Local museums to offer free admission

By Ryan Cornell

Several local museums will offer free admission this Saturday as part of Smithsonian Magazine’s 10th annual Museum Day Live event.

The Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, which opened its new Cork Street location in May, is one of the museums participating in the nationwide program. It offers three floors of exhibits geared toward children and families, including a full-sized ambulance, replica of a triceratops skeleton and an apple packing shed.

“And then, of course, there’s the roof, which is fun and gives you a different perspective of Winchester,” said Ryan Hall, marketing and communications coordinator for the museum.

He said the museum has offered other free admission days in the past, including its grand reopening, which saw 1,600 people pass through its doors, and from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on the first Friday of each month.

“So this is just another way for people to check us out and see if this is something they would like to become involved in on a regular basis,” he said.

The Winchester museum will also offer free admission to first responders with ID and half-priced admission to their families in honor of National First Responders Appreciation Day.

These offers are valid all day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Free admission through Museum Day Live is redeemable by registering online for a ticket.

Hall said they will accept printed tickets as well as digital ones displayed on smartphones.

Each ticket provides free admission for two people. To download a ticket, visit http://www.bit.ly/1riMOnl.

The Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum is located at 19 W. Cork St. in Winchester. For more information, visit http://www.bit.ly/1qr6ukY or call 540-722-2020.

Other museums participating in Museum Day Live this Saturday include:

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Where: 901 Amherst St., Winchester
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Call: 888-556-5799
Online: http://www.themsv.org

Belle Grove Plantation
Where: 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Call: 540-869-2028
Online: http://www.bellegrove.org

Newtown History Center
Where: 5408 Main St., Stephens City
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Call: 540-869-1700
Online: http://www.newtownhistorycenter.org

More than a thousand museums across the U.S. are participating in the event to “emulate the free admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.,” according to a news release.