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Museum of Life and Science

4.7

433 W Murray Ave
Durham, NC 27704
Phone: (919) 220-5429
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Google Reviews

Photo of Christopher Winkler Christopher Winkler
Mar 7, 2020 4

An expensive adventure that your toddler will enjoy. As other reviews already mention, the price of admission is very high relative to quality of the exhibits. That's the big downside. On the upside, there is a full day's worth of fun to be had here. The inside parts of the museum are small but have a good variety of activities, especially for toddlers and older children. The butterflies are great. The animal exhibits are most likely going to be boring, since the bears and wolves will be sleeping. The lemurs are okay, but Duke has the real lemur deal. Overall, pricey but fun. A membership would definitely make sense if you live nearby and have kids.

Photo of Crystal Waldorf Crystal Waldorf
Mar 7, 2020 4

This is a really neat place to visit if you have small children. The outside exhibits are far more interesting than what is inside. Hideaway Woods exhibit was closed for maintenance and that was disappointing. My children range between 11-16 and the exhibits are geared toward the younger children. We enjoyed our time but probably will not be back.

Photo of EMS Life EMS Life
Jul 6, 2020 5

It is an amazing place to take your family to. A ton to do especially if you have kids.

Photo of Laura Timmy Laura Timmy
Aug 3, 2020 5

This Museum is a must go if you enjoy science and wanna get your kids to learn and enhance their knowledge!!

Photo of Joshua Ogenstad Joshua Ogenstad
Aug 18, 2020 5

This museum is an exciting day trip for the whole family! The museum features entertaining and educational interactive exhibits with special exhibitions happening on a regular basis. A large air conditioned building complemented by numerous outdoor exhibits and walking trails makes for an enjoyable day regardless of the weather. All in all a great museum.

Photo of Jackie Clanton Jackie Clanton
Aug 16, 2020 5

Plenty of room to socially distance. Cool outdoor exhibits. The new Earth Moves exhibit was way cool. The boys had fun.

Photo of John Morris John Morris
Mar 11, 2020 4

Great place and variety for the kids and adults. Small little animal viewing, farm animal petting, train, butterfly exhibit, food served on site. Play area for kids is massive. My niece loved it. Only issue I'd speak on is they used to have a "human circulatory system" exhibit (20 years ago) I wish they'd repair and bring back (it was always breaking because someone was always smashing the hand pump). It was always my favorite part of the visit, seeing how the circulatory system worked in humans. Also, the price is too dang high!

Photo of Haley Mitchell Haley Mitchell
Aug 9, 2020 3

I want to first say that we appreciate the manager. He was very nice and understanding when it came to our complaint. We arrived at the museum and entered with masks on. With me having a health issue, my doctor has stated that it is not even required I wear a mask, but I do it for my safety and others safety. I had issues breathing a few times and lifted my mask in order to help regulate my breathing. At this time, on three occasions, I was told to pull my mask down, after I had informed the associates that I had a health issue. The third time, I did not pull my mask back down and informed them I was leaving, as I was 10 feet from the exit, 6 feet from everyone and at this point I was tired of having to explain myself. When we arrived at the museum, starving, we headed for the cafe for a bite to eat. We arrived and told them what we wanted and that we wanted to exchange a topping for a different topping because of dietary restrictions... We were informed that because the hot and cold side were separate, we could not exchange toppings... Confused we said, “okay.” I then wanted a side of dressing, I was once again informed that I could not have it... At this point we were upset and decided to wait and eat somewhere else. We understand that Sprout cafe is contracted with the museum, so we are not upset with the museum about this issue.We then noticed that the insect/butterfly exhibit was closed. Now this could have been our fault for not doing more research. So I do not fault the staff. The manager politely informed us that it was stated on their website. But, when we bought the tickets, we went straight to the source (the “reserve tickets” screen) to buy the tickets, so we did not see the notice. At this point, we were extremely upset, which takes us back to the first part of this review.For the most part, we were disappointed with our experience. The staff at the front desk and at the cafe were rude and inconsiderate. The manager, the coffee barista, and the young lady at admissions were all very nice and understanding. We informed the manager that if the cost of admission was not donated than we would have been asking for a refund, but we knew that the money was going to a good cause. We will not be back, indefinitely.

Photo of Matt Matt
Aug 16, 2020 5

My daughter and I always have a great time coming to the museum. They have done a great job with the current situation. I definitely plan to book our spots again soon!

Photo of bananashine812 bananashine812
Aug 5, 2020 5

Such a wonderful place. Loved the dinosaur trail and the fossil dig. Good food at the Cafe too.

