October means Famoda Farm Festival at the family-owned Famoda Farm, Taylors, SC best farm for family fun! It’s their second season so we went and checked it out so you can have all the details on how to have a wonderful day with your family at the farm.
The address for the Famoda Farm Festival is 3 Camp Creek Road Ext, Taylors. We normally don’t start stories with the address of the place we visited but there are a few different addresses associated with this place so take note. OK, onto the fun!
Famoda Farm is a super cute place that has adorable animals, including calves you can bottle feed, a play area, and amazing ice cream. If you follow us regularly, you know this! What you may not know is that the farm is hosting its annual fall festival from September 29th, 2023 through November 12th, 2023, which is just perfect for a day of family fun. If you and your kids love hayrides, corn mazes, old-school playgrounds and toys, cute animals, and slides, this is the place for you.
If you are looking for a restaurant with delicious food and a place to have some family fun, or enjoy a rare date night – The Farehouse inside of Taylors Mill is where you need to go! This locally owned restaurant tucked away in a repurposed mill in Greenville, is part of what is becoming a one-stop entertainment destination in the Upstate!
Are you looking for a park in Taylors, SC and thinking about visiting Lincoln Park? With spring weather here (finally) and summer on the horizon, it’s time to start planning activities to occupy little minds and bodies. And it doesn’t hurt for mom’s mind to be occupied too! Lincoln Park in Taylors offers a fun playground, paved path, basketbll courts, and more.
Have you visited the Climb@Blue Ridge gym before? Whether you are a seasoned climber or just starting out, you’ll fit right in at CBR. With classes for kids, homeschool events, parent’s night out events, high school hangouts, and lots more special events it’s a place for families, kids, adults, and everyone! Climn@Blue Ridge is one of the more affordable climbing gyms in the Greenville, SC area and has an extremely supportive, helpful, and personable staff. Here’s everything you need to know about Climb@Blue Ridge to plan your awesome climbing day.
About Climb@Blue Ridge
This article is pretty much not necessary. Yep.
We said we’d tell you what you needed to know to have a great time at CBR. But the bottom line is, you don’t need to know much of anything. Really.
Want to climb? Total 100% complete beginners of all ages can have a great time climbing at CBR, and so can seasoned climbers. The gym has everything you need from harnesses to climbing shoes that you can rent for a small fee when you climb. Just show up.
The staff is awesome, and they’ll help you get the right size shoes and get your harness and point you in the right direction of climbing walls and bouldering spaces. I say this to you as a non-athletic and sometimes painfully introverted mom. (Really, I write so I don’t have to talk to people.) But seriously, at CBR they’ll teach you to belay for your kids and show you how to hook up to the auto-belays. There are no stupid questions. Your kids will be climbing before you know it, and so will you!
But, there are so many cool things happening at CBR, so, we’ll use the rest of this article to tell all about the programs for kids, families, and adults, plus those nitty-gritty details like hours and cost.
Climbing at CBR
Climb@Blue Ridge has climbing spaces for bouldering, top roping, and lead climbing.
There are several places for bouldering at CBR, a cave area, a small tunnel area, and a room off the main gym. These areas do not require the use of harnesses or ropes as they don’t go high. These areas are about traversing across or up, around, or under obstacles.
Top roping is the style of climbing with ropes. Basically, this is what you’re doing when you are hooked to a harness with a rope up above you and either a human or auto-belayer. The gym has three auto belays so you can climb even if you don’t have a climbing partner.
Last but not least, lead climbing is more like outdoor climbing. You must have your own equipment to lead climb at CBR.
The climbing routes at CBR are changed regularly. This means in all of the climbing areas you’ll find new challenges and problems to solve. You won’t be bored once you’ve mastered a route or two!
For the Kids at CBR
Intro to Climbing Class:My kids have been taking an introduction to climbing class at CBR for homeschoolers since the fall. Each semester is 10 weeks of classes that cover top roping and bouldering, plus safety! The tuition is $200 for the semester and that includes harness and shoe rental plus a gym membership. That means your climber can climb for free anytime the gym is open.
