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Cloud Chamber at North Carolina Museum of Art's Outdoor Park (Ann & Jim Goodnight Park) - Raleigh, NC

We found the Triangle’s hobbit home! 🧙‍♂️

Well, at least we wish it housed hobbits. 😂 This is actually an art installation that we’ve long known about but just finally searched out:

The Cloud Chamber at the North Carolina Museum of Art’s outdoor park.

As the second picture explains, a tiny pinhole opening in the roof works as a “camera obscura” and projects an inverted image of the trees and sky above the small hut. It takes a few minutes of being completely enclosed in the dark to really see it, but it was honestly neat.

One thing we very much loved about searching this out was it took us to the shaded part of the park. Admittedly, NCMA’s outdoor park can be tough in the summer with lots of shadeless field. This is a great option for summer.

We found the easiest way to get to the Cloud Chamber was to park by the outdoor park’s Welcome Center. From there, take the paved path by the smokestack and the Volis Simpson whirligig. Keep going past a cute apiary and you’ll get to shade. Once you get a bit of a ways more, you’re going to make a left and go down a hill. It gets a little tricky here because you then have to go off the paved path onto a trail, which is NOT marked. You can see the path start, but there is no signage. I would recommend checking out our stories for this, because we missed it initially. If while on the paved path, you make it to a creek and start heading out of the tree shade, you’ve gone too far. I was a bit shocked at the lack of signage because the park does a REALLY good job of signage elsewhere. (Cloud Chamber is #27 on the park’s map.)

Some other logistics

• The paved path is stroller friendly, the trail is NOT. We learned this the hard way and abandoned our stroller at one point. 😂

• It’s about a 3-10 minute walk to the Cloud Chamber from the paved path.

• There are bathrooms at the Welcome Center.

• Claustrophobia warning - it is a small, enclosed space.

• It also smells a little dank. And slightly like marijuana. We were in for just a few minutes, so not a huge deal for us and still worth it, but want to give honest reporting here. 😂

Have you been to the Cloud Chamber? Let us know what you thought in the comments!

(Note: We're currently working on updating our website with our reviews. This review was originally posted on Instagram on May 25, 2023 and Facebook on June 14, 2023.)

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