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You Are Invited to The Second Annual Biggest Birthday Party Bash in Greenville

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Happy Birthday! Kidding Around is turning 11 this year and we are inviting you to celebrate with us and our 2024 KABOOM winners.

Don’t miss our Black Friday promotional! We have a limited number of tickets available for $7/person. This is our lowest price that we will offer. Last year’s event sold out. You don’t want to miss out.


What is the Biggest Birthday Party Bash in Greenville?

Our annual birthday party celebrates Kidding Around, our KABOOM winners and Kidding Around partners, and every family that follows Kidding Around!

Your ticket includes 2 hours of fun in The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, fun activities with our KABOOM winners, giveaways with our KABOOM winners, and birthday surprises!

What to expect:

  • Fun birthday themed party where every kid gets to be the birthday kid for the night!
  • 2 hours of play in the many exhibits of the museum
  • Birthday Gifts (AKA door prizes) for lucky winners
  • Birthday games & favors from our many partners
  • A chance to meet our KABOOM 2024 winners in person and learn about their offerings
  • Meet and get your photo with guests from Once Upon a Dream Parties including Rapunzel, Belle, Elsa, & Olaf!
  • Many fun activities and more that will be announced over the coming months. Last year’s event included a cupcake decorating station, princesses, birthday crown craft and more!

Cost: $10/person

All children must be accompanied by an adult. Children under 2 are free but must have a ticket.


Limited number of tickets are for sale at the discounted price of $7/person

KABOOM Winners that will be at our event:

Visit each of our winners for chances to win prizes, get party favors, and play games! This list will be updated in January when our winners are announced.

Main Floor

Upper Floor

Bottom Floor

10 Practical Gifts that Your Kids Will Love

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Trying to find some practical gifts the kids will love? If your kids are like my kids, they not only already have plenty of toys, stuffed animals, and gadgets but they also have a whole family of grandparents, aunts, and uncles who eagerly shower them with cool gifts this time of year. In fact, usually the gifts from relatives way outshine the gifts that my husband and I buy for the kids ourselves. And, that’s fine.

So, what are some gifts for kids that aren’t toys?

Trying to figure out what to buy though that’s awesome but yet not just adding to the pile is a bit tricky, so I’ve come up with this list of ideas that I plan to use to ensure that my kids’ gifts are packed with essential and practical items without my kids even knowing it.

This post contains affiliate links including Amazon affiliate links.

Practical Gifts for kids

Towels that Double As Costumes

Did you know that hooded towels are sold for “big kids”? And, they come in every type of character that you could imagine. I’m definitely stocking up on a new towel for both of my kids this Christmas. We already have this adorable rainbow unicorn towel as well as a superhero towel that I purchased from Kohl’s.

This Christmas I’m eyeing this Minion towel and this Elsa towel to round out our collection. Though I might just get this Yoda towel instead because it’s so cute.

And Pajamas that Double As Costumes

My little girl wears her Elsa nightgown that I purchased last year for her all the time, and I like that it’s sturdy enough to handle washing and wear-and-tear unlike most dress-up clothes. It’s also softer. This year’s version is a little different than the one I purchased and it’s even cuter!

I’m sure that it won’t ever be as popular as Elsa but I think I might get my kid this Anna nightgown this year to go with her Elsa one! Or I might just get her a long sleeve version of Elsa’s dress.

Books that Your Kids Won’t Put Down

We received two Activity Books (The Big Pink Activity Book & The Big Blue Activity Book) for review purposes earlier this year, and I can’t say enough good things about them. They literally entertained my kids for months, no small feat. The only change I would make is I would cut out the sticker pages in the back if I were to buy the books over to make accessing the stickers easier.

If your kid is an early reader, be sure to sneak some Elephant & Piggie Books into the mix. These books are so much fun that even reluctant readers enjoy giving them a try.

I also picked up The Book With No Pictures last year for Christmas and it’s still requested even now.

The Coolest Toothbrush on the Market

I received this Darth Vadar Firefly toothbrush that looks like a lightsaber at a recent blogging conference. I love that it has a timer (my kids really need that) and my kids love brushing their teeth with it. It’s not nearly as cool as the Darth Vadar toothbrush but there’s also a Hello Kitty toothbrush that I was given for my little girl. I have a feeling though that there are many little girls who would totally bypass the Hello Kitty to have a lightsaber toothbrush.

Experience Gifts

I absolutely love experience gift ideas. Not only does the gift not take up space (or collect dust) but also you can purchase an experience that encourages family time together. Some of my favorite choices for children are local memberships to museums, zoos, or science centers.

Another idea is purchasing tickets to a local event or sport. If you are on a tight budget this Christmas, don’t underestimate either the value of just promising to take your kids on an inexpensive adventure locally whether it’s park hopping on a Saturday or a low-budget outing like an ice-cream date.

Experience gift ideas for Greenville, South Carolina

You can read my full list of Experience Gifts Unique to Greenville here.

Also, I’ve heard many moms talk about how much they love Kiwi Crate’s monthly craft box subscription.

Educational Computer Games

While I’m definitely serious about limiting screen time, I do like having a couple of quality online programs that the kids can play on those crazy days and during school vacations. Two of my personal favorites are:

Starfall (perfect for preschoolers) – You can play the base level of Starfall for free, but the premium version is not very expensive and includes quite a bit more content.

Reading Eggs – This program is more expensive but it’s packed with developmentally appropriate lessons in both reading and math that are combined with incentives. My kids beg to play it!

Board Games

Board games are awesome and kids love them. I’ve purchased educational games for my kids to help them with specific skills but really almost every game has a component that will help your child educationally whether it’s logic, numbers, or language.

Richard Scarry’s Busy Town – This game is good for kids who like looking and searching for objects and don’t mind a slower pace. One great feature is that it’s a cooperative game that takes out the competitive edge for kids too small to understand winning and losing.

Cool Umbrellas

My kids both have cool umbrellas that we found at the Mast General Store. I found some similar items on Amazon: Shark Umbrella,

Dragon Umbrella, and this Princess Umbrella (one of the umbrellas we own)

With Rainboots to Match

I think that rain boots are one of the most practical yet fun gifts that you can give your kids. My kids wear their rain boots for pretend play, snow days, to puddle stomp, and just for fun. We always get compliments on the fun designs.