Homeschool Climb: Every second Monday from 2 to 4 pm, homeschoolers can climb at CBR for just $12 which includes the harness. Shoes can be rented for $3 (but you don’t have to if you’d rather just use sneakers).
Parents’ Night Out
Every second Saturday from 6:30 to 9:30 pm bring the kids to CBR for parents’ night out. This parents’ night out is for kids ages 6 and up. They’ll have a blast climbing while you get a night out. The cost is $20 per child. Do sign-up in advance because the program only runs if there are at least 3 kids enrolled.
It’s CBR’s version of tot time. At Preschool Rocks, kids 2-6 get the gym all to themselves with their parent or guardian from 8 to 10 am on Tuesdays. The cost is $20 per parent/child team and that includes harnesses. CBR has full-body harnesses for little ones. And don’t forget, kiddos don’t need to harness up if they are bouldering. So, even if your little one won’t want to put on a harness, there’s still plenty of climbing fun.
Highschool Hang Out
High school kids climb at CBR on Saturday nights for just $10, including harness and shoes. It’s a great deal and a great way to spend a Saturday night.
Have kids who want to learn more about climbing? The climbing team meets weekly for beginning through advanced students. Kids learn climbing skills and encourage each other to be better. The team even takes outdoor climbing field trips!
Climbing team is $65 a month and also includes a gym membership. That means kids can climb anytime the gym is open for free. Gear rental is another $15 a month, or kids can purchase their own.
CBR also offers summer camps for kids, as well as camps during days off from school, and other special events.
For the Adults at Climb@Blue Ridge
In addition to climbing, CBR also offers weekly Yoga and Tai Chi classes. There’s also a ladies’ meet-up on Monday nights, plus special events, competitions, and more throughout the year.
CBR also offers a place for parties, lock-ins, and group events.
Just want to go climb?
When you climb at CBR you get full gym access for the entire day. You’re not limited to an hour or two, and you’re not limited to certain areas of the gym or certain routes.
Adult day passes are $12. Kids 10 and under are $10. If you want to rent harnesses and shoes, they are $3 each.
First-time climbers pay $24 and that includes both harness rental, shoes, AND some time with the staff for them to show you how to belay, ensure that you can do it safely, and make sure you don’t have any questions. Don’t worry about this, it’s really easy.
That’s it. You’re ready to go!
If you love climbing, you’ll want to check out the Climb@ Blue Ridge memberships. A family membership is just $75 a month. Individual memberships start at $50. This doesn’t include gear. You can buy your own harness and shoes, plan to spend a couple of dollars each visit to rent a harness and shoes, or add on to your memberships with a monthly fee for gear. ($15 a month for individuals or $25 for families.)
Trying Something New: The adult beginner
This is the section where I admit I am not athletic. I was the kid in gym class who kept sneaking to the back of the kickball line so I didn’t have to actually participate. I was also the kid who couldn’t climb to the top of the ladder in the elementary gym because I was terrified of falling. Yes, I went my entire elementary school career without my name on that PE ladder sticker chart.
So, here I am, with kids who are taking climbing classes and recently joined their climbing team. They’re at the gym a couple of times a week and are really loving it. I have a strong belief in taking an interest in your kids’ hobbies. (You’ll always have something in common and have ways to share quality time when you’re active in your kids’ interests.) So, that’s how I found myself in a harness and climbing shoes one afternoon for a little climbing myself, having never climbed before. This is how I can say with absolute certainty that total skill-less beginners are welcome at CBR!
If you’re worried about being embarrassed. I get it. Me too. Just go do it.
Let me just take this one moment to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new with your teens and preteens! The kids and I had a blast. I did get to the top of a couple of routes, if you’re wondering, along with some seriously ungraceful falls and trips down the auto-belay. But, the best part was having my 13 year-old son coach me through my attempts on the wall. It was priceless. And, so was watching him encourage and cheer on his younger sister. I’m looking forward to going again!
