Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville is celebrating its 10th birthday this month. Officially opening its doors on October 23, 2010, the Museum is the first of two Discovery Place Kids locations to open in the Carolinas. In 2013, Discovery Place Kids opened in Rockingham.
With nature and science museums already well-established in the Charlotte region, Discovery Place decided to open a children’s museum in Huntersville after recognizing the need for early childhood education opportunities closer to Mecklenburg County’s fast-growing towns. Through a generous partnership with the Town of Huntersville, the Museum found a home in a new building as part of the new Huntersville Town Center.
“As our first Discovery Place Kids location, this Museum has set a standard for the quality of experiences we offer at our children’s museums. It is a truly special place located in the heart of Huntersville, where we have felt welcomed and loved by the community for the last decade,” said Catherine Wilson Horne, Discovery Place president and CEO. “Given the challenges facing the world this year, we are especially excited that our doors can be open as we celebrate this milestone in our organization’s history.”
Following a six-month closure due to COVID-19 this year, the Museum reopened in September with adjusted protocols to keep visitors and staff healthy and safe.
“We have had so many families come back during the last month and tell us how much they have missed being able to come to the Museum,” said Lauren Fike, director. “It has been great to be able to get back to our core mission – providing young children with experiences that are educational as well as fun.”
Over the last decade, the Museum has found plenty of ways to execute that important mission.
Special annual events like Countdown to Kindergarten and New Year’s at Noon have brought thousands of eager kids and their families to the Museum while daily and monthly programming covering topics from health and wellness to STEM careers and opportunities continues to be a major draw.
Today, total visitation stands at over 1.7 million. This includes 114,000 students visiting with their schools as well as 86,000 visits through our Welcome Program, which provides low-cost admission to North Carolina and South Carolina families who receive Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) or Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food and nutrition benefits. The Museum also has hosted thousands of birthday parties and thousands of classes during its 10 years in Huntersville.
“Since we opened, our goal has been to give families a safe place where their children can explore the world, develop new skills and experiment with new ideas,” Horne said. “Looking back on the past 10 years, I think we’ve been able to do that quite successfully in Huntersville and we look forward to continuing to serve that community for decades to come.”
For more about Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville or to purchase tickets to visit the Museum (advance tickets are required), visit the Museum website.