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Posts Tagged ‘Educational Things to Do’

FREE Home Depot Kids Workshops (2023): Quality time with the kids

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Looking for the next FREE Home Depot Kids Workshop Kit? The Home Depot Workshops for kids have always been a Kidding Around favorite. We’ve been, we love them, and our readers do, too! We’re going to tell you what we love, why we love it, how to register, and some parent tips to help you make the most of your visit to the free workshops for kids at Home Depot.

Home Depot Kids Workshop Schedule and news

I have always looked forward to the first Saturday of the month for the past several years as it has been my mommy-daughter date at the Home Depot kids workshop. I grab my coffee and my two young kids get their hammers and paintbrushes and we build whatever the kids’ workshop has deemed the project of the month at our local store.

It’s all free! Home Depot offers workshop kits for kids, including all materials needed to complete the project, totally free. These projects are an amazing way to spend some quality time with the kids, without spending a dime. In this article, we’ll take you along on our in-person visit to a Home Depot Workshop for kids and tell you exactly what to expect when you visit.

This article includes:
Kids Workshop: The Next Project at Home Depot
2023 Home Depot Kids Workshop Schedule
How Do the Free Kids Workshops at Home Depot Work?

Free things to do for kids across the USA

We LOVE free things to do!

Find more in the Kidding Around Guide to Free Things to Do for Kids

September 2023 FREE Workshop: Rescue Float Plane on October 7th, 2023

For all the plane and vehicle loving kiddos, this one is going to be great Build a resuce float plane on October 7, 2023 at the next Home Depot Kids Workshop Kit of 2023.

Home Depot Kids Workshops in the News

We sat down with local news outlet, Fox Carolina to chat about these workshops.

Experience The Home Depot Kids Workshop

We love taking kids to the Home Depot workshops. We pooled our the experiences of our KA Team in this review, so you’ll know what you can expect when you attend.

First, the Home Depot has workshops of all kinds for their customers and they have these awesome kids workshops on the first Saturday of every month from 9 am-Noon.

Secondly, know that they provide all the materials you need to make whatever the craft of the day is. Just show up with your kid. With the take-home kits, you’ll have to do some of that yourself.

You, and your child, don’t need any kind of handyman experience. I’ve certainly made mistakes helping my daughters build all sorts of stuff but it’s a great learning time for all of us and it also helps with hand-eye coordination for the kiddos.

Building and Painting

The crafts always consist of something that you have to hammer together and then paint. My daughters both are great with handling a hammer and have only hit my fingers a few times. They also absolutely love the painting part too.

We have made all kinds of stuff together – a birdhouse, a car, a plane, a mailbox, a little sled, a planter (these are all kid-size, not big people, normal-sized things).

Thankfully there are instructions on how to put it together. I also cheat and see what the other parents do.

Free Home Depot Kids Workshop Kit, working with Dad on a project

How Kids Workshops at Home Depot Work

Check out your local Home Depot by going to the kids’ workshop link to make sure they have the kids’ workshop available. Most of the stores in the area have them.

All you do is show up between 9 am and Noon (look around for the area where they have the workshop or ask an associate) and the nice people at Home Depot will give you a packet that contains the craft, along with a kids apron and a commemorative pin, and step by step instructions.

You can register online to be sure you get a kit. If inventory levels of the kits are low, those who registered online will get them first. But usually, there isn’t a problem!

My daughter has a bunch of the commemorative pins on her Home Depot apron At the stores, Home Depot has benches and tables set up where you can sit down and get to work. They provide the little paintbrushes, the hammers, and the paint. I try to have my kids wear clothes I wouldn’t mind getting paint on because it can get a little messy.

I have to stop myself from helping them too much because it’s so fun. I’ve seen parents really get into it and do all the painting while their child watches. It’s a kid’s thing so let the kids do it! And they are learning how to woodwork in the process, which helps build their confidence.

More Details: Free Home Depot Kids Workshop

The kids’ workshops are on the first Saturday of the month. I started taking my oldest daughter when she was 3-years-old, which worked out great and my youngest when she was around two-and-a-half. It really depends on the child and how many kids you can control at once.

I have found it’s an awesome parent-kid date idea, especially for parents whose time is more limited during the workweek.

2023 Home Depot Kids Workshop Kit Schedule

Free Home Depot Kids kits are available the first Saturday of the month for completion in-store.

January 7th, 2023: Snowball Game
February 4th, 2023: Valentine’s Vase
March 4th, 2023: Pinball Game
April 1st, 2023: Poolside Birdhouse
May 6th, 2023: Flower Planter
June 3rd, 2023: Putting Green
July 1st, 2023: Fireworks Bean Bag Toss
August 5th, 2023: Treasure Chest
September 2nd, 2023: Microscope
October 7th, 2023: Rescue Floatplane
November 4th, 2023: Horseshoe Game
November 25th, 2023: Penguin Photo Ornament

More 2023 and 2024 events coming soon!

Past Projects Included:

Toss Game
Valentine’s Photo Box
Window Bird Feeder
Mother’s Day Fence Picket Planter
Fish Tank
Constellation Viewer
Summer Camper
Pencil Desk Organizer
Fire Rescue Boat
Scarecrow Napkin Holder
Train Ornament
Santa Letters Mailbox

Don’t want to wait? Purchase Wood Kits for Kids

This section contains Amazon affiliate links.

You can purchase woodcraft kits for children instead of waiting for the free Home Depot kits each month. Help children develop woodworking skills, practice following written directions, get a little creative, and just enjoy some quality time with you!

You also find some of the Home Depot Kids Kits on sale at Home Depot online. You can even purchase a kid party pack. What a great idea for a kids’ party!

The Home Depot Kids page also has virtual workshops and virtual field trip videos about plants that kids may enjoy.

Bird Bungalow

Mechanical Model Cars

Candy Dispenser

Home Depot Free Kids’ Workshops FAQ

How do I sign-up for the free Kids’ Workshops at Home Depot?

Sign-up at Home Depot Kids. It just takes a minute and it’s the best way to make sure there will be a kit there for your kids.

Are the Home Depot Kids’ Kits hard to build?

Don’t worry. Picture instructions are included and you don’t need any special prior knowledge of building things to complete the project with your kids. Just go and have a good time. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Are the Home Depot Kids’ workshops really free?

Yep. Totally free. Sign-up and then spend a little time building something fun with your kids. Few things in life are free anymore and opportunities to do something cool with your kids for free are definitely limited. We love that Home Depot is keeping these workshops free. Go make some memories. You’ll never regret spending time with your kids.

What ages are good for the Free Home Depot Kids’ Workshop

We’d recommend about age 3 and up. At 3, the kids will need lots of help from you. but as kids get older they’ll be able to do more and more of the project independently.

Are there more free kids’ workshops and events at other stores?

  • Lowe’s offers similar Free Kids’ Workshops once a month.
  • And, JCPenney offers free kids craft events each month.

  • So mark your calendars and have fun!


    See Hundreds of Raptors in the Air: South Carolina Hawk Migration

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    Looking for something different to do outside this fall? How about a trip to observe an amazing hawk migration? Visit this fall to see these amazing creatures soaring across the sky. Join in the SC Hawk Watch at Caesars Head State Park or Sassafras Mountain. Kidding Around’s Maria visits each fall with her children and today she’s sharing some ideas for making the most of your visit.

    Are my children the only ones with hawk fascination? They seem to have a knack for spotting them from the car, on a hike, at the park, all over. After our unit study on birds, I have to agree with them, raptors are pretty captivating birds. If you agree, you might want to head up to Caesars Head State Park this fall where you can see hundreds of migrating hawks.

    The Hawk Migration at Caesars Head State Park

    From September through November, Caesars Head plays host to thousands of migrating raptors who use the thermals coming off the rocky outcrop to soar upward, conserving their energy as they migrate to their winter ranges.

    The peak of this migration is early to mid-September. During this time it’s possible to see a couple of hundred raptors in the air all at the same time. You can expect to see Broad-winged hawks, but other possibilities include Bald Eagles, Ospreys, American Kestrels, and many others. My children really hoped to spot the less common Peregrine Falcon, and we did!

    You won’t need to go far from the parking lot area to see the hawks. Just head for the scenic overlook. We like to bring lunch and sit on the rocks with our binoculars. You’ll often find a ranger or knowledgeable bird watchers at the overlook who are happy to point out various raptors in the sky.

    Sassafras Mountain

    Sassafras Mountain is another great place to view the hawk migration. Sassafras is the highest point in South Carolina and you can access the beautiful observation platform without any hiking. Even better, there’s no admission for Sassafras Mountain so visiting is totally free.

    Landscape mountain views from Sassafras Mountain

    You can find out more about Sassafras Mountain in our review.

    Plan a homeschool field trip to the hawk migration at Caesars Head State Park

    Check out Raptors! A kid’s guide to birds of prey (J 598.9 Laubach) at the Greenville Library. It is packed full of information about the habits of these birds from diets, to migration, to nesting habitats, and all in language accessible to kids. This book also features silhouettes of flying birds, so it might be a good one to bring along on your trip.

    Once you’re back home, older children may appreciate examining data from past year’s hawk watches. You can find that information at Hawkcount.org by selecting Caesar’s Head Hawk Watch (South Carolina) in the Hawkwatch Site box. Select the year and month on the left-hand side to view the data for that month.

    Consider letting students turn the data from the tables into pie charts or other graphs and compare the data across years or individual fall months. This is a great way to bring math into this predominantly science trip.

    If you’d like to bring in a little history, check out some books about John James Audubon, who in addition to drawing beautiful pictures of birds and documenting their species and habitats, proved that when birds migrate they return to the same areas each year. What a fitting study after observing a hawk migration!

    My children really enjoyed The boy who drew birds: a story of John James Audubon, by Jacqueline Davies (JB Audubon), which, of course, you can find in the Greenville Library System.

    If this trip sparks some curiosity about birds, consider a full unit study. We really enjoyed Homeschool Legacy’s Once-A-Week Unit Study, Birds of a Feather.

    If you’d like to view these magnificent raptors up close, check out the Carolina Raptor Center in nearby Huntersville, NC.

    Carolina Raptor Center

    The Carolina Raptor Center is an awesome place to see raptors up close. Check out our review of the Carolina Raptor Center.

    Plan your own trip to Caesars Head State Park

    8155 Geer Hwy, Cleveland
    Website: Caesars Head State Park
    Admission: $3 per adult; $1 children 6-15, free 5 and under
    Hours: 9 am – 6 pm, daily

    Enjoy your hawk watch at Caesar’s Head!  Maybe we’ll see you there!

    Walhalla State Fish Hatchery Is Fishy Fun Your Kids Will Love

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    Did you know you can bring the kids and visit the Walhalla State Fish Hatchery for free? The hatchery, located in Mountain Rest, SC, is responsible for stocking trout in a number of waterways and lakes in the Upstate. You’ll get a chance to see trout in various stages of their life cycle, enjoy the grounds, picnic, hike and even fish in the East Fork Chattooga River. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting the Walhalla State Fish Hatchery.

    Visiting the Walhalla State Fish Hatchery: Things to Do

    We love free activities and here’s one you can do to relieve school doldrums. Only an hour and a half drive is the Walhalla State Fish Hatchery (WSFH). Located 21 miles north of Walhalla in Sumter National Forest, the hatchery is open to visitors daily.

    Allow about 1.5-2 hours for your tour which consists of the Hatchery Building, walking around the outdoor fish raceway, and feeding the fish.

    After your tour, make a day of it and you can picnic in the shady Chattooga Picnic Area which is adjacent to the hatchery.

    There is a barrier-free fishing pier, accessible in the East Fork which runs through the hatchery grounds.

    If you are not up to fishing, you can choose to hike 2.5 miles to the main Chattooga River. Pick-up a map from the Hatchery office.

    Brief History of the Hatchery

    One of five fish hatcheries in South Carolina, it is operated by the South Carolina Department of  Natural Resources. WSFH raises brown, brook and rainbow trout for stocking the public waters of South Carolina. Most of the trout are cultured to a catchable size of 9-12″ before they are released.

    Approximately 500,000 trout are produced and stocked annually by the WSFH. We especially enjoyed seeing the very large trout (5-15 pounds) kept at the Hatchery for public viewing.

    How to tour the Hatchery

    You may call ahead to arrange a guided tour, but the hatchery is open to walk-ins. Upon entering the Hatchery property, pick up a brochure or print a brochure from the hatchery website.

    Hatchery Building

    I suggest that you start your visit at the Hatchery building first before you visit the outdoor raceway sections. The Hatchery building has a video introduction about the site and the life cycle of a trout. Around the building are informative interpretative wall signs for your reading pleasure. Feel free to approach Hatchery employees who are used to being asked questions by curious visitors.

    Inside the building, we found vats of thousands of small trout or fry (trout babies) no more than 2 inches long. Once they grow to 2 inches, they are brought outside to grow some more. Do not feed the fish fry as they are on a special diet!

    Outdoor Fish Raceways and Where to Feed the Fish

    Outside the Hatchery building are long fish raceways. The one with the covered shed is where the brood fish(parent fish) are stocked. Use your quarters here to purchase a fistful of fish food. The fish here are very active and kids get a kick out of all the attention they get with the fish pellets.

    Note: Before going, take some quarters with you from home for fish food. These fish pellets are dispensed by machine and the only food you’re allowed to feed the fish with. After a couple of feeding rounds, we just challenged the kids to hunt around for fish pellets that fell on the ground.

    Fish Hatchery Rainbow Trout

    Plan your own visit

    Their site recommends visiting the Hatchery in the fall, as this is the best time to view the full life cycle of the trout (specifically the eggs and sac fry).

    Walhalla State Fish Hatchery
    198 Fish Hatchery Road
    Mountain Rest, SC 29664
    Visit the Walhalla Fish Hatchery website.
    Open 8 am – 4 pm daily.

    Would your kids enjoy a trip to the Walhalla Fish Hatchery?

    {2023} Homeschool Days near Greenville, SC

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    Looking for a fun homeschool day event near Greenville, SC to attend this school year? We have a list of local and regional places that offer Homeschool Days including farms, zoos, and amusement parks.

    Part of the fun of homeschooling is all the field trips my kids and I take. We try to go out as often as possible to any number of places that give a hands-on, visual, and educational experience and always have a lot of fun.  

    There are so many fantastic places in our area Upstate SC area that offer Homeschool Days specifically for homeschooling families. I put them together here to help all of us homeschoolers have some options for extending learning beyond the home environment. 

    You may also find our Homeschool Guide to Greenville, SC, Field Trip Guide, and Homeschool Discounts stories helpful as you plan out your year.

    Also, check out these Educational Things to Do Near Greenville, SC.


    Here’s How You Can Get Behind the Scenes at The Greenville Zoo

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    Note: The Greenville Zoo is not currently offering behind-the-scenes tours. We will update this article if they begin offering the tours again.

    Have you heard of Greenville Zoo’s Behind-the-Scenes Tour? KAG Contributor Anna Artz and her family attended a behind the scenes tour of the zoo. She’s written all about the experience here, so you’ll know what to expect if your bring your crew.

    The Greenville Zoo is a well-loved downtown attraction in our family. Our kids will never get tired of walking around the zoo, from saying hello to the ant-eater and trying to spot the lions and leopards, to waving goodbye to the pigs and goats at the Farm section near the exit.  Whenever the sun is out, a trip to the zoo is always on top of our list. ~Anna Artz, KAG Contributor

    What is The Behind the Scenes Tour?

    If your family loves animals as much as we do, there’s a special way to visit Greenville Zoo.  The Behind The Scenes Tour of Greenville Zoo offers a rare chance to walk behind the zoo’s exhibits and visit to the zoo’s commissary. Ever wonder what it’s like to be a zookeeper? Or what the different animals at the Greenville zoo eat? Or why a giraffe’s tongue is brown? All of these questions and more can be answered by signing up for this tour.

    Our family recently attended a Behind The Scenes tour of the zoo, and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We learned a lot about the inner workings of a zoo and we also gained knowledge about the zoo’s wildlife conservation efforts. Below are some highlights of our visit.

    The Commissary

    The tour began with a warm welcome from our guide who was accompanied by a docent volunteer. We then proceeded to the zoo commissary. This part of the tour was learning about the contents and preparation of various animal’s diets. We learned that the zoo’s nutritionist feeds the animals organic vegetables and tries to get the best produce for them in the same way we shop for our own vegetables. We got a glimpse of the kitchen and the menus for each animal. We learned that some ate more frequently than others. While the alligators were known to go several months without eating, the orangutans ate four to five times a day. We were also shown the leaf-eater biscuits, a favorite giraffe snack, which was edible even to humans. We were offered a chance to taste a biscuit and my daughter gamely volunteered and ate the whole cookie! She said it tasted like grass.

    The Animals

    The next part of the tour was a visit to the giraffe barn. We entered from the back, where keepers would usually go. We had one of the zookeepers talk about the habits of the giraffe, and we met Autumn, a Masai giraffe, who came by to say hello. She was so close we could see her very thick eyelashes.

    giraffe at Behind the Scenes Tour Greenville Zoo

    As we walked behind the exhibits, we observed that many of the exhibits had an area where the animals can enter and be by themselves. Needless to say, we saw the multiple gates and locks for the lion cage. The zookeepers carry lots of keys!

    We then moved on to the Asian animal section. One of the zoo keepers opened the gates for us, and led us  behind the leopard exhibit. As we stood next to Emerald, the leopard, we learned that these felines are very good climbers, and we were glad that their area had a steel net above. We were also reminded not to get too close to the cage since a paw could fit easily fit through the fence. We were surprised with how active the animals were. Usually, we find them sleeping in far corner of their exhibit. This time, we were in that far corner and eye to eye with a very awake Emerald.

    Greenville Zoo Behind the Scenes Tour

    Another set of gates were opened and we came to the last part of our tour, a visit to the two grand Sumatran orangutans, Kumar and Lana. Not only were we impressed by the size and beauty of the orangutans, we witnessed how the keepers trained the animals using sign language. The keeper showed us how they used sign language to ask the animals do things and in return, the animals received a treat.

    Kumar, the male orangutan sensed a snack and approached the fence. The zoo keeper then made some signs with her hands and Kumar responded following her direction. This went on for a while, with Kumar, turning to his left, then his right, opening his mouth and so on and so forth. This gave his keeper a chance to  gave Kumar a full body check-up. Not satisfied, at the end of the check-up, Kumar wasn’t quite done.  He looked for more grapes, and expressed this by pushing his blanket through the fence. According to the keeper, he was trying to trade his blankie for more fruit!

    Greenville Zoo Behind the Scenes Tour

    The whole tour took an hour, but can be longer since the guides and the keepers are happy to answer all of your questions. It was quite a unique experience seeing the animals up-close and interacting with the keepers. Our kids left with much admiration for the zoo keepers and had lots of questions on how to become keepers themselves when they grow up. Our daughter has always talked of becoming a veterinarian. This experience showed her other interesting opportunities for kids who want to work with animals.

    Tips for the Tour

    • Bring a bottle of water.
    • Bring a camera.
    • Wear a hat or cap since the tour is mostly outdoors except for the zoo commissary.
    • The tour will involve some walking and standing so wear comfortable shoes.
    • Be prepared to be licked by a giraffe!

    Have you been on a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Greenville Zoo?

    Hiking With A History Lesson: Battle of Musgrove Mill State Historic Site

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    If you are looking for a fun outing in the great outdoors while taking in history, then the Musgrove Mill State Historic Site is the place! Learning about history doesn’t have to be boring, it can be an adventure! Local mom Maria took her kids to Musgrove Mill State Historic Site and is sharing her experience with us. This beautiful outdoor destination includes lots of territory to explore plus American history to share with your family.

    This park is part of the free incentive program to get kids exploring the outdoors! Learn all about it in our review of the Kids in Parks Program!

    On a hot, humid day on August 19, 1780, 200 Patriot militia defeated over 500 Loyalist troops at the Battle of Musgrove Mill. Today you can visit the beautiful Musgrove Mill State Historic Site to walk the steps of the patriot force and militiamen. If you do, you’ll also enjoy a beautiful, wooded hike alongside a clear, clean creek, and waterfall.

    View of the Enoree River at Musgrove Mill
    Enoree River at Musgrove Mill

    Our Day at Musgrove Mill State Historic Site

    You’ll want to begin your visit at the Visitor’s Center, where park rangers will play a short audio presentation about the battle, accompanied by a map with lighted markers, which will give your family a birds-eye view of the movement of both patriot and loyalist troops.

    Hiking trails to choose from

    Then you’ll need to choose to hike one of Musgrove Mill’s two trails. Will it be the one-mile hike to the loyalist camp along the Enoree River?  Or will it be the 1.3-mile battlefield trail beginning at Horseshoe Falls along Cedar Shoals Creek? My family is studying the American Revolutionary War this fall and have visited several Southern Campaign battlefields, so we decided to follow the battlefield trail. We were not disappointed!

    Hikers will find the camp trail at the end of the Visitor Center parking lot, but if your family decides to visit the falls and the battlefield trail, you’ll need to get back in your car and drive about three miles to cross the Enoree River and get to the park’s other parking lot. The ranger at the Visitor Center will provide you with a map!

    You can also follow the road signs for Horseshoe Falls. When you arrive at the trailhead, you will find a gravel parking lot and sign, just before the metal bridge that crosses the creek.

    View of the fields at Musgrove Mills State Historic Site

    The Battlefield Trail at Musgrove Mill

    The battlefield trail begins with a couple of hundred yards of concrete, a wheelchair-accessible trail that takes you to Horseshoe Falls. Hikers of the battlefield trail will continue on past the falls, where the trail is no longer paved. The battlefield trail is a 1.3-mile loop, with frequent signage that describes the backcountry’s role in the Revolutionary War, the key players in the Battle of Musgrove Mill, and takes you step by step through the battle. 

    Walking through the Revolutionary War sites

    You’ll walk the soldiers’ path to the ridge where the outnumbered patriot militia waited to attack the loyalists. Of the Revolutionary War sites my family has visited, these signs were the easiest for my children to understand. My 8-year-old was able to read the majority of them aloud to the rest of us, and the pictures were clear and helpful. It was wonderful to gain a clear understanding and appreciation for what happened that day on the exact ridge upon which we stood.

    Hiking the Battlefield Trail with young children

    The battlefield hike does have some hills, but our little group didn’t find it too difficult. My 5-year-old was able to hike it without any difficulty, and my 3-year-old needed a piggyback ride for just the last bit of the loop. For young children, a carrier backpack would be helpful.

    On our hike back to the car, we stopped at Horseshoe Falls to enjoy the waterfall and have a snack before heading for home. The nature-loving, rock skipping, critter hunting little ones among you will love exploring the edge of the sandy pool at the bottom of the falls.

    Horseshoe Falls at Musgrove Mill State Historic Site
    Horseshoe Falls at Musgrove Mill State Historic Site

    More Things to Do at Musgrove Mill

    • Take a hike on the Palmetto Trail through the Blackstocks Battlefield, a moderately difficult hike with a 1.5-mile loop. This trail goes through the grounds of the Revolutionary War Battle of Blackstocks that occurred on November 20, 1780.
    • Fish on the Enoree River! You will need a SC fishing license, but the park does participate in the Tackle Loaner Program. Just pick up a loaner rod and reel from the park office.
    • Canoe or kayak down the Enoree River. There is a launch site at the park.
    • Have a picnic! There are a couple of shelters on site that are first come first serve, but a big blanket and basket will do the trick.
    • This place is bird heaven! If you love birdwatching or want to incorporate an Ecology lesson into your trip, then you will be happy to know that there are 30+ species of birds that you can see year-round or seasonally, including Great Horned Owls, Wild Turkeys, Great Blue Herons, and dozens more.
    • Geocaching! See what treasure you can find at several geocaching locations in the Musgrove Mill State Historic Site.

    How and When to Visit Musgrove Mill

    Musgrove Mill State Historic Site is located at 398 State Park Road in Clinton, South Carolina. 

    The Horseshoe Falls and battlefield trail is open from 9 am to 6 pm daily. The gate to the visitor center and the camp trail is open 9 am – 6 pm daily.  The visitor center is open 10 am – 5 pm Friday through Sunday, and 10 am – 4 pm Monday through Monday- Thursday. We went on a Monday morning and there were two very helpful staff members at the Visitor’s Center.

    There is a small fee for admission since it is part of the SC State Park system. However, if you have an SC State Park pass, it’s free. The SC State Parks website has more information and directions to the Battle of Musgrove Mill State Historic Site.

    Curious to learn about the battle before you go? Check out this site, which gives an overview of the battle.

    We hope you love your hike through a bit of American history. If you enjoy the trip, you’ll be happy to know that there are many state and national parks at the site of Revolutionary War battles in the upstate and throughout South Carolina. The SC State Parks Revolutionary War History page offers an excellent overview of the war in South Carolina and links to sites you can visit today!

    Would your kids enjoy a historical field trip to Musgrove Mill State Historic Site?

    Hiking in Greenville, SC

    Looking for more hiking adventures?

    Check out our Ultimate Guide to Hiking in the Upstate!

    Make your adventure an educational one with our guide to Amazing Educational Things to Do in Greenville, SC.

    Educational Adventures near Greenville SC

    Museum & Gallery at Bob Jones University: Art History for All Ages

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    M&G, the Bob Jones Museum and Gallery, is a place to examine cultural and art history for all ages. Though M&G has been closed to the public since 2017, you can still view historic pieces of art from the gallery at various campus locations, off-campus locations, and events throughout the Upstate.

    Plus, M&G still offers homeschool programs, specialized tours, and summer camps! As M&G continues to fund for a new location, we can support them through the various art history programs available.

    Where to See Collections on View Throughout the BJU Campus

    Though the brick-and-mortar Museum and Gallery location is no longer open at BJU, there are several places where you can view Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, American, and religious art throughout the campus at Bob Jones University. The M&G Collection on View has pieces displayed in three campus locations, including:

    • Gustafson Fine Arts Center Atrium: Open Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm
      Tours are available, Open to the public
      European Old Masters painting collection of Luther’s Journey: Experience the History
    • War Memorial Chapel: Open by appointment only
      Tours available
      The Benjamin West Collection: The Father of American Painting
    • Mack Library: Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm
      Open to the public
      Medieval and Renaissance artifacts and art pieces 

    You will also find off-campus art displays from the M&G collection at First Presbyterian Church of Greenville from April 4, 2023- October 12, 2023, at the Jerry and Alice Lenz Gallery in Downtown Greenville, SC. These art pieces explore the Baroque era and include 14 paintings as part of the Ponder Anew: Baroque Masters of the Baroque exhibition. The satellite location is used to temporarily house one of the largest collections from M&G while BJU acquires a permanent location for the museum.

    The gallery is open to the public on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. You can also make an appointment by emailing cfra[email protected] for out-of-public hour visits. 

    Kids creating art at the Bob Jones Museum and Gallery

    Activities for All Ages

    Does history and art make your eyes glaze over? It doesn’t have to be like that! History is rich with incredible and interesting stories and art reflects that intrigue. M&G offers Scavenger Hunts that encompass everything from the signs and symbols in the art that mean something more than meets the eye to be able to identify techniques used by the greatest artists in all of history.

    For 2023, Scavenger Hunts are currently held at the Ponder Anew: Baroque Masterworks of the Museum and Gallery exhibit at the First Presbyterian Church of Greenville. You can grab it at the reception desk at First Presbyterian from April until October 12, 2023. 

    M&G also offers two print-off seasonal scavenger hunts for Easter and Christmas. These hunts are for all ages and use short audio clips and videos to help the hunter find out more information about the pieces they are hunting for.   

    Art Discovery Tours for Kids

    There are also specialized Cultural Discovery Tours for kids so they can learn more about art history. These tours are from K – 12th grade, and groups of 10 or more are needed. Tours are free but must be requested in advance.

    Currently, M&G offers on-campus and off-campus tours for three different exhibits, including Luther’s Journey: Experience the History (grades 6th – 12th), Benjamin West: The Father of American Painting (grades 3rd -12th grade), and Ponder Anew: Baroque Masterworks from the Museum and Gallery (1st – 12th grade). Homeschool groups and teachers can submit a Specialized Focus Tours form to find out more information about the exhibits.

    homeschool days at Bob Jones M & G

    M&G Homeschool Days

    M&G at Bob Jones University offers a special program for homeschoolers for their Homeschool Days, one that caters to students ages 5 – 14 years old. Lessons are 75 minutes long and are available once per month at the Mack Building on campus.

    The Homeschool Days theme for 2023/2024 is American Masters. During their visit, students will learn about American artists, while exploring various art styles, media, and artists themselves. Elementary and Middle School lessons are available, so your kid will be learning on their level. Children will be inspired to dream and imagine what impact they can have on history too!

    Homeschool days for 2023/2024 include:

    • September 7 or 8, 2023
    • October 5 or 6, 2023
    • November 2 or 3, 2023
    • February 8 or 9, 2024
    • March 7 or 8, 2024
    • April 4 or 5, 2024

    Homeschool Days Class Schedule

    Elementary classes for children ages K5- 5th grade are on Thursdays at 10 a.m. and 2 pm or and Fridays at 10 am, noon, and 2 pm.

    The Middle School lessons are for children grades 6th – 8th grade, and follow the same order of subject matters on Fridays at 10 am, noon, or 2 pm.

    Registration for Homeschool Days

    Registration for Homeschool Days begins in August, and you can register for the Fall 2023 classes through the Homeschool Days Fall Registration form. Registration for the second semester for Spring 2024 will open at the end of the year.

    Fees are $8.50 for children and $3 for adults. Adults are not required to stay for the lesson but are asked to walk their children into the museum and pick them up after 75 minutes.

    For FAQs on the Homeschool Days, see here.

    Digital Homeschool Days

    If you prefer an at-home program, M&G also offers Digital Homeschool Days. These digital classes are for ages 5 – 14 years old and explore The Age of Antiquity. You must pre-register for the digital lessons and will have access to lessons on Sumer, Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Hebrew, Greece, and Rome. 

    Museum on the Move

    If you are looking for a unique way to bring the museum to your classroom or homeschool co-op, then M&G has you covered! They offer art-based STEAM units, whoo hoo! If you choose the in person option, an educator will come to your classroom or group for a 30 – 60 minute lesson. Lessons meet core SC standards, so you don’t have to stress about that. 

    You can also choose for grades 1st through 6th, with several lesson options available. You can find more information about the Museum on the Move program and how to register for in person and digital lessons on the M&G Museum on the Move page. 

    Kids Create! Summer Camp at M&G

    Every summer, M&G at Bob Jones University offers a Kids Create! Summer camp that will have your child exploring the world through art. Summer camps are available for children aged K5 – age 12. Your child will explore the fine arts, create art projects, play interactive games, learn age-appropriate material, and make new friends! Camps are typically a week long in June and are half-day.

    Registration for Kids Create! Will open at the beginning of 2024 for the 2024 summer session.

    Museum & Gallery at Bob Jones University

    Have you ever taken your kids to M & G at Bob Jones University?

    The Ultimate Homeschool Guide to the Upstate, South Carolina.


    Check out our Ultimate Homeschool Guide to the Upstate!

    Summer Camps are the Best!

    We have a Guide to over 120 Summer Camps Near Greenville, SC. There is something for every interest.

    Summer camps in Greenville, SC and Upstate, SC

    20+ Greenville, SC Tours You Don’t Want to Miss

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    Looking to explore the Upstate? Why not go on one of the many tours in Greenville, SC? Learn about the history and architecture of Greenville. Ignite your taste buds and inner foodie by going on a culinary tour. Explore the mountains, trails, and waters through a nature tour. There’s something for everyone. And because there are so many Greenville tours, we’ve rounded up some of the best for you… all in one place.

    Greenville, SC Tours

    History Tours

    Greenville History Tours

    Greenville History Tours offers a variety of historic tours.

    West End Walking Tour begins at Falls Park and explores Greenville’s West End, including the ruins of an 1816 grist mill, Huguenot Mill, Riverplace, and more.

    • Duration: 1 hour
    • Cost: $18 for 11 years and older and $9 for 10 years old and younger

    Historic Neighborhood Architecture explores the different neighborhoods in downtown Greenville, including the current downtown condos, Pettigru, Augusta Road, Mills Mill village, and more.

    • Duration: 1.5 hours
    • Cost: $25 for all ages

    Greenville Driving Tour is a great way to experience more of Greenville. This is a great option for those looking to relocate to Greenville!

    • Duration: 1 hour
    • Cost: $20 per person in a Greenville History Tour-supplied 15-passenger van

    A Photographic Journey of Old Greenville allows you to look at Greenville’s evolution through photos, maps, drawings, and paintings as you ride in a 13-passenger van. You’ll be able to see the changes from the vantage point of of where they were taken.

    • Duration: 1-1.5 hours
    • Cost: $20

    Get Acquainted with Greenville Main Street Tour and Meet Up is a great way to learn about the essential stories and history of Main Street and how it became what it is today.

    • Duration: 1.5 hours
    • Cost: $18 for adults 

    Textile Mill & Village Tour: Early Years takes you on a driving tour through 8 of the mills that helped make Greenville so renowned for its textile mills.

    • Duration: 2 hours
    • Cost: $29 for adults

    Greer, SC History

    Learn about the former residents of Greer, SC- some who may have never left- on the Greer Ghost tour. Several tours are offered near Halloween annually.

    Greenville Foodie Tours

    Chef's Table tour
    At the Chef’s Table Tour

    Greenville History Tours Culinary Options

    Greenville History Tours offers several different culinary and foodie tours.

    Greenville BBQ Trail Tour takes you on a drive to visit (and taste) some of the best BBQ around! Locations visited include Bucky’s Bar-B-Q, Henry’s Smokehouse, and Mike & Jeff’s BBQ.

    At the Chef’s Table (Tuesday and Saturday) is one of the more popular food tours and takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These are walking tours where you get to taste food from some of the best restaurants in Greenville, talk to the chef, and learn about drink pairings. The Tuesday night version usually includes Nose Dive, Soby’s, The Lazy Goat, and Spill the Beans. The Saturday night version usually includes Nose Dive, Soby’s, CAMP, and The Lazy Goat.

    The Carolina Countryside Tour allows you to drive through the upstate on a Sunday afternoon, exploring the beauty of the local farms, vineyards, pioneer homes, mountains, waterfalls, and more. Locations include Aunt Sue’s Country Corner or Hester General Store, Table Rock Tea Farm, Core 450 Restaurant, and three different mountain view overlooks of Table Rock.

    • Duration: 5 hours
    • Cost: $75

    Greenville Breakfast Tour is a way to experience breakfast 3 times in one day! Current locations include Southern Pressed Juicery, Biscuit Head, and Papi’s Tacos or Le Petit Croissant.

    Greenville Coffee Tour is for the coffee lovers. There are several local roasters and coffee shops, and this tour will take you on tasting and learning experience. The tour includes a rotating choice of three local coffee shops.

    New Restaurants of the Upstate helps highlight some of the newer restaurants in Greenville. This tour itinerary changes regularly to keep up with the many new restaurants in Greenville.

    • Duration: 2-2.5 hours
    • Cost: $69

    Foothill Foodie Tours

    Foothill Foodie Tours offers a variety of food tours in the Upstate.

    Thirsty Thursday Tour is a walking tour that allows you to experience new cocktail combinations and carefully paired appetizers. Includes 4 full size cocktails and 4 full size appetizers. Must be 21 years old to attend.

    • Duration: 2 hours
    • Cost: starts at $89 

    Just Desserts is a Saturday-afternoon walking tour to experience some of Greenville’s best desserts. Locations include The Westin Poinsett, Maestro, and Crepe du Jour.

    • Duration: 2 hours
    • Cost: $65

    Date Night Cocktails is a Friday-evening walking tour that’s perfect for date night or a night out with friends. It includes 4 full-sized cocktails and 4 full-sized appetizers. Locations include Sassafras Southern Bistro, Crepe du Jour, and Maestro.

    • Duration: 2 hours
    • Cost: $89

    Craft Cocktail Tour is a Saturday-evening walking tour to four different locations for specialty cocktails and appetizers. The tour begins at Bon Jour on Main and continues to Sassafras Southern Bistro, Scoundrel, and Maestro.

    • Duration: 2 hours
    • Cost: $89

    Breakfast Tour is a Saturday morning walking tour that allows you to experience not one, but THREE full breakfasts! Locations include Spoonbread inside the Westin Poinsett, Bon Jour on Main, and Roost.

    • Duration: 2 hours
    • Cost: begins at $65

    Six & Twenty

    Six & Twenty Distillery Tours give you an opportunity to see the science of distilling spirits. They offer both private and public tours.

    • Duration: 1 hour
    • Cost: $20-30

    Vicario Farm Tours

    Vicario Tasting Room and Farm Tours allow you to experience the farm, greenhouse, and processing facility of Renato Vicario and Janette Wesley. Their family operates two farms – one in Italy near Cortona, and one in Greer, behind their micro-distillery! You’ll learn a lot about the science of making liqueur during your tour.

    • Duration: 1.5 hours+
    • Cost: $15 per person

    The Brewery Experience

    The Brewery Experience offers two Private Brewery Tours in Greenville:

    • Afternoon Delight is a three-stop driving tour that plays off a parody of Forrest Gump. The 12-passenger van will take you to Liability Brewing, Thomas Creek, and The 8th State Brewing Co. Birds Fly South and Carolina Bauernhaus can be included by requests for groups.
      • Duration: 2.5 hours
      • Cost: $64 per person
    • Twilight Tour is a three-stop driving tour that also plays off a parody of Forrest Gump. You’ll ride in a 12-passenger van and visit Tetrad Brewing, Liability, and The 8th State Brewing co. Thomas Creek Brewery, Birds Fly South, and Carolina Bauernhaus are available by request for groups.
      • Duration: 3.5 hours
      • Cost: $64 per person

    Family-Focused Tours

    Greenville Explorers: Family Tour is a family-friendly tour that allows you to explore downtown Greenville in a fun, educational way. The tour includes a scavenger hunt, a stop a the Mast General Store’s candy area, quick history lessons, and more!

    Boar on the World Explorers Tour of Greenville, SC

    Read Kidding Around’s Review

    World Explorers Downtown Family Tour

    Outdoor Nature Tours in Greenville, SC

    Jocassee Lake Tours

    Jocassee Lake Tours offers a large variety of tours, both public and private, for you to explore all that Jocassee has to offer. Some of their tours include:

    • Lake Tours during the Warm Season
      • Duration: 3-4 hours
      • Cost: starting at $55 for all ages
    • Private Lake Tours during the Warm Season
      • Duration: 3-6 hours
      • Cost: starting at $395 for all ages, up to 12 people per boat
    • Kayak Tours
      • Duration: 6 hours
      • Cost: Starting at $125 per person, ages 10+
    • Private Fishing Tours
      • Duration: 4-6 hours
      • Cost: $395 for the four-hour tour, $595 for the 6 hour tour
    • Sunset Lake Tours
      • Duration: 2 hours
      • Cost: starting at $55 for all ages
    • Full Moon Rising Tour
      • Duration: 2 hours
      • Cost: starting at $55 per person for all ages, but great for adults!
    • Private Sunset Tour
      • Duration: 2 hours
      • Cost: starting at $395 
    Lake Jocassee

    Kidding Around Loves Lake Jocassee! See why!

    Heading to Jocasee with the kids? Here’s your guide to visiting Lake Jocassee with your family.

    Paris Mountain Ranger Hikes

    Paris Mountain State Park offers guided ranger hikes for families, giving everyone a chance to learn about the animals and insects that inhabit the park.

    Ranger hike at Paris Mountain

    We did a ranger-guided hike at Paris Mountain and it was awesome!

    Find out more in our article on Paris Mountain State Park!

    BMW Tour

    BMW Glimpse Tour gives you a “glimpse” into the BMW plant process. Tour participants get to see the metal finish area and the paint shop area.

    • Duration: 1 hour
    • Cost: $10 for adults (21+), $8 for students 12-20

    Segway Tours

    Greenville Segway Tours offers several different options:

    • West End & Falls Park Segway Tours lets you ride through downtown Greenville, the West End, and Falls Park.
      • Duration: 1.5-2 hours
      • Cost: starting at $69
    • Haunted Segway Tour explores the haunted walkways of Springwood Cemetery and various other haunted locations along the Reedy River.
      • Duration: 1.5 hours
      • Cost: starting at $70
    • Taste & Glide Segway Tour lets you experience some of thes best places to grab a bite to eat in downtown Greenville.
      • Duration: 2.5 hours
      • Cost: starting at $80

    Swamp Rabbit Trail Tours

    Reedy Rides

    Reedy Rides offers a few bike tours along the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

    Swamp Rabbit Trail Tour goes from downtown Greenville to the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery.

    • Duration: 2 hours
    • Cost: $65 per person

    Swamp Rabbit Trail to Furman University Bike Tour lets you explore the Swamp Rabbit Trail from downtown Greenville all the way to Furman University.

    • Duration: 3 hours
    • Cost: $90 per person

    Swamp Rabbit Trail to Travelers Rest Bike Tour uses electric assist bikes to get you from downtown Greenville to Travelers Rest, where you’ll grab a quick bite to eat before heading back to Greenville.

    • Duration: 3 hours
    • Cost: $105 per person
    Furman University along Swamp Rabbit Trail

    Here’s your guide to the entire Swamp Rabbit Trail.

    What tour are you going to experience next?

    Are you visiting Greenville?
    Don’t miss our Visitors Guide to Greenville, SC!

    Things to Do in Greenville, SC.

    Looking for more things to do in Greenville? Here are 50+ fun things to do with your day!

    An Educational Trip To Charleston, SC

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    Are you looking for a way to sneak in a trip to the South Carolina coast with the kids, while also working in some educational content? There are so many opportunities for educational things to do in Charleston, SC! We’re sharing our recent educational trip to Charleston, SC with you just in case you want to explore, learn, and expand your knowledge, too.

    Charleston is so rich with opportunities for learning. You, the parent might even learn some fun things along the way. 

    • Like did you know a famous poet called one of the barrier islands home for a short time, prior to his fame? 
    • You might know that the Civil War started in Charleston Harbor, but did you know what started it? 
    • Did you know that there is a certain behavior that the dolphin pods that reside in Charleston Harbor teach their young, that isn’t seen anywhere else? 

    See right there we covered language arts, history and science. That’s just a drop in the bucket of the things you can discover in Charleston, not to mention getting to relax in a beautiful setting. 

    Educational travel to Charleston, SC

    For more things to see and do while in Charleston, check out our huge Guide To Charleston, SC.

    Accommodations for this trip were generously provided by The Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant. All opinions are my own, honest and genuine.

    Educational Things to Do in Charleston, SC

    Here are some of the fun educational things we found in in Charleston, SC:

    The Young Soldier Stationed At Fort Moultrie

    Subjects: Language Arts and History

    On May 26th a young man enlisted in the Army, unable to afford the last three years of university and left without options. He lied about his age and his name and after just two short years of a five year term, he “hired” someone to complete his term. 

    That young man’s name was Edgar Allan Poe, and evidence of his short stay on Sullivan’s Island is all around you when you visit. If you are very clever, you can slip some Poe related math into your lesson. 

    Edgar Allan Poe Library Charleston

    Learning Opportunities:

    You can also include lessons on the history of Fort Moultrie. If you’ve never been to this National Park location before you can read this local mom’s review of Fort Moultrie, before you head out.  

    The Ellis Island Of Slavery

    Subject: History/Social Studies

    While you’re visiting Sullivan’s Island and Fort Moultrie, go behind the visitors’ center. There you will find a small black bench. Have a seat. That bench was placed there as a place to memorialize the history of enslaved Africans, and a place for people to reflect. When seated on “The Bench By The Road”, the first of many to have been placed since 2008, you’ll be looking out onto the water where most enslaved people entered this country.

    This provides you with a great opportunity to talk to children about what it must have felt like to be brought to a foreign land, and how they would feel. 

    Exploring black history in Charleston, SC

    Learning Opportunities

    There are endless opportunities around Charleston to learn about slavery. One of my favorite “hands-on” opportunities is on Philadelphia Alley in the historic district. You and your children can stroll this brick-paved alley and find the handprints left behind by the slaves that formed the bricks at local plantations. Those bricks can also be found in the buildings at the local plantations, like Boone Hall Plantation.

    The Unique Dolphins Of Charleston Harbor

    Subject: Science 

    There are so many different things that are different ecologically in the Low Country from what we have around us in the Upstate. I love that in just a few hours we can go from a mountain ecosystem to a coastal one. This provides our children with so many opportunities to learn about the environment!

    As a volunteer with a research laboratory in Florida while in college, I sat next to a Loggerhead Sea Turtle nest as it unexpectedly erupted. If I could somehow provide everyone on the planet with that magical experience I would. The next best thing is learning about them from afar, and maybe if you time your trip to the coast right, you could have a once in a lifetime sea turtle experience, too.

    A more common sight off the shores of Charleston are the pods of wild dolphins that call these waters home. But these aren’t just any dolphins, they are so unique that they have been the subject of research studies. No one knows why, but the dolphins that are native to this area do something called strand-feeding. 

    Learning Opportunities 

    There is a good deal of eco-tours that will take you around the harbor and some will even have an ecology expert on board. We recently took an eco-tour with Sandlapper Tours and would recommend it as a safe option to learn about the ecology of the coastal waters.  

    Another option for aquatic study while in Charleston is a visit to the South Carolina Aquarium. You can use a virtual aquarium field trip, or go in person and then do the activities found online. The Aquarium is a great way to learn about the ecology of our state!

    South Carolina Aquarium

    Home Away From Homeschool 

    Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant

    The Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant generously provided us with a home-away-from-homeschool for this article and we loved our time there. Schoolwork is hard work, and it’s nice to have a place you feel safe to kick back and relax afterward. The hotel has an on-site restaurant, a huge outdoor pool deck, and heightened cleaning protocols.

    Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant

    Eliza’s Bar + Kitchen has delicious options for any meal of the day. The kids loved having chocolate chip Belgian waffles for breakfast! My favorite was the wedge salad at dinner, make sure you get the ranch dressing.
    The rooms also include a properly functioning mini-fridge. Something we find essential when traveling because there are always leftovers! 

    Charleston SC Hotel Indigo

    For those traveling with pets, The Hotel Indigo is pet-friendly too! There are several great travel packages that include meals, pet stays, and more on the Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant website

    We love staying in Mount Pleasant because it’s centrally located. The Hotel Indigo is just a short drive across the Ravenel Bridge to the downtown area, and you don’t have to pay downtown parking prices, in fact, parking here is totally free! 

    Travel Times to Popular Destinations from Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant :

    • Patriots Point – 3 minutes
    • The South Carolina Aquarium – 9 minutes
    • Sullivan’s Island – 10 minutes
    • Historic Charleston – 11 minutes
    • Isle Of Palms – 14 minutes 
    • Folly Beach – 24 minutes
    • Kiawah Island – 58 minutes

    Have you found an awesome way to work homeschooling or an educational aspect into a trip to Charleston? We’d love to know in the comments!

    Travel Guide to Charleston, South Carolina

    Looking to make a longer trip? Here’s our Charleston, SC Visitor Guide… things to do, where to eat, and where to stay.

    Create Something Amazing at Spartanburg County Public Library’s SPARK Space

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    The Spartanburg 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.

    The SPARK space at Spartanburg Public Library System

    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.

    Completed embroidery at the Spartanburg County Public Library SPARK space
    Completed Embroidery from the SPARK Space

    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.

    3D printing

    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.

    Embroidery machine

    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 machines

    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.

    VHS conversion

    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.

    SPARK Space
    151 South Church Street, Spartanburg

    Monday – Thursday: 10 am- 8 pm
    Friday: 10 am – 6 pm
    Saturday: 9 am – 6 pm
    Sunday: 1:30 pm – 6 pm

    Have you taken advantage of The Spark Space?

    Free Things to Do in Greenville, SC

    Enjoy life without breaking the bank with these Fun, Free, and Unbelievably Cheap Things to Do Near Greenville, SC.