North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Raleigh, NC

Where are we going?

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
11 West Jones Street

(919) 733-7450

What is there to do?

Have you ever come face to face with a Cretaceous carnivore? Or have you ever touched the bones of a Right Whale? Have you ever sat in the center of the Earth to hear a scientist talk? You can do all that and more at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences!

Located in downtown Raleigh at the Nature Exploration Center (and also the nearby Nature Research Center!), the museum is filled with dioramas, exhibitions, theaters, and interactive experiences that offer kids a fun and fascinating learning filled family day out!

Some highlights within the museum include the world's most complete Acrocanthosaurus dinosaur, as well as Willo, the only dinosaur discovered with a fossilized heart! How amazing!

Kids can admire a two-story waterfall, as well as explore  the Living Conservatory buzzing with hummingbirds and butterflies.

The Natural Treasures exhibit offers a glimpse into a world that is strange, beautiful, rare and common all at once, and the Coastal North Carolina lets kids take a trip to the beach without having to leave Raleigh! Here, kids can explore dune, maritime forests, barrier islands, and even the open ocean! 

Let's not forget about those whales. The Coastal North Carolina Overlook exhibit features one of the most impressive whale skeleton collections on display in the US. You can see just how HUGE a blue whale is, and even see a Right Whale skeleton, who has been on display for over 100 years!

The museum also features exhibits on those marvels found underground. Did you know that North Carolina is the ONLY state where all four major gemstones have been uncovered? Pretty amazing! Can you guess what they are?

Make sure you take a trip to the Discovery Room too, where those little ones were kept in mind as it was being built. Kids can get up close with hands-on fun, where they can touch fossils, feel bird wings, smell tropical scents, try on costumes, and even find hidden animals!

Oh and last but certainly not least, there is plenty of dinosaur fun at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences!

With SO much to see, do, learn and enjoy at this Raleigh museum, you might not fit it in all in one day! There's a challenge kids, how much can you learn in one day? Only one way to find out, so let's go!

How much does it cost?

Adults: Free admission!

Children: Free admission!


Need a little extra help?

There are plenty of wheelchairs available in the building and are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.


When can we go?

9am - 5pm Monday to Saturday, then 12pm - 5pm Sunday

Open year round


Any top tips?

Check out the special events that the museum host, from Nature Playdays to Astronomy Days. They are always great fun for the family!

I’m Hungry!

There is the Acro Cafe on the fourth floor is where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch break of delectable sandwiches, wraps, hot entrees and snacks. Sip a cup of organic, Larry's Beans coffee and watch the butterflies in the neighboring fourth floor Living Conservatory. The menu also offers kid- friendly options for meals and snacks!

Healthy Eating

There are healthy options in the cafe, you'll have plenty of choice! - Fun things to do with kids and best places to visit in the US
© Family Days Out 2019