We have a dinosaur boot set very similar to this one and a butterfly set similar to this one.

Educational Toys

I’m eyeing this set of Snap Circuits for my older kid who loves science.

Educational Gifts for kids, and educational gifts for Christmas

If you’re looking for more science ideas, see our huge list of Educational Gift Ideas.

More Practical Gift Ideas

  • Piggy bank: Teach them to save with a cute piggy bank. My son received a cute monkey bank when he was very young and it has remained a favorite (and useful) treasure.
  • Digital camera: If your kids don’t carry a cell phone in their pocket (and mine don’t either!) they might enjoy their own camera for documenting all their adventures.
  • Musical instruments: Learn a new skill! This can be as simple as a recorder and a book or as complicated as a trumpet and a promise of lessons in the new year.
  • Practical Stocking Stuffers: These are big in my house. We do fun socks, new hair ties, a hair brush, sometimes favorite snacks, chapstick, or even character-branded teas or mugs. Like these Star Wars cups from The Republic of Tea.

I would love to hear your suggestions for practical gifts this Christmas! Let me know in the comments.

Don’t miss our list of 75+ Local Gift Ideas for Greenville and our Holiday Guide with over 75 Things to Do Over the Holidays!

Shop Local: The Premiere Guide to Shopping in Greenville, SC

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Looking for local places for shopping in Greenville, SC? While the holiday season is the prime shopping season, it’s not enough just to focus on shopping locally. We love to support our local businesses all year because special occasions happen every month – birthdays, anniversaries, and other holidays. But, how in the world do you sort through the many local businesses to find that perfect gift?  We have put together for you this list of over 75 local businesses, many of them being gift shops Greenville, SC residents love. Have fun and shop locally!

Places to shop in Greenville, South Carolina for gifts

Fabulous Local Shopping in Greenville, SC & The Upstate

Locally-Owned Bookshops Near Greenville, SC: Try these locally-owned bookstores when you want to add to your home library or are looking for a great gift idea.

Great Local Plant Shops Near Greenville, SC: Looking for house plants? Plants make great gifts for the hard-to-buy-for person on your list or even for yourself!

Local Shops in Spartanburg, SC: Want to shop locally in Spartanburg, SC? Here’s a list of great locally-owned shops from clothing and books to plants and soaps.

Local Candy Stores in the Upstate: Shop local and fill those stockings with sweet treats and candy.

Locally Owned Toy Stores Around Greenville, SC: Find the cutest new toys and unique games at these locally owned toy stores!

Shelves of books

Holiday Shopping Events Around Greenville, SC

Want to really shop local? Support makers, vendors, and small businesses at a holiday market, vendor fair, or shopping event. There are a lot of options almost every weekend this time of year. Visit this list of Holiday Shopping Events in Upstate, SC!

Find Unique Ideas From Local Gift Shops: Greenville, SC

Most of these businesses were suggested by readers, a couple of these are advertisers and partners, and a few were submitted for the list by the business owners. Please help us add to our list by adding your favorite place in the comments.

What Type of Gift From a Local Shop Are You Needing?

Gifts for the True Southerner

Under the Carolina Moon – Boutique specializing in Southern items and monogramming. Located at 5424 Calhoun Memorial Highway, Easley, and also has an online store.

Southern Sisters Boutique – Located in Greer, Southern Sisters specializes in women’s clothing, jewelry, accessories, and gift items.

Cottage Grove Gifts – This boutique in Greenville curates a variety of gifts from home decor to kitchen items to candles to purses and everything in between.

Gifts for the HGTV Fan

Verdant Market – Boutique that specializes in painted signs created from wooden pallets. Goods are located inside the Pink Owl in Simpsonville and via the Verdant Market Facebook page.

TR Makers Co – This shop located at 3 S. Main Street in Travelers Rest is packed with locally made artisan products, and also offers an art bar and classes.

Urban Digs – This local boutique (215 Wade Hampton Blvd, Greenville) is just packed with cool home decor and art. Plus there is a play area for the kids. I know that’s a selling point for me if I have to drag my kids out shopping.

Dapper Ink – With the motto “Making the World More Beautiful,” this shop sells unique screenprints and designs.

Urban Petals – This lifestyle boutique in downtown Greer features items curated for the home, gifts, plants, and Grab-N-Go bouquets.

Shoppes on Trade – This boutique in Greer is filled with local vendors, including not just decor but also confections and other gifts. You can also earn free chocolate with a punch card for shopping. Sign me up!

Kate Carlyle – This shop on Augusta Street sells jewelry,  unique home decor, stationery, and more.

The Nested Fig – This “one-of-a-kind” home decor store offers everything you need to put the finishing touches on that room.

Inside Out – Find everything you need for decorating, hostessing, and more (2131 Woodruff Rd, # 2200).

Get the budding artist in your life classes to any one of these Places to Create Art in Greenville.

Commission a one-of-a-kind painting by Greenville native Jennifer Mills of your family or special moment.

Gifts to Pamper

The Butter Bath – I was lucky enough to meet the founder of The Butter Bath Company, and after learning the story behind these natural body and skincare items I’m planning on trying them myself to ward off dry skin this winter. My Pick: The Butter-Up Body Butter.

The soy candles from Greenville Soy Candle Company in downtown Greenville are divine, with scents like Vanilla Lavender and Caribbean Teakwood.

Literally anything from Twin Creeks Lavender (I love, love, love the linen spray) or Elf Leaf Farms (the lavender syrup is divine in coffee).

If you have a vegan in your life (or just someone who wants more natural options) then lipglosses by TT Flair Lip Gloss would make an excellent gift. Plus, you’re supporting local and a young entrepreneur!

Gifts For the Foodie

Cannizzaro Famiglia – Locally-made Italian sauces made with locally sourced fresh vegetables, herbs, and no sugar added. The 3-pack is a perfect hostess gift. Find them at www.cannizzarofamiglia.com.

