Museums

The City of Harrisonburg and the surrounding area offers a wide variety of museums for visitors to choose from. Visit one or visit them all!

 

Explore More Discovery Museum, Harrisonburg Children’s Museum
150 S. Main St. Harrisonburg, VA 22801 | 540-442-8900
Open Tues-Sat from 9:30am-5pm | Open with free admission on the first Friday of the month from 4-7pm
Experience the Explore More Discovery Museum and the exhibits of Harrisonburg’s community-inspired museum designed to engage young minds through interactive, multi-sensory learning experiences that promote greater understanding of themselves and their world. Learn about the world around us through exploration and the many workshops throughout the year.

Larry W. Shifflett Fire Museum
3rd Floor, Public Safety Building 101 N. Main St. Harrisonburg, VA 22801 | 540-432-7703
Open Mon-Fri 9am-4pm. The Fire Museum is an in-depth look at one of the city’s most exciting departments- the Harrisonburg Fire Department. In addition to old fire memorabilia such as uniforms, medals, an old fire alarm, photographs and equipment, the museum provides a behind-the-scenes look at some of our nation’s heroes. Free admission.

Harrisonburg Rockingham Civil War Orientation Center
Located in the Hardesty-Higgins House 212 S. Main St. Harrisonburg, VA 22801 | 540-432-8935
Open Mon-Sun 9am-5pm. The Orientation Center offers the stories of individuals, battles, and campaigns through film and interpretation. The center has available the Shenandoah At War Guide and other resources for visitors to explore our region.

Heritage Museum: Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society
382 High St. Dayton, VA 22821 | 540-879-2616 (Volunteer Desk)
One of the finest regional historical societies and museums in Virginia, The Heritage Museum features “Invincible Spirit”, a 5,000 square-foot exhibit portraying the unique history of the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. There is also a Folk Art collection, featuring the traditional arts of the Shenandoah region; Stonewall Jackson’s famous Valley Campaign map presented in a unique audiovisual setting; an extensive genealogy research library; and Civil War displays and artifacts. General admission includes all the galleries, the automated Civil War map of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley campaign, the bookstore and gift shop, and the research library.  Hours are Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm.

Hugo Kohl’s Museum of American Jewelry Design and Manufacturing Company
217 South Liberty St., Ste. 103 Harrisonburg, VA 22801 | 540-564-2755
Hugo Kohl’s vision was to design a museum that will give visitors a visual, audible and sensory experience of jewelry manufacturing. An elevated floor plan allows people to browse the retail store while watching artisans create in the workshop below. Sign up for a guided tour here or explore the self guided tour at your own pace.

James Madison University Mineral Museum
Harrisonburg, VA 22807 | 540-568-6421
The Mineral Museum is located in Memorial Hall, near entrance E. (Grace St. side of building). The museum features over 550 crystal and gemstone specimens from around the world. Free admission.

John C. Wells Planetarium at James Madison University
Miller Hall, across East Grace St. | Visitors may park in the M-lot  next to Miller Hall
The Wells Planetarium will offer free shows for the public on Saturdays through the fall and spring semester, not available in the summer. The shows will be held at 1:00pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm. The 1:00 show is geared towards children and families. Shows are free. Each show is followed by a 25-minute “star talk” that provides visitors with updates about the night sky, including constellations, planets and any comets that might be visible. Also on site The James Madison University Meteorite Collection. Featuring fragments of meteoroids that survived passage through the atmosphere to fall to the earth’s surface as masses of metal or stone; includes specimens from Diablo Canyon, Ariz., the Sahara Desert, and the Central European Strewn Field. Free admission.

Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center (Crossroads)
1921 Heritage Center Way Harrisonburg, VA 22801 | 540-438-1275
Open Wed-Sat 10am-5pm. Experience the Valley’s unique religious and cultural heritage at Crossroads, where Brethren and Mennonite religion and culture meet. The Center interprets these values as expressions of faith and historic importance in the community. Tour the interpretive center as well as the 1800s homestead and a schoolhouse, and attend events celebrating the history and heritage of the Brethren and Mennonite way of life.

Valley Turnpike Museum
Located in the Hardesty-Higgins House 212 S. Main St. Harrisonburg, VA 22801 | 540-432-8935
Open Mon-Sun 9am-5pm. The museum is located inside the historic Hardesty-Higgins House (circa 1848), home of Harrisonburg’s first mayor, Isaac Hardesty. The Valley Turnpike Museum is located on the famous road from which it was named, now known as U.S. Route 11. The museum explores the history of the road, from its beginning as a buffalo path to Stonewall Jackson’s famous Valley Campaign, to the toll road era and the development of the interstate highway system.

Virginia Quilt Museum
301 S. Main St. Harrisonburg, VA 22801 | 540-433-3818
Open Tues-Sat 10am-4pm. Closed all major holidays
The Virginia Quilt Museum is a resource center for the study of the role of quilts and quilting in the cultural life of society. The museum offers opportunities to view significant work by both early and contemporary quilt artisans. Located in the historic Warren-Sipe House, the museum offers historic elements of quilting as well as a Civil War history room, special events and changing exhibits.