Sunday, March 31, 2013


There's always been a part of me that longs to have a beehive...

No, not that kind of beehive... though I could wear a beehive while tending my beehive...

Let's face it, I have a romantic notion of my boys and I keeping bees and amassing tons of honey. My fear is that the bees would take over and my neighbors would never forgive me.

There are some themes that seem to spark an interest in all children... bugs and bees are just plain fascinating to kids! The more you read about the life of bees, the more you want to know. Spend some time this week outside with everything blooming, and your children will see a bee or two. Read a bit about them, and then head to the Charleston Honey and Bee Expo to learn more...(caution: this event will make you want to plant a flower garden and become a beekeeper!)

This is a great event for kids and the perfect chance to learn more about beekeeping. You can rest your tired post-bridge run feet while watching one of two child friendly movies, "Colony" and "Silence of the Bees". Is someone you know a secret beekeeper? You will be amazed at the number of locals who are doing their part to keep bees thriving!

The Charleston Area Beekeepers Association Honey and Bee Expo
963 Houston-Northcutt Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 Click here for map
Sunday April 7th, 2013
11am-5pm ( movie times: 1:30pm and 3:30pm)
Free event with observation hive, honey-tasting, and more. Movies are $5.00 (donated to CABA)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Easter

We wish you and your family a happy and peaceful Easter weekend...

filled with great weather, signs of Spring...

and good hunting!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Daniel Island Walk

Hop to Daniel Island for a walk. This is a great short walk that's about 1/2 a mile round trip - perfect for a family with kids of various ages and dog friendly too. Start at the Children's Park on the water front next to the Daniel Island Sales Center.

Hang out with the turtles...

Kids love the little boat. As you stand and face the water and the dock, turn right and walk along the dirt path...

Cross the bridge over the marsh...

Wander through Barfield Park...

Turn back and retrace your steps over the bridge. The marsh is so pretty here!

Daniel Island Children's Park
101 River Landing Drive    Click here for map
Free Parking
No amenities. Picnic tables and benches available.

Winston approves! This is a great place to walk with dogs.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Charleston Library Society Part II

(pmk wax crayon eggs as described in the back of the book listed below)

As we prepare for Easter...

 I have two more book picks for you referred by three different Pluff Mud Kid readers and an extra note on the Charleston Library Society ( a few of you asked for more details). 

We took a trip downtown to find the book most recommended to us for Easter with children. I had forgotten about this book from my days as a preschool and Kindergarten teacher... it really is a great one for describing the traditions surrounding the Easter celebration.

This book explains how decorating eggs originated as a custom associated with Easter. Another great book that is beautifully illustrated and depicts this same theme is The Easter Egg by Jan Brett.

On parking at the Charleston Library Society, look for the alley way just before you reach the building as you drive along King St...

Drive to the rear of the building and there is free parking here (only while you are using the library) and the back entrance is located here.

The Charleston Library Society
164 King Street 
Charleston, SC 29401 Click here for map

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Battery and White Point Gardens

If you go looking for signs of Spring in downtown Charleston in White Point Gardens, you may also discover some gruesome history...

Imagine standing on the Battery front and seeing a ship like this brimming with pirates and the dreaded Stede Bonnet. One of my twin boys has always been fascinated with pirate lore and he is always intrigued with the fact that the infamous pirate Stede Bonnet and most of his crew were captured and hung here in the 1700s. There is a marker commemorating this dreadful fact here in the garden today.

In 1837, this beautiful sea front area of downtown was used as a public park for obvious reasons; the view and ocean breezes are heavenly here.

There's a lot more history to study and children love the cannons and other military relics located here. The large confederate cannons facing out to sea remind us that this site was used to defend Fort Sumter and that, by 1865, the Battery took a beating in the Civil War and was left in ruins from shellfire.

There are many points of interest here and I recommend taking a picnic and staying a while (once you park along the Battery, there is no where close to walk to for refreshments with little ones). There are lots of shady benches and a great gazebo, so this can be a great spot to head to on a summer afternoon.

