Downtown Raleigh Field Trips

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What venues can we tour?

Click on the tabs below to learn more about each of the venues that are serviced by Capital Area Visitor Services, including information on what you’ll see, security procedures, and pre-visit resources to make your trip a success. 

Tours for groups of 10 or more can be made for our venues through this platform. Remember, our Chaperone Policy requires one adult per ten students. All reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance.  

Tab/Accordion Items

 

Guided tours of the mansion and gardens must be reserved at least two weeks in advance through Capital Area Visitor Services.  

Spring tours of the mansion will be offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays, March 6–June 6, at 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Tours last 30 minutes. Tour capacity for this activity is a minimum of 5 people and a maximum of 50 people. Groups of less than 5 people should contact dutchie.sexsmith@dncr.nc.gov. Tours will not be hosted on the following dates: March 27, March 28, and May 23. 

Spring tours of the mansion gardens will be offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays, April 3–May 9, at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Tours last 1- hour. Tour capacity for this activity is a minimum of 5 people and a maximum of 30 people. Groups of less than 5 people should contact dutchie.sexsmith@dncr.nc.gov. Tours will not be hosted on the following dates: March 27, March 28, and May 23. 

Executive Mansion security requires that a list of names for every individual in each group be submitted to Capital Area Visitor Services at least one week before your tour. 

Know Before You Go: 

  • The Executive Mansion is located at 200 N. Blount Street in Raleigh. Please plan to arrive at the front gate of the mansion (near the two flagpoles) about 15 minutes ahead of your tour time. 

  • Upon entry, you will be asked for your group’s booking information and required to go through a brief security check. 

  • Visitors are encouraged to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes appropriate for outdoor terrain. 

  • There are no public restrooms at the Executive Mansion, and we encourage you to take advantage of the facilities at the NC Museum of History before or after your tour, should you need them. 

  • Parking is available in this Visitor Lot for a fee, or metered street parking can be found throughout downtown Raleigh. 

  • Visitors are not allowed to wander from the docent-led group and must always stay with the guide. 

  • Garden tours will occur rain or shine. 

Virtual Tour of NC Executive Mansion  

 

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. 

Guided tours are available 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. in 30-minute increments. 

The Legislative Building is open to the public year-round, except on state holidays. 

Virtual Tour of NC Legislative Building  

Admission is free. 

Guidelines for visiting the NC General Assembly — Legislative Building 

  • ARRIVAL AND REGISTRATION. Upon arrival to the General Assembly, please have your students gather in a single-file line behind the visitors and guests sign at the front entrance of the building located on Jones Street. Teachers are responsible for the registration of their groups. Please enter through the door marked appropriately for registration. Parents, adults, and chaperones should not be responsible for any part of registration. Teachers should come to the front desk to register, receive classroom materials, be given specific instructions, and meet their Building Guide. 

  • SECURITY AND SCREENING. The Legislative Building now has a NEW security screening procedure in place for all visitors. To ensure the best possible experience, several recommendations will expedite screening. All students, teachers, parents, adults, and chaperones will be required to go through screening upon entry to the building. To accelerate this procedure, we are requesting that students leave all nonessential items, including backpacks, cell phones, etc. (excluding medical items), on their respective buses. We also ask that items not left on the bus, including souvenirs, be left outside with 2 or 3 adults while the tour takes place. Below are prohibited items inside the legislature: 

Prohibited Items Through Screening Process 

  • Aerosol containers 

  • Electric stun guns, martial arts weapons or devices 

  • Knives of any size 

  • Mace and pepper spray 

  • Guns, replica guns, ammunition, and fireworks 

  • Any weapon facsimile 

  • Razors and box cutters 

  • Pets or animals (guide and assistance animals are permitted) 

  • Batons and nightsticks 

  • Signs on hand-sticks 

  • Any other item or device that can be considered a dangerous weapon 

The Building Guide will lead the group into the screening area. The Building Guide must be followed by the teacher, then students next, for screening, with parents, adults, and chaperones remaining at the end of the line to be screened last. 

We recommend following the above-listed procedures carefully, as any failure to follow the above guidelines may result in a delay for your group. Please remember your group will need to use the restrooms at the NC Museum of History prior to your tour of this site.  We greatly appreciate your cooperation with these NEW security measures. We look forward to seeing you at the General Assembly and serving the needs of your group during its upcoming visit to the State Legislative Building! 

Admission is FREE. Tickets are NOT required for entry. Hours of operation are as follows:

  • Tuesday–Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 

  • Sunday: Noon–5 p.m. 

The Museum Shop hours of operation:

  • Tuesday–Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 

  • Sunday: Noon–5 p.m. 

