Reviews of North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Tourist Attraction)

11 W Jones St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

Average Rating:


Here we offer you the reviews of real people who are buying the products of North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Tourist Attraction) in the state of North Carolina.

Nowadays the firm receives a score of 4.8 over 5 and that rating has been calculated on 834 reviews.

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This Tourist Attraction is classified in the category of Museum.

Where is North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences?

REVIEWS OF North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences IN North Carolina

Sarah B

This museum is wonderful. Even if you don't have small children, it's a fun place to spend an afternoon and see what's new. It's especially cool that they have live animals, often daily learning sessions on a variety of topics, and various adult events throughout the year. We specifically have attended their Natural Selections beer tasting events, and have greatly enjoyed them each time. They are super fun, and the museum staff/organizers really know how to put on an exciting, successful event. The museum is one of our absolute favorite places!

William Harbin

We went on a Saturday morning with the kids and spent the entire morning there. A FANTASTIC place to enjoy with your family and learn a lot! Our kids were fascinated with the dinosaurs!

Alex Morales

An Amazing museum in North Carolina. The store inside has fantastic products as well, you can buy great art here! My favorite level has to be the dinosaur level. Butterfly room is such a great place to be interactive. It's an impressive museum that cost nothing!


Nice museum for kids. There's an attraction on the third floor called "Meet with animals" where you can discover and pet animals such as rabbits, turtles, snakes and baby alligators. The staff is really polite and helpful.

Jedediah Seltzer

I enjoy taking any friends with children here. There are great interactive exhibits, free parking and free entry. The museum is well managed and fun to visit.

Omar Oropesa

Excellent place to take the family. It's free, therefore it's donation based. It's 2 buildings, 4 floors each. Very good flow of information. I love the humongous globe outside. I strongly recommend.

Kristyn Channells

I can't believe it's free! So fun, with lots to learn. And explore on all four floors.

LaTisha Byrd

We had a great time here. I do wish more interactive programs had been open on Sunday. There was a large crowd of people but the hands on experiences didn't start until later in the day. All and all we had a wonderful time and it was a great break from the dreary weather outside.

Shrek Wazowski

Cool museum to hang out and learn about what happened in the past.

Carlos Vazquez

Amazing place for everyone. Especially for children seeking to expand on their knowledge of science!

Monica Noriega

Great place for all Family! We enjoy each visit , You can make a donation at the enter.

Alaina Barnes

My sister and I are adults and we still enjoyed our visit. The live animal exhibits are my favorite ones. The butterflies are gorgeous. Surprisingly I took away a lot of knowledge about snakes! Didn't think that's be what would happen but had a lot of fun.

Marina M

My daughter loves this place. The living conservatory is her favorite place to go and makes me go every single month!

INSU Homes

Great place for kids, nice 3D show, great cafeteria, totally nice experience.... Very kids full staff's.

Blini cat

Great museum, and free!

Justin Moore

Three stories packed with science, history and wonder - for free! A skywalk on the second floor takes you across to their Nature Research Center (also free and also awesome). I like this place as much as the kids do, super cool exhibits for everyone, so plan to stay awhile (and you still might leave before seeing everything).

Kate Kennedy

Definitely my favorite museum in the triangle! I love their wonderful collection of taxidermy, dinosaur bones, and amazing displays. Everything is laid out well. Going for a visit always makes for a fun day!

Veronica Sutter

This place us amazing and free!! It is not cheap looking. High quality exhibits with lots of explanation. I just can't get over how incredible this place is and free! If you are in Raleigh this is a must see place for kids and adults. I went through the museum by myself and was enthralled the whole time!

Manny Byas

AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME PLACE‼️‼️ Great for kids. Theres lots to see and do! And its free!!

Sandi Gusic

I been to few museums around the US and this is the 1st that is free admin.. the museum is pretty large with 4 floors. My kids enjoyed the dinosaur floor the most.. very cool museum everyone should go check it out

Josephine McGill

Best museum EVER! Would give a 10 stars if we could. Never been to a museum that we are allowed to touch & feel so MANY specimens!!!❣️ I have lived in 4 countries and many cities. Ohhhhhhh, the best part, it is FREE!!!! ❣️

michael whyte

Such a great museum. We went on Darwin day. All the volunteers were so nice. My kids loved it.

