Go Ask Mom

Destination: Into the Mist at the Museum of Life and Science

Into the Mist combines some classic kids favorites - sand, water, running and climbing - for some great and cooling fun.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
The kids standing on the rocks under the rain tree in their bathing suits were the first sign that I wasn't prepared for our visit to Into the Mist, the new exhibit at the Museum of Life and Science, a few weeks ago.

But my lack of preparation didn't dampen the fun for my kids - ages 7 and 2. They had an absolute blast.

I wrote about Into the Mist back in June a few days before it opened. The exhibit, in the museum's Catch the Wind area, teaches lessons about water and wind and topography.

A large dome helps to contain the mist that rises from thousands of mini mist heads in the ground. At the mogul field next door, the mist has more freedom to move (and you might catch some rainbows here too). Under the rain tree, kids can build with sand on rocks and adjust the flow of the water from the tree above to see how it changes what they built.

Those lessons are there to be learned, but most kids, mine included, will spend the majority of their time pressing the buttons to launch the mist, running through the mist and standing atop those rocks, getting absolutely soaked and caked in sand. It's great fun and, on a hot summer day, feels wonderful.

Beyond the mist, you'll find a series of gopher holes, which kids can climb into and out of as if they were going under ground. There is a large sand area and a little forest hut. Plus, you'll find some shady sitting areas for when it's time for a break.

I pulled my kids out after nearly 90 minutes in the exhibit. They spent as much time in the mist as they did climbing in and out of the gopher holds and running through the natural living willow tunnels.

As far as natural playgrounds go - those spots that we're seeing more of that use natural materials to create play pieces for kids  - Into the Mist is about as good as it gets.

At the end of our visit, my kids were a mess - covered in sand and completely wet. Thanks to the 90-degree day, they were dry by our ride home to Raleigh an hour later.

Next time, if the weather is cooler, I might bring a change of clothes or shoes ... at least a towel. And on really hot days, those bathing suits aren't a bad idea.

Into the Mist is free with admission to Durham's Museum of Life and Science, which is $14 for adults and $10 for kids ages 3 to 12. For a closer look, watch the video.
Go Ask Mom features places to take kids every Friday. Looking for other ideas? Check our reviews of local parks and playgrounds and {[a href="asset_gallery-1"}}list of Triangle family destinations{{/a}}.

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