GreensboroScienceCenterLogoOnWhiteGreensboro. Admittedly, it wasn’t the first place that came to mind when I was planning family travel this summer. But, thanks to my husband’s recent promotion, a trip to Greensboro was not only an option – it was now a necessity.

Honestly, though, I was blown away by Greensboro.

Blown. Away.

My background is in tourism, so I’m always on the prowl for the next big family vacation. And, with Greensboro being about a 90-minutes drive from Charlotte, it is – no joke – a perfect one-tank trip.

On account of my regretfully low expectations, I only hit up one attraction. One attraction!! [Kicking myself.]

But you know what? It was a fantastic, worth-the-entire trip attraction.

THE GREENSBORO SCIENCE CENTER

Yes, we could call it a science center because it all basically revolves around the subject of science. But, let me tell you, it’s much more than that.

The Greensboro Science Center is a mixture of the following things:

Carolina SciQuarium

IMG_2450It’s an aquarium that features otters, stingrays, sharks and—our favorite—penguins. With my three year old, we spent a solid 90 minutes in here. Most of our time was spent sitting in front of the huge shark tank screaming, “SHARK!” [Sorry for the ruckus, fellow guests.] Honestly, though, it’s a smaller-sized aquarium, but it’s very nicely done and absolutely an afternoon break from the heat for younger kids. We loved it!

Animal Discovery Zoo

IMG_2415On top of everything else, this place has a zoo. No, seriously. A complete zoo. And, it’s not like some rinky-dink little display of indigenous creatures. The zoo is located in a lush, wooded outdoor portion of the science center, which—if nothing else—is a great spot for a nice, shaded walk.

It’s in the zoo that you’ll find massive exhibits dedicated to gibbons, lemurs, meerkats, tortoises, birds, wolves and even tigers.

Of course, my kids when bananas for the petting zoo portion of the facility. Head out to the Family-Friendly Farm and you get to party with goats and sheep—tons of them. Better still, you get to brush them and pet them. We had an absolute blast and probably wore out our welcome with these guys.

SciQuariumAnother popular spot was with the gibbons. Apparently, the Animal Discovery Zoo is home to Javan Gibbons, which are considered one of the rarest gibbon species in the world. It was pretty hot that day, so many of the gibbons were hiding in the rocks. This, of course, led to the longest game of “spot the baby gibbon” with my three year old. Literally, stood there for 30 minutes searching for baby gibbons.

Museum

Massive replica of a T-rex? Check. Freaky-deaky snakes? Check. Fossils and skeletons. Yep. From an exhibit uncovering the mysteries of the body to one that examines extreme weather, the indoor multi-level museum had a lot going for it. Here where you found us:

  • IMG_2521Herpetarium & Aquatic Discovery: Okay, so this is where you’ll find a terrifying wonderful array of slithery and slimy things like frogs, lizards, turtles and [gulp] snakes. Admittedly, it wasn’t my favorite place on account of my colossal fear of such creatures. However, if you saw and heard the reactions from the kids around us, you’d quickly realize this is a favorite spot for many.
  • Sciplay Bay: Think indoor playground. This was another section of the Greensboro Science Center for which we spent a great deal of time—with both the baby and the toddler. Yeah, yeah. Indoor playgrounds. But, this place is much more interactive for the little ones with ball tubes, a pretend food truck and even an area to build your own fort.

Omnisphere Theater

This is basically a planetarium on steroids. They offer 3-D adventure films that’ll have you ducking and swatting digitized sea monsters and butterflies. But, they also have a couple of shows aimed at smaller children like “One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure” and the animated “DEEPO: A Fish Story.”

SKYWILD

One attraction that we didn’t hit up due to the fact that I only have little kids, is the SKYWILD portion of the park. This is basically a MASSIVE outdoor ropes/obstacle course high in the trees that features climbing structures, repelling, net climbing, bridges and zip lining. The idea behind this extreme and rather physical experience is that participants are encouraged to imitate animal actions, such as waddling, leaping, brachiating, and crawling to allow them a better understanding and greater appreciation for the diversity of life.

YOU SHOULD GO

IMG_2490The Greensboro Science Center also now offers Inside Tracks, which is a program where guests can go behind-the-scenes and get some really incredible animal experiences (like feeding lemurs and penguins). But, more on that in my next travel blog.

In the meantime, get started booking your travel to Greensboro. We had such an unexpected blast at this totally wow-worthy attraction. And, good news, it’s open year-round.

Check their site here: http://www.greensboroscience.org.

I’ll be back to my beloved Greensboro in September to cover even more family-friendly travel. So, stay tuned.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received free admission from the Greensboro Science Center. Please note that writing a positive review was not a prerequisite to receiving free admission. The opinions within this blog are 100% my own.