Have you visited the Upcountry History Museum? This Upstate gem offers guests a unique opportunity to learn about the history of Greenville and South Carolina, plus regular book clubs, tot programs, and traveling exhibits of all kinds. There’s often a traveling exhibit perfect for the younger crowd to explore, making this a stop where the whole family can learn and enjoy. If you’ve not been to the museum, we have all the details.
If your family has not already visited the Upcountry History Museum, add it to the list. With several permanent exhibits relevant to the Carolinas and additional interim exhibits to enrich, you’ll find a variety of history to absorb.
Things to Learn at the Upcountry History Museum
Open every day, several areas focus on the South’s role in the wars, and particularly the upcountry (obviously) of South Carolina and Western North Carolina. You’ll find an interactive map detailing the settlers’ relationships with the indigenous people groups in the area and walls of historical details and photos—all a great review of your school history classes from years ago.
Other primary exhibits focus on the importance of textile manufacturing to this area. You can even try your hand at the loading and unloading a loom much like children used to be hired to do for the mills in Piedmont and Taylors. It’s a sobering reality.
The musical influence of the Carolinas warrants another room to explore, and you can settle into one of the theater rooms to watch the history of Bible-based revivals in the South—the roots of the term “Bible Belt” here in the upcountry, if you will.
All these exhibits have options for visual, tactile, and auditory learners, but may be a bit steep for younger children.
Traveling Exhibits at the Upcountry History Museum
The museum takes special care to provide a wing catered to the younger set ages 2-10, though. Throughout the year, new interactive children’s exhibits are reset in order to allow your family to visit more than once to fresh material.
Dinosaurs at UHM
From UHM: “This bilingual interactive experience brings children face to face with the prehistoric world as they cross
thresholds of three distinctive sections to explore the steamy Land of Fire and the chilly Land of Ice, as well as don
research vests in the Field Research Station to uncover dinosaur bones in a dig site and examine fossils.
The Land of Fire connects visitors with the prehistoric home of the Triceratops and T-Rex. Children can
circle the land in insect costumes, buzz through a volcano with oozing lava, and work through a swampy bog to
identify an ecosystem of animals and plants. No coats are needed for a trip across the “Land of Ice” where visitors
meet two dinosaurs, a Troodon and Edmontosaurus, who made their homes in the cold climate of Alaska. Activities
include climbing rocky steps, breezing down an icy slide, and hopping across steppingstones in an icy river.
Young explorers will be fascinated with sculpted, touchable life-sized models that feature scientific
discoveries about dinosaurs’ colors, textures, and structural forms – all while investigating clues these prehistoric
creatures left behind. Though developed for children ages 3-10 years old, this distinctive exhibition will appeal to
other age groups as it builds on the popular fascination with dinosaurs, their history, the science of their existence
and extinction, and the stories surrounding their demise.”
UHM’s Gift Shop
Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop on your way out of the museum. The small playhouse to explore, for the younger set, and a wide variety of seasonal and exhibit-specific toys, books, crafts, and décor. Honestly, the gift shop is a great place to visit just for upcoming birthday gifts. Who isn’t a castle-lover, really? For adults, clothing and historical books often written by local authors can be purchased to take the experience with you. Snacks for yourself and the kids are towards the back at a very reasonable price!
Additional information for your visit can be found on the Upcountry History Museum website, below, including links to their calendar of events. Toddler Time on Saturday, special discussion cafes, homeschool days, and youth book clubs are just a few options from which your family could benefit.
Upcountry History Hours and Address
540 Buncombe Street
Greenville SC, 29601
Tuesday – Saturday 10 am-5 pm
Sunday: 1 pm-5 pm
Closed: Christmas Eve and Day, New Year’s Eve and Day, Easter Sunday, 4th of July, Thanksgiving Day
Open other holidays
Have you been to the Upcountry History Museum? What did you learn?