Kid’s Guide to Hartsville

From parks and playgrounds to special events, classes and ways to get involved, Hartsville has something for every child. Read on to learn about all the places to go and things to do!


Play at City of Hartsville parks

Across the six public parks found in the City of Hartsville, families may find playgrounds at the Byerly Park Recreation Complex at 700 Russell Rd, Pride Park at 630 S 6th St, and Lawton Park at 716 Prestwood Dr.

Byerly Park is home to more than just playgrounds, though, as the park is also home to Garrison’s Place, a playground with adaptive equipment for children with disabilities, as well as the Born Learning Trail, a series of activities for children and caregivers to have fun while learning and increase school readiness.

Byerly Park also offers sports and classes, as well as Neptune Island Waterpark; see below.

Located on the Prestwood Lake waterfront and not very far from downtown Hartsville, the historic Lawton Park also features a pier which is perfect for fishing and a put-in point for small boats like kayaks and canoes.

Lawton Park

Your waterpark adventure awaits at Neptune Island.

Neptune Island is an undiscovered island in Hartsville, South Carolina. Inhabited by pirates, mermaids, and endangered oceanic creatures, the island is a lost oasis waiting to be discovered. Your adventure awaits at Neptune Island Waterpark.

Neptune Island has a capacity of 1,300 visitors. Guests can enjoy more waterpark features, including a quarter mile-long lazy river, a zero entry pool, a wave pool, a speed body slide, a pair of tubular water slides and three mat racing slides. Neptune Island also includes the existing Piratesville Splashpad. Cabana rentals, party huts, and food trucks assist in making the new waterpark a celebrated destination for residents and visitors from throughout the region.

Explore Hartsville with Tales on the Town

Tales on the Town is a downtown scavenger hunt celebrating Hartsville’s history, culture and economic development, made of 14 red fox sculptures spread throughout downtown.

Can you find them all? Learn more about this fun project and find location hints at our Tales on the Town. Brochures with hints on the fox locations may also be found at The Key, Hartsville’s Visitors Center, 106 E Carolina Ave, or at City Hall, 100 E Carolina Ave, in the alcove entrance on the Carolina Avenue side.

Tales on the Town

Discover local history at the Hartsville Museum

Located in Hartsville’s historic downtown Post Office, the Hartsville Museum allows children to explore the rich history of Hartsville’s people, industry, and culture and discover what makes the community so important to the region and to South Carolina.

The museum has permanent and rotating exhibits and includes everything from the first car in Hartsville to a historic model railroad, player piano, Native American exhibit and refurbished grandfather clock.

Located at 222 N 5th St, the Hartsville Museum is open Mondays to Saturdays and has no admission charge. Learn more at the Museum’s website.

Hartsville Museum

Explore nature at Kalmia Gardens

Among the most beautiful and iconic sites in Hartsville, Kalmia Gardens includes the historic Thomas Hart House as well as a boardwalk which allows visitors to see the cypress swamp of Black Creek and the tall bluff overlooking it. At Kalmia, visitors can learn more about Hartsville’s unique plant and animal life as well as its waterways.

Kalmia Gardens

Learn Hartsville’s agricultural heritage at Coker Farms National Historic Landmark

A very important piece of Hartsville’s history located at 1257 S 4th St, Coker Farms National Historic Landmark was the site of Coker’s Pedigreed Seed Company, a farm established in 1914 to develop better varieties of crop seed and which established the nation’s first commercial cotton breeding program.

The dairy barn at the landmark, a replica of the original, is home to a variety of exhibits explaining the company’s major impact on agriculture in the United States.

Coker Farms

Special Events

See a movie at Screen on the Green

The Screen on the Green free outdoor movie series takes place every summer in downtown Hartsville’s Burry Park, located on Cargill Way.

The movies are projected onto a massive, 25-foot inflatable screen, and moviegoers are invited to bring out chairs, blankets, drinks, and snacks. Movie showings begin after dusk, usually between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Visit our events calendar to see the latest movie dates.

Go shopping at the Hartsville Farmers Market

Taking place monthly between April and December on East Carolina Avenue, the Hartsville Farmers’ Market, organized by Main Street Hartsville, includes food vendors, a farmer’s market, crafts and gifts. Visit our events calendar to see upcoming dates.

Celebrate the Holidays with Hartsville’s Christmas Events

The Hartsville Christmas Parade is the focal point of the city’s rich history of community Christmas events, bringing together dozens of churches, businesses, schools and civic groups. Favorites at the parade include marching bands, Shriners stunt cars and of course Santa Claus’ appearance at the parade’s end. An authentic hometown holiday parade and long-running Hartsville tradition, this annual December celebration is held on the second Saturday in December, and features Santa Claus, bands, classic cars and Christmas floats highlighting a variety of local organizations.

On the third Thursday in November, downtown Hartsville comes alive with holiday cheer with the Downtown Holiday Open House and Mayor’s Tree Lighting hosted by the City of Hartsville in partnership with Main Street Hartsville! Enjoy extended shopping hours at local retailers for Downtown Holiday Open House, warm up with hot chocolate and cookies, grab a picture with Santa Claus, and end the night lighting up our city with the Mayor’s Tree Lighting. Horse-drawn carriage rides and a chance of real snow make this an event you won’t want to miss. Get your Christmas shopping done early, or take home something special for yourself- we won’t judge!

Join in with one of pride park’s concerts at gospel in the park

Taking place monthly from May to October in Pride Park, 630 S 6th St, Gospel in the Park is a privately organized event drawing crowds of hundreds to enjoy free live music and fellowship. The events include devotional services provided by local pastors as well as a variety of musical performers, emcees, and dancers. The events generally take place the second Sunday of the month from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Gospel in the Park

Ways to get involved

Play a sport or join a youth program at Byerly Park

Byerly Park has plenty of organized sports and classes available to children, ranging from baseball, softball, and t-ball to gymnastics, basketball, soccer, football, cheer, and more. Byerly Park also offers summer art camps and organizes special events throughout the year. For more information including current schedules and signups, contact 843.339.2878.

Byerly Park

Paint a Hartsville fire hydrant

Leave your creative mark on Hartsville and adopt a fire hydrant to paint with your own design. The Paint a Fire Hydrant program has been a very fun program for parents and children and has allowed for more colorful fire hydrants all around downtown. For more information, contact the Hartsville Fire Department at 843.383.3000 or take a look at the application.

Participate in special programs at the Hartsville Memorial Library

The largest branch of the Darlington County Library System is home to an extensive section of children’s media but also offers the community a wide array of activities for children and young adults.

The library provides story times and family movie showings for young people, as well as regular summer reading programs tailored for different age groups, as well as an assortment of school readiness programs. Opportunities at the library for teenagers include regular video game sessions.

For schedule information on current programs, visit the Hartsville Memorial Library’s website.

The library is located at 147 W College Ave and is open, except for holidays, Monday-Thursday 9a-8p, Friday from 9a-5p, Sa from 10a-2p, and Sunday from 2p-5p.

Hartsville Memorial Library

Take a class at the Black Creek Arts Center

As part of Black Creek Arts Council’s mission of promoting arts education and programming in Darlington County, it offers regular classes and workshops including special summer art courses for children covering different media such as painting, pottery and music. For more information, visit Black Creek Arts Council’s website or call 843.332.6234.

Black Creek Arts Center

This post was originally published in June 2017 and was updated in July 2018.