Visitor Info

Hours & Admissions

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Nature Research Center Hours

Monday–Wednesday, Friday & Saturday: 9 am–5 pm
Thursdays and First Fridays: 9am-9pm
Sunday: Noon–5 pm
The Naturalist Center and Labs close an hour before the rest of the NRC.

Nature Exploration Center Hours

Monday–Wednesday, Friday & Saturday: 9 am–5 pm
Thursdays: 9am-5pm
First Fridays: 9am-9pm
Sunday: Noon–5 pm

Notes: The Living Conservatory and Discovery Room are closed on Mondays. Their hours are posted here.

Dates Closed 2015

Thursday, January 1
Friday, September 25, Closing at 2pm
Monday, October 26
Thursday, November 26
Thursday, December 24 & Friday, December 25 


General Admission is free, although donations are cheerfully accepted. There is a cover charge for 3D movies and some special exhibitions.

Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.


Prairie Ridge Ecostation


Monday–Saturday: 9 am–4:30 pm
Sunday: noon–4:30 pm
The main gate on Gold Star Dr. is locked at 5 pm daily.

Closed on state holidays.  You can find a list of state holidays on the State Office of Human Resources site



Rules and Regulations

Prairie Ridge was established to protect wildlife, provide outdoor learning opportunities and promote respect for natural resources.


  • Carry out all trash and litter
  • Enjoy the natural sounds
  • Park in designated areas only
  • Leave your bike in the racks provided
  • Leave plants, animals, and minerals as you find them


  • Bring dogs or other pets
  • Play amplified music
  • Use campfires, firearms or fireworks
  • Bring or consume alcoholic beverages on premises
  • Smoke on property