The Haunted Keelboat! October 25 and 26, 3 to 7 PM, Terrace of the New Center

October 14, 2014 | Posted in Events | By

We’re haunting our Keelboat for the first time ever!  Our 55 ft. replica keelboat has moved to its new home, and some ghosts have come with it.  There are thirteen ghost animals that Lewis & Clark encountered on the Expedition:  condor, bear, prairie dog, passenger pigeon, magpie, ox, horse, rattlesnake, buffalo, monarch butterfly, beaver, salmon, and dog.  And there are the ghosts of Thomas Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis, and William Clark.  Sergeant Floyd is also inhabiting the cabin where he died of appendicitis…but not in his old form.

Appropriate for young children, groups leave every twenty minutes to hear about the animals and to board the Keelboat.  Admission $5.  Children under three years old are free.

We also have some room for a few animal performers!  Email if you are interested.

October 4 Lewis & Clark Butterfly Festival

September 9, 2014 | Posted in Activities | By

Inspired by the Monarch butterfly, we’re holding the Lewis & Clark Butterfly Festival 10 AM-3 PM on Saturday, October 4th. We’ll have free and low cost activities for children and adults, including making butterflies out of paper, words, and fabric; constructing a flag out of small butterfly paintings, going for a hike looking for butterflies and their special plants; and building a caterpillar out of egg cartons. We’ll also have our wooden boats on our special beach for people to take rides in.

Where: the Outdoor Terrace of the new Center in Darden Towe Park. (Take a left when you enter Darden Towe, and follow the road up the hill. We’re on the left at the very end).

You can call for more information– 434-996-7282 or email us at

Kid-Built Boats on Display Saturday, August 23, at the Boat Ramp in Darden Towe Park

August 20, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

Saturday, August 23, between 10 AM and 2 PM, the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center will display wooden boats built by teens at the Boat Ramp in Darden Towe Park. For over ten years, the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center has been making wooden boats with teens and younger children, teaching planning, teamwork, carpentry skills, and the joys of completing a major project. The smaller boats, called pirogues, will be available Saturday for view and for short paddles on a quiet part of the Rivanna River by the Boat Ramp.

Near the Boat Ramp there will be a display of photographs of the boat building program over the years. The program is a partnership between the City of Charlottesville Department of Parks and Recreations and the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center. Camp counselors from the Parks and Rec summer camps help Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center volunteers with the boat building and planning.

There will also be an opportunity to help paint the newest pirogue, built this summer. The newest boat will be blue and will join a fleet of red, white, green, and yellow.

For more information, see or the Lewis and Clark page on Facebook. In case of rain, the event will be postponed. You can also call Executive Director Alexandria Searls at 434-996-7282

To reach the Boat Ramp, enter Darden Towe Park and take a left. Pass the retention pond to your right. On the left will be the Boat Ramp’s parking lot after the curve in the road.

Paint Selection for the New Building

December 17, 2013 | Posted in Construction | By

We’re taking votes on our paint selection for the exterior metal of our building.

You can Like us on Facebook to see photos of the selection and to give us your thoughts (use Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center, with the ampersand)…or take a look below and email us at

One:  light gray

One: light gray

Two: Darker Gray

Two: Darker Gray

Three: Charcoal

Three: Charcoal

Four: Black

Four: Black


The columns will all be painted…and the idea that the architects have is to differentiate materials…that the metal not look like the concrete, etc.
Poll closing soon!

Road Completion

November 20, 2013 | Posted in Construction | By

S.L. Williamson is starting on our road today, completing the prime and seal later this week.  Cars traveling the current road have ended up coated in a thin layer of dust, so we’re all happy to be completing the project…though dust can cover scratches and rust marks!