Photo of Nicole W Nicole W
Aug 28, 2020 5

This was our first time here after it reopened and I was very pleased! It wasn't crowded and there were plenty of hands sanitizer stations throughout the outdoor area. I wish there were a few more water bottle refilling stations though, as all of the drinking fountains were closed and the vending machines weren't working. Even though only the outdoor area is open, there was still a lot to do! All of the water features were great on a hot day! We will definitely be back!

Photo of Tammy Pacini Tammy Pacini
Sep 6, 2020 5

Absolutely awesome, as always. Every employee had a mask, areas where kept safe. It was a good experience

Photo of Kelly Odegaard Kelly Odegaard
Sep 19, 2020 5

Great wedding venue!

Photo of Suci Farahdilla Suci Farahdilla
Feb 23, 2020 5

What a fun museum to be with kids and family!Kids can have a lot of fun in the Dinosaurs Trail. They can climb one or two dinosaurs and dig fossil. There are some farm animals like donkeys, goats, cows and alpacas. If you like insects, you can go the butterfly and insects house. You can also watch black bear and enjoy lunch in the middle of beautiful scenery.

Photo of Eric Stevie Eric Stevie
Nov 8, 2020 5

In nice weather this is a great way to spend a day with kids. There are a lot of good exhibits and play areas outside. They are currently limiting access to reserved times and enforcing masks. It has the effect of keeping the crowds down so you can dive a little deeper into each of the areas. Go if you can get times.

Photo of DieKinder DieKinder
Sep 10, 2020 5

Great place for all occasions. Would reccomend.

Photo of Demetrios Christopher Demetrios Christopher
Aug 31, 2020 4

Life is not easy on brick and mortars these days so I try to bear that in mind. I saw a lot of young people who made sure to greet us with a smile and that's greatly appreciated. Some of the policies enforced by the more senior staff are hard to stomach though. We are members and could only find tickets at later time slots, even a week out. We arrived (from Charlotte) early and thought we'd check in with them in case they could take us in early. We were told we could enter only if we paid for full price tickets, again. That just doesn't feel right. So you have time slot availability and you'd rather not fill it (and accommodate a member) if it doesn't make you extra money. I get it if you're down to a few but when you tell me "we have lots of room for non-members", it sounds like you could have spared a few.Meanwhile, that electric vehicle charger on the right (there are two total) is still inoperative. Is it ever going to get fixed? Given that both days we visited there was a car parked in the one that works, I'd say they're very appreciated by your customers.Lastly, we look forward to visiting when the insect museum is open, when the main museum is open (not just the gift shop), and when in general we're not paying full price for a limited experience.

Photo of Joanie and Jenni Beaver Joanie and Jenni Beaver
Sep 25, 2020 5

On a recent trip to Durham, NC we had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Life & Science- what a treat. Our visit was during COVID, so we were not able to visit the inside portion, however the outside portion kept us busy for hours.The outside part of the museum is a life & science wonderland for all ages. I loved watching the children exploring the different hand on exhibits. The parents all seemed happy and relaxed, which says a lot.They had life size dinosaurs area, which was really well done.I enjoyed the Farm area, where you could walk around and see all of the farm animals.Now, as an adult with no young children in tow, I enjoyed leisurely walking around checking out each exhibit. It was a very nice place to just hanging out and enjoy nature.

Photo of Megan Dohmen Megan Dohmen
Oct 8, 2020 5

My children have always loved coming to the museum and now with the virus they more then ever need a fun place to go to just have fun and be a kid while being safe. The museum has done an amazing job of putting social distancing measures in place. They have changed or closed a few different exhibits that it would be hard to social distance at but it does not take away from the fun. We have gone multiple times and are always able to play on all the outdoor activities and still keep our distance from other.

