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Spartanburg preschoolers are about to have their very own spot for fun and learning. The Children’s Museum of the Upstate’s new Spartanburg location will celebrate its opening from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. May 19 at 130 Magnolia St. in downtown Spartanburg.

Opening day will feature free admission as well as a street festival sponsored by the JM Smith Foundation, featuring museum tours, food trucks, games, programming and giveaways on Magnolia Street.

The location features STEAM-based exhibits and programming for preschoolers and their families.

“The space is about 6,000 square feet, and it is intentionally designed for kids 5 and under,” Nancy Halverson, the museum’s President and CEO, said.

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The facility will have plenty of hands-on fun for visitors, but it also helps children on the path to kindergarten. Halverson said data from the area, including that from Spartanburg Academic Movement, shows the need for increased kindergarten readiness for the county’s youngest residents.

“Forty-five percent of their kids don’t have what they need walking in the door on the first day of school,” she said.

Inside the museum, guests can climb into a treehouse where they can sit in a Carolina wren’s nest, get hands-on with bats that cling to the magnetic ceiling and then slide down for more fun. Each of the museum’s six exhibits, including a hospital exhibit and a water table with replicas of the Pacolet and Tyger Rivers, is focused on making learning fun.

“Everything about it celebrates the Upstate and specifically Spartanburg,” Halverson said. “The kids don’t know what they’re getting. They just think they are having a great time.”

Programming will include story times, science experiments, crafts and more in the museum’s classroom.

Halverson said Spartanburg businesses and residents have embraced the museum and what it means to local children.

“It’s been the Spartanburg community that’s made it happen,” she said. “The support has been unbelievable.”

Don’t miss the grand opening May 19. Learn more about the museum and upcoming programs at www.tcmupstate.org.

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