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Destination: N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences' storytime

The state museum in Raleigh offers a storytime at 10:30 a.m. on weekdays.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

For most of my older daughter's life, I worked full-time outside the home. I was lucky enough to have a schedule where I was in the office four days a week. But that fifth day seemed to involve the two of us running around doing errands. And whenever I thought it would be nice to take her to a storytime, it was always in between the storytime sessions at the libraries near me.

Then a friend told me about the storytimes at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. They're at 10:30 a.m. on weekdays all year. And, as an added bonus, they feature live animals. So we've been to our share of museum storytimes. And now my younger daughter is learning all about them too.

The 30-minute storytime includes a short book and the opportunity to meet and touch several animals such as lizards, a small alligator, snakes, giant cockroaches and more. Sunny Allen, a museum educator who leads many of the storytimes and meet the animals programs, assures me that all the animals have been in captivity for a long time and are extremely sociable.

The storytimes are designed for preschoolers and explore different topics such as animal coverings, animal homes or rodents. The museum's meet the animals program, which is offered three times a day on weekdays and twice a day on weekends, is geared towards whoever is in the audience at the time.

Both programs are on the third floor of the museum in the Windows on the World. They are free. And no ticket is required (Allen tells me she sometimes gets that question). Just get there about five minutes before it's scheduled to start. Both programs can fill up on busy days.

Check the museum's website for more on its daily programs, including the storytimes and meet the animals.
Allen spoke with me the other day about the storytimes, offering some more tips if you go. Check the video for more. And a quick shout out to the nice folks from Lionsgate Child Development Center in Clayton, who were at the storytime I filmed this week. Thank you!

A note: The museum will be closed Dec. 24 through Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.

Click here for other Triangle family destinations.

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