Do you wish there was an affordable way to expose your preschool children to all different types of live music without risking having to listen from the lobby? Let us tell you about Spartanburg Library’s Music Sandwiched In free music series. Whether you work downtown and would like some live music to re-energize you for the second half of the day, or you are looking for a fun lunchtime experience to enjoy with your little ones, we have the details here.
What is Music Sandwhiched In?
Did you know that for over 25 years, The Spartanburg Philharmonic and The Spartanburg Library have been providing the opportunity to enjoy lunch to live music free of charge? The series called “Music Sandwiched In” got its start in 1997 when the current headquarters library location was dedicated. Every other Wednesday from 12:15 pm – 1:00 pm, people of all ages find themselves enjoying all types of music, from German Oompah band music to an electric cello and violin duet.
If you don’t have time to pack a lunch, don’t worry. Lunch is available for purchase when you get there. Or you could treat yourself to a yummy dessert to go with your bag lunch.
My son and I stumbled onto this one afternoon as we were leaving the children’s library. As we were exiting the library I could hear singing and laughing coming from the Barrett room. My interest was peeked and as I poked my head into the room, I heard a familiar tune. Selections from The Chapman Cultural Center’s production of “The Music Man” were being performed. I was thrilled, for several reasons but mostly because now my son could see what characters were being spoofed on his favorite cartoon. He loved it and so did I.
I’m so excited to share this experience now with my young daughter. Being two, she has a mind of her own and ticketed events are still a risk for us. With “Music Sandwiched In”, we can go stress free, without worrying that I will have to walk away from a ticketed seat, if she gets cranky.
Take your kids to Music Sandwiched In
Spartanburg Headquarters Library 151 S. Church Street, Spartanburg
TheSpartanburg County Public Library offers some really cool crafting resources you may not be aware of yet. one of which is the SPARK Space. This unbelievable resource offers tons of classes and machines any crafter out there is going to want to know about! With over 20 specialized crafting machines to use for FREE or super cheap, the SPARK Space is a valuable resource for all crafters and makers.
Have you ever wished you owned one of those cool home die-cutting machines you see used all over Pinterest? Or have you wished you had an embroidery machine, so you could monogram your entire wardrobe? Well, maybe not your entire wardrobe… just most of it.
Well, guess what? All those items and more can be yours to use for the low, low cost of a library card!
What is The SPARK Space?
Teenage and adult patrons of the Spartanburg library system are lucky because they have access to something called the SPARK Space. This unique program gives patrons the opportunity to learn about and use die-cutting machines, embroidery machines, sewing machines, a green screen studio, VHS transfer system, and more! Not to mention several 3D printers that are available to produce small items for only a small fee.
This program also offers arts and crafts classes that only cost a small registration fee or are completely free. A few of the classes offered include canvas painting, tile mosaic art, tie dye, knitting, and floral design, just to name a few. Most of these classes teach the same things that, away from the library a person would pay ten times more to learn, with the added benefit that the library always supplies the needed materials, so all you need to do is show up.
Christina Fuller-Gregory, former Makerspace Librarian at the headquarters library, had this to share with me about the facility – “The Spark Space specializes in both high-tech and low-tech making. We wanted to build a space where both the crafty DIY-er and the techie have equipment and tools that they can use to create. We support making by offering a monthly programs in a variety of interest areas (Photoshop, Illustrator, sewing classes, How-Tuesdays, etc.). While we are an age-restricted space (12 and older) we offer programs for our young makers … These programs have an emphasis on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) but we use creativity to make learning fun.”
Take The SPARK Space home
If you don’t have the time to craft away from home, but would still like to give a new hobby a test drive, the make-away kits are just for you. These kits include different kinds of crafting sets that can be checked out for weeks at a time and used at home.
The kits include various things like a wood whittling kit, jewelry making, knitting, crocheting, rainbow loom & more. Some make-away kits also include cake-baking sets with character pans. This is especially nice because purchasing these pans is usually pricey and most people do not use them more than once. Now you can just borrow one from the library. These kits can also be transferred for loan from your local branch library.
What does The SPARK Space offer?
Because your time may be limited, depending on which crafting equipment you want to use, it’s best to go in knowing what to expect. Any of the appropriate design files you find online at home can be loaded to a flash drive for use with the different machines once you get to the library.
There are 3 Makerbot replicator 3D printers in the maker space. These machines print from a design that you can choose from websites like www.thingverse.com or design your own on www.tinkercad.com. 3D printing fees are currently $1.50 an hour and that covers the plastic filament used. There is currently a limit of 4 hours of print time per item, which limits your project to a small figurine-size item.
Cricut cutting machine
With so many different things that can be made with the help of a die cutter, this is an exciting item that has been made available for the public to use free of charge. Patrons only need to supply their own cutting material.
There is a selection of designs available, but I suggest going in already having a plan, so that you can be sure to have all the vinyl or paper colors you’ll need when you get there. A search on Pinterest for “free SVG files” will turn up an infinite selection of compatible files.
