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Located on the grounds of the Discovery Place science museum, this IMAX dome theater screens both science-oriented documentary features and first-run Hollywood blockbusters. Unlike other IMAX theaters, IMAX Dome theaters are in the form of a dome with stadium-style seating with the projector situated at a certain angle from a booth below the seats for best effects. This type of theater best shows off the special effects in science-oriented films. The Discovery Place theater is one of the only such theaters in the entire state.
Discovery Place is a paradise of kid-friendly interactive science exhibits and presentations. Visit the Cool Stuff exhibit which, true to its name, is full of cool interactive activities like lying on a bed of nails that help making learning physics fun. Next, experience a rainforest by crossing a rope bridge and looking down at exotic plant life and animals. See aquatic life at the large aquarium and take a unique guided feeding tour of the aquarium. Children 7 and under need to stop by KidScience with hands-on fun geared towards the younger kids. Make sure you save time to see a short movie at the Discovery 3D Theatre or get immersed in the action at the IMAX Dome Theatre. The museum also offers a number of live programs, plus there are seasonal attractions so there's always something new to see!
Located in the heart of the city, Holiday Inn Charlotte-Center City offers some of the best accommodation facilities at affordable prices. The rooms are well facilitated with excellent furnishings and good amenities. The hotel is strategically located close to prime attractions like the Light Factory, Bank of America Stadium, and the Time Warner Cable Arena. The hotel offers ample space for business meets, conferences, and other events. Dining at the Holiday Inn Charlotte-Center City is a wonderful experience owing to its on-site cocktail lounge and Caffe Siena that serve delectable meals and tempting drinks. There are good facilities for the little ones as well.
Located in the Uptown area, The Ritz-Carlton offers some of the best accommodation facilities in the city. Their luxurious rooms and suites are tastefully done up with plush furnishings and modern amenities. The hotel is located close to many tourist attractions like the Levine Museum of the New South, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, and the Discovery Place. Business enthusiasts can easily access the Central Business District from the hotel. The hotel itself offers excellent facilities and well furbished conference spaces. Dining at The Ritz-Carlton is a wonderful experience with its on-site bar, lounge, and restaurant serving fine cuisines and tantalizing drinks. After a tiresome touristy day, guests can retire in the in-house spa where they can avail relaxing massages and top class beauty treatments. The hotel has something for everyone and takes care of your little ones too. It arranges for several activities and fun programs for the younger guests. This ritzy hotel also doubles up as an excellent venue for weddings. Garnered with lavish accolades, The Ritz-Carlton has been the recipient of many prestigious awards including the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, and was a part of the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List in 2013.
This theater, staging productions for children, is located in the uptown neighborhood. Many of the productions are by the famous Tarradiddle Players group. The establishment has won accolades and awards like the “George Parides Professional Theatre Award” and the “Sara Spencer Child Theatre Award”. The plays include classic and new works with themes ranging from magic and fantasy to current social problems like substance abuse among the youth. Several education programs are held by the theatre for participants between three to 18 years of age. Check the website or call for details on the current season, programs and further information.
The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and the Children's Theatre of Charlotte have come together to create this awesome complex that houses the McColl Family Theatre, the Spangler Library, the Wachovia Playhouse, a Scene and Paint Shop, several studios, rehearsal rooms and a costume shop. A veritable entertainment center, this is the hub of family amusement activities in the area. A comprehensive collection of books and videos fills the library, while a number of educational programs for kids takes place at regular intervals.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame is one of the important and well known venues of Charlotte. Spread across an area of 150,000-square-feet, this completely renovated and refurbished facility boasts ultra modern equipment and sophisticated amenities. As the name suggests, it is dedicated to NASCAR, and is a perfect starting point for all those who are unaware about auto racing. The Hall of Fame has a special exhibition hall that displays artifacts that give you detailed information on car racing. It also has specialized simulator rides and interactive displays that further add to the experience. Apart from that, the on-site venues like Belk High Octane Theater, Great Hall and Legends Room can be hired for private functions.
The people of Charlotte tend to agree that Freedom Park is the place to be. This 98-acre public park is a slice of nature at its best, right in the middle of the city. Complete with four baseball diamonds, two batting cages, a dozen tennis courts, four soccer fields, a basketball court, a pair of volleyball courts, a pair of playgrounds, a seven-acre lake, an amphitheater, a number of sheltered picnic areas, and miles of trails and paths, Freedom Park has something for everyone. There's even a concession stand for joggers in need of water or sun bathers in need of ice cream. Many of the picnic shelters are reservable, as are the Freedom Park Bandshell and the Mahlon Adams Pavilion, a banquet hall that seats 70 people.
In the mood for a dose of 1960s nostalgia? Sunshine Daydreams sells everything you will need. Period clothing like patchwork pants and tie-dye shirts are popular. Grateful Dead, Phish, Bob Marley and String Cheese Incident band merchandise is plentiful (both official and "lot style"). Important lifestyle accessories such as incense, hemp products, aromatherapy oils, tapestries, and "tobacco" pipes are available as well. Also on sale here are tickets for upcoming events at the nearby Neighborhood Theatre. Stays open late on Gallery Crawl nights.
This museum is tailor made to teach kids about the natural world. They'll see live animals, such as baby chicks, owls, and snakes. Take a stroll through the Butterfly Pavilion or the Paw Paw Nature Trail to learn more about local wildlife. Kids can run and play at Fort Wild or Our Big Backyard, or listen and learn during one of several workshops and events organized here.
Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary was designed and created by Elizabeth and Edwin Clarkson in 1927, encompassing almost three acres in the Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte. The estate includes the original house built by the couple, as well as extensive gardens which are now home to an array of flowers, local trees and birds. There are many winding paths to explore, with informational plaques lining the brick walkways. The Clarkson house is also worth a visit, as it has been renovated to replicate its original style. Also, make sure to check out the website for more information about the estate, as well as fun tips like recipes for peanut butter birdseed cakes. Guided tours for groups are available on some weekday mornings and reservations can be made by phone.
Housing the Hezekiah Alexander Homesite, the Charlotte Museum of History plays a pivotal role in showcasing the region's history. Come and learn more about the area's fascinating past with exhibits like "Stitched from the Soul," "Community of Faiths," "Watch Charlotte Grow" and many, many more. Also open to the public is the 18th-century restored house of the revolutionary Hezekiah Alexander, a perfect example of living conditions during that era. Go back in time and discover all the past has to offer; check the website for the latest exhibits.