Exploring Durham

See, touch and learn at the Museum of Life and Science
Jan. 18, 2014 @ 12:22 PM

Throughout January, Exploring Durham is featuring articles about some of Durham’s most intriguing Science and Technology features.

The Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolina’s top science attractions for families and one of the most family-friendly museums in the Southeast.   On an 84-acre campus, the indoor and outdoor hands-on exhibits run the gamut from more than 60 species of live animals (think bears, wolves, snakes and bugs) to nature (one of the largest butterfly houses in the US!) to science (with real rockets, a fossil digging area and action exhibits galore).  Regardless of weather, this place is a sure-fire hit with kids of all ages.

Outdoors, the Museum's Dinosaur Trail is a favorite.  The trail takes visitors on a journey through the Late Cretaceous period past towering dinosaurs that lived long ago. There is a large dinosaur statue upon which kids can climb, as well as a fossil digging area well-stocked with sea shells, sharks teeth, and more that kids can dig up with the supplied tools.  There are plaques to help identify finds, and kids can keep their treasures, too.  The sailboat pond and the Into the Mist exhibit are open in warmer weather, as is the Take Off! bungee jump.

Indoors, there’s so much to explore. In addition to the Magic Wings Butterfly House, children can sit inside a real Apollo Space Capsule, explore a full-scale Lunar Lander, or touch a 13-foot tornado. There are also live wildlife exhibits and a sound from motion exhibit that is sure to get everyone moving just to hear the music their movements create.

The Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday but closed Mondays through March 31. Members and children under age 2 are admitted free. The new Elements Coffee Bar and Museum Store recently opened to the public. The museums outdoor train, and Take off! require additional fees. There is free parking and stroller rentals are available.

Insider Tip: The Museum of Life and Science offers free admission to Durham County residents from 1-5 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) is Durham’s official marketing agency. For more information about things to see and do in Durham, visit www.Durham-NC.com and www.DurhamEventCalendar.com, or stop by the Visitors Information Center at 101. E. Morgan St. in Downtown Durham and pick up the Official Durham Visitor & Relocation Guide.