- What is the NEC?
- What is the NRC?
- Where do the buildings connect?
- Where can I park?
- Do I need to reserve a wheelchair before my visit?
- Can I rent an electric scooter or wheelchair?
- Are strollers allowed in the Museum?
- Where can I find live animals in the Museum?
- Where is the gift shop?
- Where are the butterflies?
- Where are the dinosaurs?
- Where is “Meet the Animals”?
The NEC is the acronym for the Nature Exploration Center, located at 11 West Jones Street. It is the older of the two buildings that make up the main campus. If you see escalators, you know you’re in the NEC.
The NRC is the acronym for the Nature Research Center, the new 80,000-square-foot building. Its goal is to bring research scientists and their work to the public eye. If you see a glassed in research lab, you know you’re in the NRC.
Parking is available weekdays in several public pay parking decks within walking distance of the Museum. Parking rates at all Downtown State Government Complex parking facilities are currently $2/hour. Limited metered parking is available along Jones and Edenton Streets. Parking is free and abundant on weekends and evenings after 5pm.
Live animals can be found throughout both buildings. Highlights include snakes, which can be found on the 3rd floor of the Nature Exploration Center and the 2nd floor of the Nature Research Center. On the 1st floor of the NRC there is a 10,000-gallon aquarium that features a variety of native fishes. The Living Conservatory on the 4th floor of the NEC houses a tarantula, a milk snake, turtles, butterflies, and a two-toed sloth.
We have three gift shops. The main Museum Store is located on the 1st floor of the NEC behind the front desk and to the left. The Exhibition Store is associated with the Featured Exhibition Gallery on the 2nd floor of the NEC. The Center Store is located on the 1st floor of the NRC next to the Daily Planet Café.