When the park is too cold for outdoor play, older children have plenty of choices for indoor fun.

But where can babies and toddlers — and parents! — go without freezing? Keep busy with these ideas this winter.

Time for TCMU

Parents of toddlers sometimes how much their children can do at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, but the museum is not just for the big kids.

“All year long, toddlers and preschoolers enjoy playing in a variety of our exhibits like the Toddler Lily Pond, Toddler Construction Zone and Grandma Betty’s Farm,” said Jessica Hayes, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate program manager.

In addition, Grandma Betty’s Farm features a colorful foam-padded corner for babies to explore while older siblings toddle around.

The museum offers a story time, featuring a simple craft, for children 5 and younger. A new fall exhibit, Buddy’s Safety Town, teaches safety and citizenship through dress-up and dramatic play.

“There are helpful tips for grown-ups throughout the exhibit as well, including developmental markers to help you interact with your preschooler,” Hayes said.

Play and learn

Although we miss the library activities, the bright side to the events’ holiday break is that the Play and Literacy Center, or PAL Center for short —  offers more frequent availability weekday mornings.

The space has soft blocks, puppets, board books, trucks and road rug, doll house, play kitchen, plus educational toys galore. The PAL Center is free, but the library parking lot charges small fees on weekdays before 5 p.m. Parking after 5 p.m. and on weekends is free.

Daneen Schatzle, communications coordinator for the Greenville County Library System, suggests calling to make sure the center will be open when outside of normal hours.

You can go

The Play and Literacy Center

  • At the Hughes Main Library
  • 25 Heritage Place, Greenville
  • 1 – 8 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays; from 5 – 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturdays; and 2 – 5 p.m. Sundays.

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate

  • 300 College St., Greenville
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays – Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 5 p. m. Sundays.
  • Admission: Ages 1 – 15: $9; under 1 free; adults: $10; military/seniors ages 65-plus: $9.50 
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