Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment enchants children and adults at the Florence Center

October 12, 2018
I attended my first Disney On Ice show ever last night with my little family and WOW! It was so wonderful and beautiful that I can't wait to see another Disney On Ice show again.

Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment was incredible at the Florence Center last night. With stars like Woody, Buzz and the Gang,  Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Lightning McQueen that drives himself on ice, and Ariel and Eric from The Little Mermaid in the same room is enough to blow your mind! 

FlorenceMom.com had a favorite Disney star before coming to the show and that's Ariel, The Little Mermaid. 

She was gorgeous, graceful and performed to all the favorites! Here is one of the performances by Ariel and Eric together.

Woody and Buzz are my kids' favorites. They are 4 and 2 and my 4 year old has watched all of the Toy Story movies so to see Woody on ice was truly special. FlorenceMom.com had the exclusive privilege to interview Kyle Shropshire, who performs as Woody, last month so it was super amazing to see the immense talent he has in person. You can read about the interview here by FlorenceMom.com.

Here is when Woody first comes out to the show! What an entrance! 



What little girl does not love the famous movie Frozen and it's most catchy song "Let It Go"? And what sisters would not relate to Anna or Elsa? They danced and ice skated with surprise, snow from above!



The beautiful sisters ice skated as if it was as easy as breathing for them. It all just makes so much sense and the perfect ensemble for the season. (See a video glimpse of Anna & Elsa's performance last night at the Florence Center above.)

When Lightning McQueen and all the Cars came out, we tried to look inside to see if there was anyone and no, we see no-one. They drive themselves on ice! 

And it isn't a Disney production without all the awesome toys and wands available for purchase and this reminded me so much of Disneyland and Disney World without even having to travel there. 

And of course, we can't forget, Mickey & Minnie Mouse! The most famous couple in the world.

Disney On Ice has everything you think an ice skating show should be like, but with so much more than you can imagine. With pyrotechnics, amazing talented performers, the nostalgic songs and all the right feelings to make you feel whole again, it was an absolutely healing for the soul to be there and Florence desperately needs healing. My kids stayed put throughout the whole show and that's very telling for 2 normal rambunctious toddlers. Dancing is allowed! 

After two hurricane scares, some recent tragedy for the whole city of Florence, this was very needed here. Come see your Disney stars! Make a special date night or family night! Performing for only another few days, you can catch their next performance at the Florence Center this weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (October 12 - 14, 2018).

(Note: All photos and videos uploaded on Pinterest and Youtube shown on this page are actual footage and property of FlorenceMom.com.)

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment start at $20. All seats are reserved, and tickets are available by calling 800.745.3000. For group rates and information, call 866-248-8740 x4. To learn more about Disney On Ice, produced by Feld Entertainment, visit www.disneyonice.com, or visit us on Facebook and YouTube.

ABOUT FELD ENTERTAINMENT Feld Entertainment® is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that bring people together and uplift the human spirit. Properties include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Marvel Universe LIVE!, Sesame Street Live!, DreamWorks Trolls The Experience (coming Fall 2018) and Jurassic World Live (coming Fall 2019). Across the brand portfolio, Feld Entertainment has entertained millions of families in more than 75 countries and on six continents. Visit feldentertainment.com for more information. 


 

Notable After School Programs for Kids in Florence, South Carolina

October 6, 2018
TOP PICKS FOR AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS FOR KIDS IN FLORENCE, SC

Addies's Baby KIDS After School Art Academy Camps - Located in downtown at 290 West Evans St in Florence, Addie's Baby has been known as a great place for creative juices to flow. Starting Oct 30, 2018, Addie's Baby is launching an after school art academy for kids. Your children will have a place for their art to flourish while working on special art projects. There will also be homework help and snacks included in a structured program. For students in grades 4th through 6th, this program is from 3:30PM - 6PM from Tuesday - Thursday. Cost is $65 per week or $55 per week for early registration. Weekly themes include: "A Starry Week", "I Love Pumpkins Week", "Optical Illusion Week", "Glow Paint Week". "Elfs Everywhere Week" and "Merry Christmas Week".  For questions, contact Addie's Baby! Addie's Baby is having a "bestie discount" where the each artist gets 20% off when you sign up 2 or more artists. This could be a family member or friend! For more info, go to: https://www.facebook.com/AddiesBabyPaintWineStudioFlorence/ or call 843.229.5862
.  

Extended Day Elementary (After School program) at individual elementary schools in Florence School District 1 - For $60 a week, your kids can possibly attend an after school care program at the very school your child attends! This includes the following schools: Briggs Elementary, Carver Elementary, Delmae Elementary,  Dewey L. Carter Elementary, Greenwood Elementary, Lester Elementary,  Lucy T. Davis Elementary , McLaurin Elementary, Moore Elementary, North Vista Elementary, Savannah Grove Elementary, and Wallace Gregg Elementary. The Extended Day Academy offers many diverse opportunities for your child to learn skills in mathematics, art, writing, music, technology, sports, and much more! The Extended Day Academy will provide a structured place to receive homework assistance, one on one tutoring, a snack, as well as supper. Extended Day Academy is from 2:30 - 6pm, Monday - Friday. Talk to your school about this program. It begins the first day of school until the last day off school. To see more info: https://www.f1s.org/domain/2102.

Master JKim's Taekwondo Center's After School Care program - Located on 1657 West Palmetto Street, near the Krispy Kreme's, this reputable Tae Kwon Do company also offers an after school care program. Best of all, they will transport your child to their location from the following schools: Delmae Elementary, Royall Elementary, Lucy T Davis Elementary and Carver Elementary. There is supervised homework time and a well structured environment. This is the perfect program for your child if he or she is interested in martial arts. Pick up time is 6pm. For more info: https://www.facebook.com/pg/jkimustaekwondo

Afterschool STEMS Academy for Middle School - Offered at Southside Middle School and Sneed Middle School, this STEMS Academy offers many diverse opportunities for your middle school child to learn skills in mathematics, art, writing, music, technology, sports, and much more! The Afterschool STEMS Academy will provide a structured place to receive homework assistance, one on one tutoring, a snack, as well as supper. Fee is $60 per week and the program is from 2pm - 6pm, Monday - Friday. To see more info: https://www.f1s.org/Page/12913.

La Petite Academy - For children ages from infant to any school-aged children, they offer an after school care program that's extensive. This is a great option for parents who have multiple kids who have one child who is a baby or toddler who already attends La Petite Academy for preschool or day care, and an older child in a different school who needs after school care. They provide transportation from selective schools, so check with them if your school is included. Snacks and homework help are also included. Their operating hours are from 6:30AM - 6:30PM year round. The convenient side of La Petite Academy for working parents is that you can put your child here during the summer months too because it operates year round. For more info, go to: https://www.lapetite.com/your-local-school/florence-sc-7504/

YMCA After School Program - More details to come. 
 

Interview with Disney On Ice Star, Kyle Shropshire

September 16, 2018
Last week on Sept 12th, FlorenceMom.com had the special opportunity to interview Disney On Ice star, Kyle Shropshire, who performs as Woody on Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment!

Kyle and a grand team of talented ice skaters will portray an outstanding Disney cast that includes (but not limited to) stars like: Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Lightning McQueen from Disney●Pixar’s Cars and of course, the rest of the gang from Disney●Pixar’s Toy Story 3 and they are coming to Florence, South Carolina next month from October 11, 2018 - October 14, 2018 for five performances at the Florence Center! 

At 23 years old, Kyle has been skating since he was 2 years old, which makes him a very seasoned ice skater with two decades under his belt!

As a professional ice skater and casted by Disney On Ice since he was 18 and on his 6th year, Kyle's immense talent has taken him all over the US and to 15 different countries within the last several years. As a mother of two boys, and even though I am not Kyle's mother, I feel so proud of Kyle! He was such a joy to talk to! (Scroll down to see the interview transcript.)

During the interview, Kyle and I chatted about his favorite places to visit, tips for kids who want to become a professional ice skater, and how the holidays can make one miss their family. Here are the highlights from the interview!

FM: Where are you originally from?
Kyle: I’m from Algonquin Illinois, which is just outside of the Chicago suburb.

FM: Where are you located now? Are you rehearsing or performing tonight?
Kyle: For this show, Disney On Ice Worlds of Enchantment, we are at the rehearsal studios right now (actual studios' location has been omitted by FlorenceMom.com to protect all Disney On Ice stars' privacy). We have 2 weeks here for rehearsals before we go out on the road and start performing!

