Free timed-entry tickets
  1. General Information
  2. The Ticketing Process
  3. Check-in
  4. Ticketing Questions
  5. Temporary Closures
  6. Accessibility Information

General Information

What are your hours?

Beginning September 22, our downtown Raleigh Museum is open Tuesday–Sunday, 10am–4pm; closed Mondays.

How much does it cost to visit?

Admission to the Museum is free, but timed-entry tickets are required.

Is dining available?

The Daily Planet Café is operating 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, 8am–4pm; Saturday, 9am–4pm and Sunday, 10am–4pm. A reservation is not required to make a purchase at the Café. The Acro Café will be closed during this initial phase.

Is the Museum store open?

The Museum Store in the Nature Exploration Center is open 11am–4pm, Tuesday–Sunday and the Center Store in the Nature Research Center is open 11am–4pm, Thursday–Sunday at limited capacity to encourage social distancing. Please visit our new online store. Shipping and curbside pickup are now available. Museum Members save 10%.

Are masks required?

Proper face coverings are required at this time for staff and visitors (age 5 and up), per Gov. Cooper’s Executive Order 163. Wear a mask to keep those near you safe. This simple act is an important gesture of kindness and respect and can help save lives by reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. (Exceptions are provided for health or religious reasons)

Which entrance can I use?

Visitors will be able to enter the Museum through the main entrance of the Nature Exploration Center, with a reservation.

How can I support the Museum?

Donations help us keep science education and research going strong for all North Carolinians. Donate now! Become a member and enjoy new virtual Member-exclusive offerings as a thank you for your support. Join today!

Can I cancel my reservation?

Yes. To cancel a timed-entry reservation, email

Top of page

The Ticketing Process

Who needs to reserve a ticket?

Free tickets must be reserved for everyone, including Museum members and children, in advance. Groups are limited to 10 people. We are unable, at this time, to accommodate organized groups such as schools, churches, or daycares.

What is the procedure for awaiting entry?

Staff will direct visitors to assemble in a line until it is time to enter. Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself/your group and members of other households. Cloth face coverings are recommended while waiting, and are required inside the Museum at this time.

Do I need to arrive early?

Please arrive 15 minutes early; entry times may fluctuate by 15 minutes depending on capacity.

Top of page


  • If you have printed your barcoded tickets, please have them ready to present.
  • If you plan to check in digitally, please have your reservation pulled up on your device. Please note: each individual ticket will be scanned.
Top of page

Ticketing questions

For which times are tickets available?

​Every 15 minutes from 10am to 3:15pm.

What is the last time slot for the day?


How long can I stay inside the Museum?

Once inside the Museum, guests may stay as long as they like until closing time at 4:00 pm.

What is the link to reserve a ticket?

What does someone receive after making a reservation?

An email with a barcode ticket for scan. We can scan this on your device or you may print it out to be scanned.

Can I reserve a time when onsite?

We highly encourage you to reserve your time prior to arrival to ensure you can get in.

What if I don’t have a smartphone or computer to make a reservation?

You may call this number for assistance: 919.707.9800. If you are unable to get through to the reservation line, someone will be outside the Museum to assist you, however we cannot guarantee same-day entry for tickets reserved in this manner.

Top of page

Temporary Closures


First Floor

  • WRAL 3D Theater

Second Floor

  • Wildlife Photography Gallery
  • Discovery Room
  • Nature’s Explorers Hall
  • Science Needs You

Third Floor

  • Windows on the World (including Storytime & Meet the Animals)
  • Tropical Connections

Fourth Floor

  • Entire floor

High-touch exhibit elements


First Floor

  • Center Store (The Museum Store in the NEC will be open.)
  • Exploring the Deep Sea (Submersible)

Second Floor

  • Windows on Animal Health
  • Immersion Theater
  • Naturalist Center
  • Natural World Investigate Lab

Third Floor

  • Micro World Investigate Lab
  • Visual World Investigate Lab

High-touch exhibit elements

Top of page

Accessibility Information

Unavailable Services

  • Guided Tactile Tours
  • Sensory-Friendly Programs and Events
  • Strollers
  • Assisted Listening Devices
  • Movie Transcripts
  • Some touch screens
  • The Nature Research Center entrance connecting to the Green Square Parking Deck will not be open to the public.
  • Onsite programs at Prairie Ridge
Top of page