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Charlotte, North Carolina
May 31, 2006
Discovery Place has earned its reputation as NC’s premier hands-on science museum. No matter if you are a kid or simply a kid at heart, you will find things here to stir your imagination.
On the first level kids will enjoy Kids Place, which shows kids how science is used in everyday life. There is also the Once In the Wild exhibit which features animals from North America-stuffed. So I just pass this on by. You can step in front of the weather board and see how it feels to be a TV meteorologist. There is also an aquarium on this level, but nothing to get too excited about since there are only about two-dozen small tanks displaying fish from local streams to the waters of the Amazon. My favorites are the moray eels and the stingrays. The museum even has a new stingray called Ray! There is also a touch tank.
Level two has the rainforest which houses an incredible collection of plants and birds from the rainforest. It often closes earlier then the rest of the museum though, normally closing at 5. This is also the section kids love since there are dozens of hands on displays here. You can step inside a large eyeball to see how it works, climb the ropes in the sports center, or check out how the human heart works. Kids can spend hours here.
Level 3 houses a dinosaur display and The IMAX theater. The normal IMAX movies are shown here, but not the mass market movies that have been show in IMAX theaters like Batman and Harry Potter . Darn it! Surround Snape, Lucius Malfory, or Christen Bale in his batsuit would be quite enjoyable. There is also the Sun Terrace for group lunches.
There is Discovery Café in case you get the munchies while here. They also offer a gift shop and a simulator ride. They do have ATMs on the premises. Credit cards are accepted in the gift shop and café. The museum is handicapped accessible. Discovery Place also owns the Charlotte Nature Museum and you can get a combo ticket for both museums and the simulator ride. Photography is permitted within the museum. The rules vary for changing exhibits.
You can plan on spending no more than 2 hours here. It is an interesting museum though once you see it, it pretty much remains the same except the touring exhibits. Up next is Action! Adventures in Movie Making coming this fall. This exhibit tells all about the movie making experience and displays original scripts, props, and wardrobe from dozens of movies.
General prices and admission: M-F 9-5, Sat. 10-6, Sun 12:30-5. Admission: $8.50 (a) $7.50 (c&s), under 2 free. IMAX and touring admission and hours vary. See www.discoveryplace.org for more information. Located downtown at N. Tyron and 6th. There is a parking deck on 6th. Parking $5.
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