday May 18, 2019

 Over 80 local businesses were awarded "Best of Virginia" honors.

VisitMartinsville Receives Virginia Tourism Corporation Grant for Tourism Marketing

Wednesday February 13, 2019

Latest marketing campaign receives $5,000.

Virginia Museum of Natural History announces campaign to design and create life-sized model of largest bird to ever fly

Friday February 8, 2019

Flesh-model display of Pelagornis sandersi to be premier exhibit inside the soon to be constructed Jean S. Adams Education Pavilion

9th Annual Martinsville Half Marathon & 5K Coming Soon

Wednesday February 6, 2019

The Martinsville running scene flourishes as competitors hit the pavement for the 9th annual Martinsville Half Marathon & 5K.

Spring Save the Date

Wednesday January 9, 2019

Be sure to mark these Save the Dates on your calendar for an amazing Spring in 2019. 

VMNH Winter Science Camp is Saturday, December 8!

Monday November 26, 2018

VMNH is offering a science and fun filled camp for children ages 6-12.

Winter Fun in MHC

Tuesday November 13, 2018

Just because winter is approaching doesn’t mean that the fun is slowing down in Martinsville-Henry County! Beat your winter woes while (re)discovering some of the hidden gems of our community. From exploring award-winning museums and experiencing live theatre to participating in themed footraces and sipping local concoctions at our wineries and brewery, you can find a variety of reasons to return to MHC all season long.

The colder weather of the winter months offers a wonderful opportunity to discover one (or all eight) of Martinsville-Henry County’s museums. You can uncover history and discover a new passion at the Virginia Museum of Natural History, Piedmont Arts, the MHC Heritage Center & Museum, FAHI African American Museum & Cultural Center, the Bassett Historical Center, the MHC Historical Museum, Rucker’s Communication Museum and at the Philpott Lake Heritage Exhibit. Dive into the history of our natural world at the Smithsonian-affiliated Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH). VMNH offers award-winning exhibits, ground-breaking scientific research and collections and transformational educational programs for all ages as well as special events such as Reptile Day on January 19th! You could also immerse yourself in the fantastic world of fine art at Piedmont Arts. Affiliated with the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, this exhibit space is an award-winning art museum that curates thought-provoking exhibitions by international, national and regional artists. They also bring a full schedule of arts events to take part in such as gallery receptions, painting classes for all ages, concerts and performances. These are just a couple of examples of the fabulous museums available to explore throughout Martinsville-Henry County.

Uptown Pinball, the area’s only arcade, is a family-friendly hotspot that is ideal to visit during the upcoming cold season. Home to 5 of the 10 top ranked pinball machines in the world (as ranked by pinside.com's top 100) and other favorites such as Skee Ball and Air Hockey, the arcade offers limitless fun. An all-day pass allows you to play however much you want, when you want. There’s also a VIP gaming lounge and laser tag. Uptown Pinball isn’t just for kids - adults love the games too!

You can also escape the hum drum winter blues by delving into captivating stories during live theatre performances. Martinsville-Henry County is home to two theatre companies presenting the talents of local and regional citizens: Theatre Works Community Players and the PHCC Patriot Players. Fulfill your desire for music, drama and suspense this winter with scheduled performances that include Scrooge Macbeth (November 23-25 and November 29 - December 1) and Don’t Drink the Water(February 21-23 and March 1-3) by TWCP and Annie presented by the Patriot Players (November 29 - December 2 and December 6-9).

Wine and craft beer connoisseurs should make plans to visit Hamlet Vineyards for a delicious wine tasting and lunch on Sundays or stop by Mountain Valley Brewing on weekend for a refreshing pint of seasonal craft beer to warm the soul and forget about the cold. Mountain Valley Brewing also hosts musical events most evenings (Thursday-Saturday) as well as other events such as paint parties, stargazing and more. There are also a wine and beer events held at local venues such as Wine Tasting Wednesdays and Beer Release Thursdays at Daily Grind Café in Martinsville Uptown.