One of my favorite sources of free SVG files can be found here. The library also has a selection of card stock for purchase ranging from .20 – .30 a sheet.
The cost of this type of machine can be cost prohibitive, keeping most people from having access to their own personal one. It is also a great test drive opportunity for someone who might be thinking about investing in one.
The sessions have a limit of 90 minutes, and for that reason, I suggest going in knowing what you want to make. With a design in hand, you can sit down at the machine and leave 90 minutes later with a completed monogram. Several things will determine how long it takes to complete a design, including the number of thread color changes. Keeping it simple for your first design, is preferable.
You’ll need a PES file to use; Boutique Fonts is my favorite source. Free PES files are less common, but some sites like Boutique Fonts post a new downloadable free file every week. Etsy is also a good source for this type file if you are looking for something specific. Aside from a plan, you’ll need to bring the item you wish to embroider on and patience. The session fee is currently $5.00 for 90 minutes.
Sewing classes are frequently available and include all the needed materials. If you want to use the machines on your own, there is no cost and you only need to supply the fabric and pattern. A limited supply of thread colors is available and you can purchase a bobbin for .10 if needed.
For those who have boxes of family home movies on VHS, this is a great way to convert them without spending a fortune. There is no fee, you just need to supply the flash drive or DVD to store the digital version on. If you forget to bring them, both are available for purchase in the SPARK Space. Flash Drive – $10 , DVD – $2
Check out The SPARK Space for yourself
There are so many more things to explore in The Spark Space than we mention here! A full list of the equipment in the SPARK Space can be found online. I hope this inspires you to take advantage of this truly unique resource we have at the Spartanburg libraries. Don’t worry if all of it sounds intimidating, there is a patient, knowledgeable team at the library just waiting to show you all of the crafting fun you’ve been missing.
Local mom Jennifer Curry reviews the Hub City Bookshop and Little River Coffee Bar in downtown Spartanburg. These two wonderful businesses are conveniently located right beside each other and provide the perfect place to read, drink coffee, and eat a treat! For more ideas of things to do in downtown Spartanburg see our guide.
Located in the heart of downtown Spartanburg in the historic Masonic Temple resides three thriving businesses. Anchored by the award-winning Hub City Bookshop, these local businesses have become a focal point for the booming downtown movement by creating a spot for local residents and families to gather, share ideas, and shop.
Hub City Bookshop
Hub City Bookshop is more than just a local independent bookstore. They are known for the wide range of regional books and creative nonfiction titles published through Hub City Press. Known for supporting local authors as well as quality pieces, Hub City Bookshop has gained quite a reputation in the literary community.
It all started 20+ years ago, when three local Spartanburg writers (John Lane, Betsy Teter, and Gary Henderson) met to discuss the area’s struggles since the close of the textile mills. Rather than dwelling on the current difficulties, they formed the Hub City Writers Project (modeled after the Federal Writers Project). Together, they published the Hub City Anthology. The book was a success.
After, Hub City Writers Project continued to publish works specific to place – by people in the region about the region under Hub City Press books.
In the meantime, the only local independent bookstore in Spartanburg closed, so the three founders approached the mayor to see about forming a local independent non-profit bookstore (with all the proceeds going to support creative writing education and independent book publishing). He agreed. A location was decided upon, and two other local businesses joined alongside the Hub City Writer’s Project to create a space for local events, coffee, and desserts. They made history.
Now that you understand the history and significance of our local bookshop, you should know that it is truly a wonderful store that offers a diverse range of books and book related products. In addition to featuring the Hub City Press works, they also sell popular bestsellers, new releases, children’s books, young adult books, regional authors, and more. If they do not have it in the store, they can order it for you.
Little River Coffee Bar
Another unique local business in the Masonic Temple is the Little River Coffee Bar. The establishment is known for selling Little River Roasters coffee – a local business that is socially and ethically responsible. From knowing the farms where the beans come from to roasting it locally, Little River Roasters is a Spartanburg favorite.
Since this coffee shop not only serves the best local coffee and cold brew, the fact that it is attached to a bookshop and bakery makes it stand out. The Coffee Bar has several different sitting options – perfect for individuals working or for groups of friends wishing to chat. In addition to serving excellent coffee, they also host open mic nights and other events.
Hub City Bookshop and Little River Coffee Bar are great local businesses your family will enjoy supporting. Families can take time to peruse the outstanding collection of children’s books and young adult books at Hub City Bookshop. They applied and received a grant from the James Patterson Foundation for $6000 allowing them to increase the size of their children’s section (guaranteeing there will be a book your reluctant reader will love).
Families can purchase a book knowing they are supporting a local nonprofit, and then head next door for coffee and treats. These businesses are what make Spartanburg special and more reasons for you to love where you live.
What’s your favorite local business in Spartanburg?
The Carolina Panthers Training Camp is a unique opportunity to watch a professional football team up close, and it should be on every Spartanburg family’s bucket list! After a two-year absence from the training facility at Wofford, the Carolina Panthers are back in Spartanburg.
