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“Solid children's museum with some unique exhibits” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Children's Museum of the Upstate

The Children's Museum of the Upstate
300 College Street, Greenville, SC 29601
+1 864-233-7755
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Ranked #11 of 30 Attractions in Greenville
Type: Museums
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Owner description: 80,000 Square feet of fun! The Children's Museum of the Upstate is 7th largest children's museum in the country and only children's museum that is a Smithsonian Affiliate. Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Greenville on the cultural campus of Heritage Green, it's close to all the action and offers ample parking. The museum features 20 exhibit galleries that include a traveling exhibit hall, two outdoor interactive exhibit spaces and an outdoor programming space. Visitors experience more than 100 individual exhibit components with a continuum of programming in the areas of arts, humanities, sciences, health, nutrition and the environment. Kids and adults can simulate flight into space, design their own Formula 1 race car or go exploring in the Climber that reaches up to the skylight. Whatever your age, The Children's Museum is a place of possibility where children and adults alike can explore, discover, imagine, pretend and Be Anything! The Children's museum is committed to serving the needs and interests of all children by providing experiences that spark a lifelong passion for curiosity and learning through play. Open Tuesday - Saturday 9am - 5pm, Sunday 11am - 5pm. Open Mondays from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Atlanta, GA
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Solid children's museum with some unique exhibits”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2011

The first exhibit you see when you enter is the plexiglass climbing exhibit in the center atrium. At 6 years old, my son is getting a little big for it, but he'd spend a solid half hour here when he was younger. My only complaint is that it doesn't go any place. You climb to the top and then back down. At a few other children's museums we've been to (e.g., Houston), the climbing exhibit actually takes you from one floor to the next and exhibit to exhibit. That said, the first floor entry/exit is nice from a "keeping track of your kid" perspective...i.e., that way they don't get out someplace else and wander off.

The next place we always stop is the automotive exhibit. They have some race car simulators there that are always popular. My complaint here is that there's no queue to line kids up to get in to the simulators, so it ends up being a bit of a free for all trying to get a turn. There is also an "Automoblox" exhibit where you can build cars and time them on a course or race them down an obstacle course (you can configure the obstacles yourself...hills, bumps, different textures, etc.).

Next up are the wind experiments. My son isn't very interested in these yet, so we haven't spent much time here. That said, there's a wind tunnel where you can experiment with different objects, a paper airplane station, a wind column station and a wind powered tube delivery system (send plastic balls through various pipes and valves to a destination). There's also a space shuttle flight simulator here (which is generally where my son spends time).

Next is the grocery and body exhibits. We spend very little time here, but some kids seem to love it. The most interesting part of this exhibit for my son is that the grocery items have bar codes and the cash registers have bar code scanners (he likes to scan a few things).

Upstairs they have a rotating exhibit, construction exhibits, a small children area and a light exhibit. I always enjoy the hands-on construction exhibits. My favorite is probably the exhibit where you build a tower and control an earthquake to see how long your tower can stand. My son spends most of his time with the controllable robot arm and conveyor/package exhibits. He also loves playing tic tac toe with the robot.

The light exhibit is confusing (and that is coming from an engineer). I can't figure out what they're trying to demonstrate with many of the handheld lenses/mirrors and have an impossible time trying to explain it to my son. That said, they do have a really great laser exhibit where they project lasers on the wall and let you alter the laser paths with magnetic lenses that stick to the wall. The light bright wall just before the light exhibit is also fun to experiment with.

They also have a great water exhibit in the basement. Very intricate and lots to see and appreciate. The basement also house a music exhibit and an animation exhibit, both of which are very cool. It's hard to classify what the last exhibit area is in the basement. It's a bit of construction, but much more free form.

There's also a cafe in the basement. It provides a nice convenience for times when you're not finished with the museum but need to grab a bite to eat. The food was pretty good last time we tried is, but that was closer to the opening, and a lot of things have changed since then.

The gift shop used to have a lot of interesting toys and games, but has really been scaled back and really doesn't add any value to the experience any more.

Visited August 2011
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140 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Easley, South Carolina
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Visit one year after the first.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2011 via mobile

We took our son the firs week it was open last year. We were really impressed. They have really let the place go at least 20% of the exhibits have out of order signs. No longer impressed.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middleburg, Florida
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Fabulous and Very Reasonable!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2011

The Children's Museum of the Upstate is by far a wonderful place to take your family for a great day! I was impressed with the wrist band safety features there. Our daughter and her cousins participated in an art project/class on the bottom level at the end of our visit......our only regret is that their art work was still dripping wet and so we had to leave it there to dry rather than take it with us! Defenitely go to the bottom floor first to do your art work, then go through the rest of the museum while your pieces dry, so you can take your art with you at the end of your visit! I really loved how they had activites for 5 and under and 5 and older! The water area on the bottom floor was one of the highlights of the day for our family! The bathrooms were very clean and kid-friendly! This is a great place to visit on days when it rains and your plans require you to take the kids inside! There is free parking, and your wrist band allows you to enter and exit throughout the day without any additional cost (in case you want to leave and eat then return). The next time we are in South Carolina, we will defenitely make a return visit!

Visited September 2011
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Greenville, SC
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great place to spend a day!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2011

We really enjoyed our trip to the children's museum. We (me, my wife, and our 2.5 year old daughter) got there around 10:00 am on a Thursday, and, though there were a lot of kids there, there was enough to do so that we had enough space to enjoy ourselves. It was a little pricey for us ($10 each for adults and $9 for children over 2), but we feel like the value was good. We stayed until about 2:30 in the afternoon (because we had other plans for the day). We weren't sure if there would be much to entertain a 2 year old, but we were pleasantly surprised. She loved the little grocery store, the air vacuum display, and the farm area. We could have spent the whole day there and stayed busy the whole time. There is a nice area outside where you could do a picnic lunch. Overall, this is a great place to take your kids for a day!

Visited August 2011
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Chicago, Illinois
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“We had a GREAT time!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2011 via mobile

There are plenty of superb exhibits...you van tell many manufacturing companirs are in the area - there are a lot of things focused on building and robots.
Plenty to keep a 9 and 6 year old busy ALL day.
Cafe was OK...some of the materials in exhibits need replaced, but otherwise a fantastic museum.

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