Are you looking for a fun and educational place to spend some time with the kids? Greenville, South Carolina is lucky to have a wonderful children’s museum. We will share all the info you’ll need to plan your day at this popular destination for Upstate families.
Thank you to The Children’s Museum of the Upstate for providing tickets to write this review for our readers.
Looking for more Children’s Museum fun for ages six and younger? Your Preschool-Aged Children are Going to Love TCMU’s Spartanburg Location
This article includes:
What to expect when you spend the day at TCMU
Young children and babies at TCMU
Accommodations for Children with Sensory Processing Needs
Special Programs at TCMU
TCMU 1st Floor Exhibits
TCMU 2nd Floor Exhibits
TCMU 3rd Floor Exhibits
Tickets for TCMU
Spending The Day At The Museum
Three floors of fun await your family at the Children’s Museum of The Upstate. We will go floor by floor to review activities, but here is some helpful info to help you plan your trip.
Bringing Young Children, and Babies To TCMU
A successful outing with young children often requires some planning in advance. The museum has everything parents will need to make time spent there enjoyable.
There is a bottle warmer available for parents to use on the first floor and a microwave in the cafe. Finally, on the third floor of Grandma Betty’s Farm, you’ll find a private Nursing Nook with another bottle warmer.
Both the men’s and women’s restrooms have changing tables. The entire museum is stroller friendly, with a sizeable cargo-sized elevator located at the rear of the building and a smaller elevator situated in the museum’s front.
A Day At TCMU And Children With Sensory Processing Issues
As a parent of a special needs child, I understand that things can quickly shift from happy to panicked without notice. As is the case with most places filled with excited children, the museum can frequently become loud. If you own a pair of noise-canceling headphones, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring them with you just in case.
Things can go from great to NOT GREAT in a flash, and an escape route is handy to have in those moments.
- First Floor Quiet Spaces include:
- At the front of the building, the sensory area is straight back and to the left from the Reedy River Bend water play area.
- On slower days the Cafe is usually fairly empty, and there is an outdoor patio area to grab a fresh breath of air. The outdoor patio area is temporarily closed as of June 2022.
- Adjacent to the rear elevator, there is a family-size restroom to utilize.
- Sensory Square, in front of the small elevator past the Open Art Studios.
- Second Floor Quiet Spaces include:
- The Dream Theater can be a great place to escape from crowds and decompress when not in use.
- Next to the large rear elevator, there is a family-size restroom to utilize.
- Third Floor Quiet Spaces include:
- Next to the large rear elevator, there is a family-size restroom to utilize.
- Beside Grandma Betty’s Farm and steamWORKS, there’s a literacy-focused exhibit with places to get cozy with a good book.
Special Programs At The Children’s Museum
In addition to all the activities available at the museum, weekly enrichment sessions are included at no additional cost.
- Exploration Station– Tuesday – Friday from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
- TCMU Tots– Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday from 10 am – 11 am
- Food Lab– Wednesday & Friday from 10 am – 11 am
- Story Time & More – Tuesday-Saturday at 12 pm
- steamWORKS– Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday from 1 pm – 4:00 pm
- Healthy Hustle– Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday from 2 pm – 2:30 pm
- Healthy Hustle Yoga– Friday from 3 pm – 3:30 pm
- Open Art Studios– Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday from 1 pm – 4 pm
For a full schedule of events at the museum – see the TCMU Event Calendar
Currently, the café is a self-serve vending area offering guests assorted soft drinks, bottled water, milk, juice, coffee, bagged snacks, and a small selection of fruit and sandwich options. Payments are taken through a different point of sale computer, and for this reason, cash isn’t accepted.
TCMU allows parents to bring outside food and drinks in; it just needs to remain inside the café area.
Adventures That Await You On The First Floor Of The Children’s Museum Of The Upstate!
The ground-level floor of the museum is where you’ll find fun for even the youngest of guests!
It is an inclusive outdoor playground that includes a lift for differently-abled children to access the top of the play structure. A structured stack of tires courtesy of Michelin is in the shade and a favorite spot for kids! It’s also a great photo opportunity!
Toddler Lily Pond & Reedy River Bend
This water play area is excellent for all ages. In addition, the museum provides smocks to keep kids dry. The Lilypond is appropriate for museum guests ages one through five!
The Animation Station
Provides guests a lesson in animation and the chance to watch their cartoon strip come to life.
The Upside Down
This unique immersive room is literally flipped upside down. The exhibit features a room with objects flipped so that children can enjoy a different view of the world while walking through.
This room will allow your kids to make music! Play the strings of an alligator mouth, bang the bongos, and more as you travel the marsh with Froggy. Make sure you have your camera ready to capture the talent brought out in your kids!
Open Art Studios
Several times a week, themed art projects will allow your child to express their inner Picasso. Art can be left behind to dry if the paint is used, just set a reminder to go back and retrieve it at the end of your visit.
- Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
For a full schedule of events at the museum – see the TCMU Event Calendar.
