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Learn About Upstate Play Partners!

At The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, we strive to embody a spirit of philanthropy.  That’s why it’s one of our six core values. One way we demonstrate this value is through Upstate Play Partners. 

UPP exists to allow at-risk, under-served communities, and families of children with disabilities to visit the museum free of charge, thanks to grant funding. Every year we award non-profits with a select number of museum tickets to distribute to the communities they serve. 

The intention of the program is to encourage family time and hands-on learning together in support of the museum’s mission: Ignite a community of compassionate problem solvers through intentional and inclusive play.   

To apply, please follow these steps:

  1. Fill out the application form
  2.  Submit your organization’s 501(c)(3) as well as list of current Board of Directors’ names and place of business to Community Engagement Manager Lindsey Lusk, [email protected].

Congratulations to our 2024 partners: 

  • Queen Bee Charities* 
  • AnMed Therapy – Pediatrics* 
  • PMAC 
  • Parenting and Family Literacy  
  • Ripple of One* 
  • Nurse Family Partnership – Prisma Health  
  • Fostering Great Ideas 
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upstate 
  • Upstate Fatherhood Coalition  
  • Homes of Hope Inc.  
  • Greenville Free Medical Clinic* 
  • Hispanic Alliance  
  • Bel-Aire Community Partners* 
  • Greenville County Foster Parent Association  
  • Communities in Schools South Carolina* 
  • YouthBASE  
  • A Child’s Haven
  • Greenville County DSS
  • Just Say Something*
  • Make-a-Wish South Carolina*  
  • The Frazee Center
  • Easterseals South Carolina
  • Julie Valentine Center*
  • Eleos Ministry
  • The Advanced Institute for Learning and Discovery (AID-L)
  • Pendleton Place
  • The Pheonix Center 

* indicates a brand new UPP for 2024.

Partnership Agreement

  • By receiving Upstate Play Partners tickets, all partner organizations agree to abide by the program policies. Please review the Upstate Play Partners Guidelines and Agreement for more information. 
  • Organizations that demonstrate a disregard for these policies may potentially lose their tickets and/or not be invited back to the program.  
  • Please note that if no more than 70% of tickets are redeemed in one calendar year, the organization is subject to ‘inactive’ status whereupon reinstatement of Upstate Play Partners partnership is contingent upon program capacity.  
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Community Engagement Manager Lindsey Lusk via email at llusk@tcmupstate.org or by phone at (864) 553-7928. 

FAQS

How are tickets awarded?
  • Tickets are distributed to UPP partner organizations once a year based on the usage history amount, TCMU’s amount of available funds, and successful application completion.  
  • A successful usage rate is defined as a redemption rate of 70% or higher per year. Ticket availability is contingent on funding, which the museum secures through individual and corporate donors.   
  • Each organization is responsible for determining its own distribution policy to its clients. Some organizations choose to make the tickets a reward for successful progress in or completion of a program. Others allow direct service providers (caseworkers, therapists, etc.) to pass out tickets at their discretion. Partner organizations have the freedom to develop a distribution model that best fits their needs, including when and how to distribute their ticket allotment.  
  • If most tickets allocated will be used at a specific time of year, please communicate with TCMU, as well as if the organization needs more tickets before the end of the year.  
How are tickets distributed?
  • Tickets will be available for pick-up at TCMU.  
  • By request, under unique circumstances, TCMU will mail tickets to the organization  
  • Organizations may email to check how many tickets have been redeemed so far.  
Where are my tickets eligible?
  • Organization tickets will be eligible for use in both our locations, TCMU-Greenville, and TCMU-Spartanburg.  
  • Please note TCMU-Spartanburg serves children 6 and under.  
How do we use the tickets?
  • Each ticket is good for 1-day admission to the museum for one individual.  
  • For groups of 15 or more, all partner organizations must reserve the visit date with a UPP contact. Please contact 
  • For groups less than 15 – please come to the admissions desk the day of your visit – make sure to bring your physical ticket copy for validation.
Who needs a ticket for TCMU entrance?
  • Every person age 1 and up needs a ticket for TCMU-Greenville entrance.    
  • Every person 6 months and up needs a ticket for TCMU-Spartanburg entrance. 
  • TCMU counts individuals 16 years old and over as adults. 
  • Required ratio: the museum requires at least one adult per every 5 children  
  • For security purposes, adults may not enter the museum unaccompanied.  
  •  
How do we get more tickets?
  • The organization will be assigned a specific number of tickets at the beginning of the year. You can call us or email us at any time to see how many tickets you still have left.  
  • Your organization must use at least 70% of tickets per year to remain in the program.  
  • Unused tickets do NOT roll forward/accrue.   
  • If your organization requires more tickets than you currently have, please contact the Community Engagement Manager, Lindsey Lusk at [email protected] for Greenville tickets as special arrangements may be made.  
  • Remember, tickets are available contingent on funding.  
When do our tickets expire?
  • Tickets expire the last day the museum is open for the 2024 calendar year.  
  • Please make every effort to use 100% of the tickets by that date as all tickets are generously paid for through contributions from private donors, corporate sponsors, and grants.  
Can we use the tickets for a field trip?
  • Yes, but the 5:1 child to adult ratio must be met upon entering the museum. Groups will not be admitted until the quota is met.    
  • Please contact the Community Engagement Manager, Lindsey Lusk, via email – [email protected] to book a field trip. They will connect you with the Field Trip Coordinator.  
Can staff members use tickets?

Yes, only in the following circumstances:  

  • The staff member is attending the museum as part of his/her job duties (e.g., a therapist attending with a family to practice skills).  
  • The staff member is serving as a legal guardian for the children attending (e.g., a group home worker bringing residents).  
  • The staff member provided transportation for the family to visit.  
  • The staff member is supervising the visit.  
  • A “community day” was planned and staff members are needed to reach the museum’s 5:1 ratio.   

Staff members may not use a ticket in the following circumstances:  

  • As part of a fundraiser or auction. (You may request one family 4-pack per year by filling out this request form.) 
  • When visiting as a general patron for recreational purposes or with his/her family (i.e., not as part of his/her job duties) 

Please contact the Community Engagement Manager if a situation arises that you feel meets these requirements but is not listed.