Reader Carlin says, “Jars of sauce from Cannizzaro sauces would be great hostess gifts and gifts for neighbors! It is made in Charlotte by some awesome people, but you can buy it locally in Greenville at Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery and in Spartanburg at Bellews Market. All three flavors (Marinara, Mushroom Marinara, and Arrabiatta) are amazing!!”

The Chubby Cupcake – Purchase homemade (and delicious) bakery products.

Gourmet Pecan Man – Oh my! I had one of his White Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pies the other day. It was so good that I had to sneak into the kitchen for just a little bit more.

The Ice Man Dips– My husband was in heaven trying out these dips at the Greer Arts & Eats festival, so we bought several as gifts! They offer spice blends to make outstanding dips for parties or marinades.

Split Creek Farm – Once you try Split Creek goat cheese, which has beat out cheeses from France and Italy in international competitions, and their fudge, there’s no going back. They have gift baskets you can order or pick up at the farm in Anderson.

Gift basket from Split Creek Farm
Split Creek Farm gift basket

O-CHA Tea Bar – Offering a wonderfully warm selection of organic/fair trade loose teas, teapots and cups, tea accessories, beauTEAful gift baskets, and gift cards in any amount. 

Due South Coffee – And for the coffee-lover, Due South Coffee has amazing options. Located at Hampton Station in Greenville.

Tandem – Every type of crepe that you can imagine from sweet to savory is made at this Travelers Rest restaurant.

Cosmic Rabbitsprovides a wide tea selection (131 E McBee Avenue).

LaRue Fine Chocolate– Give the gift of delicious, handmade chocolate from this local shop in West Greenville.

Poppington’s Gourmet Popcorn– Popcorn is a holiday tradition in my family, and receiving a big bucket of delicious popcorn covered in caramel will make someone love you forever!

Tickets to the “At the Chef’s Table” Tour, which runs Saturday afternoons. Read our review of At the Chef’s Table here.

Gifts for the Fashionista

Loggerhead Apparel – This local apparel company not only supports American-made and grown clothing but also donates 10% of profits to the conservation and protection of Loggerhead turtles. You can find their merchandise at several local boutiques including Pink Bee, Palmetto Moon, and Mast General Store. They also have a Loggerhead Apparel online store.

Kate Furman Jewelry – Kate Furman’s jewelry collections are works of art, designed through the inspiration of Earth and rivers, and formed as a delicate homage to natural beauty. Find her online or at her studio downtown.

Urban Digs – @AnnesmithSC on Instagram says, “@urbandigs on Wade Hampton near Stone is a favorite of ours, and @loggerheadapparel has a storefront in downtown Simpsonville!”

Indigo Roots Textiles – We’ve featured this handmade clothing before. She makes all sorts of unique and cool clothing and accessories for babies and children.

Lily Noelle offers some lovely jewelry. A couple of years ago I purchased the “Earring of the Month” club for a couple of relatives as a fun way to give them a gift that lasted past Christmas.

Traveling Chic Boutique sells clothing, vintage cowboy boots, jewelry, and more with a selection that’s almost entirely under $100 (122 Main Street, Greenville).

If you know a highly fashionable mom, then they definitely need a gorgeous ring sling from LoveHeld to carry around their baby!

Llyn Strong Fine Art Jewelry has some exceptional pieces of jewelry you can gift someone special!

The oldest retail shop in downtown Greenville, Ayers Leather Shop has fashionista written all over it with their premium leather goods.

Find Unique Gifts for Those Hard to Buy For

Pencil Portraits by Ashley – Ashley Brickner owns Open Art Studios downtown and is an artist herself – a talented one at that, whose exceptional skill lies in pencil portraits. Her most popular ones are those of pets!

Pencil art of dogs
Pencil Portraits by Ashley. Photo courtesy of Ashley Brickner.

Alberta Pottery – Having exhibited pieces from their collections at several Artisphere, the Alberta Pottery team of Jason and Erin Hall are pros are creating beautiful and unique pottery that doubles as art. Their bowls, mugs, plates, and vases are unique and captivating, each one its own creation.

Paw Paw USA– If you have a dog lover, then gift them something for their dog, they will love it!

Skyland Farms– Give the gift of grass-fed, pasture-raised local meats this season! Skyland Farms (Greer, SC) also has a store that sells other local goods.

Nyla Beans– You will find some pretty awesome and unique gifts at Nyla Beans off Pleasantburg Drive in Greenville. Most of their merchandise is hippy and free-spirited, so you can find that unique friend something to help them shine.

Shop for Gifts for the Office

Farquhar & Sons Woodshop– This shop makes beautiful wooden cutting boards and other wood products.

Swamp Rabbit Cafe – Everything is delicious from the Swamp Rabbit Cafe. They also have a great selection of handmade soaps, tea towels, pottery, and other great gift ideas.

Carolina Olive Oil carries gourmet food options which of course includes olive oil. Reader Elizabeth says, “Fabulous Gift Baskets, I’m on my second.”

Find Gifts for the Outdoor Enthusiast

Sunrift Adventures- This store in Travelers Rest calls itself “the unique outdoor shop.” You’ll find all kinds of things for the outdoor adventurer on your list.

Appalachian Outfitters– You can shop online or at their storefront off Halton Road for lots of outdoor equipment.

Calyx Outdoor Sports– Located in Piedmont, this shop has everything you need for the outdoorsy lover, for fishing, hunting, and more!

Shops With Gifts For the Bookworm

There’s pretty much nothing as cozy as a local bookstore. A gift certificate to one would provide more than just a new book but also give that bookworm an excuse to tuck themselves away in the stacks to browse.

M. Judson Books – This bookstore (130 Main Street, Greenville) specializes in literature and is located in the South.

Mr. K’s Used Books – With over 10,000 square feet of inventory, Mr. K’s has a used or new book for everyone on your list.

Books Featuring Greenville, SC

My kids always get a real kick out of reading a book that features Greenville. Here’s a couple of our favorite local books.

Hey Blue! and Oh, Beautiful! are two books written by local author and illustrator Stephanie Morgan. They tell the stories of a rabbit named Blue and his adventures on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. I have read these books and they are excellent choices for your library.

Mice on Main is a classic for our area and you could include a bonus “voucher” for your kids promising to take them downtown to look for the mice.

Goodnight Greenville! follows the familiar pattern of the classic Goodnight Moon but with images and a story that takes place in Greenville. As a bonus, this book’s proceeds go straight into local charity.

Cover of the book Goodnight Greenville

Experience Gift Ideas

Forget the packages and buy a gift that doesn’t take up space or need batteries! The following recommendations came from both our readers and our staff! 

Shops With Local Gifts for Babies & Kids

The More to Explore Store at The Children’s Museum Upstate – Find apparel, educational toys, books, logo gear and much more for all ages at this local museum shop. No admission is required.

The Grey Goose – This local children’s store (17 Conestee Avenue) has been around for 28 years!

Vann and Liv – This Greenville boutique on Augusta Street sells children’s clothes at their store and online. You should check out their new holiday collections. They would make the perfect outfits for photos with Santa.

Boardwalk – Games are really for more than just kids. My husband and I count on this local store (1175 Woods Crossing Road) to help us find new and fun strategy games.

Elephant’s Trunk – A toy store on Augusta that specializes in educational toys (2222 Augusta Street #8).

OP Taylors – And, of course, we really couldn’t write this list without mentioning OP Taylors on Main Street in Greenville. I know that my kids always beg to go in there when we walk by.

O.P Taylors in Greenville, South Carolina

Gifts for the Crafter

Yarn & Y’all – Located on North Street, this local shop specializes in natural fiber yarns. P.S. You could also purchase a class for a fabulous experience gift.

Services as a Gift

Sometimes a person you love really just needs a break. Purchasing a service to free up their time is the perfect way to do that.

Cuddly-Critters – This locally based pet-sitting service would make the perfect spot to get a gift card to for a local pet owner.

McClain Landscaping was recommended by our readers as a great yard-service company.

Simply Organized in Greenville has been a favorite of our readers.

Surprise a teen who wants to get that license with a set of lessons from Auto Safe Driving School.

The Garage Authority – Surprise your spouse with a transformed garage or basement space for Christmas! Enjoy a coated floor and get your cars inside for the cold winter! 

Where is your favorite place to shop locally? Let us know in the comments!

Celebrate the Season With Your Family: Holiday Day Trips Near Upstate, SC

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Searching for “Christmas day trips near me”? Or maybe you’re interested in taking a trip out of Greenville to enjoy the holiday spirit? There are a bunch of places you can head for the weekend or just the day to enjoy some holiday fun away from the Upstate.

Check out our list of popular destinations for day trips during the holiday season. From train rides to giant light displays and towns all decked out for Christmas, there are some fantastic ideas on this list!

Christmas Day Trips from Greenville


30+ Best Christmas Towns in the South for a Festive Holiday Season

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Are you looking for the best Christmas towns in the South to visit over the holidays? Southern states are loaded with festive celebrations and unique holiday traditions from the mountains and foothills to coastal beach town celebrations. We gathered an awesome list of over 20 festive Christmas towns in South Carolina. But, we didn’t stop there! North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee also have some amazing towns for Christmas celebrations. Many include everything from horse carriage rides and traditional downtowns to historic Christmas home tours.

Celebrate the holiday season at any of these southern Christmas towns. While you’ll rarely find a white Christmas here in the South, that doesn’t mean you can’t strap on those ice skates and head into a Southern winter wonderland.

Fill up on holiday spirit with light displays, Christmas carols, and a tree lighting ceremony. Now is the perfect time of year for a small-town Christmas or a giant city celebration with twinkling lights. Get that Christmas spirit bubbling at one of these southern Christmas towns.

Holiday and Christmas day trips

Looking for a short trip?

Make the season even more memorable with a holiday day trip to one of these towns!


Santa Sightings | Where to Find Santa Near Greenville, SC

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Are you searching for “places to see Santa near me”? Or hoping to run into Santa near Greenville, SC this season? We are tracking his sleigh and reindeer to be sure that you get the inside scoop on where Santa will be visiting this Christmas in Greenville and Spartanburg! This list includes everything from free events to professional photos and even a spot where you can see Santa climb a mountain. Did we miss anything? Let us know at [email protected].

While we do our best to offer accurate information, please check with these venues and organizations before visitingPlease help keep Kidding Around Greenville free by not copying and reproducing this content without permission.

See Santa, Greenville, SC

Stay tuned for even more opportunities to see Santa in 2023! We’ll be updating this list throughout the season!

Santa on a firetruck in Greenville SC and Spartanburg, SC

Santa’s visiting neighborhoods this year!

Santa’s Firetruck Schedule

Find Santa Near Greenville, SC and Spartanburg

Kringle Holiday Village is back for its 3rd year at Fluor Field and it’s bigger and better than ever! A weekend of holiday fun, this event has something for everyone – visits with Santa, arts and crafts, balloon art, face painting, magic, inflatable games and rides on the field, and new to this year’s event, a carousel! Holiday market shopping, live music and entertainment and delicious food and drink as well! Tickets are just $12 each!

Places to Get Professional Photos with Santa

Santa at Haywood Mall Make a reservation now to see Santa beginning November 10th, 2023. You will need to book and pay for your Santa Magic photo experience in advance. Packages start at $39.99.

Santa at Westgate Mall Visit Santa starting November 17th, 2023 at Westgate Mall. Reservations are highly recommended, though walk-ups will be accepted if there is room.

Santa at Cabela’s 2023 Reservations are now open. Santa arrives on November 4th, and photos with Santa begin November 5th, 2023. Reserve your time slot in advance to visit with Santa at Cabela’s and receive a free 4×6 photo with Santa. Here’s our Kidding Around Mom Review of Visiting Santa at Cabela’s.

Here’s what a visit to Santa at Bass Pro Shops looks like:

Santa at Hidden Pasture Farm’s Yuletide Unicorn Festival: Weekends November 17th through December 23rd, 2023 from 11 am until 9 pm see Santa for visits and pictures. Santa pictures are free to take. Tickets to the festival are $18 each for those 18+, $14 each for those ages 3-17, and babies 2 and under are free.

Holiday Hop & Tree Lighting (November 25th, 2023) Tree Lighting, Christmas kids craft station, stories with Mrs. Claus, FREE professional photos with Santa (available for download after the event) all on Main Street in Travelers Rest, SC.

