FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Spring is the perfect time to schedule family outings that had been put on hold all winter. But as temperatures climbs into 90s, many of us are looking to get out of the sun, even for just a while. Edventure Children's Museum in downtown Columbia offers the perfect respite from the heat, while providing an educational outing for children that doesn't leave parents bored.

Another mom and I took our combined three children, two 2-year-olds and a 4-year-old, and headed out to the museum during its Farmville event. The event featured all the trappings of a farm, complete with farm animals, tractors and a station where children could plant their own flower.

After we'd had enough sun, we headed inside to visit the usual museum offerings. Though my friend's children had been to the museum before, they explored each area as if it were their first time.

Our first visit was to the World of Works section, a child-sized city aimed at showing kids a diverse group of jobs, from farmers to firefighters.

While on the "farm" (separate from the outdoor Farmville event) they "milked" a cow and counted the eggs underneath a mother chicken. They then put on fire protection gear before loading up in the fire truck. They even had a chance to go through the motions of changing a car's tire and filling up the museum's life-size Volkswagen Beetle with gas.

Each section had a theme: Kangaroo Crossing - which was all about the Australian Outback; Attack of the Bloodsuckers - a room filled with bloodsucking critters like ticks and mosquitoes; the Music Room - which boasted a mini keyboard and hop-scotch board of musical notes; and The Great Outdoors - which allowed the kids the opportunity to play in water while learning about how water currents work.

Each section of the museum is aimed at teaching the children, as well as entertaining them. For our age group, there was more entertaining than education, but with toddlers, it is important to make every moment a teaching moment. Plus, our 4-year-old big sister was sure to help make sure the younger kids were learning.

Although we opted to eat lunch after leaving the museum, food is available in the onsite Clubhouse CafAfA.

Tickets to Edventure are $9.50 for children and adults, and free for children younger than 1. Tickets are $8.50 with a military ID. Memberships are available. Check the Edventure website at www.edventure.org for other prices, hours and a list of upcoming exhibits.

Page last updated Wed April 20th, 2011 at 14:49