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Coming soon: Pick your own strawberries @ Hodges Strawberry Farm, Dempsey Farms

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021

Hodges Farm – a local family owned “Pick Your Own” or “We Pick” farm of strawberries and thornless blackberries – is expected to open for strawberry picking season in a few weeks .

The farm is located on the Effingham/Screven County border just 20 minutes from Statesboro and 50 minutes from downtown Savannah. Cash or check with ID.

Learn more here. 

Follow on social media here for field updates.

HODGES STRAWBERRY FARM
8705 Ga HWY 21 N.
Newington, GA 30446
(912) 754-7257 cell (912)687-6448 cell (912)425-0690

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Dempsey Farms U-Pick Strawberries on Saint Helena Is. SC near Beaufort will not have early strawberries this spring but will announce on social media here when that farm is close to opening for this spring’s normal strawberry season.

DEMPSEY FARMS
1576 SEA ISLAND PARKWAY
SAINT HELENA ISLAND, SC 29920

843-838-3656 after 8AM for picking condition & field updates on hours

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U-Pick daffodil 2021 season is under way at this Okatie farm near Bluffton, SC. 

Details here. 

U-Pick Daffodils in Okatie, SC near Bluffton will reopen Sat. Feb. 27

Friday, February 19th, 2021

u-pick daffodils okatie bluffton hilton head savannah

U-PICK DAFFODILS OPENING Sat., Feb. 20 2021 for the (very short) 2021 daffodil season @ U-pick Daffodils farm in nearby Okatie, SC (near Bluffton).

UPDATE: SOLD OUT! U-pick will reopen Sat. Feb. 27 2021, 10AM – until ? Best to come earlier in the day rather than later in case they sell out.

Cost: 35 cents per stem.

Check here and on Facebook here for hours  & opening/closing updates.

Follow along on the farm’s Facebook page to stay on top of the current supply status at the farm and any farm closing days.

UPickDaffodils.com is family owned and operated on what was once the family dairy farm. Chuck and Diane have planted several varieties of daffodils, not all of which bloom at the same time, according to their Web site.

Now accepting debit & credit cards in addition to cash.

UPickDaffodils
48 Calhoun Plantation Road
Okatie, SC 29909
843-368-1998
chuck@upickdaffodils.com

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Daytrips

Find more daytrips from the Savannah-area here. 

Dinosaur-exhibits at museums in Georgia, South Carolina & Jacksonville, Fla.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

dinosaur exhibits museums near Savannah

We love this: Eight-year-old Leo called out NPR for lack of dinosaur stories. Read the story about Leo (pictured above) here.

We here at SouthernMamas.com have also been remiss in doing our share of dinosaur publicity including spotlighting dinosaur exhibits that are a daytrip or weekend trip from Savannah.

Here are some museums with dinosaur exhibits to please most dinosaur fans like Leo.

Tellus Science Museum north of Atlanta in Cartersville, Ga.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta

Georgia Southern Museum, Statesboro (currently closed due to COVID)

MOSH (Museum of Science & History), Jacksonville Fla. no current dinosaur exhibits but upcoming exhibits include The Lost World of Dragons, 05.29.21 — 09.05.21. Details here.

Mace Brown Museum of Natural History, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC. Visits by appoinment.

South Carolina State Museum, Columbia SC.

Dinosaurs The Exhibition, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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Daytrips, Weekend Trips

Find more daytrips & weekend trips from the Savannah-area here. 

Savannah daytrips: U-Pick Daffodils in Okatie, SC near Bluffton

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

u-pick daffodil bluffton okatie s.c.

U-pick daffodil season has not started yet @ U-pick Daffodils farm in nearby Okatie, SC (near Bluffton).

Once the u-pick season begins, the farm is usually open from 10AM-4PM provided there are blooms for the day.

Check here and on Facebook here for hours  & opening/closing updates.

Follow along on the farm’s Facebook page to learn when the u-pick season will officially open for 2021 and to stay on top of the current supply status at the farm and any farm closing days.

UPickDaffodils.com is family owned and operated on what was once the family dairy farm. Chuck and Diane have planted several varieties of daffodils, not all of which bloom at the same time, according to their Web site.

Cash or check only.

UPickDaffodils
48 Calhoun Plantation Road
Okatie, SC 29909
843-368-1998
chuck@upickdaffodils.com

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Daytrips

Find more daytrips from the Savannah-area here. 

Savannah daytrips: Fort King George State Park

Thursday, January 28th, 2021

Fort king George Savannah state park

Daytrip!

To Fort King George State Park in Darien, Ga.

This year marks the tricentennial of a turning point in North American colonial history. Three centuries ago, British soldiers established their first fort on land that was to become the colony of Georgia. Called Fort King George, it protected a low bluff on the mighty Altamaha River from French and Spanish explorers, as well as Guale Indians. Since all buildings are reconstructed, children are welcome to use their energy and creativity to explore.

From 1721 until 1727, Fort King George – now a state historic site — served as the southern boundary of the British Empire in North America. After a fire damaged buildings, General James Oglethorpe brought Scottish Highlanders to the site in 1736. Their settlement was called Darien, eventually becoming a bustling seaport that rivaled Savannah for shipping lumber. Today, this 18th-century frontier settlement is open for tours where visitors can explore numerous reconstructed buildings.

“You won’t see ‘do not touch’ signs because we want you to experience the fort as soldiers would have experienced it,” said site manager Valarie Ikhwan. “We are known for kids being to be able to understand what it’s like to climb up a ladder into their bunk every night. We’re known for kids being able to understand what it feels like to carry that barrel of gunpowder or ring the dinner bell.”

Overlooking a scenic tidal river are officers’ quarters, barracks, a guard house, moat and palisades. Guests are welcome to climb ladders inside the blockhouse, lay on soldiers’ bunks and peek out musket holes. Actively exploring the fort helps guests, especially children, imagine life 300 years ago. A museum highlights the Guale Indians, 1580s Santo Domingo de Talaje mission, British colonists, the Scots of Darien and the 19th century timber industry. The remains of three sawmills, soldier graves and tabby ruins are still visible today.

To celebrate the tricentennial, rangers will host a series of presentations and celebrations throughout 2021. The next virtual speaker presentations will be Feb. 28 2021, spotlighting Gullah Geechee heritage, and March 28 2021, covering the Scots of Darien. Plans for future presentations include local historian Buddy Sullivan, archaeologist Dr. Richard Jefferies and former site managers.

Fort King George Historic Site is open Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is $4.50 for children and $7.50 for adults.

Learn more here or call 912-437-4770.

Explore Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, Hilton Head Is.

Monday, January 25th, 2021

mitchelville freedom park hilton head daytrips savannah

Established in 1862 on Hilton Head Is. SC, Mitchelville is the first place in the United States where African Americans, out of slavery but not yet citizens, self-governed. This first self-governed town of freed slaves is commemorated in the historic site of Mitchelville Freedom Park on Beach City Road.

On your next visit to Hilton Head, visit this quiet, historically significant ocean-side site.

Mitchellville
*First town where enslaved people were freed following the Emancipation Proclamation
*Located just across the river from Savannah.
*The town was an important stop on the Underground Railroad and the first place to be governed by African Americans.

The park was created by the nonprofit Mitchelville Preservation Project to educate the public about the resilience of the freed people of Mitchelville. This 19th-century town of freed slaves was around before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, when most of the African-American population in the South was still enslaved. Residents built homes, a one-room schoolhouse, stores, praise houses and created a new, self-governed culture.

Overlooking the marsh is a Bench by the Road, one of 20 memorial bench sites worldwide created by the Toni Morrison Society. The black steel benches are placed in areas to remember once-forgotten moments in African-American history. Learn more about the other Freedom Park exhibits here. 

(Hilton Head Is. Playgrounds) Adventure Playground @ Lowcountry Celebration Park

Monday, January 18th, 2021

HIlton Head Island Playgrounds Adventure ship Celebration Lowcountry children free outside

There’s a new outdoor kid-friendly spot on Hilton Head Is: Adventure Playground @ Lowcountry Celebration Park.

