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Freetown Community Center Playground: A vibrant playground in a quiet, historic neighborhood!

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Looking for a playground near West Greenville? The playground at Freetown Community Center might be just the right fit. Featuring two play structures in the fenced playground, Kidding Around Contributor India Menon found Freetown Community Center’s playground a great place to spend some family time. Find out all about what this park has to offer!


Whitewater Whispers Rental in Sapphire, NC Promises Year-Round Fun, Relaxation

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Are you, your family, or a group of friends ready for a getaway just a stone’s throw from the Upstate? Whitewater Whispers is a 3-bedroom 2-bath house with a jaw-dropping mountain view and the gentle soundtrack of a rippling river you can hear from the back deck. Need more adventure? The nearby Sapphire Valley Resort is open year-round and offers plenty of family fun!

Whitewater Whispers view

Perfect Weekend Escape in Sapphire Valley

Whitewater Whispers is located in Sapphire, NC, which is just over the state line and about an hour and a half from Greenville, SC. 

Highlights include: 

  • 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths
  • Sleeps up to 8
  • 1570 square feet
  • Gas log fireplace
  • Located in the quiet wooded setting of the Whisper Lake community
  • Fully-stocked kitchen
  • About 60 miles from Greenville, SC
  • Allows pets
  • Several easy-to-access waterfalls & hiking trails nearby
  • Nearby Sapphire Valley Resort offers indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a hot tub, miniature golf, a game room, a fitness room, skiing, snow tubing, zip-lining, a golf course, and gem mining. 
  • Stunning mountain view
  • The rippling waters of the Horsepasture River offer a calming soundtrack
View from Whitewater Whispers rental home in Sapphire Valley, North Carolina

Take in a Mountain View

Whitewater Whispers promises relaxation! The view from the back deck is coupled with the sound of the babbling Horsepasture River. Once you sit down to this view, you will not want to get up. One of Whitewater Whispers’ owners, Jason Gillespie promises “The view is stunning! You will *never* want to leave the back deck.” It’s a great place to start your day with a cup of coffee or unwind at the close of your day. Or maybe you won’t abandon that view at all during your stay! 

Snow tubing at Sapphire Valley in Western North Carolina

Have a Mountain Adventure

If you or your family need a little more adventure during your stay, the Sapphire Valley Resort is just 4 miles away. Day passes to the resort are available for just $2 per person. These passes give you access to one indoor pool and two outdoor pools, plus mini-golf, game room, and fitness room. For an additional fee, you can also enjoy zip lining at the resort. 

The nearby Sapphire National Golf Club is the only golf club in the area that is open to the public. And, of course, one of our winter favorites is Ski Sapphire Valley, which offers skiing, snow tubing, and snowboarding.  And, for a really good time, check out their Outhouse Races!

Bunk beds at Whitewater Whispers in Sapphire, North Carolina

Whitewater Whispers is for Family and Friends

Owner Jason Gillespie describes his property as very livable and a good choice for families. The owners have two kids of their own and purchased this property with them in mind. “We have enjoyed staying at this property. We want to share this great location with other families, while also providing them with a good value. Seeing others come and have a good time really puts a smile on our faces!” 

As Jason described his property to me, I knew exactly where I am taking my 7-year-old son and a few of his friends on their next “Dudes’ Weekend.” Whitewater Whispers promises something for all of us to enjoy! They can spend the day burning off energy hiking or swimming and I can unwind at the end of each day with that view that looks like a painting! Win-win!

Deck at Whitewater Whispers in Sapphire Valley, North Carolina

Deck and view at Whitewater Whispers

And if Grammy and Gramps want to take your kids for a weekend getaway, the property is a single-level home with no steps to navigate.  As Jason described the back deck to me, I thought this sounded like a perfect escape for a small group of friends, too! 

Bedroom at Whitewater Whispers

Book Your Get-Away!

Ready to plan your escape to the mountains? Book your stay at Whitewater Whispers today! Rental costs per night range from $250-300 depending on the season. 

Living room at Whitewater Whispers

Christmas Dinner 2023 Near Greenville, SC: These Restaurants Are Open!

