Also known as the Old North State, North Carolina is the home of many sights and experiences to behold. In such a history-filled state, it is hard to determine which places deserve our time and money. North Carolina has place for all sorts of travelers. There are spots for families looking to have a long break. There are spots for couples that are on their honeymoon. There are extreme activities for adrenaline junkies. For those that want to expand their knowledge and see the wonders of the world in one place, then the Greensboro Science Center should be on the top of their list.
The Greensboro Science Center is a science museum and zoological park located in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was previously known as the Natural Science Center of Greensboro and the Greensboro Junior Museum. The place has been the go-to spot for field trips, family bonding, and many more. It has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2008 and it is also a member of the American Alliance of Museums.
The museum was first established in 1957 and it was then called as the Greensboro Junior Museum. The museum was first unveiled as a plan on a newspaper article. It cost $28,000 and it was initially planned to become a 38 by 80 foot nature center at Country Park. It started out small but it managed to attract enough visitors to be able to operate. The place was beloved by locals and it took years before it managed to get the attention of visitors coming from surrounding states.
- 1 Greensboro Science Center History
- 2 What are the operating hours at Greensboro Science Center?
- 3 What are the ticket prices at Greensboro Science Center?
- 4 Greensboro Science Center Attractions
Greensboro Science Center History
By its 40th anniversary in 1997, the museum was attracting well over 200,000 visitors each year. The attendance in it continue to blossom annually and now, it is able to attract nearly 500,000 annually. It is one of the museums that people watched developed throughout the years. Here is a rough breakdown of its history.
- 1957 – Greensboro Junior Museum opened its doors to the public
- 1960 – The Junior League relinquished operations to the City of Greensboro, giving them more control over it.
- 1973 – Greensboro Country Park Zoo opened signifying the first expansion of the museum.
- 1975 – Greensboro Country Park Zoo expansion officially opened and it added puma, bobcat and bear exhibits.
- 1976 – Edward R. Zane Planetarium Environmental Theater opened as the next expansion.
- 1981 – A dinosaur gallery opened which became one of the museum’s most popular attractions.
- 1989 – The City of Greensboro and the Natural Science Center of Greensboro Board of Trustees entered into a public/private partnership
- 2000 – A $3.5M bond to expand the Center passed with an overwhelming 72% vote, allowing the management to make room for more upgrades and additions.
- 2007 – Animal Discovery Zoo opened as part of the recently received bond.
- 2008 – The OmniSphere Theater opened and it was one of the most advanced attractions in the museum.
- 2009 – Another bond passed to continue expansion and renovation. This time it was worth $20M
- 2011-2012 – HealthQuest, new robotics labs, Adventure Theaters, Extreme Weather Gallery opened, adding an array of new innovative and interactive attractions to the museum.
- 2013 – The Natural Science Center of Greensboro became the Greensboro Science Center.
- 2013 – Carolina SciQuarium opened its doors to the public.
- 2015 – SKYWILD and SciPlay Bay began accepting visitors.
- 2017 – Aquarium expansion opened. In the same year, management renamed the Carolina SciQuarium into Wiseman Aquarium
It is safe to say that the Greensboro Science Center had very humble beginnings. Since then, it has gone through countless upgrades and renovations. Part of its reason for growing are the increasing number of supporters it has. The management behind the museum continue to return the favor by upgrading regularly. Now, it is a 22-acre destination for science and education. More expansions are being planned so there could be more attractions and features to be added to it in the coming years.
What are the operating hours at Greensboro Science Center?
As much as we’d want it to, the Greensboro Science Center is not open 24/7. The staff at the huge museum has to rest every once in a while after all. That being the case, it would be wise to check out the museum’s operating hours before making a trip to it. It would be quite the disappointment to go there with the doors closed.
Lucky for North Carolina citizens and other visitors, the museum is only closed during their annual gala, Thanksgiving, and Christmas day. The Greensboro Science Center opens its doors at 9AM and it closes at 5PM. The zoo hours vary as well as it opens at 10AM and closes at 4PM seasonally.
What are the ticket prices at Greensboro Science Center?
Another great thing worth noting about the Greensboro Science Center is that the entrance tickets are relatively cheap. It will be the ideal go-to spot for couples looking to spend time together but are on a budget. The admission is free for Greensboro Science Center members however so it would be nice to be a part of the group. Also free to enter the museum are children under the age of 2.
Adult ticketing prices are at $14.50 and this group includes those aged 14 to 64. Seniors 65 years old and up and children 3 to 13 years old get access to a special $1 discount from regular rates. The rates are all inclusive meaning people can visit the aquarium and zoo along with the rest of the museum.
These are all of the important things to know before visiting the acclaimed Greensboro Science Center so people should not hesitate to visit North Carolina’s crowning glory. That being said, it is now time to look at all of the best attractions and experiences in the Greensboro Science Center.
Greensboro Science Center Attractions
There are a lot of things to love about the Greensboro Science Center in North Carolina. It has a lot of attractions that will fill you with amazing travel experiences and what’s even better is that it’s a perfect destination for everyone. This is because it’s basically a travel destination that’s all-in-one. It’s a museum, an aquarium, a zoo, and it’s even an adventure park. It’s a perfect spot for travelers of any age. But what exactly are the things and attractions to love about Greensboro Science Center? Here are some of the things that we recommend you to check out to make the most out of your Greensboro Science Center trip.
