Crazy, cool science experiments at Discovery Place, Charlotte fun things to do with kids

On a bed of nails she makes me wait…

Some wacky, educational, yet always cool stuff at Discovery Place downtown Charlotte. I love this place! Admission is $12 adults, $10 seniors and $9 children 2-13.

Amazing frogs! Discovery Place Charlotte where natural science is always fun

The Fantastic Frogs exhibit at Discovery Place science museum in Charlotte features exotic live frogs from all over the world with striking survival capabilities. Here you can immerse in the wild, colorful world of amphibians and see how frogs use disgusing techinques to attract mates, deceive predators and survive.

Fantastic frogs hands on video presentation Discovery Place

Playing the frog lifecycle game


There are several interactive stations kids can play at, scientific videos and of course plenty of frogs. Free with museum admission ($12 adults, $10 seniors, $9 children (2-12))

The Marine Cane, Bufo Marinus, can survive almost anywhere in the southern hemisphere.

The Cane Toad

The toad that conquered most of Australia


Also known as the Cane Toad, it was brought from Hawaii to Australia in a failed attempt to control sugar cane beetle population.

With no natural enemies the toad has flourished and destroyed much of the habitat it was meant to protect.

It is now considered one of the world’s worst invasive species.

The Pacman Frog, Ceratrophys Ornata, can puff up to considerable size and has a large mouth (half as big as the body) with sharp teeth lining the bottowm jaw which deliver a powerful killler bite.

Frog with one of the largest mouths

Dont mess with the Pacman Frog!

The Mighty Poison Dart Frogs
• The Dying Poison Dart Frog, Dendrobates Tinctorious, according to legend was used by Amerindians from Guyana and Amazon to change the green color of a young parrot’s feathers by plucking the desired area bald and then rubbing with the living frog. When new feathers grew in they will be magically dyed bright yellow and red.

• The Blue Poison Dart Frog, Dendrobates Azureus,

Dendrobates azureus most territorial of dart frogs specie

The most fierce dart frogs females will defend territory and mating rights to their death

is considered one of the most territorial frogs, with females fiercely defending against other trespassing females.

During the breeding season, a victorious females wins the mating rights with the male of choice.

Two weeks after laying her eggs she must transfer them to separate pools as the growing tadpoles are cannibalistic.

• The Black-Legged Poison Dart Frog, Phyllobates Bicolor, is one of the three frog species whose toxin was used to poison the spears of Columbian Choco Indians hunters.

• The Green and Black Poison Dart Frog, Dendrobates Auratus, possesses a natural compound called epibatidine that has powerful pain-killing properties. It is 200 times stronger than morphine and is non-addictive.

Full of epibatidine to produce efective pain medicine

It packs a pain killing toxin that is 200 times stornger than morphine

• The Golden Poison Dart Frog, Phyllobates Terribilis, is the world’s most poisonous frog, 4 times as toxic as the Blue Poison Dart Frog and 40 times more toxic than the Black-Legged Poison Dart Frog.

More incredible frog trivia:
• The Hairy Toad, Trichobatrachus Robustus, has bony protrusions that shoot out from the toe pads like claws to scare away predators; it’s not yet clear if they can also retract.

• Frog freeze! The Wood Frog turns its flesh from flexible to frozen during winter. The “popsicle” frog remains in a frigid state until the temperature rises, when it thaws back to life.

• The gliding-ator, Polypedates Dennysi, takes a leap of faith through the rainforest canopy to escape predators and to find mates.

• The tomato frog produces a sticky slime that is 25 times stronger than cement.

Visit Discovery Place to enjoy and learn about world’s most interesting creatures.

Think it up at Discovery Place! The best kids things to do in Charlotte

Everyone is an artist at Think It Up, the arts and crafts exhibit at Discovery Place museum downtown Charlotte. I wrote about Cool Stuff science and World Alive nature exhibits.
Think Up arts and crafts room Children Museum

Admission to Discovery Place is $12 adults, $10 seniors and $9 children 2-13 (plus $7 to park in the garage unless you’re lucky to find a spot on the street).

The museum is open daily, 9-4 Monday to Friday, 10-6 Saturday and 1-5 Sunday.

This post is about being smart and creative. You start with foil sculpting…

Then you move on to make your own fancy shoes and trendy leather accessories.

Arts and crafts fun making your own accessories

Explore the grace of moving air. Create your own air symphony using wind sockets!

Learn the power and fun of moving air

See how far can paper objects fly. Build your own UFO and let the wind turbine do the rest.

North Carolina best science museum

Finish up with a well deserved break on the dance floor.

Fun in the fog room science museum

Are you ready for some fun?

Wild about animals at Discovery Place, Charlotte fun kids things to do

I strongly believe the completely redesigned Discovery Place downtown Charlotte is the coolest science museum in the Southeast! Discovery Place is open daily 9AM to 4PM (6PM Saturday, noon to 5PM Sunday). Admission is $12 adults, $10 seniors, $9 children 2-13 and free for those under 2.
This post is about the “Rainforest” and “World Alive” exhibits, filled with North Carolina native as well as exotic animals from around the world.

Touch the iguana Charlotte World Alive exhibit

Its so smooth!

It’s a jungle out here! Look out for python, dart frogs, macaws, sloth and cheerful birds. Make sure to attend the A World Apart free live show (daily at 3PM, free admission)

Jungle adventures for children of all ages

Walking a tight rope in Charlotte...

At “Touch a Tank” children can pet horse and hermit crabs, star fish, and sea urchins. How cool is that?

Sea creatures tank World Alive exhibit

Hello Patrick!

The aquarium consists of 15 tanks featuring diverse ecosystems: Indo-Pacific coral reef, North Carolina coastal habitat, and a seafloor reef with small sharks, stingrays, jellyfish and more.

Tropical coral freshwater fish marine creatures

Salt marsh habitat in North Carolina

We spent the most time in the science lab. Lana was trilled to look at all sorts of objecs under the fancy microscope and to manipulate the images on the computer.

Analyzing objects under the microscope

Your keys look huge mommy!

Yes, it’s real! Come enjoy an assortment of fresh wild animal poop, courtesy of black bears, bobcats, deer, raccoons and more…It stinks in here!

Bear deer bobcat raccoon snake moose scat samples

Yuk, smelly bear poop!

Dare to flex your bear muscles?

Life size replicas grizzly polar black bears

Arrrr...they look fierce!

I was drawn to the carnivorous plants…good think they were behind the glass.

Amazing Venus trap plants Charlotte Science exhibits

Tough as nails...watch out she will bite you!

A trip back in time. It’s a small world really…

Skeletons of our ancestors

Whos your daddy?

Be forever childish at Discovery Place in Charlotte!

Cool stuff kids! Discovery Place in Charlotte blows your mind

The wait is finally over! The Discovery Place science museum downtown Charlotte made it to the 21st century! Recently we spent over 4 hours exploring the newly renovated museum. Admission is $12 adults, $9 children 2-13, and free for those under 2.

Our favorite exhibit was “Cool Stuff”, an action-packed gallery dedicated to fun scientific experiments. Here is a virtual tour:

Blasting tennis balls through mechanical force

Kids pull all the ropes at Discovery Place

Wanna get a lift? Hop on the air chair! Kids get to see how a small difference in air pressure can have a pretty big, and in this case, cool impact. It’s the same principle when you drink water with a straw…

Best time ever playing inside Cool Stuff exhibit

Up in the air!

Get in line for a tug of war! See what’s all the fuss about giant levers, fulcrum, mechanical forces, and momentum.

Charlotte Museum Cool Stuff exhibit

Who do you think will win?

Sleeping beauty? Dare to lay down on the bed of nails (metal spikes)! It actually felt quite comfortable…

Kid feeling comfy on a bed of spikes

On a bed nails she makes me wait...

Snap circuits, create your own robots, mechanical arm and catapult. Design a computer program and see your robot go! Indeed, this is fun science learning at its best!

Build your own robot at Charlotte Science Museum

I robot...

This was by far the most popular station. Kids push, pull, shove, lift, and spin all sorts of mechanical contraptions just to move some sand around!

Children love the sand moving station

A construction boom in Charlotte?!