FM: How long have you been skating for Disney On Ice?
Kyle: This is my sixth year on Disney On Ice.

FM: When you found out, before you started working for Disney On Ice, that you were going to be a star, was it like a special phone call while you were shopping, and were you like jumping up and down in the middle of a store or something like that?
Kyle: Not exactly! (laughing) I definitely was excited. So I’ve been skating since I was 2 and my mom was in the Ice Capades back in the day and she became a coach so I grew up skating. Skating was a huge part of my life; in my family’s life. I’ve been competing up until I was about 18. I always knew I wanted to do shows at some point, just any kind of professional show. And I thought Disney On Ice is a good place to start. So when I sent in an audition video, I got an email back sooner than I thought! From there, it kind of just took me on a life adventure for sure.

FM: Well, you must have sent in a very awesome audition video for them to email you so quickly and want you on the show! So then, you’ve been traveling around the US even before you were a part of Disney on Ice, right?
Kyle: Yeah, just a little bit. In Chicago area, I skated and then when we did competitions, it was kind of more in the Midwest. So when we did regional competitions, we would travel around the Midwest. And then, I went to some junior nationals when I was a kid and I did nationals when I was a little older.  I went to San Jose, California and a couple of different places for different competitions around the states.

FM: And now that you’re a part of Disney On Ice, I’m sure you’ve also traveled to other countries outside the US, right?
Kyle: Yeah, yeah. So when I first started, I did mainly just states tours and this tour that I’m on is all states but I got to go to about 15 countries. I went to South Africa. Last year, we did a whole Eastern Europe tour so I got to go to Serbia, Poland, Germany and I just came back from Japan, actually. Such a great opportunity to travel and getting to skate in all of those countries has been surreal!

FM: You said you’ve been skating since you were 2. How many years have you’ve been skating counting all of those years?
Kyle: I’m 23 now so basically, 20, 21 years now!

FM: Wow, two decades. What are your proudest achievements so far? If you could just name the #1 best achievement, what is it?
Kyle: This job is definitely one of my best achievements. It’s very rewarding as a job to growing up skating and working really hard and training a lot. Then to now, get to perform for kids and make them smile and really bring joy to families and bring families together. This job doesn’t really feel like a job. It’s a really exciting lifestyle. I’ve met lifelong friends. People have become my family here. And it’s definitely a great experience to get and I’m really grateful for that.

FM: How many hours of training and rehearsal do you usually have on an average day?
Kyle: Right now because we are building the show, and doing 2 weeks of rehearsals, our days are kind of long. We’re doing a lot of on ice stuff, off ice, costume fitting, learning steps and kind of drilling things over and over again to make sure it’s all good to go. Once we get onto the road, mainly our rehearsal process is basically just the shows and you get notes from each show that keep getting the show better and better!

FM: I hope you get a couple of days off per week to just relax for a little bit.
Kyle: Yeah, usually when we get to a city depending on when we open a show, we have a couple of days off and we have them free to ourselves to explore the cities and explore the towns and eat the good food and all of that stuff.

FM: What’s your advice to kids who dream of being just like you as a professional ice skater and performer for Disney On Ice?
Kyle: Definitely to strive to be your best. It’s a really great job to have and really great opportunity as a skater. Skating is definitely not an easy sport and it’s hard to push through. You keep going with it and not get discouraged. There are so many good skaters out there, and it's such a hard athletic sport but I think that the job gives a great outlet of fun and new exciting adventure with skating. So I would hope that kids can stick with it and work hard and really find the joy in skating that we try to bring to the ice at all times!

FM: Are most of the skaters, who’ve worked with you, like you and started when they were little?
Kyle: It varies but I would say the majority of the skaters here have started when they were younger. I’ve definitely known some people in this company who have started a lot later and they’ve just been really driven to get in this job and skate for a living. So, it’s definitely doable if you start later. But it just all depends. Yeah, but the majority of the skaters have started when they were younger.

FM: So when you say later, were they like teenagers or still in elementary school?
Kyle: Most of the latest that I’ve heard is around like 13. A couple here and there that maybe have started later than that but most of the time they are teenagers or 10 years old. We have skaters all over the world so some skaters came from other countries that maybe didn’t have an outlet of skating when they were younger and so they didn’t get into it until they were older.

