February 21, 2014
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A view from inside the BI-LO Market where children can play the role of customer or cashier. Children and families can also enjoy the “What’s Cookin’" Kitchen for special demonstrations.​

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate has been named a Smithsonian Affiliate, becoming the only children’s museum in the nation to partner with the 168-year-old institution that guards a large swath of cultural and historical heritage.

BI-LO has continually been a supporter of the museum by having a BI-LO Market within the children’s museum. The BI-LO Market is a child-sized grocery store designed to give visitors an authentic grocery store experience. As both customers and employees, visitors can explore roles such as butcher, cake decorator, dairy manger, bagger and shopper. The market is also home to the What’s Cookin’ Test Kitchen, a workshop area where children and families can take part in real cooking experiences facilitated by staff and guest chefs.

The Affiliations program named the museum as an affiliate of the Smithsonian at a ceremony on Feb. 6, where partners of the museum like BI-LO and G.E. were invited to attend.

The affiliation brings the Children’s Museum into a network of more than 180 museums nationwide, including two others in South Carolina — the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia and York County Cultural and Heritage Museums.

“The affiliation will allow the museum to offer more in-depth content in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through collaborations with other institutions,” stated Nancy Halverson, Children’s Museum president and CEO.

The Affiliations program was conceived in 1996 as a way for the Smithsonian Institution to share artifacts, from its massive collection to museums throughout the country.

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