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Looking for restaurants open for Christmas in Greenville, SC? We have a list of places to eat that are open on Christmas Day! If a catered Christmas meal or dinner out in Greenville or Spartanburg this Christmas would make your holiday a little merrier, this is the list for you. Consider dining out or ordering in from a local restaurant for all of your fixings!

Our list has restaurants offering dine-in service, full take-out meals, and even restaurants where you can just grab a turkey, a ham, or a few sides to supplement your own home-cooked meal. There are lots of great restaurant options in Greenville to make some delicious Christmas dreams come true. Most of our local grocery stores are also offering Christmas items for pickup. 

Christmas restaurants open in Greenville, SC

Celebrate the holidays in Greenville! Find holiday events, restaurants, pies, and more in our Holiday Guide. 


Things to Do Over Thanksgiving Break in Spartanburg, SC

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Looking for things to do during Thanksgiving in Spartanburg? Local mom India Menon offers ideas for Thanksgiving family-fun activities in Spartanburg. Whatever the weather or your family’s interests, there is something for everyone. 

Thanksgiving Greenville, SC

Celebrate Thanksgiving in the Upstate! Find things to do, restaurants, pies, and more in our Thanksgiving Guide.

TCMU Spartanburg

In our household, in addition to eating a filling home-cooked meal, Thanksgiving means making memories with family and friends. If you’re looking for ways to have fun together in the Spartanburg area during Thanksgiving week, here are some ideas to consider. 

Note: Because schedules are always subject to change, be sure to call locations ahead of time to double-check event details and/or hours of operation. 

Explore at TCMU-Spartanburg

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate Spartanburg is always a fun option for families with young kids. The museum is designed for children under the age of 5 and also includes Toddler Zones for guests under the age of 18 months. During Thanksgiving week, the museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. The museum is in the heart of downtown Spartanburg at 130 Magnolia Street. Admission is $7 for SC residents and tickets can be purchased in advance. Members and children aged 6 months and under are free.

The Children's Museum of the Upstate Spartanburg

Get Outside

Whether you like the sound of leaves crunching underfoot, the feel of brisk cold rushing through your lungs, or enjoy a good old-fashioned leaf fight, Spartanburg and the Upstate offer a variety of outdoor venues for exploring, exercising, and playing. Hatcher Garden and Cleveland Park are two of our favorite outdoor spots in Spartanburg and Croft State Park is on my list of places to check out.

For more hiking options, check out the Kidding Around Ultimate Guide to Upstate Hiking for Families & Children. If parks and playgrounds are more your speed, check out this list of Spartanburg County Parks and Facilities.

Airport Park Spartanburg SC

Get Moving!

My family gets some exercise during holiday breaks and Spartanburg does not disappoint in that regard. In addition to a variety of outdoor spaces, Spartanburg offers roller skating, bowling, indoor trampolining, indoor rock climbing, and indoor bounce houses. For these and other indoor activities, check out our Indoor Guide to Spartanburg

Spartanburg pottery

Turkey Trot

The YMCA of Spartanburg is hosting a 5K race on Friday, November 24, 2023 that you can join. Runners will also take to the streets of downtown Spartanburg for the PAL Spartanburg Turkey Trot 8K. Most of these races benefit local charities. Runners and walkers also earn cool swag like race t-shirts, finisher medals, and giveaways. In most cases, strollers are welcome. Register sooner than later!

woman and man running up a hill

Lighten Up

A family friend reminded me of a self-guided tour of the Lighten Up lightbulb sculptures that decorate downtown Spartanburg. A walking tour of these 30 bright bulbs is a good way to get in some exercise and/or do some important holiday-related window shopping.

Go Sock Skating

Sock skating opens at the Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia on Friday, November 24th. What is sock skating you ask? Here you go.

Shop Til You Drop

If shopping is on your agenda, there are plenty of options for shopping local. Our Spartanburg Ultimate Shopping Guide promises something for everyone on your holiday shopping list.