For those looking for opportunities to stay active during the season, the Miles in Martinsville will offer multiple themed footraces to enjoy. The Light up the Night 5K on December 8th will benefit theGirls on the Run & STRIDE and is a family friendly event that is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Dress in your best Christmas attire or your wackiest and tackiest sweater and head for the finish line. You can also participate in The Nail the Rail 9 Miler on February 9th, presented by VisitMartinsville, which will be held on the Dick & Willie Passage Rail Trail.It’s a simple concept really. Start at the zero-mile marker of the Dick and Willie Passage and run all the way to the 4.5 marker at Mulberry Creek, then turn around and run back. The question is how fast can you Nail the Rail? If you’re not looking to run, but still want to be outdoors, you can still have a good time throughout the colder months in MHC through biking, hiking, paddling and more. Just remember to stay warm and safe!

For more information on planning a winter trip to Martinsville-Henry County, visit our website at www.VisitMartinsville.com, call toll free 888.722.3498, or simply come by and see us at our Visitor Center located at 191 Fayette Street Martinsville, VA 24112 Tuesday-Saturday 9am-5pm.

Dragon Festival is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at VMNH!

Friday October 19, 2018

A Renaissance Fair atmosphere

Dragon Festival is Saturday, October 20

Monday October 15, 2018

Dragon Festival is Saturday, October 20 at VMNH from 10 am - 6 pm

2018 Summer Camp Guide in MHC

Tuesday May 1, 2018

Summer's coming...enroll now! 

Virginia Museum of Natural History set to usher in another Ice Age on Saturday, January 20

Wednesday January 10, 2018

Stegodon to headline VMNH's Ice Age Festival

Youth Curator Camp is Saturday, December 9 at VMNH!

Friday December 1, 2017

Register today. Limited space available. 

Fall Fun in Martinsville-Henry County

Saturday August 19, 2017

From beer and wine tastings to a Reptile Day Festival and theatre shows, there is a fall event for everyone to enjoy in MHC!

Two-day dinosaur extravaganza is this Friday and Saturday!

Wednesday July 19, 2017

VMNH- Martinsville, VA 

Virginia Museum of Natural History Hosting 2-day Dinosaur Extravaganza

Wednesday July 12, 2017

Friday, July 21 & Saturday, July 22

Virginia Museum of Natural History Open on Sundays

Wednesday June 7, 2017

Through Labor Day Weekend

Summer Fun for Kids in MHC

Tuesday May 30, 2017

Start Planning Now! 

VMNH Summer Adventure Camp Listing

Wednesday May 24, 2017

**Registration deadline for June 5-9 camps extended until Monday, May 29**

Final "2nd Thursday Science Talk" is this evening!

Thursday May 11, 2017

Presented by Dr. Elizabeth Moore

Create a Lasting Work of Art at Piedmont Arts’ Art Garden Family Day

Friday April 14, 2017

Art Garden Family Day, April 22.

Art in Bloom: Automotive Art

Tuesday March 21, 2017

Garden Day 2017 

From ancient battlefield to museum gallery

Wednesday March 8, 2017

What archaeology can tell us about our past

This Evening's 2nd Thursday Science Talk: The E-files

Thursday February 9, 2017

Specimens, pins & spirits

Art In Bloom

Wednesday January 25, 2017

Garden Week in MHC 

Ice Age Festival is Saturday, January 28!

Monday January 23, 2017

Don't miss it! 

Dinosaurs and other dead things: How fossil collections teach us about evolution

Wednesday January 11, 2017

Presented by Dr. Alex Hastings, assistant curator of paleontology at the Virginia Museum of Natural History

Piedmont Arts Galleries Transform into Salt Marsh in New Exhibit

Wednesday January 4, 2017

Art installation re-creates marsh habitat using video and sound.

VMNH Youth Curator Camp Coming Soon

Wednesday November 9, 2016
VMNH Youth Curator Camp Coming Soon

Youth Curator Camp for ages 6-12 is Saturday, December 10!

