North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
The state of North Carolina has so much history to share with its citizens and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is no exception. Being the largest natural history museum in the Southeast, the museum has a very large exhibit of dinosaurs, whales skeletons, live animals and even some accessible scientists are there to answer questions you might have.
Located in Raleigh, it’s the state’s oldest museum and receives an annual visitation of 1.2 million people. There are a total of 5 campuses and with over 1.7 million artifacts, there are plenty of things to learn about and see.
How old is the NC Museum of Natural Sciences
The museum was first created over 140 years ago in 1879 but was known back then as the North Carolina State Museum. There were two state owned entities that combined to form the museum, but as the collection of artifacts kept growing and growing, the museum had to find another home to house everything. They eventually moved in 1887 to a former hotel across the street from the capitol building. In 1924, the building was entirely repurposed to something much more suitable for the museum and shortly thereafter was renamed to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
How much is the science museum in Raleigh?
There is no general admission fee to enter the museum, however, there is a very small fee for their special exhibits and 3-D movies.
They have 5 locations and their hours of operation are listed below:
Downtown Raleigh: Tues-Sun: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Prairie Ridge: Tues-Sun: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Whiteville: Tues-Sun: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Greenville: Tues-Sun: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Contentnea Creek: Sat: 10:00am to 2:00pm
Which exhibits do they have?
The museum has three different types of exhibits: special exhibits, permanent exhibits and virtual tours.
To see which special exhibitions they currently have playing now, click here. As of the time of this writing they have the Exquisite Creatures exhibition which has artist Christopher Marley artistically explain why humans feel the need to connect with mother nature and the world surrounding us.
Admission – if you’re a member then admission to this exhibition is free, if not, pricing is as below:
Children ages 3-12: $6
Children 2 and younger: free
Groups of 10 or more: $5/person
There are too many to mention, however, just a few of the exhibits are: Coastal North Carolina Overlook where you can come face-to-face with the skeleton of a Blue Whale; Underground North Carolina where it’s the only state where the four major gemstones have been uncovered; Prehistoric North Carolina where you can go back in time and see how ancient dinosaurs lived on Earth; Exploring the Deep Sea where you can see schools of squid, crabs and coral. There are many others to see as well.
Admission is free
On your very own computer you can take virtual tours of many exhibits such as the Snakes of NC, Arthropod Zoo, Terror of the South, and the Mountain Cove tour. For a list of even more tours, you can access them on the museum’s virtual tours page.
From the Durham area:
Merge onto the NC-147 S/Durham Feeway for approximately 6.5 miles
Take exit 5A to merge onto I-40 E toward RDU Airport and continue straight for 9.6 miles
Exit 289 for Wade Avenue toward I-440/US-1N for 1.0 miles
Continue on Wade Avenue for 2.2 miles
Keep left to continue onto Wade Ave for 3.1 miles
Turn right onto NC-50 S and go straight for 1.0 miles
Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto W Jones St and your destination will be on your right hand side
From the Greenville area:
Take E 10th St to John P East Memorial Hwy and continue straight for 0.8 miles
Continue straight onto US-264 W for 32.4 miles
This turns into I-795 N/US-264 W and continue straight for 22.7 miles
Merge onto US-264 W/US-64 W toward Raleigh and take the road for 7.1 miles
Road merges with I-87/US-264W and continue straight for 10.3 miles
Take exit 3 to merge onto I-440 W toward US-1/Wake Forest
Exit 13A to merge onto New Bern Ave toward Downtown and travel for 2.6 miles
Continue onto E Edenton St for 1.1 miles
From the offices of Raleigh Well Drilling Pros:
Head NW toward Wake Forest Rd
Turn right and continue straight for 0.1 miles then turn right onto New Hope Church Rd for 0.7 miles
Turn right onto Atlantic Ave and continue straight for 2.7 miles
Merges into Wake Forest Rd for 0.9 miles
Wake Forest Rd slowly becomes Delway St
Turn slight left toward N Blount St for 0.7 miles
Turn right onto E Edenton St and you’ll arrive at 11 W Jones St, Raleigh NC 27601