FM: Have you had any injuries from ice skating?
Kyle: I haven’t had a ton of injuries compared to some people. I’ve really only fractured my knee briefly. I actually ended up still skating on it because I was told it was a bruise so I didn’t get an MRI for a couple of weeks. When I got the MRI, that’s when they told me. I wasn’t really bedridden for it or didn’t have to rest much for it ‘cause I didn’t really know. That’s kind of what the worst I’ve had.

FM: Well, you’ll be skating as Woody for Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment! My sons have watched all of the Toy Story movies and they have all the toys, including Lotso and the aliens!
Kyle: Awesome! Well they should come to the show because we have Lotso and the aliens. Our show tells the whole story of Toy Story 3! We have Andy and the green army men number and it goes into all the toys coming out like Slinky, Bullseye, Ham and Rex, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. It’s a really fun show. It shows a big story about Toy Story that everybody usually loves!


FM: Oh yeah! My sons will be very excited to see you and the whole production! Disney is just so special. What do you think makes it extra special about Disney On Ice, that you can tell us before we go see the show?
Kyle: For any Disney On Ice show that we have, it’s really cool to bring it to your city. Instead of having to go to the parks to see these characters, we get to travel around the states and get to go to that specific city. Then, in terms of on ice, we’ve added a lot of tricks and athleticism to it so it’s really fun to see those characters in a different way, in a different action and we bring them live to you! Like our show, Worlds of Enchantment features Pixars Cars as well, so they come live on the ice! McQueen drives himself and you know we bring that and have pyrotechnics! 

FM: That’s amazing! Do you miss home from all this traveling? Does it make you homesick?
Kyle: Yeah, a little bit. Around the holidays are a little hard. We still have shows during the holidays. You know, because you go on the road with so many people and they’re going through the same things you are, they are away from home as well. You become each other’s families. You learn how to work through that and you enjoy your times together. But day to day, trying to pack up your bag and then go to another city all the time, it’s exciting but also draining as well. When you do get to go home, you get to be home and relax in that one place for a while!

FM: There’s no place like home right? What’s your favorite food to eat? Like if you can order anything you want right now, what would it be?
Kyle: Oh man. I definitely like pizza. Being from Chicago, we grow up with a lot of good pizza around. Pizza is kind of a good go-to dinner for me. Pizza or tacos!

FM: Do you plan on visiting loved one soon? Do they get to travel to see you instead?
Kyle: Hopefully my family will get to travel a little bit. Maybe during around like Thanksgiving time, my family will be able to come. We’ll be in Greenville, South Carolina around that time so hopefully they can come then. Maybe if there’s another time that I can go home, maybe I’ll be able to travel home for a couple of days and visit.

FM: I know you’re probably an expert traveler now. Have you been to Florence, South Carolina before?
Kyle: I’ve been to a lot of cities on tour but I don’t think I’ve ever been to Florence.

FM: Well, we're so glad you're coming! So, we’re in the middle of a hurricane season right now!
Kyle: Oh right, I was going to ask you. I know that the hurricane is coming to that North Carolina, South Carolina border there. It’s going to hit pretty hard, it seems.

FM: And tomorrow, it’s forecasted to be coming! We went to the grocery store two days ago and bottled waters were flying off the shelves. I couldn’t find water on Monday so on Tuesday, my husband had to rush in the morning to get there. It’s been really crazy over here.
Kyle: Hopefully you guys stay safe over there. Are you guys in a hard area for it? I know it’s kind of covering all the Carolinas.

FM: So Florence is about 70 miles from Myrtle Beach so we’re inland from Myrtle Beach and a lot of them are probably coming here to evacuate. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Kyle: Probably my favorite places have been like Poland and Germany. If I have an opportunity to live there, it would be pretty cool.

FM: I was looking at the website and I noticed that you’re starting here on the East Coast and then you’re eventually going to go to California. Is that correct?
Kyle: Towards the end of the tour, we go to Colorado and Phoenix, and then we end up in a couple of cities in California as well.

FM: I was originally born and raised in San Diego!
Kyle: Actually, my mom was too! My mom’s side of the family all lives in San Diego. My dad’s side of the family is from more north, like Stockton, Modesto area. I have a lot of family in California.

FM: So you visit pretty often?
Kyle: Yeah! My dad works for United actually, so we’re fortunate to be able to grow up flying all the time. So we flew to California all the time to visit everybody.

