Today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Plan a Visit

84 Acres to Discover

Located less than five miles from downtown Durham, the Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolina’s top family destinations. Our interactive science park includes a two-story science center, one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the East Coast and beautifully landscaped outdoor exhibits which are safe havens for rescued black bears, lemurs, and endangered red wolves. With over 84-acres of outdoor exhibits and over 60 species of live animals, there is always more to explore.


433 W. Murray Avenue
Durham, NC 27704
Phone: (919) 220­-5429

View Campus Map

View Durham's Biking Guide


Want to know what's happening today, tomorrow, or two weeks from now? Click on the button below to find our pop-up exhibits, camps, classes, AfterHours events and much more!

View Our Calendar


winter hours:
Labor day – Memorial Day 

Tuesday – Sunday

10am - ­5pm*

*Open to Museum Members at 9am

summer hours:
memorial Day – LAbor Day

Sunday – Saturday

10am - ­5pm*

2019 — 2020 Schedule: 

Labor Day – September 2, 2019 Columbus Day — October 14, 2019
Veteran's Day — November 11, 2019 Thanksgiving Day — November 28, 2019
Black Friday — November 29, 2019 Christmas Day — December 25, 2019
Christmas Break  — December 23, 2019 New Year's Day — January 1, 2020
Christmas Eve — December 24, 2019 (closing at 3pm) President's Day — February 17, 2020
Christmas Break — December 30, 2019  
New Year's Eve —  December 31, 2019  
Martin Luther King Jr. Day —  January 20, 2020  
Memorial Day — May 25, 2020  


General Admission $21
Senior $19
Military (active or retired; with ID) $19
Children ages 3­-12 $16
Non-school groups of 10+ (48-hr notice required; learn more) $13
Children age 2 and under FREE
Member Train Ride
Non-Museum Member Train Ride

*Subject to 7.5% sales tax on admission fees

Before You Visit FAQs


We've almost doubled our parking with a new three-story parking structure in the South lot! This is in addition to the current spaces in our North and South parking lots. Our Parking Deck is open (weather permitting) from 8am–6pm every day we're open.

There are multiple racks that accommodate up to 15 bicycles located on the front entry plaza.

Two electric car chargers are located in the main lot.

Food and Drink

We offer an onsite full-service cafe and a coffee bar. Beverage vending machines (cash-only) are also located throughout campus. See Museum map for cafe and vending locations.

We understand that visitors may need a beverage or snack in order to fully enjoy a day at the Museum, so we allow the following outside food or beverages beyond entry into the Museum:

  • Spill-proof and re-usable sippy cups, travel mugs, and water bottles.
  • Light snacks for children in single-serving, re-sealable containers (for example, small bags of grapes, baby carrots, or goldfish crackers).

We ask that these are served on benches or other seating adjacent to exhibits. Cafe tables are for Sprout Cafe customers only. 

Coolers and picnics are only allowed at the Picnic Dome, conveniently located across the street from the main Museum building. 

For the safety of our animals, disposable straws are prohibited on campus – including juice boxes. 


The Museum strives to be accessible to everyone. Click this link to see our specific accomodations and amenities available to you.

And please tell us how we can make the Museum more accessible! We value your participation and information.


There are restrooms located throughout campus and two single-occupant restrooms on the second floor of the main building. Everyone is welcome to use the restroom they feel comfortable using. Changing tables are available in all of our restrooms. See Museum map for restroom locations.

Service Animals and Pets

Service dogs are welcome at the Museum. Please inform the Admissions Desk if a service dog is accompanying you.

Animals, other than service dogs, are not allowed anywhere on Museum grounds. North Carolina state law prohibits owners from leaving dogs unattended in a vehicle under conditions that are likely to cause suffering, injury or death to the animal due to heat. Animal Control will be called if pets are noticed to be left unattended on Museum grounds and deemed to be in unsafe conditions.

Stroller Rentals

Strollers are available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis from the admissions desk. Visitors will be asked to leave an ID as a deposit when renting a stroller.

Single strollers: $2 per day
Double strollers: $4 per day

Coat Room and Lockers

Coin-operated lockers are available for $0.25 and are located behind the admissions desk in the coat room. Valuables should not be left in the coat room, unless locked in lockers.

Free Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi is available in our main building and inside Magic Wings Butterfly House and Bayer Insectarium.

Smoking Policy

According to Durham County Ordinance, the Museum grounds are smoke-free including electronic/vapor cigarettes.

Caregiver Areas

We have three designated semi-private areas for nursing parents or families who need to take a break (see Museum map for locations). 

The Museum also offers an enclosed, private space for feeding infants and young children. Located on the second floor near the Flip it Fold it exhibit area, the room features comfortable seating, electrical outlets, and a changing table.

Photo Policy

You are welcome to take photos and/or video for personal use only; commercial photography requires written permission from the Museum’s marketing department. To discuss your commercial photography/videography needs please contact Matt Pusateri.

The Museum occasionally photographs and/or records exhibits and programs for advertising and promotional use. Should you have an objection to the Museum using photographs/recordings of you or your children, please notify an admissions desk staff member when you notice photography or filming being conducted for the above-mentioned reasons and we will make all reasonable accommodations for your family.

Dining and Shopping

Sprout Cafe is our onsite full-service cafe featuring local ingredients and unique, healthy on-the-go options.

Make a stop in Elements Museum Store and Coffee Bar for gourmet coffee drinks, grab and go snacks for all ages, and a variety of handmade gifts and unique toys. Looking for the perfect souvenir from your visit? Explore Gizmo Garage Gift Shop for gifts $15.00 and under.

Durham Community Days

Durham Community Days are one of the ways we provide access for all families in our community. Admission is waived for Durham County residents with ID.

Positive identification (preferably NC driver's license) showing proof of Durham County residence for each adult is required to receive free admission.

Limit 5 children per adult resident.


2019–2020 Durham Community Days


2019 Calendar Year 2020 Calendar Year
January Friday, January 11 January Thursday, January 9
  Tuesday, January 29   Sunday, January 26
February Tuesday, February 5 February Friday, February 7
  Sunday, February 24   Tuesday, February 25
March Sunday, March 3 March Sunday, March 22
  Tuesday, March 12 April Sunday, April 19
April Sunday, April 14 May Wednesday, May 6
May Tuesday, May 14   Tuesday, May 19
  Thursday, May 23    
June Sunday, June 2    
July Tuesday, July 9    
August Wednesday, August 14    
September Thursday, September 12    
  Sunday, September 22    
October Thursday, October 10    
  Tuesday, October 22    
November Sunday, November 3    
  Thursday, November 14    
December Friday, December 6    
  Sunday, December 15    

Members receive UNLIMITED admission all year long!