Five Cool Exhibits to Help You Beat the Heat

by Casey Higgins | Posted on July 15th, 2013

When the temps climb higher, head for a fantastic new exhibit at a Virginia museum. They’re perfect destinations to beat the heat.

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting and toying around the new Boost! exhibit at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. Boost! is a test for all of us. A test of mental, physical, and even musical abilities.

Upon entering Boost!, you’ll receive a small card with a QR code on it. Scan this card at each testing station. Your results will be saved so you can come back at a later date to challenge yourself. QR codes aren’t techie enough for you? Take it up a notch with the Boost! iPhone/iPod/iPad app. The app will store up to 10 codes so families can save their experiences on one device. The app also enhances the exhibit experience with additional information.

There are many incredible stations inside Boost!, including a full scale kitchen where museum chefs whip up something tasty while breaking down the science of what we eat and how it affects us. Happiness is … asks you to choose between pairs of wonderful things until you narrow it down to the one thing that makes you happy. In the end, you’re left with what looks like a sports bracket with a happiness champion.

Boost! labs will keep you occupied for hours, if you have hours to spend. Try your Vertical Leap, vocal capabilities (yes – Hit That Note!), balance, Reaction Time, and my favorite – musical ability. Three large screens allow several people to control various percussion instruments to craft an awesome, original piece of music. See the Vine clip below for a demonstration of More Cowbell.

Visit the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond daily. Boost! is the museum’s first permanent exhibit in a decade. Explore Boost! and the rest of the museum for $11 per person ($1 discount for ages 4-12 and 60+). Add Flight of the Butterflies, Hubble or Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk IMAX films for an additional $9 each.

More Museum Fun to LOVE

Mindbender Mansion is an eclectic place full of brainteasers and interactive challenges. Find this new exhibit through September 2 at the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton. Mindbender Mansion is included in your admission or $11.50/adult, $9.50/child aged 3-18 and $10.50/senior 65+ and active military. Purchase a combo ticket ($14-$20) for an IMAX showing of Flight of the Butterflies, Air Racers or Pacific Rim.

Sally Field wearing wardrobe designed by Joanna Johnston for Steven Spielberg's LINCOLN.

Sally Field wearing wardrobe designed by Joanna Johnston for Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN.

If you’ve attended a large festival or running event in the past couple of months, you might have seen bodies without their flesh running around. Ring a bell? Those folks are promoting the new Bodies Revealed exhibit at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News. Bodies Revealed is a limited engagement – see it now through September 2! It’s a striking exhibition showcasing real human bodies, dissected and preserved through a revolutionary process.

Time’s running out to see the wardrobe created by Academy Award-nominated designer Joanna Johnston for Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN. They’re on display at Centre Hill Mansion in Petersburg through July 27. Centre Hill was actually visited by President Abraham Lincoln  in April 1865.

Quirky, interesting objects from the annals of history make their way into the exhibit Knickknackery: Curiosities from the Museum’s Vault at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond. Expect to see a hoof from the horse of Turner Ashby, a jewelry box made from human hair, a letter from Pope Pius IX to Jefferson Davis and more through December 31. Included in the admission price of $10/adult; $6/child aged 7-13; $8/senior citizen.

There are great exhibitions on the horizon and currently in progress. See what else Virginia has On Display. Request your free Travel Guide or sign up to receive our enewsletters to help plan your next getaway.

2 Comments

mike henry says:

Add THE MUSEUM OF AIR AND SPACE-HAZY STEVEN F.UDVAR , also a worth watch ,The museum was opened in December 2003 as a celebration of the centennial of the Wright brothers’ flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and was named Steven F.Udvar-Hazy due to the extraordinary generosity of this entrepreneur.

Jack Y. Allen says:

“The Museum’s involvement with Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. inspired us to develop a new way for people to engage in wellness. In Boost!, you can explore a number of areas that are relevant and personal in an extremely fun and engaging way,” remarked Richard C. Conti, Chief Wonder Officer at the Science Museum of Virginia. This exhibition is the first step in the Museum’s “Inspire the World” campaign – a $60M effort to transform the Museum.

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