Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Trip to Raleigh.

This post is from a couple weeks ago. It's just taken me a while to sort pictures and such. i took way to many pictures at the Butterfly houses. hee hee.

Anyhow, a couple weekends ago, we went on a quick overnight trip to Raleigh, NC. We usually do a couple weekend trips over the summer, but this year things have been tight, and we've had so much work to do at this has been the only one.

My boy is a huge Lego fan. It's pretty much the only thing he has played with since he was about 4, when my sister got him a Harry Potter lego set. :)
For quite a while my boy has been talking about the Lego Games tour, and how cool it would be to go. The closest location that is was coming too, Raleigh, wasn't really very close at all. It's just under a 3 hour drive.

However, Raleigh has a pretty fabulous Science museum, and Raleigh-Durham has an even more fabulous Life and Science museum. So we planned a surprise weekend, to Raleigh. First we checked out the Lego games tour, and downtown Raleigh.

This giant Minotaur is made out of legos. Kids could guess how many lego for a chance to win prizes.

This displays some of the new Lego games. My boy was realy thrilled to see a Harry Potter game that had not been mentioned in his lego club magazine.

They had giant versions of many of the games for the kids to play. It was really hot, so we didn't stay too long. We lets the kids play each of the games, then we walked to the science museum which was only a couple blocks away.

my girl really liked the giant acorn and all the huge oak trees in the park.

The admission to the Raleigh Science museum is always free. The History Museum is right across the sidewalk, and is also free. The next time we visit we are going to plan to visit the history museum as well. This is the arboretum at the Raleigh Science museum. They also have a small butterfly house at this level, and a cafe.

The museum has some really neat wildlife displays and information. It's not a very hands on interactive museum, but the kids still enjoyed looking at everything. i didn't take a lot of pictures, because the lighting inside wasn't very photo friendly.

After the museum, we headed to a hotel a few miles away in Durham.

The Durham Life and Science museum is fabulous! Definitely my favorite Science Museum, and we've gone to many. We spent almost our entire visit outside.

The Dinosuar trail was new since our last visit (4 years ago).

The kids enjoyed the fossil dig, and both brought home several sharks teeth, shells and other fossils.

This is my favorite part...the butterfly house!! It's huge! They have two separate rooms, one for native butterflies and one the exotics.

i was very excited, and am a complete nature you can see. :)

In the native area, there was a butterfly garden with plants that attract and feed butterflies and their larva. You could turn up leaves to find eggs, and caterpillars. We also spotted several chrysalis hanging on branches and plants.

My boy checking out a Luna moth.

These are just amazingly beautiful!

The exotic butterfly house has a wall full of all the different butterfly chrysalis. They are each on a string, and labeled with the type of butterfly they are. As we stood there looking at them, we watched at least a dozen emerge. It was so amazing, i could have stayed there all day watching them.

The one on the right just emerged, the one on the left is in the process of emerging.

These guys recently emerged and are drying their wings.

Also new since our last visit was the Catch the Wind area. There were several fun intaractive exhibits that showed the important role wind plays in the natural world.The kids loved the sailboats and could have played here for hours.

One of my favorite parts of the Museum is Loblolly park. It's a music playyard, created with recycled items. The kids had so much fun banging on everything, and creating a musical beat.

The Museum also has a Farmyard, and Explore the Wild exhibits with bears, wolves and Lemurs. There is a train ride, giant sandbox and playground.

Inside the museum there are lots of wonderful, very interactive exhibits. My girl was fascinated by the tornado maker. My boy really enjoyed the Contraptions room. He spent quite a while building and testing contraptions. They also have a wonderful play area for younger kids, with building blocks and a pretend barnyard and vet clinic. Lots to do inside or out. We spent almost our entire visit outside, they have so much to do there and so much to look at. This is one our favorite Museums, and if you are ever in the Raleigh Durham area, i really recommend it!

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  1. It looks like an incredible trip - we just got back from a couple of days in Legoland (Germany) which your boy would love. But I m in AWE of that butterfly house. You have inspired me to try and find a butterfly house to take the girls to near us.

  2. That butterfly house is the nicest we have ever been too. The wall of chyrsalis was just amazing. We literally watched one after another emerge. i hope you can find one near you.
    Ah yes, boy would love to go. They are putting one in Florida, and we are really hoping one day to be able to take the kids to Legoland and The Harry Potter theme park. We are huge Harry Potter fans. :)