North Carolina has a lot of tourist attractions to offer for all ages. So there’s nothing to worry about when you’re traveling with the whole family.

One of the attractions that we highly recommend, especially for families, is the Museum of Life and Science. This site alone has a lot to offer for everyone in the family. In case you’re traveling to South Carolina, we listed some of the things that are waiting to be explored at the museum that we’re sure everyone in your family will love. But before your visit, it would be better to see its schedule and ticket prices so you can plan your visit better, right? Read on to find out more information before you go.

Museum of Life and Science Schedule

Like in any other location or attraction, it is always best to check on the site’s operating hours first. In this way, you can plan your schedule better. With this, you can also get to maximize your visit, especially if you’re planning to visit other places. As for the Museum of Life and Science, you might want to keep a eye on the calendar as it has different operating hours depending on the season.

During summer, it is open seven days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM. But when it’s not summer, the museum is only open from Tuesdays to Sundays between 10 AM and 5 PM. The museum takes a break and closes its doors during Mondays when it’s not summer season. And if you’re a member, you are free to explore the museum as early as 9 AM.

However, due to the pandemic, the museum’s new schedule isn’t updated yet. Even so, you can keep an eye on their calendar here

Museum of Life and Science Tickets

When visiting a tourist attraction, it is also best to take a look at the admission prices. In this way, you can budget your money better. As for the Museum of Life and Science admission, the ticket prices vary.

The tickets for the general admission costs $21. But you can get discounts. For senior citizens, they can get a $2 off discount.

Military personnel can also get a discount regardless if they are still active or already retired. As long as they bring their IDs with them, their admission tickets would only cost $19.

Children’s admission tickets are also discounted. For $16, kids who are three to 12 years old can already enjoy the whole museum.

Non-school groups can also get a discount. If you’re more than 10 in your group, your tickets will be discounted and for $13 (per person) you can already get to explore the whole museum too.

And sometimes, good things like this can come for free. Yes, you read that right. If you’re traveling with children aged two and under, you can bring them inside the museum without paying a cent. And if you’re a resident of Durham County, you can also get in for free during Durham Community Days.

Now that you already know these important details, let’s see what awaits you at the Museum of Life and Science.

Inside the Museum of Life and Science

South Carolina has numerous museums scattered around the state. Each of them caters to different types of travelers. But among all of those, we say that the museum of Life and Science is one of the top museums you shouldn’t miss as it has a lot in store for everyone. In case you want to get a glimpse of what’s inside this museums, here’s a list of some of the exciting things to expect.


Of course, this museum has a number of exhibits to feature. But what makes it a little different from the rest of the museums in South Carolina is that it has plenty of exhibits – more than one can imagine. In fact, it has so many exhibits that it has divided them into two – indoor and outdoor.

Indoor Exhibits

Here are some of the indoor exhibits waiting for you:

Inside the Museum of Life and Science’s Aerospace Exhibit (Source)
  • Aerospace – for this exhibit, kids will feel as if they’re working at NASA as it has a satellite mapping table where you can even get to spot your house. There is also a command module where kids (and kids at heart) can climb inside it and imagine a safe trip back to earth and even test their hand at docking a satellite. In this exhibit, you can also get to see displays of real space artifacts from the Apollo era. Here, you will learn more about the outer space and get a glimpse of how to become an astronaut.
  • Flip It, Fold It, Figure It Out – this exhibit, on the other hand, lets visitors play with math as it lets you explore shapes, sizes, and patterns. This will really test you math skills and creativity. With this, kids will love math even better.
  • Math Moves – speaking of math, this is yet another math-related exhibit. However, it’s more immersive as you can listen, watch, and feel what happens when you change pitch and frequency of sounds, use your body as a unique unit of measure, etc.
  • Carolina Wildlife – another exciting indoor exhibit is the Carolina Wildlife as this one lets you discover a wide range of animals that are native to North Carolina.
  • Insectarium – as its name suggests, this exhibit is all about insects. Here, you can learn more about them and get an up-close and personal view onto their lives.
  • Investigate Health – this exhibit is a must see as it is very timely. Here, you can get to have a peek into a world of research devoted to studying things that impact our health. You can also discover how our actions affect our wellness. Here, everyone in the family will get a better understanding as to why health experts tell us to wash our hands, buckle our seatbelts, put on sunscreen, and more.

