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7 Things To Do In Old 96 District of South Carolina With Kids

Bordering the Georgia state line and roughly an hour’s drive from Columbia, the Old 96 District of South Carolina offers family fun that is reminiscent of slower times. It’s a haven for nature lovers, offers small-town charm, and plenty of opportunities for kids to disconnect which is a rarity these days. The Old 96 District covers Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, and McCormick counties. 

The Old 96 District is only a few hours away from Atlanta and makes a fantastic weekend trip.
Photo Credit: Old 96 District

It’s a laid-back region where the roads are lined with peach orchards, small business owners welcome visitors with an ear-to-ear smile and there are outdoor activities to enjoy year-round. A few days in The Old 96 District tricks you into feeling like you’ve vacationed for a week. Time slows like magic. It’s the perfect opportunity to show kids that fun exists in even the simplest moments.

1. Enjoy The Region’s Fresh Peaches (Trenton)

Cooks Roadside Market peaches in Trenton, South Carolina

Did you know that the Peach Capital of the World is in the Old 96 District’s Edgefield County? The region produces 60% of South Carolina’s peaches. South Carolina is even nicknamed “The Tastier Peach State,” which, as a Georgia girl, pains me. Yet, it didn’t stop our family from enjoying the peach harvest!

Don’t miss the opportunity to stop by Cook’s Roadside Market in Trenton, SC. Employees are busy prepping the freshly picked peaches just minutes before they’re sold, and barely keeping up with the summer demand. Aside from peaches, you’ll also discover canned goods, more seasonal produce, and even antiques. I couldn’t pass up the gumbo mix to take home for a quick family dinner. Most of all, our kids enjoyed the free popcorn at Cook’s Roadside Market. What more could you want?

2. Walk Around Downtown Edgefield (Edgefield)

Historic downtown Edgefield South Carolina

Edgefield County is famous for producing 10 Governors and 5 Lieutenant Governors over its 225-year history. The county’s vibrant history culminates in downtown Edgefield where you can easily walk the square. There are boutiques, bakeries, restaurants, murals, and green spaces to explore. 

Our family ate lunch at The Olde Edgefield Grille, which offers delicious burgers and sandwiches, and then we stayed parked while we walked around the downtown area. There are so many fun photo opportunities between the town’s mascot turkey statues, the murals, and the memorial statue in the center of downtown.

It may sound crazy with kids, but if you love an informative distillery, stop by Carolina Moon Distillery for a bit of history along with a tasting. Obviously, they don’t cater to families, but kids are welcome alongside parents and the staff is very friendly. We took home a few bottles of moonshine as our Edgefield souvenir. 

3. Hickory Knob State Park and Resort (McCormick)

Hickory Knob State Resort Park archery

Hickory Knob State Resort Park stands as a testament to South Carolina’s natural beauty. With over 1,000 acres of pristine wilderness, there are so many ways for families to connect with nature. The park’s lush forests and serene lakefront views are certainly inviting and allow guests to unwind. 

There are amazing programs that kids will love: from archery to fishing. Sign up for the archery lessons and your family is in for a treat. A park ranger teaches kids of all levels the safety basics and how to shoot a bow and arrow. It’s a one-hour outdoor class and kids must be seven or older. The park also offers skeet shooting classes, but that’s reserved for teens over the age of thirteen.

Make sure to take advantage of the Fishing Tackle Loaner Program. The program allows you to borrow a rod, reel, and tackle box. Enjoy Lake Thurmond from a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard through the park’s rental program. It’s a great way to cast a line.

Hickory Knob State Park Resort Park is also ideal lodging for a family getaway. They offer standard lodge-style rooms and a buffet restaurant. There’s also an 18-hole championship golf course at the resort, ensuring there’s something for everyone in the family.

4. Heritage Gold Mine Park (McCormick)

Heritage Gold Mine Park in Old 96 District

To this day, McCormick creeks still have traces of gold in them. The second richest vein of gold was found in South Carolina and the Heritage Gold Mine Park was once an active gold mine in the 1850’s. Now, the mine is no longer active and guests can tour the park to see a piece of gold history. The original features of the gold mine are still intact: an open trench, several pits and vertical shafts, plus a tunnel (which the kids love).

After you’ve finished the tour, try your hand at gold panning and gem screening. Kids enjoy being hands-on and keeping what they find. The park is open from May – October on select Saturdays.

5. Enjoy a Flick At The Drive-In Movie Theatre (Greenwood)

Greenwood South Carolina Movie Theatre 25

If you’re looking for a quick escape, step back in time and enjoy the nostalgia of a drive-in movie theatre at 25 Drive-In Movie Theatre in Greenwood. It’s truly a unique cinematic experience unlike any other. 

Personalize your experience by bringing snacks, blankets, and even pets along for the ride. The large outdoor screens and car radios transport audiences to a bygone era. The kids will be simply amazed and it’s a fun way to enjoy the current movie releases.

6. Greenwood Railroad Historical Center (Greenwood)

Greenwood South Carolina Historical Railway

If there was one attraction that my toddler adored from our Old 96 District visit, it was the Greenwood Railroad Historical Center. As you drive through downtown Greenwood, you can miss the ginormous train that sits outside the museum. 

It’s another attraction that’s only open from May – October, but it’s worth visiting if you have any family members who adore trains. Guided tours take guests through restored train cars. Kids love to see the dining room car set up for service, how people slept on trains, and even learn how the steam trains are powered. You’ll leave with a bit of knowledge about South Carolina’s railroad history and some amazing photos from your tour.

7. South Carolina Festival of Flowers (Greenwood)

The South Carolina Festival of Flowers in Old 96 District

Old 96 District offers family-friendly festivals throughout the year, but the South Carolina Festival of Flowers is swoon-worthy. Throughout June, ornate and whimsical flower topiaries are set up on display in uptown Greenwood. Walk around Greenwood, as a family, and take photos in front of each topiary that’s a work of art. The topiaries rival ones you’d see in major botanical gardens, without the nuisance of crowds. 

While the festival is a month-long, there’s a main weekend of events. Sign up for garden tours, listen to live music, participate in the Flower Power fun run, and let the kids enjoy KidFest with flower-themed crafts designed for little ones. 

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