South Carolina State Museum


Located in Columbia, South Carolina, the State Museum offers a rich display of history, art, science and technology. The museum is housed in a textile mill known as Columbia Mills that originally opened in 1894. At that time, it was the first totally electric textile mill in the world. The mill produced a material used for conveyer belts and tents.

One of our favorite parts of the whole museum to explore was the textile section. We were able to practice weaving different kinds of fabric, view a replica room from the mill back in 1915, and learn about what various types of fabrics are used for today.

The South Carolina State Museum offers 4 floors of fun to explore, as well as a planetarium, 4D theater, and an observatory.

Highlights for us included:

One of the state’s first trains, The Best Friend of Charleston

We were even able to sit in one of the original cars. Also, there was a very cool model train with several different tracks.

The State Park Section

We really enjoyed the interactive display that helped us discover which SC state parks fit us best. Our whole family took turns filling out the 8 question quiz and we were excited to find that our interests overlap quite a bit!

The 4D Theater

My kids kept asking what “4D” meant and I decided to let them be surprised. A minute into the film, a whale sprayed water on us. I have never seen such excited and amused children. To say that they LOVED the 4D experience would be an understatement!

The Entire Science Floor

I tried to narrow this highlight down a little, but there were just too many great displays. After we left the State Museum my children both asked if I’d taken notes (uh, no!) They wanted to remember all that they learned! I assured them we documented the whole trip in pictures and they could review them. Science came alive as they wandered among the displays and played with some hands on materials! If I could spend a day here every week for a year, I know my children would learn more than most people do in a lifetime!

The Observatory

Maybe it was the incredibly nice employees who took an interest in teaching my children, or maybe it was the awesome garage-door-like roof, or maybe it was the massive telescope, but whatever it was- my kids were totally entranced by this section. Not only did we get to see a very impressive collection of telescopes, but we also got to view the sun! Pretty amazing! And we look forward to returning to the SC State Museum during one of their evening hours to view the stars.

The South Carolina State Museum opens 7-days a week; However, the hours vary. Visit their website for more information and to plan your visit.

*SCSM hosted Mom With A Map during our visit*

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