1Health Quest Exhibit
Fascinated with medical science? Well, here’s one of the attractions to love about Greensboro Science Center: its state-of-the-art health quest exhibit. Here, you can get to see more than 100 interactive elements that are designed to educate and entertain you and your kids at the same time as it was created with the combined efforts of experts from the Cone Health Foundation, Guildford County Schools, UNCG, the National Museum of Health and Medicine, and the Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro.
Some of the fascinating things to see here are the well-preserved human bodies that they have on display that will not just educate and show you how the choices that we make in life can affect our body. They also have countless pieces of science equipment that will pique your interest about the human body such as a machine that will amplify the sound of your gurgling stomach, a stress-test machine, a bike that will display your heart rate, and so much more.
Many of us are also fascinated with the weather. In fact, there are several TV shows that feature an in-depth look at our unique climate. If you’re one who enjoys such shows and loves to learn more facts, the Extreme Weather Gallery is one of the attractions to love about Greensboro Science Center all the more.
In this 400-sq/ft. exhibit area, you can explore both the fury and the fun that Mother Nature can bring. They have interesting facilities that will let you safely experience strong weather conditions such as the five categories of a hurricane. You can also get to experience and learn more about the devastation that floods can cause and other strong weather conditions with their simulators, high-tech panels, artifacts, and graphics. What’s even better is that you can learn how experts work together to better predict natural disasters.
The Penguin Encounter is yet another one of the attractions to love about Greensboro Science Center. This is because here, you won’t just be able to see penguins up close but you can pet and play with them as well. The best part is that you can get to learn more about them with the help of an expert. From how they live in the wild to how they are taken care of in captivity, you can get a lot of information about these cute special seabirds.
The exciting interactive encounter program allows you come nose to beak with African penguins for 45 minutes so don’t forget to snap a photo. However, note that they’re only operational during weekends at 3:15 PM and on holidays and only up to 8 participants can be accommodated. So be sure to plan your visit ahead and book in advance if you don’t want to miss these cute creatures.
Again, the Greensboro Science Center has everything that you can ask for. It even has its own zoo. Sure, there may be a lot of zoos in other cities but the Zoo Trek is still worth talking about and it’s definitely one of the best attractions to love about Greensboro Science Center.
“It’s just a zoo,” you might say and a lot of cities have this kind of attraction but this isn’t your ordinary zoo where you can take a look and snap a photo of animals inside their cages. Rather, here, you can get closer than ever before with the animals. You can get to touch the Aldabra tortoises, maned wolves, lemurs, giant anteater, meerkats, porcupine, and so much more. Of course, aside from the up-close encounter and picture-taking activities with these cute animals, you can also get to learn more about them from their zookeepers themselves. From how they are taken care of to even what makes these animals unique, you will definitely learn a lot from this attraction. In this tour, though, expect that you’ll do a lot of walking so better prepare and wear a comfortable pair of close-toe shoes.
Have you ever wondered what happens behind the aquarium scene? If you’re one who wants to know how the Science Center brings a fascinating world-class aquarium to the center of North Carolina, the Aquarium Adventure tour is one of the many attractions to love about Greensboro Science Center.
Aside from the sharks and other sea creatures that you’ll see swimming in their huge aquarium, you can also get to learn more about how the staff basically takes care of these creatures, some facts, and whatnot. The best part is that you can even experience how to feed these cute animals.
Note that this tour has a schedule, though, so you might want to plan your trip ahead as well if you want to try out this unique experience. During the regular season, you can try out this attraction from Thursdays through Sundays at 2 PM. In Summer and on Memorial and Labor day, it’s open daily.
6 Skywild Adventure
If you’re up for
In case you didn’t know yet, this Science Center also has its own adventure park that adrenaline and adventure junkies would love. They have a 45-foot high treetop adventure course and 60 animal-inspired challenges that will keep your heart pumping with excitement and adrenaline. It’s scary and exhilarating, especially if you have fear of heights. Even so, it’s definitely worth a try, especially with your friends. In fact, it’s also one of the attractions that makes many tourists come back.
Also one of the things you, as well as other adults, will love about the Greensboro Science Center is its parking. Yes, unlike other museums and Science centers, this spot lets you enjoy the whole center without worrying about your parking. But note that the parking is on a first come first serve basis. Still, it’s another reason to go to the Greensboro Science Center, aye? So plot your schedule and go ahead and visit this awesome all-in-one science center.
There are still a lot of things and attractions to love about Greensboro Science Center but these are just a few that we’re sure you’ll definitely love (especially the free parking!). With countless things to see and do here, there will never be a dull moment once you visit this place. As a matter of fact, this place keeps on getting better to provide better travel experiences to everyone. New animals have recently arrived for the expansion of its zoo plus, its aquarium also received renovations just a few months ago. Hence, expect that your visit will be all the more worth it.
It’s a spot that everyone, even your kids, will surely enjoy. That said, you might want to plot your visit as early as now to make sure you won’t miss anything about this awesome science center.
We still have a lot of travel tips and stats to share. If you want to know more, if you have suggestions on what you want to see next, or if you have already tried out these attractions, share your experience and tell us in the comments section below. Which one should you travel to next?