Greenville Christmas Market at Grand Bohemian Lodge (Select dates with Santa are November 24th, 2023 – December 30th, 2023) Meet and greet with Santa on select dates during the Greenville Christmas Market at the Grand Bohemian Lodge in Downtown Greenville. Hours vary.

Dine with Santa

December 2nd, 2023: Greer’s Breakfast With Santa, Tickets go on sale November 6th and will sell out quickly. Purchase a ticket on November 6th, 2023 at 7:00 pm for online (click on programs/classes) or by phone at 864.968.7008. Maximum of 8 people per table.

December 10th, 2023: Santa Brunch at Avenue. There are three times to choose from, 10:30 am, 12:15 pm, and 1:30 pm. Tickets are $0 – $49, and can be purchased ahead of time.

Celebrate the holidays with Santa near Greenville, SC

Climb With Santa

Here’s a unique Santa visit! Head to Climb@Blue Ridge on Saturday, December 16th, 2023 from 12 pm to 2 pm if you want to go climbing with Santa. The elves will be on hand to belay kids on their climb up to visit with Santa and share their Christmas wishes.

Upstate Events Where Santa Is On the Guest List


fri01dec5:00 pmfri7:00 pmSanta at Clare’s Creamery - OverbrookClare's Creamery, 1635 East North Street5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

fri01dec6:00 pmfri11:50 pmLight Up LymanLyman Event Center at Pacific Place, 59 Groce Road6:00 pm - 11:50 pm

sat02dec10:00 amsat12:00 pmBreakfast with Santa @ 5 Point Church5 Point Church, 1039 South Pendleton Street10:00 am - 12:00 pm

sat02dec10:00 amsat12:00 pmBreakfast with Santa5 Point Church, 1039 South Pendleton Street10:00 am - 12:00 pm

sat02dec10:00 amsat3:00 pmPictures with Santa, the Grinch, and Jingle ElfHobo Hollar Farms, 124 Old Converse Road10:00 am - 3:00 pm

sat02dec11:00 amsat4:00 pmGreenville Christmas Family Fun DayCelebrate Christmas. Make a big difference! *Location Details In Event Description, Location in the event description 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

sat02dec12:00 pmsat2:00 pmMiracle on Staunton Bridge RdMiracle Event at Staunton Bridge RdStaunton Bridge Community Center, 165 Staunton Bridge Road, Greenville12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

sat02dec1:00 pmsat5:00 pmSANTA SATURDAYS at Miracle @ SouthernsideRAIN OR SHINE!!!!! Southernside Brewing Co., 25 Delano Drive Unit D, Greenville1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

sat02dec5:00 pmsat7:00 pmCookies & Cocoa with SantaTyger River Fire Department, 355 Locust Street5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

sat02dec5:00 pmsat7:00 pmSanta at Clare's Creamery - Parkins MillClare's Creamery, 1635 East North Street5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

sat02dec8:00 pmsat8:00 pmUpstate Santa Experience*Location details in description8:00 pm - 8:00 pm

tue05dec5:00 pmtue8:00 pmWinter WonderlandFree Photos with Santa!The Shops at Greenridge, 1125 woodruff road, greenville5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

tue05dec5:30 pmtue7:30 pmSanta @ Chick-fil-A - TaylorsChick-fil-A - Taylors, 2801 Wade Hampton Boulevard5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

tue05dec6:00 pmtue8:00 pmGingerbread JamboreeEdward R Driggers City Of Greer Center for the Arts, 804 Trade Street, Greer SC6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

thu07dec4:00 pmthu7:00 pmHoliday WhobilationUnder the Carolina Moon, 5424 Calhoun Memorial Highway4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

thu07dec5:30 pmthu8:00 pmAID-L Sensory SantaJoin us for a free inclusive eventGrace Church- Pelham, 2801 Pelham Road, Greenville5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

fri08dec3:00 pmfri8:00 pmChristmas at BridgeWay*Location details in description3:00 pm - 8:00 pm

fri08dec4:00 pmfri7:00 pmHarrison ~ Johnstone Allstate Agency Winter Wonderland Open HouseHarrison-Johnstone AllState Agency, 6725-A State Park Rd4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

fri08dec6:00 pmfri8:00 pmSanta at Clare's Creamery Overbrook*Location Details In Event Description, Location in the event description 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

sat09dec9:00 amsat5:00 pmTCMU-Spartanburg Presents World WONDERLandTCMU Spartanburg, 130 Magnolia Street9:00 am - 5:00 pm

sat09dec9:00 amsat5:00 pmTCMU-Greenville Presents World WONDERLandTCMU Greenville, 300 College Street9:00 am - 5:00 pm

sat09dec10:00 amsat12:00 pmDonuts with SantaWoodruff Leisure Center, 550 Cavins Road10:00 am - 12:00 pm

sat09dec10:00 amsat12:00 pmSanta in the GardenHatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve, 820 John B. White Senior Boulevard10:00 am - 12:00 pm

sat09dec11:00 amsat2:00 pmBrunch with Santa @ Social LatitudeBrunch With SantaSocial Latitude, 1812 Woodruff Road11:00 am - 2:00 pm

sat09dec11:00 amsat6:00 pmKringle Holiday VillageFluor Field at The West End, 945 South Main Street11:00 am - 6:00 pm

sat09dec12:00 pmsat4:00 pmChristmas Market at Travelers Rest Farmers MarketTrailblazer Park (Travelers Rest), 235 Trailblazer Drive12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

sat09dec1:00 pmsat5:00 pmMiracle at Southernside: Santa SaturdaysSouthernside Brewing Co., 25 Delano Drive Unit D, Greenville1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

sat09dec1:00 pmsat5:00 pmSANTA SATURDAYS at Miracle @ SouthernsideRAIN OR SHINE!!!!! Southernside Brewing Co., 25 Delano Drive Unit D, Greenville1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

sat09dec1:00 pmsat5:00 pmSassy Stables Christmas Barn PartyRide a Reindeer & Pictures with Santa! Sassy Stables, 570 Barnett Road 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

