It’ll blow your mind: “Mazes & Brain Games” opens at science museum Jan. 20

Mazes & Brain Games

Look up “maze” in the dictionary, and you’ll find it described as a confusing network of intersecting paths or passages, a complex arrangement that causes bewilderment, confusion or perplexity. Now take that up a notch by adding two vital ingredients — fun and education — and you’ve arrived at “Mazes & Brain Games,” a new exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, opening Jan. 20, 2018.

In “Mazes,” visitors maneuver their way through a mind-boggling collection of mind-bending adventures, 3D puzzles and full-body games — an unforgettable adventure that’s sure to challenge, entertain and amaze. Mazes winds its way over 6,500 square feet with more than 60 puzzling experiences that inspire exploration and ingenuity.

Test your perceptions and laugh your way through the maze of illusions, a feast of visual trickery. Run a marathon with your fingers on the Finger Mazes, or become a “webmaster” by climbing through an intricate web of ropes without getting tangled in the Web Maze. Wrap your head around the Puzzle Maze, and get lost in a network of color in the Color Maze. Readjust your senses and experiment with light, shadow, fluorescence and a music interactive in the black-lit Cosmic Games room. Conquer puzzling challenges and discover new ways of problem solving around every corner.

Plus, some of the Museum’s own animal ambassadors will be getting a mind-and-body workout from “Mazes.” Exclusive to the Museum showing, the exhibition features a specially-designed rat maze, where visitors can learn about the history of rats in spatial learning and memory research. Visitors may also catch a (near) daily presentation all about rats, and watch a live demonstration of a rat conquering the maze.

This family-friendly exhibition encourages visitors to explore new ways of problem-solving, challenge the relationship between mind and eye, nurture creativity, and catalyze cross-generational interaction. Additionally, health experts have demonstrated that playing brain games can positively influence the cognitive capacity of the developing brains of young people as well as those of mature adults.

“Mazes” runs through Sept. 3, 2018. Tickets are free for Museum Members or $5 per person for the general public (ages 3 and up), and are available on-site at the Museum Box Office (919-707-9950) or online at Exhibition hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Saturday and noon–5 p.m. Sunday (last entry at 4 p.m.).

“Mazes & Brain Games” was developed by Minotaur Mazes, a Seattle-based, worldwide traveling exhibitions company specializing in complete, interactive exhibition experiences within a maze setting. “Mazes & Brain Games” is locally sponsored by Dell and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh (11 and 121 W. Jones St.) is an active research institution that engages visitors of every age and stage of learning in the wonders of science and the natural world. Hours: Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday, noon–5 p.m. General admission is free. Emlyn Koster, PhD, Director. For more information, visit

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