When are programs offered?
Educational programs are offered during the following days and hours throughout the year. Groups can choose up to two one-hour programs per day.
Tuesday through Friday
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
11 a.m. – noon
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
How do I book a program?
If you think our programs would be the perfect fit for your group, please reserve now! Due to popular demand, availability is limited and advanced booking is recommended. We ask that all groups have a minimum of 12 students in order to schedule a program. Please call 803-359-8369 for more information on any of our programs and to arrange a visit.
How much does it cost to bring my school group to the museum?
Nothing! Thanks to the contributions of many generous donors, these programs are offered free of charge. If your group enjoys their time here, please consider making a donation to our youth education fund, so that other children can continue their education through discovering history.
Our 16 programs encourage group participation, offering visitors the opportunity to experience antebellum life in a variety of unique ways.
Children test their skills at such outside games as horseshoes, jump rope, marbles, jacks and other games from the 1700s and 1800s. This is an appropriate choice for grades 2-3 as some fine-motor skills are required for a few of the games. It is also a good accompaniment to the One Room Schoolhouse program to illustrate what recess would have been like for students in the 1800s.
Replica toys, games, stories, and songs from the 1700s and 1800s help children to learn how children of the past enjoyed their leisure time. For example, children will see what dolls and action figures looked like in the 1800s and play with old-fashioned toys like Jacob’s ladders and tumbling men. This program is appropriate for most ages spanning our youngest preschool visitors to upper-level elementary students. This program will be held in our air-conditioned visitors office and is a good choice for hot or inclement weather. Due to the space constraints of this room there is a maximum of 30-35 students allowed at a time.
Historical Story Time
This program is offered in the summer. Various classic stories as well as historical and Native American stories are read.
Loom House and Weaving Games
Children go into a fully outfitted 18th century loom house with spinning wheels and a loom. They learn how these items were used and hear about the work that went into making cloth and clothes. Children get to experience picking seeds out of cotton and the use of cotton cards. They end the program by playing related games to the sound of early weaving songs. Due to space constraints in the Loom House, the groups will be limited to around 25-30 children. This program takes place in a non air-conditioned cabin and the outdoors. 2016 Update: Our loom is currently not operable.
One Room Schoolhouse
The schoolmaster, dressed in period style dress, teaches students reading, writing, and arithmetic. Spelling bees, writing on chalk slates and writing with quill pens show children what a typical school day was like 150 years ago. This program is a good choice for second grade social studies field trips and is often paired with our Colonial Home, Early Games or Historic Pastimes programs. This program takes place in our 1815 schoolhouse that is not air conditioned. Due to space constraints we limit student groups to a maximum of number of 25-30.
Colonial Home Life
Within the historic Lawrence Corley Log House, built around 1771, children learn about life in the colonial era in the backcountry of South Carolina. Various aspects of 18th century life are demonstrated and discussed. Children will get to play colonial games after which they dip candles and take home the finished product. This program is often selected for second grade social studies field trips and is frequently paired with the One Room Schoolhouse program. The Corley cabin is not air-conditioned. Due to size constraints of the cabin, groups will be limited to 25-30 students.
Early Farm Life
Children enter the world of a 19th century farm in this program. They will learn about the historic farm buildings at the museum and will have an opportunity to use authentic tools to rake, hoe, plant seeds and build a scarecrow in our farm setting. There are no animals, however. This program takes place outdoors and is most appropriate for our younger visitors aged 4-7 years old.
Everyone loves the kitchen, especially the John Fox kitchen from the 19th century. After seeing the kitchen and learning how certain items were used, children proceed into the kitchen yard and inspect all of the outbuildings used for preparing a meal. Children even get to see a historic privy. The activities in the yard include butter churning, corncob shucking, using a coffee grinder, and much more. Teachers and parents will be given a short list of food items needed to participate in this tour, which can be found at any grocery store. Due to space constraints groups will be limited to 25-30 students. This tour is appropriate for younger audiences and is primarily held outdoors.
Life in the "Big House"
The John Fox House, constructed around 1832, provides the backdrop for this program focusing on the lifestyle of an upper-middle class family in antebellum Lexington. The tour starts in the circa 1810 Daniel Koon House where a guide will share and explain everyday antebellum items that may be unfamiliar to us now. Artifacts such as a bed warming pan, a spittoon, a chamber pot and a rope bed are introduced to the group. Children will get to experiment with replica items before heading for a tour of the interior of the John Fox House. This program is appropriate for second graders and up. Due to the size of the Koon Cabin and the difficulties of maneuvering around the John Fox House, groups will be limited to 25-30 students.
Life Behind the "Big House"
This program offers students the chance to learn more about the outbuildings and dependencies located behind the John Fox House as well as the enslaved people who lived and worked within them. Meant to be an accompaniment to our Life in the “Big House” program, children tour the kitchen, slave cabin and outbuildings while discussing the lives and contributions of enslaved workers to the household. We also discuss how objects discovered in our museum’s collection are helping us learn more about the enslaved people who lived here. This program is geared toward students in the third grade and up. Due to the size of the cabins groups will be limited to 25-30 students.
Early Christmas Crafts
This tour is usually offered for only a week in December and follows our annual Christmas Open House event. The John Fox House, circa 1832, is decorated with period decorations which the children are shown as they look through the house. After the tour, the children make these same period decorations such as popcorn strings, pomanders, and gum drop trees which they are allowed to take back to the classroom. Groups will be required to bring their own fruit for pomanders, which can be either apples, oranges, or other fragrant citrus fruits. This program is a memorable Christmas experience. Due to the space constraints of the room, groups will be limited to a maximum number of 20-25 students.
History of the Postal Service
The museum is home to one of the first post office buildings in Lexington. In this program we will explore how people living in Lexington in the 1800s got messages to their loved ones across the country. Children will learn about the importance of mail delivery in the history of our nation and learn about the different ways mail was transported in the 18th and 19th centuries. Examples of letters written in the 19th century will be shown and postal stories will be told. Children will practice writing letters and learn how to operate vintage post office boxes. This program will take place in our air-conditioned tour office. Due to the space constraints of this room there is a maximum of 30-35 students allowed at one time.
Museum Grounds Exploration
For groups wanting to see more of our grounds this program is a nice addition. Children will be guided through the various outbuildings and structures located behind the antebellum John Fox House. They will be shown buildings like the privy, the pigeon house, the smokehouse, and more. They will discover how different life was in the 19th century by learning about the structures used for food preservation, soap making, bee keeping and more. They will also have the opportunity to visit our Exhibit Hall to see our carriages and rifle displays. There is not a hands-on component to this program. This program would be a nice addition to our One Room Schoolhouse, Life in the Big House, Historical Pastimes or even our Farm program and is appropriate for all ages.
This is a program in which children see quilts and learn about early quilt patterns and the meanings behind the patterns. A quilt story is read while the children design their own quilt patterns with paper and crayons. This program takes place indoors and is mostly appropriate for our youngest visitors kindergarten through first grade. Due to size constraints, this program is limited to a maximum number of 30 students.