Florence Family Friendly Events & Activities

Upcoming Kid-Friendly Events

Dec 1, 2018 (Sat) - Breakfast with Santa at Environmental Discovery Center from 8:45AM - 9:45AM. Tickets are $8 per person and includes free photo with Santa and goodie bags for kids. Reserve at 843-389-0550 by Nov 27. Wild Winterfest that's from 10AM - noon is free for all. Address: 5094 County Park Rd., Coward, SC 29530

Dec 1, 2018 (Sat) - Family Holiday Festival at West Florence Fire Department from 10AM - 2PM. Santa and His Elf will be there for family photos. Displays from West Florence Fire Department, Florence County EMS, SCDNR, Florence County Sheriff's Dept, SC Forestry and SC Highway Patrol. There will be door prizes, cotton candy, popcorn, bouncy house and slides, face painting and balloon art. Address: 3379 Pine Needles Rd., Florence, SC 29501

Dec 1, 2018 (Sat) -First Reliance Christmas Village at 10AM -4PM. Southern Scratch Bakery will have a vendor booth set up there and we will be selling our delicious treats such as cake jars, cookies, cake slices, whole cakes etc. will be there from 10-4 and we look forward to serving you. Bring your kids and have a free picture with Santa too! Address: 2170 W Palmetto St., Florence, SC 29501

Dec 7, 2018 (Fri) - Downtown Christmas Magic in downtown Florence! First annual Downtown Christmas Magic celebration! Free event from 6pm - 9pm. Snow is in the forecast and folks are invited to bring their families and little ones out to enjoy Downtown Florence’s kick off of the holiday season with free hot cocoa and s’mores stations, live holiday entertainment, a gingerbread house contest, ugly sweater contest, decorated downtown storefronts, the Jingle and Mingle kids area filled with holiday crafts and games, a meet and greet with Santa Claus, holiday gift market, and extended shopping hours with our downtown merchants! Address: 100 W. Evans Street., Florence, SC 29501

Dec 8, 2018 (Sat) - Breakfast with Santa at Carver Elementary from 9AM - 11AM. $8 per ticket. Includes breakfast with Santa, crafts and picture with Santa. There will also be raffles. Address: 515 N. Cashua Dr., Florence, SC 29501

Dec 8, 2018 (Sat) - Family Day at Florence County Museum "Holiday Open House" from 12pm - 3pm. From toddlers to grandparents, Family Days at the Florence County Museum are sure to offer something for everyone. Join us from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm for Family Day at the FCM. No registration required. Free of charge. For this special event, there will be Gingerbread House Decorating. Address: 111 W. Cheves St., Florence, SC 29501

Dec 9, 2018 (Sun) - Annual Milk & Cookies Party at The Little Gym of Florence 3:30PM - 6PM. Let the kids wear their PJs and bring their wish list! Free for Members and $5 for non-members Address: 1945 W Palmetto St. Suite 115, Florence SC 29501

Dec 15, 2018 (Sat) - Cookies and Cocoa with Santa at Durant Children's Center from 1PM - 3PM. Free! Have your picture taken with Santa while enjoying cookies and hot cocoa at the Durant Children's Center. There will also be a craft area. This is a free event and is open to the community. This event is sponsored by The Junior League of Florence. Address: 226 S. Irby St., Florence, SC 29501

Dec 16, 2018 (Sun) - The Christmas Star by Dooley Planetarium. Free. The program will begin promptly at 3 pm. Doors will open at 2 pm for visitors to arrive early and explore the planetarium. There is no admission fee for this event, but seating is first come first served. Due to the popularity of this program if the auditorium fills prior to 3 pm the show will be started early and a second show will be offered 1 hour later. A sign will be hung on the door with the 2nd show start time. Address: 4822 E Palmetto St, Florence, South Carolina 29506 (FMU Main Campus)


ONGOING FREE THINGS TO DO: 

2018 - Weekly Wild Weekends, every Saturday and Sunday at Lynches Riverpark. Come to the Environmental Discovery Center for Animal presentations held every Saturday at 11:30am and 3:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm. It is always free. Scroll down to find the address and full operating hours of the Environmental Discovery Center (at Lynches Riverpark) on this page under 'Playgrounds & Parks for Kids.


