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Posts Tagged ‘Greenville SC’

Christmas Dinner 2023 Near Greenville, SC: These Restaurants Are Open!

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Looking for restaurants open for Christmas in Greenville, SC? We have a list of places to eat that are open on Christmas Day! If a catered Christmas meal or dinner out in Greenville or Spartanburg this Christmas would make your holiday a little merrier, this is the list for you. Consider dining out or ordering in from a local restaurant for all of your fixings!

Our list has restaurants offering dine-in service, full take-out meals, and even restaurants where you can just grab a turkey, a ham, or a few sides to supplement your own home-cooked meal. There are lots of great restaurant options in Greenville to make some delicious Christmas dreams come true. Most of our local grocery stores are also offering Christmas items for pickup. 

Christmas restaurants open in Greenville, SC

Celebrate the holidays in Greenville! Find holiday events, restaurants, pies, and more in our Holiday Guide. 


Live Nativities to Visit Near Greenville, SC

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Searching for “live nativity near me”? We’ve pulled together a list of nearby live nativity events to visit this season near Greenville, SC. However you choose to experience the live nativity, we hope you have fun!  And if you know of any live nativities not on this list, please let us know with a comment below.

Christmas at the LibraryBilly Graham Library (December 1st-23rd, 2023)
Live nativity hours are Monday through Thursday 5 pm to 9 pm and Friday through Saturday 5 pm to 10 pm. Reservations are required to attend. The live nativity and story time are both free. Carriage rides are available for a fee ($6 for children and $12 for adults). Christmas dinner is available on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in December. Reservations for dinner are recommended.

North Anderson Baptist Church (November 30 – December 2, 2023, 6:30-8:30 pm nightly)
This is a drive-through live nativity at North Anderson Baptist Church. It’s free to go. Address is 2308 N. Main Street, Anderson.

Experience the Stable of Bethlehem at Famoda Farm (December 21-23, 2023 at 6, 7, and 8 pm)
Walk amongst the animals and the stable of Bethlehem and watch Joseph and Mary process to the stable from a large barn. Indoor seating is available but this event can be crowded so people will also be able to stand outside and watch. Park is $10/car and $25/vans. Hot chocolate will be sold on site.

Happy Hooves’ Christmas at the Barn (December 10, 2023 2-5 pm)
This fundraiser at Eden Farms in Marietta benefits the Happy Hooves Therapeutic Equestrian Center. For $10 per person online ($15 at the door), guests can enjoy activities like “reindeer” horse and pony rides, a visit with Santa, a nativity scene and Christmas music, arts and crafts, a “peeplechase” playground for kids, a candy cane garden, and much more. Lunch, baked goods, and gifts will also be for sale.

St. James Live Drive-thru Nativity (December 2, 2023, 6:30-8 pm)
View the manger scene complete with animals from your car. St. James UMC, 213 N. Lanford Road, Spartanburg, SC. The nativity will be in the front of the church, off Savoy Street.

Live Nativity at Holly Springs Baptist Church (December 3, 2023 at 5 pm)
The children’s live nativity service starts at 5 pm with free hot dogs, hot chocolate and a petting zoo and the program begins at 6 pm.

Live nativity event at Redeemer Lutheran Church
Redeemer Lutheran Church Live Nativity (2019)

Walk Through Bethlehem Cold Spring Mennonite Church (December 8th – 10th, 2023 & December 15th – 17th, 2023)
This live nativity has guests walk through Bethlehem, meet with biblical characters, enjoy creative displays, see live animals, and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate. The event is at 226 Cold Spring Church Road, Abbeville, SC.

A Walk Through Bethlehem (December 8-10, 2023, 6-9 pm)
Walk the streets by a guided tour to see Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth, angels and Roman Soldiers before entering the busy bustling town of Bethlehem. This year, enjoy local vendors, food trucks, and a live petting zoo. The event is free and takes place at Una First Free Will Baptist Church, 2130 Caldwell Road, Una, SC.

Live Nativity at Faith Temple/Destination Church (December 12, 2023 at 6 pm)
Enjoy a live nativity and refreshments at Faith Temple and Destination Church at 5080 Sandy Flat Road, Taylors, SC.

