When traveling with kids and you have a limited time to explore a lot of a new place, the safe place that we always head to is either a kids museum, science museum or a center to stimulate and keep the kids active.
Usually the places have similar things to do and you know what you’re going to get.
When planning our trip to Charlotte, even though I was on a very limited time period I was open to doing other things. But interestingly enough, everyone I talked to said I MUST visit the Discovery Place.
As usual, I always like to get advice from professionals as well, and once I contacted Charlotte’s Tourism Board, and Kristen, hopped on the same band wagon. If I only have a chance to do ONE THING this is it.
So, off to the Discovery Place for some fun.
Charlotte, I’ve discovered, is a car city. It’s easy to get around and plenty of parking spots and lots, but you do need a car.
We rented with Enterprise in Pineville, which was great to work with.
Why Discovery Place Charlotte is Much More Than a Kid’s Museum or Science Center
Yes, the activity center is a bit of both, however, what we loved most was the amount of interactive shows and different presentations they have going on all day.
And they are all included in the price of admission.
They have tons of 3-D short educational movies.
Science, hands-on, interactive shows.
The exhibits are all stimulating and good for all ages.
The ones that are really funky usually have a short line, making it more compelling to do.
What I thought was going to be a quick one hour visit turned out to be over three hours. We had reservations in a restaurant and had to move them for later thanks to Discovery Place.
We also splurged a bit and did the IMAX experience. My recommendation, do a movie that is good for your kids ages. My 12 year old loved it, my 5 year old preferred the exhibits.
Fun Facts and History for Kids Discovery Place Charlotte
- In 1951, Charlotte Nature Museum opened as one of the first facilities in the southeast focused on bringing families and nature together.
- Because of its success the community approved funding and plans for a comprehensive hands-on science and technology center and, in 1981, Discovery Place opened its doors.
- In 1986, exhibition space was added to accommodate traveling exhibitions
- In 1991 the Charlotte Observer IMAX® Dome Theatre opened as the first giant-screen motion picture theatre in the Carolinas.
- The Carol Grotnes Belk Education and Parking Complex was completed in 1996. Which is attached to the center and easy for parking.
- In June 2010, the Museum finished an 18-month, $31.6 million renovation, resulting in a completely transformed and re-imagined Museum with all-new interactive exhibits.
- Discovery Place KIDS museum opened in 2010 in Huntersville, N.C.
- A second Discovery Place KIDS opened in 2013 in Rockingham, N.C.
- Discovery Place Education Studio at the Bank of America STEM Center for Career Development opened in the spring of 2014. It is a resource that provides pre K – 12 educators with the skills necessary to become inspiring teachers of science, technology, engineering and math.
Discovery Center Exhibits
- Explore More Life lab – A hands-on lab that enables understanding and appreciation of biodiversity
- Science Buzz – A multimedia exploration of science in the news.
- Discovery 3D Theatre – A digital movie experience featuring film shorts of 15 – 20 minutes in length.
- Think It Up – It is full of activities that facilitate engagement in the processes of innovation.
- Project Build – Visitors unleash their inner architects to illustrate and conceptualize, creating building sketches, developing floor plans, and designing functional and useful buildings through different computer-generated programs.
- Cool Stuff – Offers families the opportunity to discover the beauty and strangeness of physics.
- Explore More Stuff Lab – Learn what is “stuff” and how does it change? This is a lab-like environment where matter and energy are explored and tested.
- KidScience – Discovery Place’s early childhood exhibition where young children, ages 0-7, and their caregivers learn about science and math as they experiment, create and play together.
- Explore More Collections Lab – An environment where visitors engage in the process of finding, identifying and connecting objects with the natural world.
What Makes Imax Dome Unique
- Reclined seats at about 30°
- The projection booth is located under the seats and directed to the round ceiling, taking up to 80% of the dome.
- The images take 100% of a human’s field of view.
- The speakers are also located everywhere.
- Those last 2 factors make you feel like you are in whatever place you are experiencing in the theater.
- There are only about 60 of these domes world wide.
Information for Visiting Discovery Place
Address: 301 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202
- Adults $15.00
- Children / Seniors $12.00
IMAX Discovery Film
- Adults $10.00
- Children / Seniors $9.00
Museum + IMAX Discovery Film
- Adults $20
- Children / Seniors $17
Sunday: noon – 5:00 p.m.
Mon – Fri 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.