Fairy tales that have been favorites around the world for generations have come to life at the Upcountry History Museum. “Once Upon A Time: Exploring the World of Fairy Tales,” the first nationally touring exhibit devoted exclusively to fairy tales, opened June 2 and will continue through Sept. 9.

“It is a hands-on, play-based exhibition,” Elizabeth Gunter, the museum’s Director of Education and Programs, said. “All of the text is in English and Spanish. It is designed to promote literacy through play. We want children to be confident and strong in reading and writing.”

Seven stories will be featured, each with its own area.

“It literally looks like you are walking into the story book,” Gunter said. “Families can sit and read together but they can also dress up in costumes and act out scenes.”

Climb inside a pumpkin coach in “Cinderella,” prepare a feast at the big table in “Beauty and the Beast,” climb the beanstalk – and then slide down – in “Jack and the Beanstalk” and more. Children can travel the world with “Anansi and the Talking Melon” from Ghana and “Lon Po Po,” a Chinese version of “Little Red Riding Hood.”

Gunter said the exhibition looks at the different origins of tales but also at how elements are the same across cultures. Children can learn the key elements of fairy tales by designing their own.

You can go

“Once Upon A Time: Exploring the World of Fairy Tales” opens Saturday, June 2 at the Upcountry History Museum. Summer hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 – 5 p.m. For more information, call 864-467-3100 or visit

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