Enjoy an entertaining and educational outing at one of Harrisonburg’s unique museums. Learn about Harrionsburg’s rich history and then take a journey to outer space, all in one city. Museums provide a window into our history and culture. Some local museums feature hands-on exhibits for kids, while others will delight art lovers. Learn about the skilled craftsmen of the area at the Virginia Quilt Museum or Hugo Kohl Museum of American Jewelry Design and Manufacturing. For family-friendly fun don’t miss the Explore More Discovery Museum with a play kitchen, farmers market stand, airplane, newsroom and maker center for age 8 and up. For a free museum experience visit the Larry W. Shifflett Fire Museum with interactive learning exhibits. Visit the Brethren and Mennonite Heritage Center to step back in time by touring a one-room schoolhouse, historic home and other buildings to better understand the settlers of this region. Start your journey at the Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center which includes a free Civil War Orientation Center and Valley Turnpike Museum. Our museums make learning fun and offer something for all ages.
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: Harrisonburg’s community-inspired museum designed to engage young minds through interactive, multi-sensory learning experiences that promote a greater understanding of themselves and their world. With exhibits ranging in topics from medicine to farming to theatre, and numerous workshops throughout the year, children can learn about the world around us through exploration.
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.
Harrionburg’s Fire Museum provides 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. This museum offers free admission.
Heritage Museum: Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society
382 High St. Dayton, VA 22821 | 540-879-2616 (Volunteer Desk)
Open Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm
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 is presented in a unique audiovisual setting. Also on display is 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 provides visitors with a full sensory experience of jewelry manufacturing. An elevated floor plan allows guests to browse the retail store while watching artisans create in the workshop below.
Brethren & Mennonite Heritage Center
1921 Heritage Center Way Harrisonburg, VA 22801 | 540-438-1275
Open Wed-Sat 10am-5pm.
Experience the Valley’s unique religious and cultural heritage where Brethren and Mennonite religion and culture meet. The Brethren & Mennonite Heritage 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 Valley Turnpike 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 historic road for 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 in Harrisonburg serves as 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 rotating exhibits.