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Durham Life And Science Museum Hours

Pushing Boundaries: Artists Who Challenge The Way We Look At American History

Durham’s Museum of Life & Science turns 75

Artist Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds is featured in a new story on the Nasher Museums Google Arts & Culture page. The museum has been collecting works by Heap of Birds and other Indigenous artists over the past six years: Jeffrey Gibson , G. Peter Jemison , Jaune Quick-to-See Smith , Wendy Red Star Apsáalooke/Crow) and Fritz Scholder . The Nasher Museums story is included in Google Arts & Cultures newly launched hub, Indigenous Americas, which celebrates and honors the incredible contributions Indigenous peoples have made across the Americas.

What To Know Before You Visit

Am I required to wear a facial covering?The museum is a mask friendly environment and guests may choose to mask at any time. If you have symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19, we ask that you reschedule your visit.

Do I need an advance ticket to visit?No, advance tickets are not required. However, they are recommended. Walk-ins are welcome. If you prefer to make advance reservations, please see next question.

How do I reserve/purchase advance tickets?Tickets may be purchased online here. You will need to select a visit date, as well as the number of tickets needed. Members, your free admission discount is applied in the shopping cart. If you need assistance, please contact us at If you are calling on a weekend, please note that weekend phone calls go to voicemail, which is checked periodically throughout the day. Sorry, at this time we cannot offer refunds for admission tickets purchased online. Should you need to reschedule, please call the museum.

Can I walk up and buy admission tickets or a membership?Yes, however both admission tickets and memberships are also available for purchase online. Memberships may be purchased online, via mail, or by calling . If you do not have a computer or have technical difficulties, please call for assistance with your purchase.

What are your hours of operation?The Durham Museums fall hours are Sunday 12-4PM, Tuesday-Saturday 10AM-4PM. Closed on Mondays.

Museum Of Life And Science

Our Story

Located just blocks from downtown Durham, the Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolinas top family destinations. Situated on 84-acres, our interactive science park includes a two-story science center, one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the East Coast, and beautifully landscaped outdoor exhibits which are safe havens for rescued black bears, lemurs, and endangered red wolves. Other popular attractions include over 60 species of live animals, Dinosaur Trail, Ellerbe Creek Railway, Into the Mist, Hideaway Woods, and Earth Moves.

Products : Train rides, Museum store, gourmet coffee & snacks, onsite cafe, venue for weddings, coroporate parties, and birthday parties.

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Never A Disappointing Trip To The Museum

I love the blend of Richmond history along with science education experiences. They go above and beyond to switch up their offerings and discussions so we learn something every time we visit. The exhibits are very interactive for the kids, too. The programs Rat Basketball, planetarium shows and more are great.

About Museum Of Life And Science

Museum of Life and Science: Know Wonder

Museum of Life and Science, located in Durham, NC, promotes research and public education through its Museum collection. Visitors to the Museum can see Museum exhibits, attend events at the Museum, and access Museum educational programs. The Museum supports itself through ticket sales, membership, fundraisers, and donations.

You may contact Museums for questions about:

  • Museum exhibits and collections

County Office is not affiliated with any government agency. Third party advertisements support hosting, listing verification, updates, and site maintenance. Information found on CountyOffice.org is strictly for informational purposes and does not construe legal, financial or medical advice.

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Museum Of Life And Science In Durham

With two stories of indoor, hands-on exhibits and a 74-acre outdoor campus, this museum offers kids a range of interactive experiences. Design flying structures in Launch Lab. Walk in a rainforest surrounded by butterflies. Explore cloud formations at “Into the Mist.” Take an old-time train ride through the nature park. Watch bears, lemurs and red wolves. Climb, slide and dig in the Gateway Park.

