Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Charleston Currents April 2013

Signs of spring abound throughout South CarolinaBy LEIGH SABINE, contributing editor
Special to Charleston Currents

APRIL 15, 2013 -- The fine green film of pollen has finally washed away, leaving pops of color everywhere in the Low Country and the feeling of Spring has bloomed throughout our beautiful state. Aside from the obvious plantation gardens that are always a sure bet when you hunt for Spring, we have scouted out a few more places locally and further afield that are bursting with those signs of Spring we crave; gorgeous flowering bushes and trees, cardinals and songbirds everywhere we look, and bees and butterflies at every turn.

Spending as much time as possible outside in the coming weeks will ensure that children experience the limited window that Spring really comprises; these weeks of fleeting azaleas and draping wisteria attracting working bees with a frenzy of pollinating to do. The best part of these day trip adventures with children is the heavenly cool breeze that lingers with you as you picnic in the grounds and gardens that are highlighted here. Make sure you get out and enjoy these Spring moments with your kids before the window closes.

  • Mepkin Abbey -- This is home to an Order of Trappist Monks and the manicured gardens are shared with the public. Nestled on the banks of the Cooper River in Moncks Corner, you will catch that sweet breeze right off the water as you wander meditative resting spots and alleys of oaks. Children love the cozy size of the property and the peaceful environment allows them to really hear the birds. (check the two blog posts for more details on the history and the great tour of this special place.)
  • Hampton Park -- located in the heart of downtown Charleston, this is our city park for everything. You can scooter ride all over, bike the track that rings the park, and picnic by the water. The azaleas and camellias are gorgeous here and I recommend it as a superb dog walking park.
  • Brookgreen Gardens -- Head to Murrells Inlet for a Pluff Mud Kids favorite in the Spring and savor our favorite flower; the tulip. There are so many varieties of flower in all stages of bloom and every color of the rainbow begging the question "is this really real, Mom?" The statues and sculptures are an added bonus and there's even a zoo, a fantastic butterfly garden, and a pontoon boat excursion. The massive property is 9,100 acres, so be sure to allow an entire day for little legs to cover all that ground as they will surely want to!
  • Columbia State House -- Not only can you enjoy an educational tour of the State House, but the grounds here make an excellent resting spot in a bed of azaleas and daffodils; the perfect backdrop for a Spring picnic. This is an unexpected twist for children at our state capital and they love to climb and count all those steps.
Enjoy links to these Spring hot spots and many more at Pluff Mud Kids blog!
Writer Leigh Sabine of Mount Pleasant offers a monthly look at fun activities for Lowcountry kids. It's based on her great blog, PluffMudKids. Check it out.

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