MORE STORYTIMES

Weekly Story times at Barnes and Noble - They take place every Saturday Morning at 11AM year round in the Children's area! 

Weekly Story time at the Florence County Library (Drs. Bruce & Lee Foundation Library) happens throughout the week by age. Look to the information on the right to see schedule for your kid's age. 

NEARBY EVENTS

For more family-friendly Hartsville activities, go to: http://www.hartsvillemom.com/what-to-do.php

See suggested day trips from Florence that are between 1 - 2.5 hour drive! 


Get email updates on monthly family-friendly events and other related info from FlorenceMom.com!

Playgrounds & Parks for Kids

Timrod Park 

Timrod Park is one of the oldest parks in Florence and it is FlorenceMom.com's favorite. They don't have soft cushions like the bottom of the playground of Ebenezer Park, but it has everything a traditional park has and more! It has playgrounds, small bridges, a lot of shady trees, lots of squirrels and birds, picnic areas and benches. It is as romantic, as it is kid-friendly. Address of Timrod Park: 400 Timrod Park Drive

Florence, SC 29501

Ebenezer Park & Connected Rail Trail for Hiking

Located in West Florence, this FREE park has modern and new playgrounds for babies and bigger kids. They also have benches and a grill for picnics and parties. You can also start the Florence Rail Trail from Ebenezer Park! Florence Rail Trail is a hiking/biking trail and is dog-friendly, as long as it is on a leash. It's 2 miles long and, making it 4 miles long with the return trip. Enjoy what Florence nature has to offer. Make sure you have some bug-repellent spray during the warm seasons and sunscreen!

There is also another entrance point to a nature hiking trail between Hobby Lobby and Lowe's Parking lot. This one is shorter and depending on the season, you can also see the corn stalks up close since the trail ends right behind Wal Mart. 


Lynches River County Park, Environmental Discovery Center & Splash Pad 

Lynches River County Park has a large playground for kids to play that is open year round. They have walking trails as well. You canalso rent canoes and kayaks as well for some water fun.

Splash Pad

During the summer time (starting end of May), Lynches River County Park also have a Splash Pad open for $3 for Children under 17. Adults are free for the Splash Pad with paid child admission. Everyone must wear swimwear to get in the water, even adults. Gym clothes do not count. Hours during the summer are: Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M. 
Sunday 1:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.

(Splash Pad at the Lynches River County Park is only open seasonally during the summer time.)

I highly recommend going to their Environmental Discovery Center that is by the Lynches River County Park playground. It is free and open year round at the Lynches River County Park!

(Environmental Discovery Center building at Lynches River County Park)

The Environmental Discovery Center is located inside a large building and their back exit takes you to a very cool canopy trail (also free). You and your kids will absolutely love it! See pictures of the canopy trail in this blog that described our recent visit.They have live reptiles that the kids can see up close! They're open every day except for Mondays. Their hours are: Tuesday - Saturday: 9am - 5pm and Sunday: 1pm - 5pm. Address is: 5094 County Park Rd, Coward, SC 29530. For more pictures and read a more detailed blog about our recent trip at the Environmental Discovery Center with my toddler, go to this blog page. 


David H McLeod Park 

Address: 920 State Rd S-21-508, Florence, SC 29501

This is the oldest and my first favorite park to go to. It has a pond in the center where you can sit by and watch the fishes swim. They also have a skateboard park, basketball courts, baseball field and a lot of benches. They also have a dog park there, which is located right by the pond. Remember to bring some bug spray during the summer or hot weather as there are a lot of mosquitos by the pond. 

