We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great Place for All Ages!”

Museum of Life + Science
Ranked #3 of 75 things to do in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolina’s top attractions. Situated on 84-acres, our interactive science park includes a science center, a butterfly conservatory which is one of the largest in the world and beautifully-landscaped outdoor exhibits which are safe havens for rescued black bears, lemurs, and endangered red wolves. The Museum's Dinosaur Trail takes visitors on a journey through the Late Cretaceous period. Other attractions include a Farmyard, Ellerbe Creek Railway, Contraptions – a hands-on exhibit for older children and adults, a sailboat pond, The Lab in Investigate Health!, Play to Learn – an exhibit for children under six, more than 60 species of live animals and so much more. The Museum of Life and Science is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / lift, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Baby buggy parking
Brockton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great Place for All Ages!”
Reviewed 30 August 2014

What a wonderful place with both outdoor and indoor exhibits! There were 3 of us ranging in age from 35 - 65 and even though there are a lot of hands on exhibits geared towards children/teens, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We started our day off in the butterfly exhibit during one of the two releases they have daily. It was a wonderful sight! The butterfly enclosure itself was filled with all different sizes and shapes of butterflies and exotic plants. Then we proceeded to the outdoor exhibits where you followed a boardwalk through different areas. I recommend bottled water as this is a fairly long walk. We saw black bears and lemurs in natural habitats. Unfortunately, the wolves were hiding in their dens, but we did hear them howling after we had moved on from their exhibit. The wind and mist exhibits were lots of fun. They had remote control sailboats and different contraptions to demonstrate the movement of air currents. The mist exhibits were really cool, you hit a button and the mist rises from the grass to surround you! Inside the main building there were many hands on things to do we tried our hand at several involving paper airplanes and floating devices. Our attempts weren't very successful, but it was so much fun! The space travel area was very interesting as was the weather exhibits, where among other things, you could watch a tornado form (hint: everyone has to stand very still).....I could go on and on....Overall this is a great place for ALL ages.

Visited August 2014
Thank Luvlyreada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

709 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
39 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Wonderful day with 14 year old!”
Reviewed 28 August 2014 via mobile

Totally enjoyed everthing about this day. Only regret is we didn't have more time there. Two hours is not long enough. Butterfly release was so much fun. Highly recommend to families with kids.

Thank Katcat512
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lori B, Public Relations Manager at Museum of Life + Science, responded to this review, 3 November 2014
Thanks for sharing your kind words, Katcat512!

We agree - 2 hours just isn't enough time to explore our 84-acre campus filled with rehabilitated wild animals (bears, lemurs and red wolves), interactive experiences and a butterfly house! So glad you enjoyed the butterfly release - it's one of our most popular programs that are free with admission.

Make sure you save time for a Meet the Keeper talk next time you visit. These are a great way to ask questions about how we care for the animals in Explore the Wild - from the foods they eat to the enrichment items we create to keep them curious about the world. Learn more about programs like this on our daily calendar!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Conklin, New York
Level Contributor
27 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Indoor & Outdoor Museum”
Reviewed 23 August 2014

We loved this museum! It was so neat that part of the museum is indoor and part is outdoor. We have been to a lot of science museums using the reciprocal agreement, this is one of the best we've seen!

Visited January 2014
Thank bkplus3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Has it All!”
Reviewed 19 August 2014

This is an amazing combination of zoo, science museum and children's museum. There is much to offer and an unbelievable amount of outdoor space to explore. Really wonderful interactive exhibits that entertained younger teens. Highlights were the butterfly conservatory, the lemur exhibit, the remote control sailboats, the dinosaur dig and the outdoor percussion area. Hint: they accept reciprocal science museum memberships so if you have a participating local science museum membership, take your card for free admission!

Visited August 2014
Thank AreWeThereYet1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
36 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Mist is a great addition”
Reviewed 12 August 2014

Our family has been going to this museum for years. We are members as we enjoy the reciprocity agreement that this museum has with other science museums across the country. I agree with TroisFils27-- if you attend on a day when camps are present, the staff turn their heads while camp kids tear up the place. When staff are alerted to the obstreperous camp children, they will not take action. Thus, either leave or have a miserable experience.

The mist was a great addition in lieu of 6 months of hot weather in NC. However, the mist play areas get crowded and the exhibit could be expanded. The wind exhibit with the boats is great but many visits proved to have no wind and the exhibit was disappointing.

In lieu of no zoo for miles, having indoor and outdoor animals on exhibit at this facility is wonderful. The lemurs are a highlight! The butterfly house is always a treat. Young kids will enjoy the outdoor dinosaur trail where they can climb on a dinosaur and dig for sharks teeth and other treasures. I would recommend that you bring bottled water with you on a hot day for the long walking trails as there are not many cold water fountains or places to buy drinks and in some places shade is not plentiful.

There is an outdoor train on site but it is an additional expense after paying entry fees and has become too expensive for my family. The train ride takes you through the woods and is scenic but very short for the price. If you have young children who like trains, Pullen Park near NCSU is a better ride at the price at $1 per ticket. A family could take 3 separate family rides at Pullen Park for the price of one train ride at the Life and Science Museum.

We have enjoyed the outdoor cafe on many occasions and appreciate the variety of healthy food options provided.

The indoor exhibits are interesting, interactive, and fun but they do not rotate often. If you join as a member older kids get bored of seeing the same thing and visits become less frequent. Fortunately, as other reviewers have stated, this is a very large facility and getting through all of it in the same day is tiresome. We often do all the outdoor aspects of the park with nice weather and save the indoor museum features for another day.

Visited June 2014
Thank 656beths
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lori B, Public Relations Manager at Museum of Life + Science, responded to this review, 20 August 2014
Thanks so much 656beths for taking time to share your experience with this community. We’re delighted to hear you enjoyed our outdoor exhibits; the lemurs and butterfly house are two of our favorites as well! Keep an eye out for exciting new additions to our outdoor campus with the opening of our new 2-acre nature playscape, Hideaway Woods, in Summer 2015.

While we strive to offer the best guest experience possible we’re always looking for areas where we can continue to improve and appreciate your feedback regarding your summer camp experience. Your feedback has been forwarded to our camp administrators as a training opportunity for future camp facilitators. Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Been to Museum of Life + Science? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing