Friday, November 30, 2012

Charlestonopoly at WonderWorks

When my twins were 5, I taught them to play Monopoly. Do you remember learning to play? Were you the top hat, or the thimble? The property hoarder, or money maker? My boys established their Monopoly personas early on, just as my brothers and I did. One twin is " Rockefeller", the ruthless high roller, while the other twin goes by "Hobo Jack", the peace-loving, flat-broke dreamer! At nine, their game is now a fast-paced, high-stakes, spectacle ( I actually got thrown out of a game over Thanksgiving for trying to garner some sense of law and order!). I highly recommend the game of Monopoly for children of all ages as a great tool for teaching math, money, and strategy skills. What better version than Charlestonopoly... a great Christmas gift idea!

Pluff Mud Kids shop locally and love WonderWorks Toy Store.

Visit the WonderWorks at the Belle hall Shopping Center...

...or their gorgeous new location at Kiawah Island!

There are 4 WonderWorks locations; visit to learn more.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Traditions Lowcountry Style

December 1st is this Saturday and Charleston has so many events to choose from, it's hard to decide what not to miss! Here are a few options we are partial to year after year... (in order as they occur throughout the day)

A Pluff Mud Kids reader suggested this to start the day off...

963 Houston Northcutt Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
Saturday December 1st take a picture with Santa and the Clydesdales!

Next, head downtown to see the Christmas train display at the Charleston Place Hotel.

Charleston Place Hotel
205 Meeting Street, Downtown Charleston

Then wander up King St. to Mellow Mushroom for a yummy slice of pizza.

Mellow Mushroom
309 King Street, Downtown Charleston

Next, make your way to Marion Square to oohh and aaahh at the annual tree lighting.
Charleston Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 1st 2012, 4:30pm-6:00pm
Marion Square (between King, Meeting, and Calhoun Streets)
End the night by standing (or pack a few beach chairs) right here along the battery front to enjoy the Charleston Holiday Parade of Boats. Anywhere along here is a great vantage point to see the boats make their way across from Mt. Pleasant. PMK tip- pack a picnic with hot chocolate to keep little ones warm while they wait!
The 32nd Annual Holiday Parade of Boats
Enjoy the start of a wonderful Christmas season in the Lowcountry!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


You will be amazed to discover "Eddie", the giant boy that greets you as you enter the fantastic children's museum, EdVenture. From the back of this exhibit, your children can climb inside and study the workings of the inner body of this incredible sculpture; complete with the sound of his heart beating!

Climb to the top to study his hand in detail. This beautiful museum is filled with natural light and cosy spots for parents to sit and observe. I was impressed that the museum is immaculately clean and very well planned out so that you can easily spend time on each floor of exhibits geared for children of all ages.

Whether your child is into creating music...

Imagining himself as a doctor...

...or managing a pint sized grocery store, there is something for every child at EdVenture!

Spend a day in our state capital at EdVenture Children's Museum

211 Gervais St.
Columbia, SC

PMK food tip: The Green Fork Cafe is located inside the museum and has healthy snack options. For lunch, I recommend Harpers Restaurant in the Five Points area of downtown ( and why not shop along Devine St. while you're there?!)

Harpers Restaurant
700 Harden Street
Columbia, SC 29205

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


My boys and I (plus Nanna!) had a sneak peak at EdVenture's seasonal exhibit; Snowville. It's a quick trip from Charleston to Columbia, SC and EdVenture (the South's largest children's museum) makes it well worth the drive. More on the children's museum tomorrow, but for now here's a look at Snowville...

We spent ages at this wonderfully creative snowball fight. There's a snowball cannon at either end and it fires the super soft balls out as fast as little hands can load them. All the parents who got involved were immediately addicted!

We were there on opening day for the exhibit, so the boys acted as guinea pigs for the new tube run. The attendants spray the bottom of the tube with silicone and send you flying down the run...

...landing softly at the bottom! This ride is perfect for ages 3-6 years, but my 9 year olds still had a blast!

Snowville at EdVenture gets a big thumbs up from Pluff Mud Kids! We spent 3 and 1/2 hours in the museum and enjoyed every minute.

Snowville at EdVenture Children's Museum
211 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Clean restrooms, coat lockers, beautiful big windows and places to sit throughout, on site cafe, well staffed and fantastically organized!

Snowville Exhibit open now through February 23rd, 2013
Hours and Admission: Tues- Sat; 9am-5pm
Sunday - noon to 5pm
CLOSED on Mondays, but special opening on Monday , Dec 31st
Children and adults: $11.50, Children under one: free
Seniors and military: $10.50
Groups: (15+ w/reservation) $8.50
Members: free
PMK tip: visit to plan your trip. If you're planning to visit more than once, you may want to consider a membership.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

magnifilous stocking stuffers

There's a new toy store in town and it's a good one. The Magnifilous Toy Emporium has a great selection of stocking stuffers!

There are lots of old fashioned games and toys...

This is a great edition to upper King St. in downtown Charleston!

Magnifilous Toy Emporium
525 King St. (across from Morris Sokol Furniture)
Hours: Tues- Sat 10am-7pm, Sunday 12noon-5pm
holiday hours may vary

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Give Thanks

for mini pumpkin pies and little helping hands!

Landsford Canal State Park

If you're heading north of Charleston, SC toward Charlotte, NC any time soon, I have a great pit stop for stretching your legs!
Landsford Canal is located along the banks of the Catawba River in the SC Piedmont. This is a beautiful Park year round with trails to walk and a great children's park to play in. Lots of opportunity to run free...

You will learn the history of the intricate canal system which was built in the 1800s so merchants could bypass the shoals and rapids on the Catawba River.

