July 9, 2019

From Open to Close: Spending a Full Day at Discovery Place Science

Here’s everything you need to know when you visit the Museum

If two hours or a half day at Discovery Place Science just doesn’t seem like enough time to check out everything the Museum has to offer, maybe a full day exploring the world around us is your best bet! Check out this guide to help you see everything a little bit of everything Discovery Place Science has to offer.

Enter through the 6th St Admissions, and take the Spiral Stairs by the desk up to Level 3 of the Museum.
60 Minutes: For your first hour at Discovery Place Science, discover what it takes to turn an idea into reality in our Thinker Space. This workshop and makerspace allows you to get messy, take risks and discover new skills like woodworking, sewing and soldering. Ever wanted to try a laser cutter or 3D printer? This is definitely the place to do it.

30 Minutes: Rely on your hands to experiment and solve problems in Think It Up, our exhibition experience where we will definitely not tell you how it works (figuring it out is half the fun!). Create something new, experiment with light, sound and more and discover fun that goes as far as your imagination in this sensory experience.

Head back down to Level 1 to continue your day of scientific discovery.

45 Minutes: Travel back in time to an ancient world, fly through space and experience the largest IMAX screen in the Carolinas. With a three-story tall dome-shaped screen, 12,000 watts of surround-sound and a projection lamp that can be seen from space, The Charlotte Observer IMAX® Dome Theatre delivers the world’s most immersive movie experience. With multiple films running throughout the year, there’s surely something to pique the interest of you and your group.

40 Minutes: Explore Earth’s biodiversity in our permanent exhibition, World Alive. Explore the wonders of the natural world as you investigate the diverse habitats filled with unique plant and animal species from around the world. Dive into an underwater ecosystem through our Aquarium, discover Charlotte’s only urban rainforest, and stop by the John Mackay Field Station to learn how to make observations in the field.

40 Minutes: Hungry? All the exploration and fun you’ve had so far today can really work up an appetite. Grab a snack or sit down for lunch with the whole family at uptown’s freshest lunch spot. Curio City Kitchen offers quick and casual family-friendly dining, with an array of á la carte options for all ages. Curio City Kitchen is managed by Something Classic, the Charlotte-based cafe and full-service catering company. Museum Members also receive a 10% discount on all purchases in the café.

30 Minutes: Stop by the Explore More Life lab, located right next to the Aquarium. In this lab, roll up your sleeves and explore biodiversity with our aquatic touch tank and meet some interesting species like the Madagascar hissing cockroach and the Thorny Devil Insect. Be sure to play in the aquarium-terrarium system, and learn how an ecosystem works.

Go up the World Alive Stairs to explore Level 2 for the rest of the day.

35 Minutes: 
Build curiosity in Project Build, another of our permanent exhibition. Use multimedia technology to design a mock building or rearrange the layout of a room. Create blueprint sketches, experiment with floorplans, discover different architectural styles and build structures and forts with Build It! Blocks and PVC pipe and posts.

30 Minutes: With multiple Live Shows at The Stage year-round, there are plenty of opportunities to experience an explosion, connect with cool critters or explore an ecosystem. During a Discovery Place Science show, you never know what will happen. Shows change daily, so check the Daily Schedule to see what is happening when you stop by.

30 Minutes: After building away to your heart’s content, check out our Cool Stuff exhibition. Explore the physical phenomena in the world around us with the super cool science principles that govern the workings of our everyday. Lie across a bed of nails, play with the physics of lifting, launch objects through the force of chemical reactions and more.

30 Minutes: Being Me, an exhibition that takes you and your kids on a biological journey through the human body from real anatomical specimens to virtual reality, is a must-see for families of all ages. This exhibition includes a human-sized hamster wheel, a virtual reality tour of the human body and the internal systems that make it tick, a deconstructed look at the ingredients that make up your body and more! You won’t get bored, and could definitely spend way longer than 40 minutes here if you wanted to.

30 Minutes: Enjoyed your first Live Show? Experience the magic and wonder of another of the shows available on the Daily Schedule. With different explosions, critters and experiments to check out and see from our Performers, you won’t want to miss it.

30 Minutes: Experiment with physics and chemistry in Explore More Stuff, our lab that allows everyone to be a scientist and immerse in the world of physical sciences. Lab activities are constantly evolving but always include dynamic activities that provide opportunities to explore big ideas through inquiry. Check out the 3D printer, make a chemical reaction, and explore technology with our Lab Educators.

Around this time, the Museum will likely be closing. At least in the Fall and Winter, anyway. Before you leave, be sure to make a stop in Shop Science to pick up a memento of your day or a fun activity to continue the learning at home. Spending your full day at the Museum over the summer? Discovery Place Science is open for an extra hour from Memorial Day through Labor Day, so consider stopping into our IMAX® Dome Theatre for a viewing of another of our featured showings to spend your extra time here.

With more to explore and discover, and additional labs to view, one day just isn’t enough to see it all. Consider a Membership to Discovery Place Science and the other Museums in the Discovery Place family to continue exploring the world around us.