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Countdown to Kindergarten is back for 2021

Events at both locations of The Children’s Museum of the Upstate will help kids head back to school – or be ready to go for the first time.

Countdown to Kindergarten returns to TCMU-Spartanburg from 6 – 8 p.m. Aug. 6. This event is free and designed for families with rising 3K, 4K and 5K students.

“It is an annual event – obviously, we were not able to host it last year – that really focuses on getting those 3K, 4K and kindergarteners ready for the school year ahead,” Jessie Cappello, Marketing and Communications Manager for TCMU, said. “A double focus is preparing the caretakers, parents and grandparents, but it’s also for kids, too.”

Magnolia Street, in front of TCMU-Spartanburg in Downtown Spartanburg, will be blocked off to allow community partners to set-up and provide resources for children and families. Event partners are all primarily focused on student success and childhood development. They include Ballet Spartanburg, Spartanburg County District 6, Spartanburg County First Steps, Spartanburg County Public Library and more. 

Students will get some hands-on practice with kindergarten by seeing the inside of a real school bus, learning how to load and carry a lunch tray and more. 

This event is free to all who RSVP. For details, visit

At TCMU-Greenville, the return to school will be celebrated with a museum fundraiser that includes the whole family. The Back to School Bash is 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Greenville location. This ticketed event will allow for a full day of play in the museum, as well as a variety of events and activities, such a STEM activity held by Clemson University, a reading-focused art activity and more. 

Designed to get children excited about the return to school, this event is for preschool students through fifth grade. 

“We pride ourselves on being a resource for families,” Cappello said. “We want to get kids excited about going into the classroom but we want families to know, at both locations, we will continue that learning and that engagement. We are big on play-based learning. After they leave the classroom, come hang out with us and continue those critical thinking skills and imagination in a fun, different way.”

Timed-entry ticketing is required to manage capacity. Time of visits will not be limited, and timed-entry tickets will be available on the half-hour. Families can purchase tickets by the total amount in their party, with options ranging from a family of two ($25) to a family of six ($65). TCMU members receive discounted prices.

Get tickets and other information at