By Rachel Hoeing
If you grew up in NC, chances are that you have heard of Discovery Place in uptown Charlotte, but did you know that there are now four Discovery Place options? There is a branch that is a little closer to the Triad Area called Discovery Place Kids. This is a museum in Huntersville, NC that is perfect for our littlest explorers!
Although my children are 13 and 15, and we haven’t visited a children’s museum in quite sometime, we decided to meet up with my sister at Discovery Place Kids. She lives in Charlotte, so it was a great meeting spot for us to connect while my family could enjoy the day with her children (one baby and one almost-two-year old). My kids had an amazing afternoon with their cousins, and did comment that they were sad this museum wasn’t around when they were younger! Although I dare to say there were a few activities that they dove right in, and had just as much fun as the little ones!
We started our day by meeting for breakfast at Cafe 100. This place is A-MA-ZING! They are open until 2:30pm every day for breakfast/lunch and also open for dinner Wed – Sat. They have a variety of options for adults including breakfast burritos, french toast, waffles, quiche, omelettes, etc. And the kids’ menu is perfect for even the pickiest of eaters!
We then headed over to the museum, which is located at 105 Gilead Road Huntersville, NC 28078. There is a free parking deck directly behind the building. Note that the museum is closed on Mondays, so be sure to plan accordingly. Adults and children are each $10. My sister ended up opting for the membership since she knew after a few visits with her little ones it would pay for itself! (If you have an EBT or WIC card, you can visit for only $1 per person. Just show your benefits card at admissions to receive the discount for up to six family members. May not be used for school or group visits.)
As soon as you enter the museum, you will be immersed in an adorable “town” with so many things to explore. The children will be in awe at the climbing structure that sits right in the middle of the building. My nephew, Kamden, couldn’t get through it fast enough, and then was of course immediately ready to do it again!
Across from the climbing structure is an enclosed “I Can Grow” area where toddlers and babies can explore water activities, a magical playhouse, riding toys and bridges, and a soft area for the non-walkers to enjoy. The water table was so cool! Your child can sit right in the middle of the action. The museum provides bibs so that kids can splash and play without getting soaked.
What child does not love a real firetruck? This next section of the museum was one of Kamden’s favorites, as he not only got to climb upon the firetruck, but he was able to don his fireman gear! The toughest part was getting him to leave the area to move to a new section!
After that, we explored the rest of the first floor of the museum, which included plenty of hands-on learning, creating, and building. We loved the “under water” area and the fitness areas best. There is an adorable pretend restaurant section where kids could spend hours! There is also a “town center” where children can get a front row seat for live entertainment. This includes puppet shows, dance parties and science experiments. Check the website for the latest lineup of live shows.
Our gang then ventured upstairs to a whole other world of fun. Kamden loved playing with the Legos, and dropping balls onto a track that we built. Even my son (age 15) was immersed in his task of figuring out how many loops and hills he could add to the ball’s path and still make it work. Pretty cool science experiment for all of them!
The museum is conducive to those with special needs as well as those who require wheelchair access. There is a small section (shown below) where you could choose to have a snack or lunch. There were also changing tables in the restrooms. We were very impressed with the cleanliness of the entire facility.
It was a perfect day of family time mixed with learning and adventure. It was so fun for my teens to enjoy being a kid again and helping their cousin discover new things. Visit the website here for more details and information. To see Triad Moms on Main’s list of other day trip ideas, click here!
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