Photo of Haley Mitchell Haley Mitchell
Aug 9, 2020 3

I want to first say that we appreciate the manager. He was very nice and understanding when it came to our complaint.We arrived at the museum and entered with masks on. With me having a health issue, my doctor has stated that it is not even required I wear a mask, but I do it for my safety and others safety. I had issues breathing a few times and lifted my mask in order to help regulate my breathing. At this time, on three occasions, I was told to pull my mask down, after I had informed the associates that I had a health issue. The third time, I did not pull my mask back down and informed them I was leaving, as I was 10 feet from the exit, 6 feet from everyone and at this point I was tired of having to explain myself.When we arrived at the museum, starving, we headed for the cafe for a bite to eat. We arrived and told them what we wanted and that we wanted to exchange a topping for a different topping because of dietary restrictions... We were informed that because the hot and cold side were separate, we could not exchange toppings... Confused we said, “okay.” I then wanted a side of dressing, I was once again informed that I could not have it... At this point we were upset and decided to wait and eat somewhere else. We understand that Sprout cafe is contracted with the museum, so we are not upset with the museum about this issue.We then noticed that the insect/butterfly exhibit was closed. Now this could have been our fault for not doing more research. So I do not fault the staff. The manager politely informed us that it was stated on their website. But, when we bought the tickets, we went straight to the source (the “reserve tickets” screen) to buy the tickets, so we did not see the notice.At this point, we were extremely upset, which takes us back to the first part of this review.For the most part, we were disappointed with our experience. The staff at the front desk and at the cafe were rude and inconsiderate. The manager, the coffee barista, and the young lady at admissions were all very nice and understanding. We informed the manager that if the cost of admission was not donated than we would have been asking for a refund, but we knew that the money was going to a good cause.We will not be back, indefinitely.

Photo of Colin Miller Colin Miller
Aug 29, 2020 4

Family visits 3x+ per month. Love it

Photo of Brian Patrick Kepler Brian Patrick Kepler
Jan 24, 2021 5

Plenty of family activities to do and places to sit and enjoy the scenery. Staff is always cordial and offers help. One definitely can't do everything in one day.

Photo of Cj Lancaster Cj Lancaster
Jan 24, 2021 5

Awesome place for kids and adults! I loved it as a 28 year old man with a wife and daughter that was 11. We had a blast

Photo of Demetrios Christopher Demetrios Christopher
Oct 24, 2020 4

Life is not easy on brick and mortars these days so I try to bear that in mind. I saw a lot of young people who made sure to greet us with a smile and that's greatly appreciated. Some of the policies enforced by the more senior staff are hard to stomach though. We are members and could only find tickets at later time slots, even a week out. We arrived (from Charlotte) early and thought we'd check in with them in case they could take us in early. We were told we could enter only if we paid for full price tickets, again. That just doesn't feel right. So you have time slot availability and you'd rather not fill it (and accommodate a member) if it doesn't make you extra money. I get it if you're down to a few but when you tell me "we have lots of room for non-members", it sounds like you could have spared a few.Meanwhile, that electric vehicle charger on the right (there are two total) is still inoperative. Is it ever going to get fixed? Given that both days we visited there was a car parked in the one that works, I'd say they're very appreciated by your customers.Lastly, we look forward to visiting when the insect museum is open, when the main museum is open (not just the gift shop), and when in general we're not paying full price for a limited experience.UPDATE: 10/24/2020 The right charger works! Thank you!

Photo of Melissa C Melissa C
Oct 18, 2020 3

Pretty bummed, bought tickets and didn’t realize you needed to pay extra for the train/pumpkin patch. I didn’t see that anywhere when purchasing online. I tried to buy tickets for the pumpkin patch in person but they were all sold out. I think they should have been more clear when checking out online. My 5 year old was bummed not being able to get on the train for the patch, he loves trains. But we still had a good time. Just seems a little over priced for what you get. No employees standing around to answer questions. Couldn’t find the playground anywhere. They have maps but doesn’t specifically show where the playground is, just names like “hideaway woods”. Bought a sandwich ($10) and a kids meal ($7) which should have added to $17 plus tax but my total was $22, I received no receipt to see why the total was much more than I ordered. (Were they tipping themselves?) I didn’t order anything extra. Food wasn’t good. Soggy bread on my sandwich, cold soggy fries....Everything just seemed unorganized

Photo of Franck M Franck M
Jan 16, 2021 5

I love this place and have bee there several times. The kids have such a great time making airplanes, playing music outside, running down the trails, seeing butterflies coming out of their cocoons and enjoying all the activities the museum has to offer. We went last weekend at 11am, it was not crowded, people wear masks and there are plenty of sanitizer dispensers around. Bonus point to the cafe with an easy to order menu, comes in a box you can take with you and prices were reasonable ($10 for adults and $7 for kids menu). Will come back for sure.

Photo of Jay Baker Jay Baker
May 31, 2019 3

This place is amazing! A lot of stuff to do for kids. You can literally spend a whole day here just exploring the different sections and what not. There's something for all ages and plenty of exhibits and activities that are really educational. Most of the museum is outside but there is a large indoor section as well. My 3 and 8 year old kids loved this place and were exhausted by the time we were finished for the day. We drove all the way up from Charleston, SC to spend a weekend in Durham, NC and enjoyed the area a lot! With that being said, the reason for the 3 star review was the poor customer service that we ran into with multiple employees. Specifically the Sprout Cafe where all of the young workers there were miserable and had ZERO customer service. It's very sad to but unfortunately there's not a lot that can be done about that.