Lowcountry Celebration Park – which opened in December 2020 – includes Adventure Playground for kids, a discovery trail, pavilion and lawn for festivals, exercise stations, Wi-Fi, restrooms. The Sandbox Children’s Museum is set to move there, too, from its current location later this year.

Lowcountry Celebration Park is located off Pope Avenue near the Coligny Beach parking lot.

The spacious Adventure Playground features a giant ship complete with mist cannons.

Adventure Playground is open from sunrise to sunset. Restroom facilities at the Park close at 10PM.

Parking is available in the Coligny Beach Parking Lot, the parking lot off Nassau Street or onstreet parking on Nassau Street.

Playground Water Feature: The Adventure Playground has a water feature. This feature will become operational once after requirements for permits are completed.

Find more things do with kids while on Hilton Head Is. here. 

Play in snow @ Hilton Head Snow Day 2021

Monday, January 18th, 2021

HIlton Head Snow Day 2021

Hilton Head Snow Day 2021

SATURDAY, JANUARY 30, 2021
11AM-4PM
SHELTER COVE COMMUNITY PARK
39 SHELTER COVE LANEHILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC, 29928UNITED STATES (MAP)
$5 ages 2-17, adults free

This is a family event that will have inflatable rides, a snowfield, and entertainment. For the kids who have never seen snow, this is the perfect event. The price of admission includes snow field. Additional rides and games sold separately.

Learn more here.

Sandbox Children’s Museums on Hilton Head Is. & in Bluffton open on MLK Jr. Weekend

Thursday, January 14th, 2021

Sandbox Children's Museum Hilton Head 2021 January

The Sandbox Children’s Museum on Hilton Head and The Sandbox @ Tanger 2 in Bluffton will open again Fri. Jan. 15 through Mon. Jan. 18 2021.

The museums will then be open Thursdays-Sundays.

Make reservations to visit online here. 

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The Sandbox Children’s Museum is a SouthernMamas.com advertiser 

Savannah Daytrips: Hide-and-seek game for handmade glass floats on Jekyll Island during Jan., Feb. 2021

Monday, January 11th, 2021

Island Treasures Jekyll Island 2017 Daytrips Savannah

The hunt is on.

Find your Island Treasure now through Feb. 28 2021.

Every year, Jekyll Island commissions a group of highly skilled artisans from across the U.S. to create exquisite, handworked glass floats for Jekyll’s annual Island Treasures event.

(Jekyll Island is an easy, roughly 90-minute drive down I-95 from Savannah. See our list of things to do with kids on on Jekyll Island here. )

The glass floats are part of a hide-and-seek style game played on Jekyll Island throughout January and February. Each day, volunteers called Beach Buddies hide clear globes around the island for lucky guests to find and redeem for a real glass float. Gather your friends and family to search for globes that can be exchanged for dazzling handcrafted glass floats.

Jekyll Island Guest Information Center
901 Downing Musgrove Causeway
Jekyll Island, GA 31527
Monday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Learn more about Island Treasures here.

Find more things to do with kids on Jekyll Island here.

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FIND MORE DAYTRIPS FROM SAVANNAH HERE

 

(Savannah Daytrips) Lawton Stables & Sea Pines Forest Preserve, Hilton Head Is.

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021
Sea Pines Nature Preserve Bike Trails Hilton Head

Summertime biking @ Sea Pines Nature Preserve

Hilton Head Island offers over 50 scenic miles of public bicycle pathways and nature trails.

The hard-packed beaches are also popular for bicycling at low tide.

Which is why we’re often perplexed that more Savannah families don’t take advantage of this daytrip option (about one hour drive from Savannah). There are so many family-friendly activities do on Hilton Head.

Find the complete list of our favorite places to visit on Hilton Head Is. here. 

Below is a sample:

Sea Pines Forest Preserve

The 605-acre Sea Pines Forest Preserve includes easy trails to various points of interest including the 4,000-year-old Indian Shell Ring, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a wildflower garden that’s amazing when in bloom (pictured above in summer).

