Visiting a museums is a great way to get to know the world around you, and lucky for our residents, there are a few great museums in the Fairfax County area. Whether you’re interested in American history, science or art (or a combination of subjects), here are some of the museums in the area that will fill your day with learning and curiosity.

Fairfax Museum & Visitors Center. Explore the fascinating history of the Fairfax area at this small, free museum. You’ll get to see lots of photos of Fairfax from the past, as well as historic documents and artifacts from the town’s beginnings, such as Civil War artifacts and the town’s first police badge.

National Firearms Museum. Learn about the history of guns in America at this free museum in Fairfax. You’ll find 15 galleries comprised of 85 exhibit cases housing 3,000 firearms here, including information about the history behind each weapon, how it was made and what it was used for. There are firearms that were once owned by historical figures, as well as firearms from pivotal events in American history.

Fairfax Station Railroad Museum. The Fairfax Station Railroad was a pivotal part of the area’s transportation and economy for nearly a century, and you can learn all about this important structure at what is now a museum within the station. The station was a medical evacuation site during the Civil War, and it was even the place where Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, worked in 1862 during the Second Battle of Bull Run.

Children’s Science Center.  If you’re out exploring with little ones in tow, head to this fun and educational museum located in the Fair Oaks Mall. You and your little ones can spend a few hours learning about STEM principles through the museum’s interactive exhibits and ever-changing, hands-on activities. A few of the exhibits include the Experiment Bar, which explores biology and chemistry; the Inspiration Hub, which explores real-world STEM applications and the Tinker Shop, which is a workshop space that allows visitors to build their own circuits and robotics.