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Discovery Place picture in Charlotte
oscarwilliams.com / Discovery Place

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  • Museums Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.1
Overall
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  • Value
    4.0
  • Facilities
    5.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

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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. "Discovery Place is one of those places you and [your] kids will absorb piece by piece, with each visit resulting in more 'ah-has,'" said one TripAdvisor reviewer.

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 5 p.m.; from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays; and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Travelers recommend visiting in the morning to avoid the afternoon crowds. Tickets for adults costs $15; admission for children is $12. 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 24 different land and water activities at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, a 500 acre facility northwest of downtown Charlotte. At the world's largest ... Read more » Jeremy Thompson / Flickr

#2 Mint Museum Uptown One of the many museums representing Charlotte's exploding art scene, the Mint Museum Uptown is home to a wide variety of American and European art. This is the second ... Read more » Courtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

#3 Discovery Place 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 ... Read more » oscarwilliams.com / Discovery Place

#4 7th Street Public Market For a taste of Charlotte's home-grown produce, head to 7th Street Public Market, located about half a mile west of the city center. At this indoor marketplace, you'll ... Read more » Patrick Schneider / Courtesy 7th Street Public Market

#5 Levine Museum of the New South The term "New South" relates to the people, places and a period of time — from 1865 to today. The Levine Museum of the New South is one of the most ... Read more » Courtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

#6 Charlotte Motor Speedway If you're hungry for a taste of NASCAR culture at its finest, take the 16-mile drive northeast of downtown Charlotte to Concord, where you can catch a race at ... Read more » Courtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

#7 Freedom Park Boasting nearly 100 acres, Freedom Park is a refreshing (free) escape from the Uptown hustle and bustle. Situated on the east edge of the Myers Park neighborhood (about 3 miles ... Read more » Ann Rivall / USN&WR

#8 Carolina Raptor Center Situated about 14 miles northwest of Charlotte in Huntersville, the Carolina Raptor Center operates largely as a rehabilitation center for injured, sick and orphaned raptors. The facility also serves as ... Read more » Gary C. Tognoni / Shutterstock

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#10 Carowinds Carowinds is one of North Carolina's favorite local amusement parks. You'll have your pick of family and thrill rides, including the Intimidator, a roller coaster inspired by Dale ... Read more » daveynin / Flickr

U.S. National Whitewater Center picture in Charlotte
Mint Museum Uptown picture in Charlotte
Discovery Place picture in Charlotte
7th Street Public Market picture in Charlotte
Levine Museum of the New South picture in Charlotte
Charlotte Motor Speedway picture in Charlotte
Freedom Park picture in Charlotte
Peregrine Falcon picture in Charlotte
NASCAR Hall of Fame picture in Charlotte
Intimidator picture in Charlotte
U.S. National Whitewater Center picture in Charlotte
Mint Museum Uptown picture in Charlotte
Discovery Place picture in Charlotte
7th Street Public Market picture in Charlotte
Levine Museum of the New South picture in Charlotte
Charlotte Motor Speedway picture in Charlotte
Freedom Park picture in Charlotte
Peregrine Falcon picture in Charlotte
NASCAR Hall of Fame picture in Charlotte
Intimidator picture in Charlotte

Whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing ... the U.S. National Whitewater Center has no shortage of heart-pumping activities. Jeremy Thompson / Flickr

Among the pieces you'll find in the Mint Museum Uptown is this Dale Chihuly chandelier, located in the lobby of the museum. It weighs a whopping 2,200 pounds. Courtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

Discovery Place's "Cool Stuff" exhibition breaks down some of the fundamental concepts of physics using everyday objects. In one part of the exhibit, visitors can fulfill the Herculean task of crushing a garbage can while simultaneously learning about mechanical advantage and energy transfer. oscarwilliams.com / Discovery Place

On weekend mornings, 7th Street Public Market buzzes with families enjoying the local vendors that set up shop here. Patrick Schneider / Courtesy 7th Street Public Market

The Levine Museum of the New South focuses on post-Civil War history, from 1865 to the present. Courtesy Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

Race cars zip around the oval track at the Charlotte Motor Speedway during the annual Coca-Cola 600 event.
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Freedom Park is an idyllic spot for an afternoon stroll almost any time of the year. Catch some photo-worthy colors every autumn. Ann Rivall / USN&WR

About 25 different species of raptors call the Carolina Raptor Center home.
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See authentic artifacts and educational films depicting the story of NASCAR's six-decade history in the Heritage Speedway section of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
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This Carowinds roller coaster, the Intimidator, is named after NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. daveynin / Flickr

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