You Won’t Forget it
April 2021 Issue
by Jacie Elizabeth Millen
Photos provided by The Sandbox
In 2005, Hilton Head Island was introduced to a new kind of play for children. The Sandbox, a non-profit, interactive children’s museum, opened its doors, welcoming in all local and visiting children to come learn while having a whole lot of fun.
Now, The Sandbox has been disguising learning as fun for more than 16 years with each child offered a choice of activities and space while playing at the museum. With so many interactive and hands-on activities, kids are guaranteed to have the best time. And, they all leave with pieces of wisdom they didn't come in with. But children are not the only ones who enjoy the museum. Parents are often wowed by the positive stimulation the museum provides in the form of playing and they maybe even learn something themselves.
The current museum, tucked away in the parking lot of St. Andrews by the Sea United Methodist Church on Pope Avenue, has served approximately 350,000 visitors per year since opening. As the number of annual visitors continues to increase, this location has become too small a venue. In late 2019 a plan for a larger, upgraded building was put into the works. Now, the brand new, state-of-the-art facility will be the only thing your children will think about.
Made possible by generous sponsors and donors, along with a continuing fund -raising campaign, everyone at The Sandbox Children’s Museum are incredibly grateful for everything they have been given and all the help they have received. The new location doesn't just give them more space, it also affords the opportunity to provide even more playtime and learning for the community and tourists who have made the Sandbox a premiere vacation destination.
So why will your child beg you to go play at The Sandbox? Well, with an incredible Lego™ wall, an interactive airplane cockpit, a rockin’ shrimp boat, a fully-stocked art studio and a rock-climbing wall out back, this place is fun-for-kids headquarters! Offering endless ways to ignite the imagination and play until their hearts—and brains—are content, The Sandbox is a place where parents are guaranteed to have a hard time convincing their children it’s time to go.
As if that’s not enough, allow me to tell you a secret: There is a new attention-grabbing attraction that has everyone stirred-up and talking! Get in line because everyone is going to have a fit over the giant sandcastle tower—the pièce de résistance complete with a spiral slide at the very top and a shadow room below.
The Sandbox’s primary goal is to positively impact the lives of young children through age-appropriate play, while inspiring memorable moments for children and families in the process. And not only is the museum fun, but also offers safe play for all.
The Sandbox offers many educational programs, including Imagination Hour every Thursday, awe-STEM Saturdays, and summer camps, too. These programs are a blast and keep children learning while having a great time. (Plus, this allows parents to have a little adult playtime of their own at surrounding restaurants, beaches, parks or shopping areas.) There are so many more opportunities and programs the Sandbox offers and plenty more new programs and events to come when the new building is complete.
I met up with Nancy Fish, a born and raised Hilton Head Island local and the Executive Director of The Sandbox, to get a personal tour. The new building is located on property of the new Lowcountry Celebration Park in Coligny. Walking through the building was thrilling, as I was surrounded by all the creative ideas and plans that have been put into this project.
This fabulous, new location is on track to open on May 1, 2021, with plans to let children's imaginations fly free and bring joy to all who visit. Nancy is especially excited about working with small business owners around the Lowcountry to help bring this vision to life, as the growth of The Sandbox has such excitement and love behind it. The Sandbox has served our community with a heart of service and put smiles on millions of children's faces through the years. This new endeavor is wonderful for the community and guarantees to produce more smiles, more memories, and more educational good times.