Discovery Place Nature (Charlotte Nature Museum)
Connect with nature at Discovery Place Nature in Charlotte. Located next to Freedom Park, this interactive and educational museum features nature trails, live animals, a butterfly pavilion, hands-on exhibits and activities, and a range of shows and programs, offering a fun and educational day out for the whole family.
Discovery Place Nature spans 13,000 square feet (1,208 square meters), and is divided into several indoor and outdoor areas. Walk among free flying butterflies in the Butterfly Pavilion, or go on a nature hike through a 100-year-old forest grove on the Paw Paw Nature Trail. Observe live animals in Creature Cavern, Insect Alley, and Our Big Backyard. Or build forts or just run free in Fort Wild. Live programming changes daily and includes puppet shows, story time, and animal feedings. The museum also offers special programs for schools and a summer camp.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Discovery Place Nature is most suitable for kids aged 3 to 7.
- Parents may want to bring a change of clothing for their kids, as they may get dirty from playing outdoors.
- There’s a gift shop on-site offering books, games, and toys.
- Discovery Place Science is accessible to visitors with disabilities, and provides services to guests with visual, hearing, or mobility impairments.
How to Get There
Discovery Place Nature is located about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) south of Uptown Charlotte. There’s free parking on-site or at Freedom Park. The museum is also close to the Little Sugar Greenway, which leads all the way to Uptown. Local bus no. 6 also stops nearby.
When to Get There
Discovery Place Nature is open Tuesdays through Sundays, with extended hours on Tuesdays, and limited hours on Sundays. Holiday closures include Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Planetarium shows are held on Tuesday evenings. Visit in the morning and early afternoon to see the butterflies at their most active.
Animals at Discovery Place Nature
The museum is home to a wide variety of animals, including many species of butterflies, insects such as beetles and cockroaches, box turtles, king snakes, corn snakes, bearded dragons, a juvenile alligator, opossum, rabbits, mice, flying squirrels, hedgehogs, and groundhogs.
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