Have you visited EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia, South Carolina? This museum is the perfect combination of hands-on play and educational fun for your family! Keep reading as we will share all the tips and info you’ll need to make your trip perfect!
Planning Your Trip to EdVenture
From babies to pre-teens, EdVenture Children’s Museum is sure to have something for all! Several exhibits make up the two floors of wonder and include activities ranging from science and engineering to pretend play and everything in between. Before we discuss the exhibits, let’s start with some helpful tips to get you prepared for your “edventure.”
Admissions and Fees
Tickets can be purchased at the museum or online before you go for $11.95/person (children 2 and under are free). Yearly memberships can also be purchased with various price ranges and package deals. EdVenture has a strong belief that EVERY child should have the opportunity to engage in educational fun within the museum. Because of this, they have several discounted admissions options:
- $10.95 entry per person for military and senior citizens
- $2 entry per person for families who receive SNAP, WIC, or Medicaid
- $19 yearly membership for families with a combined household income of $29,000 or less
- Must qualify and fill out an application
Once tickets are purchased, you can leave and re-enter the museum throughout the same day for no extra fees.
Camps, Classes, and Regular Events at EdVenture
EdVenture offers several extra programs throughout the week and during different seasons including:
- Spring Break & Summer Camp
- ages 4-10
- $195 weekly per child, $30 membership discount
- Visit EdVenture Camps online to register.
- “Shake, Rattle & Read”
- Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 am
- 30 min of music, dance, and stories
- Located on first-floor library exhibit
- Free with admission/membership
- “Toddler Time”
- Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:30 am – 10:30 am
- Story and themed craft
- Located on the second floor in “My Backyard”
- Free with admission/membership
- “Tinker Tech”
- Daily from 10 – 10:30 am and 2 – 2:30 pm
- Ages 5-10
- Build, create, craft course overseen by EdVenture employee
- Located on the second floor in the engineering/crafting area
- “Homeschool Friday”
- First Friday of each month during the school year (September-May) from 2:00 – 3:00 pm
- Ages 4-10
- Hands-on activities and socialization specialized for homeschooled students
- Sign up at edventure.org
Babies and Tots at EdVenture
I was very impressed by all of the thoughtful features throughout the museum for even the littlest of littles! For starters, the museum is well-planned out making it easy to maneuver strollers to and from the exhibits. There is also an elevator located in the middle of the museum that is large enough for the whole family – strollers and all!
On the second floor, in “My Backyard” (the area for those under 3 years old), there is a cozy nursing room complete with a rocking chair, bookshelf, and dark, retractable curtains.
On the first floor, to the right of the main entrance, you can enjoy a fresh lunch or quick snacks. The cafe has a decent-sized menu and serves things such as pizza, sub sandwiches, salads, and a variety of grilled items as well as beverages. No outside food is allowed within the museum.
EdVenture Children’s Museum Exhibits
More than nine different areas with endless amounts of learning and exploration can be found at EdVenture. We will walk you through each level of the museum and let you know what to expect as you wander around with your kids!
On the main level of EdVenture you’ll find the majority of the museum’s exhibits.
World of Work
What do you want to be when you grow up? A firefighter? How about a farmer? Or maybe even a chef? You can try it all throughout this exhibit! “World of Work” takes up the majority of the main level of EdVenture.
Your children can climb into a life-size fire truck, flash the lights and even create their own fire escape plan. Across from the firetruck, you will find a dairy and produce farm. Here, your children can “milk” a cow, harvest vegetables, climb onto a tractor and collect fruits from the fruit trees to send to the grocery store.
Next, make a “grocery list” and send your littles out on an errand – the grocery store is always a popular place to be! With small shopping carts, 2 check-out lanes, and realistic foods and goods, your family is sure to have a fun time playing pretend.
Be sure to also check out the diner (situated right outside of the grocery store) and let your kids make you a delicious meal. My favorite thing about “World of Work” is watching my kid’s creativity and imagination come to life in these real-world settings sized just right for them!
