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The Lexington County Museum currently offers 16 hands-on historical experiences that allow children to step back into time.
These programs last about an hour with the exception of the Native American program, which is a two-hour program. Most of the programs were designed with 2nd/3rd grade South Carolina Social Studies Standards in mind. Programs which are more suitable for younger audiences are noted in the descriptions.
Educational Programs are offered during the following days and hours throughout the year. Up to two successive one-hour tours may be done by each group during a day:
Days: Tuesday through Friday
Times: 9:30 am – 10:30 am
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
We currently have limited availability for Fall 2016 and are now booking Spring 2017. Please contact the Visitor Services Coordinator at 803-359-8369 for more information or to set up a tour.
How much does it cost to bring my school group to the museum?
Thanks to the contributions of donors like you to the Friends of the Lexington County Museum and through the annual Midlands Gives event (sponsored by the Central Carolina Community Fund), these programs are offered free of charge. If you enjoy these programs please consider making a donation to our youth education fund. Checks can be mailed to the Friends of the Lexington County Museum, P.O. Box 637, Lexington, SC 29071.
Parents affiliated or unaffiliated with a homeschool organization are welcome to schedule a program for their children. We ask that all groups have a minimum of 12 students in order to schedule a program. We will also schedule special events and programs periodically throughout the year to offer children the opportunity to attend one of our programs with their parents outside of school. The best way to find out about our special Hands-on History days is to follow us on Facebook or call our Visitor Services Coordinator at 803-359-8369.
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 tour office and is a good choice for hot or inclement weather. Due to the space constraints of this room there is a maximum number of 30-35 students allowed at a time.
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.
The schoolmaster, dressed in period style dress, teaches 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 is a good choice for 2nd 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 un-air-conditioned 1815 schoolhouse and due to space constraints we limit students to a maximum of number of 25-30.
Children enter the world of a nineteenth century farm in this program. They will learn about the historic farm buildings we have 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. Sorry there are no animals, however. This program takes place outdoors and is most appropriate for our younger visitors aged 4-7 years-old.
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 about what life was like in an 18th century cabin 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 2nd 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.
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 ca.1810 Daniel Koon House where a guide will discuss various everyday items in antebellum-era homes that may be unfamiliar to us now such as the bed warming pan, the spittoon, the chamber pot, the rope bed, and more. Children will get to experiment with replica items before heading for a tour of the inside of the John Fox House. This program is appropriate for 2nd 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.
This program offers students the chance to learn more about the outbuildings and dependencies located behind the John Fox House and the enslaved people who lived and worked within them. Meant to be an accompaniment to our Life in the “Big House” program, children will tour the kitchen, slave cabin and explore the outbuildings while discussing the lives and contributions of the enslaved workers to this antebellum Lexington household. We will also discuss how objects we have 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 3rd grade and up. Due to the size of the cabins groups will be limited to 25-30 students.
Everyone loves the kitchen, especially the John Fox kitchen from the nineteenth century. After seeing the kitchen and learning how certain items were used, children proceed out 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 do 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.
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, etc. 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.
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 the use of cotton cards and picking seeds out of cotton. 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 outdoors. 2016 Update: our loom is currently not operable.
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 P.O. boxes. This program will take place in our air-conditioned tour office. Due to the space constraints of this room there is a maximum number of 30-35 students allowed at a time.
This is a program in which children see quilts, 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 ages k4-1st grade. Due to size constraints this program is limited to a maximum number of 30 students.
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 early 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. These can be either apples, oranges, or other fragrant citrus fruits. This program is a most memorable Christmas experience! Due to the space constraints of the room groups will be limited to a maximum number of 20-25 students.
This program is offered in the summer. Various classic stories as well as historical and Native American stories are read