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Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville Opens October 23

Half-price admission on Saturday and Sunday; All proceeds designated to support admission for those with financial need

October 18, 2010

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – LIFT-OFF! A brand new adventure in learning and creative play, Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville officially takes off this weekend, opening the doors to the only children’s museum in the greater Charlotte region to the public on Saturday, October 23. Presented by the Merancas Foundation, the 23,000 square foot Museum will become the third member of the Discovery Place, Inc. family alongside Discovery Place, the science center in uptown Charlotte, and Charlotte Nature Museum, located next to Freedom Park.

“We are extremely proud to finally be opening the first of our Discovery Place KIDS museums, offering exciting learning experiences for children in a safe, nurturing neighborhood atmosphere,” said John Mackay, president and CEO of Discovery Place, Inc. “Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville allows children to be pioneers of curiosity, fun and learning; all in a community setting close to home.”

Exploring the theme of “I CAN”, Discovery Place KIDS- features developmentally appropriate experiences that encourage imagination as well as offer the opportunity to build confidence and test skills by trying new things. The exhibits, themed around a small town, allow children to learn through play. In addition to the exhibits, live programming will include story time, a visual art studio and puppet shows. Workshops for tots, summer camps and birthday parties will also be available. Educational offerings including early childhood classes will be available starting in January, 2011. Discovery Place, Inc. partnered with the Town of Huntersville to develop the facility in which Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville and a number of local government offices are located. Development and construction of the exhibits inside the Museum were made possible by the generous support of corporations, individuals and organizations throughout the area.

Discovery Place KIDS includes nine main exhibit areas:
I CAN Move — Experiment with movement in the air, on the land and in the water. Navigate a lake, drive a race car and tinker with cars in an auto shop.
I CAN Create — Create a masterpiece in the visual arts studio or display creative flair on the Town Hall Theatre stage and in the Puppet Theatre.
I CAN Be Healthy — Discover how to be healthy by role-playing in a grocery store, a doctor’s office, a fitness center, a cafe and by visiting a farm.
I CAN Work — Imagine what it would be like to be a firefighter, banker, veterinarian or other community helper.
I CAN Explore Underwater — Explore an underwater world, captain a ship and drive a submarine.
I CAN Build — Become part of a construction crew, move bricks in the Brick Factory using cranes and conveyor belts, and design and construct a building.
I CAN Grow — A special play space just for children from birth to 36 months.
The Town Center – The main Museum hub, the Club House and Town Hall complete with Stage and Puppet Theatre
The Learning Garden – Experience the wonders of outside while playing in the outdoor Learning Garden with areas devoted to nature art, sound, container gardens, digging and building.


The lobby and exhibit areas of the Museum are presented by: Arts & Science Council, Bragg Financial Advisors and the Bragg Family, D.F. Halton Foundation in honor of Marilyn Gallagher, Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, Newell Rubbermaid, Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville, and Speedway Children’s Charities.

Discovery Place KIDS will officially open to the public on Saturday, October 23 at 9:00 a.m., preceded by a ribbon cutting ceremony at 8:45 a.m. On Saturday, October 23 the Museum will be open from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday, October 24 from noon – 5:00 p.m. (last entry to the Museum at 4:00 p.m. on both days). Special opening weekend admission will be half price both days ($4 for adults and children age one and older; children younger than one are free).

All admissions revenue generated during Opening Weekend will be designated to a fund that will provide access to the creative learning experiences at Discovery Place KIDS for those individuals and groups without the financial means to support a visit.

Discovery Place KIDS operating hours will be Tuesday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sunday noon – 5:00 p.m.; Monday closed. Beginning Tuesday, October 26 admission to Discovery Place KIDS is $8 for adults and children age one and older, children younger than age one and Members are free. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more.

About Discovery Place KIDS

Discovery Place KIDS is an innovative model in regional children’s museums developed by Discovery Place, Inc., the parent organization of Discovery Place and Charlotte Nature Museum. Discovery Place KIDS is built on the theme of “I CAN” and offers unique opportunities for learning through play for children and their parents or caregivers.

Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville is located at 105 Gilead Road in Huntersville, N.C. Parking is available in the Town Center Parking Deck located next to the Museum. For more information, visit discoveryplaceKIDS.org or call 704-372-6261.

About Discovery Place

One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage the public in the active exploration of science and nature. More than a half-million people from all over the United States visit Discovery Place, its IMAX Dome Theatre and Charlotte Nature Museum each year. 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.
Discovery Place is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum’s parking deck - the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex - at the corner of Sixth and Church Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call 704-372-6261 or visit discoveryplace.org.


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