Freedom Florence Recreational Complex

Address: 1515 Freedom Boulevard

The Freedom Florence Recreational Complex hosts tournaments and also has a coin-operated batting cage, a gymnastics facility, public picnic shelter with outdoor grills, a pond for fishing and trails for walking, jogging and biking. For athletic kids, this is the ultimate dream park.    

Other FlorenceMom.com Favorite Places 

Florence Flea Market

Address: 4001 E Palmetto St., Florence, SC 29506

Located in East Florence, this Flea Market is one of the biggest ones in South Carolina. Admission is always free. They sell a lot of bargains and cheap finds. They also have a couple dine in places as well. I recommend the taco shop (taqueria). It is really authentic and a true gem! Located outside, it is a great place to go on a clear day. With the smell of hot peanuts in the air, both adults and kids will get excited walking around and finding a diamond in the rough. 


Pee Dee State Farmers Market

(Dessert from McLeod's Store at the Pee Dee State Farmers Market in Florence)

Address: 2513 W Lucas St., Florence, SC 29501

Open year round, you'll find fresh produce, trees and plants for your garden and seasonal crafts to decorate the home. Admission is always free and the hours are Mon - Sat from 8AM - 6PM and Sun from Noon - 7PM. They also have a McLeod's Store with desserts, including ice cream. McLeod Farms is famously located in McBee, SC near Hartsville. It is a treat that they have a storefront here in Florence at the Pee Dee State Farmers Market as well but they are only open seasonally here. I really recommend coming on the weekends instead of the weekdays because more stands are open. 


 

Fitness for the Family With a Kid's play area and nursery

McLeod Health & Fitness Center 

Address: 2437 Willwood Dr, Florence, SC 29501

Located in West Florence, the McLeod Health & Fitness Center is a modern facility with a nursery and Children's play area where you can drop off your kids while you work out for a membership fee. With the maximum amount of 2 hours per day, you can take a fitness class and even have time to shower there. They offer discounts to certain companies so check with them before you fill out the forms. They also have kid's camp during the summer time. 


YMCA Florence

Address: 1700 Rutherford Dr, Florence, SC 29505

Located in South Florence, the YMCA is well-known for being a family-oriented fitness centerfor many decades and we are lucky to have one here in Florence as well. They also have a daycare program, after-school program and camps during the summer for the kids. Like the McLeod Health & Fitness Center, the YMCA has a nursery and kid's play area where you can drop them off while you work out for a very small membership fee. 


Fitness World 

3 locations in Florence (with one being ladies' only!), 1 in Hartsville, 1 in Darlington & more

They only have child care available during the times that they are fitness classes at each location but all of the Fitness World gyms are open 24/7! That is a great benefit for having a membership with them. Another added bonus is one membership gets you into all of the locations! They event have a ladies only location on Second Loop! Considerably cheaper than McLeod Fitness Center and YMCA, they are also the only ones open 24 hours a day. It's really worth it for those who work during odd hours and are serious about working out! This 24 hour gym is only $29.99 a month. They have childcare available during most fitness class hours only. You pay $1 per child when you use their childcare each time. 

Movie Theaters & Cinemas

Regal Cinemas Swamp Fox 14

Address: 3400 Radio Road, Florence, SC 29501

Located in West Florence and near the Magnolia Mall and hotels, this movie theater has a lot of movies showing every day. There is always ample parking. 

Julia's Cinemas 

Address: 1110 S. Irby St., Florence, SC 29501

Julia's Cinemas is a local movie theater cinema and is significantly cheaper than Regal Cinemas Swamp Fox. For only $6 for an adult evening show, you can't beat that price. Parking can get full really fast on a busy day so come early. Location is in South Florence. 

  

Story Times for Kids

Barnes & Noble Story Times (Free)

Every Saturday, Barnes & Noble in Florence has free story time in their impressive kid's section at 11AM. The Barnes & Noble Book Store is located inside of Magnolia Mall. Address: 2701 David Mcleod Blvd Unit # 1200, Florence, SC 29501. They also have a train set on display that kids can play with while waiting for story time to begin.

