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“A pleasant surprise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences

Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences
1 Clay Square, Pineville, Charleston, WV 25301
304-561-3570
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Ranked #5 of 32 Attractions in Charleston
Type: Museums
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Opened in the summer of 2003, the Clay Center strives to present a variety of arts and sciences all under one roof. The Avampato Discovery Museum is two floors of fascinating interactive science exhibits, while the ElectricSky™ Theater features planetarium shows. In addition there are a large performance hall and a small black-box theater, an art museum, a fun museum shop, and a cafe. There's something interesting scheduled virtually every night here!
Dayton, OH
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“A pleasant surprise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013 via mobile

They have a lot to do and what were pleasantly surprised to find such a nice museum in a road trip. The downstairs activity center was great and it was helpful to have the Rube Goldberg sculpture piece in the cafeteria to keep the kids busy while we ate. The food was good are freshly prepared by the Embassy Suites staff.

Visited August 2013
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63 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Elkins, West Virginia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Small in size but just right for concerts”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

I'm used to attending performances at Pittsburgh Benedum Center and WVU's Lyle B. Clay theater which seem to hold a few thousand people. I wasn't prepared for the more intimate concert theater at the Clay Center where I attended a performance by Diana Ross. I had a choice of seeing her at the cavernous Benedum Center or the Clay Center. I choose the Clay Center because it was a two hour drive from my home town compared to three to Pittsburgh. Unlike the Benedum Center which has one long balcony which stretches upward towards the roof of the auditorium and is divided into a Director's Circle, First Balcony and Second Balcony, the Clay Center has two distinct balconies, one directly above the other. I was as close in the first row of the second balcony as anyone in the first row of the first balcony. With the theater being so small, I can't imagine that there are any truly bad seats in the hall. Should I have a choice between attending the same performance in Pittsburgh or Charleston again, I would definitely consider Charleston.

Visited August 2013
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Charleston, WV
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“A gift to West Virginia”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

As WV celebrates its sesquicentennial the Clay Center continues to give the community it's gifts it continues to educate, motivate and entertain with a variety of medias. It is a rare find in a small state, but a tribute to those who had the vision. Not everyone can afford to leave the state for such interesting arts and sciences, but the Clay Center brings it to them.

Visited May 2013
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Charleston, West Virginia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“debWV”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

An amazing venue for concerts, plays etc. plus has a great "hands on" museum for children, art gallery, planetarium/movie theatre. The food is not great and overpriced. I have been to the art gallery several times and the displays are well done. My grandson loved the kid's museum (at 3 years old). I have seen many concerts in the main theatre and performed there as well as a part of a local singing group. There is also a small theatre that for more intimate performances. Festivall is a good time to visit - usually the last week in June.

Visited May 2013
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Charleston, West Virginia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Great place for kids and to see performances”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

We've been members at the Clay Center on and off for the last few years, and my 5 year old absolutely loves it, calling it the "play center." The main floor and lower level have a ton of things for kids to check out and play with, learning along the way. The food and drinks in the lower level are overpriced, but it is a museum rather than a restaurant. We've held 2 birthday parties here in the downstairs classrooms, and all of the kids have loved playing in the exhibits after the main part of the party is finished. Unfortunately, the set up time for parties is limited, and you cannot have balloons or candles, normal party staples. You are required to purchase food from the Clay Center's catering service, which is through Embassy Suites, and the pizza isn't to everyone's liking.

We haven't been to the upstairs art gallery much since we typically go there with kids, but it is nice, as well.

We've attended several performances in the theater, sitting in either a friend's box or the on the first level. The first level seats are a little cramped, but the view from anywhere in the theater is great. There is a mix of local group performances to big name performers, so it is always worth checking the schedule. I wish some of the kid-friendly performances would start a bit earlier though, as they often start around 7:30 pm.

Visited September 2012
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