Midtown Raleigh News

Party like a scientist

Forget Glenwood South this Friday – the place to party is the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Their new Nature Research Center is opening at last, and the scientists over on West Jones Street are throwing a 24-hour party to celebrate.

Only problem? Picking your party plan.

Expect to get sidetracked by a wealth of other options – there’s something going on every minute of those 24 hours – but for those with limited time, here’s a cheat sheet of some must-sees.

Friday: It Begins

4:30 p.m., Grand Procession featuring Paperhand Puppets

Nothing says “celebration” like a parade. Boogie with gigantic puppets made out of “assorted junk,” traveling from the Governor’s Mansion to the SECU Daily Planet Stage for the opening ceremony with a representative from NASA.

6 p.m., SECU Daily Planet Stage: Improv Everywhere’s MP3 Experiment.

Join New York City-based improv troupe Improv Everywhere’s latest public participation event by going to improveverywhere.com/mp3raleigh before the event and following the instructions (you’ll need an MP3 player). Then show up at the intersection of Jones and Salisbury in either a blue, red, yellow or green T-shirt with a sense of fun and a love of the unexpected.

7 p.m., Museum Auditorium: The Wild World of Frogs

Come learn about frogs from Dr. Kerry Kriger, the founder of the nonprofit conservation group Save the Frogs.

Late night

10 p.m. to 1 a.m., Acro Cafe: The Science of Beer-Making

For the curious hops-lovers in your life.

Midnight to 2 a.m., Daily Planet Cafe: Science Comedy with Brian Malow

“Earth’s Premier Science Comedian” – who has also performed on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and makes science videos for Time magazine’s website – takes museum-goers into the wee hours.

Saturday: The Beat Goes On

11:30 a.m., Bicentennial Plaza Stage: Animal Costume Parade with Karen Smith Linehan

Exactly what it sounds like – and if you head to the Museum Lobby at 12:30, you can meet the animals and their costume designer.

Noon, SECU Daily Planet Stage: Surprise!

Because who can resist a surprise?

3 p.m., Bicentennial Plaza Stage: The Chromatics present AstroCappella: A View of the Universe

Ever think science class would’ve been better if your science teacher sang? A capella group The Chromatics brings its “astronomically-correct” concert to Raleigh, with songs about everything from the solar system to the outer reaches of space and time.


Walk-throughs of the new Nature Resource Center start at 5 p.m. Friday and run through 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Raleigh Astronomy Club will have telescopes set up to view the sky, during the day or night.

Check out a giant underwater scene chalked on the sidewalk by local artist Paul Dumlao, then pick up some chalk and join in.

Look for the N.C. Community College Mobile Launch Pad bus for scientific demonstrations and information on science career opportunities in North Carolina.