• Special Events

    playcard Playcard’s special events are designed to build community partnerships between people who share the love for the environment, who have helped build and sustain this community-based Environmental Education Center. Playcard was founded by Mr. James P. Blanton in 1987 as an outgrowth and educational branch of the Horry County Conservation Foundation and Horry County Schools.

    Astronomy Meteor Shower Night - Friday, December 12, 2019

    Time: 6:00 p.m.
    Public invited, admission is FREE! 
    Star parties cover a variety of topics including, constellations, moon phases, meteorites, astro-photography, beginning, and advanced studies in astronomy.  Fun for the whole family.  Please bring a folding chair, blanket, binoculars/telescope, or just yourself.  Playcard will provide the telescopes for the evening but definitely bring your own if you have one to see how to enjoy the night sky yourself.  We have the darkest skies anywhere in the region. 

    SwampFest - Saturday, November 2, 2019

    Date: First Saturday in November every year.
    Time: 10:00am – 3:00pm. Exhibit set-up time before 9:30am.
    Public invited, admission is FREE!
    Many different activities from natural history, biology, pioneer history, music, arts, crafts, local merchants, games, storytelling, and lots of tasty outdoor-themed food and drink.

    Bio-Blitz - Saturday, April 25, 2020 Cancelled 

    Update:  Due to the COVID-19 CDC action notice, Bio-blitz has been cancelled as of March 16, 2020.

    Bio-Blitz is a naturalist's dream! Come explore all that nature has to offer and learn to classify any species found with assistance from local naturalists, CCU Biology Professors, Playcard Staff, and HCS biology research teams.
    Public invited, admission is FREE!

    Baby Animal Day - Friday, April 3, 2020 Cancelled

    Update: Due to the COVID-19 CDC action notice, Baby Animal Day has been cancelled as of March 16, 2020.

    Target Audience: Pre-k – 1st-grade school students.
    Baby Animal Day features hundreds of volunteers and focuses on many topics including baby animals, natural history, pioneers, Native American arts and crafts, forestry, fishing, recycling, turtle patrols, reptiles alive, and marine science.
    Cost: $3 per child Playcard impact fee, no charge for chaperones.
    Call and/or e-mail Ben Abercrombie (843-756-1277) to register your class.

    Free Public Mini-events and Naturalist Workshops

    (Please check the event calendar below or our Facebook page for dates and times. This schedule is due to change due to weather and other unforeseen circumstances.) 

    Special Note:  Volunteers are always needed and welcome to educate the public.  If you have a special skill feel free to be a part of the Playcard Environmental Education community to share it with others.  Skills needed include any outdoor, conservation, or nature-related field, skill, hobby, or activity.  We would love to have your support!  These events are free workshops for the community by the community.  If you have ever wanted to join a free and vibrant outdoor education community this is your opportunity.  No education experience necessary to be a part of this program.  At Playcard we encourage community support and engagement and encourage novices as well as experts to participate in our collaborative events.  We need more nature outdoor role models in the world.  Have fun making a difference!

    Astronomy Nights and Star Parties - Star parties cover a variety of topics including, constellations, moon phases, meteorites, astro-photography, beginning, and advanced studies in astronomy.  Fun for the whole family.  Please bring a folding chair, blanket, binoculars/telescope, or just yourself.  Playcard will provide the telescopes for the evening but definitely bring your own if you have one to see how to enjoy the night sky yourself.  We have the darkest skies anywhere in the region. 

    Birding Explorations- Come experience a pastime that everyone can enjoy.  Bird explorations include information and networking with local naturalists to learn about our avian friends.  We explore the habitats of Playcard Environmental Education Center to learn the distinguishing characteristics of our local species and show you how to become a better birder.  From beginner to advanced this is a great activity and fun for the whole family.  Bring your binoculars, bird guides, or just yourself to these adventures.

    Fishing Excursions-  Fishing is one of the most amazing ways to connect to nature to learn about the outdoors and you can come out to fish the ponds of Playcard on these open house experiences.  Learn about fish, techniques, casting, fly-tying, bait and tackle, and get to fish for local species of bass, bream, catfish, and bowfin.  Fun for the whole family.  Bring your own rod and reel or we have some available for you to use while on site.  Get hooked on fishing at Playcard!

    Primitive Survival Workshops- Learn techniques of primitive survival such as fire craft, signaling, shelter building, food acquisition, edible plants, tracking, water acquisition, and land navigation during these interesting programs designed to help you survive in a crisis.  Learn the philosophy and techniques behind some of the most resilient people on earth in this engaging hands-on workshop.  Bring the whole family out to enjoy our survival series.  Share your techniques with the group to forward our knowledge.

    "Mushroom Madness"-  Join local fungi forager Karen Hilbourn on explorations to find fungi in the forest and see for yourself how to locate and identify species that are venomous and those that are useful.  Learn about fungi conservation and fungi gardening.  Make your own edible fungi garden in a log and see all of the wonderful fungi resources available in our area.  Super interesting workshops and fun for the whole family!

    Nature Photography Workshops and Digital Naturalism- Come and hone your skills on one of the most engaging outdoor hobbies.  Nature photography and digital naturalism offer the ability to focus on and capture beautiful images of the natural world that you can keep for a lifetime.  The free iNaturalist app is a powerful augmented reality program that can identify and map most species photographed to turn the world into your natural wonderland.  Please download the free iNaturalist app (optional) prior to the event for your education and enjoyment.  Anyone who has a camera or smart device can become a great nature photographer.  Share your techniques and experiences with other nature photographers from our area in this interesting workshop.  This workshop is intended for novice through advanced users.  Cell phone photography and species identification are included in the workshop as well as DSLR, point-and-shoot, mirrorless, and tripod techniques.  Day, as well as night photography techniques and local hotspots, are covered.  Fun for the whole family!