Areas within the Museum that will remain closed during the initial opening period include:
- Discovery Forest
- Investigate Labs
- The Naturalist Corner
- The Fossil Lab
- Additional small permanent exhibits (areas) where social distancing is not possible
The museum experience in Whiteville is modeled after proven interactive programs at the Museum’s Raleigh-based Nature Research Center, Nature Exploration Center, and Prairie Ridge Ecostation for Wildlife and Learning, and has several key features.
- Investigate Lab: Visitors of all ages can discover the scientific process by trying a range of experiments with tools and techniques including microscopes, pipettes and more.
- Naturalist Center: Featuring an extensive collection of specimens from butterflies to bear claws, snakes to seahorses, and sand dollars to spiders, visitors are encouraged to explore the natural collection.
- Nature PlaySpace: Designed to celebrate the importance of outdoor play in the lives and education of children, the space includes areas for art, digging, and exploration. Children can climb over logs, roll in the grass, make mud pies, observe nature and dig for fossils.
- Discovery Forest: Developed for young children and families to discover natural wonders from bird wings to beaver sticks, the space is an ideal area for intergenerational learning.
- In Your Backyard Resource Center: An information area — featuring material about state parks, aquariums, and other sites within the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources — where visitors can plan to continue their exploration of North Carolina’s natural places.
- Distance Learning Classroom: A space designed to virtually link visitors and students at the Whiteville Museum with scientists at the Raleigh Museum and other locations.