4 Hours in the Triangle: Prairie Ridge, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and Beasley’s Chicken + Honey

January 24, 2014

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10 a.m. Arrive at the Prairie Ridge Ecostation, part of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, 4301 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh. Spend a half hour exploring the 45 acres of real Piedmont prairie, including its beautiful grasses, forest, ponds, and stream. Prairie Ridge is home to a diverse number of bird species, including the eastern kingbird, loggerhead shrike, summer tanager, blue grosbeak, and Baltimore oriole, earning the ecostation a spot on the North Carolina Birding Trail.

Children will love the new Nature Play Space, which opened in September of 2013. Structures include an “otter slide, groundhog tunnel, woodland hut, mini-prairie maze, and areas for art, digging, and water play.”

10:30 a.m. Join in on Citizen Science Saturdays at Prairie Ridge. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., instructors will describe a different citizen science program and ask participants to help with the data collection. Each Saturday will feature a different project, and can include “gathering data on tree and garden budding/ blooming, pond dragonflies, ladybugs, or birds.”

Note: The Citizen Science program is free, but recommended for ages 8 and up. More information can be found on their website, or by calling (919) 707-8882.

11:30 a.m. After the program has ended, drive 10 minutes to the main facilities of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 West Jones Street, Raleigh. While visitors should explore the entire museum, pay special attention to their new exhibit: “Birds of Paradise: Amazing Avian Evolution.” This beautiful and interactive display of photographs and videos of the search for the breathtaking birds of paradise, found only in New Guinea and Australia, will be fascinating for both adults and children. The exhibit is only at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences until March 23, so don’t miss your chance!

Tickets are free for members, $6 for adult, $4 for children, and $5 for students, seniors, and military members. Museum opens at noon on Sundays.

1:00 p.m. Head to Beasley’s Chicken + Honey for a late brunch at 237 S Wilmington Street, Raleigh. With a seasonally rotating menu, look forward to treats like Eggs Beasley, served with two poached eggs with creamed collard greens and grilled cornbread ($8.75), Red Bean Rancheros with a flour tortilla, fried eggs, grilled tomatoes, queso, and guacamole ($8.75), or a classic Belgian Waffle served with bananas, pecans, soft cream, and Virginia maple syrup ($7.50).

Beasley’s Chicken + Honey was founded by Ashley Christensen, proprietor of more than a few Raleigh favorites. In her bio she explains that she has “sought to foster community through food, philanthropy and the stimulation of the city’s downtown neighborhood.”

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prairie ridge ecostation triangle land conservancy

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