FM: It’s so awesome that you know a lot about the East Coast and the West Coast. You’re traveling a lot. You’re very well-grounded.
Kyle: It’s nice when you get to go to a city where you know people or you have family there. On your days off, you can hang out with them or they can come see the show and have dinner afterwards. It’s kind of a nice, comforting feeling when you’re moving, moving, moving on the road.

FM: Thank you Kyle for taking the time to spend a moment to talk with me today! I can't wait to see you perform next month!
Kyle: Thanks and stay safe during the hurricane!

Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment will be an amazing performance at the Florence Center in Florence, SC! With pyrotechnics, amazingly skilled ice skaters performing as Disney stars featured from four different Disney movies, these performances are sure to enchant and bewilder!


More information on Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment performing at the Florence Center from October 11 -14, 2018: 

Get ready to enter a dazzling world of Disney magic, live on ice where Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of DisneyPixar’s Cars perform high-speed stunts and race across the ice like you’ve never seen before!  Be amazed and join Ariel as she dives into the underwater kingdom of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.  Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and other favorites from the Toy Story gang as they try and escape from Sunnyside Daycare in one of their most daring adventure ever from DisneyPixar’s Toy Story 3 – proving that the toys are back in town! Plus, enter the wintery world of Arendelle with sisters Anna and Elsa from the BAFTA and Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen. Join Anna as she embarks on an epic journey with the hilarious snowman Olaf and rugged mountain-man Kristoff to find her sister, the magical Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter.  

From wheels to waves, icy wonderlands to infinity and beyond, see some of your family’s favorite Disney moments come to life at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment.

Performance Schedule:

Thursday, October 11    7pm

Friday, October 12 7pm

Saturday, October 13    1pm & 5pm

Sunday, October 14     1pm

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment start at $20. All seats are reserved, and tickets are available by calling 800.745.3000.  For group rates and information, call 866-248-8740 x4. To learn more about Disney On Ice, produced by Feld Entertainment, visit www.disneyonice.com, or visit us on Facebook and YouTube.
# # #

ABOUT FELD ENTERTAINMENT 

Feld Entertainment® is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that bring people together and uplift the human spirit. Properties include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Marvel Universe LIVE!, Sesame Street Live!, DreamWorks Trolls The Experience (coming Fall 2018) and Jurassic World Live (coming Fall 2019). Across the brand portfolio, Feld Entertainment has entertained millions of families in more than 75 countries and on six continents. Visit feldentertainment.com for more information.


Enter the Disney On Ice Giveaway for 4 tickets to the opening night of Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment performance at the Florence Center in Florence, SC!
 

Businesses that Closed in Florence

September 9, 2018
We've lived in the Pee Dee area for 5 years now and I've watched many restaurants or coffee shops go out of business during that time.

Here's the list of local restaurants that have gone out of business:

  • Clay Pot (closed in 2017)
  • Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
  • The Library (closed in 2018)
  • Hibachi Grill Buffet on Irby St. (closed in 2018)
  • Fiasco 
  • Cast Iron Waffles (closed in 2016)
  • Smoky Oak Taproom (because of a fire in 2015)
  • Cruise the View (closed in 2016)
  • Primo Pizza inside of Magnolia Mall (closed in 2018)
Here's the list of chain stores that closed in Florence, SC:
  • K-Mart (closed in 2017)
  • Bi-Lo on W. Palmetto (2017)
  • Bi-Lo on Pamplico Hwy (closed in 2018)
  • Applebee's on Irby (closed June 2017)
  • Toys R' Us (closed in 2018)
  • Sears (closed in 2017)
  • Pita Pit (closed in 2018 and Clean Eatz took its place)
(Clay Pot was one of the closed businesses in 2017 in Florence)
(Cast Iron Waffles closed in 2016.)
 

Taking it Easy with a Paint Nite in Florence, SC

August 20, 2018
When it comes to relaxing, just sitting down on the couch to watch T.V. or browsing on the phone can sound so unexciting. If you like creating art or making anything with your hands, Paint Nite is a great alternative, especially if you have an empty wall to fill. It's 2 hours of fun with all painting supplies included (even the apron)! You can look at the calendar to see the painting that catches your eye in Florence, SC: Paint Nite Calendar.

