FAQs

Q?

What types of payment do you accept?

A.

TCMU accepts cash, check, or credit cards - Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover.

Q?

Where does the museum get its financial support?

A.

As the 7th largest children’s museum in the country and 10th largest in the world, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate has become an educational resource, vital institution, and attraction for the entire region. But even with such a strong start, we need your continued commitment. As a private non-profit organization, TCMU earns approximately 60% of its revenue through admissions, memberships, rentals and classes, while 40% is contributed by corporations, foundations and individuals. Please consider a gift in support of our mission to spark a passion for curiosity and learning through play. You have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of today’s children and future generations, and we are grateful for your consideration. To discuss additional support opportunities, please contact Jami Wood Emory, Director of Development, at 864.553.7920.

Q?

Do you have a volunteer program?

A.

TCMU volunteers have the chance to interact with visitors, assist staff in the action-packed exhibits or help our hard-working Administrative team. All volunteers will be subject to a background and reference check and will receive training related to their volunteer assignment. For more information about the volunteer program visit our volunteer page.

Q?

How do I book a Private Party or Special Event?

A.

Looking for a place to host your next special occasion? Have your next corporate event, wedding, family night or board meeting at TCMU. Our Event Coordinator can be reached at 864-553-7910.

Q?

How do I book a birthday party, school group, or group admission visit?

A.

Our Guest Services and Sales department can be reached at 864-233-7755 for assistance with field trips, group visits, museum events, and birthday parties.

For birthday parties, you can submit a date request on this page.

For school field trips, you can submit a date request by following instructions on this page.

For group admission, you must call our sales office at 864-233-7755 at least 30 days in advance to make a reservation. Learn more here.

Q?

Is my membership tax-deductible?

A.

If you chose to purchase a Family Patron membership, a portion of your membership is tax-deductible. TCMU is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. No goods or services were provided in exchange for your generous financial donation.

Q?

Can a nanny/caregiver be listed on a membership?

A.

Yes! Up to two additional adults may be added to a Family or Grandparent Membership for $36 per person for a year. The Family/Grandparent Plus Membership offers the opportunity to add three additional adults to the membership and 10 museum passes you can give to anyone!

Q?

Do you have a reciprocal relationship with other children’s museums?

A.

At this time we do not offer a reciprocal relationship with other museums.

Q?

Can I purchase a membership as a gift?

A.

Yes! Gift memberships of any level are a great way to give the gift of innovative, child-centered fun to someone else.

Q?

Can I Test-Drive a Membership?

A.

Yes! Your daily admission fee can be upgraded to an Annual Membership! If at any time on the day of your visit you decide to purchase a membership, take your receipt to the Admissions desk before 5pm and your admission fee will be applied. Please note: Admission already paid will be applied to membership balance if purchased on the same day ONLY.

Q?

Why should I consider becoming a museum member?

A.

Museum members receive unlimited free admission to TCMU all year long! Members also receive a variety of benefits including: discounts on birthday parties and camps, early enrollment in camps and classes, and exclusive invitation to preview new exhibits.

Q?

Can you smoke or chew gum in the museum?

A.

TCMU is a smoke-free, gum-free facility. The Heritage Green campus is smoke-free as well.

Q?

Is there a place for seating?

A.

Thanks to our friends at the Kiwanis Club of the Carolinas and the many local artists that participated in our “Sweet Seat” program, TCMU visitors can enjoy beautifully handcrafted benches found throughout the museum.  There is also ample seating in the café for resting and enjoying a snack.

Q?

Is TCMU handicap accessible?

A.

Yes, TCMU and its exhibits are handicap accessible, including the Formula 1 Race cars, the space shuttle simulator, and a wheelchair terrace that runs through our Climber. For further assistance, please see Guest Services on the main level.

Q?

Is there dedicated space for nursing mothers?

A.

The museum environment is built to suit the needs of young children, parents, and caregivers. Amenities include a semi-private nursing area with chairs in Grandma Betty’s Farm (on the 3rd floor) and private family bathrooms (on every floor) with changing tables to make your museum visit easy and enjoyable.

Q?

Are strollers allowed?

A.

Yes, strollers are allowed in the museum. Walkways have been designed for plenty of space for strollers and wheelchairs. A stroller parking area is available in front of The More to Explore Store on the 2nd floor.

