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“For all ages!!”

Museum of Life + Science
Ranked #3 of 74 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.
Crossville
Level Contributor
44 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“For all ages!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2014

Every time we visit Durham we go to the Life+Science Museum. We have two grandchildren, ages 5 and 15 months. There are plenty of activities for both of them. Also, there are many interesting exhibits for the adults which are changed often. There is a farm area and also further into the museum complex there are zoo animals. There is a train which you can ride for a nominal fee. There is also a cafe on the premises which comes in handy when grandpa gets hungry! The boats, butterflies, and dinosaurs are just a few of the attractions at this museum.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Basiajedna
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 review, January 6, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience, Basiajedna!

Sounds like those grandkids of yours keep you busy! Glad our two-story interactive science center and 84-acre outdoor campus keeps you all occupied and learning every step of the way.

The Farmyard is always a favorite spot to visit and as you mentioned, Sprout is a great place to catch a break and a locally-sourced bite to eat.

Next time you visit, come check out our new barred owl Kirby in Carolina Wildlife! She's just arrived and on view for guests.

Thank you again for sharing your love of the Museum with the TripAdvisor community.
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English first
Woodland Hills, California, United States
Level Contributor
126 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Great place for children”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 24, 2013

Took my 3 1/2 year old granddaughter to the museum and we had a wonderful time. Be sure to go to the butterfly release. The butterfly house is beautiful. A tropical spot on a cool winter day. The dinosaur walk with life sized Dino's is good too. We spent half an hour digging for fossils on the sand pit. She loved dancing in the sound room and launching paper cups using air pressure. We spent 6 hours at the museum and great fun and learning experiences.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Helen 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 review, January 6, 2014
Wow! You sure did pack a lot into your visit. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us, Helen W.

The twice-daily butterfly releases are DEFINITELY a not-to-miss experience. Our Magic Wings Butterfly House is one of the largest in the country and we have dozens of varieties of butterflies in this climate-controlled paradise year-round.

Next time you come, don't forget to check out our list of other daily programming. They are free with admission and perfect for all ages! You can find those on our website calendar.

Thanks again for sharing - we love hearing what our visitors enjoyed during their visit!
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Level Contributor
76 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great visit for children”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2013

This is a wonderful child oriented museum. It is very hands on and interactive. There is a small zoo/ petting are outside ans a rain ride which everyone loves. The butterfly house is absolutely amazing.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Wayne D
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 review, January 6, 2014
Thanks for taking a moment to share your experience with the TripAdvisor community, Wayne D!

So glad to hear you enjoyed the Farmyard and Ellerbe Creek Railway. Hope you got to catch a butterfly release. This free, daily program allows you to talk with our butterfly experts and even assist in releasing the newly-hatched butterflies into the conservatory!

You can see the full schedule of daily programs on the events calendar on our website.

Thanks again for sharing and we hope to see you again very soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
199 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“Great place for children (and fun for the adults, too)”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 27, 2013

Spent a morning thru lunch with twin toddlers and their parents here (we are one set of grand parents). The twins were happy campers even at just over 1 year old. Spent quite bit of time in the toddler area, then walked some of the grounds and ate lunch at the Pavilion. Grand twins had their lunch, but we 4 adults bought lunch there – it was OK – a lunch in the park – what can one say. Edible, not gourmet! Looks like a great place as our twins get older – worth visiting and supporting. I am sure we will be there again, … and again… and….

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank scscientist
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 review, January 6, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us, scscientist! We love hearing what our guests have to say about their visit.

Play to Learn is a great spot for those budding science lovers! With animal care, building blocks and an area especially for our younger guests, it is sure to please the toughest of customers!

Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts and we hope to see you again very soon!
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Durham
Level Contributor
46 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Great for all ages”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2013

The Museum of Life and Science has a lot of hands-on exhibits that will make the time fly by. There's a section for the under-7 crowd that's all interactive, but many of the other areas include lots of chances to experiment with things yourself. Of course, the pinnacle is the butterfly house that allows you to get eye to eye with the ambassadors of the insect world. The main building houses the permanent science exhibits and one or two traveling exhibits that are always interesting. There is a large outdoor area that has sounds, a barnyard, a dinosaur walk, and a newer wetlands exhibit that also contains large areas for the museum's bears and red wolves. Although we have always used the museum as a place for the kids to spend the day, I have seen many a young, childless couple on what I would consider a fantastic place for a date.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Cycle4fun
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 review, January 6, 2014
Thank you so much for sharing, Cycle4fun! We're so glad to hear what a wonderful time you have while visiting.

As you mentioned, Magic Wings Butterfly House is a not-to-miss landmark! Especially as it gets colder, the eternally-80 degree weather in Magic Wings is a great spot to take a break while exploring our 84-acre campus.

If you're looking for your own date night activities, we do have a set of adults-only programming called Museum AfterHours. Check out the upcoming AfterHours event the Science of Food on our museum calendar on the website or in our eNews. It's a great way to have fun at the Museum after hours and without the kids!

Thanks again for taking the time to share your experiences at the Museum with those in the TripAdvisor community. We love to hear what you have to say!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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