Saturday, June 4, 2011

FREE Summer activities!

There are a ton of free activities to do during the summer months in Greenville! 

Here is what I've found so far:

Free bowling: Registrar your children with AMF  Summer Unplugged and you will receive two free bowling games per week/per child.  The AMF  Star Lanes, located at 704 S. Pleasantburg is participating.  The coupons are valid any of the seven days a week, but only until 8pm.  The coupons will come via email on Sundays, so make sure you provide a correct address.  The coupons will NOT include the shoe rental fee.  Click here for more details

Fountain downtown:  What kid doesn't enjoy getting wet?  The fountain downtown near the reedy rive (beside the Lazy Goat Gelato shop).  This is a fun thing to do during these hot summer months.

Library Storytime and  The Reading Program:  Join others in your community for the Greenville County Library's One World, Many Stories reading program.  This reading program is designed to encourage children (and adults too!), to be getting into literature this summer.  You can enter your child and receive a reading log at your local library.  There are three levels of prizes the first being for a Free coupon for an Ice Dream at chick-fil-a, after your child has completed 10 hours of reading, or 40 books.  Your reading log will also be your ticket to several programs the library will be hosting.  To learn more check out the Greenville County Library Website.  Here is a list of the special programing:

Mad Science: Laser Lights and Electricity
Susana & Timmy Abell
The Bubble Lady
Grey Seal Puppets: A Tangle of Tales   
Animal Magic 

Each one will be participating at several of the local library's.  Click here to see a schedule.

I'm sure there are more events, so I will keep searching :)  For now, go and have some fun, will ya?

If you know of an event (anyone know if Starbuck is doing their storytime this year?), please let me know or comment in the section below! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cheap Summer Movies in Greenville!

Too hot to be outside?  That does happen here in the humid south.  How about taking advantage of hollywood 20's  $1 dollar movie's?  Hollywood 20 (located on Woodruff Road) hosts the Summer Movie Expres at 10am on Tuesdays and Wenesdays during the summer.   It is recommended to get there early to ensure good seating.

This makes a great atmosphere to practice public behavior, such as whispering and moving quietly through a crowd :) Because other mom's just like you will be there with their kids, it is no so "formal", so when little Johnny loudly proclaims he is out of popcorn, you are less likely to have dirty looks shot your way.  After all, the kid next to you just announced he has to use the bathroom :) 

Here is the schedule according to the Summer  Movie Express Website:  (all movies start at 10am)










Cherrydale Theater is also participating, however they appear to be doing Thursday Movies instead of Wednesday.  Click here to see their schedule.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Schools almost out! (Helpful vacation planning)

Vacation season is upon us.  The beach, mountains, north, south, it doesn't really matter where you go.  It's vacation.  It means breaking free from the everyday :)

When you have kids though, sometimes packing for a vacation makes you feel like you need one all the more.  How is it that one kid equals twelve times more stuff?  And when you have two, well, maybe you need to rent a u hall.

Here are some parent friendly tips to help you reach your desired destination :)

  • Get a list:  I love this one list that I found.  It is all typed out and I just have to delete what I don't want add a few items and volia!  a super handy, all-inclusive packing list.  If you really want to get ahead, just copy and paste it into Microsoft word (or the like), and save your deletions and additions so you won't have to do it again next time.  
  • Along those lines, start packing early.  I used to be able to pack the night before but to save my sanity, I like to start a few days ahead of time now.
  • Pack snacks.  I always cringe when my we end up getting snacks at a gas station.  Twice as expensive for half as much.  If you will be in the car for any length of time, you children will get hungry and thirsty.  Its their natural instinct to want whats not readily available.  Pack the snack;  avoid the whining and save your money.  However,  first use this corny joke when your child says they are hungry:  "Hello, Hungry. I'm Mommy!"  I know, I know, corny and slightly irritating :)  Some of our favorite car snacks include, combos (I don't think I ever eat these out of a car), granola bars, grapes, water and juice boxes. If it is going to be a long hot trip, you could freeze the juice boxes overnight so they will still be cold when you want them.
  • Clean the house.  This one may just be a personal preference, but I love coming home to a clean house:)  In fact, I joke that I like my house cleaner when I'm gone then when I'm living in it.  Something freeing about knowing that you don't have a huge load of laundry waiting for you when you get back.
  • Make sure the pets are taken care of.  I'm don't have a pet now, but when I did we asked a young girl if she was willing to spend the night and take care of our dog while we were out of town.  It worked out really well for us, but their are other options such as dog hotels, or you could just take your pets with you!
  • Check out this site for a checklist of things to do before you leave for vacation.
  • Leave early, if possible.  Time seams to go by faster if you leave before the sun gets up.  Not to mention, the kids stay asleep.  If you can't leave early check out this great site for lots of kid friendly travel games and ideas to keep your little ones occupied.
If your kids are young, you may want to wait until you are really close to the departure date.  Once my son asked me consistently when we were going to start packing and leave for vacation.  Whew!  You can only answer "In a week."  so many times per day.

