Information on:

Charlotte - Charlotte Nature Museum

1658 Sterling Road

Mission Statement:

We inspire curious thinkers to discover the wonders of science, technology and nature.


A storied past and growing future:

In 1951, Charlotte Nature Museum opened as one of the first facilities in the southeast focused on bringing families and nature together. The success of the Museum along with growing concerns about a post-Sputnick Soviet Union, spurred a growing demand in the community for quality science education. In response, the community approved funding and plans for a comprehensive hands-on science and technology center and, in 1981, Discovery Place opened its doors with 72,000 square feet of space.

As the needs of the community grew, the facility expanded. In 1986, exhibition space was added to accommodate traveling exhibitions and in 1991 the Charlotte Observer IMAX® Dome Theatre opened as the first giant-screen motion picture theatre in the Carolinas. The Carol Grotnes Belk Education and Parking Complex was completed in 1996. Today Discovery Place in uptown Charlotte encompasses over 160,000 square feet offering educational, exhibition, meeting and support spaces. In June 2010, the Museum finished an 18-month, $31.6 million renovation, resulting in a completely transformed and re-imagined Museum with all-new interactive exhibits.

With the region continuing to grow, Discovery Place followed suit, opening the first Discovery Place KIDS museum in 2010 in Huntersvile, N.C. Planned as a network of community-based children’s museums, Discovery Place KIDS aspires to maximize the whole child by offering imaginative environments that encourage learning through play. Through unique public-private partnerships, the network continues to expand with a second Discovery Place KIDS opened in 2013 in Rockingham, N.C.

Discovery Place Education Studio at the Bank of America STEM Center for Career Development opened in the spring of 2014, uniquely located adjacent to Discovery Place in uptown Charlotte. The program is a community resource that provides pre K - 12 educators with the skills necessary to become inspiring teachers of science, technology, engineering and math. While Discovery Place has offered educator professional development for more than 25 years, this dedicated space for the Education Studio allows for in-depth study and extended impact on the region, with a goal of advancing student and teacher attitudes and achievements in STEM.


Wendy Measmer Garofalo

Monday, Feb. 12, 2018
Such a fun place to visit with the kiddos. This visit we decided to watch the movie in the planetarium. It was a nice treat! My preschooler enjoyed it but my toddler had a hard time sitting still which is understandable. Movie presentation was probably around 30 min. Great displays with insect life cycles, etc. Lots of wildlife to look at and learn about. The tunnels in the play area are a favorite of course! Also, really nice outside play area that helps foster your kid's imagination!

David Simon

Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018
The Nature Museum was very very creative with lots of great displays. The displays were not all in the display area but some of them were in classrooms. There were areas around the museum for young families to play. There is a butterfly house it was outstanding. Even though it was winter when we visited and they said that they were not hatching butterflies currently there were some that were flying around. The museum was warm and cold weather. There is an extensive hiking and nature trail outside the museum. The museum is in a park but if you follow the signs that is easy to find.

Noname Noname

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Loved the animals there. Some seemed to be in too small of an enclosure though, butterflies weren't too plentiful, but the animals look healthy. Small place with a bit of a trail in the woods. Good for families. The star show was good and we got to lay on some comfy cushions.

Julia Crifasi

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Perfect little nature stop. My eight year old loved it. Toddlers and preschoolers there loved it too. Nice outside space. Bunch of real tiny animals... Did it in an hour.


Monday, Jan. 29, 2018
What a hidden gem!! We have been to Discovery Place science many times, but so glad we found this nature museum too. There is literally something for everyone, with lots of interactive things. I especially love the butterfly garden and the turtle ponds. We will definitely be back again.

Charlotte Nature Museum is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media