Bing Dong

My boyfriend and me started coming here when we first started dating at least once a week and have always loved it. Very fun, clean and a lot to look at. Now we have two children that we love bringing here even more now. The exhibits are always fantastic and fun, the butterfly room is spectacular and the sloth is the cherry on top.

Crystal Link

I took my husband and 4 kids in January 2018. I dont think anyone could get bored here. I had a really hard time pulling everyone away from the Naturalist Center, where you have drawers full of specimens - ranging from metors to a full bear skin- that you can examine under microscopes or scan into a touchscreen table to see topics of facts on that animal. We spent so long in one room that we rushed through to see everything else. We still saw animals (live, stuffed, and skeleton), dinosaurs, a moon rock, enjoyed a "ride" undersea, and had fun learning. We went to Astronomy Day, and it was better than I could have imagined! My family got to thumb wrestle through NASA gloves in a pressurized tank, build Lego satellites and see if it would make it into orbit, and we collected bookmarks, books, stickers, a DVD, and more from tables and booths. The best part was the parking (parking garage on a weekend), general admission, and special Astronomy Day events were all free! We donated a little and bought souvenirs but everything else was free!

Tiffany Andrews

Spent a few hours here on a Saturday morning while passing through town. The museum is very well done and FREE! I couldn’t believe it! Kids explored whales and an under the sea simulator. They also spent quite a bit of time exploring the science lab, conducting experiments and testing hypothesis. The dinosaur exhibit is impressive as well. We sat in an animal encounter class and had lunch at the cafe before leaving. So much to see and do, it could easily be a multi day experience.

Nadia Hawkins

My family and I enjoyed this place while on vacation from the beach. It was free and had a nice store with reasonable prices for the items! We will come back to explore everything next time. We got there when the labs were closed:(

Andreas Willis

This museum is full of exhibits which will easily entertain you for several hours so allow plenty of time. Many are also dedicated to kids so feel free to bring the whole family. The best thing is that it's all free unless you get into special areas like the 3D movies which really aren't worth the money. There is street parking and lots and parking building nearby so that part is also convenient. Just come with comfortable shoes and enjoy!!!

Gita R

Nicely set up educational exhibits. Give yourself at least half a day to see it all. Includes both local geological and natural history as well as recent events and science focusing on current topics such as climate change and endangered species. The exhibits on local animals and ecosystems were especially well done. My daughter loved this area the most. Museum is free but you have to pay for the 3D movies. Not expensive and worth seeing. I would say the level of the exhibits are aimed at a high-school audience, but still education for all, and especially good for eduction non-locals on the natural environment.

Jacqui Holland

There’s so much to see and do here. I especially loved the immersive deep-sea dive in Exploring the Deep Sea and the IMAX Dinosaurs Alive! 3D film. It was really interesting to watch the scientists at work, especially in the paleontology lab. I could easily spend a day in each building and not run out of things to capture my attention and imagination. And it’s free! The only thing I paid for was the film, and that was well worth the $5 adult ticket.

perry ricardo

We had family in town for the holidays and I wanted to get everyone out of the house for a bit. This was a great option. It’s free and has something for all ages. Great way to spend a few hours especially when it’s chilly and you don’t want to be outside.


This museum is one of the best on Raleigh & NC in general! I had an exhilarating experience with my family here, the loved it! I'm 110% positive that we WILL be returning here for another adventure very soon! :)

L.C. Luis Alberto Rivera Tur

A very good place to visit with all your family and friends, staff is very kind, the restrooms are clean and nice, it has 3D cinema and wheelchair accesible áreas, it has a great variety of living animals inside, butterflies are awesome in the fourth floor. I fully recommend this place. It is a must visit place in Raleigh North Carolina.

Meagen Brookman

The museum has something for everyone in the family. Everything you're into: animals, human health, weather, plants, history, fossils, etc. It is AMAZING!!! We really enjoyed the living conservatory and the opportunity to meet the animals. Our little ones got to touch a turtle and a snake! Our personal favorites had to be the fossils.

Rebecca cruz

Employee’s at the gift shop were so rude. I got followed around the entire store as if I was going to rob them and then as I went to pay the girl barely acknowledged me or said hi and thank you. I made sure I said thank you! Because I have good manners. (I am a stay at home mom. Not a teenager) I hate to think this had to do with race. But none of the Caucasian people were followed around or treated rudely by the Caucasian employees. Management please discuss this with your employees that not all people with dark brown hair are thieves.

