South Carolina State Museum

My kids and I hit the road yesterday and headed south.  Our destination was the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, SC.  I wanted to combine family fun with a day of learning.  I think we were successful.


The SCSM has four floors of exhibitions.  Instead of spending time on the first floor, we jumped to the second.  Once there, we were met with a giant suspended megalodon shark replica.

IMG_2262My kids are entirely too interested in sharks.  Last summer, one of my kids named his hermit crab Mary Lee.  Mary Lee was one the sharks that was being tracked off of the coast of North Carolina.  So, the gigantic shark, along with some shark jaws on display, was a huge hit with my kids.



As we moved through the South Carolina habitats, my kids lingered on the Swamp Forest.  There was a poster that had a list of items to find.  Isaac said, “Mom, we’re playing I-Spy!”   That totally warmed my heart.

These prehistoric creatures were huge.  The above beaver was as large as my kids.  It reminded me of the giant rats in “Princess Bride.”  Creepy….


Albertosauras Libratos


A selfie with my buddy, Bony.  He’s a Malasaura Peeblesorum.


I LOVED the hands on activities they had throughout the museum for the kids.  This one was an “archaeologist dig.”  They used brushes to wipe away the debris and reveal the surprises.

After we spent a good bit of time on the second floor, the twins were getting a little restless.  So, we quickly walked through the third and fourth.  I wanted to make this a fun trip for the boys, so we attended the 4-D Rio movie.  That was really cool.  Not only did we wear 3-D glasses, but the seats vibrated, we were sprayed with mists, and bubbles floated around.

Next up, we went through the Julius Caesar Roman Military Might and Machine exhibit.  The kids were so excited about this part of the museum.


“Veni, Vidi, Vici.”  – Julius Caesar

I came. I saw. I conquered.

We saw entirely too much to comment on.  Needless to say, it was interesting.



What I Learned……

This model shows how the Hypogeum worked.  I have always wondered where and how they kept the animals in the Colosseum.  The Hypogeum was a two level tunnel network with 32 animal pens located under the Colosseum.  There were 80 vertical shafts that provided instant access for animals and scenery. They used  a complicated man powered mechanism to lift gladiators and animals onto the arena floor.


I really liked this display of the typical Roman tablet.  We made a version of this in home school last year.  I think it was pretty cool for the kids to see what they actually looked like.

There were several hands on activities throughout this exhibit.  The kids used the pulleys, made designs with mosaic tiles, saw how aqua ducts worked, used a small model of a battling ram, built an arch with blocks, and used an abacus.





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