Pickens View Wesleyan Church (December 15, 16, and 17, 2023 from 6-9 pm)
This walk-through event will have live animals (including camels), cookies, hot chocolate, and more as you walk through the streets of Bethlehem.

50+ Things to Do in Greenville, SC: Fun Days Start Here

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Are you looking for things to do with kids in Greenville, SC, or across the Upstate? This is the ultimate guide to things to do in the Upstate. Find local events, the best things to do this month with the family, and links to all our things to do content including outdoor and indoor things to do, parks, hiking, biking, day trips, camping, arts, and more. There’s always something fun to do with your family that fits your budget when you live near Greenville, SC.

Things to Do in Greenville, SC

Top 5 Best Things to Do with Kids in Greenville, SC

  1. Visit the Children’s Museum of the Upstate at Heritage Green.
  2. Head to Falls Park on the Reedy in Downtown Greenville for a trip across the suspension bridge over the Reedy River, or take walk or bike ride on the nearby Swamp Rabbit Trail.
  3. Visit the Greenville Zoo and its neighbor, Cleveland Park. For a full day of fun, bring a picnic.
  4. See a show, like Monster Jam or Disney on Ice, at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
  5. Visit the kid-friendly Runway Park aviation-themed playground.

Want more things to do with kids in Greenville? Keep reading. Use the links below to find the type of activity your family will love!


Where to Go Ice Skating Near Greenville, SC

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Searching for ‘where to go ice skating near me’? While I’m far from being the next Olympic ice skater, I like to try my hand at it every year and luckily there are plenty of places to go ice skating near Greenville, SC! So lace up your skates, grab your coat, and have fun sliding around at one of these top ice rinks near the Upstate.

Ice on Main Skating
Winter Guide to Greenville, SC

Looking for more winter fun? Here’s your ultimate guide to experiencing winter in Greenville, SC.

Ice on Main — Greenville, SC

November 15th, 2023 – January 15th, 2024
United Community’s Ice on Main opens every year mid-November and is open 7 days a week through mid-January. Located at Village Green next to the Courtyard Marriott, kids (and grown-ups) of all ages ice skate in the heart of downtown Greenville.

Ice on Main 2023 Pricing:

  • Adults – $10
  • Children – $8
  • Under 2 – Free

Read Kidding Around’s review of Ice on Main to get more information.

The Pavilion Recreation Ice Skating — Greenville, SC

The Pavilion Recreation Complex’s ice rink is open year-round! You can free skate during public skate times or take lessons.

The Pavilion Recreation Complex Ice Skating Pricing (pricing does not include tax):

  • Kid (12 & under) – $7.50
  • Adults (13+) – $9.50
  • Seniors (55+) – $7.50
  • Skate or Walker Rental – $4.25

Read Kidding Around’s review of the Pavilion Recreation Complex.

Founders Holiday Ice Rink – Rock Hill, SC

November 18th, 2023 – January 15th, 2024
Founders Holiday Ice Rink is located in the heart of Old Town across from Fountain Park in Rock Hill, SC. It’s a popular place to lace up your skates this holiday season.

Founders Holiday Ice Rink Pricing:

  • $15 | 90-minute session 

Guide to Visiting York County, South Carolina

Ice Skating at Whitewater Center — Charlotte, NC

Mid-November through mid-February (check website for dates)
The Whitewater Center opens their 24,000+ square foot ice rink every year. There are four distinct skating areas with two ice trails and two free skate zones.

Whitewater Center Ice Skating Pricing:

  • Included with All-Access Pass
  • $24 Single Activity Day Pass

The Ultimate Guide to Fun with Kids in Charlotte, North Carolina

Where’s your favorite place to go ice skating near Greenville, SC?

How you can help: Food Bank Wish Lists, Greenville, SC

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Are you looking for ways you can help families in need in the Greenville area? We’ve identified several food bank needs in Greenville, SC and asked for wish lists of their most needed items. We hope this guide helps you help others. 

Food bank needs in Greenville, SC
Volunteering in Greenville

If you are looking for more ways to help, check out the guide to year-round Volunteer Opportunities In The Upstate for families

Whether it’s the holidays or not, times can get tough for families. And when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, your level of anxiety can skyrocket… especially if you have a family to feed. Over 62,000 people in Greenville County have that very stressful problem on their minds day in and day out.

