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Enjoy Fall Color Change at these Incredible Vacation Rentals in WNC

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Looking for a mountain vacation rental to witness the colors of fall pour over the mountainside? It may seem early, but the time is NOW to book vacation rentals in the mountains for the fall season. The mountains of North Carolina are famous for their dramatic shows during fall when the leaves change. There’s no better way to enjoy it, than with a hot cup of coffee in your jammies at sunrise. Here’s a list of vacation rentals where you can enjoy the fall colors.

Vacations rentals to enjoy during the fall in Western North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
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You Can Fish, Boat, Play on a Unique Playground or Simply Relax at Anchor Park on Lake Bowen

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Are you looking for a place on the water where the whole family can enjoy fishing, water sports, and a fenced-in playground? Whether it’s spending time on the lake or enjoying a picnic in the shade we’ve found the perfect spot. We’ve included all the info you’ll need for spending the day on Lake Bowen and at Anchor Park.

For more ideas on outdoor activities this summer check out our list of Things to do Outside in Spartanburg, SC.

About Lake Bowen

Lake Bowen covers over 1,500 acres and contains approximately 33 miles of shoreline. Anchor Park on the lake includes picnic pavilions, fishing, a playground, two boat ramps, and the Lake Bowen Warden’s Office.

Anchor Park at Lake Bowen

Water sports on Lake Bowen

If you plan on use of any type of watercraft, be sure to call the Warden’s Office in advance at 864.592.2240. There are office hours posted, however, the office isn’t always open during those hours. If the warden goes out on the lake, the office will be closed. This is the only way to obtain a permit to be on the lake, so call ahead.

Boat permits are issued through the Spartanburg Water system that owns the lake. Rates start at $25 seasonally for non-motorized boats. Life jackets are required and a loaner system has been set up at the boat dock if you forgot one.

If boating isn’t what you had in mind, the park has tons of shade trees and a modern playground. The play area is divided into two age-appropriate sections and is completely fenced-in with picnic shelters and a green space.

Picnic shelters at Lake Bowen

The picnic shelter is rather large , containing eight large family-size picnic tables and two charcoal grills. If you want to reserve the whole shelter, it can be reserved by calling 864.583.7361. The restroom facility is nearby just outside of the fence on the opposite side of the playground.

Fishing on Lake Bowen

While there’s no fishing pier structure, there is plenty of shoreline to fish from. Just make sure you have your fishing license handy. Obtain one from the Warden’s Office or online at SCDNR.com. We didn’t have a chance to do any fishing this time, but I hope to do so in the near future.

This park really is lovely. There are plenty of benches and even a few that swing. The open green space is perfect if you want to bring along a cornhole set for some friendly family competition. We brought our hammock, but never had a chance to set it up. Pesky summer storms! There are plenty of trees, I just didn’t notice if any were close enough together.

If you pack a picnic, you really could spend the whole day relaxing here. There’s even an ice machine in the park to help make sure those sodas stay frosty!

I hope you’ll plan a day on Lake Bowen soon. I know we are looking forward to going back.

Lake Bowen Spartanburg County Parks

Visit Lake Bowen

8515 Highway 9, Inman
864.592.2240
Visit the Lake Bowen website.

Daily park hours: 6 am – midnight- Restrooms close at 7 pm and open at 6:30 am
Office hours for purchasing land permits: Monday – Friday 2 – 4 pm
Office hours for purchasing boating permits: Sunday – Friday 12 – 4 pm, Saturday 8:30 am – 5 pm

What’s your family’s favorite thing to do at Lake Bowen?

RELATED: Renting a Boat on Lake Cooley Needs to be on Your Summer Bucket List

The Kroc Center is the Perfect Indoor Play Destination

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Have you been to The Kroc Center in Greenville, SC? One of its key features is the kid-friendly heated indoor waterpark! Greenville, SC residents can also enjoy a lap pool, tennis, indoor basketball courts, a gym, soccer fields, and so much more when they visit the Downtown Greenville location. We have all the information you need to enjoy a day at The Kroc Center, or maybe even become a member!

Kroc Center in Greenville, South Carolina
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What You Need to Know for a Day at Carolina Panthers Training Camp

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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.

We’ve got all the info you’ll need if you plan on going to watch the Carolina Panthers train at Wofford this year!

Play 60 Park in Spartanburg, SC
Play 60 Carolina Panthers Park in Spartanburg, SC

This article includes:
How to Attend Panthers Training Camp in Spartanburg, SC
Things to Do in Spartanburg During Training Camp
How to Get a Panthers Autograph
“Back Together” Free Panthers Fan Event in Spartanburg, SC
See the Panthers in Charlotte, NC at Fan Fest

Carolina Panthers Training Camp In Spartanburg, SC

The 2023 Carolina Panthers’ Training Camp will be held July 22nd – August 10th, 2023

When Carolina Panthers Training Camp roars into Wofford College in Spartanburg, fans of professional football should be sure to head to this beautiful campus to watch!

