Friday, May 23, 2014

Day Trips & Destinations: Discovery Place Kids- An Adventure in Learning Through Play

My hubby and his best friend own their own Home Restoration business. They do a lot of work to restore old homes in our community, located within the Historic District. For the past 6-7 weeks, they have been working on a huge project in a big house in our own neighborhood, and we have seen very little of my hubby. He's been working weekends, as well as a regular work week to meet the deadline for this project, and finally, this past Wednesday, they were able to finish. To celebrate, he took yesterday and today off, and we wanted to treat B to a special day. We let him select a place that he wanted to visit, and we weren't surprised when he asked to go to Discovery Place Kids.

Discovery Place Kids

Discovery Place Kids is located in Hunterville, NC, which is situated between Charlotte, and Mooresville. It's a little over thirty minutes from where I live. Discovery Place Kids is children’s museums featuring developmentally-appropriate experiences that encourage interactive learning through play. By participating in rich play integrated with imagination and fun, kids explore their world, discover how to get along with others, test their skills and muscles, try out new ideas and develop confidence.

We first took B to Discovery Place Kids for his 3rd birthday. He had such a wonderful time exploring, playing, laughing, and learning, that he has been begging us to take him back there. We checked in at the front desk, and Sacha and I were given wristbands. The children don't need to wear them. Upon entering the building, you come to the front desk, where you pay for your tickets, pass the break room, where there are vending machines and tables and chairs, and then you enter the museum, and meet a colorful world of fun!

It would take a long time for me to tell you everything that they have exhibt/station wise at Discovery Place Kids, so I'll just show you some quick photos from some of B's favorites. He knew exactly where he wanted to start our morning off, so we headed to the sea discovery room, which houses an interactive submarine, a pirate ship, an octopus game, a whale to crawl through, coral to touch, etc.

B, checking out the submarine. He spent a lot of time in here- esp. after he made friends with two other boys. There are lot's of buttons to push in this sub.

Captain B, sailing the ship...

Next to the sea discovery center, is a large arts and crafts room with all sorts of art supplies available, and tables with chairs. Museum staff is on hand to help little ones with projects, to clean the work spaces, and answer questions adults may have. B never wants to sit and make a craft, because there are too many other fun things to see and do at DPK. He did, however, want to check out the wall of music, located within the craft center.

Making music by banging mallots on pans...

Next, it was off to the area that houses the large train tables, followed by the mechanics garage, the race car, speed boat, and the interactive water play tables.

B, checking out the train table- another favorite spot to take a break and play.

Vroom! Racing away in the bright green race car!

Speeding off in this totally cool speed boat!

One of the neat things about Discovery Place Kids, is that each station has a theme, and there are cubbies and bins with dress up clothing, hats, and accessories. There are also corresponding children's books at each station- so you can dress up, play, and then sit and read a story together, and then move onto the next fun station. B loves the station with the construction dress up clothes, and the big brick machine!

Construction crew- daddy and B, all dressed up, and ready to build!

B loves the emergency services area, as well. There is a hige fire truck, which the kids can climb into and 'drive', hang all over, as well as an ambulance, with a doctor's kit, a vet's office- with cages for the animals, and items to care for them.

B, learning how to make a 911 phone call...

Playing with a friend in the large fire truck- everyone's favorite spot at DPK!

Quick photo on the back of the truck with my special little dude!


Next, it was time to visit the ambulance, where daddy needed to have a big check-up!

...and then we dressed up, and got back into the fire truck!

We visited the bank, and learned all about where mommy and daddy keep their money, how to make deposits. There were large checks, deposit slips, a desk, a vault, and even a teller's window!

The kids never misses an opportunity to put on a show...

There is a large stage in the center of the downstairs area at DPK. At certain points in the day, the staff hop on stage and sing and dance with the children. Otherwise, there is always music playing, and behind the stage, there are tons of costumes for the children to choose from, put on, and wear out onto the stage. B was so excited to put on a costume, and do a safari dance for us.

B, doing some health food shopping at the grocery store.

We then visited the grocery store, so B could do some shopping. Next to the grocery store, was a restaurant, where B put on his chef's hat, and served us some salad and pizza. Yum! Behind the kitchen, there was an activity area- for tumbling, rock wall climbing, there were balance beams, hula hoops, yoga mats, etc. There was also a Novant Health Doctor's Office, stations to learn about farming- with a cow you could 'milk,' corn to be picked, apples to be picked, and a huge tractor to ride on!

Upstairs, there are also build areas with LEGOs, a brick conveyer belt, an area to build a ball track, a station to build race cars, and then race them down the ramp, and there's a large airport play area- with an airplane to get into, baggage check area, etc. There are also classrooms, and private party rooms on te upper level- perfect for those on class trips, or celebrating a birthday!

We went back to the fire truck one last time before heading back home... it's always a must!

Discovery Place Kids is a wonderful place, filled with fun! It's one of our favorite places to visit, and we've talked about having B's birthday party there in a year or two. It's a wonderful play and learning museum for ages 3+, and for those under 3, there is a special area, with infant and toddler toys and activities, which is gated off from the rest of the museum. There is also a nursing nook for nursing moms, and there are restrooms located on each floor, which are always nice and clean. You may want to pack a lunch, and eat in the break/snack area, or if you'd like to go out to lunch, there are several restaurants within 5 or so miles of Discovery Place Kids. I believe you can re-enter to museum with your wristband, and show of receipt the day of your visit.

We can't wait to go back to DPK! I have a feeling that B and I will be going there a time or two during the summer, because it's a fantastic way to spend the day!

Want to Go?

 Tickets are $10.00 for adults and children ages 1+. Museum is designed for ages 3-7, and there are lot's of special events and activities planned through the year- including summer camps. To learn more about Discovery Place Kids or to plan your visit, check out the Discovery Place website. There are locations in Huntersville, and Rockingham, and you can also purchase tickets for Discovery Place, Charlotte, as well as IMAX, and other special events and exhibits.

Where have you recently taken the kiddos for a day of fun?


*This is not an official MBP Day Trip review- we visited the museum on our own, paid for our admission, and I wanted to share about it, because I think it's a great place to visit with children!


1 comment:

  1. i want to go here for myself! but I know my daughter would have fun too lol.

    ReplyDelete

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