But you can help. There are several food banks in the area that help families who need it most but are sometimes forgotten. Below is a “wish list” of certain items that are needed right now and where you can drop them off. Let’s cross off hunger from the list of stressors that some families are worried about.


Dig Into a New Story at Locally-Owned Bookstores: Greenville, SC

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Are you searching for locally-owned bookstores in Greenville, SC? Locally-owned bookstores are a great place to head when you’d like to add to your home library or shop for great gifts. These stores often offer a personal touch with staff recommendations, shelves full of specially chosen titles, and an opportunity to discover something brand new to you.

Don’t miss the unique magic and quality customer service of these independent bookstores of the upstate.

This article includes:
Locally-owned bookstores in Greenville, SC
Locally-owned bookstores in Spartanburg, SC
Locally owned bookstores across the Upstate
Bonus: Used Bookstores in Greenville, SC

M Judson Booksellers Greenville
M Judson Booksellers
Places to shop in Greenville, South Carolina for gifts

Looking for more places to shop local? Don’t miss our Shop Local Guide to Greenville.

Would you like to attend a local storytime? Here’s our list of Local Story Time Events Near Greenville, SC.

Storytime for Kids in Greenville SC

Local Bookstores in Greenville, SC

M Judson Booksellers

M Judson’s is a cultural hub of Downtown Greenville. It has an entire room dedicated to children’s books. The Camilla Kitchen is an in-house cafe that makes pastries and homemade apple butter. The book store hosts events like author book signings, book clubs, and Teacher Happy Hour.

130 South Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601

Fiction Addiction

Fiction Addiction has a strong history of bringing authors to Greenville. The inventory includes books for all ages and signed editions from local authors. As the oldest independent bookstore in Greenville, their goal is to “help you find your perfect read, for this moment in time.”

1175 Woods Crossing Road #2, Greenville, SC 29607

Angels Bookshoppe

Owned by two passionate book collectors, Angel’s Bookshoppe caters to homeschool curriculum and book lovers of all ages. Book collectors will be sure to find rare and unique books to add to their collections. They are due for an expansion, and will soon host events and sell vinyl.

2327-1 North Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville, SC 29609

Learning Cycle

Known as Greenville’s Homeschool Store, Learning Cycle will take your requests and order what you need. They do consignment and offer curriculum, books, games, manipulatives, and more!

11 Barkingham Lane, Greenville, SC 29607

As The Page Turns

Located in the middle of the charming downtown of Travelers Rest, As The Page Turns offers used children’s books, fiction, and nonfiction. Amy, the owner, takes pride in customer-oriented service. They will get to know you by name, and what you like to read.

32 South Main Street, Travelers Rest, SC 29690

Hubcity Bookshop Spartanburg

Locally-Owned Bookstores in Spartanburg, SC

Hub City Bookshop and Press

Alongside the Little River Coffee Bar, the Hub City Bookshop creates a cultural hub, just like its name suggests.

Masonic Temple, 186 W Main St, Spartanburg, SC 29306

Locally-Owned Bookstores in the Upstate

Candy & Chronicles

Combining books and candy, you’ll find Candy & Chronicles on Main Street in Fountain Inn. They are the newest locally-owned bookshop to the Upstate, with a wide variety of books and toys, local gifts, and candy, including themed candy to go along with your books!

Poor Richard’s Booksellers

Located in Easley, Poor Richard’s has been serving the area since 1987. In a historic building that houses the county’s first library. They carry Southern Fiction, fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, and puzzles.

107 West Main Street, Easley, SC 29640

Recycled Reader

Recycled Reader is a home-based bookstore right across from the Happy Cow Creamery in Pelzer. They carry homeschool curriculum, bestsellers, games and puzzles, foreign languages and workbooks. Call ahead to make sure they’re open before making a visit.

321 McKelvey Road, Pelzer, SC 29669

McDowell’s Emporium

As the last independent bookstore in Anderson, SC, McDowell’s Emporium takes pride in the well-organized clean store. The entire inventory is recorded in a database for easy access.

104 Oak Drive, Anderson, SC 29625

Have you visited any of the bookstores above? Comment below and tell us about your experience.

BONUS: Used Bookstores in Greenville, SC

Ok, the two used bookstores we listed below don’t really fit with the “locally-owned” category, and they definitely have more of a big box feel. But, they are a great spot in Greenville to go for books on a budget or to sell some of the books you are ready to part with.