Any other great vacation planing tips?  Share in the comment section below.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Greer Kids Fest and the Greek Festival

There are a couple of things for families to do this weekend.  :)

Greer Kids Fest is Saturday May 21st, from 2:30 to 6:00pm.  There will be games, inflatables, food and activities.  There is no admission cost.  There will also be a performance by Keith Conner. The fun is located at the Greer City Park and Amphitheater.

The Greek Festival is also being held this weekend.  The festival is held from May 19th-May 22nd.  Greek dancing, food, and a children's carnival play corner are just some of the fun things to do during the festival.  There are also several Greek vendors.  The event is located at the Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral at 406 N. Academy in downtown Greenville.   The admission is 1.00 for adults. Go to this site for more information, including how to print a FREE ticket!  (look under information, if it doesn't come up.)

Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Greenville Zoo

Honestly, when I first went to the Greenville Zoo, I was disappointed.  Wait-don't hate me. Here me out.  I grew up near a large zoo that was amazing!  You could spend all day there.  The fields were so big that sometimes you needed those binoculars you pay 25 cents to use just to see the elephants.  There was a huge, bird aviary that you that was filled with birds from the tropics, like the flamingos you always caught standing on one leg.  It was my sole taste of a zoo and I loved it. So, now do you see why upon my first visit I said to myself, "What?  This is it?"

With that said, I have to admit, the fact that our city even has a zoo, is pretty cool in and of itself.  It is a great way to spend a couple hours, and even more perfect for those of us who want our children to see some monkeys, without feeling like we are herding lions, on a long drive trying to get there.  Just a short drive, and boom, wild life is staring right back at you (and I don't mean the kids!).

Want to go?  The rates are as follows: 
The zoo is open from 10pm to 4:30 (gates close at 5:00) seven days a week (excluding some major holidays).

Another option is to purchase a membership.  Memberships cost $57 for a household (other options available) and not only do you get free year round visits to the Greevnille zoo, but there are 130 other zoos participating to which you will receive FREE admission or a discount in the USA.  You also receive guest tickets and 10% off in the gift shop at the Greenville Zoo.  Click here for more membership information.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Artisphere- this weekend in Greenville

Whew!  Is there a lot to do in Greenville, SC, this weekend, or what?  If you haven't already decided to go to the Happy Cow Creamery, you may want to take a look at this (or you may just want to do both).

Artisphere is going this weekend May 13th-15th, 2011.  This is the 6th year of this street packed event.   The event is free, however, you will be pressed hard to find free parking, that doesn't require a lengthy walk.  The event hours are as follows:
  • Friday: 4-8:30pm
  • Saturday: 10am-8:30pm
  • Sunday: 11am-6pm
Artisphere is a large art festival where over 100 vendors come to show off their work. Anything from paintings, to sculpting, even the culinary arts.  Last year there was an amusing chalk artist working right on the sidewalks.  This even has been voted one of the top 20 events on the southeast. (source).

Crowded streets don't always scream kid friendly, however "Kidsphere" would be fun for little ones who have a crafty itch. This will be located at the Wyche Pavilion on Saturday from  10am-7pm and on Sunday from 11am to 6pm.

Happy Cow Creamery Tour THIS Saturday!

Happy cow is hosting it's Heritage Corridor Tour this Saturday May 14th at 10am, 1pm and 3pm.  The cost is $3 per person with children 3 and under FREE. 

There is no need to registrar early, when you get to the farm, go to the pavilion and registrar then.  You will be given a wristband to wear during the tour.   The  tour will consist of a trolley ride, seeing the bottling plant and YES!  even samples.  (You have to try the strawberry milk, it is the BEST.)

