Frequently Asked Questions
Here is some practical information to make your visit comfortable and fun!
When is the Lab open?
The Lab is open Monday – Sunday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm for general admission. Always check the calendar of events to look for special program events, Members-Only hours, or private parties. Please refer to the calendar or the top left of the homepage for more information.
Is the Lab closed on holidays?
Fair Oaks Mall and the Children’s Science Center are closed Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. We are open New Year’s Day!
What kinds of payment do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards, cash or local checks. All fees are non-refundable; 6% Virginia sales tax is not included, as we are a not-for-profit organization.
My child is under 2. What is the cost?
There is no charge for children under the age of 2 to visit the Children’s Science Center Lab.
My child is 10. Can I drop him off? Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult or caregiver aged 16+. Youth aged 13 -17 may be admitted without an adult.
I don’t have children but would like to visit. When can I visit the Children’s Science Center Lab?Adults (18+) unaccompanied by children will be admitted only with a pre-arranged appointment for a staff-escorted tour. Stay close to our website and/or newsletter for upcoming “Grown-up” events.
Do you allow re-entry into the Lab?
Re-entry is permitted. Ask for a hand stamp on your way out! (Please keep your receipt with you at all times.)
My child doesn’t like crowds. What’s the best times to visit to avoid crowds?
Early afternoons, early evenings right before closing and sunny days are the quieter times at the Lab.
Do you allow outside food into the Lab? Where can I find restaurants nearby?
The Children’s Science Center does not allow outside food into the Lab. Food is included during some camps and special events, but it is not allowed in the Experience Zones.
Fair Oaks Mall offers a variety of restaurants and specialty foods throughout the mall. Please see the mall directory located throughout the mall and at the Customer Service Center for locations.
Note: While we promote a nut-free facility, we cannot guarantee that our facility and displays have had not been in contact with allergens. Although the entire facility is professionally cleaned on a daily basis, our customers may bring in food from home or use vendors for parties that may have cross-contaminants or food produced with peanut oil and you should exercise appropriate caution if you have severe allergies.
Do you have strollers available?
While we do not have strollers available to rent at this time, we do have a Stroller Parking area within the Lab.
Where are the nearest restrooms?
We have two restrooms with changing tables inside the Lab and there are mall restrooms immediately outside the entrance of the Lab to the right. In addition, there are restrooms at the following locations:
Lower Level by the Management/Security Offices, Lower Level Macy’s I/Hour Eyes wing and Lower Level West wing. Family restrooms are located Lower Level by the Management/Security Offices and Lower Level Macy’s I/Hour Eyes wing.
Changing tables are available in both men’s and women’s restrooms in our facility and in Fair Oaks Mall. A nursing mother’s room is also available in the mall (please contact a Lab team member for more information).
Where is the Lost and Found?
Please report any lost or found item to our staff. If you have left something behind at the Lab, call the Lab and we will try to get it back to you.
Lost and Found items will be discarded or donated after 90 days.
Items lost in the mall are held in the Security Office located near Macy’s II next to the Management Office.
Are pets allowed in the Lab?
Only service dogs are allowed in the Fair Oaks Mall. Pets are not permitted in the mall or the Lab.
Are cameras or video cameras allowed?
Cameras and video cameras are permitted, as long as the footage is for personal use.
What if I need First Aid?
Inform the nearest Lab team member if you require first aid. We have a first aid kit on site.
Do you have locker facilities available?
We do not have locker facilities available at this time.
Do you have birthday parties?
Yes, we do! Learn more about hosting a birthday party at the Lab.
Do you have sleepovers?
Sorry, Fair Oaks Mall closes at night and we do not offer sleepovers.
What is the cost of parking?
Parking is free at Fair Oaks Mall. With close to 8,000 easily accessed parking spaces, Fair Oaks Mall has a lot of parking–close to mall entrances on lower and upper levels, and in various parking decks. The mall is in the middle of a circle and parking in and around the ring road is plentiful.
Do you have memberships or reciprocal memberships?
Yes, you can become a member of the Children’s Science Center Lab. Learn more about the benefits our members enjoy including unlimited admission to the Lab for one year and access to Members-Only Lab hours.
How can I donate to the Children’s Science Center?
Thank you for wanting to support the Children’s Science Center. As a 501(c)(3) organization, we depend on the charitable gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations, and community organizations to help us advance our mission to instill a love of learning STEM in all children by providing unique opportunities to explore, create and be inspired.
Learn more about giving opportunities.