The Battery and White Point Gardens
2 Murray Dr.
Charleston, SC 29401 Click here for link to map

Sunday, March 24, 2013

a very little bookstore

I have one or two favorite books that I go back and read again every few years because they are so good ; so familiar and comfortable. I was reading one recently and came to the following quote written by Thomas Hardy: "If a way to the better there be, it lies in taking a full look at the worst." It made me think about this blog and realize that, for every few posts I write about places I love and recommend, there are also places that don't make the cut. I have to weed through some of the not so great places to discover the ones I really like. For example, I visited two child friendly places last week that didn't feel worthy of a recommendation here (one wasn't clean, and the other was just too expensive for what it offered). I like to keep this space happy and positive, so you won't see places for children here that I don't fully stand behind. This is not just a general list of places to take your children, it is my specific list of only the places we love. I am picky and fussy so you don't have to be. Many of the activities and adventures here are free and simple; there are often not a lot of bells and whistles, but they are places you can visit time and again and know they will be consistently good. Sort of like that good book you just have to revisit on a rainy day.

Head to Summerville and you and your children will discover a little gem hidden in plain sight on Main Street...
 Owner Natalie Sober has created a little sanctuary here for children - note how the picture books for young readers are turned to face you on the shelves so that the colorful cover draws you in. This is a very hands-on space and you are welcome to sit and look before you buy. Natalie has helpful suggestions to go along with the books she has lovingly hand picked.

 I bought my copy of Linnea and Monet's Garden in here and Natalie gave me the idea to link it to the Impressionism Exhibit at the Columbia Museum of Art. Natalie also hosts story times and other events here.

There are great chapter books here for older readers. Allow time to quietly browse because your children will love hanging out in this cozy spot!

Stock up on a few new books to pull out on those long hot summer days when you need a break! Now, if only I could put that favorite book down and stay out of these awesome little book stores!

A very little bookstore click here for map
112 South Main St.
Summerville, SC 29483
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 6pm
On street parking is free
linking with these other Summerville posts:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Middleton Place (part II) - Lamb

Behold the lamb... I used this picture for Easter cards one year and still love the image. It evokes the memory of this warm day in early Spring, walking the grounds of Middleton Place with my twins. I'm not sure who was more gentle, the boys or the lamb.

You could spend an entire afternoon just at the stable yard alone. It is an ideal picnic spot here under the grand oaks that date back to at least the 1700s when Arthur Middleton strolled these same grounds.

New life and signs of Spring are abundant here and children love to discover these simple surprises...

linger awhile with the peacocks...

and learn how the stable yard works... still, all these many years later.

Pack a picnic and head to Middleton Place
4300 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414
Hours: 9am-5pm daily (except Christmas Day)
General admission includes the gardens and the stable yards PMK tip- the grounds and stable yard are plenty to do with children! The paths and gardens are easy to negotiate with a stroller. Allow at least 2 hours and take a picnic, although I also recommend the restaurant
for a great cup of tea and a sandwich (it's a beautiful venue!)
Free parking
No pets allowed
For more details, click here

Thursday, March 21, 2013

2013 Kids Run and Wonderfest

Anyone who reads this blog knows that it's mostly about fresh air and outdoor activities, walking and running, and good old fashioned play... all in the name of a healthy, happy childhood. Along the way, there are traces here and there of what I like as well, such as books and the beach, history and art. Once in awhile, I get a bit more personal and share a story or two about my experiences as a mother. When my twins were born, one spent a few days in the NICU at MUSC Children's Hospital. It was a life-altering experience, and we are blessed to have come out of it with a healthy, strong little boy. To this day, MUSC Children's Hospital is the charity that is nearest to our hearts. Here in Charleston, we have many charities and organizations that need our help and if you really want to make a big impact and support a few all in one day, now's your chance. You can also enjoy gorgeous Hampton Park and the ever generous Wonderworks toystore that has some amazing events planned...I highly recommend this event! Keys for Hope, the organization that supports the homeless in Charleston and Crisis Ministries, will be there as well so now is a great time to buy a key from one of the lovely little ladies that dreamed the idea up as a school project. Please visit the link below to learn more about the incredible journey that is Keys for Hope.