“Matthew Henson: The first man at ninety degrees north latitude”

Monday November 7, 2016

Presented by Dr. Joe Keiper, executive director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History

Next 2nd Thursday Science Talk is October 13

Tuesday October 11, 2016
Next 2nd Thursday Science Talk is October 13

“Not just skin and bones: Lessons learned from collections of birds and mammals”

New Resident Finds Fun in Record Time with Activity Guide

Friday September 9, 2016
New Resident Finds Fun in Record Time with Activity Guide

Sheila Dye visits a variety of Martinsville-Henry County attractions

Bugs, Beer & BBQ

Tuesday September 6, 2016
Bugs, Beer & BBQ

Coming to Virginia Museum of Natural History October 8.

New Season of Doodle Bugs Begins September 14

Tuesday August 30, 2016

At the Virginia Museum of Natural History 

VMNH Wyoming Dinosaur Dig 2016

Monday July 25, 2016
VMNH Wyoming Dinosaur Dig 2016

Notes from Dr. Alex Hastings

Millennial Highlight: Billy Russo

Thursday June 9, 2016
Millennial Highlight: Billy Russo

Meet a young professional shaping MHC's future 

Area Businesses Awarded Tourism Marketing Grants

Wednesday June 8, 2016
Area Businesses Awarded Tourism Marketing Grants

Nine grants awarded 

Earth Day Festival

Wednesday April 20, 2016

Earth Day Festival is Saturday, April 23 at J. Frank Wilson Park

Earth Day 2016 in MHC

Tuesday April 19, 2016

How will you celebrate Earth Day this year? Plan to attend the Earth Day Festival 2016.


Next 'Science Talk' is Thursday, April 14th

Wednesday April 13, 2016

6 pm at VMNH 

Tickets still available for April 9 "Grapes & Grains" fundraiser!

Thursday March 24, 2016

Don't miss this annual Virginia Museum of Natural History fundraiser.

7th Annual Piedmont Kite Festival

Friday March 18, 2016

Don't Miss Out! The Piedmont Kite Festival is this Saturday at Jack Dalton Park!

Next 'Science Talk' is Thursday

Wednesday March 9, 2016


"Science Talk" Rescheduled to Thursday, February 18

Tuesday February 16, 2016

"Archaeology: Virginia’s past cultures" to be presented by Dr. Elizabeth Moore, curator of archaeology, VMNH.

Students from Italy Say “Ciao” to MHC

Thursday February 4, 2016

Italian exchange students and local students tour Martinsville-Henry County.

Next 'Science Talk' is Tonight at 6 p.m.

Thursday January 14, 2016

Biodiversity and your place in it

Ready for a Roaring Good Time?

Monday January 11, 2016

Dino Day returns Saturday, January 30, 2016 

16 in '16

Thursday December 31, 2015

16 great reasons to visit MHC in 2016 

Next 'Science Talk' is Thursday, December 10 at 6 p.m.

Monday December 7, 2015

"Dinosaurs and Life Thereafter"

Virginia Museum of Natural History’s “2nd Thursday Science Talks”

Tuesday November 10, 2015

Virginia Museum of Natural History’s “2nd Thursday Science Talks" is the second Thursday of every month. 

Reptile Day 2015

Friday October 23, 2015

Reptile Day 2015 is this Saturday, October 24

Brewster Walk to feature more than 50 craft beers plus hard ciders, wine

Friday October 2, 2015

Don't miss the first annual Brewster Walk

20 things you Need to do this September in MHC

Wednesday September 9, 2015

September will be full of fun

Science Talks at VMNH

Wednesday September 9, 2015

"2nd Thursday Science Talks" series resumes Thursday at 6 p.m.

Bugs, Beer & BBQ

Wednesday August 5, 2015

Inaugural museum cookout is next Friday!

Barbecue, Beer and...Bugs?

Monday July 27, 2015

Inaugural VMNH Cookout is to be held Friday, August 14.

