Duke’s World of Energy – where electricity rules and kids love pushing buttons (free educational things to do near Greenville)

Looking for something to do with kids that’s fun, educational, and free while touring beautiful South Carolina Upcountry? Then visit Duke’s World of Energy museum at the Oconee Nuclear Station (relax, it’s very safe…admitted, you are a little bit curious 🙂 ). Take the self-guided tour to learn how electricity is generated using water, coal and uranium. Watch videos to understand the nuclear plant operations and test your knowledge at the computer game stations.

Things to know before you go
1. Kids love pushing (our) buttons! Kids checking out the interactive map Luckily the World of Energy is filled with interactive exhibits and videos all with buttons waiting to be pressed. The most popular one is in the main room: a tridimensional relief map showing Duke’s power plants and key area attractions spread over the region’s lakes and mountains.

2. You’ll get a kick seeing some 1930s small home-appliances invented by Duke Engineers, like the electric toaster and iron machine. Other interesting “artifacts” a 1924 aid-kit and a streetcar conductor’s hat and coin changer.

3. Outside you can enjoy a 0.25 mile nature trail by the lake and a colorful butterfly garden and see the historic marker honoring early settlers and their 1715 expedition to dissuade the Cherokees from joining other tribes in the Yemassee Indian War.

Facts and Trivia
1. Oconee was the first nuclear station designed, built and operated by Duke Energy. Operating since 1973 it has produced more than 500 million megawatt-hours of electricity – first in the country to do so. Oconee has a generating capacity of about 2.6 million kilowatts making it one of the nation’s largest nuclear plants.

2. A single Uranium 235 fuel pallet, less than an inch long, Dance around with the atoms produces the energy equivalent to a ton of coal.

3. The nuclear plant has no airborne emissions like carbon and sulfur dioxide. In fact, the energy generated by the U.S. nuclear plants has prevented emissions equal to that produced by 130 millions cars!

Area Attractions
• Walhalla Fish Hatchery – see the life stages of, feed and even fish three species of trout.
• Centuries old Oconee Historic Station and Hagood Mill.
• History lovers and art collectors go visit Pendleton, “the Charleston of the Upstate” just 30 miles southwest of Greenville (hwy 76 and 28). The entire town is on the National Register of Historic Places. Notable attractions: Farmer’s Hall (oldest continuous operating hall in the country), Hunter’s Store, Ashtabula (1st licensed tavern), Old Stone Church (where Andrew Pickens and Gen. Anderson are buried) and Woodburn (4 story mansion)

• Legendary Isaqueena and Whitewater waterfalls.
• SC Botanical Gardens – country largest collection of nature-based sculptures and hundreds of exotic ornamental plants.

Under $5 admission
Lake Jocassee at Devils Fork State Park – finest fishing place in the Southeast. Swim year around.
• Oconee State Park – a variety of recreational activities and the start of scenic Foothills Trail.

Let the adventure begin at Table Rock State Park! Excellent hiking trails, all year long swimming, rock sliding and fishing.

The World of Energy is located on the beautiful shores of Lake Keowee, near the intersection of Hwy 130 and Hwy 183, about 20 minutes drive from Clemson, Pickens and Walhalla and close to an hour from Greenville. Here is the Google Map. The museum is free to attend and is open daily, M-F 9 AM to 5 PM, weekend noon to 5 PM. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day and New Year’s Day. Call 1-800-777-1004 for more info.

Have fun in Carolina God’s Country!


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  1. […] Area Attractions: • Duke’s Power World of Energy – kids learn how electricity is generated from water, coal and uranium. Your best chance to safely […]

  2. […] and Hagood Mill. • Learn how electricity is made and nuclear reactors works at Duke’s World of Energy museum. • See the legendary Isaqueena and the breathtaking Whitewater waterfalls (highest in the […]

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