Hub City Bookshop

Wild About Lights

Friday following Thanksgiving is the kickoff for a bunch of the Holiday Light displays! The Kidding Around Driving Routes of Upstate, SC Christmas Light Displays is a fun way to start the holiday season. Head out to view some FREE lights, and don’t forget to submit yours if you go all out!

Christmas Lights


In addition to crafting our first gratitude turkey this fall, my family will explore ways to give thanks by giving back to our community. Spartanburg offers a wide range of volunteering options for families. Learn more about volunteering opportunities in Spartanburg.

Hub City Bowls

For more fun things to do the week of Thanksgiving, and every day, head to the Kidding Around Event Calendar!

Greenville Zoo: Take Your Toddler or Preschooler to Zoo Tots in Greenville, SC

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Do you know about the Zoo Tots program at the Greenville Zoo? Zoo Tots is a great way to liven up your preschooler’s weekend. With storytime, plenty of sensory play, and a meeting with a zoo animal, Zoo Tots is sure to have something that your child will enjoy! Kidding Around’s India and her 3-year old went to a recent Zoo Tots and a good time was had by all! Read on to find out about the Zoo Tots program and how you can sign-up! 


YMCA Camp Greenville Family Camps: Come One, Come All

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Looking for the perfect summer camp for your family? YMCA Camp Greenville family camp options offer multiple camps to spend time outdoors together, including the Spectrum & Stargazers Camp for kids who have Down Syndrome or Autism and their families. 

YMCA Camp Greenville

Thanks to our partner YMCA of Greenville for sponsoring Kidding Around.

YMCA of Greenville has owned and operated Camp Greenville for 110 years. With 1,400 acres, a mountaintop setting located directly in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and multiple adventurous programs for members of all ages, Camp Greenville provides unforgettable experiences and a lifetime of memories. 

Spectrum & Stargazers: YMCA Camp Greenville Family Camp is for families with members who have Down Syndrome or Autism

Following the example of Christ, the Y builds healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. In this spirit, Camp Greenville offers Spectrum & Stargazers Family Camp for families with members who have Down Syndrome or Autism over a weekend in both the Spring and Fall. Activities are steered towards parent and child participation, all while providing a fun and safe environment to have unforgettable family adventures alongside others who understand how amazingly unique and talented we all are in our own different ways.

Bridget Walter, whose daughter Addi has Down Syndrome, looks forward to participating in Stargazer Camp with her family year after year. She says, “Stargazers is more than a camp. It’s a community of families, camp counselors, and staff who truly ‘get it’. It’s a time and place where individuals with special needs, along with their siblings and parents can unwind, have fun, and enjoy connecting with others on a similar journey in life. At this camp, you can 100% be yourself, go at your own pace, and create your own adventure! You will find accommodations and acceptance for all ages and abilities. I’ve always said if you could bottle up and share the energy, enthusiasm, love, support, and smiles from the weekend, it would make the world a better place. My daughter, Addi, says her favorite part of the weekend is the talent show. She and her sister also look forward to canoeing, archery, crafts, hiking, and square dancing.”

“Stargazers is more than a camp. It’s a community …”

Bridget Walter, parent

YMCA Camp Greenville has a Prisma Health Center on campus

Something that makes Camp Greenville unique is its state-of-the-art Prisma Health Center on campus. When camp is in session, the center is staffed 24/7 with Prisma Health RNs, paramedics, and a health center coordinator. This feature helps parents feel at ease knowing that there are qualified health professionals onsite to help with something as small as a scraped knee to managing more complicated issues so that all children can experience the joy of camp.  

When is Spectrum & Stargazers Family Camp?

The YMCA Camp Greenville Family Camp spring weekend for Spectrum & Stargazers is scheduled for May 5-7, 2023, and the Fall weekend is scheduled for September 15-17, 2023.

How Do You Register?

To register or learn more, visit Camp Greenville’s website.

Learn More About
YMCA Camp Greenville

ymca camp greenville

Summer camps in Greenville, SC and Upstate, SC

Embrace a Summer of Fun!

Check out KA’s Guide to
120+ Summer Camps Near Greenville