You can still see the locks and stone bridges and may even catch sight of a nesting bald eagle. Visit the park in the Spring to see the famous Rocky Shoals Spider Lillies in bloom.

Landsford Canal State Park
2051 Park Dr.
Catawba, SC 29704 (near Rock Hill)

Admission: $2 adults; $1.25 SC seniors; age 15 and younger free
Restrooms and picnic areas, no food or drink available on site
No camping
Winston approves. Pets must be kept on a close lead

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Looking for some great indoor exercise? The Carolina Ice Palace is the place we head to when it's too hot in the summer and cold and rainy in the winter. Year round, it's always a cool 57 degrees on the manicured ice here, so take a warm jacket and get skating!

The ice rink provides walkers to use for beginners...

and they play a great loop of 80s music to keep you cruising along!

Carolina Ice Palace
7665 Northwoods Blvd.
North Charleston, SC 29406
For an up to the minute open public skating schedule, please check
Cafe and warm seating area for coffee, hot chocolate, and snacks
Clean restrooms
Bleacher seating for spectating
Shoe storage, lockers, skates, and walkers provided

Friday, November 16, 2012

Charleston Gate Walk

Fall... I love the gate walk this time of year. It's quiet - the tourists are few and the students are back to school. Pick a sunny day and try this version of the gate walk...

What is the gate walk? - In 1930, Clelia Peronneau McGowan was the president of the Charleston Garden Club. She traveled to Paris, France and was so inspired by the gorgeous little gardens dotted throughout the city, she returned to Charleston on a quest to recreate that feeling in her own city. The Garden Club posted the sign below, and the whole thing was off and running...

The gate walk is a wonderful walk through the middle of downtown Charleston with a mix of churches, flowers, history, architecture, graveyards, and of course the allure for children to seek out each new gate. It stretches across 3 blocks and is about a mile round trip.

1. Begin by parking in the public garage on Beaufain St. (walk out of the garage directly across from the lovely Leaf restaurant - and bear it in mind for lunch when you finish the walk!). Walk across to Archdale St. and wander up it to the churches of St. John's Lutheran and the Unitarian. (see below)

2. Wander through and explore the cemetery and enjoy the sundial and gorgeous flowers.

3. Walk through the gate and down the lush green alleyway toward King St. (below)

You may even spy a Citadel cadet as you wander along to the next gate.

4. Cross over King St. to the next gate. You will see The Charleston  Library Society on your left (below)...

and to your right, you will spot the horse hitching posts...

5. Follow the alleyway through the next gate to the patio area behind the Gibbes Museum of Art. This is a great spot for a place to run around or take a break. There are tables here and shady spots.

6. Look for this next gate and pass through it to walk along the side of the Gibbes. (below)

7. The Circular Congregational Church pops into view as you cross through another gate and across Meeting St.

8. This graveyard is chock full of Charleston's rich history and tons of funerary art. PMK tip- often, the gate at the back that joins into St. Phillip's Church cemetery is locked... don't panic! Exit through the side gate and stroll up Cumberland St. toward St. Philip's. You will walk past the Powder Magazine - do stop in if you have time, but we usually bypass that and save it for a separate excursion to dedicate enough time to the gate walk. (see below)

9. Turn right off Cumberland onto Church St. and enjoy the two cemeteries at St. Phillip's Church.

10. As you begin the return trip, wander back to Wholly Cow ice cream (formerly Maggie Moos) at 159 Church St. and grab a treat - you've earned it!

The best part is counting the gates as you go along, so I won't spoil the fun by telling you how many there are! Do take water and snacks and a camera. There are lots of questions to ask along the way; like "what's the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery?" Every time we walk it, it is a new experience.

PMK tips- when my twins were babies, I did take a stroller and could fit it through all the gates, narrow paths and alleyways. It is a good idea even for toddlers because it seems like a long way for them when they turn to trek back.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Egret and Heron Walk

Feeling bogged down by big box store growth and the confusion of ever present orange barrels in Mt. Pleasant? While Seaside Farms ( across from Target in Mt. Pleasant) is decidedly no Walden, it is a convenient path to walk for a quick breath of fresh air and a glimpse of South Carolina's blue heron and egrets. Rereading Thoreau's tale of a simple life this summer, I was reminded that his cabin in the woods near Walden Pond was in fact on the edge of town. Sometimes that peaceful retreat we crave is right around the corner.

I have strolled this path since my boys were only a few days old, and I have always seen an egret along the bank of the lake. I took the picture below last weekend...

Also a great spot for heron watching...

Thanks once again to Jim Stewart for the beautiful birds above!

Seaside Farms Path
(located behind the fabulous Basil restaurant at the shops at Seaside farms)
public walking path with park benches and an open grassy area
no swimming, do not feed the wildlife click for map

Winston approves! Dogs must be on a lead at all times
pmk tip- this is a great area for bikes, scooters, and strollers!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

with a little help from my friends (part II)

On a stroll in the Old Village of Mt. Pleasant last Saturday evening, the 5:30 November sky was  blushing with a splash of pink champagne. I tried to capture it and couldn't. Thank goodness for the kindness of friends... you will see more of their work featured on this blog in future posts.
Jim Stewart is a local creative with a flair for the camera...

Jim's version of our gorgeous sunsets (Alhambra Hall - Old Village above, Patriots Point below).

More of Charleston's November skies are captured in quick shots by the wonderfully imaginative and slightly quirky Charleston local Nikki Glenn...

Walk Charleston in November and capture what you can! For evening sunsets, PMK recommends two favorite spots:

 Alhambra Hall, Old Village - Mt. Pleasant, SC click here for map

Pitt St. Bridge, Old Village - Mt. Pleasant, SC click here for map