Recently, FlorenceMom.com went to a Paint Nite at Mellow Mushroom in Florence, SC. We painted "Star of the Sea". Instructions started at 7pm but coming a little early to order a beer on tap, specifically a glass of Breakside IPA, sounded like a perfect start. 

Mellow Mushroom offers a variety of craft beers and beers on tap but they also serve cocktails. 

Don't be intimidated by Paint Nite. Painting here is meant to be fun and experience is not required! 

You can paint with girlfriends, a date or even by yourself! It's your art. Let those creative juices flow! 


At any time when you feel a bit stuck, you can seek help from the instructor as well. It can be a question about a technique or anything about the painting at all. Paint Nite instructors are very friendly, helpful and of course, experienced!


At the end of the night, there was a sense of accomplishment and contentment. Being able to have an outlet from a normal busy day was key to getting reenergized. Being able to spend time with it a friend while painting was a great bonus! Here's my "Star of the Sea".

To see all Paint Nite painting dates in Florence, SC, go to: Paint Nite Calendar.


You can also save 40% off using LOCALVIP as the promo code. The original price is $45. With 40% off, the price ends up being just $27. You can currently pick from two Florence locations: Mellow Mushroom or Local Motive in downtown! (FlorenceMom.com does not get a commission from this. This is a promo code saving being passed on to you!) There may be other seasonal promo codes on their website that are better than this, so look out for those as well! 

When there are more Florence locations aside from Mellow Mushroom and Local Motive, FlorenceMom.com will be sure to write an update! 

 

Hotels Closest to Darlington Raceway (Bojangles Southern 500)

July 24, 2018
All of the hotels below offer free parking! Book them quick before they sell out as they get closer to the event! 

Bojangles Southern 500 is on September 2, 2018! Here's the list of hotels located closest to Darlington Raceway:

Raceway Inn (1.5 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $130 

Comfort Suites Florence
(6.74 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $259 See more pictures and details of Comfort Suites Florence

Sleep Inn Florence
(7.02 miles from Darlington) - Average rate $200 See more pictures and details of Sleep Inn Florence

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham
(7.1 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $180 See more pictures and details of Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham in Florence

Days Inn by Wyndham Florence I-95 North
(7.1 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $210 See more pictures and details of Days Inn by Wyndham Florence I-95 North

Howard Johnson Inn Florence
(7.5 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $257 See more pictures and details of Howard Johnson Inn Florence

Suburban Extended Stay Hotel
(7.6 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $100 See more pictures and details of Suburban Extended Stay Hotel in Florence

Ramada Inn by Wyndham
(7.8 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $200 See more pictures and details of Ramada Inn by Wyndham in Florence

Super 8 by Wyndham (7.8 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $175 See more pictures and details of Super 8 by Wyndham in Florence

Econo Lodge Florence (8.1 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $170 See more pictures and details of Econo Lodge Florence

 

Coffee Shops & Dessert Places in Florence, SC

February 18, 2018
There are a few coffee places in Florence, SC that you can check out. This is FlorenceMom.com's list categorized by most favorite to least favorite: 

Starbucks at Florence Mall shopping center (1933 W. Palmetto St., Florence, SC 29501)
Centrally located at the 5 points intersection and with a drive thru, this place is the most convenient location to get a Starbucks crafted drink. It has the standard of a typical Starbucks that anyone from a major city would expect. The drive thru can get congested so I suggest using their mobile ordering system 10 minutes before you arrive and run in the store to pick it up. If you're from a big city like me, then this place will make you feel a little more like home in Florence. 

Dolce Vita Cafe & More (160 S Dargan St. Florence, SC 29501)
What started out as just an evening wine place, expanded into a coffee shop with lunch items as well! This place ranks high in our book because of its location. It's located in downtown and right across from the free Florence County Museum and in the middle of all the block party action whenever the City of Florence hosts an outdoor community event.

Soule' Cafe (130 S Irby St., Florence, SC 29501)
Also located in the downtown area of Florence, this place has a very urban and sleek feel. They also have regular open mic nights, live performances and story time for the kids. Although it does not have a large selection of pastries to pick from, it's the perfect place to catch up with a friend and still be within walking distance to a lot of restaurants nearby. 

Starbucks Cafe inside of Barnes & Noble at Magnolia Mall (2701 David H McLeod #1200, Florence, SC 29501)
This is my go to Starbucks when I have my kids with me because we can stop in and order a cup of joe and then head straight to the Children's area with my cup in my hand while they have a little fun. I've also met other moms here too with my kids. It's one of the few ways I can catch up with another friend without feeling like I have to chase down my kids constantly.