Do you love treehouses, walking in the woods, wading in streams and getting a birds eye view of life? Head to Hideaway Woods, the Museum of Life and Sciences natural playscape, which opened Sept. 29, 2015, offering a variety of nature experiences for all ages. Situated on 2 acres, Hideaway Woods invites visitors to explore several unique areas. One features a network of eight interconnected treehouses that range in height from 6 feet to 20 feet, allowing visitors to navigate through a cargo net, log ladder, spiral staircase and gangway. For a quick way down, take the slides to ground level. From the lower treehouses, those who want to climb on to the upper treehouses simply cross a rope bridge. Children ages 6 and younger have their own Young Explorers space, a “mini treehouse” area with scaled slides, bridges and a place for nature-based imaginative play.

Let The Adventure Begin

Simply put, its almost impossible to enjoy everything that the museum offers in one visit. The best thing to do is to thoroughly review the museum campus map and exhibits information online before your arrival and seek out exhibits that your particular brood might enjoy the most on that particular day. For out-of-town visitors who might not have an opportunity to revisit the museum as frequently or easily, the best advice is to first enjoy the exhibits that might not be offered in your hometowns childrens museums, and then plan to return for another adventure. Current Indoor Exhibits: Aerospace, Butterfly House, Carolina WildLife, Flip It Fold It Figure It Out, Insectorium, Investigate Health, Launch Lab, Math Movers, Play To Learn, Tinker Lab, Weather Current Outdoor Exhibits: Catch the Wind, Dinosaur Trail, Earth Moves, Explore the Wild: Black Bears, Lemurs, Tortoises, Red Wolves, Gateway Park, Hideaway Woods, Into the Mist, Sound Garden, The Farmyard, The Train, Wander Away.

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Prairie Ridge Ecostation Raleigh

Prairie Ridge furthers the Museum’s mission of enhancing public understanding and appreciation of the natural environment by providing an outdoor learning space while acting as a model for renewable and sustainable energy.

Prairie Ridge HoursTuesdaySaturday: 9am4pm

Prairie Ridge Ecostation, located at 1671 Gold Star Drive in Raleigh, is closed on some state holidays. Hours vary, so check the museum’s website for details.

We encourage you to visit our 45 acres of Piedmont prairie, forest, ponds, a stream and sustainable classroom features integrated with a wildlife-friendly landscape.

Welcome To The North Carolina Museum Of History

Durham Museum of Life Science – Must-Visit!

Visitors from around the world travel to the North Carolina Museum of History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, to discover fascinating secrets and hidden gems from our state’s past. Located at 5 East Edenton Street in the heart of downtown Raleigh, across from the North Carolina State Capitol, the state history museum welcomes more than 465,000 visitors a year, including 83,000+ schoolchildren. You can contact the Museum at 814-7000. The fax number is 733-8655.

Effective Monday, March 7, masks will be optional for visitors and staff at the North Carolina Museum of History.

Please continue to follow the museum website and social media for the most up-to-date information. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Nearby the museum is convenient parking, restaurants, and many other family-friendly attractions.

The North Carolina Museum of History, our spectacular downtown monument to all that is North Carolina. – The News and Observer

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Red Wolf Center In Columbia Welcomes 4

Posted: Dec 7, 2022 / 02:10 PM EST

Posted: Dec 7, 2022 / 02:10 PM EST

COLUMBIA, N.C. Visitors to the Red Wolf Center on Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge will see a couple of new faces in the exhibit enclosure: 4-year-old red wolf brothers who were relocated from Durham to Columbia.

Born at the Durham Life and Science Museum, the wolves are part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Red Wolf Recovery Program. Currently, there are an estimated 19 to 21 wild red wolves in eastern North Carolina the only known population of wild red wolves in the world.

Katerina Ramos, North Carolina Wildlife Federations red wolf education and outreach coordinator, offers red wolf education programs every Friday at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

There are several recovery program options being explored and considered for the male red wolf siblings, including having them stay as education exhibit wolves, being part of the captive breeding program, or being released into the wild red wolf population, she said.

Ramos also noted that the 8-year-old female previously in the enclosure was relocated to Wolf Conservation Center, a captive breeding facility in New York. Shell be introduced to a male red wolf with the hope theyll have pups this breeding season, she said.

