We're back from a long Christmas road trip which included a number of stops at places of scientific and historical interest. In Durham, NC, our Crack Team visited the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, and had a grand time.
The Museum isn't huge -- the main building is about the size of an auto dealership -- but the exhibit designers have done an excellent job of leveraging the region's very strong science and technology resources to create a museum full of genuinely instructive interactive exhibits.
There's a small zoo featuring local species, an impressive gallery of space hardware and space exploration exhibits (including photos of North Carolina astronauts). Both the 6-year-old and the 12-year-old members of our Crack Team tried to master the rather difficult Mars mission launch window exhibit. The two of them also had a ball with the whispering gallery and a Mars rover simulator. The younger team member played for a time in the children's museum area.
Because it was a drizzly day we passed up the chance to walk on the Museum's extensive outdoor trails or ride the train. We also skipped the new "Magic Wings" butterfly conservatory because our Science Made Cool World Headquarters is located near another "Magic Wings" operation.
Overall, the Museum of Life and Science kept two kids and one adult genuinely interested and entertained for four hours on a rainy Saturday. You can't beat that for a recommendation. Check it out if you're in the Triangle area.