From parks and playgrounds to special events, classes and ways to get involved, Hartsville has something for every child. Read on to learn about places to go and things to do.
Play at City of Hartsville parks
Across the six public parks found in the City of Hartsville families may find playgrounds at the Byerly Park Recreation Complex, 700 Russell Road, Pride Park, 630 S. Sixth St., and Lawton Park, 716 Prestwood Drive.
Byerly Park is home to more than just playgrounds, though, as the park is also home to Garrison’s Place, a playground with adaptive equipment for children with disabilities, as well as the Born Learning Trail, a series of activities for children and caregivers to have fun while learning and increase school readiness. Byerly Park also offers sports and classes, as well as the Piratesville Splash Pad, see below.
Cool off at the Piratesville Splash Pad
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 offers hours of cool fun in the summertime with water slides, jets, cannons, dumping wheels and fountains.
Piratesville is open Tuesdays through Saturdays during the summer and offers day and season passes as well as private party rentals. Learn everything about this wildly popular attraction at the Piratesville website or by calling 843.339.2878.
Explore Hartsville with Tales on the Town
Tales on the Town is a downtown scavenger hunt celebrating Hartsville’s history, culture and economic development, made of 14 red fox sculptures spread throughout downtown.
Can you find them all? Learn more about this fun project at the Tales on the Town webpage. Brochures with hints on the fox locations may also be found at Hartsville City Hall, 100 E. Carolina Ave., in the alcove entrance on the Carolina Avenue side.
Discover local history at the Hartsville Museum
Located in Hartsville’s historic downtown Post Office, the Hartsville Museum allows children to explore 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.
Located at 222 N. Fifth St., the Hartsville Museum is open Mondays to Saturdays and has no admission charge. Learn more at the Museum’s website.
Explore nature at Kalmia Gardens
Among the most beautiful and iconic sites in Hartsville, Kalmia Gardens includes the historic Thomas Hart House as well as a boardwalk which allows visitors to see the cypress swamp of Black Creek and the tall bluff overlooking it. At Kalmia, visitors can learn more about Hartsville’s unique plant and animal life as well as its waterways.
Learn more at the Kalmia Gardens website.
Learn Hartsville’s agricultural heritage at Coker Farms National Historic Landmark
A very important piece of Hartsville’s history located at 1257 S. Fourth St., Coker Farms National Historic Landmark was the site of Coker’s Pedigreed Seed Company, a farm established in 1914 to develop better varieties of crop seed and which established the nation’s first commercial cotton breeding program.
The dairy barn at the landmark, a replica of the original, is home to a variety of exhibits explaining the company’s major impact on agriculture in the United States.
See a movie at Screen on the Green
The Screen on the Green free outdoor movie series takes place every summer in downtown Hartsville’s Burry Park, located on Cargill Way.
The movies are projected onto a massive, 25-foot inflatable screen, and moviegoers are invited to bring out chairs, blankets, drinks and snacks. Movie showings begin after dusk, usually between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Go shopping at the Hartsville Farmers’ Market
Taking place monthly between April and December on East Carolina Avenue, the Hartsville Farmers’ Market, organized by Main Street Hartsville, includes food vendors, a farmer’s market, crafts and gifts.
Celebrate the holidays with Hartsville’s Christmas events
The Hartsville Christmas Parade is the focal point of the city’s rich history of community Christmas events, bringing together dozens of churches, businesses, schools and civic groups. Favorites at the parade include marching bands, Shriners stunt cars and of course Santa Claus’ appearance at the parade’s end. The 2015 Hartsville Christmas Parade is planned for Dec. 12.
The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting takes place downtown in Centennial Park and includes vocal and dance performances, as well as the unveiling of the mailbox which allows children to write letters to Santa and receive a response. The 2015 Tree Lighting is scheduled for Dec. 4.
Join in with one of Pride Park’s concerts at Gospel in the Park
Taking place monthly from May to October in Pride Park, 630 S. Sixth St., Gospel in the Park is a privately organized event drawing crowds of hundreds to enjoy free live music and fellowship. The events include devotional services provided by local pastors as well as a variety of musical performers, emcees and dancers. The events generally take place the second Sunday of the month from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The 2015 season dates are May 3, June 14, July 12, Aug. 9, Sept. 13 and Oct. 4 (3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in October).
Ways to get involved
Play a sport or join a youth program at Byerly Park
Byerly Park has plenty of organized sports and classes available to children, ranging from baseball, softball and t-ball to gymnastics, basketball, soccer, football and cheer, among others. Byerly Park also offers summer art camps and organizes special events throughout the year. For more information including current schedules and signups, contact 843.338.2878 or 843.383.3020.
Paint a Hartsville fire hydrant
Leave your creative mark on Hartsville and adopt a fire hydrant to paint with your own design. The Paint a Fire Hydrant program has been a very fun program for parents and children and has allowed for more colorful fire hydrants all around downtown. For more information, contact the Hartsville Fire Department at 843.383.3000 or take a look at the application.
Participate in special programs at the Hartsville Memorial Library
The largest branch of the Darlington County Library System 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, as well as an assortment of school readiness programs. Opportunities at the library for teenagers include regular video game sessions.
The library is located at 147 W. College Ave. and is open Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Sun. 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., except holidays.
For schedule information on current programs, visit the Hartsville Memorial Library’s website.
Take a class at 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. For more information, visit Black Creek Arts Council’s website or call 843.332.6234.
Plant a row at the Hartsville Community Garden
A volunteer-led effort established in 2010, the Hartsville Community Garden offers gardening plots for rent throughout the growing season. Participating gardeners raise produce for themselves and have donated thousands of pounds of produce to Hartsville Interfaith Ministries’ Food Bank and the Darlington County Free Medical Clinic. For more information on obtaining a space and participating in this wonderful community-wide effort, contact Nancy Myers at 843.858.0742.