Whether you’ve never visited the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley or you visit every week, there’s always something new to discover, with rotating exhibitions, flowers in bloom, and one-of-a-kind events. And now is the perfect time to visit, since you’ll have access to all the gorgeous gardens, and the weather is spring-time lovely. The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is an architectural masterpiece in and of itself, and it is always one of our favorite places to spend the day in Harrisonburg, VA. Once you see it for yourself, we’re sure you’ll agree!
3 Great Reasons to Visit the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
If you need a bit more convincing, here are the top three reasons you need (yes, need!) to visit the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley:
1. Fascinating Galleries and Exhibits
Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau – Alphonse Mucha is considered one of the most significant artists of the Art Nouveau movement. The first exhibition in MSV history to focus on the Art Nouveau movement, this stunning collection will be open until July 31. More than 70 objects of Mucha’s work will be on display, including vintage lithographs, original drawings, paintings, books, and advertising ephemera. Many of the works feature flowers and plants, making it a perfect complement to the MSV’s gardens this summer (more on this later!).
And Still We Rise: African American Story Quilts – These incredible story quilts are quilt art unlike any you’ve ever seen. Story quilting records, on fabric, significant events and is very different than the quilts your grandma made. More than 80 quilts created by more than 60 different artists in the Women of Color Quilters Network will narrate four centuries of African American history.
In addition to these temporary exhibits, the MSV is home to a permanent collection of fine and decorative arts, historical artifacts of the Shenandoah Valley, and a beautiful collection of miniature houses and furniture.
2. Historic Home and Stunning Gardens
Originally built in the late 1700s by James Wood and lovingly renovated and restored in the 1950s by his descendant Julian Wood Glass Jr., the luxuriant Glen Burnie House sits among seven acres of impressive gardens. The Glen Burnie Gardens is something you have to see to believe – breath-taking displays of hundreds of roses, rainbows of flowers, and even a vegetable garden. But there’s more! A lush pond, surrounded by shrubs and trees, an Asian-influenced garden, and a Water Garden, with golden trout and cascading water. Once you discover some of these natural retreats, it might be hard to leave!
3. Fun and Unique Events
There are always new and interesting events happening at the MSV, and there’s truly something for everyone! For parents of littles, there’s Stroller Strolls, special free programs for parents and kids under 3, with an MSV horticulturist, and a Tiny Tales Story Time for ages 2 – 5 in the Glen Burnie House on the second Wednesdays of the month. Garden Explorers is a well-loved event twice a month for kids ages four and up with a guided garden tour and hands-on activities. And you won’t want to miss the Glen Burnie House Concerts, intimate musical performances with a wine and cheese reception. We also love the Garden Lunchbox Lessons, where a horticulturist teaches you about what you can plant in your home garden, the Garden of Poetry, where actors recite beautiful poetry as you roam the gardens, and the Gardens at Night, with free music, free activities for kids, and beer and wine for purchase. Also, check out their workshops for teens and adults! And in addition to free events every month, admission is also FREE on Wednesdays from 10-4.
Start Planning Your Trip to the Shenandoah Valley
There are so many things to do, you could spend day after day exploring all that the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley has to offer … but at night, you have to rest your head somewhere! And when you do, we hope you’ll come back to us at By the Side of the Road Inns and Cottages. Our luxurious and comfortable suites and cottages are the perfect place to seek respite after a fun-filled day at the MSV. Book your stay today to spend spring with all your loves in Virginia! And for more can’t-miss Harrisonburg fun, be sure to download our free Vacation Guide.