Feel the weird power of spinning motion with the gravity defying Gyro Briefcase! Rocket ships, bicycles, frisbees and yo-yos all take advantage of the strange gyroscopic motion.

Discover Place science museum kids fun

It doesn't even budge mom!

Get higher and higher…kids use their muscle power to lift themselves up in the air. Experience first hand the properties of friction, pulleys, and levers.

Sheer power

Learn about friction and resistance

Ready, set, aim! Blast air at various targets or at your parents (if they’re standing in the way)! See a mini-tornado in action and learn about the power of a vortex.

Giant air zooka shooting at targets

Vortex power

Want more? There is also:

• Laser spy
• Lariat chain
• Dancing trees
• Sail racing
• Fiber optic illusions
• Hydraulic contests

Are you a wild thing? Then, spend some time at the Word Alive exhibit on the first floor. There are live exotic animals in the rainforest and the aquarium, and even a petting zoo!

Little ones have fun too inside the Kids Science exhibit, featuring a water table, race track, wind tubes, drums station and a protected area for infants and toddlers.

Be smart, have fun at Discovery Place in Charlotte NC!

From Charleston to Savannah with love…Favorite places to visit with my kid in the Lowcountry

Here are the most surprising places I have found during my travel adventures in South Carolina (all approved by my preschool daughter). Today I’ll go over the Lowcountry: Charleston, Edisto, Beaufort, Hilton Head and Savannah.

The American LaFrance Fire Museum in North Charleston

This place is FUN with capital letters! Best of all its free for kids and only $6 for adults.

Kids get fired up in Charleston!

Drive a real fire truck at the North Charleston Fire Museum


Children can climb-on a real fire truck, go through a full-fledged emergency response, including a simulated street driving, honk horns, talk on the radio and push all sorts of buttons.

You get to see an amazing display of legendary fire engines from the 1700s to modern days.

I loved learning about the fire fighting history and its technological marvels, the fire trivia (i.e. Benjamin Franklin started the first successful fire insurance company in US) and the most devastating fires in the world (from AD 64 in Rome to 1906 in San Francisco).

The museum is open 10AM – 5PM (1PM on Sundays) and is located near the Tanger Outlets.

Charles Towne Landing Historic Park and Animal Fores Zoo

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Charles Towne Landing, the birthplace of America, is a wonderful place filled with educational, recreational and fun things to do for everyone.

Walk the plank at Charles Towne Landing

17th century justice is served

The park is open daily 9AM to 5 PM. Admission is $5 adults, $3 children 6-15 and free for 3 and under.

Start at the Visitors Center to see how life was like in the 1670s for the Lord Proprietors, settlers, native tribes, indentured servants, and slaves.

Visit the Animal Forest zoo home to pumas, bison, alligators, black bears, otters, bobcats, wolves and a variety of birds.

Be a captain aboard Adventure, a life-size 17th century trading ship replica.

Walk, stroll, jog or bike along the marsh or through the 80 acres of magnificent gardens, featuring thousands of azaleas, camellias and centuries old oak trees.

Edisto Island Serpentarium

Gigantic alligators, deadly snakes, funny looking lizards and snappy turtles “with a face only a mother could love”…

Incredible reptiles on Edisto Island near Charleston

Edisto's best buddies

The park features beautiful indoor and outdoor exhibits filled with native species as well as weird reptiles from around the world.

Make sure to attend the live snake education programs (at 11, 1, 3 and 5PM) and the alligator feedings (12 and 4PM).

Some may not have the stomach for it, yet we were thrilled!

Kids really enjoy digging through pre-historic bones from once native saber tooth cats, whales, mammoths and giant bears.

Edisto Island Serpentarium is open May through Labor Day Thursday to Saturdays from 10AM to 6PM (Monday to Saturday in the summer).

Admission is $12.95 adults, $9.95 children (6-12), $5.95 children 4 and 5, free for those 3 and under.

Old Sheldon Church Ruins

Beautiful 18th century church near CharlestonA deeply moving and inspirational historic site remnant of the 1745 Prince William Parish.

