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Author Archive

Hiking Around Greenville, SC with Toddlers and Young Children

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Looking for some great hikes for toddlers and young children near Greenville, SC? Hiking with young children is possible! We put together this great list of the best hikes in and around Greenville, SC for toddlers. Peruse the list to find trails that are perfect for little ones in the Upstate.


Discover Northside Park Playground in Greenville, SC

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Looking for a playground in northern Greenville? Northside Park has a newer playground in addition to picnic facilities and basketball and tennis courts. We sent KAG Contributor Kristen Alcock to visit the playground at Northside Park and give our readers a review of the facilities.


Enjoy the Outdoors at Pleasant Ridge Park

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Have you visited Greenville County’s Pleasant Ridge Park? Just north of Travelers Rest in Marietta, is Pleasant Ridge Park—one of my family’s favorite parks, although we’re nowhere close to exploring all it has to offer. Part of the Greenville County Parks Department, this beautiful, historic space has hiking and biking trails, a fishing lake, a playground, and several historical markers.


10+ Storytimes in Greenville, SC

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Are you looking for storytimes in Greenville for something to do with the kids? Local storytime events are a great option. In Greenville, you’ll find storytimes at libraries, book stores, arts and crafts studios, museums, zoos, and more! Many of these events are completely free, and others like museums require regular admission. KAG Contributor Kristen Alcock rounded up local storytimes so we could share them with you, all in one place. You’ll often find these organized by day on our Kidding Around Greenville calendar, so don’t forget to check that when you are looking for something to do.


Where Can Young Kids Volunteer in Spartanburg, SC?

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Are you looking for places where young children can volunteer in Spartanburg? We’ve come up with several places where young kids can volunteer, as well as places where kids can take donations in Spartanburg. Peruse the list and find a Spartanburg location that will motivate your child to give.


This Fascinating Historical Site Is Free to Visit in Pickens, SC

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Hagood Mill Historic Site and Folklife Center was built as a grist mill in 1825 by Benjamin Hagood. Today the site is managed by Pickens County Museum and features a grist mill, a working water wheel, historic buildings, and nature trails. It is a beautiful and interesting place to visit, especially if you enjoy stepping back in time and learning what life was like for the people who lived here years ago. Local mom, Kristen Alcock, brings us all the details and helpful hints to make your visit to Hagood Mill a wonderful spring adventure!

Folklife Center

Walking around Hagood Mill, you will see two restored log cabins, a moonshine distillery, blacksmith shop and a cotton gin. Inside the cabins are a giant loom, spinning wheel and other historical items. My son loved watching the cotton gin demonstration and touching the raw cotton. “Our favorite part was seeing the grist mill!” said Christel Price, a KAG reader. “The kids loved seeing it in action and learning how the whole process works.”

Hagood Mill historical site

Nature Trail

The walking trail, through the woods and around historical buildings, is great for hikers of all ages. The trail is unpaved and a little bumpy. It’s short enough for little walkers to manage, and is usually very shady. My family did not walk the entire trail, but Elizabeth Lamb from Hike it Baby Greenville said, “It’s a beautiful 3/4 mile trail with a fun bridge. It’s perfect for young walkers.”

Petroglyph Site

This fascinating archeological site highlights 32 distinct petroglyphs, mostly human forms, and is one of the best petroglyph sites open to the public. Discovered in 1993, it is estimated that the drawings were left by a prehistoric culture 1,500 to 2,000 years ago. The drawings are pretty eroded but the exhibit has a great audio presentation, photographs and explanation of the historical significance of the drawing and the people who left them.

Special Events

My family was lucky enough to visit Hagood Mill during one of their monthly festivals which included banjo and fiddle music, local pottery as well as moonshine, cotton gin and gristmill demonstrations. The once a month events are noted on their calendar. Hagood Mill holds a kid’s fest in the spring, military celebrations and various music festivals.

This video was originally published on The Stinehart’s YouTube channel and showcases the Storytelling Festival.

Other upcoming events include the annual Fiddling Championship and Storytelling Festival. Look for a Native American Celebration in November and a Celtic Christmas in December.

