You have heard us say for the past few weeks that we would start the countdown clock 24 days before the 24-hour grand opening of the new wing of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. Well, we're officially 24 days out, and the clock is on at!

Here's what will happen these next 24 days:

  • The countdown clock will continue to the grand opening celebration on Friday, April 20, 2012, at 5pm (the museum will stay open until 5pm on Saturday, April 21). Event planners are expecting as many as 50,000 people to converge on the streets surrounding the museum during that 24-hour time period, and they're putting together a full slate of concerts, exhibits, food and other surprises.
  • At, we're launching 24 great hotel, restaurant and attraction deals in honor of the opening at Each one of those deals will be a "Deal of the Day" from now until April 20 (but all can be redeemed now).
  • Oh, and then there's this: and the museum have teamed up to offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for one lucky adventurer to win a nine-day trip to the Amazon rainforest.

One (1) grand prize winner will be selected and awarded a complimentary trip to the EcoTeach Amazon Rainforest Workshop, July 5-14, 2012. The prize includes the workshop cost, in-country air and international air round-trip to Lima, Peru.

Sweepstakes rules include the option for the winner to transfer the prize one time, which means if you have a son or daughter (or parent!) who you think would love to take advantage of this opportunity, and you win, you can pass the prize along to him or her. (See official rules for full details.)

To watch the clock, find the visitor deals and enter to win the trip, click here! And don't wait: start planning now to be here for Raleigh's New World!

Find the latest official rundown of the museum grand opening event here. And to be in the know about everything related to the new wing, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.