Danville, Virginia, is a historic city that made its fortunes in the tobacco
and textile industries. Known for Millionaires Row, it was also the
birthplace birthplace of Lady Astor (Nancy Langhorne, Viscountess Astor),
the first woman to sit in the British House of Commons. Her sister, Irene,
also born here, married the artist Charles Dana Gibson who immortalized his
wife as the Gibson Girl, the international fashion ideal. The focus of
this travel blog is the city's Science Center.
The Danville Science Center located at 677 Craghead Street, Danville
Virginia. Admission is $7 for adults and $6 for seniors and youth. There is a
Digital Dome Theater that is an extra charge. Check their web site for days
and hours of operation. There was ample free parking space within an easy 1
minute stroll to the buildings. You have to go in the main building first
to buy your ticket which gives you access to all the other venues.
The Science Center is more than just a museum of exhibits. It is a complex
of buildings within a few paces of each other covering many topics and
science activities for adults and children. There are a series of hosted
Summer Science Camps which included "The Wonderful World of Bugs!" for Ages 4-7, "Magnificent Maker Camp" for Ages 4-7, that focuses on how to make Earth a better planet, "Space Adventures" for Ages 8-12 that uses NASA software to explore Mars and the Moon, teaches use of a telescope, and experiences with the Digital Dome, and "Robots, Rockets, and Racers" for Ages 8-12 to design and control robots. There are also many hands-on activities at the Center such as the "Earthquake Theater" and "Hurricane Simulator."
Directly next door is the Estelle H. Womack Natural History Collection which
is part of the Science Center and contains a collection of mounted animals,
birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects, as well as Indian artifacts,
fossils and minerals.
The Butterfly Station and Garden is just behind the Danville Railroad
Station. A personal guide assists with that tour.
Also on the grounds is a restored Pepsi-Cola Bottling Plant that has become
a museum of sorts with various memorabilia and also had clean restrooms.
Behind that is Carrington Pavilion that has 1,100 covered seating capacity
for outdoor concerts and events.
Within the Danville Railroad Station are many railroad artifacts, model
railroads, and a mockup of the Old 97 Train Wreck that happened on a trestle
where 11 of the 18 men aboard were killed and the other 7 injured.