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“Great day with my neices and nephews” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Children's Museum of Richmond

Children's Museum of Richmond
Ranked #31 of 167 things to do in Richmond
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A center for active learning, creative play and global exploration.
North Carolina
Level Contributor
101 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great day with my neices and nephews”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2014

We took our nieces and nephews who were visiting from Vermont. They felt it was one of the best hands on experiences they had at a children's museum. Their parent one of which is a school teacher gave it very high marks for creativity and keeping the kids engaged. The felt if they lived in the area they would have bought and annual membership. Given she is a teacher that says a great deal about the museum.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank DJF1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liz P, Director of Parent Engagement at Children's Museum of Richmond, responded to this review, May 28, 2014
I'm so glad you had a wonderful day at the museum, and we are always delighted to hear that teachers give us high marks! I hope you will return soon for more learning through play.
Liz Pearce, Director of Parent Engagement
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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160 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Chesapeake, Virginia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Celebration Room Rental for Baby Shower”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2014

I recently rented the Celebration Room to have a baby shower for a friend. Coordination and reservation with the events coordinator, Mary Beth was super easy and convenient. She provided me with details and pictures as requested and answered all my questions in a timely manner. Preparation for the event was relatively seamless.

The day of the event we found the staff at CMoR pleasant but unaccommodating. With just one hour to set up for the party we were pressed for time and access to the room quickly became a challenge. There were no convenient access points for quick entry in and out of the room. We had to park on the curb to get as close as we could to the door, which wasn't very close.

While we unloaded the car we couldn't help but notice the idle staff just hanging around, without any offer to lend a hand. Once we entered the room I was surprised with how dirty the room was. Tape was still hanging from the walls; trash was in the cupboards; Styrofoam was on the counters, and the floors were in need of sweeping. I approached one of the staff members and requested assistance with cleaning and needed to request specific areas be addressed before I gave up.

During the party we had to again locate staff for additional trash bags and follow up to see if anyone was coming. It would have helped greatly if one of the staff members would have assumed a host type role and followed up to ensure we had everything we needed.

For $250 I do not think I received a bargain, or a space worthy of the price. Hopefully future customers will receive a total package, complete with customer service and cleanliness.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Audrey C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
61 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Good idea; disappointing in maintenance & supervision by staqff”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2014 via mobile

Today was our 1st visit to the original CMofR on Broad Street and it was disappointing. We were to a similar one in Portland Maine last summer and expected the same quality, but were disappointed. The diner had food items missing that should have been there (hot dog buns but no hot dogs); the bank had one coin; supermarket items were strewn around the museum, the apple tree return was blocked by a banana.....it just goes on. When specifically asked for help, the staff complied, but did nothing on their own to help maintain order. Upkeep and maintenance was lacking.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Terry4610
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Poorly maintained”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2014

We visited the museum about two years ago and it was ok, but after our recent visit I won't go back. The exhibits were poorly maintained. Many we're missing significant elements and there were safety issues with the treehouse exhibit. We have been to most of the other children's museums in VA and hold a membership at our local museum but Ruchmond's museum is a real disappointment!

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Atravelbug80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Experience ruined by complete lack of supervision or control of the Museum”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2014

Firstly, this is not a museum. It is a hybrid of a play center with a few science based activities (eg pneumatic tubes, a water play area).

You are being ripped off if multiple adults go. My wife and I were both charged an entrance fee, and unless your child is very young (ie 1-3 and needs you assistance), adults just stand around watching. I know they need to pay bills, but at $8 per adult just to watch your child who paid $8 is a bit rich.

The center needs to put a cap on the age of children. I didn't see anything in there that I thought would really appeal to anyone over the age of 5-6. However, there were numerous children older than that running wild, bullying younger children off the equipment, throwing items around and generally behaving badly.

From what I could see, there was no staff supervision of the activities, which meant your child's ability to enjoy the activity is dependent on the number and behavior of whoever else in in the Museum at the time. As a result, many of the play areas (shop, car mechanic, etc) had been stripped of their contents which were strewn around the center rendering the play areas unusable. The lack of supervision meant there was little chance of smaller (or patient well behaved) children having a turn on more popular exhibits as they were pushed away by much older children who would refuse to share. It was actually dangerous on occasion given the behavior and size disparity on activities with no supervision or method of control.

The couple of exhibits our 4 year old could actually interact with he enjoyed, but as a result of the woeful manner in which the exhibits are supervised to allow access, he gave up waiting and lost interest after about 30 minutes.

Given you are charged an entrance fee, I believe it is reasonable to expect some degree of supervision by Museum staff to ensure all children can access the activities, that the activities are not misused, and that it is a safe environment for younger children. Hoping that parents do the right thing in lieu of staff is not an acceptable substitute.

Overall, don't bother. Take you kids to the park instead.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank Paul80A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liz P, Director of Parent Engagement at Children's Museum of Richmond, responded to this review, February 9, 2014
Thank you for sharing your feedback. I'm glad your child enjoyed spending time at the museum, even thought it sounds like you visited during a very busy day. Our staff strives to meet our guests expectations and your input helps us know how we are doing.

What you may not know is The Children's Museum of Richmond is one of the only children's museums in the country that does not receive federal or state government tax funding for our operations. Despite this, we strive to keep our admission price as low as possible for everyone – around the price of a movie ticket – but instead we give an interactive experience that is made even better for children if their accompanying adults play along with them. Many children's museums charge $11 or $12 per person. We are grateful for community business sponsors, individual donations and grants from local foundation, and are always open to additional support for operations.

If you find our membership pricing and admission pricing a stretch, please know that we have scholarship pricing available as well. Please contact us for more information if you are interested, and we'll be happy to assist.
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