Mr. K’s Used Books, Music, & More

Buy and sell used books, movies, music, and lots more at Mr. K’s. You’ll find graphic novels, video games, and collectibles in addition to lots and lots of books.

101 Verdae Boulevard #320

2nd & Charles

Rows and rows of books for all ages is what you’ll find at 2nd & Charles. With a huge children’s section, and low prices, this is a popular book store for families. You’ll also find a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction for adults, music, movies, comic books, and even vinyl. Don’t forget to check the “free” bin outside the front door where you can pick up books people no longer want for free.

2465 Laurens Road, Greenville

What are your favorite book shops in Greenville, SC?

Upstate’s Only Walk-Through Holiday Light Display Now Open at Heritage Park: Simpsonville, SC

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The Night of Lights is a brand new, walk-through Christmas light display open now at Heritage Park in Simpsonville, SC. We spent a night there and have all the details on how you can enjoy it with your family! 

Thank you to the Night of Lights for providing media tickets for this review. 

Nearly a quarter mile of thousands of lights are shining bright at Night of Lights in the Upstate’s only walk-through holiday light display at Heritage Park in Simpsonville, SC. The brand-new event features beautiful light tunnels, a massive igloo, a petting zoo, lots of fun photo ops, ice skating, food, and carnival rides. 

They also have several different discounts and are open nightly through December 31, 2023. Yes, even on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. 

Read on for why you should put this event on your family’s list of to-do’s for the holiday season. 

For more things to do over the holidays, see our giant list of 100+ Things to do Over the Christmas Holiday season.

Night of Lights at Heritage Park in Simpsonville, South Carolina
Night of Lights

The Night of Lights: Heritage Park Christmas Lights

When you enter Heritage Park, keep driving all the way past the playground and train depot to the CCNB Amphitheater. There is free parking and that’s where you enter the display. 

The path of lights is all paved and goes for nearly a quarter mile. The Heritage Park Christmas lights have over 200 LED light displays throughout the park. You’ll pass through archways of light where you will see Santa, snowmen, and all kinds of happy Christmas creatures decked out in lights. 

There is a giant, life-size inflatable igloo, which is just really cute to walk through. There are places that have lights where you and your kids can poke your heads inside and instantly become lighted holiday people. It’s a lot of fun and you can take as long as you want anywhere. 

Ice Skating 

The Night of Lights has a decent-sized skating rink for those of you who want to test your coordination and balance skills. The rink is not real ice but rather closely connected panels of synthetic material. As to how fast or slow you’ll go on skates, it will really depend upon your skates and ability to not fall! I had pretty awesome skates and was able to skate like I would on an ice rink. One of my kids almost mastered skating, but my other daughter wasn’t as coordinated. We all had a blast doing it though. 

Ice skating at Night of Lights in Simpsonville, South Carolina
Skating at Night of Lights

Skating is $10/person and if you need a little extra assistance in terms of an ice walker, that is $5. The rink is close to the entrance so you can do that first or do it after you walk through the display. 

The Petting Zoo at Night of Lights

Once you walk through the display, you will come to the petting zoo. The petting zoo is run by Eudora Farms, a wildlife safari based in Salley, SC. Our readers may be familiar with them since we’ve written about this farm in the past. 

The animals at the Night of Lights are so cute. They have a small camel, fluffy sheep, goats, alpacas, a super fluffy baby Highlands Scottish Cow, and a bull with massive horns. You can purchase feed cups for a few dollars to feed the animals. They looked very happy and well taken care of. 

Camel at Night of Lights
Petting zoo at Night of Lights

There is also a large enclosure where you can get inside and feed parakeets with a stick of bird seed. These parakeets are so funny. They will land on your arm, hand, shoulder, phone, you name it. It costs $3 for a birdseed stick and it’s so fun to get in there with them. My daughters and I loved interacting with the little birds. 

The Rides, Bounce Houses, and Santa

Night of Lights also has several rides you can enjoy during your time there. A Ferris Wheel, carousel, and green dragon spinning thing are located in front of the stage, where the 65-foot tall Christmas tree stands, and next to the petting zoo. 

There are also two big bounce houses, including a giant snowman. My youngest daughter did these and loved the obstacle course one the best. 

Photo ops at Night of Lights
Lots of cute photo ops!

The three of us did the Ferris wheel and it was a blast. I hadn’t been on one of these old-school ones in forever and it felt secure plus you get a great view of all the lights at the top of the wheel. All the rides have to be regularly inspected so you can feel good knowing they are safe and secure. 

Rides are one ticket per person and tickets are $3/each. Or you can buy in bulk, which is a little cheaper: 12 tickets for $30.

Santa is also scheduled to be at Night of Lights on November 24 & 25 and December 1-3, 8-10, and 15-17 from 5:30-9:30 pm. Photos are $5 using your own phone or camera. 

Food & S’Mores 

Night of Lights offers lots of yummy food options. We got a funnel cake, which was utterly amazing. We also roasted our own s’mores at the fire pits located near the rides, which was a blast. 

Other food options are nachos, fries, onion rings, and chicken tenders – all the tasty fair foods. 

Roasting s'mores at Night of Lights
Roasting s’mores

Honest Mom Review 

The Night of Lights was a really fun experience. My kids, ages 12 and 9, and I all really enjoyed it. I’ve covered all the major light displays in our area and I really liked this one specifically for the walk-through aspect. You can take your time and enjoy all of the neat displays, take as many photos as you like, and make those special memories with your family. 

I also enjoyed the petting zoo. I love animals and I feel that it’s usually easy to see if they are well taken care of and happy. These animals definitely were. The enclosures were clean and they seemed to be groomed well and happy. And the parakeet experience was so fun. Those little birds are cute and mischievous. 

And, lastly, getting to speak with the management and learn all the behind-the-scenes things they are doing to make it affordable for families was fantastic. They set out to make a great event for the Christmas season but also create ways for it to be doable for as many families as possible. Everything was clean and accessible as well, which I thought spoke volumes on the effort put into the event. 

Tickets, Hours, and Special Promotions 

Night of Lights is open every day from November 20-December 31, 2023. Hours are Sunday-Thursday 5-10 pm and Friday-Saturday from 5-11 pm. You have to pay admission to the entire light display, which includes the display, igloo, and access to Santa’s Village, rides, and the petting zoo. Extras are the cups of food in the petting zoo, pony rides, ice skating, photos with Santa, and rides.

Ticket prices on Sunday-Thursday are $10/age 16+ and $8/ages 6-15. Friday and Saturday ticket prices are $12/ages 16+ and $10/ages 6-15. Kids age 5 and under are free.  No pets allowed; service dogs welcome.

Night of Lights has promotional pricing nightly. Here’s the schedule: 

  • Sundays: Senior Citizens (age 65+) are free 
  • Mondays: Free admission with the donation of a non-perishable food. One free admission per food item per person.
  • Tuesdays: Free admission with a toy donation for Toys for Tots. Toys must be new in original packaging, not gift-wrapped. One free admission per toy per person.
  • Wednesdays: Free admission for active, reserve, and veteran military members (with valid ID).
  • Thursdays: Free admission for police officers, nurses, EMS workers, and firefighters (with valid ID).
  • Fridays: Free admission for teachers (with valid ID). Homeschool teachers are included (with valid association ID). 

Tickets are only sold at the gate. Night of Lights is accessible and wheelchair-friendly. You can easily take a stroller. Be sure to follow Night of Lights on Facebook for up-to-date hours and closure due to weather.

For more holiday light displays, see our big Guide to the Best Holiday Light Displays in the Upstate. 

Night of Lights at the CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park
861 SE Main Street, Simpsonville
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17+ Things to do Over Thanksgiving Break in Greenville, SC

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Are you looking for things to do during Thanksgiving in Greenville, SC? Local mom Kristina Hernandez shares her list of things you can do as a family over Thanksgiving break, including volunteer opportunities, events, and even local hiking spots. Whether you are on your own or have family visiting for Thanksgiving, this is the list you need for a great holiday weekend.


Unique Gifts in Greenville, SC: Shop From These Makers and Artists

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Looking for handmade and one-of-a-kind unique gifts from artists and makers in Greenville, SC? Earlier this year, our team at Kidding Around decided that we really wanted to highlight local artists and makers in our Upstate, SC community. There are so many talented individuals that we knew were out there and we wanted to shine a light on them and their talents. So we created a weekly Facebook post series that highlighted a new maker or artist every Wednesday.

