Think CMSC for imaginative play and interactive fun.
One minute you’re a surgeon, removing (whatever that is) from your patient and the next minute you’re delivering pizza. Maybe you’re an archaeologist discovering a new species of dinosaur, or perhaps you’re a famous artist, a banker, or a weather forecaster. Then again, you can always be a pirate. Argh!
That’s how it is in this interactive museum where kids are in charge of the action and the story line. With over 8000 square feet of space and nearly two dozen play stations, the Children’s Museum of South Carolina (CMSC) is a place where toddlers to twelve year-olds can let their imaginations take them anywhere they want to go, and grown-ups can tag along.
It’s hard to tell at first that the three rooms filled with costumes, props, and science activities are actually a museum. It doesn’t look like your traditional stand-and-gawk type of exhibition hall, and that’s because it isn’t. This is a museum where kids are encouraged to touch in an experience-based environment of learning through play.
Each of the stations is set up with items to get children’s imaginations rolling. The medical station includes an ambulance, white doctors’ coats for kids to wear, and clipboards with paper and pencils to check patients into the emergency room. Budding archaeologists can wear a vest with pockets for tools to dig in the sand, and the pizza baker has a chef’s coat and hat to wear and pieces of pizza to put into pans.
Beyond the obvious, each of the play stations has more than one purpose. For instance pizza baking presents the concept of fractions and the grocery store requires you to count money to pay for your purchases. The puppet theater allows children to make up stories and create puppet shows and the television weather station lets budding meteorologists learn about weather and forecasting.
Other math and science concepts found at the Children’s Museum are magnets, electricity, bubbles, rocks and minerals, colors, shapes and patterns, and recycling. There’s also a reading corner with lots books and comfy seating for some quiet time with mom or dad.
Then there are the pirates. Kids just seem to make new friends automatically and being a pirate means you need a crew, so the more the merrier. The USS Kids-A-Float includes pirate hats and vests, lots of gold doubloons and a treasure map, offering a way for kids to learn some local history.
Since first opening its doors in 1994, the mission of the Children’s Museum of South Carolina has been to “promote and stimulate self-discovery through interactive learning experiences, which will enhance every child’s understanding of his or her global community.” The museum offers a number of outreach programs that are excellent supplements for home school students as well as public schools and community groups.
Field trips, after school science clubs and other programs can be arranged through the museum. The Children’s Museum also offers birthday party packages and you can rent the entire facility for a private party. Contact the Children’s Museum for more details.
You can’t bring food or drinks into the museum, but the lobby has several tables where you can have snack time. The gift shop sells bottled water and a small selection of snack items but you’ll probably want to bring your own. There are no storage lockers or cubbies in the museum, so it’s best to leave valuables or unneeded items in your car.
The Children’s Museum of South Carolina is open year round.
Admission is free for children 23 months and younger. All other ages, $8 per person.
The museum is located at 2204 N. Oak Street in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577, across the street from the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. You can call (843) 946-9469 or visit their website http://cmsckids.org/ for more information.
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