Parking Lot Update

The UNC-owned Morehead parking lot is under construction. Weekday visitors must pay using ParkMobile (Zone Code 4468) or the Pay Station near our iguana. For more info, go to our Plan A Visit page.

Plan a Field Trip

Now booking Summer 2024 reservations.

Check back soon to book Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 reservations.

Science on Stage

Sharing the love of science for more than 70 years

Morehead knows how to bring science to life, with exciting and inspiring programs designed to engage young explorers.

Our programming aligns with North Carolina Essential Standards, ensuring that your field trip will enhance your classroom instruction. Morehead’s Reservations team works closely with you, so your field trip will be a great educational experience.

Pricing

Students/Children: $11.50 + tax*
Adults: $14.50 + tax*
1 FREE adult admission per 10 students.
Price includes admission to museum exhibits and one program of your choice.

Add-Ons
$4.00 per student for each additional same-day program.
$5.00 per adult for each additional planetarium show only. Adults not charged for add-ons for Science Stage, Launch Lab, or Enrichment Experiences

Adults will not be charged for Enrichment Experience classes or Launch Lab 

Program Options

Review all of your field trip options in our 2022-23 Teacher’s Guide. If you have questions, we can help you customize your trip and choose the best programs for your class.

Questions? Check out the Field Trip FAQs.


Field Trip Pricing Eligibility
The above pricing is applicable to eligible public, charter, private, and home schools only. Non public schools (private schools and home schools) must be actively registered with the NC Division of Non Public Education and be listed on the appropriate directory of private schools or home schools available from their website. Private or home schools not registered with the NC Division of Non Public Education are not eligible for the above rates and may book reservations for these programs at the group rates listed on our Group Visits page.

Field Trip Minimums
Field trip reservations have at least 10 guests to book a visit. Some programs, such as Enrichment Experiences, and Launch Lab classes may require at least 10 student-age guests for the program’s activities, and may not be available for groups with less than 10 students.

*Tax
A tax of 7.5% for state and local sales & use for admissions is applicable to all tickets.

Please request a reservation for your school of 10 or more people using the Request a Reservation button on this page.

Reservations must be requested and confirmed as far in advance as possible, and no less than 2 weeks in advance. We are unable to accommodate reservation requests less than two weeks in advance.

From September through May, the weekday program schedule is not pre-determined, and schools are welcome to choose their programs as availability permits. Reservations for this period typically open in early summer.

During the summer (June through August) weekday programs are pre-scheduled, and groups may choose from shows on the pre-set schedule. Reservations for summer typically open in mid to late spring.

After we receive your request, Morehead’s reservations team will contact you to discuss your reservation options and help complete your reservation within a few business days. During high-volume months (August – early October and January-February), the reservations team may take up to a week to reply to new reservation requests.

Please email our reservations team at mpsc_reservations@email.unc.edu call our Reservations Team at 919.843.7993 if you need additional assistance.

Terms

  • Balances for reservations are due by 5 p.m. on or before 3 business days prior to the visit date.
  • Payments are accepted by card (VISA/MasterCard/Discover), or via school check (no personal checks please).
  • North Carolina public schools (K-12, charter, and college/universities), NC state agencies, and/or local NC county agencies such as school districts, libraries, etc. may receive net-30 payment terms upon request. Contact our Reservations Team with questions.

Policies

  • Every student and adult (educators, parents and bus drivers) in your group requires admission, and must be counted in your group reservation numbers.
  • Children or adults who have a Morehead membership cannot use their member benefits for admission during a school field trip or other group visit.
  • Payments must be lump sum. Individual guests may not pay separately.
  • Cancellations for non-private show reservations must be requested no later than 3 business days prior, when balances are due.
  • Cancellations for non-private shows made less than 3  business days prior, but before the day of the visit, are eligible for a refund of 50% of fees paid, with the remainder charged as a cancellation fee.
  • Cancellations on the day of the visit are not eligible to be refunded.

Private Planetarium Shows*

  • Students/Children: $9.95 + tax
  • Adults: $10.95 + tax
  • Minimum charge of $500 before tax must be met for any private show reservation.
  • Tax of 7.5% is applicable to private shows.
  • Available Mondays, Tues-Thurs after 4:30pm, or Fri-Sun after 6pm.
  • Private show reservations must be booked and confirmed more than 2 weeks in advance.
  • Balances for private show reservations are due at the time of booking. Payment must be made to confirm the reservation.
  • Cancellations made more than 2 weeks prior to the show are charged a $75 cancellation fee, but any remaining fees paid are eligible for refund.
  • Cancellations made less than 2 weeks prior to the show are ineligible for refund.

*Availability varies and exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Morehead reserves the right to decline requests. Private show reservations include a 1-hour planetarium show and do not include access to exhibits or other programs.

