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The Greensboro Science Center

The Greensboro Science Center

There is a moment after you enter when you realize this place is something special. The Greensboro Science Center is more than a museum, more than a zoo and more than a theater. It’s a place of unlimited adventure where the doors are wide open for discovery.

If you haven’t visited the Greensboro Science Center (formerly known as the Natural Science Center of Greensboro) lately, you are missing out. What was once just a small nature center and petting zoo a mere 10 years ago is now a thriving, accredited, state-of-the-art science museum, zoo and full dome theater that is setting attendance records year after year. It is one of only 14 institutions nationally accredited by both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Alliance of Museums and has recently been selected to be a model for other museums and zoos around the country.

With a $20 million Master Plan expansion in the works, a new 22,000-square-foot, world-class aquarium on target to open this summer, and many more exciting enhancements planned, this place has become one of the top “must see” attractions in North Carolina.

The brand new Carolina SciQuarium is North Carolina’s first center-of-state aquarium and the first to be LEED-certified. It features popular and high profile water-dwelling endangered species like penguins, sharks, otters, eels, stingrays and fishing cats and be interspersed with interactive “SciPod” learning stations. Visitors are immersed in an undersea world where they can touch live stingrays, get nose to beak with penguins and engage with animal keepers and educators to learn about the amazing animals that reside here. Visitors can also take behind-the-scenes tours focusing on the science of animal care and water quality management and experience penguin encounters.

Inside the Greensboro Science Center’s museum, there are dozens of hands-on interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages. The HealthQuest exhibit is unlike any human health and biology experience in the nation. It combines 21st century medical science with state-of-the-art videography, real preserved human bodies, and over a hundred ‘kid-cool’ interactives like a giant nose that sneezes on you. The Extreme Weather Gallery offers visitors a chance to feel the wind force of a category five hurricane and touch simulated lightning panels. Toddlers can enjoy imaginative play and explore the wonders of nature indoors in Kids’ Alley. Visitors who are brave enough can come face-to-face with a 36-foot roaring T-Rex in Dinosaur Gallery and touch bearded dragons, black rat snakes, and other reptiles in the Herpetarium lab.

The Center’s OmniSphere Theater, one of the most technically sophisticated domed theaters in the nation, offers unique visual experiences for adults and children. New full-dome and eye-popping 3D shows projected onto the 40-foot, 360-degree dome ceiling take visitors on a virtual journey through the universe to marvel at planets and stars in our wondrous solar system or deep under the ocean on imaginary adventures with a friendly sea turtle or giant sea monsters.

For visitors who like interactive experiences, the public shows in the Center’s remodeled Adventure Theatres are a big hit. Audience members help Indiana Bones solve riddles to stop the evil Dr. Dean O. Saur from taking over Animal Discovery Zoo in “Indiana Bones and the Kingdom of the Camarasaur.” “KATS: The Meerkat Musical”, another popular show, magically “transports” visitors to the Kalahari Desert where an adorable meerkat pup and her family tell an inspirational story about their lives through song. Both shows are extraordinarily unique and are included with general admission.

Animal Discovery Zoological Park offers up-close encounters with wild and endangered animals like tigers, monkeys, crocodiles, maned wolves, meerkats, lemurs and wallabies. The zoo spans over 12 acres and features beautiful nature trails, “dancing” fountains and climbing structures for kids. In the Zoo’s Discovery House and farmyard, visitors can pet friendly animals like bunnies, ferrets, goats, sheep, alpacas and miniature horses. With the planned expansion in the next five years, Animal Discovery will double in size and likely add more fascinating animals like orangatans, tree kangaroos, komodo dragons and pygmy hippos.

Once the Master Plan is complete, the Greensboro Science Center will be the only attraction of its kind in the nation to offer an accredited science museum, zoo, OmniSphere theater and aquarium in one destination.

Although it started as a small neighborhood science center 55 years ago, the Greensboro Science Center is well on its way to become a signature national tourist attraction that is not to be missed in Greensboro. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous family outing, a casual date option or just something different to do, the Greensboro Science Center is worth a visit!

For more information on the Greensboro Science Center, visit www.greensboroscience.org.

Greensboro Science Center Information Website: www.greensboroscience.org Address: 4301 Lawndale Drive Greensboro, NC 27455 Phone: 336.288.3769 Museum hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Animal Discovery hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: $8/adults 4-14, $7/children 3-13 and seniors 65+. Children 2 and under are free. Group rates are available. (rates subject to change) Parking is free. •

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