I’m feeling a bit guilty about the low rating awarded to the attraction featured in our last post. It was warranted, but like all “Go BIG” reviews, entirely subjective. It’s just that, with my background in PR, “positive spin” is my comfort zone. I’m also addicted to exclamation points, and have been accused of abusing the “Like” button on Facebook.
So, to infuse my spirit with some rainbows and unicorns, I’m posting this today!
Where we went, and who was coerced into going:
On our adventure-filled holiday road trip, we detoured through Columbia, SC in order to see the world’s largest kid, EDDIE®, who lives at the EdVenture children’s museum. I was really looking forward to this stop, because I knew the kids would enjoy it, and it would be a welcome break from car travel.
Unexpectedly, the northern winter weather we were racing from caught up with us. The city experienced its very first Christmas snowfall! There were only a couple of inches, but it was a big deal there, and the museum opened later than normal. We were fortunate that it was a holiday week and therefore open on a Monday, because it’s normally closed on Mondays from Labor Day to Memorial Day.
WHY did you go there, exactly?
We’re glad we waited for it to open, because EdVenture is a fantastic facility — modern, bright, and clean. It’s the largest children’s museum in the south, featuring nine exhibit galleries with over 350 hands-on activities designed to let children explore and discover the world around them.
As soon as you enter the museum, you’re greeted by EDDIE, the world’s largest child!
Okay, what was so cool about it?
Weighing 17 tons, EDDIE towers 40-feet high, and he’s in the seated position! You can scale his vertebrae, investigate his brain, play in his stomach, and slide out his intestines.
You have to access his innards from entrance points in his backside, on a few different levels connected by stairs. The higher we climbed, the less inclined The Girl was to enter, but The Boy was game for a look at EDDIE ‘S brain.
If your kids are adventurous, and love to climb through the tunnel play structures at Chuck E. Cheese, then they will like exploring this exhibit. If they get frightened at climbing up platforms and across rope bridges, then they won’t be hip to EDDIE.
What almost any kid will like, however, is sliding down EDDIE ‘S bottom half (along the gastrointestinal tract, if you get my drift). When they slide out, a noise is emitted which will get a giggle out of any goofball kid; mine included!
The rest of EdVenture was just as fun for both of them, and I was glad to see exhibits which were accessible and engaging for all age groups from 0 to 12. The Girl spent some time in My Backyard, the enclosed space for the 0-3 set. We moved on to several traveling exhibits on Timbuktu and fairy tales.
Mission Imagination was The Boy’s favorite section, especially the Sounds Good Music Studio, where he hopped out a melody on the sound trigger pads on the floor.
Downstairs, in the World of Work, The Girl got to shop a pint-sized supermarket. Her choices, naturally, leaned toward the junk food. No plastic apples for this one.
Other permanent exhibits include BodyWorks, an engaging exploration of the human body and the seasonal Critter Garden, which highlights biodiversity and the ecosystem. In addition to the exhibits, there’s a daily roster of participatory programs and activities.
A little background info about the place:
Each year, EdVenture welcomes more than 200,000 annual visitors to its spacious 92,000 square foot facility overlooking the Columbia Canal. In addition to being the south’s largest children’s museum, it’s the ninth largest in the U.S. (Check back next month when we’ll post about the world’s largest children’s museum in Indianapolis!)
The space also includes a 200-seat theater for programs and presentations, a café and a gift shop.
If you’re looking for a good place to have lunch outside of EdVenture, we enjoyed the Jimmy John’s location further down Gervais Street. They serve great made-to-order sub sandwiches, served up with humor.
How it rated on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = snoozefest, 10 = add to your bucket list):
We rated EdVenture a 9. Seeing EDDIE was a treat, and the museum was a highlight of our road trip. Definitely worth a visit!
Hey YOU! Go BIG:
EdVenture, 211 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC
There are even more photos of our visit to EdVenture on our Facebook page!