Just In Time INTEL. 15 Museums Nearby That You and Your Kids can Visit This Summer

We have so many air-conditioned options… but you’ll want to check-off all of them. Oh, and they’re in alphabetical order, you’re welcome.

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Uptown Charlotte
The Bechtler is a great option for family fun any day of the week but in the summer check out exhibition, Sculpture, and the Nomadic Murals. Every third Friday is free admission and keep an eye out for the Family Days for extra kid fun.

Carolinas Aviation Museum
Charlotte (head toward the airport)
Let your imagination take flight at Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, NC, where history and STEM education soar. Home of Flight 1549 – “The Miracle on the Hudson.”
SCOOP TIP visit before July 14, when they will close to prep for their new location in 2020.

Visit before July 14

Charlotte Museum of History
Uptown Charlotte (Shamrock Drive)
Take a guided tour of the Museum – there’s a scavenger hunt for the kids too. There’s always a lot of demonstrations going on that will bring history to life for little ones.

Discovery Place Science
Uptown Charlotte
With approx. 750,000 visitors per year, Discovery Place ranked as the No. 1 Museum and Attraction in NC for good reason.
Easy to park, lots to do for all ages including a young toddler area through teens, the Museum is engaging for all age levels and interests.
Make sure to check out the IMAX line-up this summer including Superpower Dogs.

Discovery Place Kids
Discovery Place Kids is perfect for birth through about age 7. There’s lots of special events throughout the summer including one to celebrate the moon landing in July.

Discovery Place Nature
Freedom Park (Sterling Rd.)
Fantastic spot for little ones to explore and ‘run wild’. The museum is in ‘a loop’ so there’s less stress when someone gets a little ahead of you. There’s also an outdoor area – shaded by 100-year old forest. Plus, they have a planetarium for seasonal stargazing – you can’t beat that.

Harvey B Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture
Uptown Charlotte
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture presents, preserves and celebrates excellence in the art, history and culture of African-Americans and people of African descent. There are many kid experiences that will inspire conversations and learning. Don’t miss the Fine Art Fridays – Family-Friendly Workshops this summer.

ImaginON: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
Uptown Charlotte
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center is a one-of-a-kind youth destination; it’s a library and home to Charlotte’s Children’s Theatre. Check out the summer programming here. Oh, and P.S. there’s even a loft for teens.

Levine Museum of the New South
The museum focuses on post Civil War Southern history – there are monthly youth programs and 50% off on Sunday’s admission.

The Mint Museum
Uptown + Randolph
There are areas specifically dedicated to kids with hands-on activities and art-based games. Sunday Fundays have a different theme each month for families and the Randolph location has bi-lingual programming once a month. Free on Wednesday evenings.

NASCAR Hall of Fame Uptown The Museum is a shrine to the history and heritage of NASCAR with ever-changing exhibits to explore. Lots of special events for kids including Second Saturdays and more.

Kids and cars – for the win

North Carolina Transportation Museum
Known for its special event days including The Polar Express and Day Out with Thomas, the museum offers family fun year-round including train rides and five different buildings to explore – worth the drive.

Wells Fargo Museum
This is a free and fun family museum. Board the stage coach, check out gold nuggets, and send a telegraph as you learn about life during the gold rush.

Schiele Museum of Natural History:
Did you know the Schiele is a Smithsonian affiliate and often exhibits Smithsonian artifacts? This summer make sure to catch Dinosafari, and the Carolina Sky planetarium show is a must see. The museum is free on the second Tuesday afternoon of each month.

Located inside Concord Mills the aquarium is home to 5,000 creatures including sharks, rays, seahorses and more. Spring for the behind-the-scenes tour if you can for a back-of-house look and a tour to the top of the largest tank. Be warned there’s no getting in or out without going through the gift shop.

*All images sourced from Facebook/ website of events listed or free sources


Bek Mitchell-Kidd
Bek is an Australian native who has lived in the Lake Norman area for more than a decade.