Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll share “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about making time to play, at local sports facilities, live music venues, indie movie theaters and fun places and spaces all around the Triangle.
The world is our proverbial oyster at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. The museum is the most visited attraction in North Carolina, the largest institution of its type in the southeastern US and was recently recognized as being among the top 20 museums in the nation. If those rankings aren’t enough to entice a visit, maybe the free general admission is?
The museum’s history is long, dating back to the late 19th century and was established to document and illustrate the natural history of our state. The addition of the 80,000 square foot Nature Research Center wing expanded the museum’s footprint and set a new course for the future with its impressive three-story globe filled with labs where visitors can witness “science in action”. Within the four floors of the main building, one finds permanent and special exhibits, hands on activities and programs, as well as live animals. In October a new special exhibit will open. The World’s Largest Dinosaurs will explore a group of uniquely super-sized dinosaurs, the long-necked and long-tailed sauropods (which may have reached lengths of 130 feet). The exhibition centerpiece, a life-sized, detailed model of a 60-foot-long Mamenchisaurus, promises to be especially impressive.
The museum is open seven days a week, with later hours on Thursday evenings (until 9 pm). There is a special social event coming up on Thursday, August 21, that may be of interest to some readers. The brewers of Wake County and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences pair up for a one-of-a-kind evening of beer and science called Natural Selections. At the event more than a dozen brewers will offer samples fitting the Museum’s natural science focus. You have the chance to sit in on discussions about fermentation, flavors and the engineering of beer as well as learn more from local environmental groups (Friends of the Mountains to the Sea Trail and The Neuse River Keepers) and the work they do. Tickets are $25 (or just $20 for members) and proceeds benefit the Friends of the Museum.
So go see for yourself just how fun science can be at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh.