The Best of the Best Fall 2019 Museum Exhibits & Event

Tryon Palace NC












Tryon Palace, New Bern

As the weather starts to cool off and students of all ages head back to school, fall is one of the best times of the year to get out and visit some amazing special shows and exhibits at North Carolina museums from New Bern to Charlotte and Winston-Salem to Fayetteville.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh

  • Bugfest 2019, happening on Saturday, September 21, will focus on the amazing world of insects. Visitors will be able to pose questions to guest entomologists and other scientists, and will get to sample some tasty, crittery dishes prepared by local chefs. Festivities on this very special day will take place both inside and outside the museum.
  • The museum’s Beyond Curie exhibit is a free “Celebration of Women in Science” display exploring the life and genius of Marie Curie as well as several other female scientists’ groundbreaking work. An interactive iPod display, 3-D models and an augmented reality app will allow visitors to see beautiful animations inside some of the portraits that they view.

Tryon Palace, New Bern

A host of special exhibits are scheduled for the month of September at Tryon Place, including these fun, family-oriented events

  • During Civil War Weekend on September 14 & 15, visitors will experience the sights and sounds of the American Civil War. They’ll watch a posting of colors, regiment drills, and rifle and cannon demonstration, and be able to interact with an actor portraying famed abolitionist and statesman Frederick Douglass.
  • For Lanterns on the Lawn: A Family Campout on the weekend of September 21 & 22, campers reserve campsites on the South Lawn, then spend the rest of the day enjoying crafts, a dinner buffet and lawn games with other visitors. Proceeds will benefit the Tryon Palace Foundation.
  • The annual Governor’s Challenge Cornhole Tournament takes place on September 27. Amateur players participate in the day-long competition, enjoying food, drinks and beautiful fall weather on the South Lawn of the property. Museum Exibits and Events NC

Discovery Place, Charlotte

  • The museum celebrates the month of September exploring innovations fueled by space. Many of the items we take for granted nowadays – ear thermometers and baby formula, for instance – came about as a result of space travel. On September 18 & 21, visitors are invited to watch a multi-media “Flight Adventures” planetarium show, and on the 25th and 28th, kids can create their own space bags.
  • Kids may also participate in the One World, One Sky Sesame Street-based planetarium show in the September, following along with Big Bird and Elmo as they take an imaginary trip to the moon.    

Mint Museum Uptown, Charlotte / Mint Museum Randolph, Charlotte

  • The museum’s Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizzi exhibition, running through early November 2019, features the original artwork of the bestselling “Dungeons & Dragons” and “The Spiderwick Chronicles” author and artist.

Old Salem Museums & Gardens, Winston-Salem, NC

  • Special September events include Quilting Frolic Day and Winkler Baking Day at the John Vogler House each Saturday; Hearth Cooking Day and Cooking a Mid-Day Tavern Meal every Thursday; and The Landscape, Race and Culture: Shaping a World of Color in the American South presentation, occurring each Friday afternoon during the fall. Museum Exibits and Events NC

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, Chapel Hill

  • The Planetarium will be presenting the Farmsteaders Film Premiere, a free program on Thursday evening, September 12. The film follows a dairy farmer and his family as they deal with the restoration of the family dairy farm at a time when Big Agriculture seems to be moving more and more toward large-scale farming.

Cape Fear Museum, Wilmington, NC

  • Wilmington’s Smithsonian-affiliated Cape Fear Museum will host Planetarium Adventures: Seasonal Stargazing – Fall at 2pm on September 28.
  • The museum’s brand-new Dinosaur Discovery exhibit is also now open, featuring real and replica fossils of dinosaurs and opportunities for kids to dress up like a paleontologist, go on a scavenger hunt, create and scientifically name their own dinosaurs, and uncover replica fossils in a dig pit.

David McCune International Art Gallery, Fayetteville

  • The David McCune Gallery presents the 12 Women 12 Voices exhibition from September 12 – November 9, featuring the works and words of 12 unique artists working with a variety of media including painting, metalwork, fiber, glass and clay.

Museum of Life & Science, Durham

  • September exhibits include Carolina Wildlife, where you’ll explore the habitats of many unique animals native to North Carolina; Into the Mist, helping visitors learn all about how droplets of water form clouds; Magic Wings Butterfly House, featuring a 35-foot tall glass conservatory populated with hundreds of tropical rainforest butterflies; and Launch Lab, where kids of all ages explore aerodynamics in hands-on activities designed to teach about flight, airflow and gravity.