The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is the Southeast’s largest natural history museum, complete with its Nature Exploration Center and Nature Research Center, with four floors of exhibits, live animals, gift shops and cafés. Explore on a variety of different self-guided tours through all the different exhibits.
In the Nature Exploration Center, you can view more than a dozen exhibits from coastal to prehistoric North Carolina, see a live sloth in the Living Conservatory, engage in hands-on activities in the Discovery Room and experience life as a bug in the Arthropod Zoo. Here, you can also visit the world’s most complete Acrocanthosaurus dinosaur, the “Terror of the South.”
Head to the Nature Research Center where you can get a glimpse of a different side of natural science with labs, weather centers and ocean, fossils and space exhibits plus a 10,000-gallon aquarium. Living collections include fish, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians. This museum wing’s centerpiece is the SECU Daily Planet, a 70-foot-diameter globe with a three-story theater for live programming and movies on its giant screen. Snap some great photos of the exterior--one of Raleigh’s most popular spots for Instagrams!
The museum also includes vast amounts of resources for hands-on learning and research. Educators and workshops are available for schools and other groups. Outreach and e-learning programs are sponsored for all ages. The Brimley Memorial Library is open in the Nature Exploration Center, with the archives of the museum in circulation. Online collections are accessible in the museum’s database.
On your trip to Raleigh, N.C., you won’t want to miss out on this incredible, world-class museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Visit the museum in downtown Raleigh and see why it’s one of the top places to visit in Raleigh and the state! Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., noon-5pm. Free general admission.