Twice burned, once during Revolutionary War and again during the Civil War March to the Sea and yet still standing…

Amid tragedy there hope and rebirth. The ruins have become a very popular site for outdoor wedding ceremonies and a photographers composition dream.

Mark your calendar! Once a year, on the second Sunday after Easter, the prestigious St. Helena Church holds a public service at the ruins.

The church ruins are located on Old Sheldon Road right off highway 21 between Beaufort and Yemassee.

Hunting Island Lighthouse and State Park – Breath-taking views, romantic beach and lush maritime forest. Hunting Island State Park is the most popular park in South Carolina, and for good reasons.
Best state park in South Carolina The park jewel is South Carolina’s only publicly accessible historic lighthouse. Dating from the 1870s, the Hunting Island Lighthouse shoots 170 feet into the air, rewarding visitors magnificent views of the Lowcountry marshland and the Atlantic Ocean.

Enjoy 5 miles of soft sand beach, a wonderful lagoon home to seahorses and barracuda, thousands of acres of marsh and tidal creek, a fishing pier and some of the state’s most desirable campsites.

Admire up-close loggerhead sea turtles, alligators, pelicans, dolphins and deer, Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes and the rare coral snakes.

The loggerhead turtles nest on the island in the summer months.

Park daily admission is $4 adults, $1.5 children age 6-15 and free for children 5 and younger. Lighthouse ticket is an additional $2.

Parris Island Museum near Beaufort

An extraordinary place honoring the US Marines history, life as a recruit, and military accomplishments.

WWII Japanese cannon prize of war

Here I am!

Admire hundreds of unusual weapons and enemy captures from legendary battles, laugh at the “good life as a recruit” posters and learn about the inspiring US Marines history.

Little ones can earn the “Junior Recruit” title by successfully completing the museum exploration challenge.

Admission is free and the museum is open daily from 10AM to 4:30PM. If time permits take the island driving tour.

Coastal Discovery Museum in Hilton Head

This place has it all! A rich display of the Lowcountry heritage, an incredible saltmarsh ecosystem, world-class history walks and nature tours

Delicate beauty at Coastal Discovery Museum in Hilton Head

and a brilliant Butterfly Pavilion.

Admission to the museum, outside grounds and the butterfly enclosure is free (guided tours range from $5 to $20 per person).

Coastal Discovery Museum is open year around Monday to Saturday from 9AM to 4:30 PM, Sunday 11AM to 3PM.

Here is an overview of the fun things you can do with kids outdoor.


Fort Pulaski National Park near Savannah

A memorable Civil War battle marked the end of masonry fortifications after the “indestructible” Fort Pulaski fell after 30 hours of cannon firings.

Magnificent Civil War reenactments

Fort Pulaski, an incredible Civil War battle and military marvel

Admission is free for kids under 16 and $3 for adults and is good for 6 days. The Fort Pulaski National Monument has a plethora of educational family activities.

Learn about the tragic story of the Immortal 600 Confederate officers, and mind-boggling military strategies and weapons deployed at the time.

Make sure to attend the live musket and cannon fire demonstrations that are held each weekend.

Walk the scenic 0.75 mile Overloook Trail to the Cockspur Island Lighthouse, originally built in 1837. The lighthouse escaped untouched during the 30 hours attack on the Fort despite the fact it was positioned straight in the line of fire!

Life is beautiful in the historic Lowcountry!

Rats go nuts! Exciting basketball game at Discovery Place in Charlotte

Take advantage of reduced admission ($7 through November 22) and come see rats play ball at Discovery Place downtown Charlotte.

Get ready for the game!

Get ready for the game!

This is serious business: there is a pre-game warm up presentation of Nacho the Rat Queen, referees, cheerleaders and non stop action basketball. The rats know their stuff!

Here’s a preview…

While at Discovery embark on an deep-ocean treasure hunt adventure courtesy of the new blockbuster exhibit SHIPWRECK! Pirates and Treasure (free with museum admission)!

Uncover the mysteries of the world’s most-famous shipwrecks, like the SS Republic®, the greatest Civil War lost treasure (hint: 51,000 gold and silver coins are involved…)

If time permits go to Freedom Park to enjoy an outdoor oasis and the fun Charlotte Nature Museum.

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