6 ways to adventure with your inner science geek, from 3-D printing beer steins to nature getaways


There’s no reason to go incognito with your science websites or lower the volume when you’re listening to your favorite science podcast. Embrace what you love – nature, engineering, animals, ecology, environment, physics, math and chemistry. Science is cool!

Here are 6 ways to adventure with your inner science geek:

Science on the Rocks

Tour Uptown’s coolest science museum with a beer in-hand at a special program for adults only. Discovery Place’s Science on the Rocks is every third Friday of the month from 5-9 p.m. It’s a chance to impress your friends with your building skills and knowledge of sea creatures.

June 15, 5-9 p.m. Dinosaur World – Visit the museum’s newest exhibit, “Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family” and hope the T-Rex doesn’t find you. $10 in advance, $12 at the door for Science on the Rocks. Add the Tyrannosaurs exhibit for $3; IMAX film for $5. Participants must be 21 years or older. 301 N. Tryon St.

The theme for July’s “Science on the Rocks” is Greek Mythology.

Make & Mingle

Perhaps a DIY date will break the monotony of dinner and a movie. On the fourth Thursday of every month, Discovery Place Science’s Make & Mingle craft workshop offers an opportunity to create hands-on projects such as wine racks, bedside tables, 3D-printed beer steins and wooden docking stations.

Each class includes light appetizers, one beer or wine ticket and free parking in the Discovery Place Science parking deck. Participants must be 21 years or older.

June 28, 6:30-8 p.m. Make & Mingle: Wood Dog BedImpress your pooch and date with your woodworking and sewing skills by making a wooden pet bed; $55-$98. 301 N. Tryon St.

July 26, 6:30-9 p.m. Make and Mingle: 3D Printing Workshop – Learn how to design accessories such as earrings, key chains and rings by a 3D printing expert. Leave with your very own accessory; $50. 301 N. Tryon St.

Nature and Bird Walks

Have you ever noticed the building across the bridge closest to Princeton Avenue at Freedom Park? It’s Discovery Place Nature, a museum with reptiles, turtles, birds, alligators, snakes and a Butterfly Pavilion. There are many exhibits for kids, but several others are adult friendly. Take the guided nature and bird walks on the Paw Paw Nature Trail in a part of the 100-year-old woods and the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. Listen to the barred owls and find woodpeckers, hawks, deer and raccoons. The fee is $8 and includes a museum admission and the guided walks. 1658 Sterling Rd.

June 23, 10:15 a.m. Nature Walk is on the fourth Saturday of each month. Meet at the front desk.

Courtesy of Discovery Place

July 7, 10:15 a.m. Bird Walk is on the first Saturday of each month. Meet in the parking lot.

Courtesy of Discovery Place

Schiele After Hours

Every month, The Schiele Museum in Gastonia hosts an evening program featuring local beer, a speaker, trivia and usually a live star show in the planetarium. Explore museum exhibit halls from 6-7 p.m. and then join the group for the speaker and trivia. Guests must be 18 years or older.

June 14, 6-9 p.m. Brainstorming a Superhero in Creepy NatureJames Lyle, the artist behind the comic book panels in the Schiele’s original exhibit, Creepy Nature, will draw a superhero during the session based on audience suggestions. He’ll also talk about what it takes to create a new superhero. $5 for members and teachers, $7 for non-members.

July 12, 6-9 p.m. What’s in an Animal?Dr. Ashley Whitesell of Dickson Animal Clinic will demystify diseases transferred from animals to people by debunking myths. $5 for members and teachers, $7 for non-members.

Courtesy of The Schiele Museum

Naturalist Hikes

Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation sponsors guided two- to four-mile hikes through local nature preserves. Participants must be 17 years or older.

Courtesy of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation

June 16, 9-11:00 a.m. Evergreen Nature Preserve

July 21, 9-11:00 a.m. Reedy Creek Nature Preserve

August 4, 9-11:00 a.m. RibbonWalk Nature Preserve – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Registration through eParks 2.0 begins on July 1.

End of Summer Weekend Getaway

Finish the season with a trip to the mountains. Hike on shaded trails, visit waterfalls and swim in mountain lakes. Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation staff lead the group to Oconee State Park in South Carolina and visit Devil’s Fork State Park and Lake Jocassee. Cost is $100 and includes transportation, all park entrance fees, lodging in barracks style setting, food and guides. Participants must be at least 16 years old.

Aug- 24 through Aug- 26 – End of Summer Weekend Getaway. Registration through eParks 2.0 begins on July 1.

Featured photo: Discovery Place.


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