Whether you’re passing through the central part of North Carolina, or
planning a trip to the region, don’t overlook the newly “reinvented”
Greensboro Science Center, a three-in-one attraction that features a zoo, an
aquarium and a long-standing museum which still carries the thrill of
exploration for kids and adults alike.
I arrived on a warm summer day en route back to Asheville, NC with three teenagers in tow, all of whom were suffering from the dreaded “what do we do now?” on the final leg of a cross-state trip. Two of the kids, ages 13 and 15, were science buffs, so when I learned there was an actual Science Center in what is not typically thought of as a destination town, I decided to make the stop. We’re glad we did, discovering a science-based adventure and tourist spot combined.
Located on the northern side of Greensboro, the original Natural Science Center of Greensboro has been around for decades, but evolved through an ambitious, $32 million Master Plan into an accredited combo of aquarium, zoo and interactive science museum all-in-one, complete with a full-dome, 3D theatre. Today, it’s a unique, premier attraction, the only one of its kind in the state and one of few across the nation, drawing more than 400,000 visitors a year.
I let my teens roam free with instruction to return to the lobby in 90 minutes, enough time to hit the highlights. All set off first for the SciQuarium with its colorful, inviting murals that circle out from the lobby. They loved the African warm-blooded penguins and the Asian small-clawed otters, the stingray touch tank and the 90,000 gallon reef tank filled with eels, rays and even sharks. The dinosaur exhibit, part of the original Museum, still grabs the attention of most kids. And, there are behind-the-scene tours that are available for an extra fee.
Odyssey’s Shipwreck! Pirates and Treasure was the traveling exhibit when we were there, with new exhibits scheduled regularly. International Red Panda Day is set for Mid September, and all proceeds for the event will benefit red panda conservation. And, the wonderful thing about visiting the Greensboro Science Center is for one ticket price you're family and friends can enjoy all three attractions!
By Marie Bartlett
For details on museum hours, admission, special exhibits and more visit the website at www.greensboroscience.org.