The Cooper River Bridge Run Kids Run and Wonderfest benefits: Keys for Hope, Abby's Friends, MUSC Children's Hospital, Hugs for Harper, and Happy Wheels.
 Free Parking, Free activities - in addition to the kids run, there are lots of other free activities such as yoga and Zumba, a rock climbing wall, pony rides and much more! Every child registered receives a t-shirt, race number, medal, and coloring book. Enjoy live music and entertainment prior to the Kids Run at 5pm.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

books for Easter

When I was little, my mother (oops, I mean the Easter bunny) used to create the most amazing Easter baskets for my brothers and I. They were filled with little treasures - nothing expensive, just sweet little mementos; many of  which I still have to this day. We always had German chocolates and a special book like this one...

The Little Duck by Judy Dunn is the story of a boy who takes in a lost duckling and raises it to adulthood. Told through beautiful photography, the book chronicles the step by step process of hatching and caring for a duckling.  It's still in print and is as good now as it was then. Charleston has it's own classic by DuBose Heyward that stands the test of time and can be passed down from one generation to the next...

This book is a standout and we love the illustrations. Dubose Heyward was born in Charleston in 1885 and wrote his first novel Porgy in 1925. His wife adapted Porgy into a play which was then put to that famous Gershwin music to create the opera Porgy and Bess. The story then became a film in 1959.

One last good book choice to fill out an Easter basket is called Linnea and Monet's Garden and it too is an oldie but goodie...

Written by Christina Bjork and Lena Anderson and now in a special 25th anniversary edition, this is the story of Monet's artwork and can be linked to a trip to see Monet's work and that of other impressionists currently exhibited at the Columbia Museum of art. Be sure to read the book first to deepen the experience!

Columbia Museum of Art 
Visit the link above for directions and details!
Impressionism - From Monet to Matisse
Now through April 21st, 2013


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

down a rabbit hole

" There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island and at the bottom of the Spanish Main... and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life."
- Walt Disney

Step inside the storied walls of the Charleston Library Society and you will be swept back in time...

I love this old photo of a time when this was the cool spot ( literally, as it provided a refuge from the heat ) and the library in downtown Charleston. Established in 1748 ( no, that's not a misprint - this place is stinking old, kids!), this membership library preserves some of Charleston's oldest documents and books as well as the old card catalog system that you will recall from your childhood. They also actually bind books here and offer it as a backdrop for fantastic concerts.

Downstairs, there is a hidden treasure - the Rabbit Hole...

This little sanctuary is well stocked and organised for children...

Sit cool as a cucumber in this sunny spot that provides such a beautiful space and natural light to while away an afternoon. We love it here!

The Charleston Library Society
164 King St.
Downtown Charleston, SC
For more information on membership privileges and upcoming events, visit

Monday, March 18, 2013

Feature Article

The local parks we love
By LEIGH SABINE, contributing editor
Special to Charleston Currents

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."
-- John Burroughs, essayist and environmentalist
MARCH 18, 2013 -- For the past decade, sometime within the heart of a Lowcountry winter, my boys and I have looked forward to the coming spring through the simple act of compiling a list of parks to visit.
It's a great feeling of anticipation as we approach Easter weekend and spring break. We look to the list posted on the refrigerator door as a sign post on the road of trails, parks and green spaces that lie waiting for the warm sun and our happy feet.

School and busy schedules have a way of anchoring us close to home and we forget the parks we treasure most -- out of sight is truly out of mind. I encourage you to sit down with your children with pencils and crayons and make an actual paper list for them to ruminate and decorate. In this way, they put their senses in order by making the list come to life and can visualize with budding excitement the parks they may have forgotten.

Here is a list of some of our favorite Charleston area parks that have a decade's worth of Pluff Mud Kid testing for your enjoyment! [Follow the links to learn more about each park.]

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Unplug the Ipad and silence the phone... we are off on a brief winter break to a completely unplugged land. I leave you with images of favorite Charleston green taken on local Pluff Mud Kids walks. See you back here next week!

Downtown window boxes coming into bloom...

The green/black of a Charleston door...

'gator green everywhere we go...

Green habitats children love to discover...

and new arrivals to mark the newness of Spring