Q?

What should we wear on a visit to TCMU?

A.

The museum is action-packed so dress comfortably. Some of our interactive programs and classes can be messy (Finger Painting, Play in Clay, Kids’ Cooking, etc.). A change of clothes for younger visitors may come in handy after visiting the Toddler Lily Pond.

Q?

Can we bring outside food and drink into the museum?

A.

Outside food and drinks are not permitted in the museum. For the safety of our guests and exhibits, no food, gum, or drinks are allowed in the exhibit galleries. The museum café sells a variety of snacks and lunch options.  The café is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11am-2pm and Sunday from 12:30-4pm.  Families are also welcome to pack a lunch and picnic on Heritage Green. For more information please visit the Café page.

Q?

Can adults visit without a child?

A.

Absolutely, but please arrange a guided tour ahead of time. This policy is to ensure the protection of all children and fosters a safe family environment. To schedule a tour email info@tcmupstate.org.

Q?

What is the minimum age of a chaperone?

A.

All children under 16 must be accompanied by a chaperone. Chaperones must be 16 or older. No more than 5 children per chaperone will be admitted.

Q?

May I leave and return in the same day?

A.

Yes! Admission covers all-day exploration. Wristbands allow you to leave and return at your leisure.

Q?

How much time does it take to explore the museum?

A.

The length of time visitors spend at the museum varies, and is usually dependent on your child’s age and interests. The museum has three floors with 19 exhibit galleries with more than 100 exhibit components. Exhibits are intended to engage children in educational imaginative play.  Some visitors come for the whole day; our museum members often drop in  just for specific programming. We suggest 3-4 hours in order to see and do everything.

Q?

Where can I park?

A.

Parking is available in the Heritage Green parking deck next to the Hughes Main Library. Parking is 50 cents per half-hour, up to $4 for the day.  Parking is free after 5pm and on weekends. Handicapped Parking is available in the Heritage Green parking deck and directly behind the Museum in our Employees Only parking lot. Bus loading and unloading is directly in front of the museum, while bus parking is available along Elford Street. Visit the Field Trips section of this website, or contact Guest Services for directions.

Q?

When is the best time to visit?

A.

During the school year, a visit after 1:00 pm (Tuesdays through Fridays) avoids many of the museum’s school field trips and group visits. The toddler exhibits are typically busier in the mornings; however, this is an excellent time for infant/toddler play groups and for parents to socialize with other parents.

Q?

Are there discounted rates or coupons available?

A.

Occasionally TCMU participates in seasonal promotions, but annual memberships are the best value. With an annual membership, your family can enjoy unlimited visits and public programming at the museum for an entire year, plus member discounts and early registration for all camps and classes! For more information about TCMU’s memberships, click here.

10% off  general admission is available for Military ID Holders. 5% off general admission is available for Seniors 65+.

Groups discounts are available for groups of 15+ when a reservation is made 30 days in advance. Please visit our group visit page to learn more.

Q?

What can my family do at TCMU?

A.

There is something new to do every day at TCMU. The museum boasts 80,000 square feet of interactive exhibits. With 19 hands-on galleries, there is plenty of fun and learning to be had. Kids and adults can simulate flight into space in 3,2,1 Blastoff, design their own Formula 1 racecar in Start Your Engines, or go exploring in the Kaleidoscope Climber. At any age, The Children's Museum of the Upstate is a place of possibility where children and adults alike can explore, discover, imagine, pretend, and Be Anything! To see programs and specials scheduled on the day of your visit, please visit the online calendar here.

Q?

What is the target age group at the museum?

A.

TCMU is for the young and the young at heart, but specifically, we target children from birth to age 12 and their caregivers.

Q?

What is there for toddlers?

A.

Each of our exhibits, experiences, and programs are designed to engage a broad range of children’s interests. For early learners (5 and under), we have 5 exhibit components designed to target early childhood development: Grandma Betty’s Farm, Toddler Lily Pond, GHS Teddy Bear Clinic, The BI-LO Market, and Toddler Construction Zone. On Tuesday-Saturday early learners can attend Story Time and More in the “Get Up and Grow Room” in Grandma Betty’s Farm. On Tuesdays during the school year we offer additional programming for ages 5 and under. Click here to learn more.