sat09dec6:00 pmsat8:00 pmSanta at Clare's Creamery Parkins Mill*Location Details In Event Description, Location in the event description 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

sun10dec11:00 amsun3:00 pmSlices with SantaSlice Pizzeria, 134 South Main Street11:00 am - 3:00 pm

sun10dec11:00 amsun6:00 pmKringle Holiday VillageFluor Field at The West End, 945 South Main Street11:00 am - 6:00 pm

sun10dec2:00 pmsun5:00 pmChristmas at the Barn- Eden FarmsEden FarmsEden Farms, 4700 Dacusville Highway2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

fri15dec4:00 pmfri8:00 pmKids Play And Cafe Presents The Christmas MarketCome shop our local vendors, meet the Grinch, Buddy the Elf, Santa Clause & Mrs Clause, and more!Kids Play & Cafe, 210 Fern Street4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

sat16dec11:00 amsat1:00 pmSanta at the CabooseSanta at the Hub City RR MuseumHub City Rail Road Museum, 298 Magnolia Street, Spartanburg11:00 am - 1:00 pm

sat16dec11:00 amsat2:00 pmSanta's Workshop at Cherokee ValleyCherokee Valley Course and Club11:00 am - 2:00 pm

sat16dec12:00 pmsat2:00 pmClimb With Santa at Climb@Blue RidgeClimb at Blue Ridge, 301 Bulls Road12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

sat16dec1:00 pmsat5:00 pmMiracle at Southernside: Santa SaturdaysSouthernside Brewing Co., 25 Delano Drive Unit D, Greenville1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

sat16dec1:00 pmsat5:00 pmSANTA SATURDAYS at Miracle @ SouthernsideRAIN OR SHINE!!!!! Southernside Brewing Co., 25 Delano Drive Unit D, Greenville1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

sat16dec4:00 pmsat6:00 pmSanta at Clare's Creamery Overbrook*Location Details In Event Description, Location in the event description 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

sun17dec4:00 pmsun6:00 pmSanta at Clare's Creamery Parkins Pill*Location Details In Event Description, Location in the event description 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

sun17dec6:30 pmsun7:30 pmA Bedtime Story with SantaTrinity Presbyterian Church, 405 Trailblazer Dr, Travelers Rest, SC6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

mon18dec5:00 pmmon7:00 pmCookies for SantaTip Top Cake Shop, 601 Williams Avenue5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

fri22dec3:00 pmfri5:00 pmSanta at Clare's Creamery Overbrook*Location Details In Event Description, Location in the event description 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

sat23dec10:00 amsat10:00 pmMiracle at Southernside: Family Friendly Holiday BashSouthernside Brewing Co., 25 Delano Drive Unit D, Greenville10:00 am - 10:00 pm

sat23dec11:00 amsat11:00 pmMiracle at Southernside Holiday BASH!Southernside Brewing Co., 25 Delano Drive Unit D, Greenville11:00 am - 11:00 pm

sat23dec1:00 pmsat5:00 pmMiracle at Southernside: Santa SaturdaysSouthernside Brewing Co., 25 Delano Drive Unit D, Greenville1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

sat23dec1:00 pmsat5:00 pmSANTA SATURDAYS at Miracle @ SouthernsideRAIN OR SHINE!!!!! Southernside Brewing Co., 25 Delano Drive Unit D, Greenville1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

sat23dec3:00 pmsat5:00 pmSanta at Clare's Creamery Parkins Mill*Location Details In Event Description, Location in the event description 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

sat30dec1:00 pmsat5:00 pmMiracle at Southernside: Santa SaturdaysSouthernside Brewing Co., 25 Delano Drive Unit D, Greenville1:00 pm - 5:00 pm


No Events

See Santa Near the Upstate: Santa Day Trips and Getaways

Select dates in November and December, 2023: Visit Santa at Winchester Creek Farm in Waynesville, NC. Tour of the farm, where they have alpacas (and baby alpacas!), miniature cows and horses, donkeys, and chickens. Kids can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the comfort of the barn and tickets include a complimentary cookie and candy cane.

December 2nd, 2023: 26th Annual Santa on the Chimney at Chimney Rock State Park. Viewers will get to see Santa climbing down the Chimney (rock that is!). There will be photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, live holiday music, letters to Santa, crafts, hiking with an elf, animal meet and greets, holiday shopping, and more! The event is included in park admission.

2023 Dates TBD: Tiny Town in Easley is where you will find Santa visiting and meeting with children. While there, you can also visit dozens of miniature Christmas displays.

2023: Heading down to the Midlands? Check out where to see Santa in Columbia, SC.

While we do our best to offer accurate information, please check with these venues and organizations before visitingPlease help keep Kidding Around Greenville free by not copying and reproducing this content without permission.

Holiday in Greenville, SC, Celebrate Christmas, Greenville, SC

Looking for more fun things to do this season? Here’s your magical guide to celebrating the holidays in Greenville, SC.

things to do for the holidays near Greenville, SC
holiday lights graphic

5 Things to Do With All That Candy: Halloween Candy Buyback Program: Greenville, SC & More

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On the search for “candy buyback near me”? Did your kids bring home too much Halloween candy? On the search for “candy buyback near me”? Don’t worry! We have a couple of dental offices in Greenville to take that candy and exchange it for something that won’t result in a sugar overload or rot on their teeth. And we have a few more creative ideas for using or giving away that candy.

Halloween candy buyback at a local dentist in Greenville, South Carolina

What to Do With All That Candy!

Trade It for Money “Candy Buyback Near Me” at Greenville, SC Dentists

This is a good way to teach kids about ways that money works. There are a few local dentists where kids can bring in their candy by the pound and get a few dollars. This can work at home also where kids exchange their candy for money. 

