Most people probably don't consider the television to be a danger to their fresh bouquet of flowers. But because it's an appliance that gives off heat, it can easily wilt or dry out blooms. This is the kind of expert advice doled out by the women of Valentin Occasions, who in their years of flower-shop ownership have perfected the challenging art of ensuring flowers last as long as possible. Their experience has made them adept at handling a variety of jobs—they can put together everything from bridal bouquets and corsages to birthday vases and casket sprays. They also deliver weekly to businesses after an onsite visit to determine the appropriate size and shape for reception or boardroom bouquets.
Brimming with works from up-and-coming artists across South Carolina, Southern Galleries treats aesthetes to an exclusive selection of paintings and custom frames. The gallery is overseen by an experienced team of curators and artists in residence, who also use the studio for fun, informative painting classes for adults and children. Located across from the clock tower in historical downtown Simpsonville, the gallery fosters a creative environment with ceiling-high bay windows, rustic exposed brick walls, and a catcher-free environment where dreams can roam unhindered.:m]]
Exotic animals from six continents call Hollywild Animal Park home, though many have also firmly planted their paws and hooves in the entertainment business?hence the name Hollywild. Tank the rhino, for instance, has appeared in multiple national advertising campaigns, avoiding the paparazzi by hiding himself in his dressing room. But the nonprofit park gives visitors more than a brush with stardom, as many of the animals they shelter are extinct in the wild. Virtually nowhere else on earth will guests get to visit a Syrian Brown Bear or get up close and personal with a waffalo (a cross between an African Watusi and a buffalo).
Hollywild gives visitors a bounty of ways to experience this variety. On Safari Rides, knowledgeable guides drive tour buses through more than 70 acres where zebra, emus, donkeys, camels, antelope, and other animals roam free. In the ampitheater, audiences get close encounters with fascinating fauna thanks to interactive Creature Feature shows. And throughout the park, visitors have ample opportunities to pet and feed the animals.
Hands On! A Child's Gallery is an interactive and educational museum for children age 1–10. Kids can cavort through a variety of exhibits that stimulate imaginations and sensory experiences in a safe environment that encourages learning. In the creative-arts area, little ones become artists, donning smocks or picking up part-time barista jobs, taking to easels, decorating a chalk wall, or embellishing a table with colorful dyed rice.
An 850-square-foot mountain, complete with waterfall, encourages kids to engage with aspects of the natural world including cause and effect. Interactive games impart lessons on dental hygiene at the toothy tango section. A large Lego ramp gives kids a venue for their own kid-built Lego cars. A music room hosts concentration and memory games and encourages kids to learn the sounds of different instruments. A miniature grocery store presents the chance to shop for nutritious meals, learn about budgets, and wander parking lots as they try to remember where they parked.
Visitors to the Spartanburg Art Museum can view great works of art and learn how to create their own artwork under the same roof. The museum’s permanent collection includes artwork that spans multiple mediums, including paintings, photography, textiles, and sculpture from noted artists such as August Cook, Francesco Bartolozzi, and other North and South Carolinian artists. Talented artists—many of whom hold degrees in their respective disciplines—lead the museum’s Art School, where they teach both kids and adults how to craft their own masterpieces. The museum also regularly welcomes rotating exhibitions, guest speakers, and special programs.
Display cases filled with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are a treat for the eyes at any jeweler's, but at Colburn Earth Science Museum, they dazzle visitors intellectually as well. More than 1,000 cuts from around the world make up the museum's extensive gemstone collection, which guests learn about via a gem-mine replica featuring a faux dynamite charge and gem pockets. The museum's additional exhibits showcase mineral specimens from the museum's collection of more than 4,500, as well as fossil specimens including teeth from a wooly mammoth complete with calcified floss.
Guests can take a more hands-on approach to scientific discovery during the museum's school programs and spring-break camps, which focus on subjects such as fossils, gravity, and space rocks. Voyage deeper into the galaxy during Spaced-Out Saturdays, when a digital spaceship whisks passengers on journeys throughout the solar system. After expeditions, stop by the Museum Gift Shop to pick up your own minerals or crystal-filled, 44-million-year-old geodes that museum staff can crack in half for you during your visit.