Hours & Admission
The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is open Tuesday through Sunday (closed Monday). Admission includes the galleries, gardens and Glen Burnie House (admission is not required to visit the first floor of the Museum where you can enjoy Art in the Halls and shop in the Museum Store. Please begin your visit in the Museum Lobby where admission tickets are sold. The walk from the Museum to the gardens takes less than five minutes; however, a visit to the site may easily last more than two hours. Additional information about hours of operation and admission fees is available here.
The MSV offers two downloadable social narratives for visitors who have autism spectrum disorder. For the social narrative for visits January through March click HERE and for the social narrative for April through December click HERE. For visits when the gardens are open (April–December), please be aware that there are two ponds and several water features in the gardens without railings or barriers.
Please wear comfortable walking shoes for your visit and dress for the weather to tour the gardens. In the event of rain—without thunder or lightning—the gardens are open (bring an umbrella). In the event of thunder or lightning, the gardens will close. Lockers are available free of charge in the lobby area for visitors to store coats, small bags, and umbrellas. Shirts and shoes are required while visiting the galleries building, the formal gardens, and the Glen Burnie House.
Dining & Picnic Options
Picnics are welcome in the Museum Gardens. From April through December, a picnic area is open to guests at the garden entrance. Snacks and beverages are available for purchase in the Museum Store. Several bistro tables are located on the first floor of the MSV (two seats per table).
The following applies to the museum’s policies on drawing, painting, and photography:
Sketching with Pencils in the Galleries
Sketching is permitted in the galleries. (Some loan and exhibition agreements may prohibit sketching, drawing, or painting. Such restrictions will be posted.) Only graphite pencils are allowed. Pens, markers, crayons, charcoals, colored pencils, chalks or pastels are not permitted. Please use only pencil sharpeners that will contain any shavings.
Please use firm drawing boards, clipboards, and sketch pads as support. These may not exceed 18 x 24 inches. Guests may not use easels.
Painting in the Gardens
Painting in oil, acrylic, tempera, pastel, or watercolor is permitted in the gardens during public hours. Sketching is also permitted. Please keep materials contained and dispose of any waste in proper receptacles. Please use an easel, firm drawing board, or other firm surface as support.
Please do not enter planting beds. We request that painters refrain from interrupting or impeding tour groups or programs. Please check at the Gatehouse for information regarding the day’s events.
Groups of three or more individuals intending to draw or paint must make a reservation by contacting Director of Education Mary Ladrick [email protected] or call 540-662-1473 ext. 224. Please check in at the Guest Services desk upon arrival.
Photography at the Museum
The MSV encourages its guests to take casual photographs and videos of their visit for their own personal, non-commercial use. These photographers do not need to sign this policy.
All commercial photographers must pay a location fee to use the gardens for photo shoots (see below).
There are some photography restrictions for all photographers at the MSV:
To take photos at the MSV, amateur photographers/ videographers must purchase general admission to the MSV or be MSV Members. Admission fees are not required on free-admission days.
If you are interested in drawing or painting in the galleries and would like more information, please download and sign the following Application Form and submit it to the MSV Admissions Desk or Gatehouse:
If you are interested in more information about an object(s) in the MSV Collection, please fill out this Research Request Form and email it to Nancy Huth at [email protected] or mail it to:
Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Atten: Collections Department
901 Amherst Street
Winchester, VA 22601
Refunds for Programs and Special Events
Refunds for Programs and Special Events: Programs are held rain, snow, or shine, unless notified otherwise. Cancellations 5 days prior to the program or event date will be refunded, less 20% of the registration fee ($5 minimum). No refunds will be given for cancellations made 1-4 days prior to the program/event date. Allow ten business days for refund processing. Programs cancelled by the MSV due to low enrollment or inclement weather conditions will be refunded in full or given a full credit towards a future program to be used within the year. COVID-19 Update: Face masks or face coverings are required for all indoor spaces at the MSV, including for the duration of all MSV indoor programs. Participants in all outdoor programs are required to bring a face mask or covering with them to wear during check-in and as needed during certain portions of programs. Your attendance/participation in any in-person event serves as an agreement to abide by physical distancing guidelines and wear a face covering or mask when requested to by the instructor or MSV staff. Participants in onsite programs acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19 and are voluntarily participating. If you are feeling at all unwell or have any flu like symptoms (cough, aches, sore throat, fever, etc.) please notify us that you will not be attending the program and the MSV will issue a full refund.
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