The Power of Play

The Children's Museum of the Upstate is one of the largest children's museums in the nation and was one of the first to become a Smithsonian affiliate. TCMU has two locations in Greenville & Spartanburg, South Carolina and houses over 86,000 square feet of museum space.

TCMU was recently selected to present research on play-based learning at various conferences nationally and internationally.

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Learn more about TCMU's two museum locations.

Museum Guide

These guides explains skills your learner will develop and provide prompts to use during play.

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learn more about tcmu-spartanburg

Take a glimpse at information about TCMU’s location dedicated to early-childhood learning.


Museum guests served since inception in 2018


Square feet of exhibit and play space dedicated to early childhood education


Ages of children supported at TCMU-Spartanburg


Discounted admission tickets provided to EBT, eWICC and Snap card holders

Pop-Up Classrooms

TCMU's Pop-Up Classrooms, which are based on the South Carolina Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, The Spartanburg Academic Movement's Early Development Instrument (EDI), and South Carolina First Step's Profile of a Ready Kindergartner, are designed to help children with the Kindergarten transition.

Each classroom session focuses on a different skill necessary for young learners to be successful in a real classroom and is structured similar to a normal school day.

TCMU-Spartanburg's museum classroom will be set up like a real classroom, to help familiarize young learners with this new type of environment.

Catie Davis, TCMU-Spartanburg's Director will present The Power of Play: How Children's Museums Affect School Readiness, based on TCMU's program Pop-Up Classrooms, which were designed to prepare children for the Kindergarten transition in an impactful way.

Catie Davis

Davis has over nine years of education, academic advising and instructional coach experience. She received her Masters of Arts in Teacher from Clemson University, as well as her Master Certification in Educational Leadership and Administration from George Washington University. 

She is currently the Director of TCMU-Spartanburg and is completing her Doctor of Education in Education Systems Improvement Science at Clemson University. 


Interested in reviewing Catie’s presentation?

Click to view her slides or contact Catie with questions. 


May 2, 2023

How you can prepare yourself and your kiddos for the classroom.

April 22, 2023

Is your child about to enter kindergarten? TCMU Spartanburg is helping kids get ready to start school with totally free pop-up classrooms!

December 13, 2022

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