The walks range from 25 minutes to one hour. Bicycles are not permitted on the nature trails, so please park your bicycles at the locations provided. Open from sunrise to sunset. The Forest Preserve is free; there’s a $9 Sea Pines gate fee per auto. More info here.

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Lawton Stables Hilton Head Sea Pines Resort

Lawton Stables in Sea Pines Resort 

One of our favorite Sea Pines spots to visit with young kids is Lawton Stables, which offers horse trail rides, $15/pony rides and a small animal farm.

Their free animal farm includes goats, sheep, chickens, turtles, cows and alpacas.  Kids can also pet a friendly retired Clydesdale, Harley, at the stables. Pony rides and horseback riding available for a fee. Pony rides available for a fee for children between the ages of 2-7 years old and weighing less than 55 lbs.

All trail riders must be a minimum of 8 years old. Lawton Stables does not allow ‘double-riding’ with two people sharing a horse.

You MUST make a reservation for all trail rides – please BOOK ONLINE.

The animal farm is free; there’s a $9 Sea Pines gate fee per auto. More info here. 190 Greenwood Drive, Hilton Head Island, 29928

Open Tuesday through Sunday: 8AM to 5PM. Call for pony ride hours: (843) 671-2586.

Learn more here. 

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Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, Bluffton SC

A mere hour drive from Savannah, Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is an easy getaway from Savannah to bike amid nature on 14 miles of hiking and biking trails. The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset daily. (Not located on Hilton Head Is. but between HHI and Bluffton)

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Find the complete list of our favorite places to visit on Hilton Head Is. here. 

Free entrance to National Parks & Monuments on MLK Jr. Day 2021

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

free fee day MLK Jr.

Free entrance to National Parks & Monuments on MLK Jr. Day 2021.

In honor of the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., National Park Service sites will have free admission for everyone on Monday, January 18, 2021, as the first fee free day of the year.

Parks around the Savannah-area include:

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Fort Frederica National Monument
Fort Pulaski National Monument
Fort Sumter National Monument

Details here. 

Outdoor weekend events @ Fort McAllister State Park, Richmond Hill

Monday, January 4th, 2021

Fort McAllister Richmond Hill kids activities

Outdoor weekend kid-friendly events @ Fort McAllister State Park, Richmond Hill

Hikes, soldier Saturdays, blacksmithing programs, survival shelter building workshops & more.

See the events schedule here. 

Bike trails in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbia, Bluffton

Saturday, January 2nd, 2021
Augusta bike trails daytrip Savannah biking

Augusta Canal Bike Trail

Augusta Canal Bike Trail biking savannah daytrip

Augusta Canal Bike Trail

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If the newest portion of Savannah’s Truman Linear Park Trail has sparked your family’s biking interest, here are some trails to check out next time you visit Atlanta, Augusta, Ga., Columbia SC or Bluffton SC. We hit each of these over winter break 2020 and look forward to returning again in spring. Pack a lunch, bring plenty of water and enjoy the ride.

Augusta Canal Trail

Augusta Canal’s wide, level towpath, once used by mules to pull canal boats to the Canal headgates, runs between the canal and the Savannah River. This roughly 7.5 mile packed-dirt trail is a must-do bike ride on your next Augusta visit. There are also kayaking and mountain bike trail options. We parked at the north end of the trail, where there’s free parking, restrooms, and drinking fountain in Savannah Rapids Park (3300 Evans to Locks Rd., Martinez) as well as bike rental.

Other ways to access this trail include:

*Near the southern end of the trail, take Broad Street from downtown Augusta west to Goodrich Street and turn right. Continue about a mile to a parking lot at the pumping station adjacent to the King and Sibley mills.

*Lake Olmstead Trailhead (1 Milledge Road) has parking, restrooms, drinking fountains, and a picnic area.

