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Reviewed August 13, 2015
Reviewed July 13, 2015
Reviewed January 1, 2014
What You'll Get
After painstakingly studying the Earth’s crust, early scientists concluded that it could use a few more centuries of baking and promptly loaded it back into the universe’s oven. Discover the fruits of slow-simmered sun baking with today's Groupon to the Colburn Earth Science Museum in Pack Place. Choose from the following options:
- For $17, you get an annual individual membership (a $35 value).
- For $25, you get an annual family membership (a $50 value).
- For $50, you get an annual patron membership (a $100 value).
Individual membership allows unlimited admission to the museum for one year, and includes a discount on museum programs and at the gift shop, a members-only newsletter, and half off admission at the WNC Nature Center in Asheville.
The family membership also grants clans of geologists, up to two adults, and any number of minor miners unlimited free entry to the Colburn and the more than 290 other educational facilities that participate in the Association of Science and Technology Centers' passport program.
The patron membership including all the same benefits as the family package, as well as free entry into the more than 50 knowledge depositories and wisdom menageries of the Southeast Reciprocal Museum Program.
Boasting a gargantuan collection of gems as well as various didactic exhibits, the Colburn Earth Science Museum bestows organic-stone knowledge and respectful admiration of nature’s resources upon visitors of all ages. Observe the glistening grandeur of regional rock in the hall of minerals, which features quartz, kyanite, and mica. Then gallivant over to the Grove Stone Room to glean valuable tidbits about the geology of North Carolina and how the state’s western mountains were formed after a group of tectonic plates met at a volcanic mixer and, to the dismay of their parents, decided to move in together.
The History of Mining in North Carolina exhibit treats treasure hunters with tales of past digs complete with a replica gem mine. The vast gemstone collection showcases myriad baubles from Earth’s jewelry box, such as sapphires, rubies, and Kevin Garnett's cubic zirconia clone. Give a faux meteorology report in the Weather, Climate, and You exhibit or explore vestiges of prehistory in the fossil exhibit, studying mastodon chompers and the accompanying dental insurance records scribbled on crumbling cave tablets.
In addition to the hands-on learning spaces, the museum houses an archival and reference-book collection brimming with geode facts for future rock scientists and plott hounds interested in acquiring state-approved licenses to dig up well-marinated mammoth bones.
- All in all, you will love this museum as I do. It's something out of the ordinary to do perhaps on the weekend when you want a little more mental stimulation. It's also a great place to go with your sweetheart if you are dating and want something different to do! – Susan Brown
The Fine Print
Expiration varies. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as a gift. Limit 1 per visit. Membership expires 1 year from activation date. Valid only for option purchased. New members only. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
About Colburn Earth Science Museum
Display cases filled with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are a treat for the eyes at any jeweler's, but at Colburn Earth Science Museum, they dazzle visitors intellectually as well. More than 1,000 cuts from around the world make up the museum's extensive gemstone collection, which guests learn about via a gem-mine replica featuring a faux dynamite charge and gem pockets. The museum's additional exhibits showcase mineral specimens from the museum's collection of more than 4,500, as well as fossil specimens including teeth from a wooly mammoth complete with calcified floss.
Guests can take a more hands-on approach to scientific discovery during the museum's school programs and spring-break camps, which focus on subjects such as fossils, gravity, and space rocks. Voyage deeper into the galaxy during Spaced-Out Saturdays, when a digital spaceship whisks passengers on journeys throughout the solar system. After expeditions, stop by the Museum Gift Shop to pick up your own minerals or crystal-filled, 44-million-year-old geodes that museum staff can crack in half for you during your visit.