Nearby the museum is convenient parking, restaurants, and many other family-friendly attractions. 

The museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. 

Visitors from around the world travel to the North Carolina Museum of History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, to discover fascinating secrets and hidden gems from our state’s past. Located at 5 East Edenton Street in the heart of downtown Raleigh across from the State Capitol, the state history museum, before the COVID-19 pandemic, welcomed more than 465,000 visitors a year, including over 83,000 schoolchildren. You can contact the museum at 919-814-7000. The fax number is 919-733-8655. 

The North Carolina Museum of History is open to the public with some procedures in place to help ensure the safety of staff and visitors. Daily, health, and safety guidelines are being followed and monitored.

 Please continue to follow the museum website and social media (FacebookTwitter, and Instagram) for the most up-to-date information. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Beginning Monday, November 6, 2023 the North Carolina Museum of History will be closed on Mondays to align with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ schedule. Our hours will also change as of Tuesday, November 7, 2023 to 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, and Sundays, noon–5 p.m. 

Before Your Visit to the N.C. Museum of History

To help you plan your visit to the Museum of History, you might find some of these links helpful:

NCMOH Book Your Tour Today

 

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh is open Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., with procedures and plans in place to help ensure the safety of visitors and staff. 

To help make your experience the best it can be, please Know Before You Go

Hours (Downtown Raleigh) 

Know Before You Go 

  • Cloth face coverings are available for purchase in the Museum Store. 

  • Enhanced cleaning of the facilities will take place multiple times throughout the day. 

  • Hand sanitizer stations are accessible throughout the museum. 

  • If you are experiencing symptoms of illness, we ask that you postpone your visit. 


Download the Museum's Reopening Map

Please check this page before visiting, and follow the museum on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the most up-to-date information. For additional questions, email info@naturalsciences.org or see the FAQs. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

 Temporarily Closed Area

Areas within the downtown museum that will remain closed during the initial opening period include: 

  • Living Conservatory (aka “the butterfly room”) 

For more information! 

 

The North Carolina State Capitol is currently closed to the public for construction and repair work. We expect to reopen in the summer of 2024 and will post updates here and on our social media pages as soon as a reopening date is set. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Visitors are welcome to visit the grounds at any time. 

 

“The goal is a public art tribute to freedom as expressed through the African American experience. It will be called [North Carolina Freedom Park] and will be located in the heart of the state capital as a continuing reminder of the struggles for freedom—and how much more we need to do to achieve equity and justice in our society.” —John Hope Franklin (1915–2009), historian

About North Carolina Freedom Park

North Carolina Freedom Park is a one-acre commemorative park located in downtown Raleigh. It honors the African American struggles and triumphs in pursuit of freedom throughout North Carolina’s history. Its pathways are beautifully carved with the Voices of Freedom, powerful words of African Americans who were denied freedom over the last two centuries. These words will enlighten and inspire all who reflect on them. The Beacon of Freedom is the gleaming centerpiece of the park. Standing 45 feet tall, this architectural sculpture beckons all who see it to wander down the five walkways and contemplate it in awe.

Ensuring Students Get the Most Out of a Visit

NC Freedom Park offers students the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the struggles of past visionaries and find inspiration in the resistance, resilience, and perseverance they demonstrated. Through thoughtful planning, engaging activities, and meaningful follow-up, teachers can ensure students extract the maximum educational value from their park experience.

The resources below will make a field trip to NC Freedom Park an immersive and impactful learning adventure that goes beyond just a day away from the classroom.

Specific Terms and Concepts Students Should be Prepared to Encounter in Their Engagement with NC Freedom Park

Students should be explicitly instructed before encountering historical terms, such as “colored” and “Negro,” that these words are no longer appropriate to use outside of discussions of historical documents.

Specific terms and concepts students should be prepared to encounter in their engagement with NC Freedom Park include:

  • Abolitionist
  • Bush Arbor
  • Civil Rights Activist
  • Colored*
  • Emancipation
  • Jim Crow
  • Negro*
  • Refugee
  • Segregation
  • Slavery
  • Suffrage
  • United States Colored Troops

NC Freedom Park and its accompanying educational resources offer a unique, memorable, and empowering educational experience.

Virtual Tour (COMING SOON!)        Guided Tour (COMING SOON!)

Visiting NC Freedom Park

NC Freedom Park is centrally located in the heart of the state government complex at the corner of Wilmington and Lane Streets in Raleigh.

It is free and open to the public. Visitors can spend a wide range of time at the park, from a 10-minute stroll through the paths to a 45-minute on-site teaching activity, depending on their goals.

Public parking is available via several pay lots throughout the capital area. There are designated areas for bus parking. Parking details are available here.