Join the Block Party at The Schiele Museum

Build, smash and explore at The Schiele Museum.

The Schiele Museum, located 1.5 miles off Interstate 85 in Gastonia, has unveiled Block Party, its latest interactive exhibit. Kids and parents can work together to build (and smash) all kinds of structures using combined creativity. Block Party has large blocks as well as three other sections of Duplo-size blocks, thus making this area great for young children, especially preschoolers. The Block Party exhibit lies just inside of the entrance. You cannot miss it, and you wouldn’t want to. The kids likely will pull you that direction as soon as you pay for admission. Block Party is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The Schiele Museum holds many other treasures, including the Backcountry Farm, DinoSafari and the Creepy Nature exhibit. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for children ages 4 to 17, and free for children 3 and younger, making the museum family-affordable. Bargain hunters can take advantage of Free Tuesday sponsored by Duke Energy. On the second Tuesday of every month, museum admission is free from 4 to 8 p.m. The Block Party exhibit will be open until 7 p.m. on Free Tuesday. Inquire about other special offers, which are available to Gastonia city residents, students, veterans and others.


Zig-zag your way through the Mesozoic Era for large dinosaur models, casts of fossils and tons of information. Budding paleontologists will adore the life-like stegosaurus, triceratops and other prehistoric creatures.

The Pirate’s Lair

Jump into an adventure of the seas, without getting wet at this pirate-theme play area. Adults also enjoy learning a thing or two about pirates and knot tying while the kids set sail on the large play ship.

Creepy Nature

Discover truths behind unusual plants and animals like a tarantula and the Burmese python. Are the myths behind these concepts misguided or well-earned? Find out for yourself, if you dare. Creepy Nature can be found at the back of the museum behind the wildlife and habitat halls.

Permanent Indoor Galleries

Get a close-up look at a life-size polar bear, wolf and moose. Stroll through the North Carolina Hall of Natural History, Hall of North American Habitats, Hall of North American Wildlife and Henry Hall of the American Indian. There are some live animals to see as well, including but not limited to turtles, leaf-cutter ants and quail.

Outdoor Areas

The heavily shaded museum grounds and nature trail cannot be missed. Check out the Backcountry Farm to see ways of life of our early settlers. Explore nature as you stroll to the Grist Mill, Stone Age Heritage Site, gazebo, pond and Catawba Indian Village.

After soaking up so much information inside the museum, give little brains a break with a long play break! Play’Scape has rocks and stumps for climbing, as well as a sandbox, play fort and play house. Kids can get creative here; there are no traditional toys, only natural things to explore and discover.

The museum does not have an on-site restaurant, but guests can bring their own refreshments. Pack a lunch or snack for the small tables outside the entrance or the picnic area of the nature trail.

Tiffany Wolff is Charlotte Parent's calendar editor and mom to two boys.