Meanwhile, Ramos said that the 14-year-old male from the exhibit pen is still at the Red Wolf Center, but hes out of the limelight and now spending his retirement days in peace.

Durham Community Days In 2022

On Durham Community Days, Durham County residents receive free admission. Youll need to show proof of residents. All adults in your party will need to show proof of residency. Each adult can bring up to five children.

Durham Community Days take place twice a month. The day of the week varies, making it possible for Durham residents with various schedules to attend.

The dates of Durham Community Days have been announced for the second half of 2022.

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Real Science: Field Trip Fridays

During the closure of schools due to COVID-19, we had to reimagine our traditional forms of science engagement with Durham students and teachers. The result: Real Science: Field Trip Fridays, 37 fun and entertaining virtual field trips around the region to learn about research and science happening at government, corporate, university, and nonprofit research centers.

North Carolina Museum Of Natural Sciences At Greenville And Contentnea Creek

Events in Durham, NC

The NC Museum of Natural Sciences at Greenville will open in 2021 with new, exceptional exhibits, mind-opening programs and educational events that reflect the relevant needs of audiences in northeastern North Carolina. The NC Museum of Natural Sciences at Contentnea Creek is a 400-acre outdoor learning center in Grifton that features hiking and paddling trails through a variety of habitats, as well as an observatory and a planetarium.

Greenville: 729 Dickinson Avenue, Greenville Phone: 252.364.2862

Contentnea Creek: 949 Contentnea Lane, Grifton Phone: 252.364.2862

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Summer Hours: Museum Of Life And Science Now Open Daily

As the summer season gets underway, the Museum of Life and Science is now open daily. With Memorial Day, the Durham museum began operating seven days a week through Labor Day. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

DURHAM, N.C.

This adds a couple more days of play at the museum each week. It had been open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.

17 tips for making a visit great

Magic Wings Butterfly House

A major attraction at MLS is the three-story glass Magic Wings Butterfly House, which opened April 17, 1999, a butterfly zoo and tropical conservatory featuring a community of several hundred tropical butterflies representing dozens of species, as well as an array of tropical plants. The Bayer CropScience Insectarium, located in the Magic Wings Butterfly House, features exotic insects from around the world. This exhibit was the first of the BioQuest expansion to be completed.

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Downtown Museum Dates Closed

  • Thursday, Nov. 24Friday, Nov. 25
  • Friday, Dec. 23Monday, Dec. 27
  • Thursday, Nov. 24Friday, Nov. 25
  • Friday, Dec. 23Monday, Dec. 27
  • Thursday, Nov. 24Friday, Nov. 25
  • Friday, Dec. 23Monday, Dec. 27
  • Monday-Friday: 9am-3pm for groups by reservation
  • Saturday: 10am2pm
  • Thursday, Nov. 24Friday, Nov. 25
  • Friday, Dec. 23Monday, Dec. 27

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Plan Your Trip To The Museum Of Life And Science

Durham’s Museum of Life & Science reopens to everyone

Discover the scientist in you with a visit to Durhams popular museum.

Posted ByChika Gujarathi

In 1946, a group of volunteers created a small trail-side nature center at C-36 Lavender Street off Durhams West Club Boulevard to offer storytimes, a preschool, and hands-on nature discovery opportunities to the community. Now, 75 years later, the Museum of Life and Science stands amidst a sprawling 84 acres on Murray Avenue it seems unfathomable to imagine such humble beginnings for an institution synonymous with childhood in Durham and the entire Triangle.Located about five miles from downtown Durham, the Museum of Life and Science has grown exponentially in the past few decades. With over 35 indoor and outdoor exhibits for all ages, including a zoo, an aquarium, an aerospace museum, a science lab, a nature preserve, a conservatory, an old-time railway, the museum has upheld its commitment to spread a sense of wonder, awe, and critical thinking through play and exploration. Honored as the National Model by the National Science Foundation, we are proud to have the Museum of Life and Science as a steady part of Durhams vibrant and ever-evolving community.