Starbucks Cafe inside of Target (2791 David H McLeod Blvd., Florence, SC 29501)
The best thing about going to the Starbucks location inside of this Target is they accept both Starbucks gift cards and Target gift cards! So if you have either one, this makes it really nice! Sometimes there's no line here at all so it can be the quickest way to get your favorite Starbucks beverage. They tend to run out of seasonal drinks though but they usually have all the staples. I do feel like they can be a bit heavy-handed with their caramel and other syrups so if you like ultra sweet, then maybe this is your kind of place. 

Lula's Coffee Co. (600 Pamplico Highway, Florence, SC 29505)
The main reasons they are so low on my list are because they are out of the way for me and service can take awhile. But they know how to craft their drinks the correct way! There are no shortcuts here! They respect the craft! If you want a coffee or tea drink done right, go here! They are located in the south side of Florence and always closed on Sundays. 

Dunkin Donuts (2 locations: 2123 W Evans St., Florence, SC 29501 & 2210 W Lucas St., Florence, SC 29501)
Besides for a regular black coffee, I don't like to order any of their craft coffee drinks. They are very sugary but I know a lot of people like them so they're listed here. 

Other Coffee Shops in Florence that Closed Down:
Clay Pot (Closed in 2017)
Cast Iron Waffles (Closed in 2016)

To see all top restaurants in Florence, SC, go to: http://www.florencemom.com/restaurants.php
 

Paint Nite locations in Florence, SC

January 1, 2018
Looking for a new fun hobby? Try a paint night from Paint Nite, a national company that hosts paint night events in venues all over the U.S! Lucky for Florence, we have a couple of locations here to choose from! 

Find the painting you want to do: 
Paint Nite events at Mellow Mushroom in Florence, SC: Click here to see dates & times
Paint Nite events at Local Motive Brewing Company in Florence, SC: Click here to see dates & times

Special Offer: Get 40% by using the following Promo Code: LOCALVIP on the second page of your check out process. Normal price is $45. With LOCALVIP promo code, it is only $27. 

All events start at 7pm and end at 9pm and you can order a drink and/or food while you paint! (They may have different times in the future.)

Recently, this Florence mom took a break from a regular night and joined another friend at a Paint Nite event at Mellow Mushroom! They had it in a private closed room so you really feel like you are in a party with 18 other painters in the room. 

We came 15 minutes early to check in and ordered a drink. I ordered the Sunset in Paradise and my courteous server delivered me this beautiful drink. 


As we were about to begin, our friendly art instructor Sara (pictured below) had us all do a painter's oath with a set of rules, like not say 'my painting sucks' or you get a mustache painted on your face! She immediately made us feel comfortable and with step-by-step instructions, any inexperienced painter can make his/her own masterpiece. 

(Meet Sara, our professional Paint Nite artist/instructor)

With all supplies provided, including their recognizable green Paint Nite aprons, all you really bring is yourself. You buy your tickets ahead of time online. Check out all of their upcoming Paint Nite events in Florence, SC. One drink in, here was my painting progress, below. 

 (Did I come here to paint an eyeball? No, I didn't but if I wanted to I could stop here!)

About midway through the session, we took a little break. At this time, some painters ordered some food or maybe another drink? I used this time to spy on my neighbors' paintings. We may be painting the same things but they don't look exactly the same. Just like the way you write your words is different, the way you stroke a paintbrush is also different than the person next to you, because it is still very personal. 

Here's the close-to-final finish below. 


And just like that, within a couple of hours, I got to bring home an artwork I created and memories with a friend over a drink. I really love doing this. This is not my first time and it'll not be my last time. See what a night of creation and libation at a Paint Nite can do to your soul. It'll be worth a try. See all Paint Nite events in Florence, SC.  

Currently, you can use the following promo code to get 40% off: LOCALVIP. You enter this code on the second page of your check out process. Normal price is $45. With LOCALVIP promo code, it is only $27. Promo code should work for all of 2018. (Florencemom.com does not get any cut on this. This is just a value being passed on to you.) 
 

