Celebrating South Carolina Children’s Museum Week

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You already know and love The Children’s Museum of the Upstate. But did you know there are even more children’s museums across the state of South Carolina? Each one is unique, but united in their dedication to learning through play. For the second year in a row, we are celebrating South Carolina Children’s Museum Week to highlight the special contributions these organizations make to our state.

The South Carolina Association of Children’s Museums

In 2023, six of the state’s children’s museums formed an alliance to help maximize statewide impact. The South Carolina Association of Children’s Museums, or SCACM, began in early 2023 to bring more attention and awareness of the importance of the educational value of children’s museums.

Not only do the children’s museums provide educational value, they also provide tourism dollars to their communities and to the state of South Carolina as a whole. According to the alliance’s 2022-23 admissions data, each county in South Carolina has been impacted by at least one of the five children’s museums. Together, the museums reached nearly half of a million people in admissions in 2022 from every zip code in the state.

South Carolina Children’s Museums

Where are the children’s museums in South Carolina and what makes them each unique? Let’s start with the two locations you are probably most familiar with.

a little girl playing mini golf in the children's museum

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate

The Children’s Museums of the Upstate, or TCMU, consists of two locations. TCMU-Greenville opened in 2009 after more than a decade of groundwork and fundraising from community members. Housed in what was once the city’s Main Library, TCMU-Greenville covers more than 80,000 square feet and includes more than two dozen unique exhibits reflecting the areas of arts, science, health, transportation, the environment and more.

TCMU’s second location is in downtown Spartanburg. It’s currently 6,000 square feet and is geared towards early childhood development. This location’s two floors of exhibits are designed to support children ages 0-6, with a spotlight on kindergarten readiness.

a boy sitting in a chair with a camera


EdVenture has locations in two South Carolina cities: Columbia and Myrtle Beach. EdVenture’s Columbia location is the second largest children’s museum in the country, second only to Indianapolis. Guests are greeted by Eddie, the world’s largest 10-year-old and multi-story Exploratorium with a three-foot-wide smile. EdVenture Columbia includes nine other curated worlds including Busy Bee Farm, a television studio, and a 757 aircraft teetering high above the city.

EdVenture Myrtle Beach is a 3,000 square foot space located in Market Common. Hands-on exhibits include a Publix Market, a flight simulator and a stage complete with costumes for impromptu performances.

two children standing next to each other in front of a building

The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry

The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, located in downtown Charleston, opened in 2003. Designed to spark imagination and curiosity for kids ages 0-10, guests are invited to explore environments that include a Lowcountry pirate ship, and a construction zone with real tools.

a young boy in a toy boat with a flag

Main Street Children’s Museum in Rock Hill

Serving children up to age six, Main Street Children’s Museum aims to prepare young learners and their caregivers for the future through creative play focusing on literacy, movement, music, art, and STEM. The space is a storybook-come-to-life, modeled after the artwork of Vernon Grant, renown illustrator of Kellogg’s iconic characters – Snap, Crackle and Pop. The space includes a giant slide, a ship and a dress-up area inside a former bank vault.

a woman is standing next to a giant pink object

South Carolina’s Governor Supports SCACM

In 2023, Governor Henry McMaster declared the first week of April Children’s Museum Week. Through this proclamation, the governor encouraged all South Carolinians to visit, support, and share the joy of learning at our state’s Children’s Museums, in large part thanks to the joint efforts of these institutions to bring attention and awareness of the importance of education in all aspects of a child’s life.

This year, SCACM is once again celebrating South Carolina Children’s Museum Week. Set for April 6-12, each museum will hold special programming to mark the occasion. Each children’s museum will also participate in a giveaway on Instagram, where one lucky winner will receive a 4-pack of tickets to every children’s museum in the alliance, plus hotel stays at:

  • The Marriott Charleston: Overlooking the Ashley River, offers easy access to beautiful downtown historic Charleston, the old city market, local area beaches, The Citadel, and of course, The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry.
  • The Hilton Columbia Center: Located in the Vista, Columbia’s historic commercial district, this hotel offers free wi-fi, a heated outdoor pool and a Ruth’s Chris Steak House. It is also conveniently located just one mile from the EdVenture Children’s Museum.
  • The Aloft Greenville Downtown: An urban, loft-inspired experience includes a gym, pool and a location in the heart of the city. It’s just a two minute drive to TCMU-Greenville, or an 8-minute easy walk.

From Greenville to Charleston, and everywhere in between, these interactive and educational spaces offer a plethora of hands-on exhibits, engaging activities, and creative play areas tailored to ignite curiosity and inspire learning in young minds. Whether it’s exploring science, or unleashing creativity, each museum promises an enriching experience for families and children alike, making them invaluable resources for both entertainment and education in the Palmetto State.

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