You can’t miss him, he’s the world’s largest child measuring in at over 40 feet tall with a heart weighing over 500 pounds! Eddie is his name and he will help teach your children all about body organs and their functions!
You can climb up a set of stairs that will take you into his stomach, intestines, heart, and brain. Eddie is the perfect combination of fun and education as his insides are set up like a jungle gym, but with realistic organs – You can hear his beating heart, the electricity inside of his brain as well as his stomach growling when you listen carefully.
As you make your way up, take a tunnel slide back down to his large shoes (which are each about the size of a car, might I add), and start your exploration again! I love that Eddie opens up a door for parents and caregivers to talk to and teach their children about the wonderful things our bodies can do at such an age-appropriate level.
The News Room
Has your child ever wanted to be on TV? If so, head on over to the “News Room.” Here, your child can pretend to be a news anchor or even a producer. With realistic equipment and large TV screens to look up at, this exhibit is sure to be a treat. Be mindful that to get here, you will have to go up a small flight of stairs!
Wags & Whiskers
Get ready to put your children’s pet care abilities to the test! In this area, they will be able to care for a variety of different animals with x-rays, grooming and veterinary tools, and basic pet care needs.
Inside the library, you will find several bookshelves full of books for all ages, comfy chairs and tables, as well as a puppet show and dress-up area. If you are local to Columbia, you can check out books from the library or just enjoy a short story while you’re there!
Here you will find several life-sized board games as well as a small putt-putt course. Join in on a game of BattleShip or Connect 4 with your family and see who will take home the prize!
Outdoor Fun at EdVenture
The outdoor area at EdVenture is made up primarily of water play which is great in the warmer months, but be mindful that your kids may get pretty wet so an extra shirt or full change of clothes isn’t a bad idea! There are also several tricycles and a small, model airplane in this area that kids can climb into and “fly.”
The seasonal exhibit changes frequently to match whatever is going on during…well, each season! EdVenture often has holiday characters such as Santa and the Easter Bunny set up here. You will also find holiday-specific activities, education on different cultural and traditional beliefs, and goodies throughout the year!
Fly an Airplane on the Second Floor of EdVenture
The second level of the museum is home to all things science, engineering, and technology, but with a closed-off room dedicated to the tiniest explorers.
This part of the museum is full of flight simulators and educational, hands-on displays that teach children about gravity, the solar system, and how/why some things can take flight while others can’t.
My son’s favorite part of this exhibit is the Boeing 757 cockpit where you can sit in the pilot’s seat, explore the gears, and look out of the windshield at a view of the city.
In this area, you can also create and launch your own paper airplane, climb and play in a rocket ship, read interesting facts about aeronautics, and learn to fly in the Boeing 777 flight simulators.
In this area, your children will be able to create and build. In the “Open Make” center, there are several recycled materials where your kids can cut, glue, fold and color their own creations. There are also several different styles of blocks that can be found – magnetic, large Legos, KAPLA blocks, waffle blocks, etc. that will put your child’s problem-solving and engineering skills to the test!
This part of the museum is best suited for children 5-10 years old, however, with extra assistance, younger children might also be able to engage in some of the play (especially with the building blocks).
Strictly reserved for children 3 years old and younger, here you will find tons of toddler and baby-safe play! There is a treehouse-styled jungle gym, a boat where kiddos can dress up in rain boots and large yellow jackets, puzzles, soft play mats, a ball pit, and several ways to meet the sensory needs of your tots!
As mentioned before, there is also a nursing area and large, family-style restroom within.
Party Room at EdVenture
Looking for the perfect place to host a birthday party? You might want to check out the EdVenture party room! Parties are $300 for non-members and $260 for members. The birthday packages come with several incentives including all-day admission for partygoers, discounts in the gift shop, downloadable party invitations, 90-minute private party, and more! You can visit the EdVenture Birthday page to check for dates and find out more.
211 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201
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