Early Childhood Education Guidelines



In Person (see Visitor Service Desk)
By Phone (804-340-1405)

VMFA members receive discounts on classes and camps. Due to generous support from Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg, scholarships are available based on need. Please email earlychildhood@vmfa.museum for more information.


Allow ample time to park, walk to the building, and check in for the start of class. The VMFA Deck parking is free for members and $5 for nonmembers. Parking is also available along surrounding streets. Please note that parking is strictly prohibited in the Entry Plaza or fire lane.

Class location
Classes take place in the MWV Art Education Center inside the museum. We strongly recommend that caregivers familiarize themselves and their children with the area prior to the first day of class.

What to wear
Wear clothes that are appropriate for an art studio as clothes can get messy!We also encourage dressing in layers or bringing a long-sleeved shirt—while it may be hot outside, it’s often cool inside!

Limited enrollment
Please register early. Class space is limited. Registration is first come, first served. Classes are nonrefundable and fees cannot be transferred to another class. Be sure to mark your calendars.

Cancellation policy
Classes and camps with insufficient enrollment will be cancelled at least a week before they are scheduled to start. Participants will be notified, granted either a refund or transfer, and cancellations will be noted online.

In cases of extenuating circumstances involving the museum closing, classes will be canceled and museum staff will attempt to reach participants as soon as possible.



We intend to use the VMFA campus and collection to provide rich experiences to children, ages 3 months to 5 years old, and their caregivers. We do this through interactive gallery tours, literacy experiences, movement and singing activities, and experiential art projects.

We know the value of individual choice and decision-making. We encourage children to engage in our classes as independently as possible, although we welcome caregivers to assist as needed.

All programs include experiential art projects that can involve paint and be messy. Be prepared to participate in sensory experiences including finger painting and the use of natural materials.

We are committed to engaging with nature and exploring the outdoors as often as possible. Throughout the year we will host tours, movement activities and/or art projects on the museum grounds.

Program information

Young @ Art and Tots of Art are purchased as individual classes, with the option for participants to purchase as many classes as they like. Each month’s classes have an overarching theme, participants are introduced to different works of art and art projects each week. Each week lessons repeat for both times slots (Young @ Art; Tuesdays/Wednesdays at 11am |Tots of Art; Thursdays 11am/4pm).

Artsy Infants meets on select Mondays each month (usually twice monthly). This program blends child development information with tours for adults, music and movement activities and studio art. In most classes babies experience painting with homemade paints.

Wee-Kids Workshops  take place on select Saturdays each month. They are structured according to age and developmental level for children ages 3 months to 5 years old. These relaxed and engaging programs allow working families and children attending five day preschool programs to experience the wonder of VMFA through our Early Childhood classes.

Playdate & Create  is geared towards play and homeschool groups that wish to attend a program together. Beginning in the Art Education Center, groups will experience interactive tours, engaging stories and a hands-on exploratory art project to take home.

Wee-Enrich takes place three times a year for children ages 18 – 30 months. Children attend with their caregivers for three consecutive days and participate in the beneficial experience of in-depth exploration of art materials and gallery spaces.

Curiosity Camps  take place three times a year for children ages 3–5 years. These drop off camps are inspired by the importance of process-based art and authentic play-based learning. Each week participants are immersed in VMFA’s rich environment and encouraged to follow their individual and collective interests.