And while we have an awesome Shop Local Guide, we wanted to put all of the makers and artists we’ve highlighted this year in one post so you can peruse them at your leisure and maybe snag a few Christmas gifts for loved ones from people right here in town, supporting local businesses while getting something totally unique.


Learn to Make Incredible Bread from Local Homestead in Fountain Inn, SC 

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If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make real bread with freshly milled whole grains for your family, the class you need to take is the Daily Bread class from Bluebird Homestead in Fountain Inn. We did and have all the delicious details you need! 

I love bread. Carbs are my BFF. And while I’m not the best baker (don’t make me measure anything, please), I can get by. So when a friend asked me to go to a bread making class with her daughter and my own girls, I was all in. 

What I didn’t realize is just how much vital information I would be taking away from the Bluebird Homestead Daily Bread class. My head was spinning by the end with all the knowledge I learned from Liz Roessner. This isn’t a regular baking class. It’s much, much more. Read on to learn why. 

About Bluebird Homestead and Liz Roessner

Liz and her family moved to the Greenville area in 2021 and she was already a pretty awesome baker. She would give loaves of bread to neighbors, families, and friends for gifts and had a solid background on ancient grains, grain milling, and nutrition. And Liz is really smart. She worked in nuclear cardiology for more than a decade. 

“That gave me an extreme love for whole foods that serve and heal our bodies,” she said.

Her family moved to the Upstate due to her husband’s job and Liz continued her practice of gifting amazing loaves of bread to neighbors. It was through one of those neighbors, who suggested that she check out becoming a vendor at the Simpsonville Farmers Market. So she did and that turned out to be a big hit. 

Liz would bake for 14 hours every other week and sell out of everything. Her Ezekiel bread and Cinnamon Sugar loaves were customer favorites. Customers started asking about baking classes so Liz met those requests and started teaching others how to mill grain and bake bread and lots of goodies. 

Shop at Bluebird Homestead
Shop at Bluebird Homestead

“I could sell you a loaf of bread and feed you for a day but I could teach you how to bake bread and feed your family for generations,” she said. 

She and her family live in a beautiful farmhouse on a few acres and have chickens, ducks, goats, and rabbits. She even has a little boutique shop with all the coolest baking and milling gear. She sells those as well as lots of different types of grains. 

Learning about Grains

When I walked into Liz’s kitchen (which is my total dream kitchen by the way – white cabinets, a big island, stools, gas stove – gorgeous), she was using her Mockmill grain mill to grind hard red and hard white wheat for our class. It was a loud contraption but oh-so-cool. I felt like I was walking in on Laura Ingalls’ family, except a lot more modern and without the hand grain mill or outhouse.

I would later learn that that mill grain mill was at the heart of what we would be baking today. 

Liz has a very soft and sweet demeanor, which is excellent for teaching. She is also a homeschool mom of three kids, which meant my kids were about to get a great lesson in science and homemaking. Total win. Also, I mention Liz’s demeanor because she gives you a lot of useful information that you may not have known about the bread you are eating from the grocery store (spoiler alert: it has almost zero nutrients due to processing) and yet she doesn’t make you feel terrible about it. I really appreciated that. 

We started with an education about grain and its makeup. She has samples of many different types of grain and the processes it goes through that takes out all the superfood nutrients that it was designed to have in the first place. Essentially, all flour you buy in the grocery store is lacking in the nutrients that grain has because once the outer shell is broken, you have 72 hours to bake with it before it loses those incredible nutrients and starts to spoil. This is why that grain mill is essential to your at-home whole grain baking experience. 

I felt bad thinking of my All Purpose flour at home I had just bought knowing that it was basically useless for providing my family with all that goodness that grain has. But again, Liz didn’t make me feel terrible about it – she is so good at providing you with useful information and kind of just letting you think about it.

We learned there are over 30 different types of grain and the gluten varies in each one to a lot of it to none of it and why you need to know that info when you’re baking. This was all completely new information for me and it was like stepping into an entirely other world of interesting food concepts. Liz is a decent artist and drew what a grain looks like on a little whiteboard, which was totally fascinating. I love science so this was fun. 