Florence Library Story Times (Free)

Starting at the beginning of the school season, the Florence Countypublic library (also known as Dr. Bruce & Lee Foundation Library) offers free story time sessions every week to the public during the school year, excluding seasonal holiday schedules. Address of the library is 509 S Dargan St., Florence, SC 29506. This library is very up-to-date with their selection and family-friendly.

Toddler Storytime is every Tuesday during the school season from 9:30am-10:00am. (Toddler must be 2 years old.)

Preschool Storytime is every Tuesday during the school season from 10:30am-11:00am. (Preschooler must be 3, 4 or 5 years old.)

Bilingual Storytime is every Tuesday during the school season from 630pm-7:00pm . (Child must be between 2-5 years old.)

Tweens program is every Wednesday during the school season from 3:30pm-4:30pm. 

Baby Storytime for non-walkers is every Thursday during the school season from 10am-10:15am. (For 0-23 months old. Adult must be present during the entire time.)

Baby Storytime for walkers is every Thursday during the school season from 11AM-11:15AM. (For 0-23 months old. Adult must be present during the entire time.) Read Florencemom.com's experience with baby story time. 

Also, the Library hosts Sunday Family Movies at 2:30 p.m for every Sunday during the school year. The movies are rated either G or PG. These movies are sponsored by Friends of Florence County Library.

Florence Playgroup for Ages 0 - 3 Years Old

Interested in being a part of a group of moms and children, ages NEWBORN TO 3 that play together? There is a Parent and Child Playgroup for babies and toddlers ages 0 - 3 years old for families who are zoned under Florence School District 1 (FSD1). This is free! They come together once a week in a warm and homelike setting. They share insights about life with children through group discussions. This program includes free play and sometimes a song and/or story. There will also be a snack time before the group ends. In this way, teachers and parents work together to provide a model of what community means for young children.  There are specific groups for different age children, held once weekly for an hour. Please email at susan.knight@fsd1.org or 843-758-6872 to sign up or for more information. 

For other resources on mommy and me type programs, go to: http://www.florencemom.com/florence-mom-blogs/new-and-current-resources-for-mommy-and-baby-in-florence-sc

Kid's Birthday Party Suggestions

With seasonal weather here in Florence, there are many options and fun birthdays to plan for the kids! Here are some of our suggestions

Birthday Party at Chuck E Cheese

Address: 2603 David H McLeod Blvd, Florence, SC 29501

You can book a birthday party package for any day of the week! It doesn't have to be on the weekends here at Chuck E Cheese! Located at Magnolia Mall, this is a great place for the kids to play and have a party. For their birthday packages, you pay a rate per kid and that rate includes 2 slices of pizza, play points, unlimited drink refills and organized 2 hours of fun. I really think the best package is the star package, which is their standard birthday package rate per child. You can only play so much during those 2 hours and a lot of time is spent eating, cutting the cake and Chuck E Cheese coming out to entertain the guests! These party packages are especially great because you get to be in the private party area that is close to the Chuck E Cheese animatronic. However, I've also seen smaller parties just sit in a regular booth. It can get pretty busy during the weekends so the regular booths can fill up quick during those times too.  


Birthday Party at Master J Kim's U.S. Tae Kwon Do Center

$89.99 Birthday Party Package (Limited Time Offer! Prices subject to change.)

You can host a 2 hour birthday party at Master J. Kim's U.S. Tae Kwon Do Center for $89.99! For up to 15 participating kids, the special birthday boy or girl and the guests get to enjoy fun games, bounce house and activity, pizza & drink, birthday cake, fun martial arts lesson and board breaking! This is all inclusive and hosted at Master J Kim's U.S. Tae Kwon Do center! 

(2 Hour Party includes fun martial arts games and lessons, bounce house, pizza, drinks and cake and board breaking for 15 participating guests. All for only $89.99. Plan your next fun birthday for your kids here! It is stress-free for the parents and, interactive and fun for the kids.) 

