What a busy couple of weeks it’s been! It’s always a bit of a challenge getting back on task after the excitement of the Iris Festival, but this was one of the best ones I can remember. We had a steady stream of visitors from more than fifteen states, the weather cooperated, and everyone seemed to have a great time. Thanks so much to those of you who came out and supported the event, and also to those who came in the weeks before and after the festival to enjoy Sumter’s famous iris gardens.
Now…back to normal. So, what’s new? Well, for one thing, summer is here. It won’t be official until the summer solstice on June 21, but since school is out, that’s when most people mark the beginning of the new season.
For many parents, grandparents and other caretakers, the season is marked not so much by the calendar, but by the call that almost every adult dreads… “I’M BOOORED!” Fear not, for Sumter has a host of things for kids to do during the summer months! Some examples:
The City of Sumter will host a Kids’ Movie Series, held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Sumter Opera House (21 North Main Street). This summer’s movies are:
- Smurfs (June 5 and 7)
- Open Season (June 12 and 14)
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid (June 19 and 21)
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 (June 26 and 28)
- MegaMind (July 10 and 12)
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins (July 17 and 19)
- Puss in Boots (July 24 and 26)
- Dolphin Tale (July 31 ONLY)
- Monsters vs. Aliens (August 7 and 9)
- The Muppets (August 14 and 16)
With admission of only $1 per person, popcorn and bottled water for sale, it’s a great way to get out of the house and into the cool. Tuesday showings are at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; Thursday showings are at 10 a.m.
The Opera House isn’t the only place to see a family movie—following great first season last year, the City of Sumter Aquatics Center is pleased to present “Summer Splash-In” movies again this year. For $2 per child (ages 12 and under) and $3 each for adults, families can enjoy a movie in the open air…AND the spray fountain and twister slide at the pool! This year’s series:
- Rango (June 3)
- Fantastic Mr. Fox (June 10)
- HOP (June 17)
- G-Force (June 24)
- Rio (July 1)
- Meet the Robinsons (July 8)
- Yogi Bear (July 15)
- Fantasia (July 22)
- The Incredibles (July 29)
- Mars Needs Moms (August 5)
- Turtle and the Incredible Journey (August 12)
Doors open at 8 p.m., with the movie starting at 8:30. Please remember that proper attire is required to use the pool. For more info, click here. Swim camps, lifeguard training and more mean that the Aquatics Center will be splashing away all summer long!
There’s plenty to do during the day, too. In addition to Sumter’s three spray parks (located at Crosswell, North Hope and South Sumter Parks), open from dawn to dusk and with free admission, you can take advantage of opportunities to engage young minds and hands with fun and educational activities.
The Sumter County Gallery of Art will host Summer Art Camps during the months of July and August. Pottery, rocket building, African masks, soft sculpture, drawing…the chances to get creative are varied and fantastic. For enrollment and pricing information, please call (803) 775-0543.
Not to be outdone, the Sumter County Library is hosting a Summer Reading Series, including great books and great performances such as “Zelnik the Magician,” movies and crafts. For more info, please call (803) 773-7273 or visit online here. The Sumter County Museum will also host Children’s Wednesdays at the Museum—call (803) 775-0908 or check out their website for details. Another good resource to try is the Sumter County Recreation Department (phone 436-2248). And of course, the Sumter Family YMCA and your preferred house of worship have summer programs to offer, too!
Now I’m getting a bit long-winded, so this is a good place to stop before you, the reader, get booored. But for more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Swan Lake Visitors Center (M-F, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at (803) 436-2640 or toll-free 1-800-688-4748, or check out the Community Events Calendar. Since new things are being added all the time, this might also be a good time to “like” our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SumterSC.
“I’m bored?” Please! See you this summer!