Set on 14 acres within Cleveland Park, the Greenville Zoo houses more than 350 animals in recreated terrestrial habitats. The walking trails typically take between 60 and 90 minutes to tour, guiding guests to creatures such as lions, orangutans, and elephants. Giant tortoises lumber along to the delight of kids watching, and just down the path, giraffes curl their black tongues around clusters of leaves.
Through their accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, zookeepers uphold high standards in animal care, from maintaining realistic habitats to ensuring animals eat what they would in the wild. These AZA standards extend through other parts of the zoo's operations as well, including its educational programming and conservation efforts—the Quarters for Conservation initiative raises funds for local and global conservation programs.
To ensure that visits are relaxing and convenient, the zoo grounds include two playgrounds and several picnic facilities. The surrounding Cleveland Park affords further recreation such as walking paths and tennis courts.
The Generous Garden Project works to combat hunger in local communities by growing a steady supply of fresh produce, which it donates to local ministries and food banks. Volunteers plant and harvest vegetables in a 4.5-acre garden in Greenville, and share their skills by teaching others how to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Local farmers also call upon The Generous Garden Project’s volunteers to glean crops that would otherwise be left to rot in the fields or be plowed after a harvest.
When she moved to Greenville, Marquin Campbell noted that, short of dragging your easel to the pub, there was no outlet for people to practice painting while indulging in their favorite beverage. She began Vino & Van Gogh as a laid-back art lesson for the benefit of a few friends—as they chatted and drank wine, she led them through brushstroke after brushstroke. The spirit of those first sessions exists today, and her business hosts BYOB classes for up to 30 aspiring artists at a time. Though Campbell has added several professional instructors to her staff, she preserves the low-key, social ambiance of her first session, helping students to showcase their creativity with intuitive teaching methods.
At each painting class, attendees focus on reproducing the same picture, which changes from session to session. Subjects in the past have ranged from colorful trees and blooming flowers to oyster shells holding a pearl. Each budding artist infuses it with their own personal style as they follow along with their instructor. The studio also offers classes on different art disciplines, including collage and pottery. The instructors' step-by-step process accommodates all skill levels—most pupils are first-time painters—and camps for kids encourage youngsters to construct crafts based on a certain theme, such as sea creatures or bracelets that aren't just dad's neckties rolled into a loop.
Escape Oxygen Bar breathes energy into Greenville with a bar that bestows all the luxuriant necessities of life: crisp air, mirthful meals, adult nectar, a dimly lit dance floor, and aromatic inhalables. An oxygen bar treatment ($5) enhances atmospheric ambience by blushing lungs with fragrant air, stimulating the mind until it can solve crossword puzzles written in Pig Latin. Tip back a top-shelf cocktail ($5) and dip low on the laser-lit dance floor, or win back your detachable third hand on one of two vast pool tables. The hookah bar ($5 per person) soothes smokers with an exotic inhalant that preps parched palates for socially agreeable dishes such as chicken wings ($5.50) or cheese fries ($4). The value of this Groupon cannot be used toward cover charges.
Founded in 2010, the EHCL's Greenville Road Warriors don't have the rich legacy of their parent squad, the NHL's legendary New York Rangers. But judging from their first two seasons, the team is eager to make up for lost time. The Road Warriors took the league by storm in their debut season, earning the top playoff seed in the Eastern Conference before losing in overtime of Game 7 in the second round of the playoffs. Their quest for Kelly Cup glory continued in the 2011–2012 season, when they yet again made it to the playoffs and fell in the conference quarterfinals. Although championship hardware may have eluded the Road Warriors in their short history, the squad has produced enough top-notch regular-season performances to keep NHL scouts, fans, and trophy-case carpenters on their toes.
The Pavilion cultivates every species of physical activity within its 66,000-square-foot indoor complex and adjacent outdoor fields. The eclectic indoor space hosts soccer, volleyball, and curling face-offs, as well as a year-round ice-skating facility, bounce house, and inline-skating space. Fledgling ice skaters slip and slide during public skating sessions or take part in the U.S. Figure Skating Association's basic skills program to grease their triple axels. As the temperature rises, members make a mad dash outdoors to one of six tennis courts and three soccer fields, or hail a ride on George, The Pavilion's historic miniature passenger train. The complex's Boundless Playground offers a space where children with disabilities can be included in play thanks to accessible slides, swings, and climbing structures.
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]]