Morehead has a limited capacity to accommodate schools and non-school groups on weekends due to differences in operations on weekends vs. weekdays. Both schools and non-school groups are able to book reservations on weekends with the following limitations:

  • A limited number of tickets in each weekend show are available for purchase by schools or non-school groups. Remaining tickets are not available for schools or non-school groups and are only available to the general public once tickets are on-sale starting 2 weeks prior. Max tickets available for group sales to any one Planetarium Show is 50 total. Tickets to science stage programs are not reservable on weekends. Seating is first-come, first-serve for groups and the general public to those programs.
  • Weekend reservations cannot be scheduled less than 2 weeks prior to the visit. Groups wishing to visit in less than 2 weeks may purchase tickets online at the general public rate. Group and school rate discounts are not available less than 2 weeks in advance.
  • Weekend reservations must be paid for at the time tickets are reserved. Schools and universities (public, charter, and private schools) are eligible to hold reservations without payment up to 2 weeks prior to the show, but payment must be made 2 weeks in advance. Ticket sales are final and are non-refundable.
  • Weekend groups travelling in buses or oversize vehicles may drop off in the parking lot, but must park elsewhere and return later to pick groups up after their visit. Buses and large vehicles may not park in the lot.
  • Similar to weekday programs, weekend shows and programs start promptly on-time. We are unable to late-seat large groups once the show has begun since this would disrupt the show. Morehead does not offer refunds for late groups, but you may reschedule your group to a later show that day if availability permits.
  • Morehead reserves the right to limit availability for school and non-school group reservations on certain weekends throughout the year due to impacts on operations that further limit our ability to support large groups of visitors on those days.

For group reservations, it is Morehead’s policy to have the contact info of the group visiting in addition to the third party or charter operator. Please include the name of the organization and a contact person who we can copy on email communications as needed.

If a third party arranges a group visit, they are financially responsible for the visit, and payment is required two weeks in advance of the visit. “Third party” is defined as a company, organization, or individual (charter operator, travel agent, etc.) who is not an employee of the organization or group.

Through the generous gifts of many donors, Morehead is able to offer field trip subsidies, or scholarships, to schools meeting certain criteria.

If you would like to request a scholarship for your reservation, you will be able to do so when you make your online request. If you have already booked a reservation and would like to be considered for a scholarship, contact our reservations office at 919.843.7993 or by email at mpsc_reservations@email.unc.edu.

The priority deadline for scholarship requests is the second Sunday in September. Requests received by this date will be booked to their date, with their scholarship request initially be added to a waitlist. All scholarship requests received by the priority deadline will be evaluated at once. Schools will be notified as soon as possible after the evaluation period of their scholarship status.

Requests received after the second Sunday in September will be evaluated on a first-come, first-serve basis, and awarded scholarships as long as funding is available.

Morehead does not coordinate lunch orders as an add-on for field trip groups; however, schools are welcome to place catered lunch orders with area vendors. If you plan to have lunch delivered, please inform our reservations team prior to your visit.

Please remember that Morehead does not have an indoor space for groups to eat lunch. There is a small picnic table area behind the planetarium with a tent cover that can seat ~30/40 students. Otherwise, there are plenty of open lawns nearby the planetarium for a picnic style lunch.

In the event of poor weather, other than the tented picnic tables and a small covered patio in front of the building, there are no nearby spaces to eat lunch, and Morehead recommends eating lunch on the bus or on the way back to your school.

The parking lot in front of Morehead Planetarium & Science Center is owned and operated by UNC Chapel Hill, and is not available for parking buses or oversize vehicles. Buses and large vehicles are able to pull into the parking lot and drop off guests, but must park off site.

UNC Chapel Hill has designated a limited amount of space along Skipper Bowles Drive on south campus for bus parking on weekdays in the morning and early afternoons. This parking is located along Skipper Bowles Drive in the right-most travel lane between Kenan Drive and Tar Heel Boulevard/Carolina Basketball Museum in front of the Dean E Smith Center. Buses may not block driveways/vehicle entrances, crosswalks, or the Chapel Hill Transit bus stop in front of the Smith Center. Printable directions to this parking area are available here, and available as a google maps link here.

Otherwise, buses may elect to park elsewhere in Chapel Hill while waiting to pick up their group. Morehead recommends buses park off-site at New Hope Commons shopping center, about 5 miles off campus. You can find directions to the shopping center from Morehead here. It’s located directly down Franklin Street and Hwy 15/501, just past the intersection with Interstate 40.

University Place Mall is NOT available for bus parking. Due to ongoing construction and future impacts on parking lot configuration, University Place Mall will no longer be a suitable off-campus location for buses and oversize vehicles to park.

 

Please see information about public parking on our Plan A Visit page. The lot in front of Morehead is managed by UNC as a campus-wide parking lot, and spaces are often limited or unavailable. Guests arriving in separate vehicles should plan to arrive early in case the lot is full to allow time to find parking along the street or in nearby town lots.