Discovery Place Nature (Charlotte Nature Museum)
Set adjacent to Dilworth’s 98-acre Freedom Park, this interactive museum is owned and operated by Discovery Place. Focusing on the plants, animals and insects of the surrounding area, the museum features a butterfly pavilion and a nature walk through a 100-year-old forest grove.
Indoors in the museum’s Great Hall and Insect Alley, kids can learn about butterflies, greet a resident groundhog named Queen Charlotte, meet animatronic “Grandpa Tree,” or be treated to a short play or puppet show; daily programming varies.
Outdoors, the interactive Fort Wild exhibit encourages kids to dig in the dirt, work together to solve problems, and learn about growing a vegetable garden. The Paw Paw Nature Trail, winding through the surrounding woods on a series of boardwalks, shows off seasonal wildflowers, box turtles and barred owls. There is no café on-site, but the Trail’s End Store makes a great stop for kid-friendly souvenirs.