Hagood Mill also occasionally offers some really interesting classes. Past classes include Hearth Cooking, fermenting wild foods, a Sketchbook workshop and a learning how 19th century southerners survived winters on the homestead.

Hagood Mill homeschool lesson

Gift Shop

Shop local at the Hagood Mill gift shop. You can buy products such as jams, honey, and jewelry, pottery and soaps made by local artists. They also have books about local history, t-shirts and CDs. The gift shop also sells cornmeal and stone ground grits made right there at the grist mill!

Planning Your Visit

138 Hagood Mill Road
Pickens, SC 29671

Hagood Mill, the trails and the petroglyph site are open every week; Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is free, however on Saturdays with a festival there is a $5 parking fee.

Festivals are the third Saturday of each month. For a complete list and calendar of events visit their website.

Hagood Mill

We read a book that mentioned mills and what they do before our visit and it helped my son understand what he was seeing. Here are a few books that mention gristmills and petroglyphs:

Books that mention or explain mills, grain, flour, etc:
Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle
Any version of the Little Red Hen
The Grist Mill Secret by Lillie V. Albrecht

Books that describe or mention petroglyphs:
There Was an Old Man Who Painted the Sky by Teri Sloat
Early Humans (DK Eyewitness Book)
Magic Treehouse #7: Sunset of the Sabertooth by Mary Pope Osbourne

Would your kids enjoy visiting Hagood Mill?

Get Out Your Phone. You Should Follow these Greenville Instagrams.

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Instagram is a great way to connect with the Upstate Community. You can find events, deals, and fun information. Here are several awesome local Instagram accounts you should be following.

Instagram accounts you need to follow

Kids and Family Fun

Be sure to follow us (@kidaroundsc) for lots of ideas of fun places and things to do with your kids.

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (@tcmupstate). Follow them for information on upcoming events, exhibits, camps, and volunteer profiles.

Climb Upstate (@climbupstate) The Upstate’s largest indoor rock climbing facility posts pictures of camps, classes and adventurous climbers.

Color Clay Cafe (@colorclaycafe). This paint your own pottery studio posts project ideas, and special events such as story times, holiday specials and parties.

Greenville Library (@greenvillelibrary) Find out about reading programs, events, what’s new at the libraries, or discover a new book to read.

Greenville Zoo (@greenvillezoo and @greenvillezoofoundation). Adorable animals pictures, upcoming events and more.

Greenville Drive (@greenvillerive). Greenville’s minor league baseball team.

Greenville Swamp Rabbits (@swamprabbits). Greenville’s minor league hockey team.

Greenville County Museum of Art (@gcma_sc). Featured artists, exhibits, classes and workshops are featured in this colorful account.

Mountain Play Lodge (@mountainplaylodge) This fun, indoor play place near Asheville posts about hours, sales and events such as birthday parties.

Read Up Greenville (@readupgreenville) posts book suggestions, author readings and signings and mostly about their annual YA and Middle Grade book celebration.

Roper Mountain Science Center (@ropermountain) Follow RMSC for information on upcoming educational opportunities such as STEM fest and Butterfly adventure.

South Carolina Children’s Theater (@sc_childrenstheater) posts photos and video clips of performances, classes and camps.

Spartanburg Art Museum (@spartanburgartmuseum) A lot of interesting things happen at this museum. Follow them to see some to their fascinating exhibits.

Spartanburg Libraries (@spartanburglibraries) Find out about clubs, events, classes and children’s activities.

Tweetsie Railroad (@tweetsierr). Check out pictures of all the fun at this historic amusement park in North Carolina.

Upcountry History Museum (@upcountrymuseum). Read facts and information about current and upcoming exhibits. They also often post what’s for sale in the gift shop.

Farmers Markets

Find out about local vendors, products, performers, special events and more.

Greenville Farmers Market (@gvillesatmarket)

Travelers Rest Farmers Market (@trfarmersmarket)

Greer Farmers Market (@greer_farmers_market)

Taylors Farmers Market (@taylorsfarmersmarket)

Spartanburg Farmers Market (@hubcityfm)

Around Town

From community events, festivals, meals, new openings, and more, these accounts will let you know what’s happening around town.
Greenville360 (@greenville360). A fun look at people, places and events around the Upstate.

