Free Family Fun at RIR’s Virginia529 Kids Zone: September 6-7


Includes Activities Powered by NASA, Science Museum and State Fair

September 6-7, 2013

va529RICHMOND — September 4, 2013 — Families attending this weekend’s Virginia529 Kids Zone at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) may rub elbows with two big names from racing and from space.

NASA associate administrator and retired astronaut Leland Melvin participated in two space flights in 2008 and 2009, logging more than 565 hours in space. He will answer questions about NASA and space on Friday at 4:30 p.m. in the Virginia529 Kids Zone. Melvin also is the honorary starter for the Virginia529 College Savings 250 Friday night and will wave the green flag to signal the drivers to start. Following the race, spectators may notice NASA’s scheduled launch of the LADEE moon exploration spacecraft. RIR is a designated viewing area for the 11:27 p.m. launch from Virginia’s Wallops Island.  

As a wild card contender for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, driver Joey Logano is hoping Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 will secure him a spot in the Race for the Chase. Before he suits up for the race though, he will read The Berenstain Bears and the Big Road Race at 4 p.m. in the Virginia529 Kids Zone.

Kids of all ages can enjoy a variety of other activities at the free Virginia529 Kids Zone. The interactive area will feature more than 20 hands-on science and technology activities for children and families to explore.

In the Virginia529 Kids Zone, children can:

  • Simulate a geyser using Mentos candy and explore other cool science concepts from the Science Museum of Virginia
  • Learn about gravity, flight and motion in NASA’s Rockets 2 Racecars exhibit
  • Pretend to be in victory lane and take a photo with the Virginia529 College Savings 250 trophy
  • Pet miniature farm animals and learn to rope a steer from the State Fair of Virginia
  • Burn off excess energy in several themed inflatable attractions

Families also can learn about saving for college from Virginia529 College Savings Plan (Virginia529). Virginia529 offers four tax-advantaged programs to help parents tame the Tuition Monster by saving for college in advance. 

The Virginia529 Kids Zone is located outside the track along the Commonwealth Mall. Race tickets are not required for the Virginia529 Kids Zone and other midway attractions. Parking also is free.

About the Virginia529 College Savings Plan:

Virginia529 is a 529 college savings plan that offers flexible, affordable, tax-advantaged savings for qualified higher education expenses through its four programs – Virginia529 prePAID SM (prePAID SM), Virginia529 inVEST SM (inVEST SM), CollegeAmerica® and CollegeWealth®. With 2.3 million accounts and more than $43 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2013, Virginia529 is the largest 529 plan in the country. For more information on Virginia529’s college savings options, visit

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