We have been counting the days, but now we're down to hours. It's less than 36 hours until the 24-hour opening of the new wing at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, beginning tomorrow night, April 20, at 5pm.

As we have mentioned, the museum is expecting a big crowd (barring any surprises in the weather). If you are planning to come (and we hope you are), here are a few things to keep in mind as you make your final plans.

Parking right around the museum is likely to be a challenge, but you have a few really good options.

Park in one of downtown Raleigh's numerous public parking lots, then hop on the the R-LINE, downtown's free hybrid bus. The R-LINE circulates around downtown on a regular basis, makes stops at regular intervals, and it is usually 10-15 minutes until the next bus comes along.

Human power
If you are anywhere in the city center area, the museum is no more than a 10-minute walk.
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Pedal power
If you are really environmentally-minded, you can ride your bike. There's plenty of bike parking at the museum.

Free CAT bus
Ride any CAT bus for FREE on Saturday, April 21. Service begins as early as 4:30am for some routes; check the online CAT schedule for specific route details.

The museum has more information and a full list of exhibitors, performance and event schedules and indoor and outdoor activities on its website. Take a look at the schedule and the museum map to get a clear picture of what you want to be sure and see.

It's finally here, and we're really looking forward to it! The visitRaleigh.com staff will be in one of the exhibit areas across Jones Street. We'd love it if you would stop by and say hi!