By: Natalie M. Zeigler
City Manager

Summer is quickly approaching which means soon school will be out and Hartsville’s youth will have a lot more free time. I like to take a moment each year to list some of the awesome activities geared for families and young people of varying ages during the summer months. There is plenty to see, do, and experience, until August rolls around. Here are a few favorites.

1.) Spend a day splashing around Piratesville, an elaborate pirate-themed water play area for children and one of the best facilities of its kind in the region.  The Piratesville Splash Pad provides kids with hours of cool fun in the summertime and includes water slides, jets, cannons, dumping wheels and fountains. Piratesville is open Tuesdays through Saturdays during the summer and offers day and season passes. Residents can rent Piratesville for birthday parties as well.

2.) Explore the city with “Tales on the Town,” a downtown scavenger-hunt celebrating Hartsville’s history, culture and economic development. There are14 bronze fox sculptures spread throughout downtown. You can get brochures with hints on the fox locations at Hartsville City Hall and next door at the Hartsville Visitor Center, The Key to Your Hartsville.

3.) Rainy summer days are great for a visit to the Hartsville Museum. Located in Hartsville’s historic downtown Post Office, the Hartsville Museum allows children to learn about the rich history of Hartsville’s people, industry and culture and discover what makes the community so important to the region and to South Carolina. The museum has permanent and rotating exhibits, and includes everything from the first car in Hartsville to a historic model railroad, player piano, Native American exhibit and refurbished grandfather clock.

4.) Parents can relax a little while kids enjoy the playgrounds at any one of our beautiful parks (Lawton Park, Byerly Park, Burry Park, and Pride Park). Each of our parks offer different types of playground equipment. Handicap-able equipment is available at Lawton Park, Byerly Park, and Pride Park.

5.) Take a walk through Kalmia Gardens. Larger that New York’s Central Park, Kalmia includes the historic Thomas Hart House as well as a boardwalk which allows families to see the cypress swamp of Black Creek. At Kalmia, kids can learn more about Hartsville’s unique plant and animal life as well as its waterways.


6.) View an outdoor movie at Burry Park as a part of Hartsville’s “Screen on the Green” series. This event is held every other Saturday until mid-August. View the schedule on the City’s website for movie titles and dates.

7.) Make plans to attend the Hartsville Farmer’s Market and the Centennial Farmers Market for activities for kids. There are art and produce vendors. The Hartsville Farmer’s Market is held monthly on the Second Saturday of the month at the 100 block of Carolina Ave. from 9am – 1pm. The Centennial Farmers Market is held at Centennial Park every Thursday from 3-6pm. Visit, for more information about these markets.

8.) Sign up for an art class with the Black Creek Arts Council. As part of Black Creek Arts Council’s mission of promoting arts education and programming in Darlington County, it offers regular classes and workshops including special summer art courses for children covering different media such as painting, pottery and music. Visit for information about classes and gallery displays.

9.) Check out the Hartsville Memorial Library, the largest branch of the Darlington County Library System. Hartsville Memorial Library is home to an extensive section of children’s media, but also offers the community a wide array of activities for children and young adults. The library provides story times and family movie showings for young people, as well as regular summer reading programs tailored for different age groups.

10.) Families can leave their creative mark on Hartsville by adopting a fire hydrant. Parents and children can paint their your own design onto the hydrant as part of the Paint a Fire Hydrant program. This very fun initiative has allowed for more colorful fire hydrants all around downtown. Choose a hydrant and then fill out an application from the City’s website with design plans. Once it is  approved, have fun decorating your own hydrant.


To find out more about some of these activities and events, visit To view other family friendly downtown events be sure to follow City of Hartsville on social media and visit our website regularly,