Photo of Kyra Malone Kyra Malone
May 11, 2019 5

This place is amazing for kids of all ages! The animals are not to be missed (especially the lemurs). Indoor exhibits are fun but the best part is outdoors. Butterfly house, dinosaur trail, train rides. So much to do and it doesn't get old.

Photo of Mint Cooper Mint Cooper
Jun 8, 2019 5

Great place for family. There are a lot of fun things to do and you can spend all day there without being bored. It’s $21 for adults, $16 for kids (up to 12 years old), and free for babies and toddlers. The space theme is interesting. There is also a dinosaur trail where kids can learn about dinosaurs and dig the fossils. It’s more of an outdoor place so we would not recommend going on a rainy day. Parking is free and there are a few cafes and vending machines available. It’s open 7 days a week from 10-5 PM.

Photo of brian carlson brian carlson
Feb 21, 2019 5

We have been members for two years and will continue to be as long as we live in North Carolina. Worth the trip from Fayetteville even off just for a day trip. Booth My 6 and 3 y/o absolutely love it, both inside and out. Always a great atmosphere for any age child. Kids can roam free and explore at their own pace. limit seems to be only their own imagination.

Photo of James Goerke James Goerke
Aug 20, 2019 5

Super fun place for adults and kids. We are annual pass holders and try to go a few times a month. The annual pass is a great deal. At just a few times a month it get the price down to a few dollars per visit. Parking is free. Food vendors all take cards except the lemon ice vendor who only takes cash. Train is extra and worth it but probably not an every trip activity.

Photo of Richard Bobholz Richard Bobholz
Jun 27, 2019 5

We held our wedding here on June 22, 2019. From guests who visited during the day to guests that were seeing the museum for the first time at our ceremony, everyone had positive things to say about our choice of venue. My favorite part was doing our first look in the butterfly house. It was such a magical place to see my bride in her wedding dress for the first time. I was awestruck. I couldn’t have asked for a better moment.The museum staff were great with Lauren helping coordinate our wedding up until the day-of and Chase coordinating the day-of. They answered all our questions and were on top of anything that came up. We were a little eager to move forward when we booked the venue nearly a year and a half before our wedding, but Lauren was great at working with us despite having other, nearer, events to work with. The timelines and all the materials we were provided were very helpful!Lauren and Chase also coordinated our vendors so when we showed up the day-of, everything was setup and ready to go. It was a huge relief to see when we arrived!All-in-all, we highly recommend the Museum of Life and Science for weddings (and visiting)!

Photo of Madeline Roper Madeline Roper
Jun 22, 2019 5

It's really fun and educational for everyone regardless of age. The wolf pups are super cute, but sometimes the animals are sleeping so you can't always see them, but when you do it's worth it. The treehouses are cool but usually full of little kids. There are lots of fun activities inside and outside.

Photo of Heather Burns Heather Burns
Jul 12, 2019 5

A museum that truly celebrates the diversity of life and the wonder of science via a myriad of interactive stations...! There's truly something here for every one, across the age ranges, and makes the life of this toddler mom so much more interesting, educated and full of joy.

Photo of Andreas Willis Andreas Willis
Aug 17, 2019 5

The museum and everything within the compound is top-notch. The interactive exhibits are superb for kids. The butterfly house is absolutely amazing. And the outside exhibits are awesome. The tree houses, the boardwalks, the animal exhibits in their outdoor habitat, dinosaur trail, are all excellent. A truly wonderful way to spend a day with the family.

Photo of Jessi Stallings Jessi Stallings
Aug 1, 2019 5

This is a phenomenal science museum. They’re ever changing, looking to each all ages and always have something new. They do offer a discount for zoological society members as well as offering a membership program to go more often.

Photo of Amanda Lee Amanda Lee
Jul 26, 2019 5

Not just for kids! This place is awesome. Yes, it’s amazing for kids. But check out their 21+ and up events. They are well done and so much fun!

Photo of Ken Ray Ken Ray
Oct 11, 2019 5

The museum of life and science has been a part of our lives for years, and it is always a pleasure to be there. That said, the new "Earth Moves" exhibit is a whole nother level of fun. All sorts of entertaining and educational means have been devised to get sand in every crevice of a kid's body. Plus, they'll be soaked to the bone within two minutes. So much fun!

Photo of Abby Kersten Abby Kersten
Aug 29, 2019 5

I brought my 1 year old (not walking yet) and 2.5 year old here and it was WONDERFUL for all of us. The outdoor part is pretty shaded-especially on the paths. There is a section with water mist so if you let your kids go there be sure to bring a change of clothes and/or towel! There were some kids there with swimsuits on. I could go on but the best part is that everyone slept great that night!!