Seeing that you don't reservations, you may want to get there early to ensure you get the tour time you want.

While there, I would recomemnd visiting their store.  It is pretty small, but you can find loads of jams, relishes, and other canned goods. As well as, fresh eggs, antibiotic free meats, and of course, the Happy Cow products. 

Happy Cows milk is uniquely outstanding in that there are no chemicals, it is not homogenized and is low temp pasteurized.  Go here to read more of the reasons these cows happiness could contribute to quality milk.  :)

Aside from the drive, this is kid friendly event. My kids love being able to see the cows. You can find directions on the Happy Cow Creamery website.

If you can't go this weekend, then they do allow touring at other times.  The price is an additional $2 dollars (making it $5 a person with children 2 and under free).  You will need to set it up in advance, including having a minimum number of people.  Click here for information about that.  Or you can call  (864) 869-8687.

Happy Cows make Happy Milk!  (ok, maybe that was a little corny, but they really do! )

Mice on Main-a family scavenger hunt

Here is a free family event that is sure to get your kids moving.  Take an afternoon and search for the popular Mice on Main, 10 uniquely sculpted critters, scattered thought downtown Greenville on Main Street.  The mice were sculpted by local artist Zan Wells.

10 hints to find the Mice are found here.  You can also find more history and merchandise on the Mice on Main website.

Make it more educational:
  • read the book
  • talk about the art
  • count the steps it takes to get from mouse to another
  • read your children the history and the making of the mice
  • let your budding reader read the hints himself
Make it more fun:
  • Invite another family to join you and race.  Or split up boys against girls!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Down on the Farm (5th Annula Upstate Farm Tour)

Grab your straw hat, put on your overalls, and show your support  to our own local farmers(while learning a few things too!).  The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association  is hosting its 5th annual farm tour June 4th and 5th, each day from 1pm-6pm.

This is your chance to see farms in action.  There are 20 different farms participating in the Upstate.  Each unique and their product vary anywhere from fresh cut flowers, to veggies, to buffalo!  Bring a cooler with you to keep any goodies nice an cold that you pick up along the way.  Another important tip, credit cards are not accepted so remember to bring cash!

The charge is $25 per vehicle (in advance) or $30 on tour days (make it cheaper by loading up and splitting the cost with friends). Visit as many farms as you like, and in order you want for that price, but be aware that there are more farms than you will have time for. There is a second price option of paying $10 at each farm.  It is suggested to plan out your day ahead, expecting to be able to visit three - four farms in a day. Two of the farms will offer "Meal Stops" featuring local chefs.  These will be available from 12pm - 5pm and meals are not included in the tour fee.

It is asked (for the safety of yourself and the farm) that you :
  • Do not bring pets
  • Use the hand sanitizer provided (sometimes you may even be asked to sanitize your shoes)
  • Keep an eye on your children
  • Do not enter private homes
Interested?  Check out to see the list of farms and what each farm is showcasing, as well as other important information such as which farms offer "kid appeal" and more importantly which have public restrooms available.  :) And of course you can buy your "button" (ticket) on the site.  You can also pick up a brochure and purchase "buttons" at  the Whole Foods Market (co-sponsor to the event) on Woodruff Road.

Can't make it?  No worries, you can still have your share of fresh local produce.  From May thru October 25th, Whole Foods hosts a Tuesday Local Farmers Market from 10-2pm in their parking lot.  Be sure to stop in and show your support to the local farmers of the upstate!

Moonlight Movies- Date Night Anyone?

It's May, and with that comes the Fidelity Investment Moonlight Movie Series.  Each Wednesday in the months of May and September Moonlight Movies host an outside movie event.

This FREE event is located along the Reedy River at the Peace Center Amphitheater and starts when the sun goes down (approximately 8pm).

Featured Films include:
May 11th - Batman (1966)
May 18th - Winchester 73 (1953)
May 25th- Will be viewers choice.  The city is allowed to vote, choices include: Babe (1996), The Country Girl 1954, and The Rookie (2002).  Vote Here!

I suggest getting to the amphitheater early to get good seating.  Viewers are welcome to bring lawn chairs, picnic baskets and the like.  However a $1 wristband fee will be required if you would like to consume alcohol.  This is a smoke free and pet free event.

Children are welcome at this event at the parents discretion, however, sometimes the movies gets a late start and you are more then likely going to be leaving the amphitheater a little after 10:30 pm.