So it’s mid-July and visits to the pool have gotten a little old, right? (Or if you’re like me, the thought of getting three little tots into bathing suits, swim diapers and lathered in sunblock is more than you feel like doing some days!) Then I’ve got a great solution for a way to beat the heat with your kiddos: DISCOVERY PLACE! I’ve taken my 2-year-old son twice in a two-week span – once to Discovery Place Science in uptown Charlotte and then again to Discovery Place Kids in Huntersville – and we’ve had a blast each time.
I grew up in Charlotte but somehow had never been to Discovery Place until last month when we had friends in town who were staying uptown. Discovery Place Science was the perfect compromise when we were looking for an activity to please kids in a wide range of ages. My friend’s son is 10, and I had both my 10-year-old niece visiting and my 2-year-old in tow. Discovery Place Science had plenty to keep everybody entertained, including two moms who got a kick out of watching it all unfold.The older kids were patient enough to hang with my son Wade while he played in the kids’ area and that was saying something because Wade might have spent all day at the water table, if we’d let him! He loved shooting the little water guns and wearing a “water shirt” as he said, of the smocks, which are a nice touch for moms looking to keep the experience low-maintenance. We enjoyed an impromptu Story Time – we had no idea we were going to luck into that – and then Wade got to go explore the rest of the museum hand-in-hand with two 10-year-olds. He loved it! He got to watch the two older kids pet a live turtle. Wade turned down his own chance to do it but hasn’t stopped talking about it since. Coming in a close second in all our conversations about Discovery Place are the jellyfish and octopus Wade saw swimming in tanks. They are just like the ones in one of his favorite books “Pout-Pout Fish.” Watching so many new experiences come to life for him, all in one place, was so cool for Mama.
Then, this past week, my mom and I took Wade to Discovery Place Kids in Huntersville. We’d had such a good time uptown and wanted to see what he thought of a museum geared even more toward kids his age. I’d wanted to take him to the “Touch a Truck” exhibit Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville hosted in April but we couldn’t fit it into our schedule. As it was, even without a special exhibit, Discovery Place Kids had enough steering wheels for Wade to get his hands on to keep him grinning from ear-to-ear for almost two hours. He got to “drive” an ambulance, a race car, a boat….and his favorite, a big orange tractor. Discovery Place Kids gave us great one-stop shopping: where else was Wade going to experience what it’s like to milk a cow (without the smell), cook in an oven (without getting burned) and shop in a kid-sized grocery store (without having to beg mom to get out of the grocery cart?)I’m not going to lie though, if your visit to the museum coincides with that of a large group from a camp or church, it can get a little wild, especially if you have an introverted little tot. But lucky for us, right about the time Wade needed some space we spotted an elevator, and that was entertainment in and of itself. We rode that elevator, just like the one in his “Corduroy Lost and Found” book, two or three times and then we were right back on track. Hey, whatever it takes, right?
Bottom line, for short attention spans, two hours of activity at Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville was worth the price of admission. It was $10 for both adults and kids and parking is free. Discovery Place Science Uptown is a little bit more of an investment – $17 for adults and $13 for kids plus $12 for parking – but there is more variety there, plus the IMAX theatre, which makes it all the more appealing for all ages.
Also, you can use the price of a single admission toward a yearly membership, which at the rate we’re going, might just be a good idea! Next up – Discovery Place Nature!
Link to Discovery Place membership information: https://www.discoveryplace.org/membership?_ga=2.43428005.1828783986.1531440126-1060380692.1531440126
Soccer shots: I want to thank the awesome folks at Charlotte’s Soccer Shots, who apparently read my last blog about taking my son Wade to his first soccer practice. Little did I know when I wrote that he was disappointed his first soccer jersey was gray and not orange, they would see it and send him an orange jersey in the mail. It was such a fun gesture by an organization I’m learning will bend over backwards to make sure our little kiddos have a great experience with soccer. Three practices in, Wade has learned so much and is having tons of fun. Many, many thanks to Charlotte Soccer Shots!
Link to Charlotte Soccer Shots website: