“What is there to do in Danville?” The possibilities are endless. From nature walks to racing to arts and entertainment, the Dan River Region has something for everyone.Welcome Center
If you’re new to the city — or just want to rediscover the area — the Danville Welcome Center is the place to go. With racks full of brochures and a knowledgeable staff, the center is the starting point for more than 50,000 visitors each year. Those visitors come from as far away as Russia and Sweden and as close as the city itself. In addition to useful information about the area and the state, the center’s gift shop sells Danville memorabilia and items made by local artisans. The Welcome Center is also the place to buy tickets to many events in the city. The Danville Welcome Center is located at 645 River Park Drive near the Danville Expressway and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Restrooms and vending machines are open 24 hours a day. Welcome Center staff can be reached at (434) 793-4636.
Danville Science Center
Since its opening in 2005, the Danville Science Center has been striving to make science more interesting and attainable to people of all ages. The museum welcomes about 37,000 visitors each year. Since the digital dome theater opened, they have seen a 28% increase in visitors. The seasonal butterfly station, located next to the train station, is free to visitors and open until Oct. 10. The exhibit displays exotic butterflies, coming from places such as Texas and Florida, as well as ones native to the area. The Danville Science Center at 677 Craghead St. is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Despite its name, the American Armoured Foundation Tank and Ordnance War Memorial Museum, has a lot more than just tanks. The museum was founded in 1981 and started accepting visitors three years later. On an average summer day, the museum draws about 100 people ranging from young to old. Visitors typically come from a two-to five-hour radius yet some come from as far away as Germany. Located on 3401 U.S. 29 in Danville, the museum is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April to December. January to March it is open only on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission fees are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and children 12 and younger, and free for children 4 and younger. To find out more information about the museum, visit its website at www.aaftank museum.com or like them on Facebook.
Pay respect to veterans
The Veterans Memorial at Dan Daniel Memorial Park commemorates the veterans in the area’s past and present. A black granite memorial wall lists the names of all area veterans who have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in every U.S. war, and a walkway honors veterans with their names engraved in bricks.
Buy fresh local produce and craftsThe Community Market at The Crossing at the Dan at 629 Craghead St. is open from the first Saturday in May until the last Saturday in October from 6:30 a.m. to noon and Wednesdays from 3 to 6:30 p.m. during July and August. Local vendors sell fresh produce; homemade breads, cakes and pies; and arts and crafts. Call (434) 797-8961 for information.
Danville Braves“Take me out to the ballgame” has been ringing out loud and clear since the first Danville Braves game in 1993. Since that time, there have been hundreds of good baseball games for dedicated fans to enjoy. But for those who don’t know the difference between a triple play and a triple bogey or a foul ball and a field goal, there is still much to enjoy at a night out with the Danville Braves. “We have two goals,” said David Cross, general manager of the rookie-level Danville Braves since 2000. “We want to win games and to entertain. Sometimes those goals even flip because if you have a sub-par year, you can still entertain.” Along the way with winning games, of course, is to groom players to move from the minor leagues up to the Atlanta Braves. (www.dbraves.com)
- Virginia International Raceway, located in Halifax County between Danville and South Boston, is an international motorsports resort, featuring a 3.27-mile race circuit. It operates 350 days a year with average 480 events a year, including club car, pro and motorcycle races. The complex also includes dining and lodging facilities. (www.virnow.com)
- For NASCAR racing, go to the nearby Martinsville Speedway.
- The Speedway has two major event weekends.
- For NASCAR-sanctioned short track racing, head to the South Boston Speedway.
Arts and entertainment
- The Little Theatre of Danville Inc., is a not-for-profit community theater offering comedies, dramas, audience-participation murder mysteries and musicals. (www.danvillelittletheatre.org)
- The Danville Symphony Orchestra, with its group of talented volunteers, performs throughout the region, offering a rich repertoire during the year of classical programming and lighter fare in pops concerts. All concerts are held at the George Washington High School auditorium. (www.danvillesymphony.net)
- The Danville Concert Association offers a series of four or five classical music and dance performances each year to the delight of area audiences, including instrumental performances, symphonies and choirs. The non-profit group comprised of volunteers works through the generous support of ticket holders, contributors, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region, the city of Danville, and Danville Parks, Recreation and Tourism. (www.danvilleconcert.org) (434) 792-9242.