Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Free Museums!

On our Raleigh, N.C., visit we stopped at as many museums as possible. All free (except special exhibits).

North Carolina Museum of Art
My favorite pieces in the museum were photographs by Alex Sothpaintings and photographs by Page H. Laughlin and Pamela Pecchio and “Three Graces,” by Mickalene Thomas. The museum houses a wide range of pieces, from Ancient Egypt to Contemporary American. Definitely an art museum to check out.

This museum also has outdoor trails (from 1 mile to just over 2 miles in length) that wind through an open field and woods, showcasing various art pieces.

“The Conversationalist,” a piece by Chakaia Booker

“Whisper Bench,” a piece by Greensboro sculptor Jim Gallucci

North Carolina Museum of History
We did not get to spend much time in this museum, but enjoyed the few exhibits we did see. We started at the exploration and settlement of the New World by European colonists and made most of our way to the Civil Rights movement before needing to head back home.

Besides dates and facts one usually relates with history, the museum also offered a look into the cultural aspects of the various time periods — from agriculture and tools, to education and music. I wish we could have spent more time reading each sign and listening to recordings.

A sign at the history museum that Chris liked

Note: Lots of school groups visit the museum. So expect to share the space with youngins.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
This museum seems to appeal to kids and adults alike, which I like. There’s nothing worse to go into a museum looking to learn things but all the exhibits are dumbed down for grade school students. It makes you think you’re out of place. This museum seemed to have a nice balance of nice educational aspects for adults and then some interactive activities for kids. It strikes a good balance, which, I think, is hard to do.

There were lots of student running around. Literally. And it was very loud. So, be prepared during the school day to share the visit with lots of students from grade school up to middle school. Most of the teachers, and a few of the chaperons, tried to make sure their kids were behaving, not cutting in front of people and not running. But in many cases, there wasn’t much control over the kids.

Still the museum is worth the trip, though you may need to move more quickly than you’d like to get out of the way of large groups.

Butterfly in the conservation room at the natural sciences museum

So, if you’re in the Raleigh area, check out these state jewels. They are worth the gas and time to get there.

Shelley Lake Park, Raleigh, N.C.

Shelley Lake Park in Raleigh, N.C., is a great place to take a stroll or, as many people were on a recent visit, jog.

The small lake is surrounded by trees and a 2+ miles of trails, including sections of a greenway. Walking around the lake we saw ducks, geese, turtles and, possibly, cormorants. The cormorants could also have been herons; the birds were far away and hard to see.

There are also basketball courts, a playground, a boat house and an art center (Sertoma Arts Center) located in the park.

Great place to take a stroll with the family on a weekday afternoon!

(Sorry, no photos to share this time!)

Davis Flea Market, Level Cross, N.C.

I recently learned about a new flea market in Level Cross, N.C.

A security guard at the Jackson Library told me about it after I stopped to ask her what she was crocheting. While watching the door to the library, she was whipping up a variety of hats in multi-colors. She said a lot of the college kids loved her pattern and she sold many to them.

Other hats she sells on Saturdays at the Davis Flea Market in Level Cross (9755 U.S. 220 Bus. N., Randleman, N.C.).

The woman said the market started up about a year and a half ago and has been growing ever since.

If you’re ever in that area during the weekend, you should stop by and check it out. According to the website, the hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays.

(As an aside, I lived in the Level Cross community for four years. I owned property there for six.)

The Knit and Crochet Show

The Knit and Crochet Show is coming to the Greensboro, N.C., area in September. Will you be there?

I learned about it from Ravelry friend hartroadhomestead. So, I’ve emailed Mom and my sis to see if they want to go to the Greensboro show, which is Sept. 23-25.

There’s also a show in Minneapolis, Minn., in July. Might want to check that one out if it’s closer to you.

The show features vendors of yarns and notions for knitters and crocheters alike.

There’s also classes and several special events, like dinners and fashion shows.

I don’t think we’re going to take in any classes as they’re pretty expensive. But we’re talking about going at least one day to check out some yarn and other events.

Cost is $10 for one day and $5 for each additional day. That cost isn’t too bad. Plus, you can grab a coupon off the event’s website here.