Greenville Today (@gvltoday) The best of everything happening in Greenville.

Greenville Special Events (@gvilleevents). Follow to find out about all the outdoor events and concerts in Greenville.

Greer Station (@greerstation) shares information about all that happens in Historic Greer, including live music performances, local restaurants and shops, races and festivals.

iOn Greenville (@iongreenville). Another great account for keeping up on all that’s happening around Greenville.)

It’s Greenville (@itsgreenville) features the people and places who make Greenville special.

Off the Grid Greenville (@offthegridgreenville). Discover more local favorites such as Art & Light Gallery, Green Brier Farms and the Albino Skunk Music Festival.

Taylors Mill (@taylorsmill). A lot is happening at Taylors Mill lately, including art studios, the farmers market, weddings, and festivals.

Travelers Rest Here (@travelersresthere). Did you know TR has a Cornhole Derby? And a Town & Art Crawl? I found about those by following this account.

Village of West Greenville (@villagewgvl) highlights the more than 30 shops, galleries, artists and restaurants in the village.

VisitGreenvilleSC (@visitgreenvillesc), Visit Travelers Rest (@visittravelersrest) and Visit Spartanburg (@visitspartanburg) highlight local events, places, people and more.

Local Shops, Restaurants and Food Trucks

This is just a small sample–many local shops have Instagram accounts. Follow your favorites for deals, sales, and events.


Billiam Jeans (@billiamjeans) sells hand crafted, custom jeans and belts.

The Greenville Shop (@thegreenvilleshop) sells super cute shirts, mugs and more to show your love for Greenville.

Joe’s Place Bookstore (@joesplacebookstore). Look for updates on the bookstore’s big move, as well as story times, children’s events, and live music and trivia nights.

M. Judson Books (@mjudsonbooks) posts weekly story times and events, book suggestions, fun gift ideas and tasty treats from their op-up suppers.

The Petite Parade (@thepetiteparade) often posts about new arrivals.

Pigtails and Crewcuts (@pigtailsgreenville). Find out about weekly deals, special events, what’s new in the shop and even get cute haircut ideas.

Piney Mountain Bike Lounge (@pineymtnbikelounge). Check out their account for weekly schedules of food trucks, biking inventory and events.

Upcountry Provisions (@upcountryprovisions). This TR bakery not only makes yummy food, they host cool events such as Groovin at the Grove, and Kids Cooking Camp.

Urban Digs (@urbandigs) posts fun and unique gifts featuring local artisans.

Vann & Liv (@vannandliv and @vannandlivcapersplace). Find out what’s new and what’s on sale at these trendy children’s boutiques, as well as special events such as trunk shows, holiday celebrations and parties.

Restaurants, Coffee Shops etc.

Bex Cafe & Juice Bar (@bexcafeandjuicebar) posts pictures of some of their yummy food and drinks, including pressed juices and smoothies.

Farm Fresh Fast (@farm_fresh_fast). New restaurant that uses locally sourced produce and proteins to create out of this world flavors..FAST!

The Cafe at Williams Hardware (@cafeatwilliamshardware). Their Instagram is a great way to check out the daily menu.

Caviar and Bananas (@caviarbananasgville). My favorite photos are the bakery items, but you’ll also see lunch and breakfast items, specials and deals.

The Chocolate Moose (@thechocolatemoose) posts mouth-watering pictures of cupcakes, cake pops, brownies and whatever else they’re making each week.

Due South Coffee (@duesouthcoffee). Find out what they’ll be serving each day as places such as Mary’s Dumplings and Circa Donuts are often there.

Farmhouse Tacos (@farmhousetacos). There’s always something new on the menu at this new taco place in TR.

GB&D Golden Brown & Delicious (@eatgbnd). It seems like they’re always creating something different at this new restaurant in The Village of West Greenville.

Greenville History Tours (@greenvillehistorytours). Get ready to be hungry after seeing awesome photos from John Nolan’s Greenville culinary tours.