The free Carolina Panthers’ training schedule is as follows:
July 26th, 2023 at 10:15 am
July 27th, 2023 at 10:15 am
July 31st, 2023 at 10:25 am
August 1st, 2023 at 10:15 am
August 4th, 2023 at 10:15 am
August 5th, 2023 at 10:15 am
August 6th, 2023 at 10:15 am
August 8th, 2023 at 10:15 am
August 9th, 2023 at 10:15 am (Joint Practice with the New York Jets)
August 20th, 2023 at 9 am (Joint Practice with the New York Jets)
There are two events not happening at Wofford Field. These are: July 29th, 2023 at 11 am (Back Together Saturday at Gibbs Field) and August 2nd, 2023 at 7 pm (Fan Fest Charlotte, NC- tickets are $5)
Attending The Carolina Panthers’ Training Session in Spartanburg, SC
Seating is first come – first serve along the grassy hillside of the training practice field at the back of the campus. Strollers, coolers, and non-alcoholic beverages are welcome at the training camps, as well as sunshade umbrellas and folding chairs. Pop-up tents are not permitted.
In the event of inclement weather, practice times may be shifted or canceled. Updates for training camp status will be posted by the Panthers on Twitter.
Can I bring food to the Panthers Training Camp?
Yes! Coolers are allowed, with food and non-alcoholic beverages. No glass is permitted for safety reasons. You can also bring backpacks and bags, strollers, blankets, folding chairs, etc.
Visiting Spartanburg, SC for Training Camp
Fans of the Panthers will be visiting Spartanburg, some for the first time. The training camps are just a few hours in the morning, so that leaves the rest of the day to explore!
Guest Itinerary for Spartanburg Visitors to Carolina Panther Training Camp
Autographs are back this year! Fans will be hopefully able to get an autograph after practices are over. Look for the signs that will direct you to the area along the Field 1 fence. All players don’t necessarily stop there but there is certainly the potential for players to stop and sign autographs for fans.
Attending The Carolina Panthers’ Fan Fest in Charlotte, NC
Fan Fest is August 2nd at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. They have entertainment, inflatables, fun things for kids, and fireworks. Tickets are $5 a person.
Here is the schedule: 5:30 pm Gates Open 6 pm Entertainment Begins 7 pm Practice Begins ~9:15 pm Fireworks and laser show
Have you been to the Spartanburg Art Museum? The FREE local museum has an amazing variety of things to do and art to see, some of which you’ll even find on display throughout downtown Spartanburg! They offer classes for children, adults, tours, and more!
Downtown Spartanburg has a fantastic park, located at the Downtown Memorial Airport with two playgrounds, paved paths for bike riding, picnic shelters, and a free splash pad. The Spartanburg Airport Park is perfect for the summer heat with that splash pad, plus year-round fun on the playgrounds. Here’s everything you need to know about the Downtown Memorial Airport Park.
Are you looking for some fun things to do in downtown Spartanburg, SC with kids? We have compiled a list of our favorite places to go in the downtown area of Spartanburg. This list includes local kid-friendly museums, playgrounds, and even free mini-golf.
“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” If you’re a parent, never have truer words been spoken. Going to an ice cream shop is one of the hallmarks of a happy childhood. There is just something about staring at vats upon vats of delicious frozen possibilities and colorful toppings that makes a kid scream with delight, and let’s face it – parents have their own inner shout of glee, too. If you are looking for a sweet treat and that iconic ice cream parlor feel, check out Hub City Scoops on Main Street.
Here’s the Scoop
Located downtown in a bright cheerful space, Hub City Scoops atmosphere is clean and inviting. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the products and happy to answer questions and provide samples and suggestions.
Hub City Scoops’ menu provides plenty of tantalizing choices. Rotating about 28 flavors of super premium ice cream, options include traditional cups, cones, milkshakes, coke floats, and sundaes. There are also unique offerings, such as their ice cream flights with a side of waffle cone chips, ice cream cookies, and dessert nachos. The Hub City Scoops Facebook page and Hub City Scoops Website, list the hours of operation and a complete menu with photos of specialty treats, and the flavors of the day allowing you to make a mental list of must-try samples.
So, the next time you’re in the market for a sweet treat or special outing, don’t hesitate to give this family-friendly shop a try!
Hub City Scoops also offers birthday party options! Beginning at just $125 for a party with 10 people, they include set-up and clean-up, ice cream, and more!
Did you know we have a FREE place to play mini-golf right in the middle of downtown Spartanburg, SC? Sparkle City Mini Putt is totally free! Plus, there are more fun things to do downtown in Spartanburg.
The annual Spartanburg Spring Fling runs April 28-30, 2023 in the streets of downtown Spartanburg. If you are new in town or have not been to Spring Fling, plan to visit this special outdoor festival with your family. Most local families agree this is an event they look forward to all year.
Heading to Spartanburg’s Spring Fling? Here’s What You Need to Know