Virginia Master Naturalist Offers Annual Basic Training

Monday July 6, 2015

Virginia Master Naturalist Southwestern Piedmont Chapter Offers Annual Basic Training

Summer 2015 Kids Camps

Wednesday May 20, 2015

A list of local Martinsville-Henry County area 2015 Kids Summer Camps

Area Businesses Win “Best Of Virginia” Awards

Friday May 8, 2015

58 local businesses featured in Virginia Living magazine

Mother's Day From MHC

Wednesday May 6, 2015

For mom, with love

2nd Thursday Science Talk: "The Gravely House"

Tuesday April 7, 2015

The Gravely House: A Case Study in 20th Century Archaeology and Material Culture

Piedmont Kite Festival

Wednesday March 18, 2015

Rain put a halt to the 6th annual Piedmont Kite Festival last Saturday, but the museum is hoping this Saturday's promising forecast comes to fruition and kites can fly high.

On Saturday, March 21, the museum and Henry County Parks and Recreation are hosting the Piedmont Kite Festival at Jack Dalton Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The free festival encourages residents to get outside and enjoy the spring weather.  The festival includes a kite building station, games, crafts, face painting, temporary tattoos, and live music by Kim and Jimbo Cary, who perform using all-natural instruments that children can play alongside them.  Of course, festival-goers are encouraged to bring their own kites, too.

“The Piedmont Kite Festival is a great way to kick-off spring,” said Sara Reichert, museum educator and coordinator of the festival.  “The weather is turning warmer, flowers are beginning to bloom, and the Kite Festival is a fun way for everyone to reconnect with the outdoors after a cold and snowy winter kept so many of us inside.”

The festival is a part of the museum’s Martinsville-Henry County Community Nature Network, which works with community partners to help residents reconnect with the outdoors.

“A significant aspect of our programming involves incorporating outdoor elements,” said Dr. Denny Casey, director of education and public programs at the museum.  “We believe it’s important to reconnect everyone with nature from educational, health, preservation, and stewardship perspectives.  Studies frequently show a disconnect with nature, especially in young children, and events like the Kite Festival are ways we hope to help counter that."

The 6th annual Piedmont Kite Festival is sponsored by American Global Logistics, helping keep attendance to the festival free of charge.

“We are thrilled once again to be able to offer the Kite Festival free of charge," said Ryan Barber, deputy director of the museum.  “Offering events for as little cost as possible to attendees is something we always strive for when planning our programming.  The generous support from our local and regional business community, like what American Global Logistics has provided, is exactly what we need to continue to offer high quality events for as little as possible.”

For more information about the Piedmont Kite Festival and other upcoming museum events, visitwww.vmnh.net.

Top Ten Events To Attend In April In MHC

Sunday March 15, 2015

Top ten events to attend in April in Martinsville-Henry County

Students from Italy and Carlisle School Tour Area

Friday February 6, 2015

Italian exchange students and local students tour Martinsville-Henry County

Wildlife of Manhattan finds new home at VMNH

Friday December 12, 2014
Wildlife of Manhattan finds new home at VMNH

Over 230 wildlife mounts donated to VMNH to be used in future exhibits

Come enjoy "2nd Thursday Science Talks" at VMNH

Tuesday December 9, 2014

December's "2nd Thursday Science Talk" is “Stream Temperatures as a Guide to Restoring Habitat for Virginia’s State Fish”

Virginia Tourism and Local Leaders Participate in FAM Tour

Friday October 31, 2014

Twenty-one people toured Martinsville-Henry County on FAM Tour. 

"Seniors on the Move" Tour Martinsville

Friday October 3, 2014

Twenty-six guests from Danville tour Martinsville-Henry County.