Palmetto Family Orthodontics

Palmetto Family Orthodontics will buy leftover candy for $1 a pound and then donate it to local charities and to help by supporting our troops overseas.
Times: Verdae Office: November 6, 8 & 9, 2023 during business hours⁠
East Faris Office location: November 7th, 2023
Location: 501 Verdae Boulevard, Greenville

Julian Thomas DMD Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

Bring in your wrapped Halloween candy to be shipped to troops overseas through the Operation Gratitude program! In previous years, the practice has exchanged candy for cash or prizes.
Times: Candy can be dropped off in early November 2023, but contact the dentistry directly for exact dates and times.
Location: 1141 East Butler Road Greenville | 864.676.0046

Greer Pediatric Dental

They will buy your Halloween candy for $1 per pound, up to five pounds.
Times: Thursday, November 2nd until noon, Monday – Tuesday, November 6th and 7th, 2023 during business hours (closed for lunch from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm).
Location: 3115 Brushy Creek Road, Greer

Feed the Switch Witch

I had zero idea what this was until several readers suggested it. The Switch Witch is basically giving your kid(s) a small gift in exchange for the majority of the candy they get. This can be especially helpful if your child has an allergy – they can still collect candy but get a cool gift instead of a boatload of stuff that makes them sick (side note: look for homes with teal pumpkins when trick or treating with a child who has allergies – these homes will have non-candy items. This is what my family does and it’s always a hit)

These are a few ideas of how to make the Switch Witch work for your family:

“I tell my kiddo that the switch a witch eats up the candy and in exchange will use her magic to make him a gift. In our house, he gets to pick five pieces of candy and the rest he can give to the switch a witch with the idea that the more candy she gets the bigger gifts she can make him. I typically do a costume, art supplies, or legos. About the same size or a bit smaller than a birthday present you buy for a kid’s birthday.”

Let Them Eat It

This is an option I know a lot of parents do which I had never even considered: let the kids eat as much candy as they want. Just go ahead and jump in the deep end. Our readers say this option essentially gives kids too much of a good thing and they are so sick of candy after Halloween. 

These are a few suggestions from our readers on how to handle this option:

“I let my daughter eat whatever she wants. It’s her candy and she won’t eat to the point of making herself sick, so I let her learn what her body wants and stop when she’s done (which is usually pretty quickly because she’s really good about that).”

“My son eats what he wants, but the novelty wears off within a day. Then we have old candy come Valentine’s Day.”

“If you’re not letting your kids go into a diabetic coma just one night of the year, are you really letting them enjoy childhood? Lol!! Mine usually get sick of it before long and I hide it in a bag and pass some out here and there and take a bunch myself lol.”

Halloween Candy Donations

Some families will let their kids choose a handful of their favorite candy and then donate the rest to send overseas to the military or use it in care packages. Candy donations can be easily shipped, and your kids can help decorate the box. You can contact your local Ronald McDonald House to see if they are taking Halloween candy donations for the families who are staying there. Or, try donating through Treats for Troops.

Use the Candy for Christmas or Gingerbread Houses

Other parents will sneakily steal some of the candy and reuse it for Christmas stockings. And not-so-sneaky parents will use leftover candy for candy houses or for use when they construct Gingerbread houses during Christmastime. 

“Let them have a little the night of and maybe the next day, and save the rest to divvy up into the Christmas stockings.”

“Let them eat it and then whatever is left in December is used on our gingerbread houses.”

What do you do with the tons of Halloween candy your kids bring home?

If you hear of any more candy buy-back programs in the Greenville area, please let us know in the comments!

Rock City in Chattanooga, TN is So Spectacular, You Have to See It to Believe It!

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Have you ever been to Rock City? Chattanooga, TN has a garden with spectacular views and artistic rock displays that make for a unique adventure. You will find Rock City Gardens at Lookout Mountain, GA (right near Chattanooga). Here are all the details you need before your next visit.

Rock City Garden in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Recently, my family visited Rock City during a vacation to the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. We loved the famous garden’s natural, yet creative atmosphere, and not only am I excited to share what we saw and did, but I have a couple of tips to help make your trip to Rock City with kids fun and memorable!

Rock City Quick Facts

Rock City Gardens
Regular hours: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm (closing times and evening hours vary with seasons and special events)

Is Rock City Free?

Unfortunately, no. Rock City tickets are $26.95-$29.95 for adults, $16.95-$19.95 for children (3-12), and children 2 and under are free (special event pricing may be different). Weekdays are the lower end of pricing while weekends are higher.

*These prices reflect the price for regular admission according to the website at the time of writing this post. Please check prices before visiting as prices are subject to change.

Is Rock City Parking Free?

Yes! Rock City Parking is free.

How Long Does Rock City Take to See?

When you visit Rock City, plan to stay for about an hour or two, if you walk at an average pace.

Find a place to stay near Rock City

This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.

What to Expect at Rock City: Chattanooga, TN

I’ve tried to describe Rock City to friends who have never been there before and have always found it a difficult place to explain. Rock City is a true gem, and I have never visited anything quite like it before. I’m not sure that another place like it exists anywhere else in the world.

The 4100-foot paved path winds around amazing natural rock formations, including narrow pathways through large rocks, scenic look-out points, and an underground cavern.  The massive ancient rock formations are accented by statues, a rope bridge, clever signs, and more.

Colorful passageway through Rock City in Chattanooga, Tennessee
A row of colored windows offers both a color-tinted view of the valley and a rainbow of light on the path.

At one point, the trail curved by Gnome Valley. All the gnomes were wearing Santa hats in anticipation of the coming holiday season on the day we visited. You will also find a ton of native plant species, rock features, and adorably crafted gnome landscaping.

Rock City garden space at Lookout Mountain in Georgia
Rock City in Tennessee’s Gnome Garden

See 7 States From the Lookout at Lover’s Leap

As we climbed to the top of the trail, we eventually ended up on Lover’s Leap located atop Lookout Mountain. Here is where you can see seven states! You may want to bring a couple of quarters for the coin-operated binoculars to marvel at nature, featuring panoramic views that are breathtaking.

At the lookout point, we also found a nice picnic area and extra space for our toddler to explore safely. The park also has a nice cafe and gift shops located at this point.

We enjoyed an outstanding view at multiple points, including a platform that juts out from the mountain allowing us to see both the waterfall and Lover’s Leap.

At the end of the trail, we descended into a cavern where we saw fairy tale scenes lit up by black lights and an underground waterfall. The highlight of the cavern trail is an open cave room filled with a large display of fairy tale figures in the middle of the room. The enchanted trail of Fairy Land caverns and Mother Goose Village are a lot of fun because they are illuminated in the dark. What kid doesn’t like things that are lit up?