You can register for the event here.

Hope to see you there!

1 Comment

Country Park and Guilford Courthouse National Military Park

While in Greensboro, we visited Country Park and Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.

I used to walk around Country Park’s paved trail during the few months I lived in Greensboro several years ago. The paved trail is hilly and winds around man made lakes.
Many families, walkers, dog owners and bikers use this trail. There are paddle boats, fishing, playgrounds and picnic shelters.

What I consider the main entrance is north of the Natural Science Center’s parking lot on Lawndale Drive, so it was a nice addition to our trip to the science center. (There’s also a second entrance located south of the science center. The park runs behind the center.)
From Country Park, we walked along a trail that connects to the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. This national park has a paved walking, biking and driving trail and some dirt trails through woods on the property.
Throughout the park there are monuments, grave stones and interpretive signs commemorating the Revolutionary War battle here. The Battle of Guilford Courthouse weakened Cornwallis’ army and he surrendered several months later in Yorktown, Va.

Bodies Revealed, Natural Science Center, Greensboro, N.C.

Since Chris had to work last night, he took me to see the Bodies Revealed exhibit at the Natural Science Center in Greensboro, N.C., for Valentine’s Day on Saturday.

This traveling exhibit displays several bodies and body parts that have gone through a process called polymer preservation. Besides showing the respiratory, circulatory, reproduction and other body systems, there are examples of organs with cancer, a diseased lung and organs that are enlarged for various reasons, such as infection. It may sound like a weird Valentine’s Day trip to you, but I loved it!
The exhibit is only at the center through March 6, so you’ve got a couple more weeks to visit and check it out. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday and is located on Lawndale Drive in Greensboro.
There were a ton of people there to visit the museum and the exhibit. A coworker, who went Sunday, said a museum employee told her that 1,300 people visited on Saturday! The museum gave people tickets and allowed people into the exhibit in shifts.
We had the 12:30 time and had an hour to kill before we could enter, so we walked around the museum itself and the small zoo behind the building.
Downstairs are several science labs were kids can get their hands on some projects and experiments. I think most of the labs are held as classes and you have to register. When we were there, there were kids in the physics lab building with Legos. I couldn’t see what they were working on, but the kids were intently working together in small groups. Cute!
We peeked in the biology and herpetology labs and an aquatic area to look at the various creatures in aquariums and such. There were snakes, lizards, morays, turtles and fish.
A two-headed yellow-bellied slider turtle.
A moray, which is related to an eel.
A snake.
A hellbender, which is a salamander
Another snake; this time a rattler. I don’t know what’s with Chris’s obsession with snake pictures! 🙂
Outside in the zoo there are turkeys and peacocks wandering around the park, lorikeets, gibbons, lemurs, tigers and a petting farm with goats, burros and other animals.
Animals at the petting farm.
Lemurs!!! I wanted to pick one up and squeeze it! 🙂

Snow at the N.C. Zoo

While in N.C. celebrating Christmas with my family, Chris and I headed to the N.C. Zoo for a few hours last Saturday.

While we were there, it started snowing!

Snow at the grizzly exhibit.
The grizzly was asleep earlier when we saw him. We woke up to check out the snow, I guess.

Here’s the grizzly sleeping earlier in the morning.

Instead of taking the tram back to the parking lot, we chose to walk, stopping at some of the North American exhibits.

Here’s some more photos from the trip:

I’ve never seen this snow fox up walking around before. I guess he was happy to see the snow.

Sleepy bobcat.


An elk in the pasture with the bison.

Red wolves.

This hummingbird flew up to the fence and chirped at me several times. I don’t know if he was happy or mad to see me.

The coati (pictured) and cacomistle were up and active.

Some orchids in the Aviary.

More flora in the Aviary.

Eclectus parrot in the Aviary.

More flowers in the Aviary.

Victoria crowned pigeon.

Gorillas in the Forest Glade exhibit.
A close up of the gorilla.

I thought there were new Australian exhibits, but I guess, like the red kangaroos, those were only temporary. So those have come and gone before I got a chance to see them. 😦

The lemurs were also not out. I guess, like the elephants, giraffes and rhinos, it was too cold for them. Maybe next time.