Watch sharks swim out from the abyss, get nose-to-beak with African penguins, stand within six inches of a real tiger, see the only red panda and Javan gibbons in NC, dare to stick your head inside the mouth of a roaring 36-foot T-Rex model and watch in awe as giant sea monsters pop out of the screen in the 40-ft dome theater.
These are just a few of the amazing experiences you can have at the Greensboro Science Center (GSC). If you haven’t visited this unique attraction 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, full-dome theater and aquarium that is setting attendance records year after year. The Greensboro Science Center is one of only 14 institutions nationally accredited by both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Alliance of Museums and was recently been selected as a “Magnetic Museum” and role model for other museums around the country, an honor only six U.S. institutions can claim.
With a $32 million Master Plan expansion in the works, the grand opening of the new Carolina SciQuarium on June 29, and many more exciting enhancements planned, this place has become one of the top “must see” attractions in North Carolina.
Part of the Science Center’s success is driven by the wide variety of attractions it offers for every age group and interest. For the animal lovers, there are tigers, wallabies, otters, monkey, lemurs, and meerkats to see. For visitors who enjoy up-close encounters, they can touch live snakes and bearded dragons in the herpetarium. For those who like interactive experiences, there is the opportunity to volunteer to be a participant in KATS: The Meerkat Musical or to step inside a swirling tornado tunnel. Food lovers must order the tasty Mac’n cheese pizza in The Fresh Market Café. The addition of the new aquarium is just one more adventure to embark on at this quality attraction.
The new 22,000 sq.ft. museum-aquarium complex called the SciQuarium features six large animal exhibits that showcase waddling African penguins; a fishing cat that swims in the water; playful Asian small-clawed otters; an Amazon River mixed species habitat with fish, anaconda, a sloth, and turtles; a stingray touch tank visitors can plunge their hands down into; a giant 90,000-gallon Shark Reef that houses three species of sharks, southern stingrays, an eagle ray, three green moray eels, and hundreds of fish of every shape, size, and color.
Visitors will be amazed as they journey through this wondrous undersea world that also provides unique interactive and educational exhibits to learn more about the animals, their habitats, and the science behind what it takes to create and run this complex living system. Hi-tech “SciPods” showcase animal artifacts, fun facts about the animals, interactive iPads, and windows revealing the inner workings of the facility for visitors to see how this “life-system” works. For an additional fee, visitors can also take behind-the-scenes tours that provide even greater insight about the animals and the operations of this world class facility.
Designed with room to grow, the Greensboro Science Center hopes to expand the variety of animals in the SciQuarium in the near future to include jellyfish, coral reef tanks, and numerous small species systems to compliment the larger, themed habitats.
The building of the SciQuarium is just the first phase of a three-phase, seven-year Master Plan. In the coming years, visitors can expect to see dramatic improvements to many of the indoor Museum exhibits and a doubling of the size of Animal Discovery Zoo. By the Plan’s completion, the Center estimates it will draw in close to 500,000 visitors a year.
With the new aquarium now open, it’s the perfect time to visit. So grab your family, a friend, or a date and head to the Greensboro Science Center. We dare you to have some fun!
Greensboro Science Center
Address: 4301 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro, NC 27455
Museum and SciQuarium hours: 9 AM to 5 PM Daily
Animal Discovery Zoo hours: 10 AM to 4 PM Daily
Admission: $12.50/adults 4-14, $11.50/children 3-13, seniors 65+ and Greensboro city residents.
Children 2 and under and GSC Members are free.
Group rates are available.
Parking is free.