Area Residents Participate in FAM Tour

Saturday September 13, 2014

Familiarization tour introduced Martinsville-Henry County residents to area attractions

Martinsville Culture Crawl This Weekend

Thursday September 4, 2014

Martinsville Culture Crawl is this Saturday in Uptown Martinsville

Take Back Your Vacation

Thursday August 21, 2014

Escape to Philpott Lake

Volunteers Visit Virginia Museum of Natural History

Friday August 8, 2014

VisitMartinsville Volunteers Explored VMNH During "Living On Water" Festival

Discover the Great Outdoors

Tuesday June 17, 2014

"Not all who wonder are lost."- J.R.R. Tolkien 

Area Businesses Win “Best Of Virginia” Awards

Friday May 9, 2014

More than forty local businesses featured in Virginia Living magazine

Bug Daze Festival Is This Saturday

Friday May 2, 2014

Catch the Bearded Bee Man and a myriad of insects this Saturday

Earth Day Every Day

Monday April 21, 2014

Treat every day like Earth Day

Tour-ific Southern Virginia Museums

Monday April 14, 2014

Visiting a museum can be fun for all ages.

Tour-ific Southern Virginia Museums

Wednesday March 26, 2014

Does spring fever have your family itching to get out of the house? Cure that case of the winter blues by visiting a museum. Several options are available right here in Southern Virginia to inform, educate and entertain your restless crew for hours. Here are five suggested museums to check out the next time your kids cry, "We're bored!"

At the Virginia Museum of Natural History, located in Martinsville, guests can experience the natural diversity of Virginia through a variety of permanent and traveling exhibits. Current exhibits such as "Dinosaurs," "How Nature Works" and "Uncovering Virginia" provide lots of hands-on opportunities to explore the topics ranging from demonstrations and puzzles to multimedia experiences. The building is not just a museum but also a working research facility. I personally enjoy watching the staff scientists at work in their labs. An expansive wall of observation windows allows guests to peek in and see scientific discoveries being made. Scientists might be examining a 65 million year old triceratops skull or sifting through buckets of debris for shards of Native American pottery. You never know what you might see them working on. My preschooler loves spending time at the museum's Discovery Reef play area, an indoor ship, complete with a reading nook and climbing wall that offers kids a safe place to play. Moms enjoy this space too because of the comfy couches for lounging and free Wi-Fi. (vmnh.net)

Danville Science Center, located at the historic crossing of the Dan in Danville, is a fun place for families to explore. The museum offers a variety of traveling exhibits such as "From Here to There" and "Bloodsuckers" which are both on display through May. Young scientists, ages 3-7 can explore Spoutsville, a play area designed with activities just for them. Across from the main building, museum patrons can visit the 1899 Southern Railway Passenger Station for additional exhibits featuring both live and preserved animals. The architecture of this historic station is magnificent and my son, who is a fan of trains, enjoys getting to go inside the museum's red caboose on display behind the train station. (dsc.smv.org)

If your family enjoys art then be sure to visit Piedmont Arts, located in Martinsville. Four galleries at the facility each offer a different exhibit ranging from nationally renowned artists to local talent. Every two to three months the exhibits change, so there is always something new and exciting to see. I enjoy taking my son to play in Pallete the Discovery Dog's Art Room. This kid-friendly play space offers opportunities to make music, put on puppet shows, paint, make collages and more. If you stop by the information desk, you can pick up a scavenger hunt and search the galleries for clues left behind by Pallete. Free Wi-fi and an art library are also available. Admission is free. (piedmontarts.org)

If you've ever driven through the Uptown Historic District of Martinsville then chances are you've seen the stately structure of the Historic Henry County Courthouse. While no longer used for legal proceedings, this building dating back to 1824 is now home to the Martinsville-Henry County Heritage Center & Museum. In the restored courtroom on the second floor, you can sit in the jury box and at the judge's bench to hold a mock trial or explore historical exhibits on display in the witness rooms. Do keep an eye out for spirits that roam the building. According to the museum's Executive Director, Debbie Hall, "We do have a ghost here. Sometimes when I am here alone and the doors are all locked, I will hear footsteps coming up the stairway to the second floor and will get up to see who it is before I remember that I am alone, well, except for our ghost. Others have heard our ghost and have also witnessed doors being opened and items being moved, then returned to their original position and then moved again." Downstairs in the clerk's office and vaults, a variety of historical exhibits are on display and are changed throughout the year. One current exhibit, "On the Shoulders of Giants," details the founding furniture, textile and tobacco industries of the region. Admission is free. (mhchistoricalsociety.com)

