The Schiele Museum of Natural History, the excellent museum at 1500 E. Garrison Blvd. in Gastonia, is probably familiar to many kids, who visit it for school field trips. If your child hasn’t visited it yet, it’s more than worth the short trek to Gastonia.
There are two perfect times a month try it. The museum offers free admission the second Tuesday of every month from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the fourth Friday of the month from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Permanent Indoor Galleries
Hall of North Carolina Natural History
Have you ever seen a harbor seal, a teal, a heron, an egret or a coot? These artisically crafted dioramas depict the inhabitants and terrain of the North Carolina coastline, coastal plains, hills, Piedmont and mountain regions in their incredible diversity.
Hall of North American Habitats
Experiencing the beauty and detail of the Hall of North American Habitats is like being transported to the middle of the continent’s most dynamic terrain. Your eyes will lead your imagination to the wonders of our ocean floors, the Everglades, the Sonoran Desert and the mighty Alaskan tundra. Children and adults alike will leave with an appreciation for the majesty and diversity of life in our North American homeland.
Robinson Featured Exhibit Gallery (temporarily closed for remodeling as of July 2016)
Creepy Nature is designed to share the actual science of weird and unusual plants and animals. This exhibit features horror fiction concepts like vampires, zombies, mummies, and alien invaders! Discover the truth behind these mythologies as you follow the expedition of our hero through undersea perils, mysterious jungles, forbidding swamps, and an abandoned mine. What lurks in these environments is stranger than fiction – it’s Creepy Nature! Find out more here.
Hall of North American Wildlife
Get toe to claw, nose to gill, finger to stinger and eye to shank with wildlife at its finest. These dioramas give you true perspective on the size and scope of North America’s bears, bison, moose and elk along with its other mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians.
Henry Hall of the American Indian
Can you name the five major regions of North America? Do you remember the major tribal groups that so richly affected European settlers in the new world and colonies? Not to worry if you’ve forgotten a few details because The Schiele Museum can bring you an unforgettable collection of artifacts, weapons, ornaments, tools, and housing that will remind you of the beautiful culture of the North American Native American.
Permanent Outdoor Exhibits
All within a 0.7 mile trek, you’ll experience a pine forest, mixed hardwood forest, and pond and stream communities typical of the North Carolina Piedmont. On our trail for all seasons, everyday is a good day for a walk. The Play’Scape provides a good play area for kids along the trail.
Memorial Wildlife Garden
In this wildlife oasis, you can take advantage of the contemplative setting by escaping the rat race and settling into an environment authentically designed to provide food and shelter for the Carolina Piedmont’s native species.
Catawba Indian Village
Open seasonally, this interpretation of 400 years of Catawba Indian culture, adaptation, and survival is a must see for visitors interested our region’s rich heritage. Visit a prehistoric bark-covered house, council house and log cabins. Please call 704.866.6908 to verify that the village is open.
Stone Age Heritage Site
Travel back in time when the stone tools our ancestors used were the cutting edge of technology. Walk among the standing stones, stone circles, earthen burial mound, rock cairn and petroglyphs that give insightful glimpses into our past.
18th Century Backcountry Farm
Open seasonally, the ways of life of our early settlers is a source of fascination for many. Special event days provide living history presentations in period buildings, where this interpretation comes to life with hogs, sheep, and chickens. When the farm is open on a regular day, view the outside of 18th century buildings and imagine what life would have been like for early settlers in the area. Please call 704.866.6908 to verify that the farm is open.
See a list of all the free days at Charlotte area museums.
More upcoming free and cheap things to do in Gaston County
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