Discovery Place#3 in Best Things To Do in Charlotte
Discovery Place is Charlotte's science museum. Past visitors say this kid-friendly playtopia is a great place to spend a day with the family. Here you'll find interactive, hands-on exhibits that cover a variety of scientific concepts like physics and earth science. You can design and conduct lab experiments, build mock structures and study different ecosystems with the museum's rainforest exhibit and aquarium. Discovery Place also boasts the largest IMAX screen in the Carolinas, featuring an ever-changing program of educational films.
Careful not to forget the needs of its youngest visitors, the museum also offers exhibits for wee ones, like the KidScience section. This early childhood area features soft building blocks, a water table and a sound wall, plus a section designed just for toddlers. It's this exhibit variety that has recent travelers offering so much praise for the museum and learning center.
Even if you're not traveling with kids, you want to add Discovery Place to your itinerary if the museum's monthly Science on the Rocks event coincides with your trip. Every third Friday of the month, the museum features themed activities for adults 21 and over to experience the museum after hours (complete with a bar). Past themes have included "Harry Potter," "Star Wars" and "CSI."
You'll find Discovery Place in the heart of Uptown on North Tryon Street. You can reach the museum by car, foot or light rail (the museum is two blocks west of the LYNX 7th Street Station). Discovery Place is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Travelers recommend visiting in the morning to avoid the afternoon crowds. Tickets for adults costs $19; admission for children is $15. Check the museum's website for more information about upcoming exhibits and weekly events.
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#1 U.S. National Whitewater Center
Take your pick between more than 30 different land and water activities at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, a 1,300-acre facility northwest of downtown Charlotte along the Catawba River. At the world's largest man-made whitewater river, you'll have your choice of a variety of activities, including kayaking (both flatwater and whitewater), stand-up paddle boarding, and, of course, whitewater rafting. If you'd prefer to stay dry, the center can accommmodate you there, too: land activities include mountain biking, rock climbing and zip-lining, with plenty of running trails and obstacle courses for those with a competitive edge.
Past travelers said the center is a great place to take your family for the day – though visitors admit tickets can get pricey.
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