Methodical Coffee (@methodicalcoffee) posts artistic pictures of coffee and more.

Swamp Rabbit Cafe (@swamprabbitcafe). There’s always something going here, from community dinners and bike rides, cooking classes, flea markets, and as always baked goods, local farm-fresh produce and dairy products.

Tandem Creperie (@tandem_cc). Not just photos of heavenly crepes, but news, events, and other menu items.

The Village Grind (@thevillagegrind) posts artistic shots of that they offer.


Circa Donut (@circa_doughnut)

The Donut Experiment Greenville (@thedonutexperimentgreenville)

Swamp Fox Donuts (@swampfoxdonuts)

Downtown Deli and Donuts (@downtowndelianddonuts)

Food Trucks

Follow the accounts of some of the best food trucks in the area to see their weekly menus and locations.

Automatic Taco (@automatic_taco). Tacos, side and desserts.

The Chill Wagon (@thechillwagon). Ice cream and other yummy treats.

Coastal Crust Greenville (@coastalcrustgreenville). Specialty pizza.

Greenville’s Food Trucks (@gvlfoodtrucks). This is a new account that plans to have all local food trucks appearances in one calendar.

Keepin’ It Fresh (@keepinitfreshtruck_gvl). A variety of fresh, healthy meals.

Mary Dumpling (@marydumpling). Handmade Chinese dumplings.

The Nomadik Few (@thenomadikfew). Shaved ice.

Resident Dogs (@residentdogsgvl). Fancy-looking hot dogs.

Robino’s Food Truck (@robinostruck). Burgers, sandwiches, pasta and more.

Thoroughfare Food Truck (@thoroughfarefoodtruck) serves a rotating menu using locally sourced ingredients.

More Fun Accounts

Edible Upcountry (@edibleupcounty) is a great account to find out what’s cooking in Greenville.

Fete (@fetegreenville). Fun photos of events happening around Greenville.

Greenville News (@greenvillenews) posts photographs from the newspaper’s latest stories.

Historic Greenville (@historicgvl) posts photos, articles and stories celebrating the history of the Upstate.

Instagreenville (@instagreenville) posts photos of Greenville submitted by locals.

Follow Pups of Greenville (@pupsofgreenville) and Dogs of Greenville (@dogsofgreenville) for pictures of some of Greenville’s cutest residents.

People of Greenville (@peopleofgreenvillesc) and People of Spartanburg (@peopleofspartanburg) are relatively new accounts, that are basically local versions of Humans of New York.

Reedy Rip’it (@reedyripit) Greenville Drive’s #1 fan.

SC State Parks (@scstateparks) posts beautiful photos from South Carolina’s state parks.

Swamp Rabbit Trail (@swamprabbittrail) posts photos and news about this popular trail.

Pickle the Pig (@pickle.the.pig). You might have seen this adorable pig around town. With over 57,000 followers, this little guy has quite the personality.

Did we miss any? What are your favorite local Instagram accounts to follow?

Meet Kristen Alcock
Kristen Alcock is a stay at home mom who loves reading, crafting and having adventures with her three children. She is one of the Branch Ambassadors for Hike It Baby Greenville, and enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors with her family. A former teacher, she also blogs at Wild Rumpus School House.

Mom Review: Whispering Pines Stables

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Whispering Pines is a horse and dairy farm located on Adams Mill Road in Maudlin. KAG Contributor, Kristen Alcock reviews their Mommy and Me Riding Lessons, and shares information aboutt all their other offerings, including field trips, tours, birthday parties and horseback riding lessons for older kids and adults.

A Review of Mommy and Me Riding Lessons

Recently my 2 and a half year old son and I signed up the Mommy and Me riding class–and we loved it. This was the perfect introduction to riding for my little boy who loves visiting and petting the horses at Riverbend Equestrian Center–but had never ridden one before.

The kids start each class brushing and spending time with the horses. According to owner Debbie Neuman Webster, the focus of riding lessons at Whispering Pines is on the relationship between the horse and rider. Students learn how to handle and care for horses, and have the opportunity to work with several different types of horses.