Jasmin Hazelet

Amazing! Loved the anthropoid exhibit and the incredible whale skeletons hanging over my head. So much to see and learn! Absolutely loved it.

Kim W

This was a nice museum for a free one. However, the paid special exhibit, Brain Games, was a huge disappointment. The mazes were flimsy, and staff were rude to kids just wanting to play and have fun. I would definitely not recommend the special exhibit. Meet the animals was a neat thing to do - the guide was very warm and friendly. Overall, stick with the free stuff. I know I won't be willing to pay for another "special exhibit" after our experience today. Marbles kids museum would have been a better, more fun option to spend money on.

M Frantz

It is amazing! Wonderful for kids and adults will learn a ton as well. Staff was great. Must see if in town on travel.

Allie Pyles

The whole family loves this museum. The first few times we visited we did not realize there was a second building with dinosaur and whale skeletons. What a great place for the whole family! We tend to come on weekends which means easy parking in the garage directly beside the building (free in weekends.) my daughter,s favorite is the butterfly room and my son’s favorite is the whale shark skeleton and beaver dam. We’ve been at least fifteen times and it never gets old!

Emily S

Trip Advisor recommended this museum as “one of the best things to do with kids in Raleigh.” However, if your kids are under 6, don’t bring them. This place is NOT “kid friendly” in the respect that if you’re more than 2ft away from your kids, you’ll get yelled at. If your kids climb on the multiple couch/chairs they have around, you’ll get yelled at. Oh, if your kids laugh too loud and have fun, you’ll get yelled at. So basically, bring robot children. I bet the exhibits are informative and fun, but after 10 minutes of being in there, we were basically forced to leave, even though we have very well behaved children. Shame.

Tiffany L White

It was pretty neat. They have two forest displays that you can walk through to see what animals live there.

Tom Noel

A fantastic museum for kids and adults alike. There is far too much to put in a simple write up, check out their website. Some of the best exhibits are hands on. The discovery room on the second floor is a great place to spend a lot of time. Hands on everything and a great staff helping everyone. They even have a working bee hive connected to the outside of the building. The science museum is connected to the research center - an even more hands on facility. Its an amazing place to spend the day, weekend, or as much time as you can spend.

The Marsh Fox

Absolutely love this place. Awesome natural history museum and the general visit doesn't cost anything.

Molly Anthony

Lots of details, but not very flashy.

Chin Chiu

It takes a whole day to walk around this museum, and it is completely worth it. The cafeteria serves fresh food which is a surprise. Good place for foods with lots of on hands activities. They also do research here, and you scan see the researchers through in their labs. Entrance is free, parking is real easy and cos around $12 for the day.

Cassie Whitfield

This museum is amazing. They have so many different things to see, explore and learn about. A great family day.

Danielle C.

I'm never disappointed with this museum; it never gets old! Great way for a curious mind, of any age, to spend their afternoon!

suman busireddy

Nice place, but could have made a lot better and Educating for kids...

Hugues Thevenin Jr.

This place is very educational, safe and family friendly. In addition to being a great place to visit during the day, it's also a great place to host dinners at night for special occasions.

LanDest021 Official

This place was very fun and interesting! I took so many pictures when I was here because there was just so much cool stuff. And there is a lot of interactive stuff here, too. I really recommend going to this place. Trust me, you will not regret it!

Serine Shannon

Free you say? Wow. This museum is great! We've been twice now, because there was so much to see with two children, that we had to return. They especially loved the butterflies. We had no idea there would be live exhibits as well. Lots of nooks and crannies, and real-life labs going on. We'll go again many times I'm sure.

Robert Windsor

This museum is awesome! Breathtaking exhibits and an enjoyable environment. We spent the better part of an afternoon walking amongst the exhibits and learning about fossils, dinosaurs, insects, and more. Definitely worth the trip downtown!

Malisa Price

A free museum that has hands on exhibits for small kids, lab rooms for older ones. And a butterfly room! Parking can be done on the street or the garage. The museum has dinosaurs, fish tanks, snakes, a submarine. Helps explain the ecosystem of North Carolina and the different regions. The discovery room is amazing for under 8. Be sure to see Sonny in the meet the animals room too!


FANTASTIC place for kids and adult. Spend a day here and love everything about this place. Highly recommend

Marc Norman

Very cool place to spend the day.. lots to see. We went during bugfest and there was so much to do. Lots of educational and live bugs to see. They had lots of food and games.