The trail ends in a large gift shop that has some interesting souvenirs such as the famous See Rock City birdhouses.

It takes about an hour to two to see Rock City.

Tips for Visiting Rock City: Chattanooga, TN

  • The trail is only partially stroller/handicap accessible. Be sure to bring a baby carrier if you have a young child who might need to be carried. Rock City has done a great job making this natural wonder as accessible and safe as possible, but this attraction is not the type of place where toddlers can run around without close parental supervision (I personally love my Ergo for trips like this!).
  • Be sure to have small kids use the restroom before entering the park. You will find a well-marked restroom area near the ticket booth.
  • Pets are allowed in the park on leashes.
  • The way out is forward. A shortcut does exist that allows you to skip some of the trickier spots on the trail, but overall you can’t really backtrack easily due to the tight stretches of the trail. If you tend to be claustrophobic, you may want to visit during a non-peak hour since the cavern can be overwhelming when crowded. And if young kids get tired, you will end up carrying them or dragging them along.
  • Plan plenty of time. The trail has plenty of places to stop, sit down, and enjoy the scenery if your kids need a break.
  • Wear white shirts or designs on your clothes, and your kids will get a kick out of watching your clothes glow under the black lights in the cavern. Beware though, if you wear white undergarments under sheer clothing, they will glow too.
  • Rock City is a true marvel of nature, so please make sure to keep it clean and do not leave trash lying around.
  • During the year, Rock City also has several special events including their current Enchanted Garden of Lights.
  • Have questions? Looking for further information? Check out Rock City’s FAQ page.

Tips For Your Vacation to Chattanooga, TN

If you are vacationing in Chattanooga for multiple days, you may want to consider buying one of the Rock City attraction package deals. For those who live close by, Rock City offers a reasonably priced annual pass into the park.

The gardens are only 6 miles from Downtown Chattanooga, so you won’t have to worry about a long drive to get to this adventure.

Rock City is one of my favorite destinations within driving distance of Greenville, South Carolina. Have you ever visited it? What did you think? 

The Ultimate Guide to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

We have everything you need to have a great trip to Chattanooga, TN in our handy guide! Visit Downtown Chattanooga and plan out your memorable vacation.

Cedar Falls Park in Fountain Inn is the Perfect Park to Visit on a Beautiful Fall Day

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Looking for a beautiful park to enjoy on a crisp fall day? Cedar Falls Park in Fountain Inn offers a fun playground, a paved walking path, a historical site, and a waterfall. We’ll give you all the information you need to plan a day at this park with your family.

Parks and playgrounds near Greenville, South Carolina

Looking for more parks? We’ve got your Ultimate Guide to Parks and Playgrounds Near Greenville, SC.

Want more ideas on parks to explore, places to hike and more outdoor fun? Check out our Things to do Outside page.

I was first introduced to Cedar Falls Park by Deirdre at JDaniel4’s Mom. Deirdre and I are friends, and she is also a local blogger. She blogged about her visit to Cedar Falls Park during the 2013 Greenville Park Hop. I could tell that she and J Daniel had a lot of fun during their visit, and I decided that my family would need to check the park out ourselves.

After our visit my husband and I agreed that Cedar Falls Park is a local secret. The playground is imaginative and great for getting kids active. But the best part about Cedar Falls Park is the paved path (yay for strollers!) that leads to a beautiful wooded area where the Reedy River rolls over waterfalls and wildlife abounds.

waterfall at Cedar Falls Park

The history of Cedar Falls Park

Cedar Falls Park doubles as not just a recreational spot but also as an historic area. The site originated as a Cherokee hunting ground and transportation hub across the Reedy River. Later in the 1800s, a dam was built to power several mills. In the 1900s, a larger dam generated electric power for the Fork Shoals Mill. A more complete history of the Cedar Falls is located on a park sign on the trail.

On the trail, you will also find a sign explaining the Cherokee history of the site as well as a sign about the environmental aspects of the Reedy River which includes a chart of wildlife in the area.

Basic Information about Cedar Falls Park

The 90+ acres at Cedar Falls Park contains so much:

  • a paved walking trail to the falls
  • a sand volleyball court
  • picnic shelter
  • restrooms
  • playground
  • parking at both the playground and a small amount of parking beside the falls
  • large grassy areas for play
Cedar Falls Park playground

The Playground at Cedar Falls Park

My kids really enjoyed the play area located at the first entrance of the park. The playground based on fairy tales, included a bean stalk ladder, rock wall, small cave window, and large fun climbing structures. As a mom of a very brave toddler, I was glad to see that even the larger playground wasn’t terribly high (not that I would have wanted her to fall off it).

The playground designed for smaller kids was a little larger than other local options. I liked how it was still challenging and fun for even my 5 year-old (though he was fascinated with the larger structure on the other side).

The playground did not have a fence and both levels of playgrounds were connected. Since the playground was beside the parking lot, you did have to watch small kids closely to make sure they didn’t wander off.

The Falls at Cedar Falls Park

The walk to Cedar Falls was not difficult. Our kids (2 and 5) complained a little and we ended up toting the toddler, but we made it there and back without too much trouble. We did not bring a stroller, but the path was completely paved down to the falls.

We noticed a lot of people playing in the water, but we did not due to it being part of the Reedy River. Parents will want to know that this portion of the Reedy River has the same toxic level warning signs as you will find near the Reedy River at Falls Park.

I wore flip flops and the kids wore shorts on our visit. I would recommend tennis shoes and long pants as you will want to explore off of the path once you reach the falls. Don’t forget plenty of water and snacks too. Basically dress and pack for a hike.

The area was beautiful and we noticed lots of interesting insects and birds.

Even though the park was a little outside the normal area we travel for park visits, I’m sure that we will visit again. The kids really enjoyed their time playing at the park, and word is that Cedar Falls Park is a must-see spot in Greenville in the fall.

Visit Cedar Falls Park with your family

Cedar Falls Park is open daily from 9 am – dusk.

201 Cedar Falls Road, Fountain Inn

Visit the Cedar Falls Park website for more information.

What is your family’s favorite thing about Cedar Falls Park?