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“Kids love it and tons of stuff to do”

Museum of Life + Science
Ranked #3 of 80 things to do in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolina’s top attractions. Situated on 84-acres, our interactive science park includes a science center, a butterfly conservatory which is one of the largest in the world and beautifully-landscaped outdoor exhibits which are safe havens for rescued black bears, lemurs, and endangered red wolves. The Museum's Dinosaur Trail takes visitors on a journey through the Late Cretaceous period. Other attractions include a Farmyard, Ellerbe Creek Railway, Contraptions – a hands-on exhibit for older children and adults, a sailboat pond, The Lab in Investigate Health!, Play to Learn – an exhibit for children under six, more than 60 species of live animals and so much more. The Museum of Life and Science is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Stairs / elevator, Lockers / storage, Food available for purchase, Stroller parking, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed August 19, 2013

I took my kids here on a Saturday and they had a blast. There's a huge outdoor area with a petting zoo, playground, dinosaur trail, train ride and nature trail with wild animals on it. Bring an umbrella and wear shoes, not sandals. The nature trail to see the wolves, bears, and lemurs has wood ramps going down to it and they can get slick. My kids both wore flip flops and because it had been raining, they kept sliding on the wood.

Both of my kids loved the petting zoo and the butterfly arboretum. The entire museum is loaded with interactive exhibits that both of my kids loved. They even have a cafe on site, but we didn't eat there so I can't comment other that to say we did see it. I would definitely recommend this place to other families!

Thank cltadams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori B, External Relations Assistant at Museum of Life + Science, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2013

Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts, cltadams! We're so happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit (despite the rain!).

If you're in the neighborhood and looking for a great way to distract the kids, we're celebrating the soapy science of bubbles September 19-21. Green bubbles, square bubbles and even bubbly beverages are going to be featured in a variety of science experiments and hands-on activities for our visitors. The best part is it's FREE with your Museum admission! We hope to see you there!

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492 - 496 of 743 reviews

Reviewed August 15, 2013

Great displays, some hands on, a train ride, environmentally controlled butterfly house and a Dinosaur Trail to boot! Great time for all!!

Thank swishk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2013

NCMLS always has something to see and do! I've been here many times with my nephew (now 10 years old) and there are still sections I haven't seen. Our favorite sections are the Barnyard and Into the Wild animal exhibits and the butterfly house. Try to go on a day when the keepers give out treats - it's pretty entertaining watching the pigs go nuts for pumpkins or the ducks chase mealworms. I like the butterfly releases and watching one emerge from a chrysalis is pretty cool. My nephew enjoys the Into the Mist section and the dinosaur trail (I think it's kind of lame, but he loves it). We always finish up with the Insectarium. There are lots of indoor hands-on things, but we've never had enough time to visit those, too.

The price is pretty decent. I see they have Science of Beer events for adults, featuring lots of local brews; I might check that out, too, without the nephew, of course. All in all, I'd definitely recommend this place.

Thank hilboville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori B, External Relations Assistant at Museum of Life + Science, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2013

Thanks for the great review, hilboville! We love to hear great things from our repeat customers.

You really know your way around! There are so many exceptional experiences to explore each day that we think you'll always discover something new with your friends and family. Perhaps when the weather cools you'll be able to explore our updated SoundSpace exhibit and the all-new Launch Lab: Aerospace where you can build paper airplanes and other flying objects then send them flying through the air with the help of hover tables, wind tubes and launchers!

If you're interested in Science of Beer - it's a not-to-miss event! Tickets always sell out for this event, so don't wait to buy yours. With over 15 local breweries represented and the chance to mingle in the Museum without kids is always a fun evening out for adults. The next Science of Beer is September 12 - make sure you mark your calendar, hilboville! You can buy your tickets on the Museum website and your admission includes a tasting glass, bottle/can koozie and the opportunity to taste the local beers represented as well as explore the science behind brews with experts from Duke University and NCSU as well as the brewers themselves! We hope to see you there!

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Reviewed August 11, 2013

When we arrived at the museum at 11 AM, the main lot was already full and we had to go to overflow parking which was half full. I asked a guy that parked near us was there anything special going on. He said no. Once we got inside the museum, I realized why so many people were there - there was lot to do and see! The inside exhibits were nice but the main attraction was the outside area. It was huge. They had a giant playground area, a dinosaur trail with real size replicas of various dinosaurs, a wild life discovery trail and a farm animal zoo. They also had a butterfly house which housed hundreds of live butterflies and lots of tropical plants. It was a very pretty area. There was more to do but we didn't have time for it so if you go make sure you budget plenty of time for it

Thank 1Jaybee1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori B, External Relations Assistant at Museum of Life + Science, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2013

Wow! What great photos, 1Jaybee1. We love to see the Museum through the eyes of our guests.

Looks and sounds like you have a great experience. It's easy to spend a whole day at the Museum with our 84-acres of outdoor exhibit space and two story science center that features a lab staffed by local scientists, local Carolina wildlife like woodchucks and reptiles, and the all-new Launch Lab: Aerospace that lets you build your own flying objects and send them flying!

If you're in the area in September, we're having a special event called Bubble Blitz that will be focusing on the science of bubbles and how much fun we can have with those soapy spheres. Bubble Blitz is on September 19-21 and is free with Museum admission or your Museum membership. More information can be found on our Museum webpage on the Events Calendar.

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Reviewed August 8, 2013

The Museum of Life and Science is a surprisingly rich experience for both young and old, with interactive exhibits, animals (including a group of black bears), and a magical butterfly house where living winged jewels may light on your hand. The museum is not a Smithsonian-level museum, but is a particularly good thing for children who are antsy for something fun to do and it offers a wide variety of summer programs as well as a number of both temporary and permanent exhibits. Well worth the visit.

Thank Carlisle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori B, External Relations Assistant at Museum of Life + Science, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2013

With a mission to provide experiences that encourage and ignite a love of lifelong learning, we are so happy to hear that you found your Museum experience great for all ages, Carlisle W!

Next time you see us, try attending one of our daily butterfly releases, meet the keeper experiences or programs in the Lab. You can find these activities and more on our Events Calendar on the main Life and Science website.

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