One of our favorite places in Charlotte is Discovery Place. We've had a membership since we moved here, and its always been a fun and different experience each time we've visited.
This year we purchased the WNC membership which was cheaper than joining Discover Place ($62 vs $100), and has reciprocal entry for Discovery Place and the Riverbanks Zoo (savings!!) in addition to several other museums - a great deal. Regular tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for kids, under 2 are free. My father joined us for some science fun the last time we went.
Discovery Place has many rotating educational programs, interactive experiences and multi-sensory stations. The water table is one of S's favorite places to play, they supply aprons but I recommend bringing an outfit change.
There is an area to construct cars and race them, a drum set made out of kitchen supplies, a place for kids to dress up as super heroes and "fly" with their costumes on. The magnetic building area allows kids to explore shapes and construction, as does the magnetic ball drop. A children under 3 area is covered with padded foam and fun for the littlest of ones to crawl and roll around in.
Science is integrated throughout, with microscopes to view every day objects and numerous stations that explain scientific principles to many age levels. My favorite part is the aquarium, I love watching the jelly fish as they elegantly float along.
We had an animal encounter with a snake and a crab, S enjoyed petting both. You can catch an IMAX movie while you're there (for an additional cost), and catch a bite to eat at their cafe or bring a snack with you.
It's easy to spend hours exploring all there is to see, and still not see all they have to offer. It's a must see for kids, parents and grandparents in Charlotte.