Child playing on wood stumps in Hideaway Woods

Amenities and Museum FAQ


We have free parking available on both sides of Murray Avenue. On the south side, across the street from the Museum, we have a covered three-story parking deck. Our parking deck is open (weather permitting) from 8 am – 6 pm every day we’re open.

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

We offer four electric car charging spaces in the north side parking lot. Charging stations will be turned on 24 hours/day, 7 days a week. Anyone can use the chargers, including non-visitors. Users will be charged $.50/hr. Museum Members will be given a code to allow them to charge for free.

Where to enter the Museum

All visitors enter through the main building. Members should turn left once inside the building and check-in in the large admissions area. General admissions guests should go straight to the front desk and purchase tickets there.

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. See our Accessibility page to read about specific accommodations and amenities available to you.

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

Recreational transport

We do not allow any rolling-type pedestrian conveyance items such as in-line roller skates, non-in-line roller skates, skateboards, bikes, scooters (non-motorized), or heelies.


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 animals are welcome at the Museum. Upon arrival, please inform the Admissions Desk if a service animal will accompany you.

Non-service animals are not allowed on Museum grounds.

North Carolina state law prohibits owners from leaving dogs and other pets unattended in a vehicle or in other conditions that are likely to cause suffering, injury, or death 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

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.

Weapons on campus

We do not allow firearms, ammunition, knives, or weapons of any kind, concealed or otherwise on campus.

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 Ro Rode.

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

On Durham Community days, Durham County residents get in free with current proof of residence. All adults must have Durham residency to get in free; each adult can bring up to five children. Guests without current proof of residency will need to pay for tickets at check-in. Limit 5 children per adult resident. Learn more.

Question still not answered?

We want to make sure you have the best experience possible, Contact Us with any questions, comments, or concerns.

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