Springtime in Aiken!
OK… we know spring is technically still a few weeks away, but it’s easy to get excited about the start of such a spectacular time in Aiken. The weather is glorious, the trees and flowers are in bloom, and there are lots of fun, exciting things to do.
Check out Southern Living’s article on Springtime in Aiken…we’re not the only ones who love it!
Here are some options to consider putting on your calendar. Enjoy, and leave your comments about your favorite things to do in spring in Aiken!
Joye in Aiken – March 4-10, 2017
The 9th annual Joye in Aiken Performing Arts Festival and Education Outreach Program brings the world’s finest young musicians, actors and dancers to the charming, historic city of Aiken. Students, faculty and alumni of Juilliard travel to Aiken every March for this community-wide event. The outreach program offers local students an opportunity to attend classes and performances by this talented group. Performances are also available to the public. Joye in Aiken, founded in 2009 under the name Juilliard in Aiken, is a non-profit organization dedicated to making the very best in the performing arts available to as many of our citizens as possible, especially students.
To learn more about the program, concert and performance schedule by visiting the super cool Joye in Aiken website.
*Interested in learning more about the history of Joye Cottage in Aiken? Read this fascinating 2016 New York Times article.
Aiken Trials – March 18, 2017
This year marks the 75th running of the Aiken Trials. The Trials began in 1942 as a way to give young horses training in Aiken the opportunity to experience the excitement of live racing. The Aiken Trials has become a time honored tradition as the first leg of Aiken’s Triple Crown events, held annually for three consecutive Saturdays in March. Enjoy a fun filled day with family and friends at the races, with tailgating picnics, tent party, carriage parade and more!
Check out the Aiken Trials website for more information on tickets, parking and how to make the most of your day.
- Gates open at 10 am
- Vendors & Concessions open at 11 am
- Tent party starts at 11 am
- Opening Ceremonies 1 pm
- Carriage Parade 1 pm
- Races start at 2 pm
*Interested in learning more about flat racing in Aiken before the big day? This year’s Breakfast at the Gallops is scheduled on Friday, March 17, 2017. It’s a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with local trainers and horses at the track.
Aiken Steeplechase – March 25, 2017
The tradition of Steeplechasing continues in Aiken with the 51st Renewal of the Aiken Spring Steeplechase. Join the fun, experience the thrill of horses galloping by at high speeds, brushing through jumps and racing for the finish at the Aiken Horse Park on Saturday, March 25. Tailgate, picnic, visit with friends and look for equestrian themed gifts, clothing, artwork at the Village of Shops…it’s a blast for the whole family!
Visit the Aiken Steeplechase site for more information on the races, ticket options, Guarantor Tent and the Spring Gala on Friday night!
- 9:00 AM: Gates Open
- 10:00 AM: Village of Shops Open
- 11:00 AM: Guarantor Tent Party Starts
- 11:15 AM: Easter Bunny Photo Op and Easter Egg Hunt
- 1:00 PM: First Race
- 1:15 PM: Carriage Parade
Story Time in the Gardens – March thru May
Story Time in the Gardens, a cherished reading program, begins its spring season Tuesday, March 7th at 4:00 pm. Held at Hopelands Gardens on the Sand Patio, located near the fountains, Story Time is free to attend. Snacks and drinks are welcome. Parents may want to bring a lawn chair or blanket. A free book will be given to each family in attendance at each reading. Adults should accompany children to the program.
Story Time in the Gardens is held each Tuesday afternoon, March through May, at 4:00 p.m.
For more information, please visit the City of Aiken’s website.
The Hitchcock Woods – Year Round
The Hitchcock Woods is one of the most extraordinary features in Aiken, SC. If you’ve never been into the Woods before, spring is the time to go! With over 2100 acres of land and 65 miles of trails, it’s easy to plan a hike to last 30 minutes, or 3 hours, depending on your fitness level. Simply pick up a map at one of the many entrances around the Woods, or visit the Hitchcock Woods website to download a map, or to find parking directions. You are likely to encounter horses on your trek, so when you do, please make sure to step aside, and let them pass. Horses always have the right of way. Well behaved dogs are welcome, preferably on a leash.
Hitchcock Woods is open to the public, on horseback or on foot, from dawn to dusk 365 days a year. Admission is free of charge, thanks to donor support.