Outdoor Exhibits

For the outdoor exhibits, here are some of the things you can expect:

A peek at the Museum of Life and Science’s Into the Mist outdoor exhibit (Source)
  • Catch the Wind – as its name suggests, this exhibit is all about the wind. Here, everyone will get a better understanding about the full impact of the wind.
  • Earth Moves – for this exhibit, you can get to explore the stories of how mountains rise, how water reshapes the planet, and how rocks turn to sand. There’s also a cave formation made from sandstone, a 20-foot waterfall, and several hands-on experiences with stones, rolling water, and sand.
  • Explore the Wild – there are also more outdoor exhibits about wild animals. See them up close, get a better understanding of their habitats and more.
  • Sound Garden – this exhibit is not your ordinary garden. There may be no species of flowers here but this exhibit lets you experiment with the science of sound.
  • Gateway Park – this area, on the other hand, is a playground dedicated for kids who want to have more fun while exploring the museum. Here, children can take a break and play or test their abilities or maybe even discover new skills.
  • Into the Mist – this unique exhibit lets you activate mist fields with just a push of a button. Through here, you can learn more about humidity, wind impact, and mists. In this cooling exhibit, you can also even get to see rainbows appear and disappear. It also has tunnels where kids can climb through, as well as sand where kids can make sand sculptures. The area of this exhibit also offers a nice space where you can appreciate the view of nature from here.

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2Dining Options

The Museum of Life and Science’s Sprout Cafe’s indoor dining area (Source)

With all of the exhibits you can explore inside the Museum of Life and Science, you will surely need to fuel up. Don’t worry as the museum has a few cafés where you can grab some delicious snacks and drinks.

For starters, the museum has two cafés – the Sprout Café and the Elements Coffee Bar. The former, Sprout Café, offers a wide variety of meals. From salads to burgers and kid-friendly meals, everyone in the family will surely find something to eat here. There are also sides and desserts available that we’re sure you will love as well. And the best part of it is that it also has an outdoor seating where you can enjoy the view from your table as you savor every bite of your food.

The latter, however, is focused more on drinks. Here, you can enjoy a sip of their handmade gourmet drinks and local coffee. Hot or iced, no matter how you prefer your coffee, Elements Coffee Bar’s baristas got your back. And it’s okay if you’re not a coffee lover as the café also offers other drinks that you will love too including juices, teas, milk, and hand-crafted sodas. There’s something to drink for everyone in the family. And if you need some snacks, the café also offers a few delicious baked goods and other snacks. The café also offers its special coffee blends in bags for you to take home.


Some of the items you can find inside the Museum of Life and Science’s Elements Museum Store (Source)

Another exciting thing that awaits you at the Museum of Life and Science are its shops namely the Elements Museum Store and Gizmo Garage.

For the Elements Museum Store, you can find almost anything. They have handmade stuff that you can take home as a souvenir and they even have gift items. The store also has unique toys that will encourage learning in topics such as technology, science, math, art, wildlife biology, and natural observation. The shop also has cheese making kits, unconventional puzzles, and even handmade soaps. This museum has something for everyone.

If you are on a budget, don’t worry, the museum has another in-site shop for you. At Gizmo Garage, you can also find good souvenir items and curiosity-inducing toys to bring home too.  With prices as low as 50¢, you can already get to buy something that will not just bring joy to kids but will also help them learn more, spark their imagination, and even let them discover new skills. Thus, don’t forget to stop by these shops for budget-friendly souvenir items and toys.

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A children’s party at the Museum of Life an Science (Source)

The Museum of Life and Science isn’t all about learning. This place also knows how to party. In fact, its doors are open for those who want to celebrate their party at the museum. For starters, there are a number of packages you can choose from for a birthday party – the standard and the deluxe.

For the standard package, you can invite 30 people in total. In addition to that, an exclusive customizable museum t-shirt for the birthday celebrant, as well as the other party needs, including free printable invitations. For as low as $275, if you’re a member of the museum’s exclusive club, you can already have a blast.

For the deluxe package, on the other hand, you’ll need to allot $350 if you’re a member of the museum’s exclusive club or $400 if you’re not. Don’t worry, every cent will be all worth it as everyone will enjoy the party more with the inclusive 30-minute program matching your chosen theme for your party. For more details on the available themes, you can check them out here. Everyone will surely enjoy and remember your party at the Museum of Life and Science.


An outdoor wedding ceremony at the Museum of Life and Science (Source)

Another thing to love about the museum is that it’s also open for other special occasions such as weddings. Yes, this place isn’t just for kids. In fact, it’s one of the nicest wedding venues in North Carolina to tie the knot. Here, you can choose from different wedding themes to make your special day all the more memorable. Choose this site for your wedding ceremony, for the reception, or both, it’s one of the best wedding venues in North Carolina that you might want to consider.


