We recently got a membership to the Museum of Life and Science here in Durham. One of the reasons we love living in Durham is how easy it is to stay busy. Especially for me (Molly), staying home with three kids under three, it’s really important to be able to get out and find a fun activity to do with the kids without driving too far or paying too much. The Museum of Life and Science is a little pricey if you’re just stopping by for an hour (at $14.50 per adult and $10 per kid ages 3-12; under three is free), but the membership makes it easy to drop by for a quick visit without feeling like you need to stay all day to get your money’s worth. We joined a month ago and it’s already paid for itself.
The museum is on the north side of the city in the Northgate Park neighborhood. We live on the south side of town and it’s a 15-minute drive straight up Duke Street. That’s one of the many things that make living in Durham so convenient: nothing is really ever that far away.
Here are some of the reasons we love the Museum of Life and Science.
- Enclosed areas! With twin two-year-olds and a baby in a stroller, keeping the kids from disappearing in opposite directions is key. The museum has an area for toddlers, with a separate area for little babies, that is surrounded by a nice, sturdy wall. There are two tree houses to climb up into, legos and trains to play with, and a cool kid-sized climbing wall. And they can’t escape.
The toddler area of the Museum of Life and Science.
- Bugs! Our boys love bugs. They hunt for millipedes in the driveway and fearlessly chase bumblebees. The museum has a bug zoo exhibit with cockroaches and giant beetles and other exciting bugs for our kids to gawk at. Bees in the bug exhibit at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC
- Butterflies! I know butterflies are bugs too, but I thought they deserved their own mention. The butterfly house is a big, jungly greenhouse filled with butterflies that your kids can chase to their hearts’ content. It’s awesome.
- It’s a manageable size. Unless you go to the far reaches of the outdoor exhibits (and they extend a fair distance away from the museum building) it’s pretty quick and easy to corral everyone back to the car. Sometimes museums feel so huge that you can almost get lost in them.
- There’s a coffee bar in the gift shop. There are several areas of the museum with construction materials for kids to build and play with.