Museum of Life and Science in Durham


Our 4,000-mile road trip in July was absolutely incredible! It’s hard to pinpoint our favorite moments from the trip because there were so many, but we definitely enjoyed our stop at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina.

Lydia Bryce Alpaca

We started our day at the museum outdoors in the Farmyard area, which contains cows, pigs, and goats. But my favorite animal there? The alpaca. How adorable is this guy?


Nearby, you can pause for this great photo opportunity. The kids pretended to ride this log horse, equipped with a saddle. This is probably my favorite photograph of the two of them together from the entire vacation.

Lydia Bryce Saddle copy

Next, we headed to the indoor insectarium and outdoor butterfly garden. The insectarium contains rare insects, some of which the children got to touch. We were just in time for a butterfly release in the garden. This beautiful butterfly landed on Lydia’s shirt.

yellow butterfly

We continued to walk around outside until we found the Dinosaur Trail. This section allows kids to see a variety of life-size dinosaur statues. They can even climb on them! It makes for a perfect photo opportunity.

Kids on Dinosaur

After checking out these huge dinosaur statues, we decided to dig for some fossils. This is a fun activity for both children and parents.The fossils in the dirt are 5 million to 23 million years old. There’s even a big sign where you can identify the fossils you’ve found.

Richard fossils Lydia Digs

Bryce was excited about the sailboat pond in the Catch the Wind exhibit. Kids can use steering wheels to guide the sailboats that are in a large pool of water.

Bryce Sailboat

Set into the wooded area are several animal habitats, including red wolves, black bears, and lemurs. The wolves and bears were hiding when we visited their exhibits, but the lemurs were happily playing together between the trees.


Next, it was time for our favorite portion of the Museum of Life and Science – the Hideaway Woods. This area is surrounded by a beautiful forest with a little creek, and in the middle, is a big network of connected treehouses. We all had fun climbing through the treehouses and enjoying our beautiful surroundings. Look – there’s even a photograph of me! Some of the areas are up to 20 feet off the ground, so you really get a bird’s eye view of the outdoor space.

kids in treehouse Carrie with glasses Bryce point

Treehouse LydiaAfter playing in the trees, the children splashed in the creek. They’ve never gotten to play in a creek before (there aren’t any in South Florida), so this was fun. I asked them not to get their clothing wet, but you know how kids are! At least it was the summer, so they dried off quickly. Lydia enjoyed exploring the trees and plants nearby.

kids play in creek Lydia at Creek Lydia's leaf

We headed indoors after our outdoor play, but we didn’t have too much time before the museum closed. I liked this picture of Richard collecting computer-generated coins on his arms and Bryce copying him.

The Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina is like an amazing indoor and outdoor classroom where children are free to explore and learn from all of the interactive exhibits. We had such a wonderful time, and we will definitely return if we are in the area again!

strong Richard

About Carrie Wells, Ed.D.

Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, wife, and work-at-home mother to two children, Lydia {age 8} and Bryce {age 6}. Carrie earned her doctorate in Special Education in 2008. After becoming a mother in 2009, Carrie began blogging as Huppie Mama to share her passions for cooking, crafting, beautifying, and her family. In 2016, she rebranded as Our Potluck Family, and her husband Richard became a regular contributor.

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