The National Civic League named Anderson, South Carolina an "All-America City" and is nicknamed "The Friendliest City in South Carolina." Though it is a relatively small city -- the population was 26,686 in the 2010 Census -- Anderson boasts a wide variety of attractions and activities for families with babies and toddlers to enjoy.
Farms and Local Food
Farms offer great opportunities for families with young children, and Anderson is home to a couple of great farms. Split Creek Farm is a commercial goat dairy that enables you to learn about the goats on the farm -- mostly Nubian goats -- and how the farm makes goat cheese. You'll love sampling the cheeses, such as feta and chevre, and your tykes will love petting the kid goats and watching the herding dogs in action. Anderson's Hardy Berry Farm gives families the chance to pick their own strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries when in season. Give your toddler a bucket to fill and put your baby in a carrier to take in all the sights and smells on the farm. Neither farm has a minimum age, so you can take your entire family.
Museums and Art
No matter how young your little ones are, they will enjoy seeing visually stimulating art. The Children's Museum of the Upstate in Greenville, 30 minutes by car, has 18 interactive exhibits on three floors. The museum's Toddler Lily Pond is a safe space for toddlers to splash in the water from the comfort of special seating. They can enjoy water play and learn about nature through the over-sized displays of butterflies and other insects. For more artistically inclined toddlers, try out the Anderson Arts Center. Children as young as 2 can take art classes at the center, and many exhibits are held there throughout the year.
The Great Outdoors
Anderson has some great parks in which to enjoy a number of activities with children. Sadlers Creek State Park, in Anderson, has opportunities for the whole family. Toddlers will enjoy playing on one of the two playgrounds at the park or having some fun in the water at Lake Hartwell. There is no minimum age for the park, but there is no lifeguard on duty at the lake, so you will need to be cautious. If you prefer a state park with a lifeguard on duty, head down to Paris Mountain State Park in Greenville. Anderson also has more than a dozen parks where you can spend a few hours with your children getting some fresh air and healthy exercise. The city's D.B.Walker Park has a large play structure, as well as picnic shelters. Linely Park has a playground, as well as two picnic shelters and a big open field for kids to run around and play.
The Anderson County Library hosts Toddlers Storytime for children 12 to 36 months at 10:30 on Wednesday mornings. Storytime is a great way to engage your young ones and to help them get more excited about reading. It's also a great way to spend the morning if it's raining or just too hot for outdoor play. Plus, since it's a story hour designed for children, you can relax and not have to worry about keeping your children from running around or making a lot of noise. You'll be there with other parents, and they get it.