(Private party room included)

Located at 1657 W. Palmetto St., Florence, SC 29501, it is located in the same shopping center as Kimbrell's furniture. All activities of Master J. Kim's U.S. Tae Kwon Do Center take place indoors so rain our shine, the kids will a very fun and interactive birthday party! Call 843-468-5113 for questions about scheduling your kid's next birthday party. 


Birthday Party at Sweet A Cupcake Company 

Address: 1257 Celebration Blvd, Florence, SC 29501

As the name implies, they bake cupcakes and they are very good. You can see the bakers do their magic through the clear glass. Call them ahead of time to make sure you can book your birthday party as the place has limited space. 


Birthday Party at Ebenezer Park 

Address: 842 South Ebenezer RoadFlorence, SC 29501 for GPS.

With benches and a playground nearby, this is a great place to have a picnic or birthday party. Their playground has separate areas for babies and bigger kids. They have bathrooms right by the playground and covered areas for eating. 


Birthday Party at the Splash Pad (Summer Only starting end of May) at River Lynches County Park

Address: 5094 County Park Rd Coward, SC 29530

It gets really hot during the summer time in Florence and this is a great place for the kids to cool down and celebrate a birthday. Located at Lynches River County Park, which is 30 mins from Florence city, no outside food and drinks are allowed inside the Splash Pad. Bring some cash to buy food and drinks there. 

They also host seasonal events like Breakfast with Santa during the holidays! Those events are posted at the top of this page as they come closer under "Florence Upcoming Events". 


Birthday Party at the MACK

Members and non-members at McLeod Fitness Center can host kid's birthday parties at the MACK! Their party times are only available on the weekends. You can choose to have an indoor pool party here as an option too. More details to come!


Birthday Party at The Little Gym of Florence

Located at the Florence Mall shopping center, The Little gym of Florence is a kid's gym for babies through 12 years old. They also have birthday party packages. See pictures and full review from this local Florence Mom on this page: http://www.florencemom.com/florence-mom-blogs/little-gym-in-florence-sc-promotes-early-physical-developmental-skills-for-babies-toddlers-preschoolers-and-grade-school-kids

Address: 1945 W Palmetto St Suite 115, Florence, SC 29501


Birthday Party at Skateland! 

More details to come...

Florence Downtown Fun

Starting in April, when the weather gets warmer, the community can enjoy some outdoor time in downtown every Third Thursday, First Friday and Last Friday (Friday After Five) every month. The businesses of downtown come together and host an evening night of fun with free entertainment and food vendors for purchase. These events are always FREE. Some residents would even bring lawn chairs to get a comfortable seat while watching the bands play. Not only family friendly, these events are also dog-friendly. 

Many festivals and block parties are also hosted in downtown seasonally, such as the Pecan Festival in the Fall and Shamrock Festival in the Spring for St. Patrick's Day. 

The downtown area is continually renovating and it's been exciting to see the wonderful changes for the last couple of years since I've moved here. Take a drive there every once in awhile to check out their progress! Use address: 100 S. Dargan St., Florence, SC 29506 to GPS. See recommended family-friendly restaurants in downtown. 

Florence County Museum

Located in downtown in a beautiful stand-alone building, this museum is always free. It is great for locals and tourists to learn more about Florence County's history. They also host family-friendly events throughout the year. These events will be posted under the upcoming event list as they draw nearer. After visiting the museum, there are many nearby restaurants to conveniently walk to. Florence County museum hours are: Tues - Sat: 10AM - 5PM and Sun: 2PM - 5PM. Closed on Mondays. Address: 111 W. Cheves, Florence, SC 29501.


Florence Little Theatre for Kids

Address; 417 S Dargan St, Florence, SC 29506

Watch Shrek The Musical, Mary Poppins The Broadway Musical, Crimes of the Heart, Leading Ladies and Love, Loss and What I Wore at the Florence Little Theatre For Kids. 

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