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Three Rivers Greenway Columbia SC biking Savannah daytrip

Three Rivers Greenway

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Three Rivers Greenway, Columbia SC

Three Rivers Greenway consists of 12.5 miles of scenic lighted and paved trails and boardwalks that run along the riverbanks where the Saluda, Broad and Congaree rivers meet.

Two of these multi-use trails connect – the West Columbia Riverwalk and the Cayce Riverwalk – and run along the Congaree River. Think covered boardwalks, winding tree-lined trails, wayside exhibits as well as picnic tables along the water. Find free parking options for this section here.

A third trail – Granby and Riverfront parks- is on the opposite side of the Congaree River, the City of Columbia side. Free parking for this section and public restrooms are available at Riverfront Park (312 Laurel St. Columbia), where there’s a popular, scenic 2.5 miles section of the Three Rivers Greenway that runs from the park between the Congaree River and Historic Columbia Canal.

(While perhaps not officially part of the trail, the Gervais Street Bridge could be used by riders who want to ride both the West Columbia/Cayce Riverwalks and the Riverfront-Granby park trails)

Also part of Three Rivers Greenway is Saluda Riverwalk (650 Candi Lane, Columbia), a 3-mile stretch along the Lower Saluda River near Riverbanks Zoo, from I-26 to the Broad River. It’s unclear whether this section is officially open. This section is not yet connected to Three Rivers Greenway.

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Big Creek Greenway, near Atlanta

Our favorite bike trail near Atlanta due to the natural, peaceful setting, Big Creek Greenway  is a roughly 8-mile multi-use concrete trail in the Alpharetta and Roswell areas. There’s a wetland area, bridges, plenty of fallen trees that provide a place to rest and eat lunch. There’s also a mountain bike option.

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Silver Comet Trail, near Atlanta

The Silver Comet Trail is in Smyrna, about 13 miles northwest of Atlanta. It is one of Atlanta’s most popular bike trails and also the most crowded. You could take this ride from Atlanta suburbs to Alabama. (We did not!) It connects to the 33-mile long Chief Ladiga Trail. The combined Silver Comet and Chief Ladgita trails are more than 90 miles long from Smyrna to Alabama.

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Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, Bluffton SC

A mere hour drive from Savannah, Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is an easy getaway from Savannah to bike amid nature on 14 miles of hiking and biking trails. The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset daily.

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biking Columbia SC daytrip Savannah bike trails

Three Rivers Greenway

Center for Wildlife Education & The Lamar Q Ball Jr. Raptor Center reopens

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

Center Wildlife education statesboro Georgia Southern Raptor Program

The Center for Wildlife Education and and The Lamar Q Ball, Jr. Raptor Center at Georgia Southern in Statesboro will reopen on Mon. Oct. 5, 2020 after closing in March due to COVID-19.

Find visitor guidelines regarding the reopening here.

Come check out the new waterfowl observation deck. This walk-in deck is now open to the public and allows for up close encounters with the center’s waterfowl.

The center’s collection has grown both in number and in species, making the Wildlife Center home to one of the largest waterfowl aviaries in the state of Georgia.

Other features of the Wildlife Education Center include a Discovery Trail which includes a opossum and skunk; a Habitat Walk includes a live bald eagle in her nest; 10 displays housing several live birds; a wetland preserve with ducks and wading birds, a playground; and “Discovery Logs” where kids can crawl inside and see encased ladybugs, grasshoppers, frogs, beetles and more.

Hours of Operation
Monday-Friday: 9AM-4:45PM
Saturday and Sunday: Closed to the public.

LEARN MORE HERE. 

Private Escape Rooms @ Fort King George State Historic, Darien Ga.

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

Escape rooms Halloween Fort George Darien Ga Savannah

Bring your family and friends to Fort King George State Historic Site in nearby Darien for a Private Escape Room experience on Fridays and Saturday nights in October 2020.

Each session is exclusive to one party (no need to play with strangers). These rooms are designed for groups of 4 to 8 people.

Pre-registration is required, $25 per person.

Register or learn more here or call 912-437-4770.

Fort King George State Historic Site
302 McIntosh Road SE
Darien, GA 31305
McIntosh County