Discovery Place is a science museum located in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. It is located only a few blocks from the 7th Street Lynx light rail station and the ImaginON library/museum downtown. This museum is one of the top educational (but fun) things to do in the family-friendly Charlotte area. We were able to visit Discovery Place and found unique hands-on science experiences along with some science exhibits commonly found in many museums throughout the U.S. This is the main Discovery Place museum. There are also two smaller Discovery Place Kids museums outside of the downtown area. Here are our favorite sections of the Discovery Place museum.
Amazon Rain Forest
The Discovery Place Museum Rainforest
The indoor Rainforest exhibit was a unique surprise. Located near one of the museum entrances, it was the first attraction we visited. Typically science museums have a large entry area and are very loud, attracting kids with all the science eye-candy. The Rain forest was tranquil and inviting.
The rain forest is something that might be expected at a zoo, but was a great space to visit in Discovery Place. The Amazon Rain Forest has two levels with a large waterfall, tropic birds and plants.
Discovery Place has a very nice indoor aquarium
We were impressed that the Discovery Place science museum had a little of everything including an indoor aquarium. The aquarium is located in the Worlds Alive section of the museum. The indoor aquarium was not as large as a full-size aquarium that may cost over $20 individually for admission, but it was plenty large enough to view and learn about marine life up-close.
The best time to visit the aquarium is during feeding time, where the aquatic life is very active. The indoor aquarium has sea horse, fish, sharks, jelly fish and other types of unique creatures. This is also a touch tank just outside of the aquarium area.
Main Science Area
The main science area in Discovery Place
The main science area in the Discovery Place Museum is large and typically attracts a majority of the guests. This area has a large variety of hands-on science stations, where kids can learn about a particular area of science through interactive observation and play. We particularly liked the bed of nails, the gears area and the live science show. Right next to this section is an engineering area which is also excellent. Guests at each station in the engineering area (Explore More Stuff Lab) must design a solution to a problem using science and engineering principles.
Discovery Place 3D Theatre
The Discovery Place Museum has two science theatres. Similar to many other large science museums across the country, Discovery Place has an IMAX theatre which features current and popular IMAX film releases. To visit the IMAX theatre visitors must purchase an additional ticket. The second theatre at the museum is the Discovery 3D Theatre. Short science-related science movies are featured here in their 3D glory. We really appreciated the 3D Discovery Theatre because it was free and provided a nice 20 minute break while we were entertained and continued to learn about science.
KidScience - for Kids 7 and Under
KidScience at Discovery Place
Discovery Place also has a special area for younger visitors. It is called KidScience. This hands-on science area gives 7 and under their own place to explore science. Kids can build, play with air and water, sound and more in KidScience. There is also a soft-play area for kids under 36 months within KidScience.