When you think of great family activities with children, you might not think of going to a museum right away. You might worry that big kids would be bored, little kids baffled and parents terrified as they imagine priceless works of art destroyed by the sticky embrace of an enthusiastic toddler, or the ceaseless drone of a 10-year-old who would rather be anywhere else.
But South Carolina is blessed with many museums that are fun, fascinating and appropriate for both kids and parents. From natural history and science to art to living history to dedicated children's museums, South Carolina has a museum for your family.
Located in Columbia, the state capital, Edventure is the largest children's museum in the Southeast. It's also home to EDDIE, a huge sculpture of a child that kids can climb through and learn about lungs, kidneys, intestines and other organs as they play.
Children's Museum of the Upstate
Located in Greenville, Children's Museum of the Upstate is the seventh largest in the United States. Unlike many children's museums that are geared more toward toddlers and preschoolers, TCMU really appeals to older kids as well. The Garage Rock exhibit allows kids of all ages to bang away on the crazy and rare instruments, and the WTCM studios exhibit lets them film themselves.
The Sandbox: An Interactive Children's Museum
Located on Hilton Head Island, The Sandbox relocated to an all-new 4,000-square-foot building on the grounds of Lowcountry Celebration Park in 2020, expanding its educational offerings and interactive activities for younger kids. Many of the exhibits, like the two-story sandcastle and two-level shrimp boat, reflect the island's environment and culture. Play centers include a cafe, grocery store and flight deck where kids can stretch their imaginations while learning about the world around them.
Children's Museum of South Carolina
Located in Myrtle Beach, the Children's Museum of South Carolina offers a child-friendly place to take add some variety to your beach vacation. Popular exhibits include the Famous Fraction Pizza Delivery Truck, Kidz Medical Center and Bubble Mania.
Children's Museum of the Lowcountry
Located in Charleston, the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry welcomes kids to dress up like a pirate and climb aboard the museum's very own pirate ship. Kids can travel back in time and explore the Medieval Creativity Castle along with several other exhibits. It's the perfect place for little ones with active imaginations.
Main Street Children's Museum of Rock Hill
Located in Rock Hill, the Main Street Children's Museum of Rock Hill is designed for young children up to age 6. The design of this lovely museum is inspired by the work of artist Vernon Grant, who lived in Rock Hill. It was built as a place for children to imagine and dream.