For most students in Beaufort County, there are only a few days left of winter break. Make the most of that time by doing some of these activities with the family. And keep these ideas in mind for the weekends and other school breaks.
- If the weather is nice, take the children to Dubois Park on Lawrence Street in Old Town Bluffton. Have a picnic in the park, then relax on a bench while the little ones climb aboard the shrimp boat playground.
- After spending some time at the park, walk down to the dock just past the Church of the Cross on Calhoun Street. Take a few moments to soak in the beauty of the May River before stopping to read the "Follow the Fiddlers" sign near the dock. A project of the Hilton Head-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce 2015 Leadership Class, "Follow the Fiddlers" is a fun activity meant to educate the public about local marine creatures. Ten bronze fiddler crab statues are hidden on Calhoun Street. Have fun finding them.
- Looking for another outside scavenger hunt-type activity? Join the Bluffton Rocks Facebook group. Paint some rocks with the kids, then head out to hide them around town, keeping an eye out for other hidden rocks along the way.
- In between Bluffton and Hilton Head Island is a beautiful little treasure called the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. Go on a hike or a bicycle ride through the refuge, where white ibis, herons, egrets and American alligators can often be spotted.
- Just north of the Broad River in the town of Port Royal is a popular spot for finding shark teeth. The Sands features a beach as well as a boardwalk and observation tower, perfect for watching the sun rise and set.
- The Sandbox Children's Museum gives children in preschool through early elementary school a place to have fun and learn through interactive play. This is a great option for cold or rainy days. Kids can make crafts or pretend to cook, shop for groceries or even fly a plane.
- Another option for a chilly day is to take the kids to Station 300. What kid doesn't love bowling, arcade games and laser tag?
- For those who want to get out of town for a day, take the family to Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in northeast Florida. Just over a two-hour drive from Bluffton, the zoo features more than 2,000 rare and exotic animals and 1,000 varieties of plants.
- Also about two hours from Bluffton is the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston. Discover the amazing creatures of the Lowcountry, from sea turtles, sharks and fish to a bald eagle. Visitors can even touch Atlantic stingrays, horseshoe crabs and hermit crabs.
- Head to the Midlands of South Carolina and check out the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia. The museum features exhibits on South Carolina art, history, natural history, and science and technology. There's even an observatory, a digital dome planetarium and a 4D theater.
No matter what ends up on the itinerary for the last few days of winter break, make sure to have fun making memories with the family. Happy 2018 and happy exploring!
Amy Coyne Bredeson of Bluffton is a freelance writer, a mother of two and a volunteer with the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.