NC Museum of Natural Sciences Will Open to the Public Starting Sept. 22

For immediate release ‐ September 03, 2020

Contact: Jon Pishney, 919.707.8083. Images available upon request

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will be open to the public beginning Tuesday, Sept. 22 with new hours, new procedures, and new plans in place to help ensure the safety of guests and staff. The biggest change is that free, timed-entry tickets will be required as the Museum will be opening at a limited capacity to start. Guests should reserve their tickets in advance, online at

Note also that the Museum’s new hours are:

  • Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Closed Monday

Additionally, new safety plans include:

  • Per Gov. Cooper’s Executive Order 163, proper face coverings are required of all Museum staff and guests (age 5 and up) when proper social distancing cannot be met/maintained.
  • Cloth face coverings are available for purchase in the Museum Store.
  • Enhanced cleaning of the facilities will take place multiple times throughout the day.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are accessible throughout the Museum.

Guests are also encouraged to follow the “Three Ws” as outlined by the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services – WEAR a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth; WAIT in line at least six feet away from others, and WASH hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. If you are experiencing symptoms of illness, we ask that you postpone your visit.

The Museum’s daily onsite programming is temporarily postponed for the health and safety of guests. Areas within the downtown Museum that will remain closed during the initial opening period include:

  • WRAL 3D Theater (3D movies)
  • Windows on the World (Storytime and Meet the Animals)
  • Living Conservatory (aka “the butterfly room”)
  • Discovery Room
  • All hands-on Investigate Labs
  • The Naturalist Center
  • Additional small permanent exhibits (areas) where social distancing is not possible

Prairie Ridge Ecostation in west Raleigh will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (closed on Sunday and Monday). Reservations/tickets are not required, but capacity is limited. The Nature PlaySpace and Bird Blind will remain closed to the public.

The Daily Planet Café will operate effective Sept. 22 with special efforts in place to protect the health and safety of patrons. Indoor and outdoor patio seating is set up with social distancing in place, and the Café is also offering online ordering at with curbside pickup. Hours of operation are Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. A reservation is not required to make a purchase at the Café. The Acro Café will remain closed.

If you are not ready to come to the Museum in person yet, remember you can visit us online through the Science at Home page at, where you’ll find a calendar of live virtual programming, do-it-yourself activities, videos, educator resources and more.

Keep up to date with our plans by visiting the Museum website at or by following the Museum on social media (@naturalsciences). For a list of reopening-related information and FAQs, visit us online at or email your question to We look forward to seeing you soon!

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