If you’ve never been to Greenwood beyond passing through, take a day and explore this small town located between Greenville and Columbia. I recommend taking the kids on the weekend so you can enjoy a movie at one of South Carolina’s only drive-in theaters.
Greenwood is approximately an hour and 15-minute drive from Greenville. Start out after lunch and begin your journey at Emerald Farm, a working dairy farm set upon 75 acres located at 409 Emerald Farm Road. With free admission and parking, the farm offers families plenty of chances to experience a simpler way of life, and you can easily spend two or more hours here exploring. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, it features a variety of farm animals, including goats, llamas, ducks, geese, honey bees and peacocks; a handful of different shops, such as a health food store, soap factory and hobby shop; and herb gardens you can stroll through. Kids will love hopping on board the Emerald Farm Express, a miniature train that provides tours for $2.75 per person. Rides take you around the farm and to a village in the woods, through tunnels and more. There’s also a model train on exhibit in the farm’s clubhouse. If you bring snacks, you can have a picnic in the farm’s pavilion by the pond. Guided tours are also available by appointment. Simply call 864-223-2247 or visit www.emeraldfarm.com for more information.
Depending on which day you go and how much time you spend at the farm, you might also have time to head over to the Museum & Railroad Historical Center, located on Main Street in Greenwood. The railroad center is only open on Saturdays May through September, but the museum is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays year round. The railroad center features antique train cars which you can explore, while the museum is home to three floors of hands-on exhibits about history, natural history and science. The museum has free admission. For more details, visit www.emeraldtriangle.us.
You can grab dinner at a variety of restaurants along Main Street, but I recommend you head early to the 25 Drive In Theatre, where one price allows you to see all the movies playing on one of three outdoor screens Fridays through Sundays year round — regardless of weather. Admission was $5 per person when my party saw three animated films in September, but that price is always subject to change. Movies start at various times, depending on the season and daylight, but they tend to begin around 7:30 p.m. Gates open an hour or so before movies start. The theatre features concessions that includes patio dining and a full menu of hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue, salads, chicken strips, nachos, popcorn and more. Expect a long line — food is cooked fresh per order — but it’s worth it. We had cheeseburgers, fries, nachos and corn nuggets, all of which were pretty good. Some screens have playground equipment to keep kids entertained before the movie (no playing is allowed on the equipment during the show), and you’ll want to get there early to get a good viewing spot. Sunday is the least crowded day, but always bring cash. The box office accepts cash only, and the concessions stand charges $1 fee for cards. Overall, it’s a fun experience, especially if you’ve never been to a drive-in theater before. For showtimes and more information, call 864-942-9871 or visit www.25drivein.com. The theater is located at 3109 Highway 25 South.
Daytrip tip: Audio comes through your car’s radio at the drive-in theater. Bring a battery-powered radio so you don’t run down the battery in your car. We needed a battery jump, which the office was happy to give — and does frequently, according to the nice young man who helped us out.