The 9 Best Educational Activities for Children in West Virginia!

West Virginia has some of the most amazing resources anywhere in the country, but one of the most precious resources is our children. Investing in young people through the learning activities presented below gives the opportunity for families to create good memories, builds the knowledge of the culture, landscape, history, and agriculture of the Mountain State. Here are the 9 best educational activities for children in the state. 

1. Avampato Discovery Museum, Charleston, WV

Inside the 240,000-square-foot Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences in Charleston, West Virginia, the Avampato Discovery Museum holds exciting mysteries waiting to be discovered for guests from one to 100. Opened in 2003, the center provides handicapped accessible fun and educational opportunities year-round, and is only one of a few buildings in the country that include performing arts, visual arts, and sciences in the same place. Seeking to inspire a love of learning and creative exploration, everyone is welcome at the Center and military families can visit for free.

2. West Virginia State Wildlife Center, French Creek, WV

If instilling a love of the outdoors is a goal for your family, then you want to visit the West Virginia State Wildlife Center in French Creek, West Virginia. Run by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, visitors can walk along well-maintained trails and see animals and birds native to the Mountain State like black bears, raccoons, wolves, and mountain lions. There’s even a wheelchair-accessible trail that winds over a mile through part of the forest. Picnic tables and grills are available and there’s a pond stocked with various kinds of fish. Open year-round, the center is a bargain for the low cost of admission.

3. The Good Zoo and Benedum Theater, Wheeling, WV

Established in memory of a young boy, the Good Zoo is a self-sustaining zoological park that offers recreational and educational activities and programs that build awareness and a love for conservation. Part of Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia, the Good Zoo was the first naturalist area built from donations and family memberships and covers 32 acres, has over 50 species including endangered animals and birds, includes a 1.5-mile train ride, a petting farm, the state’s larger model train display, an indoor Discovery Lab, and science programs and laser shows in the Benedum Theater on site.

4. Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo, Kingwood, WV

Lions and tigers and bears aren’t just animals from “The Wizard of Oz.” Visitors at Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo in Kingwood, West Virginia, can see and learn about these and over 30 different varieties of native and exotic animals like chimpanzees, baboons, leopards, and lemurs. Over half of the animals on site can be fed, giving a unique opportunity to be up close and personal with them. Open for over 25 years, visitors can take photos or have their picture taken with some of the animals and the memories built here will last a lifetime. 

5. WVU Animal Sciences Farm, Morgantown, WV

Every year for the past 20 years, WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture offers Kiddie Days at the Animal Sciences Farm in Morgantown, West Virginia. This working farm is home to dairy cows, beef cattle, hogs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, grouse, and more, and gives parents and children the chance to see a working farm in action. Older visitors can learn about the latest agricultural techniques and develop a better understanding of food production. Admission is only $2 per person with tours daily on the hour. 

6. PIGS Animal Sanctuary, Shepherdstown, WV

Established in 1992, PIGS Animal Sanctuary in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, is home to as many as 500 pigs that have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. Other farm animals make the sanctuary home, too, and adoptive families are always needed. Educational tours are available twice a month between April and October by calling ahead, and proceeds from merchandise sales on site and online goes back to the care of these animals. 

7. Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum, Beckley, WV

Coal mining has played an important part of West Virginia’s history, and being able to take a tour down 1,500 feet of restored passageways on vintage tracks provides a unique opportunity for adults and children. First opened in 1889, the Phillips-Sprague Mine ceased operations in the early 1950s and opened for public tours in 2008 with the purpose of preserving and educating visitors on the state’s coal history. The Youth Museum, located nearby, offers a main exhibit and changing exhibits throughout the year. Make sure to bring a sweater or jacket for the tour since the underground temperature is a cool 58 degrees year-round.

8. Cass Scenic Railroad, Cass, WV

Take a ride on one of the only remaining original Shay locomotives at Cass Scenic Railroad in Cass, West Virginia. Stop by and listen to the live history presentation at Whitaker Station and see the diorama of what the town of Cass looked like when it was an active timber town. Restored company houses are available for rent and will provide your family the chance to see what life in a lumber town was like. The railroad was built in 1901 to bring felled trees down the mountain where they could be floated downstream on Leatherbark Creek to the mill for processing. Take the short trip partway up the mountain, or make it a picnic on the longer ride up to Bald Knob. Bring warm clothing for the trip, and don’t forget your camera. 

9. Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum, Wheeling, WV

In today’s world of video games, television, and other entertainment technology, children may not realize that play doesn’t have to have electricity to work. What better way to educate and spark their imagination than by visiting the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum in Wheeling, West Virginia. The building itself is fascinating with tin ceilings and red pine woodworking and was used as an elementary school for over 50 years. There are toys from various time periods and special rooms that display unique collections, like the Doll Room that has popular dolls and doll houses, the Miniatures Room and Transportation Room, with displays of soldiers, cars, trucks, and airplanes, and the Game Room that features a mix of games from the 1900’s to present day.

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2 South Washington Street, Berkeley Springs, WV
About:- Long before the first Europeans discovered the warm waters of Berkeley Springs, it was already a famous health mecca which attracted India... Read More
129 East German Street, Shepherdstown, WV
Historic Shepherdstown is an active, non-profit, membership organization didicated to preserving Shepherdstown's architectural character, and build... Read More
301 Big Oak Drive, Shepherdstown, WV
Bradley Sanders founded Sanders Design as a means for producing his personal artwork in 1971. He founded Sanders Design with a vision of a design a... Read More
2033 McCoy Road, Huntington, WV
About Us For almost five decades, the Huntington Museum of Art has been defined by a vision, a vision of bringing the world of art to the people of... Read More
347 Main Street, Madison, WV
History The coal heritage foundation, organized in conjunction with the boone county development authority, purchased a building in downtown madiso... Read More
814 Washington Street, Lewisburg, WV
About Us Explore the lives of Greenbrier Valley residents at the North House Museum.  Built in 1820, the North House was the home of loc... Read More
168 High Street, Harpers Ferry, WV
About Us The John Brown Wax Museum is located on High Street in the heart of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. ... Read More
1640 Florence Avenue, Huntington, WV
The Museum is a 501 c3 non-profit organization.  The Museum of Radio and Technology is housed in this converted 10,000+ square feet red brick ... Read More
210 Adams Street, Fairmont, WV
The Marion County Historical Society & Museum hosts a collection of amazing and diverse artifacts from past centuries. The museum and the socie... Read More
230 Main Avenue, Weston, WV
Mission :  A museum with a mission to share the diverse and rich heritage of glass as a product and historical object as well as telling of t... Read More
8814 Ohio River Road, Lesage, WV
About Us Built in 1835 by Captain William Jenkins and home of Confederate Brigadier General Albert Gallatin Jenkins it has survived wars, floods, ... Read More
3 Valley Park Drive, Hurricane, WV
About Us Museum in the Community began in 1983 as a collaboration between the Huntington Museum of Art and a group of high school students. Under ... Read More
Route 219, Hillsboro, WV
About Us Located in the beautiful and historic "Little Levels" of Pocahontas County, at Hillsboro, West Virginia, is the restored Birthplace of Pea... Read More
1557 Harper Road, Beckley, WV
About Us The Raleigh County Veterans Museum is a grass roots project evolved from the efforts of local citizens who have volunteered their time, ef... Read More
311 D Street, South Charleston, WV
About Us: The South Charleston Museum is an independent non-profit museum, and a member of the American Association of Museums, the Council of His... Read More
1500 West Main Street, Princeton, WV
About Us A 1942 jeep sits proudly in the main entrance, as a tribute to an unheralded West Virginia veteran, who was awarded a Bronze Star for his ... Read More
43 Quiet Dell School Road, Mount Clare, WV
About Us The West Virginia CCC Museum was organized and opened in June of 2002. The museum is housed for the present in the old Quiet Dell schoolho... Read More
1458 Fairground Road, Point Pleasant, WV
About Us We are a museum dedicated to preserving our farming heritage. There are different buildings that can be toured that depict the early 19th... Read More
108 Walnut Street, West Liberty, WV
About Us The Women's History Museum is a mobile museum containing artifacts, documents and genuine memorabilia from more than 20 historic women. Read More
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