Discovery Place celebrates 75 years, announces plans for its 4 museums

The Discovery Place Kids  is an interactive and educational museum in Huntersville.

Nov. 9. To celebrate 75 years of discovery, Discovery Place announced plans for investing in each of its four museum locations with new physical experiences and programming.

Discovery Place will celebrate its anniversary into the fall of 2023. Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles named Wednesday, Nov. 9, as  Discovery Place Day in honor of the day Discovery Place Nature formally opened its doors in 1947.

The plans for the four museums

Discovery Place Kids – Huntersville

In 2010 Discovery Place expanded its footprint in the Charlotte region with the opening of Discovery Place Kids in Huntersville, featuring interactive exhibitions and state-of-the-art labs to engage children, adults and families in real-world science, nature and design problem-solving.

This fall, the Huntersville museum will undergo an extensive garden renovation funded through a  gift from Colonial Pipeline. Along with a hands-on garden for visitors to explore, the grant will serve as an investment in the community by allowing Discovery Place educators to facilitate high-quality STEM programming in local schools throughout the school year.

Discovery Place Nature

Established in 1947 in the former Sunshine School building, Discovery Place Nature was the first Discovery Place Museum in Charlotte. Its current facility, adjacent to Freedom Park, opened in 1951 and has become a beloved Charlotte landmark known for inviting the community to connect with and explore the wonders of our natural world. On Earth Day 2022, Discovery Place Nature unveiled design plans for a reimagined nature experience that will be a world-class museum serving the Carolinas—featuring a free public plaza filled with wildlife and native plants.

Discovery Place Science

Forty-one years ago, Discovery Place Science opened its doors on North Tryon Street and became one of the driving forces for economic development in Charlotte’s uptown area. Today the museum welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors every year as the flagship Discovery Place Science Museum. The museum has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years, and in 2022 reopened the fully digital and upgraded Accenture IMAX Dome Theatre and Planetarium. The theater transformation gives Discovery Place Science an opportunity to reintroduce and build upon its adult science offerings with programming from a new Digistar 7 planetarium system as well as Hollywood blockbuster films.

This month, Discovery Place Science will open Beansprouts café to provide guests with healthy dining options and in 2023 will unveil expanded exhibit experiences on the museum’s main floor, which will support larger international exhibitions in the future.

Early next year Discovery Place Science will announce its first post-pandemic international blockbuster exhibition for Charlotte.

Discovery Place Kids – Rockingham

The second children’s museum opened in Rockingham in 2013, expanding the Discovery Place footprint beyond Charlotte. Celebrating 10 years in February, this museum will begin construction on a new centerpiece experience and shift some of its current exhibits to offer guests a new experience.


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