Are you old enough to remember party lines? I'm not, so our recent visit to Rucker's Communication Museum in Martinsville was just as informative to me as it was my young son. Located on the mezzanine level of Rucker's Antiques Emporium and Auction House, this museum packs a great deal of information into a small space showing the evolution of telephone communication dating back to a replica prototype of Alexander Graham Bell's first telephone all the way up to modern day cell phones. Seeing telephone switchboards and learning how the operators managed them was fascinating. My son enjoyed seeing the many interesting tools that linemen use when working on telephone poles. For a healthy dose of nostalgia, it's well worth a visit. Be sure to also check out the Wild West Gambling Exhibit located on the first floor to see a replica 1900s game room and some interesting stories both tragic and humorous. Admission to both the museum and exhibit is free. (ruckersantiques.com)

Tips for Visiting Museums with Kids

Does the thought of taking a young child into a museum make you nervous? Did your last trip to a museum result in chasing the kids while hollering, "Wait! Don't you want to see this?" Get creative and plan ahead before your next outing. With the right kind of preparation, kids (and parents) can go into the experience with both enthusiasm and respect.

Here are a few suggestions to try:
• Set the scene and read themed books before you go. Books can provide a point of reference through story preparing children for what they might see and build excitement about the upcoming journey. Christy Deatherage, Museum Education Coordinator, suggests Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones by Byron Barton as a great read prior to visiting the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

• Time it right. Plan your visit for a time when the children are well-fed and rested to avoid grumpiness. If they become hungry or thirsty during your visit, take a break to address those basic needs.

• Plan ahead and know what's inside so your child can look for things. Some museums offer activities for kids on their websites or at their information desks. Piedmont Arts offers a fun scavenger hunt featuring Pallete the Discovery Dog. Families can explore the galleries while searching for clues left behind by Pallete. If none of these resources are available at the museum you visit, plan your own scavenger hunt. ("Find an animal with a tail in this exhibit.")

• Get maps for everyone at the information desk or give the kids sketch books to draw what they see - occupied hands are less tempted to wander onto works of art.

• The best way for children to enjoy a museum is to get them involved. Ask thought provoking questions; you might be surprised by some of their answers.
o If you were inside this painting, what would you hear? Smell? Feel?
o What would it be like if you lived when the dinosaurs were alive?
o What shapes do you see? What colors?
o What does this remind you of?

VMNH Presents Jefferson Awards

Friday March 21, 2014

8 Recipients Honored at 27th Annual Thomas Jefferson Awards

"750-Legged Beast" Topic of Tomorrow's 'Science Talk'

Wednesday January 8, 2014

"750-Legged Beast" Topic of Tomorrow's 'Science Talk' at VMNH

A New Year of Experiences

Tuesday December 31, 2013

An Overview of January Events in Martinsville-Henry County, Virginia

December Discoveries: Silverbell Trail

Sunday December 29, 2013

Fun for all ages can be found on the Silverbell Trail!

"Taxonomy and You" Presentation At VMNH

Tuesday December 10, 2013

Dr. Judith Winston Presents "Taxonomy and You" for VMNH 2nd Thursday Science Talk

Holiday Happenings in Martinsville-Henry County

Monday November 25, 2013

Variety Of Exciting Events During The Holiday Season In Martinsville-Henry County

Fall Exhibits in Martinsville-Henry County Museums

Monday October 14, 2013

Summary Of Exhibits And Galleries In Martinsville-Henry County Museums

A Visit to Skip's

Tuesday September 24, 2013

Good Food and Southern Hospitality

Area Businesses Win “Best Of Virginia” Awards

Friday May 3, 2013

More than thirty local businesses featured in Virginia Living magazine

Events This Weekend From the Virginia Museum of Natural History

Thursday April 18, 2013

Don't miss these great events this weekend

Don't Miss Out on These Amazing April Events

Thursday April 4, 2013

Earth Day and Elastic Park

Spring Break in MHC

Tuesday March 12, 2013

Don't let spring break leave you looking for ways to entertain your children!

Piedmont Kite Festival set to fly high March 16

Friday March 8, 2013

The Virginia Museum of Natural History wants you to Go Fly A Kite!

Scenes from Dino Day 2012

Thursday January 31, 2013

Don't miss the exciting "Dinosaurs" and "Dinosaur Discovery" Exhibits at VMNH!

Long Weekend Getaway Ideas

Tuesday January 15, 2013

Some inspiration on how to spend you next holiday weekend.

The Dinosaurs Are Coming!

Tuesday January 8, 2013

Stomping into Martinsville on January 12th...

Small Business Saturday

Monday November 19, 2012

Support Small Businesses on Saturday November 24th

Meet John Matthews

Tuesday September 25, 2012


Fairmont Wins FLW College Northern Conference Championship

Friday September 21, 2012

Fishing tournament highlights Philpott Lake

Meet Amanda Gray

Tuesday September 11, 2012

Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Smith River Sports Complex

Virginia Quilt Shop Rally a Success

Thursday July 19, 2012

More Than 800 Quilt Enthusiasts Participated in the Event 

Meet Gerald Holman

Tuesday July 3, 2012

Interm Executive Director, FAHI

Visit the Virginia Museum of Natural History

Friday June 1, 2012

Summer fun awaits you in Martinsville-Henry County and the surrounding area. 

Meet Virginia King

Tuesday May 22, 2012

Co-Owner, King Properties

2012 Summer Camp Guide

Monday May 21, 2012

Summer fun for all ages in Martinsville-Henry County

Area Businesses Win "Best Of Virginia" Awards

Thursday May 10, 2012

More than forty local businesses featured in Virginia Living magazine

Rockfish Valley Natural History Center becomes affiliate of VMNH

Monday May 7, 2012

Partnership to include shared exhibits, collaborative programs

VMNH Provides Disaster Relief to Partner Museum

Wednesday May 2, 2012

VMNH staff members travel to Gloucester, VA to provide conservation assistance for recent flooding

Martinsville Insiders: Rewind

Wednesday April 4, 2012

A look back at some recent tips from MHC residents in the know.  

Trio of Truck Drivers Step Back in Time 

Wednesday March 21, 2012

Drivers Enjoy Tour of Virginia Museum of Natural History

Piedmont Kite Festival set to fly high March 17

Friday March 16, 2012

Free public festival provided by VMNH and Henry County Parks and Recreation through the MHC Community Nature Initiative

Lucky Adventures

Tuesday March 13, 2012

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a fun and unexpected twist in MHC

Meet Rives Brown Coleman

Tuesday February 28, 2012

Sales Person, Rives S. Brown Inc.

Meet Brian WIlliams

Tuesday February 14, 2012

Project Manager, Dan River Basin Association

Virginia Natural History Day held in Richmond

Monday February 13, 2012

Virginia Museum of Natural History statewide event held at the Library of Virginia in Richmond

Meet Aleen Wilson

Tuesday January 31, 2012

Artist, Studio 107

Community Nature Initiative a Success

Tuesday January 24, 2012

Virginia Museum of Natural History's Martinsville-Henry County Community Nature Initiative exceeds expectations and reaches 13,000 participants through 247 programs since 2008

Meet Jim Woods

Tuesday January 10, 2012

Martinsville Library Branch Manager, Blue Ridge Regional Library

Meet Roland Guidry

Tuesday December 27, 2011

Artist, Studio 107

Meet Kris Landrum

Tuesday December 6, 2011

Public Relations Director, Patrick Henry Community College

Meet Roger Adams

Tuesday November 29, 2011

Director, Henry County Parks & Recreation

Meet Dr. Joe Keiper

Friday November 18, 2011

Executive Director, Virginia Museum of Natural History

McLeod Wins "You'll Love the Pace!" Sweepstakes

Tuesday October 11, 2011

Couple to enjoy relaxing, yet exciting weekend in Martinsville-Henry County