Center in the Square
Center in the Square
4.5
About
Adjacent to Market Square and the City Market, Center in the Square provides a home to four cultural arts and science non-profit organizations in our signature building in downtown Roanoke: Roanoke Pinball Museum, Harrison Museum of African American Culture, History Museum of Western Virginia, Science Museum of Western Virginia, and Mill Mountain Theatre. Visit our website or call for individual museum admission pricing. Mill Mountain Theatre and Children's Theatre of Roanoke tickets are available through our full-service box office. Come inside to enjoy our aquariums in the atrium and green rooftop without charge. Building Hours: Monday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm, and Sunday 1 - 5 pm. [Note: Roanoke Pinball Museum is closed Mondays. History Museum is closed on Mondays October through April.]
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Center in the Square and nearby attractions

The area

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles225 reviews
Excellent
115
Very good
82
Average
21
Poor
5
Terrible
2

Tim
Morrisville, NC27 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
Fun place to visit. Downtown Roanoke. Heart of the city. So many restaurants, breweries and shops. Interactive museums and hone of the pinball museum. Had to be dragged out of that one. In the morning during farming season there is a outdoor market with vendors selling fresh produce. Great place to walk around a bight too. Shop owners were friendly with great advice on where to eat.
Written March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Don N
Raleigh, NC2,653 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Friends
Center in the Square in the market area of Roanoke is a must stop. Not only for the variety of attractions that you have to pay for, but for many things that will cost you nothing.

On the first floor check out the very nice aquariums with a variety of colorful fish. Note the attractive colorful 5 story atrium.

Take the elevator to the 7th floor to the overlook for an outstanding view of downtown Roanoke. The roof area is large allowing you to walk around and see Roanoke from all directions. The glass rails do not appear to be high enough so he careful if you have children be careful. Walk down to the 6th floor roof for more views and they have a higher wall there more suitable for safety.

Park at the Center of the Square Garage for only $4 for an unlimited time. This parking deck is the best place to park for walking around and enjoying the historic market area of Roanoke. Right near the City market, couple blocks from the Art Museum and very close to the most attractive shops and restaurants in downtown Roanoke.

Highly recommended.
Written August 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CarolynQ63
Huddleston, VA131 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
Get your bearings here. This rooftop is pretty, with several nooks to sit and take in the city- good photo-op. And admission is free
Written February 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kimsH5517YD
Vestal, NY54 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Business
While in Roanoke, VA, a visit to Center in the Square is a must. The entire establishment is devoted to cultural enrichment and educational enjoyment (an aquarium, museums, and spectacular city views from the rooftop).
Written December 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AdventurousRose
United States2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Family
I've frequently visited Center in the Square, and liked the view so much that I recently got married on the rooftop. The views and the building itself are wonderful--the management, not so much.

I got married at CITS last weekend and wasn't happy with my experience with the venue. I posted my review on Wedding Wire and CITS didn't like what I had to say, so they disputed my review with Wedding Wire by telling them I wasn't an actual client of CITS (the only reason Wedding Wire will remove a client review). It will take a few days for the Wedding Wire team to review my receipts to verify that I was actually a client there. Meanwhile, I'm sharing my review elsewhere. Here it is:

This is a beautiful location / facility that's extremely poorly managed.

I booked a year in advance for my ceremony. My initial booking experience was uncomplicated, but things went sour after a new management company took over. I discovered the change by happenstance whenever I attempted to take some family members up to the 6th floor in order to show them the venue. It was closed, and an employee told me it was being remodeled, and that the event booking company had changed.

I reached out to the new management company via e-mail and was repeated promised by Caroline that someone would get in touch with me. This never actually happened until 2 weeks before my wedding day. Only then did I finally get to speak with someone--in retrospect, this foreshadowed how poor management would effect my wedding day.

I was promised that the 6th/7th floors would be closed to the public, and that security would prevent any members of the public from entering during my rental period. CITS made NO EFFORT to deliver on this promise, to the detriment of my wedding. Before and during my wedding, the public came and went as they pleased. Some were openly consuming alcohol and harassed my husband when he told them the floor was closed to the public. A tour guide actually brought a TOUR GROUP into the space and gave them a speech. It SUCKED! Some paper signs were taped over the 6th / 7th floor elevator buttons stating that the levels were closed for a private event, but people ripped through them and hit the buttons anyway.

The constant invasion of our wedding space and harassment added a huge amount of stress and negativity to our wedding day. I'm still furious. I absolutely would not recommend this venue unless you want to spend thousands of dollars to rent it only to have the drunken public traipsing in and out during your wedding.

If you're considering stopping by CITS casually to check out the view from the rooftop, be aware that the rooftop is often rented out for events, and may not be open to the public when you drop by. Management attempts to have their cake and eat it too by simultaneously renting the 6th and 7th floors for private events *and* allowing the public unfettered access, which can result in conflict. There are some pretty cool aquariums on the first floor though (especially good for kids) and you can stop in during open hours to check those out.
Written June 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lewinsc
Anderson, SC30 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017
This area in downtown Roanoke could occupy you for several non-repeated days. The main building has a science museum and an African-American museum that are ticketed and free live aquaria scattered through the main lobby. We only did the African-American museum and found it quite informative. There's a street market outside that main building and bunches of eating places. We had unbelievably thick milk shakes at Bayou Snowballs just across from the museum area at 32 Market Square. They served as our lunches.
Written July 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cheryl h
Durham, NC57,852 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Couples
There are a lot of things to see in one place:

. Museum of African American Culture
. Aquarium
. Pinball Machine Museum
. History Museum of Western Virginia
. Science Museum of Western Virginia
. Planetarium & Butterfly Habitat
. Rooftop gardens
. Rooftop pond
. Game room for kids of all ages

You only pay for the areas you want to see. If you are going to see the aquarium only, don't bother. There are only a few tanks and wasn't very impressive at all (but I think they are still working on it). All the other exhibits were great. We started on the rooftop and worked our way down. You are allowed to play the pinball machines in the museum. It was fun watching some of the youngsters playing them. They are used to the new machines where you can rack up 200,000 points on the first ball without even touching the flippers. On the vintage machines you are lucky to rack up 20,000 points with the flippers constantly in motion. One of the exhibits was closed but we still had to pay the full price which I don't think is fair and it's a pet peeve of mine.
Written September 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dieselducy
Roanoke, VA154 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2013 • Friends
Well they just finished their "innovative renovation" and let me tell you it is VERY innovative! The who facility has a fresh new look and the most AWESOME part about it! They installed a ROOFTOP PARK!! It is totally relaxing and Amazing at the same with some amazing views of Roanoke as you will see in my pix. The Lobby area and the Rooftop park are FREE however other parts of the facility are fee based which i completely understand as this is a NON profit facility.

The staff here and security is very friendly and for those of you who like to take photos you will NOT be harassed in the common areas of the facility.

They took out the Dover Traction elevators and installed two new Thyssenkrupp Synergy elevators which are top of the line models and these will carry you quickly to the rooftop park!!

If you are visiting Roanoke, I would definitely say that the Center in the Square is just as much "must see" as the Mill Mountain Star!!
Written September 5, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

joe a
Roanoke, VA8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Family
This is not a specific business but a section of downtown where most the Roanoke's nightlife is. Good collection of restaurants with a lot of diversity. It's clean and safe and parking is usually not too bad.
Written July 28, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Debra W
Lynchburg, VA107 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
There are many things to do and see here. We went to the Pinball Museum. There were new and very old pinball machines. Your admission included playing as much as you wanted. Great deal. I would recommend it to anyone who likes pinball.
Written August 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 221
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Center in the Square - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Roanoke HotelsRoanoke Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Roanoke
All things to do in Roanoke
Zoos & Aquariums in RoanokeAmusement Parks in Roanoke
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars