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Posts Tagged ‘Educational Things to Do’

The South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, SC is A Must-See

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The SC State Museum is not only huge but so entertaining, educational, and fun! Here’s why you should consider a trip to Columbia, SC to explore it. 

The South Carolina State Museum has been on my list as a homeschooling parent (actually, before that since my daughter was supposed to go as a third-grader and then the pandemic hit). I had heard it was cool but did not know the extent of exactly how amazing it would be. So I hauled my kids out there for a truly fun day trip.

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Zoos, Nature Centers, & Aquariums Within 2.5 Hours of Greenville

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Looking for an aquariaum or zoo near Greenville, SC? What kid doesn’t love getting up close and personal with a gray wolf, black bear, a giant shark, or a creepy tarantula? Which is why you might be thinking, “where are all the zoos and aquariums near me?” If you live near Upstate, SC, you’ve found the list you’re looking for.

Families can check out all of those animals and more with the many zoos, nature centers, and aquariums all within a two-and-a-half-hour drive or less from Greenville, SC. This list includes zoos and aquariums in Greenville, SC, Columbia, SC, Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC, and Western North Carolina.

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10 Amazing Weekend and Daytrips from Spartanburg, SC

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Are you searching for daytrips from Spartanburg, SC where you can have a fun time exploring somewhere new? You can drive to all these locations in 8 hours or less saving the price of airline tickets. Keep reading to find out which places are less than a day’s drive from Spartanburg.

Weekend and day trip ideas from Spartanburg, South Carolina
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Method Learning: Preparing Your Kids For College Admissions

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Our Kidding Around readers are like family—which means we’re here for the early and later stages of parenting. If you’re starting to think about college, Method Learning is a critical element when building your college prep toolbox! Don’t miss the amazing giveaway in this article & access to valuable free test prep and college admissions resources!


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In the ever-evolving world of college admissions, navigating the path from high school to higher education can often feel like a daunting challenge. With numerous variables to consider and obstacles to overcome, students and parents alike seek reliable guidance and support to ensure a successful outcome.

Method Learning March 2024
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FREE Home Depot Kids Workshops (2024): 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.


This article includes:


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.

April 2024: Home Depot Kids Project- Lattice Planter

Celebrate Spring with the Home Depot Kids Workshop in April. You’ll make a Lattice Planter together. How fun! What will you plant in your planter? Visit on April 6th, 2024 from 9 am to 12 pm. Registration in advance is encouraged.

Home Depot Kids Workshops in the News

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

Home Depot Workshop for Kids: Free!

Experience The Home Depot Kids Workshop

We love taking kids to the Home Depot workshops. We pooled the experiences of our KA Team in this review, so you’ll know what you can expect when you attend. Here are the top 3 things you need to know!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Third, 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.

See for Yourself! A Video of Our Home Depot Kids Visit

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.

2024 Home Depot Kids Workshop Kit Schedule

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

January 6th, 2024: Delivery Truck
February 3rd, 2024: Valentines Basket
March 2nd, 2024: Butterfly House
April 6th, 2024: Lattice Planter
May 4th, 2024: Bloomin Picture Frame
June 1st, 2024: Grill Gift card Box
July 6th, 2024: Soccer Game
August 3rd, 2024: Whiteboard
September 7th, 2024: Field Goal Game
October 5th, 2024: Fire Rescue Truck
November 2nd, 2024: Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe
November 30th, 2024: Cocoa Ornament
December 7th, 2024: Holiday Snow Globe
January 4th, 2025: Piggy Bank

Past Projects Included

Kids workshops 2023 made:

  • Snowball Game
  • Valentine’s Vase
  • Pinball Game
  • Poolside Birdhouse
  • Flower Planter
  • Putting Green
  • Fireworks Bean Bag Toss
  • Treasure Chest
  • Build a Microscope
  • Rescue Floatplane
  • Horseshoe Game
  • Penguin Photo Ornament
  • Gingerbread House
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

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.

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.
  • Show Us Your Work!

    Thanks for sharing your awesome Home Depot Kids’ Workshop Projects. We love them!




    So mark your calendars and have fun!

     

    Baby Goats = Pure Happiness at Split Creek Farm in Anderson, SC

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    Do you love baby goats? KAG’s Kristina Hernandez sure does. She visited local farm, Split Creek Farm in Anderson, SC, and got to spend some time with baby goats. You can head to Split Creek Farm and see goats, too. This farm offers tours, events, a farm store with delicious cheese and more.

    For more places to see and interact with animals, see our Petting Zoos in and near the Upstate.

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    Learn and Play at EdVenture: Columbia, SC

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    Have you visited EdVenture? Columbia, SC has a wonderful children’s museum that is the perfect combination of hands-on play and educational fun for your family! Keep reading as we will share all the tips and info you’ll need to make your trip to Edventure: Columbia, SC perfect! 

    edventure columbia sc

    This article includes:
    Admission and Fees to EdVenture
    Camps, Classes, and Regular Events at EdVenture
    Baby & Toddlers at EdVenture
    Exhibits at EdVenture
    Visit EdVenture

    Planning Your Trip to EdVenture: Columbia, SC

    From babies to pre-teens, EdVenture Children’s Museum is sure to have something for all! Several exhibits make up the two floors of wonder and include activities ranging from science and engineering to pretend play and everything in between. Before we discuss the exhibits, let’s start with some helpful tips to get you prepared for your “edventure.” This children’s museum is closed on Tuesday’s, but is open every other day of the week.

    Admissions and Fees to Columbia’s EdVenture

    EdVenture Columbia, SC

    Tickets can be purchased at the museum or online before you go for $13.00/person (children under 2 are free). Yearly memberships can also be purchased with various price ranges and package deals. EdVenture has a strong belief that EVERY child should have the opportunity to engage in educational fun within the museum. Because of this, they have discounted admissions options for families who receive SNAP, WIC, or Medicaid for $3 entry per person.

    Once tickets are purchased, you can leave and re-enter the museum throughout the same day for no extra fees. 

    Camps, Classes, and Regular Events at EdVenture

    EdVenture offers several extra programs throughout the week and during different seasons including:

    • Spring Break & Summer Camp
      • ages 4-10
      • $198 weekly per child, $30 discount for members for Spring Break Camp
      • $249 weekly per child, $40 discount for members for Summer Break Camp
      • Visit EdVenture Camps online to register.
    • “Toddler Time”
      • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:30 am – 10:30 am
      • Story and themed craft
      • Located on the second floor in “My Backyard” 
      • Free with admission/membership
    • “Tinker Tech”
      • Daily from 10:15 – 10:45 am and 1:00 – 1:30 pm
      • Ages 4+
      • Build, create, craft course overseen by EdVenture employee
      • Located on the second floor in the engineering/crafting area
    • “Biolab”
      • Daily at 11 am and1:45 pm
      • Ages 4+
      • Explore various biology themes in a fun a creative way
      • Located on the 1st floor
    • “Cooking Lab”
      • Daily at 11:45 am and 2:30 pm
      • Ages 4+
      • Hands-on activities with cooking in relation to health and the body
      • Located on the 1st floor

    A full monthly calendar can be found at edventure.org! 

    Baby and Toddler at EdVenture 

    I was very impressed by all of the thoughtful features throughout the museum for even the littlest of littles! For starters, the museum is well-planned out making it easy to maneuver strollers to and from the exhibits. There is also an elevator located in the middle of the museum that is large enough for the whole family – strollers and all!

    On the second floor, in “My Backyard” (the area for those under 3 years old), there is a cozy nursing room complete with a rocking chair, bookshelf, and dark, retractable curtains. 

    EdVenture Children’s Museum Exhibits

    More than nine different areas with endless amounts of learning and exploration can be found at EdVenture. We will walk you through each level of the museum and let you know what to expect as you wander around with your kids! 

    On the main level of EdVenture you’ll find the majority of the museum’s exhibits.  

    EdVenture grocery store for kids

    World of Work 

    What do you want to be when you grow up? A firefighter? How about a farmer? Or maybe even a chef? You can try it all throughout this exhibit! “World of Work” takes up the majority of the main level of EdVenture.

    Your children can climb into a 24 foot life-size fire truck, flash the lights and even create their own fire escape plan. Across from the firetruck, you will find a dairy and produce farm. Here, your children can “milk” a cow, harvest vegetables, climb onto a tractor, and collect fruits from the fruit trees to send to the grocery store.

    EdVenture farm
    Farm at EdVenture

    Next, make a “grocery list” and send your littles out on an errand – the Neighborhood Market is always a popular place to be! With small shopping carts, 2 check-out lanes, and realistic foods and goods, your family is sure to have a fun time playing pretend.

    Be sure to also check out the Little Spot Diner (situated right outside of the grocery store) and let your kids make you a delicious meal. My favorite thing about “World of Work” is watching my kid’s creativity and imagination come to life in these real-world settings sized just right for them!

    Eddie exhibit at EdVenture in Columbia, SC
    Eddie at EdVenture in Columbia, SC

    Eddie!

    You can’t miss him, he’s the world’s largest child measuring in at over 40 feet tall with a heart weighing over 500 pounds! Eddie is his name, and he will help teach your children all about body organs and their functions!

    You can climb up a set of stairs that will take you into his stomach, intestines, heart, and brain. Eddie is the perfect combination of fun and education as his insides are set up like a jungle gym, but with realistic organs – You can hear his beating heart, the electricity inside of his brain as well as his stomach growling when you listen carefully.

    As you make your way up, take a tunnel slide back down to his large shoes (which are each about the size of a car, might I add), and start your exploration again! I love that Eddie opens up a door for parents and caregivers to talk to and teach their children about the wonderful things our bodies can do at such an age-appropriate level. 

    The News Room 

    Has your child ever wanted to be on TV? If so, head on over to the “News Room.” Here, your child can pretend to be a news anchor or even a producer. With realistic equipment and large TV screens to look up at, this exhibit is sure to be a treat. Be mindful that to get here, you will have to go up a small flight of stairs! 

    EdVenture vet

    Wags & Whiskers

    Get ready to put your children’s pet care abilities to the test! In this area, they will be able to care for a variety of different animals with x-rays, grooming and veterinary tools, and basic pet care needs. Wags & Whiskers teaches your child how to care for the health of their pets through interactive play.

    Biolab at EdVenture

    Let your child explore their inner scientist in the Biolab, designed to teach kids about biomedical science in a fun way! With teaching laboratories, this exhibit and programming is geared toward kids ages 5 – 14 to spark a lifelong interest in the biomedical field.

    Cooking Lab at EdVenture

    Enjoy cooking and preparing real food in the Cooking Lab, all while learning about the body, how nutrition is important, and tie all the information together with what is taught in the Biolab.

    Outdoor Fun at EdVenture

    The outdoor area at EdVenture is made up primarily of water play which is great in the warmer months, but be mindful that your kids may get pretty wet so an extra shirt or full change of clothes isn’t a bad idea! There are also several tricycles and a small, model airplane in this area that kids can climb into and “fly.” 

    Seasonal Exhibit

    The seasonal exhibit changes frequently to match whatever is going on during . . . well, each season! EdVenture often has holiday characters such as Santa and the Easter Bunny set up here. You will also find holiday-specific activities, education on different cultural and traditional beliefs, and goodies throughout the year! 

    Fly an Airplane on the Second Floor of EdVenture 

    The second level of the museum is home to all things science, engineering, and technology, but with a closed-off room dedicated to the tiniest explorers. 

    edventure indoor playground
    EdVenture

    Flight

    This part of the museum is full of flight simulators and educational, hands-on displays that teach children about gravity, the solar system, and how/why some things can take flight while others can’t.

    My son’s favorite part of this exhibit is the Boeing 757 cockpit where you can sit in the pilot’s seat, explore the gears, and look out of the windshield at a view of the city.

    In this area, you can also create and launch your own paper airplane, climb and play in a rocket ship, read interesting facts about aeronautics, and learn to fly in the Boeing 777 flight simulators. 

    Maker Works 

    In this area, your children will be able to create and build. In the “Open Make” center, there are several recycled materials where your kids can cut, glue, fold and color their own creations. There are also several different styles of blocks that can be found – magnetic, large Legos, KAPLA blocks, waffle blocks, etc. that will put your child’s problem-solving and engineering skills to the test!

    This part of the museum is best suited for children 5-10 years old, however, with extra assistance, younger children might also be able to engage in some of the play (especially with the building blocks). 

    My Backyard exhibit at EdVenture

    My Backyard

    Strictly reserved for children 3 years old and younger, here you will find tons of toddler and baby-safe play! There is a treehouse-styled jungle gym, a boat where kiddos can dress up in rain boots and large yellow jackets, puzzles, soft play mats, a ball pit, and several ways to meet the sensory needs of your tots!

    As mentioned before, there is also a nursing area and large, family-style restroom within. 

    Party Room at EdVenture

    Looking for the perfect place to host a birthday party? You might want to check out the EdVenture party room! Parties are $300 for non-members and $260 for members. The birthday packages come with several incentives including all-day admission for 35 guests, discounts in the gift shop, downloadable party invitations, 90-minute private party, and more! You can visit the EdVenture Birthday page to check for dates and find out more. 

    Visit EdVenture: Columbia ,SC

    EdVenture
    211 Gervais Street
    Columbia, SC 29201

    Hours:
    Monday, Wednesday – Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm
    Sunday: 12 pm to 5 pm
    Closed Tuesday

    We want to know . . . where did your family spend the most time in EdVenture: Columbia, SC? 

    Indoor Guide to Columbia, SC

    Never Be Bored Indoors

    Indoor Things to Do in Columbia, SC

    Table Rock Tea Company: Visit an Authentic Tea Farm Right in the Upstate

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    Did you know that you can visit an authentic tea farm right in the Upstate, SC? Table Rock Tea Company is only a 45-minute drive from Greenville, SC, and they grow, processes, and sell tea. We went for a tour to learn about all that’s brewing at Table Rock Tea. 

    Within the first five minutes of our awesome tour at Table Rock Tea Company, the Upstate’s only tea farm, my mind was blown. I can’t tell you what it was exactly that did it because it’s a fun fact that Jennifer, the owner, loves to tell guests. But it’s only the beginning of learning all about how tea is grown and processed right here in the Upstate of South Carolina.

    We have lots more educational fun in the Upstate if that’s what you’re looking for.

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    50+ Fun, Free, and Unbelievably Cheap ($5 and below) Things to Do in Greenville, SC

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    Looking for Free Things to Do in Greenville, SC?  We have some great ideas on this extremely packed list. This list is an ode to that song, “The Best Things in Life Are Free.” Make memories and take advantage of all the great things around Greenville. Enjoy!

    Free Things to Do in Greenville, SC

    Do you want to keep tabs on all the things to do in the Upstate? Don’t skip our giant list of Things to Do Near Greenville, SC, full of fabulous family fun any time of the year.

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    Conestee Nature Preserve Offers Trails, Education, and Fun for Everyone: Greenville, SC

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    Conestee Nature Preserve in Greenville, SC opened in 2006, and quickly has become a favorite destination for families across the Upstate. We’ll tell you all about this amazing preserve right in the heart of Greenville.

    Conestee Nature Preserve is an incredible park with miles of trails, wetlands, boardwalks, educational programs, and lots of hands-on opportunities to learn about the environment, conservation, and participate in some pretty cool things. We are big fans of the Preserve and can’t wait to tell you all about it here.

    A salamander at Conestee Nature Preserve
    A salamander at Conestee Nature Preserve

    About Conestee Nature Preserve

    First and foremost, it is easy to confuse Conestee Nature Preserve (CNP) with its neighbor, Conestee Park. Managed by Greenville County Recreation, Conestee Park has an enormous playground, stadium, baseball fields, dog park and picnic shelter. For more about Conestee Park check out Kidding Around Greenville’s mom review of Conestee Park.

    The nature Preserve boasts 13 miles of trails that crisscross 640-acres of forest and wetlands. In 2020, the Preserve changed its name from Lake Conestee Nature Park to Conestee Nature Preserve to better reflect the park’s environment education and conservation mission.

    Since its inception in 2006, the nonprofit has purchased more land and expanded the preserve, making it one of the top nature destinations in Greenville. They host events throughout the year like river cleanups, night hikes, bird watching, homeschool days, educational programs for kids, and even adult events like the Winter Wine Walk, which features wine and food.

    Trails at Conestee Nature Preserve

    With 13 miles of hiking and walking trails, you can easily get however many miles you’d like of the easy trails. We like to combine them and wander around. Conestee Nature Preserve has a helpful Trail Guide to get you started. We like using AllTrails as well in there to kind of see where we are and help us get to where you want to be.

    There are boardwalks throughout the park as well where you can observe all kinds of cool things in the water like salamander eggs, salamanders, turtles, fish, ducks, geese, and lots of different kinds of birds. There are 11 observation decks so no shortage of places to check out the local wildlife.

    The Swamp Rabbit Trail even goes through the heart of the Preserve. In the spring, be sure to look for all the cool wildflowers. We like using the free Seek app to identify them. Just don’t pick any and follow the Leave No Trace principles.

    Conestee boardwalk
    Conestee boardwalk

    Mountain Biking at Conestee Nature Preserve

    It may not be widely known but there are mountain biking trails at Conestee Nature Preserve. The trails are accessed by parking at 415 Churchill Circle, Greenville. They are located on the Brushy Creek Lands and are used by both pedestrians and bikers so trail etiquette is important.

    The Preserve asks that bikes go right on trails on even days, and left on odd. Pedestrians should go left on even days, and right on odd. You can see the trails on this map.

    Birding at Conestee Nature Preserve

    Other than hiking and biking, there are many other fun things to do at Conestee Nature Preserve.  CNP is one of our favorite destinations for birdwatching. The National Audubon Society has designated the Preserve as an Important Bird Area of Global Significance, and over 220 bird species have been reported by the Greenville County Bird Club. You can join the Greenville County Bird Club on a guided bird trip in the Preserve on the third Saturday of every month.

    They do a short and long walk so you can choose what suits you best.

    Nature Discovery program
    Nature Discovery program

    Educational Programs at Conestee Nature Preserve

    We have been to so many of the Preserve’s educational programs and have loved all of them. Here are some of the different programs they offer.

    Field Trips

    Ever seen an ant zombie or get up close to a snake? It’s all possible if your school group does a field trip at the Preserve! They offer field trips from pre-K all the way through high school and adhere to the South Carolina Science Standards. The field trips fill up really fast so if your group wants to do it, get in touch with them well before the beginning of the next school year.

    Field trips are free for public schools. The cost for private schools are $10/student for a standard field trip (3.5-4 hours long) and $8/student for a two-hour field trip. For homeschoolers, the cost is $10/student, $5/adult or child ages 3 and 4 for a standard field trip; $8/student, $4/adult for two-hour field trip.

    Classes & Programs for Ages 2 and Up

    If you have been looking for educational but fun classes for your kids, then you are in luck! Conestee Nature Preserve offers classes for kids ages 2 through middle school! Classes are offered monthly, and they even have some specialized homeschool classes and adult classes you may want to check out. Some of the adult classes include themes like rain barrel workshops, guided hikes, and birding! Tickets must be purchased ahead of time.

    Preschool Nature Discovery Club (Knee-High Naturalist)

    For younger children ages 2 – 4 years old, this spectacular program gets your kids outdoors learning about local wildlife. Cee, our instructor during our hour long class, was amazing! She speaks to every child with kindness, making the class interesting and fun, while creating a fun craft to go along with our lesson.

    For our class in February, we started off reading a book about the subject we would be studying, in our case, metamorphosis. The classes have a different theme each month and correspond with what is going on during that time of year. We then explored logs for larvae and beetles, and the kids were so excited to find some critters crawling around on the logs. Afterward, we made a fun craft lighting bug that paired with the theme while reading another book and talking about what we saw.

    The class is an excellent bite-size science lesson for littles, allowing them to engage with nature and look a little closer at the world around them. Classes are available twice per month, usually on a Thursday morning or Saturday morning, during the school year.

    knee high naturalists
    Knee High Naturalists

    Nature Discovery After School Program: Elementary and Middle School Classes

    Nature Discovery is a really cool program that gives exclusive access to elementary and middle school students to parts of the Preserve that the general public cannot go to. Kids can explore well beyond anything they could if they just visited the Preserve and this lets them dig deeper into the environments present and learn all about the different wildlife and seasonal cycles.

    We did a salamander-focused Nature Discovery with the middle school group and had such a fun time! We learned what the eggs look like, got to search for them, hold them, and look at them under a microscope. We even got to search around to find a salamander, which one of the kids in our group. It was the coolest thing. Like the themes for the younger kids, these classes also follow the seasons and what is happening that time of year.

    The staff at the Preserve are so passionate about their jobs and it’s hard not to have some of that passion rub off on the students while there.

    Nature Discovery is offered in the fall and spring and you can sign up for one class or the semester. They meet every other week in the late afternoons. The cost is $10/session or $60 for all eight sessions.

    Homeschool Days

    The Preserve offers multiple homeschool days throughout the year but they sell out quickly. This is a drop-off program and you must reserve tickets in advance. You can stay tuned to their events page or subscribe to their email newsletter for the latest updates on when those dates are released.

    Visiting Conestee Nature Preserve

    Conestee Nature Preserve is open daily sunrise to sunset. While there is no admission, the Preserve kindly asks for a donation of $3/person. All proceeds go to supporting the Preserve. It is entirely a nonprofit and funded by donations.

    Conestee bridge
    Conestee bridge

    Other tips when visiting the Preserve

    CNP has a brand new little shop, which you can check out at the main entrance near the playgrounds. You can purchase CNP-branded merch.

    Dogs are allowed at the park but they must be on leash at all times.

    Follow Conestee Nature Preserve on Facebook to get the most up-to-date information on trail closures. The Preserve often floods and sometimes these waters can damage or close trails.

    There is absolutely no swimming at Conestee Nature Preserve, for humans or animals. The lake was created when the Reedy River was dammed at the Conestee Mill in 1892. The lake originally covered about 130 acres, but over the years industrial waste and discharge filled about 90% of it with sediment so toxic that the lake was classified a Superfund site. Safety studies of the brownfield site were completed, and it was determined that the best course of action would be to leave the toxic sediment in place.

    Conestee Nature Preserve
    840 Mauldin Road, Greenville (there are four other entrances to trails, which you can view on the Conestee website)
    Conestee Nature Preserve Website | Conestee Nature Preserve Facebook

    Love bird watching? Be sure to read our article about Upstate, SC birds at Lake Conestee.

    What is your favorite place to visit in Conestee Nature Preserve?