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Our Commitment To Durham

Since 1946, the Museum of Life and Science has inspired generations of Durham visitors with the wonders of nature, science, and animal life. Weve brought science and nature education to thousands of school groups from around Durham and opened our doors to free field trips and visits for Durham residents. Weve always been a proud part of Durham and value our eight decades of partnership with our city and its families.

Aza & Astc Reciprocity

This discount is only available for in-person, same-day ticket purchases please present your valid membership card and matching ID.

Reciprocal memberships for participating Association of Science Technology Centers or Association of Zoos and Aquariums organizations will be accepted provided the member follows the following guidelines: You must have your membership card with you. The membership card must be in your name. You must present a photo ID. The expiration date on the membership card must be valid.

To use a reciprocal corporate membership, the member must observe the following guidelines: You must have the membership card with you. The membership card must be in your companys name. You must present your business ID to match with the company name on the membership card. The expiration date on the membership card must be valid. The reciprocal benefit applies to up to 5 people per membership card presented.

To find out if your museum or zoo is part of the reciprocity program, view the lists online: ASTC | AZAPlease note the exceptions below. Reciprocity is subject to change.

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Wed Love To Hear From You

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please send us a direct message or fill out the form below and we will get back to you shortly.
Common Questions

Reservations Trouble reserving tickets? Questions about visiting? See our Museum FAQ page or contact

Membership Cant download your new digital card? For all membership related questions, e-mail us at or call 919-220-5429 ext. 324

10 am 5 pm

A Day At The Museum Is An Adventure Here Are Some Of Our Best Tips For A Great Day With Your Family

23 Awesome Things to Do in Durham, NC with Kids (or without)
  • Remember to wear shoes for walking!
  • Bring a refillable water bottle.
  • Ask about the train when you check in.
  • Take a photo of the posted maps and plan where you want to spend your visit.
  • Plan your visit according to the amount of time you have. We close at 5 pm!
  • Consider bringing a change of clothes for children. Some of our exhibits include water, sand, and mud.
  • Pack sunscreen and bug repellant.
  • Check the weather report before your visit! Rain gear, coats, or ponchos might be necessary.
  • Plan on eating while here? Enjoy food from our café or pack a light lunch to be enjoyed at one of our designated eating areas outdoors. . We also have a huge picnic dome near our south parking lot if youd like to bring your cooler and take your time before or after your visit.
  • We have a large campus, so bring a stroller! We do have a limited number of strollers available to rent.
  • Weekends can be busy visit during the week if you can.
  • Mornings are our busiest times come in the afternoon if you can.
  • Plan bathroom breaks before you explore the Museum. We have restrooms at multiple locations around campus. Portable potties are not allowed at the Museum.
  • Bring binoculars to help you find birds, plants, wolves, and radiated tortoises.
  • Dont forget to take breaks! The Museum is a full-day experience . Its ok to slow and rest your legs here and there and enjoy the sounds of nature.
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    What People Say About Museum Of Life And Science

    Lets play another round of hide and seek with Gordon Gecko, this is a tough one. Can you spot her?

    Think of this sign like a birthday party hat for a building! Think of this sign like a birthday party hat for a building!

    Monday morning motivation with Milton the mink, now get out there and show the world your adorable face!Monday morning motivation with Milton the mink, now get out there and show the world your adorable face!

    Yesterday, Animal Care Team member Mary came across this little dinosaur on our front plaza. She took him in and made him her honorary Museum Teammate for the day. Their day began at the Volunteer Orientation where her new friend learned some Museum history and about all the jobs they might tackle, then there was a quick pit stop to fuel up with some coffee from Elements coffee bar. After coffee, it was time to get to work prepping animal diets and performing welfare checks on all the indoor animals. Once that was done and everyone was cared for they headed outside for a ride to see the bears and take a little time for rest and relaxation at the Sailboat Pond before finally finding some familiar faces and a place to spend the night on the Dinosaur Trail. If you lost a dinosaur recently at the Museum please send us a DM and we will be sure to get him back to you, he will have quite a story to tell.

    We are ready to slide into the weekend.We are ready to slide into the weekend.

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