Miles Shannon

This place is awesome. I came here with my 9 year old daughter and she had fun for hours. You can watch labs from local colleges and organizations in their work. Paleontologists uncovering fossils, veterinarians caring for animals, 3d printers at work and so much more! Get your hands on actual meteorites, and there's an area where you can examine thousands of natural science specimens. The best place in NC to bring a child. Best of all, admission is FREE!

Charles Koscenski

One of the best science museums I’ve been to in awhile. It has several exhibits that are not only descriptive and informative but also interactive. Great for all ages. You get to see lab techs work on different projects and veterinarians work on certain animals. The cafes are a little expensive but good food.

Chele Braxton

This is an excellent place to spend an afternoon learning about nature and science, and it's FREE! There are real scientists on site working but you can visit open labs to study creatures. The hanging whale skeleton is impressive. My son loved the interactive displays as well. If I was a local I'd visit on a regular basis.

Jeiel Shamblee

Awesome. Well worth a visit.

Ismael Torres

A must see if you're in Raleigh. Fun for all the family and is Free

Marie Anne

Wonderful museum. It has so much to offer.

Ranga Silva

If you're a fan of natural history you will love this place. I came here specifically to see the mounted skeleton of a juvenile t-rex (or a Nanotyrannus depending which side of the argument you support). The museum also has several notable fossils including relatively complete Acrocanthosaurus skeleton, a Megatherium, a T-rex skull you can touch and feel, and a number of whale skeletons including a blue whale. There are also these labs throughout the museum where kids (and adults) can interact with various specimens and devices. All in all an excellent way to spend a day with your family. A word of warning for people from out of state: do not try to compare with museum of natural history in NY, or the Smithsonian museum of Natural history in DC or the Field Museum of Natural history in Chicago. This museum has it's own merits.

Janice Richardson

Love this place. Lots of things to see and do. Make sure you check out the research labs and go into the ones open to the public.

Tyler J

I’ve been to many science museums all over the country and this one is so underrated. Butterfly room is great. Probably a time for a remodel of the ocean exhibit though. A little 1990’s.


We love this place and have been going off and on for years. My daughter loves dinosaurs so it's a natural choice for a fun weekend outing. :)

Lindzy Bunting

Great place to go for free, with kids of any age, my 2 y/o had so much fun walking around and looking at all the exhibits.

Ben Taylor

Great museum for kids and adults. The top level has a recreation of a tropical rain forest, complete with exotic butterflies and a live sloth. There are also levels with dinosaurs, snakes, marine life, and depictions of all kinds of geographical regions across NC.

Tanya Simpson

Wanted to go. Could not find parking space. Drove around for 30 min, no parking space. Also, there was way too may proteators. I didn't not want to be caught up in the crowd of protestors.

sai kiran tamatam

simply loved it.....internal building design is is a free museum can gain lots of knowledge about so many birds, reptiles, dinasaurs, whales, fish....3d movie is good (we need to buy ticket to watch movie)... kids will love will take complete one day to explore this time to visit is around 10 is a total indoor place to visit during summer...customer service is very nice...hats off to everyone who is maintaining building pretty clean...


Great way to spend a Sunday. Admission is free, but donations are happily accepted. Place is wonderful for children and adults of all ages!! Highly recommend.

Shana Martin

This is an amazing museum. Make sure you allow plenty of time for you and your family to see everything. My fiance and I went on a Sunday and didn't get to spend as much time as we would have liked. Do all the labs, you won't regret it! You will learn so much in here.

Kailyn Anderson

The exhibits were cool and interesting. Some things were interactive which was nice.

Jessica G

Great experience , we love coming here, its free, they take donations too!

Amanda Champion

This museum has some remarkable staff! Josh from the Naturalist Center did a phenomenal job showing a little girl the artifacts. It was really sweet seeing him take the time to explain them to her. All the staff seem passionate about the exhibits that we interacted with. I am so glad that I made this a stop on my trip to Raleigh.

Arnaldo Corretjer

Very nice place to take the kid's.

h h

A great rainy day thing to do. Great variety of displays. Just wish the butterfly room wete more diverse

Jess Black

Incredibly well layed out. Have been several times and while it is always very busy it doesn't ever feel crammed. The beauty of the free entry allows you to feel fulfilled with your time spent no matter how long you're there or how many exhibits you explore. The staff is excellent and very well-informed. Had the luck of catching a butterfly release one day on a visit. Be sure to check out the research center across the bridge, too!

