North Carolina Arboretum Presents In the Dark

Owl eyes in the dark.
NC Arboretum

Explore the mysteries of the dark at the Arboretum’s new exhibit, In the Dark, on display now through May 12 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm inside the Baker Exhibit Center. This exhibit is free; however, standard Arboretum parking fees apply.

This traveling exhibit developed by the Cincinnati Museum Center delves into dark environments and the unique ways animals, plants, and humans adapt to areas with little to no light. From a forest diorama of the Great Smoky Mountains to a re-creation of a Kentucky limestone cave, In the Dark features five immersive zones that enable visitors to experience the darkness of many unseen worlds.

Through mechanical displays, life-size animal models and informational panels, families will learn and uncover what thrives beneath the soil, under the sea, in the shadows of the night, and within other dark settings. Visitors will learn how birds find their way flying at night, how bats use echolocation to communicate and ways people have reacted to darkness throughout history.

The North Carolina Arboretum does not charge a per person admission, only a parking fee. Cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit/debit cards are accepted at the front gatehouse. The first Tuesday of every month, the Arboretum also offers a 50% discount on personal vehicle parking ($7). Current parking fees are:

  • Members: Free
  • Personal Vehicles: $14
  • Motorhomes / Vehicles (21’ or larger): $50
  • Buses: $100

Visit the In the Dark exhibit page for additional information.