How to Celebrate Science This Holiday Season

Sponsored By: South Carolina State Museum

Wondering what to do with the budding young scientists in your life? Here are a few ways to incorporate science, engineering, technology and math into your holiday plans.

Find Cool Science Gifts for the Kids in Your Life

For the children in your life (or your inner child) why not give a gift of science this holiday season? As more educators see the benefits of STEM and STEAM education, an increasing number of toy manufacturers are creating products that celebrate science.

  • Littlebits Droid Inventor Kit: This Star Wars-themed kit allows inventors to create their own custom Droid and bring it to life! This easy-to-assemble kit uses electronic blocks that snap together with magnets to form electric circuits. The kit pairs with a free smartphone app that can be used to teach the Droid new tricks and take it on 16+ missions. 
  • This Book is a Planetarium: Don’t call this a pop-up book. Author Kelli Anderson and publisher Chronicle Books have created a one-of-a-kind book that transforms into six different tools. In addition to a working planetarium that can project constellations, the book also transforms into a speaker, a working musical instrument, an infinite calendar, a tool for creating geometric drawings and a message decoder. 
  • Clip-on microscope for your smartphone: A $10 lens that clips onto your iPhone or Android device can transform it into a simple microscope. Using your phone’s built-in camera app, you can take a closer look at the world around you.

Send Them to a Winter Break Science Camp

The South Carolina State Museum in Columbia offers week-long winter break camps for children ages 6-11. Each day of the camp focuses on a different subject, including natural history, astronomy, history and STEAM.

The camps last from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with extended hours available until 5 p.m. Daily events include time to explore the museum, hands-on activities, a snack and lunch. This year’s winter break camps are held Dec. 18 – 22 and Dec. 26 – 29.

Turn Science Experiments Into Decorations

Everyone likes to create hand-crafted Christmas decorations each holiday. Why not do the same with science?

The American Chemical Society maintains a list of resources for parents to use when planning science-related holiday crafts. One of the easier suggestions on the list is a way to grow crystal “snowflakes” ornaments using grocery-store borax.

Take a Holiday Trip to the Museum

If you’re looking for a fun day activity during winter break or looking to create a memorable evening this holiday season, consider some of these upcoming events at the South Carolina State Museum:

  • The Polar Express 4-D Experience: Daily. Now at the 4-D theater this holiday season, you can experience a unique sensory adventure while reliving the classic story of “The Polar Express.” 
  • Tasting Tuesdays: Every Tuesday night in December leading up to Christmas, guests can sample local beer, wine, cider and South Carolina food products in the museum store. 
  • Jingle Days: Sat., Dec. 16 through Mon., Jan. 1, 2018. With school out, the museum is hosting special family events that include visits with Santa, crafts and light shows. 
  • Frozen Party: Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 6 – 9 p.m. Anna and Elsa will be on hand as guests watch Disney’s “Frozen” and participate in crafts and activities.

The South Carolina State Museum open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with special extended hours on Tuesdays until 8 p.m. On Saturdays the museum is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. To find out more, visit them online at or call 803-898-4921. You can also register for a winter break camp or view other upcoming events.