Ronald Corey

Good exhibits with lots of hard science info. Disappointed that some of the interactive screens are turned off. Maybe because we were there on a holiday weekend and they were a bit understaffed? NEWS FLASH: This is a museum.... NOT A PLAYGROUND!!!!! Parents should watch their small children better and stop them from destroying exhibits. There was a large group of kids sitting underneath the globe outside throwing and bouncing the landscaping stones at the globe and etching jagged marks in it. No staff anywhere to stop them.

Andrew Chea

Went here on a Saturday evening. Museum is free, but I recommend donating. It has multiple floors with different types of exhibition. The Dinosaurs were probably the best part. You can find street parking very easily.

Ember Hollinger

Enjoyed this museum very much! We were headed to a second day at marbles children's museum but this Free place held my 2 year olds interest for the 3 hours we had to spend. Friendly staff at the check in desk, cafe, & upstairs gift shop. I found fun things to buy in both gift shops. We enjoyed the whale skeletons, dinosaur displays, bugs, snakes, & mammal displays. My son enjoyed riding the escalators a lot. We had a nice lunch at the cafe & it was fun to be able to watch the butterflies through the huge window while we ate. (If you want to go inside this display be aware that it is closed on Mondays). Very enjoyable visit. Would love to go again next time we are in Raleigh. It looked like there were a lot of things for kids a bit older to do (labs, workshops, etc. I Would call and get info on those things if you have older children because they appeared to be time specific). Excellent place!

Brandon May

Free admission is only the start! This place offers an incredible experience. You can even watch real scientists conduct their work. There are small hands-on classes also offered which children and adults will thoroughly enjoy. There is a ton to learn here and expect to spend 2-5 hours to enjoy the entire experience.

Wordsmith Lynn

Another amazing FREE (supported by your donations) museum in Raleigh, NC. There are two buildings at the science museum. One contains many of the traditional science center exhibits, like dinosaur bones and displays depicting the area’s local wildlife habitats. A second, newer building includes programs on genetics, evolution, astronomy and paleontology. This newer building also offers visitors the opportunity to watch scientists and lab technicians doing actual research and preservation work in glass-walled labs. At certain times, visitors are also allowed to enter some of the labs and get up close with the scientists and their work. Great way to get kids interested in STEM careers!

Christopher Winkler

I'm blown away by the research side of this museum, and massively impressed overall. This is really two museums in one: the classic science museum has butterflies, dinosaurs, insects, and the like. This side is small but well-maintained and has a good number of exhibits. Then there is another building attached to this part, and it's filled with laboratories and hands-on activities. These labs include a microbiology lab, a 3D printing lab, am archeology lab, and more. It's fantastic and amazing, and I love it. The museum is also free (other than the theater and another area), with inexpensive membership options.

Andrew L

Great exhibits & very kid friendly

JOHhn Robinson

Really high quality and large museum. The assesment of a deceased Right Whale was especially moving. A good selection of Dinos too - always a hit! Could easily visit again - so much to look at.

Walter Miranda

This place was a blast! Invited an adult cousin and my mom out and it was enjoyable for everyone. Plus it was free. My favorite part was... the gift shop! For all you science and animal geeks, do yourself a favor and visit this place!

Nazli jon

great for anybody, informative for kids and adults. we enjoyed spending a Saturday evening at there, it is awesome that the admission is free!

Mindy King

Our family gets so much out of the science museum. My daughter regularly asks to go so we can wander the free exhibits. She eagerly looks forward to the ticketed exhibitions as well. She has been to two of their science camps (a Lego camp and Behind the Scenes) and really enjoyed both. She has also had two birthday parties at the museum. We love the movie nights!

Hafsa Bokhari

I love this place! I have been here A LOT whether on field trips, or with the family. The museum is very interactive, so I never got bored! So much too see, you just can't capture all of it in one trip.

Ricardo is carvio

I love the staff there. And the museum is big

Casey Sharp

One of the Absolute best museums I been too! I plan on going back multiple times. It has it all from dinosaurs, animals, rocks, minerals, stones , nature, huge whale bones, tons of things to interact with, videos,scientists working, a cafe, fish and other living animals, and etc. This museum has to much to write out!!! Go and be amazed!! O it’s FREE to get in!!!