Kids focused on their activity at the Museum of Life an Science’s camp (Source)

The museum also offers different camps for kids. No matter what grade your child is in, the museum has a camp for every kid where they can learn more, meet new friends, and have fun. However, due to the pandemic, there has been some changes in the set up and schedule of camps. The museum recently made its camps available at home so kids can still learn more while at home during the pandemic.

But just this July, the museum has re-opened its doors for in-person camps. Thus, kids can enjoy camps again at the museum. However, there has been a few changes for everyone’s safety:

  • The museum has reduced the maximum number of its campers per session. Thus, unlike before, the museum will now only accept up to 10 campers. The museum will also provide only 2-3 adult staff.
  • Campers will remain in the same group throughout the week for all activities.
  • The museum’s staff will also sanitize the spaces in the museum daily. Any shared pieces of equipment will be sanitized as well between uses.
  • The museum has also eliminated the before-care and after-care activities to minimize interaction between groups.
  • To be sure, all campers will spend time outside. But don’t worry as the staff will provide shade and lots of drinking water. Social distancing will also be imposed.
  • Every staff member of the museum will be screened every day before entering the building, including a temperature check to make sure that no one is sick.
  • All campers will be screened daily as well. However, camper temperature checks will need to take place at home.
  • In addition to that, campers are also required to wash hands frequently – before and after eating, in between activities, and even after coughing and sneezing or blowing noses – for everyone’s safety.

Museum of Life and Science Nearby Attractions

In case you have more time to spend in North Carolina, there’s still plenty of places to go to. If you’re looking for more tourist attractions near the Museum of Life and Science, here are some of the attractions we highly suggest.

Duke Homestead

The Duke Homestead from the outside

Once functioned as a 19th century farm and tobacco factory, this place is now one of the must-see attractions in North Carolina. This is because this place offers guided tours and a museum where you can get to know the part of the history of the state. The site also has a picnic area for you and your family to enjoy. You’ll not just get to learn more but you can also get to bond more with your family. It’s just six minutes away from the Museum of Life and Science so why not give it a try too?

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

A couple posing for their engagement photoshoot at Sarah P. Duke Gardens (Source)

If you’re looking for a place to unwind more before you go home, Sarah P. Duke Gardens is where you should go. Here, you can explore a 55-acre public garden with 5 miles of walking paths and a koi pond. Take a walk and appreciate nature better with your family. The place also holds guided tours if you want to learn more about the place. Sarah P. Duke Gardens also has an amphitheater. If you’re a photography enthusiast or a pro, this place also has its doors open for you. Practice or even discover your photography skills here with the beautiful landscape that it has.

Rock Quarry Park

The sunset view at Rock Quarry Park (Source)

If you have more energy to spend, you can also go to Rock Quarry Park. Here, you have 46 acres of space where you can play sports and get active and try out other outdoor recreational activities with your family. It also has picnic tables and grills where you can bond with your family over food. Rock Quarry Park is also home to many events and festivals. If you’re lucky enough on your visit, you might even witness some events. From here, you can also get to enjoy a nice relaxing view of nature.

Museum of Durham History

Museum of Durham History’s pop-up exhibit (Source)

And if you want more museum to visit, there’s also the Museum of Durham History nearby. As its name suggests, it’s a history museum where you can get to learn more about Durham’s past. But what makes this museum one of a kind is that it doesn’t just feature artifacts related to the place’s past. Here, you can also hear stories about Durham from those who witnessed them with their own eyes. It’s a nice stop where you can get to have a better understanding of Durham’s history, especially if you’re traveling with kids.

Nasher Museum of Art

Inside Nasher Museum of Art (Source)

Another nearby museum that you shouldn’t miss is the Nasher Museum of Art. Located on Duke’s campus in Durham, this place is one of the best attractions to be in North Carolina if you’re into art. It has a collection of more than 10,000 artworks and traveling exhibits that will inspire the inner artist in you. This place also has a café where you can just chill and grab some snacks and delicious drinks in case you need to fuel up after a long day. The museum also offers guided tours which can help make your visit all the more educational.

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North Carolina indeed has a lot of attractions for everyone. But if you’re looking for a place to spend a day with the whole family, the Museum of Life and Science, as well as the attractions nearby, are what we highly recommend.


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