The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (TCMU) began as the dream of a group of mothers who were committed to creating a world-class, play-based learning space for young children in the Upstate region of South Carolina.

That dream became a reality when TCMU opened in 2009.

Our Mission

To ignite a community of compassionate problem solvers through intentional and inclusive play.

Our Vision

To create a world where no barrier is bigger than a dream.

With two locations in Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina, TCMU is one of the largest children’s museums in the world and was the first children’s museum to be recognized as a Smithsonian Affiliate. 


In 2017, community leaders and advocates in Spartanburg, SC felt the community needed an intentional space designed to support early childhood development and Kindergarten readiness. With significant community support,  TCMU-Spartanburg opened in May 2018.  This location houses 6,000 square feet of exhibit and learning space designed to support children ages 0-6.


TCMU-Greenville houses more than 80,000 square feet dedicated to excellence in play-based learning for children ages 0-12, including 30 unique exhibits reflecting the areas of arts, science, health, transportation, the environment, and more. Learn more here

TCMU fulfills its mission of developing young minds into compassionate problem solvers through purposeful, intentional and accessible play-based learning opportunities.

Our Core Values

Our core values permeate through everything we do at TCMU–from the families we serve, the staff we employ, the programs we offer, to the exhibits we build. 

We WOW our visitors.

We achieve excellence TOGETHER.

We embody a spirit of PHILANTHROPY.


We BREAK barriers.

We are COMPASSIONATE problem solvers.

Our Journey

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate


TCMU-Greenville opens on July 31, 2009.


TCMU becomes the first children’s museum to be named a Smithsonian Affiliate.


The Spartanburg community begins discussions about a play-based learning space focused on early childhood development and Kindergarten readiness.


TCMU-Spartanburg opens on May 19, 2018.


TCMU serves over 250,000 annual visitors, a record-breaking visitation total for the organization.


TCMU-Spartanburg begins hosting Pop-Up classrooms, a program designed to simulate actual classrooms and encourage the development of school skills for rising Kindergarteners.

Learn about the compassionate problem solvers who enable the museum to carry out our mission and serve thousands of families every year.