Photo of Tiffany Andrews Tiffany Andrews
Sep 22, 2019 5

We came here on a recommendation and it was Amazing! Lots of activities, even an Interactive section where you can do experiments! Great exhibitions and area where you can watch the Palientoligists work, also has screens to watch presentations. The Dinosaur exhibits are fantastic and on an enormous scale, this place is a Must if you are in the area.

Photo of Stephanie Grossman Stephanie Grossman
Nov 9, 2019 5

So much new stuff! We became members again today (had a membership over a year ago) and we were not disappointed! The new Earth Moves exhibit was a huge hit with my 7 and 9 year old. We can't wait to experience it in warmer weather. Lots of seating at each exhibit so your kids can play while you save your feet. Plenty of animals, interactive exhibits, and many different subjects for any interest.

Photo of Allison Ross Allison Ross
Oct 28, 2019 5

Absolutely fantastic community resource! I am so grateful we live within 30 minutes of MLS. They have such a huge selection of educational entertainment for all ages! We especially love Hideaway Woods and Earth Moves and recently, the lemurs. The one thing this interactive, science-based play area is missing is a water bottle refill station (available at Lowe's) inside the main museum. They've recently installed one by the cafe, but after seeing people drink DIRECTLY out of the water bottle spigot, I'm a bit hesitant to use it again. 🤢

Photo of ELYSIA WALKER ELYSIA WALKER
Nov 26, 2019 5

My children really enjoyed this place! The dinosaur exhibit is what initially attracted us but once we got to the museum, there was so much more to see and do. We stayed here for approximately 5 hours and didn't get to do everything. My kids enjoyed the dinosaurs, running through the mists, the train ride, and the tree house playground. Definitely bring a change of clothes because there are some activities that involve water. Also, there is a picnic area just outside the parking deck if you want to bring food. The gift shop on the right when you come back to the main building is awesome. The prices are very affordable and my kids got to pick more than one item to take home with them.

Photo of Joshua Allen Joshua Allen
Nov 26, 2019 5

Really excellent. Great for kids and adults. Love the outdoor walking trail. I love taking my nephew loves the hideaway woods.

Photo of Chelsea Derreberry Chelsea Derreberry
Dec 14, 2019 4

We had a blast here! 4 generations (11 months-70+) all found something enjoyable! However I wish there was just a touch more to do inside for older infants & toddlers besides the play area. We'll be back once our little one is a bit older & we find ourselves back in Durham!

Photo of Kelly Williams Kelly Williams
Dec 25, 2019 5

On nice days my kids beg to do the dinosaur trail outside and on cool and rainstorm days we stay inside. This placeGets busy and fills up on weekends so be prepared .They do have restaurant and lots of activities

Photo of Jackie O Jackie O
Jan 13, 2020 4

This place is amazing for everyone. Kids love lots of places to explore inside and outside.I saw wolf, bears, snakes and so many other animals. I walk the dinosaur trail. Played with wood bricks.What great place, plenty of places to sit and watch the kids play. Everything super interactive. A must visit place with family and friends.

Photo of Dr. Fahad Aldokhi Dr. Fahad Aldokhi
Feb 21, 2020 5

On nice days my kids beg to do the dinosaur trail outside and on cool and rainstorm days we stay inside. This placeGets busy and fills up on weekends so be prepared .They do have restaurant and lots of activities.Great for families with children, plenty of room to play, fantastic tree house. Plenty of areas for younger kids to play as well. Inside has activities as well as exhibits. Well worth the cost of admission.The museum and everything within the compound is top-notch. The interactive exhibits are superb for kids. The butterfly house is absolutely amazing. And the outside exhibits are awesome. The tree houses, the boardwalks, the animal exhibits in their outdoor habitat, dinosaur trail, are all excellent. A truly wonderful way to spend a day with the family.The museum of life and science has been a part of our lives for years, and it is always a pleasure to be there. That said, the new "Earth Moves" exhibit is a whole nother level of fun. All sorts of entertaining and educational means have been devised to get sand in every crevice of a kid's body. Plus, they'll be soaked to the bone within two minutes. So much fun!

Photo of Suci Farahdilla Suci Farahdilla
Feb 23, 2020 5

What a fun museum to be with kids and family! Kids can have a lot of fun in the Dinosaurs Trail. They can climb one or two dinosaurs and dig fossil. There are some farm animals like donkeys, goats, cows and alpacas. If you like insects, you can go the butterfly and insects house. You can also watch black bear and enjoy lunch in the middle of beautiful scenery.