Whether you have multiple trips under your belt or are visiting for the first time, this information will be handy to help you make the most of a day watching the Carolina Panthers Train.

Carolina Panthers Training Camp
Carolina Panthers Training Camp 2016 Wofford College Spartanburg, SC

What to Expect at a Carolina Panthers Training Session

Not sure what to expect? Here’s a video of a 2021 practice session.

2023 Carolina Panthers Training Camp Schedule

Most training sessions are at 10:15 am but see the schedule below. Attendance is completely free, but NEW this year, you will need to reserve your free Panthers training tickets on Ticket Master.

There is a great parking map available on the Panthers Training Camp site.

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

Here are a few great things to do from Kidding Around Spartanburg:

  • Visit the Panthers themed Play 60 Park where kids can train like the pros. FREE
  • Summer equals kids wanting to splash around in the water, and who can blame them? Luckily Spartanburg has several splash pads and a waterpark to enjoy while you are visiting Spartanburg!
  • Grab the family, and hit the road, grabbing breakfast from a local coffee shop on the way to your chosen splash spot. Enjoy the sounds of kids laughing and having fun!
  • When lunchtime hits, you can grab another perennial summer favorite! We’ve got a list of local places where readers love to grab a hot dog, and then you can return to the splashing!
  • A long day in the sun will make everyone tired, so why not grab a family meal of BBQ to eat at the place where you are staying. If everyone has the energy and room in their bellies, you can treat the family to a frozen dessert at a local favorite!

Make The Most of Your Time With This Weekend Itinerary For A Trip to Spartanburg, SC

Where to Stay in Spartanburg, SC

Getting An Autograph From A Carolina Panther

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

Carolina Panthers Training Camp News

  • The Carolina Panthers have launched an app to help fans keep up do date and informed of all the things going on with the team.
  • Head Coach Frank Reich will take part in the training camp practices at Wofford this summer.
  • Rookie Quarterback first overall pick Bryce Young will also be at training camp, giving fans an early chance to likely see a new leader in action.

For more fun to be found when visiting the Carolina Panthers hometown, Check out the Kidding Around Ultimate Guide To Fun With Kids in Charlotte

Spend an Amazing Day at These Recreational Lakes in Greenville, SC, and the Upstate

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Are you wanting to explore the lakes in Greenville, SC? If you have been searching for “lakes near me” and can never figure out the best fit for your day trip, we have you covered! Playing in the lake during the hottest months is a wonderful idea for summer family fun.

This list will give you the low-down on tons of recreational lakes only a short drive away. Whether you want to take the kiddos for a swim, teach them how to fish, pull them along for a thrilling knee-boarding excursion, rent a kayak, or spend the weekend camping lakeside, read on.

Recreational lakes near Greenville, South Carolina

We have compiled the best list of recreational lakes in the Upstate for swimming, fishing, boating, or camping. The only thing you’ve got to do is gather your troops and decide which one to try next!

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Primrose School of Simpsonville at Five Forks is Creating a Classroom That Values People and Culture

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Thank you to Primrose School of Simpsonville at Five Forks for sponsoring this article.

Meggie Bradberry was one of the original Primrose school’s first graduates 30 years ago in Marietta, GA. After all, her parents, Marcy and Paul Erwin, started Primrose Schools and believed enough in its incredible benefits that they wanted Meggie to attend and learn there. Now, Meggie and her husband, Buck, have two young children of their own. Not only did Meggie and Buck send their children to Primrose School of Simpsonville at Five Forks, they are the franchise owners of this unique and successful school.

Primrose School 2023 - Canva

Carrying on the tradition of Primrose Schools, Meggie and Buck are thrilled to be able to offer families in the Simpsonville area an opportunity for their own little ones to grow, learn and have fun in a healthy, safe environment.

Preschool at Primrose School

Your 3-year-old is beginning to connect letters, sounds and numbers. They’re expanding their world through books and math, building critical thinking skills, exploring early physical fitness and so much more.

Check out some of the fun programs and activities your child will look forward to every day in their classroom.

Mucho Mundo® Spanish Lessons

Along with learning a second language, songs and customs, your child learns about cultural diversity.

Primrose Early Art Masters®

Your child tries various art techniques as they explore the work of famous artists past and present.

Primrose School 2023 - Canva

Harmony & Heart®

Our music and literature program uses original songs and books to help children become dynamic thinkers, good listeners and kind people.

“We are so pleased with the addition of a new preschool classroom to our beautiful school as we are now able to serve the growing demand of our community!” said Meggie. “Both of my children have graduated from our school, and we can proudly say we are truly the best of the best — from the teachers to the leadership team and our amazing parents! We just love being a part of this incredible community!”

Schedule a tour today!

About Meggie & Buck

Meggie graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia, but since she is so passionate about nutrition and wellness (this comes in handy as the owner of a Primrose school in Simpsonville — more on this later), she became a Certified Holistic Health Coach (CHHC) and Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach (CTC).