Disney World Orlando is only a 6.5 hour drive from Florence, SC

December 17, 2017
We went to Disney World at the end of November 2017 and everything there was decorated with Christmas decorations already! We loved it and felt like it was the most perfect time to visit. The weather was mid 70s during the week while we were there. Flying was out of the question as it is only a 6.5 hour drive from Florence, South Carolina to Disney World! That is very manageable with a 3 year old and 1 year old. 

Here are some pictures of the Christmas themed decorations that I took: 








 
Florencemom.com's Recommendations from our recent trip:
  1. Download the Disney World App to track how long each wait for each ride is. You can also reserve your fast pass from the app days ahead of time! All of the pictures that the park takes can also be recorded and tracked from the app as well. This is a very cool feature!
  2. If you have little kids, maybe going to 2 different parks is enough. We went to 3 in a span of 8 days (with a day break in between parks) and it was way too tiring. The kids were over it by the third park. Disney World has a total of 4 different theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios. 
  3. Book at a resort that usually is a timeshare stay for others. They let the public book reservations there for really cheap and usually have great amenities. If you are okay with saying 'no' a thousand times when they try to sell you a timeshare, it is worth it!
  4. It is a good idea to come to the Magic Kingdom during the day and then continuing on through the night to enjoy the pretty lights and see the Sleeping Beauty castle again. 
  5. My favorite part of all was the Pandora - The World of Avatar section of the Animal Kingdom! So if you are an Avatar movie fan, you must go to the Animal Kingdom! 
  6. Disney's Hollywood Studios was significantly small than the other parks but if you're a Star Wars fan, this is definitely worth the extra money! 
 

New and current resources for mommy and baby in Florence, SC

October 21, 2017
I'm always looking for new resources on places for mommies and babies. Here are some current resources for new mommies and babies in Florence, SC. 

MOPS in Florence, SC: There is still a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group in Florence that meets twice a month from September to May. They take a break during the summer time. This is a group of mothers who have kids from 0 - 5 years old. Ladies who are expecting a baby are also welcome to attend. They meet twice a month on Tuesdays from 9AM - 11AM at Church of Sandhurst. In addition to providing a place for mothers to meet other mothers, childcare is available during these meetings in a program called MOPPETS. Membership dues are now $40 - $50 per semester and $10 per child per semester for each semester. To get more information, go to: http://www.sandhurst.net/mops

Florence Moms and Tots (Florence, SC) from Meetup: There was a new moms group in Florence that I found on Meetup.com but as of 2018, I saw that they had cancelled this group. Maybe in the future, a new leader will come on there and create a new group so make sure you check on there once in awhile! 

'Bugs' Class for ages 4 months - 10 months old and 'Birds' Class for 10 months - 19 months old at The Little Gym: Don't think that your babies are too little to be enrolled in a physical development class like these! They are very fun and interactive and each accompanying parent with each baby in the class are participating the whole way, helping your babies develop into stronger human beings. Furthermore, you are also creating a fun bond and memories between parent and child along the way (essentially each parent comes for free because you only pay membership for the baby)! With music playing throughout each session, babies and their accompanying mothers (or fathers) are directed by instructors on how to encourage strength and courage in these little ones. To see their current schedule, go to: https://www.thelittlegym.com/florenceSC/Schedules. The great things about these classes is that you are guaranteed to meet other moms with babies within the same age group, so both mommy and babies get to interact with each other have these commonalities already coming into class. This is especially beneficial if you are a new mom and would like your baby to socialize with other babies around the same age. Click here to see pictures of The Little Gym in Florence, taken by Florencemom.com.

ScienceSouth Mommy & Me Classes: For toddlers ages 2 - 4, ScienceSouth has a Mommy & Me program for an hour from 10AM - 11AM for $8 per child (no cost for accompanying parent). I believe they only have this once a month on a Tuesday and they'll cancel if there are not enough people who have paid registered ahead of time. Registration is on this link: http://www.sciencesouth.org/at-sciencesouth/family-workshops/.

As always, this Florence Mom will continue to find any new or beneficial information around town for mommies and babies and we'll share them with you! 
 

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About Me


I'm a mom who lives in Florence, South Carolina. Originally from Southern California, we moved here when my husband got out of the military and began his civilian work at the Duke Energy Power Plant in Hartsville. I have two sons who were both born at the McLeod Hospital in Florence. Visit the "Events & Activities" Page for upcoming family-friendly events!
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