I absolutely love this place it’s definitely family friendly and even fun for dates. There’s lots of hand activities and things to learn about . I also noticed how each floor was separated by ocean , Land , and space

Nicolas Kressmann

This is a very nice science museum, and it is free to wander around. There is a sloth hanging out in the butterfly room on the top floor.

Sarah Patrich

What a wonderful place to visit! World class exhibits and you can't beat the price!

Jordan Vincent

We LOVE this science museum! It really has something for everyone at every age.


Great museum for young and old! Our grandkids love it!


We were pleasantly surprised by how large the museum was, how nice it was, and how much there was to see. Prepare to spend several hours exploring every exhibit and floor. Friendly staff.

Beunka Persaude

Will miss this place now that I am moving. Great place to go and learn and relax.

Chunfen Zhou

Nice mix of specimen and live animal displays, with a strong regional focus. Some exhibits in the Nature Exploration Center building are old, and a few facilities were broken when I was there. Nonetheless, you can't beat a free natural history museum, really.

Chester Ullrich

Our family is in love with this place. It's our spot. Love it

Nate Hitchings

We enjoy the occasional visit, and our 2 year old enjoys all the exhibits. We decided to visit this past Saturday (Feb 2nd) without much planning, and were surprised and thrilled to see all the effort put into Groundhogs Day fun. There were tables with crafts and activities everywhere. Our daughter greatly enjoyed this, and we plan on paying closer attention to museum activities in the future!

Nicole Avery

Whether it’s raining or sunny, this place has got it all. It’s free, inviting, and there is plenty to look at and learn about.

Dee White

Love this place especially the butterfly conservatory. Been several times and can't wait to go again

Guy Wachsman

The museum is very nice and free. We've been there with our 3 yr old and he loved it; unfortunately they have live animal display which I find inconceivable in the 21st century. Snakes in aquariums that are not even the length of the animal, a sloth in a tiny room, turtles and other live exhibits that make you want to cry. This is not the way to make our society and especially our children compassion and care for animals. There is no reason in the world animals should be kept in horrific cages, not in museums, zoos or any other place; the price these animals pay for our entertainment or "education" is way too high. I sent the museum a letter asking them to reconsider the issue and received a lawyer reply that you can see below. As a PETA member I try to get in touch with them too, but unfortunately, the laws and USDA protect such behavior. If you care about animals, don't go there! The reply I received from the museum: Dear Guy, We’re delighted that you and your family enjoyed your visit to the Museum and hope you return many times in the future. While it sounds like your overall experience was excellent, you obviously left with concerns about the live animals you observed. Thank you for taking the time to express these. If you hadn’t, we would not have had the opportunity to address them. To begin, I can tell from your note that we share common ground in our mutual respect for the well-being of live animals. The Museum’s mission is To Illuminate the Natural World and Inspire its Conservation. This mission statement was not lightly selected. It is the foundation of what we do and how we do it. The Museum believes incorporating live animals into its exhibits and educational programming plays a key role in the visitor experience. They are essential to visitors’ greater appreciation for and empathy with nature, wildlife, and the multitude of species and habitat conservation issues. The Museum stands behind this belief and its work to promote it as both ethical and effective. Simultaneously, the Museum continually strives to improve the health, welfare, and quality of life of the animals in its care. Live animals enter the collection via a rigorous selection process that ensures a direct, mission-focused rationale. Very few are rescues and the Museum is not a rescue or animal rehabilitation operation. Once in the collection, live animals are maintained in customized, species-appropriate enclosures by professional keeper staff who stay current in and help advance modern professional standards of care. The animals receive daily care and observation (365 days a year), and all exhibits and back-up facilities are regularly inspected. The collection’s medical health and nutritional needs are overseen by the Museum’s licensed veterinarian and his staff. The staff involved in the care and medical management of the live collection comprise the Living Collections section of the Museum. All Living Collections staff are required to take and stay certified in professional animal welfare training. Moving forward, the Museum continues to strengthen its commitment to continuous improvement. It is set to launch an Institutional Animal Welfare Committee, is preparing its application for accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and has modeled its animal care and management philosophy on the AZA. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a non-profit organization whose member institutions must meet the highest standards of modern best-practices in the care and management the wildlife they maintain. Of the many thousands of places that maintain live animals for public display, barely 200 qualify for AZA accreditation. I hope this helps alleviate your concerns and gives you a perspective on why the Museum maintains live animals. Please be assured that the Museum is also acutely aware of the responsibility this brings. Thanks Much, Bob Flook

Calvin Gaunce

This museum is fantastic and fun for everyone, no matter how old. I took my two year old recently, and although I had visited the museum a couple times years ago, I was blown away at how much is there, and for free. There are a few paid activities available but the admission is donation based. We didn't even visit the second half of the museum, I believe called the research center, but I've heard great things about that as well. We will definitely be taking advantage of this gem more in the future.