Have you heard of Famoda Farm in Tigerville, SC? We just had the most amazing afternoon visiting the farm, enjoying delicious ice cream, and hanging out with baby goats! The cows, donkeys, bunnies, and sheep joined us at the fence to visit, and we even picked up some fresh milk to bring home.
This is a special place, I mean like turn a “grumpy preteen” day into a “sunshine-filled happy day” kind of place. Do you know how rare that is? It’s awesome, which means we’re telling you all about Famoda Farm so you can plan your visit.
Arriving at Famoda Farm
The entrance to Famoda Farms is a gravel driveway with pasture on either side. Just plug the address into your GPS and look for the signs. Even my preteens and teenage kids were stoked to see the cows in the pasture as we drove in. You think it’s cute when little kids love animals. Well, hearing “Aw, there are cows! Hi Cows!” will melt your heart when it comes out of the mouth of a fourteen-year-old boy, too.
Have you visited Taylors Mill in Taylors, SC? The old mill is quietly becoming a stand-alone entertainment destination in the Upstate. If you’ve not been to this repurposed mill in Taylors yet, there are so many reasons to go. Here are the restaurants and entertainment venues available at Taylor’s Mill.
Homeschool Skate at Roller Sports in Taylors, SC happens every Third Friday of the month September-May and it’s a blast for both parents and kids!
The minute I pulled into the packed parking lot at Roller Sports in Taylors, SC for their Homeschool Skate I knew I had stumbled upon some true homeschool thing in the area. I had to park on the grass in the back of the building. What was so cool about this event? I was about to find out.
If you are a fan of chains with country style home-cooking, Josie’s Chuckwagon is a great locally-owned alternative! They have homestyle breakfast items, soups, salads, sandwiches, and country-style entrée items. Your family can eat out without having to rob a stagecoach, and if you dine out on Monday nights, kids eat for $0.99! Not convinced yet? They have delicious desserts and that alone is reason enough to go pay Josie’s Chuckwagon a visit!
Josie’s Chuckwagon in Taylors, SC
Owners: Leonard and Joy Wells
Do you have a kids menu? Yes
Do you have a kid’s eat free night? Yes – Kid’s night is on Mondays from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm and kid’s meals are .99 cent per paying adult.
Do employees wear masks? Yes
What are your contactless delivery options? Curbside pickup, drive-thru, and third-party delivery
Do you offer outdoor dining? No
What makes your spot unique? Josey’s Chuckwagon is a family-owned restaurant located on Wade Hampton Blvd cooking up the best southern food on this side of town! Many people ask where the name “Josey’s” comes from. Our owner Leonard Wells was told that he had the demeanor of “The Outlaw Josey Wales.” Since then his nickname has been “Josey!”
What dish is the most popular? The chuckwagon is one of our most popular dishes. It is a fried boneless pork fillet served with white gravy over it. It comes with your choice of any two sides, a bread choice, and a tea or lemonade.
What dish are you the proudest of? Our shrimp and grits is one of the many dishes we are most proud of. It is available to order breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It’s my first time at your restaurant, what do you suggest we order? The chuckwagon, chicken tenders, grilled pork chops, fried chicken breast, and shrimp & grits are a few of our customers favorites!
Spending some time in northern Taylors and looking for a place to play? David Jackson Park just might fit the bill. This large park features a great playground, plus several baseball fields, paved walking path, and a nice mountain view. It’s a playground I often take my children to this park when we are in the area with time to spare and it’s one they often request.
Does your little one love trains? A great addition to Greenville’s list of indoor kid spaces is the Model Trains Station at Taylors Mill. Our KAG writer Anna Artz was fortunate to get a one-on-one tour with chief Engineer aka Model Train Station Chairman, Bob Rayle. For a list of even more train related things to do in the Upstate see our list Trains in Greenville.
About the Model Trains Station
Mr. Rayle is the quintessential train hobbyist whose eyes sparkle when talking about the new Model Trains Station, “It’s run by train enthusiasts and made for families to have fun. We enjoy seeing smiling kids and see them getting excited when they see the trains and of course, to promote the hobby.” The Model Trains Station is run by volunteers. It is a registered 501 (c) 3 and charges a minimal admission fee. They also have a donor program and family membership for avid fans of trains. Bob also talked about phase 2 of their plans for future education programs. The Station plans to “…teach electricity to little kids, all about light bulbs, circuits and switches.” They are also open to hosting birthday parties, corporate events and meetings.
Where Is the Model Trains Station
Housed in Taylors Mill Development, an upcycled old mill building complex, the Model Trains Station occupies about 16,000 square feet of space alongside artist studios. Visiting the Model Trains Station is like going to a giant train workshop. The building itself is fascinating, a former textile bleachery, the space is raw and full of history. The Model Trains Station joins the rest of the creative Taylors Mill group in making historic buildings an alternative venue for the community. The mill gets busy when the weather gets warmer. (See their March calendar for special events, food truck festivals, a weekly farmer’s market and the Made South Craft Fair in the fall).
The Model Trains Station opened last December 2017 with their fantastic O-scale Christmas village set-up. Presently, the holiday decor has long been removed but the three running Lionel train lines continue to be a source of fun especially with a scavenger hunt designed for the kiddies to explore and enjoy the train village. My kids enjoyed running around hunting for the hidden figures. They were also delighted that they could play engineer themselves and operate a Thomas the Train railroad within the village.
Also featured in the exhibition space is a donated model of the city of Baltimore (HO train). Beautiful and professionally done cityscape, children will have fun viewing the trains running thru an urban landscape. On the other side of the room, is an HO scale model of Waynesville. Beautifully done by a master artist, the mountains surrounding the realistic lake are a labor of love. Lots of little scenes to spot in this scene, but you may have to lift your child to get a closer look or bring a step stool. (MTS plans to add a viewing platform in the future).
When you and your tots are tired of looking at trains on the move, MTS has a play corner where toddlers can tinker with wooden toy trains. The play area is located right beside a structure which will house their train repair depot. MTS plans for the office to have glass windows so visitors can see trains being repaired. Currently also in the works is a G scale railroad German Village donated to MTS, in pristine condition. There’s also the really cute N scale railroad set-up by the children’s play area.
Our visit ended with soft rumble of the Norfolk Southern Line in the background. Yes, the mill is situated right next to a train track! One of the staff mentioned that they will most likely have an outdoor camera hooked up to a TV inside the building so one can see the train as it passes by. Meanwhile, railroad enthusiasts can view the dispatcher ATCS display of train locations along the NS, in real-time. Little details like this combined with the knowledge and enthusiasm of its volunteers is what makes this place truly special. We’re so glad they’re here to stay!
How to enjoy the Model Trains Station
Play the scavenger hunt which can be found at the Lobby. Submit your completed form for a chance to win a raffle.
Play engineer and run Thomas the train track in the Lionel O display.
Talk to the resident volunteer engineer and ask them about how the models were made.
Check out the dispatcher ATCS display.
Learn about the different types of model train scales: G, O, HO, N, while examining the display cases filled with trains and model villages.
For tots, play with toy trains in the children’s area.
A few things to know
If you’ve never been to Taylors Mill, be prepared to drive thru a seemingly group of old buildings. Look for a red sign.
To view some of the exhibits, you will need to carry your child to see some of the details. Bring a step stool if you can. Our visit lasted about 2 hours.
Inside the development, there is a big parking lot across the former bleachery buildings or Dock 2. Model Trains Station is in the building called Print Works 1, to the right of Southern Bleachery. You’ll have to climb a few steps to get to a glass door entrance. There is no ramp for strollers. Upon entry, the first thing you’ll see is a multipurpose hall, keep on walking till the next set of doors that leads to the artist warehouses and the train museum.
Public restrooms available (but not as spotless as one would like).
Visit the Model Trains Station
Hours: Friday and Saturday, 11 am – 5:30 pm, Sunday, 1 pm – 5 pm
Spring Break 2018 Special: Open from Tuesday through Sunday