Primrose School 2023

Buck played baseball and got his degree in business administration as well from Columbus State University in Columbus, GA. Meggie and Buck are active in their communities, as they are members of both the Greenville and Simpsonville Chambers of Commerce and support the American Heart Association.

Primrose School Model

The Primrose experience consists of four main elements: their people and culture that strive toward creating a “caring and nurturing environment that builds trusted relationships”; their Balanced Learning® curriculum which “supports children’s social-emotional, cognitive, creative and physical development”; their Standards of Excellence which provides parents and students with specific accreditation; and their Partnership with Parents, which seeks to develop a strong connection between the parents and the school for the benefit of the children.

Primrose School 2023 - Canva

The Balanced Learning® curriculum was developed by and taught exclusively at Primrose Schools. It is a research-based curriculum that blends teacher-guided and child-initiated activities with a special emphasis on character development. Balanced Learning is designed for children ages 6 weeks old to 6 years old.

“When my parents started Primrose more than 30 years ago, they had no idea how much of a success it would become,” said Meggie. “All this time, the core values of Primrose have never changed. I’m thrilled to see it come full circle for my own family, and we’re so excited to offer Simpsonville parents the high-quality early education and care that all children deserve.”

Nutrition is Key

With a stellar background in nutrition, Meggie and Buck are the perfect people to teach Primrose students about healthy – and yummy – eating. In fact, prior to becoming franchise owners, they founded a health consulting company that focused on healthy eating alternatives for both individuals and businesses. They love health and nutrition and certainly plan on making that a focal point in the balanced meals and snacks offered at their school.

Primrose School 2023 - Canva

Primrose School of Simpsonville at Five Forks offers breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and a late afternoon snack. All of their meals and snacks, which are coordinated by certified dietitians, are balanced with lean protein, nutrient-dense foods, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables.

What Families Say

It’s hard to believe that Primrose School of Simpsonville at Five Forks has been open for almost eight years now! Read what the Primrose families have to say:

Primrose Mom Maria said:

“We chose Primrose for private kindergarten for our 5-year-old. We picked Primrose over the other schools in the area because of the smaller classes, the educated teachers, the curriculum and everything they have to offer (gardening, life skills, Grandparent program, etc.) The teacher was wonderful. My daughter warmed up to her right away even though she is very shy. I am so glad we chose Primrose for our daughter! I think it is worth every penny. (BTW- We pass three schools to get to Primrose every day.)”

Primrose School 2023 - Canva

Primrose Mom Marissa said:

“Our daughter started attending the Primrose School of Simpsonville at Five Forks when she was 12 weeks old and is currently in the Young Toddler room. We’ve been a Primrose family for close to a year now and our daughter has flourished and grown by leaps and bounds. The teachers have been incredible and what she is learning is invaluable.”

Primrose Mom Brooke said:

“As a first-time mom going back to work, there is nothing more powerful and priceless than dropping your child off knowing that they are in the hands of people who genuinely love and care for her as their own. From our first months in the older infant room to the early preschool program, we are constantly enjoying watching her grow, and that is ALL thanks to the commitment and hard work of such amazing teachers and leadership!”

Enrollment

Primrose School of Simpsonville at Five Forks is open 7 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Monday – Friday, which is perfect for parents who need a little flexibility. The school is enrolling for their new preschool classroom as well as other age groups.

Call or visit their website to learn more and schedule a personal tour. Don’t forget to like their Facebook page for information about events held at the school, which are often open to the public!

Primrose School 2023 - Primrose + Canva

Primrose School of Simpsonville at Five Forks
2255 Woodruff Rd
Simpsonville, SC 29681
(864)
727-8811
www.primroseschools.com/schools/simpsonville-five-forks

The Mary Black Rail Trail in Spartanburg, SC

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Are you looking for a new place to stretch your legs out and get some exercise in Spartanburg, SC? The Mary Black Rail Trail offers residents and visitors to downtown Spartanburg more than just an urban hiking trail. It’s a spot that will even appeal to kids of different ages & interests.

The Mary Black Rail Trail in Spartanburg, SC
The Mary Black Rail Trail in Spartanburg, SC

The Mary Black Rail Trail

Just under 4 miles in length, this converted train track trail is a popular spot for locals to run, walk, jog and bike in Spartanburg. Convenient access from several different spots makes hopping onto the trail easy.

  • The North Trailhead – 295 East Henry Street
  • The Rail Yard – 353 Forest Ave
  • The South Trailhead – Country Club Road
Along the Rail Trail in Spartanburg, SC
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10+ Bakers Making Custom Cookies Near Greenville, SC

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Searching for “custom cookies near me”? There are several places that will have your family in awe of your superpower ability of finding cool custom cookies in Greenville, SC for your next party or celebration. We’ve hunted down the local talent in Greenville and Spartanburg who can give you these tiny, unique, and edible works of art, no matter the occasion. See who our readers recommend for your custom cookie needs.

Looking for more great ways to celebrate birthdays in Greenville? Don’t miss Kidding Around’s Ultimate Guide to Birthdays near Greenville.

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