Angelica Corcoran

The museum has grown up so much since the last time I was there. So many new exhibits and so much that is hands on. And it's free! A great place for everyone .

EMS Life

Been to this place many times in my life. I love it every time I go. I highly recommend going if you never have been. It is well worth it.

Ray Linville

Great place for a family to spend the day


Well the fact that North Carolina even has such a museum like this is absolutely amazing! I love how interactive everything is! It seems every year the museum gets better and better! And you would never know about one of the most delicious restaurants in the whole city is actually in the museum! And boy they really go out of their way to give you a excellent customer service! There is simply so many cool things to see here! Make sure you come early so you can see it all and have time to interact with everything because this Museum really requires an entire day to truly enjoy it! Genuinely a place that's fun for all ages! Did I mention it's free?!?! Oh and make sure you get there early enough to see the butterflies, it is totally worth it!!! As a science nerd I totally love it!!!

Jess Lyon

Been going here since I was a kid, great free weekend activity!

Reese Champion

Very nice! Sometimes at home we don't check out our own "tourist" sites. We had a splendid time here.

Brittney live

A lot has changed a so much since I've last been and it was amazing and super kid friendly!!!! Best of all its free and huge!

Karina Adler

Overall this is an incredibly impressive museum. Very clean and well laid out. Lots for kids to see and touch. Beautiful exhibits. Not overwhelming! My only complaint was it was SO HOT Inside that we had to go outside to avoid passing out. I also felt that many of the staff who interacted with guests did not know how to handle children and were incredibly rude when it came to dealing with my 2 small children.

Universe Critic

Pros: amazing exhibits and setup. Friendly front desk. Clean facility. Cafe. Cons: parking.

Nushrat Humaira

Top notch and splendidly organized museum. Exhibits are made real close to natural habitat with whale skeletons, live tortoise, rattler and other animals. Exhibits and activities show the natural history of north carolina and beyond. Exhibits are scattered in two building connected by a bridge. Chemistry and biology lets you do own science experiments. You can enter butterfly habitat and feel them surround you.

krishna chaitanya

Great place for all ages. My toddler too enjoyed the place. The other building is good with Dino and whale skulls. The parking is free on Saturday. Not sure whether it is free on all Saturdays or not. It will be very educational for kids and teens. Will visit again for sure.

Durgasankar Mandal

One of the best museums I have ever been to One of the best museums it is! My kid loved the all the floors. The first floor came straight from the "Melt Down" of Ice age. Big, really big fish - the skeletons of which is in the second photo, the second floor - I think contained exhibits of the live species - a wide spread of butterflies, snakes, spiders and insects. The third floor (don't recall now whether it was third or the top floor) had the dinosaurs section. Just Wow! We were not able to visit the space exihibtion for it was already late in the day. Overall, an outstanding museum. There was no entry fee; the adjacent parking had an entry fee though.

Joe M

Wonderful museum that is free! I was quite impressed. It's also a lot larger than expected.

Karen Tracy

Excellent museum. We spent 4+ hours captivated by the various exhibits and still weren't able to see and do it all. Mix of live and ancient animals. Well done hands on exhibits. Free to the public. Be sure to go over the bridge and see both buildings.

Raleigh FSA

Very nice museum, small compared to where I grew up in Maryland with the Smithsonian and national museums but very nice.

Sam Masoner

Super fun time, awesome interactive displays for kids of all ages.

Kelly Kunzman

An Amazing museum in North Carolina.

Alicia Olivier Rendu

I just love that place and could spend hours in the museum every time I go. There is so much to learn about local animals, science and space plus it's free. I always make sure to suggest a visit to this museum to my guests when we have some at home.

Jacob Aldridge

It's a fun and educational experience located in walking distance to the History Museum. I'd say it has a healthy mix of information on animals from both the past and the present. Personally my favorite part was the room that had the sloth. Overall it's a great place to go with friends or family to kill a few hours and learn a bit more about science and the world around us and the icing on the cake is that free.

