Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

10 fun facts about Marbles as the downtown Raleigh museum preps for its 10th birthday

Posted September 24
Updated September 25

Courtesy: Marbles

Marbles Kids Museum turns 10 years old on Friday. And, in Marbles style, the downtown Raleigh museum is planning a big celebration to mark the occasion.

The museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, with all kinds of special events, including a birthday candle obstacle course; pop-up play on the :10 of every hour; barbecue, bluegrass and cake from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and a glow stick dance party at 8 p.m. Marbles' website has more details, including a full schedule. (Also, if you missed it, check out the latest news about Marbles' big expansion plans).

Marbles has played a huge role in the lives of my kids and my family. It's been the destination for countless birthday parties, afternoons out, documentaries and more. And, if you've spent as many hours there as I have, there might be a few things you're wondering about (like just exactly how many balls does it take for the pig in Moneypalooza to open up).

We have some answers. Here are 10 fun facts about Marbles Kids Museum!

5.1 million

In 10 years, that's the total number of visitors from all 100 counties in North Carolina and from all 50 states, who have played at Marbles.


Admission has always been $5 per person at Marbles. But, on Thursdays, admission drops to $2 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

70 feet wide and 52 feet tall

That's the size of Marbles' IMAX theater, which screens both feature films and a fantastic selection of 45-minute documentaries, which my family has really enjoyed over the years.

Falkirk Wheel in Scotland

$2.5 million

As a nonprofit organization, that's how much Marbles must raise each year to keep its museum experience accessible and affordable to as many people as possible.

1 million

That's how many marbles it takes to wrap around Marbles' three-story marble wall, which lights up at night. Marbles gets its name from two places - that marble wall and the fact that the word "marbles" also is a nickname for brains.

18 percent

That's how many campers receive scholarships, thanks to donations, to attend Marbles' summer camp, which are for kids ages 3 to 10.


That's how many elementary and middle school students Marbles welcomes each year for field trips. (And, if you want to avoid them, know that Mondays are group-free in the museum).

Marbles Kids Museum new fire truck


That's how many glue sticks Marbles goes through in a year.


That's how many pizza boxes, a mainstay in that Moneypalooza exhibit, that Marbles uses each year.


And, finally, the answer to one of the most popular questions. This is the total number of green balls that it takes to open the giant piggy bank in the Moneypalooza exhibit.

Moneypalooza at Marbles

Happy birthday, Marbles!


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