Let’s Get to Baking 

Once we had our grain lesson, it was time to get to the good stuff. Liz had already given us each a muffin she had made that morning and it was so delicious. I could immediately tell the difference between pastries made with any other kind of flour versus what she served straight from freshly-milled grains. 

These classes are for both kids and adults but since we had a few homeschooling kids, they helped to pour the ingredients into the Bosch mixer Liz has. This mixer is the granddaddy of all mixers. It is very powerful and meant to mix flour made from whole grains. If you use a KitchenAid mixer to do this, you may blow out the motor since that is made for All Purpose flour (just FYI!). Whole grains have a very density and fiber content, which requires a stronger motor.

We got the dough mixing and let it sit for a bit to do its thing while Liz talked to us about dough reading. This is basically being able to look at the dough when you’re ready to make it the nice texture it should be before kneading. There isn’t a set amount of flour to add as it depends on what the dough is telling you. Liz is obviously a dough whisperer. 

We were baking eight loaves today, which is enough for Liz’s family of five for almost a month. She keeps one loaf out when she bakes eight and freezes the other seven after slicing them. She said we can take about 3-6 hours every month to achieve the same. 

The time went by fast as we let the dough rise, ate some snacks and lunch we brought, and browsed her shop. There is plenty of time to ask questions and Liz is a wealth of knowledge about baking so I took full advantage of that!

Once the dough was ready to weigh and roll out, we got to choose what kind of bread we would make. Liz made two pizza rolls and oh my gosh, they were incredible – so soft and flavorful and just simple. She showed us how to slam the dough on the counter to get the air bubbles out, how to roll it out and how to add cinnamon and sugar for that kind of bread (both my kids made those and they turned out oh-so-good).

They had to rise again before baking, which gave us more time to ask questions and learn. Liz gave us a tour of the shop and showed us the 12 grains she had in stock and what was unique about each of them. She had hard red, soft white, rye, spelt, millet, oat groat, and others. I was just amazed at how much she knew about them. I felt like my head was spinning with all this new knowledge. 

So Many Options for Baking 

Liz gave us a ton of great ideas for the dough she taught us to make. She showed us how to use it to make English muffins, bagels, and pretzels. I was hooked on the bagel and pretzel concept. Those are my ultimate weaknesses when it comes to carbs. 

She talked to us more about the grain miller and how you can use it to make flour out of dried beans and corn. I had no idea this was a thing. I had no idea a lot of what she taught us was a thing. But it was so traditional and simple and comforting. And the final product really spoke for itself. The difference in eating this bread made from true whole grains was a world apart from eating bread made from literally anything else. 

When our four hours were up, we got to head home with not only all the knowledge Liz bestowed on us but a loaf of bread. That bread barely made it a few hours at home before we dove into it. 

One of the bigger questions I had was about the kitchen equipment she was using. A grain miller is pretty much a necessity if you want to do this at home. They are upwards of $340+ depending on the model, which is quite the investment. Add that Bosch mixer and it can look daunting. Liz really encouraged us to do our own research though and try to look at it from a long-term perspective on your family’s health and wellness. Spending money now could potentially pay off in the long run in a huge way in terms of doctor bills, health, and overall happiness (tasty bread = happy people!). It’s something I’ve been pondering since the class. 

Taking a Class 

Liz doesn’t have a regular schedule of classes yet but she does have a waiting list of people who want to take the class and can accommodate private class requests. It’s best to email her to get on her list ([email protected]) and follow her Facebook page for updates on classes and which markets she will be at and when classes have openings.

You can also shop at her store, which has everything from the grain mills to the Bosch mixer to measuring cups, silicone baking mats, and pounds upon pounds of fresh grains. 

Classes are four hours long and the Daily Bread Class is $45/person or $70/family pair. She offers homeschool families a discount so ask her about that. Also, this would make an amazing experience gift for Christmas or a birthday.

I would a hundred percent recommend this class with Liz. Even if you don’t walk out of there wanting to live on a homestead and grow all your own food and grain, you’ll learn so much and perhaps pick up a new way to feed your family that is tastier and healthier than you’d ever expect. 

Bluebird Homestead SC
Fountain Inn, SC | [email protected]
Bluebird Homestead SC Facebook page 

Buy local bread

Wondering where you can buy local bread in Greenville SC? We have a whole list just for that.

Buy Local Bread: Greenville, SC