Jon Shearin

Great place to take the family and it’s FREE! I’ve been here no less than 20 times and never get bored with this museum. With 4 floors of exhibits and a recent wing addition there is something here for everyone from live animals and space exploration. Make this a must do on your list if you are visiting the area.

Princess Glitter Sparkle

3 words...ROE AND AMANDA!!!!!! THESE WOMEN WENT OVER AND BEYOND!!!! My daughter said they deserve 10 stars!!!! We've been to a million Children's Museums and these women in the Children's Discovery Zone hands down have outdid every staff member at every Children's Museum we have EVER encountered or been to! Roe was terrific with the children at the kinetic sand topography table and with helping to accomodate our double stroller and this breast-feeding Mom! Thank you Roe!!! Amanda was fantastic overall and went the extra step with showing my daughters the Venus fly traps and beetles. This area of the museum could take 2 hours to play in and visit in itself!!! We saw 3/4 of the museum and will be BACK!!!! ***IN THE FUTURE**** PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ANNOUNCE WHEN THE BUTTERFLY ROOM WILL CLOSE!!!!! We drove from 2 hours away and saved the butterfly room for last only to find out it closed an entire hour before the entire museum. My daughter was crushed! : ( On the positive side, even though we could not physically go into the butterfly room, it in enclosed in glass and has a huge display window that you can peer in and see the butterflies, birds and turtle. Can't WAIT to come back!!!!! Loved the dinosaur exhibit!!!!

Kristi W

Clean museum with a lot nice exhibits. It's free to get in and the food at the cafe was good. NCMNS, thank you for having a nursing room, makes life so much easier!

Andrew Cates

This is a great place to spend a few hours learning about the physical world that exists in NC. This museum was much larger than I expected and I was really only able to scratch the surface during my 2 hour visit. There are many hands on exhibits and many experiences that would interest visitors from toddler age through adult. The museum is free but some of the more in depth offerings such as seeing films in the theater cost a few dollars. I highly recommend visiting this museum and I plan to go back and explore further.

Tim O'Sullivan

This museum is a hidden gem! We were in town for a show and found this place online, and were so glad that we did! This is a very modern museum, and it was free to get in! They have many attractions, and the Dinosaurs are a very fabulous indeed. Highly recommended!

Ashley Berfield

Love this place and love that it is free. Great place for families to visit. It does get pretty crowded on the weekends. The cafe also has good food!

patricia p

Always wonderful experience for our grandchildren. Very educational.

Karen Flores

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is the best free family museum we have ever been to. The selection and size of the facility will blow you away. If you are there on business for the capital and don't have kids, just walk through it on a break, you will not be disappointed.

Nick Nutter

I love this place! Go 3 stories up then cross on the bridge to the other side then 3 stories down to the cafe! Took a trip through Raleigh headed to Ohio from the coast and this was a great place to randomly stop! The bugfest was going on too, pretty cool. Only in NC is the "Roachingham 500" LOL Real fossils were my favorite! Free learning? Count me in!! 3D movies are 5 bucks and lunch at the daily planet was good.

David J

Nothing special, but it's nice enough to go with the kids and try to learn a little something. Good place to learn about North Carolina's ecosystems and geological make-up

Kyle R.

there's so much to see! this museum is three full stories of nonstop information expressed in easy-to-understand exhibits. it's for all ages and self guided tours are free! if you have 2-3 hours to blow, head to this museum and be amazed. i recommend parking in the lot next to the museum, as it is free during the weekends.

Jordan monarch

The layout of this place is phenomenal. It was pretty packed when I was there but I had zero problems seeing everything and reading it all. Very interesting facts and plenty of stuff for all ages. Got great tour guides some are pretty cute;) There is even butterfly exhibit on the top floor. I was blown away by this museum. This one beats it the history across the street but I would still recommend doing both. If you only have time for one by far this one is a must.

Mohamed Hobby

Fun experience. You might see and experience stuff you have never seen before.why not just try it?

Shari Morris

Self guided. Interactive. Very nice exhibits.

Brittany Smith

My husband and I stopped here as a midway on our trip to Charleston, SC. We're so glad we did. This museum was amazing! We spent over an hour here and didn't even get to half of the museum. The best part was the live butterfly exhibit. Make sure you go early so you can see the butterflies.

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