Children’s Museum & Science Center

NOTICE: In accordance with Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order, and to help limit the spread of COVID-19, the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences will suspend public operations until further notice. All events and programs are canceled during this time.

Children’s Museum & Science Center

The Children’s Museum & Science Center features a Live Animal Gallery, Cummins Planetarium, traveling exhibits, interactive permanent exhibits, and more!

Astronomy (Permanent Exhibit)

Can you tell a meteorite from a “meteor-wrong”? What does it feel like to lift a can of soda on the moon? Want to experiment with a vapor tornado? Make your way around the curved wall of the Planetarium to find our Astronomy exhibits, which include colorful interactive displays on space exploration, observational and stellar astronomy, planetary sciences, math, physics, cosmology and other awesome celestial topics!

Cummins Planetarium

Prepare to take flight, expand your mind, and rock out under the planetarium dome. Regularly-scheduled public planetarium shows are included with your museum admission. Learn more.

Museum Birthday Parties

Museum Birthday Parties are available for kids of all ages. Entertaining and engaging party themes include Plantarium Party (4 and up), Fossil Finds (5 and up), Animal Tracks (5 and up), and Ooey-Gooey (5 and up). Birthday parties are scheduled by reservation only. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance. Call (252) 972-1266 for information including program fees, or to make a reservation.

PNC Live Animal Gallery

Encounter the variety of animal life inhabiting our planet, including: reptiles, mammals, amphibians, birds, fish, and insects. Massive wall displays illustrate the diversity of fauna and flora right here in the Carolinas, from the mountains, down through the piedmont, and out to the coastal plain. Interact gently with a changing variety of Atlantic Ocean sea creatures including fish, spider crabs, hermit crabs, sea urchins and more. Museum assistants are here to answer questions and conduct Live Animal Encounters for visiting groups.

Public Star Parties

Free public stargazing events, held at locations around Rocky Mount, introduce residents and visitors to the wonders of the night sky. Weather permitting, each month’s viewing session features different observing targets including: double stars, bright planets, nebulae, and distant galaxies. Dress appropriately for changing seasonal temperatures and bring along a flashlight, binoculars, or a telescope if you have one. Guided constellation tours and beginner sky charts are provided. Otherwise, plenty of telescopes and assistance are available from your hosts, the staff of the Cummins Planetarium and members of the Tar River Astronomy Club.

Solar Viewing

Free solar telescope viewing events provide residents and visitors with the unique opportunity to participate in daytime astronomy. Weather permitting, safely-filtered views of the Sun are provided by trained observers from the Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences. Take an up close and personal look at sunspots, prominences and solar flares through both visible light and Hydrogen-Alpha filtered telescopes. Solar viewing takes place once a month during September, October and November.

Summer Camps

Be a crime scene investigator! Level up your engineering skills! Let your imagination run wild! Visit our Summer Camps page to learn more about science-themed camps for ages 5-6 and 7-12!

Registration Guidelines

Registration is required for all fee based classes, unless otherwise noted. Payment is required at time of registration. Students are not considered enrolled in a class until payment has been made.

Enroll online, by calling 252-972-1266 or visiting the Imperial Centre at 270 Gay Street.

Parks & Recreation Refund Policy: Participants receive an 85% refund when they cancel a class that has not yet begun; a refund of 50% is made when a participant cancels within the first week of class; no refund is available when participant cancels after two class meetings.

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