Low lighting and a quiet back corner will make this the perfect spot to escape from the crowds. Children can play hopscotch, doodle, and enjoy light sensory activities.
Be Anything Place, Imagine It Room, & Discover It Room
Frequently utilized for private and special events, these rooms are not often open to the public as a part of a regular day’s general admission.
Birthday Party options start at $350, with an add-on option available.
- Imagine It Room – $350 | Up to 25 individuals
- Discover It – $500 | Up to 35 individuals
- Dream It – $650 | Up to 50 individuals
More information about booking private events at The Children’s Museum of The Upstate
Hop In A Race Car To Do Some Grocery Shopping On The Second Floor Of The Children’s Museum Of The Upstate
The main level (floor two) is where the museum entrance is located. The ticketing area and guest services are located to the right of the door as you enter.
Tickets can be pre-purchased on the TCMU website.
Wheels on the Ground
An exploration of the automotive industry, Wheels on the Ground has race tracks to test your speed, a pit crew station, an engine to tinker with, and even a life-size bus for your kids to pretend to drive you around town in.
The museum’s centerpiece is the colossal climbing structure in the center, which will keep your children occupied for hours. It rises toward the top of the building, but the only way on and off is at the ground level.
The Dream Theater
The Dream Theater includes a mural by local artist Adam Schrimmer. In addition to special events held here, the theater will be the new location for the museum’s storytime activities offered Tuesday through Saturday at 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM.
The Prisma Health Children’s Hospital & The Teddy Bear Clinic
This area gives children a chance to learn about their bodies and give their stuffed animals a check-up! There is even a lifesize version of the game Operation to tinker with!
The Healthy Heroes area offers physical challenges for guests of all ages. A rock-climbing wall, an arm strength challenge, and more will show your children the strength they didn’t know they had within them!
How often do your children want to grab that tiny shopping cart at the grocery store when they’re in a hurry? You know, the one that will ultimately wind up crashing into your shin and crippling you.
The TCMU Publix location is the answer.
A pint-sized Publix, complete with kid carts, groceries to “buy,” a bakery to work in, and registers to check out their selections! Sit back and let the kids take care of the groceries!
What’s Cookin’ Kitchen
This adorable kitchen play cafe allows your children to make sandwiches and salads to serve to their customers.
That grocery money has to come from somewhere, right? Kids can pretend to withdraw money from the bank to buy their ice cream and cake at neighboring Publix.
Up in the Air
This section explores aerodynamics while your child plays in a wind tunnel (so much fun!) or creates their very only plane, out of paper that is.
The museum gift shop offers a selection of educational toys and books. The addition of online shopping means you can grab that great thing you saw, even after being at the museum.
The TCMU online Store is also a great way to buy gifts you know they will love!
The Third Floor Fun At The Children’s Museum Of The Upstate Is Full Of Surprises
The top floor of the museum has separate spaces geared toward both younger and older kids. In addition, the nursing area for parents is located right off the rear elevator on this floor, if needed.
Grandma Betty’s Farm
It has all of the (pretend) elements of a farm to keep those toddlers excited about visiting Grandma Betty’s. This area is specifically suited for children ages five and younger. The Nursing Nook is located in this area to give nursing mothers a private and relaxing area.
Programming will emphasize learning areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math through hands-on activities. These activities are designed to encourage children’s creative thinking process, their problem-solving skills and inspire an innovative spirit. This area is designed for school-aged children.
Enrichment activities will be offered Tuesday-Saturday at 12 PM and Tuesday and Thursday at 2:30 PM.
Fun & Games
Your family can play a life-size game of Chess!
Learn about recycling and more while interacting with a sculpture made from recycled materials.
It offers guests a look into what local community resource offices do to help. Each month a different community organization will be featured, and children will have the opportunity to participate in activities to thank these local community helpers.
Design It & Construction Zone
These areas will give kids the opportunity to construct their structure both manually and with robotic assistance!
Geo’s Golf is an Upstate-themed mini-golf course. The 9-hole golf course is perfect because you can enjoy a mini-round of putt-putt without dealing with the heat of the outdoors.
Different-sized golf clubs mean everyone can play a round at Geo’s!
FAQS and Ticketing Info for The Children’s Museum Of The Upstate
Parking for the museum is located at the rear of the museum, in the parking garage next to the Greenville Library Headquarters, and in the front along College Street on the weekend. The fee is .50 per hour with a maximum charge of $4 per day. Parking is free after 5 PM on weekdays and all day on weekends.
Advance timed ticketing is encouraged for entry. Tickets can be pre-purchased on the TCMU website.
- Greenville resident, adult, and child ticket: $12
- Greenville non-resident, adults, and child ticket: $18
- Babies 11 months and under: Free
- Seniors | Military | Teachers: $10
- Museums for All Admission: $3 (must present EBT card to qualify)
Memberships To TCMU
All of the details for The Children’s Museum Memberships can be found on the museum website.
- Monday – Closed
- Tuesday through Saturday – 9 am – 5 pm
- Sunday – 11 am – 5 pm
What is your favorite exhibit at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate – Greenville?