The Perfect Layover in Charlotte, NC with Toddlers
I often see a lot of cheap and direct international flight options out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport. So when we decided to attend a wedding in North Carolina, I decided that was also a good excuse to book a non-stop flight from Charlotte to Barcelona. The only problem was that our flight didn’t leave until 8 PM and we had to checkout of our AirBnB at 10 AM. With a one year old and two year old in tow, we needed to find a place to hang out for the day. Discovery Place Science Museum ended up being a great option for us. Since it’s only a 16 minute drive from the airport, I think it would be a great option for anyone with kids and a long layover situation in Charlotte.
The museum is huge! We spent a good six hours at the museum and could have spent more time there if our kids had longer attention spans and if we had more time. The Kid Science exhibit is geared toward kids under seven years old and was rather extensive. Our family spent about two hours in this area alone. Our kids other favorites were the aquarium and the Explore More Life and Cool Stuff exhibitions. The Explore More Life Exhibition features a touch tank and the coolest sandbox I’ve ever seen. The kids could rake and dig in the sand as a projector reflected the topographic changes they were making. The Cool Stuff exhibit would probably be a bigger hit with bigger kids, but even our little ones still had fun exploring how pulleys work while lifting grandma in the air and running in the giant hamster wheel.
There are plenty of dining options in this area, and we chose to grab a late lunch at Crunch Bistro which was a lot cheaper and a lot healthier than the options at the Discovery Place cafe. It’s very easy to leave the museum and come back, so I definitely recommend exploring the nearby dining options.
Adult admission is $19 and it’s $15 for kids age 2 - 13. That’s a bit pricey in my book, so I would recommend this only if you have a full day to really get your money’s worth. For us it was definitely a great way to entertain the kids for a long time and tire them out before our long flight to Spain.