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5+ Fun and Free Things To Do This Holiday Season Near Spartanburg, SC

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If you are celebrating the holidays on a budget and are looking for free things to do for Christmas, Spartanburg, SC has a few that are wonderful! The holidays can be a financially stressful time for a lot of families. Finding festive activities to enjoy that are free and low-cost can help when you are trying to keep the kids occupied during winter break.

Free things to do during Christmas time in Spartanburg, South Carolina

For more Holiday fun – check out Kidding Around’s Guide to the Holidays in Spartanburg

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Keep Your Kids Busy During (2023) Holiday Break with Winter Camps in Greenville, SC

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Kids need something to do over winter break near Greenville, SC? In your rush to shop, wrap gifts, prepare for the holidays, are you thinking about what your kids are going to do with all of their free time?  No?  Well, no worries because we’re doing it for you.

We have compiled a list of Winter Camps offered around Greenville that might be just what you need and we’ll keep updating it throughout the holiday season. With so many fun Winter Camps happening all around town there’s no reason for your kids to be complaining that they’re bored during their break from school. And, P.S., you get a break too.  Perfect!

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Things to Do This Month Near Greenville, SC

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Are you looking for things to do this month or even this weekend in Greenville, SC? From concerts to shows to children’s programming, sporting events, festivals, and free events, there is almost always a great answer when you’re searching for things to do near you, at least there is when you live in South Carolina’s Upstate!

Things to Do in December near Greenville, South Carolina

What’s happening this month in Greenville, SC?


Never be bored, and never miss an event your family will love! We’re highlighting some of the coolest, most unique, most interesting, and most popular events this month. But don’t forget to check out our FULL event calendar for even more amazing options. Here’s what to do this month near Greenville, SC.


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Win 4 Tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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One Kidding Around Greenville reader will win 4 FREE TICKETS to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Greenville Theatre! Scroll down to enter. Giveaway ends November 28, 2023.

Thank you to Greenville Theatre for sponsoring this giveaway.

The Show

Greenville Theatre is excited to transport audiences into a world of “Pure Imagination” this holiday season with the regional premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Audiences will be swept away into the eccentric world of Willy Wonka as they follow Charlie Bucket and the other golden ticket winners into his extraordinary chocolate factory. This brand-new Broadway adaptation is based on the classic Roald Dahl book and hit films. Featuring beloved songs like “The Candy Man,” “Pure Imagination,” and “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” in addition to brand new songs written by the team that brought audiences the musical Hairspray, this show is the perfect holiday gift for the whole Family!
This magical cast is led by Carter Allen as Willy Wonka, Mathew Molina and Juni Martin as Charlie Bucket, with Neil Shurley as Grandpa Joe and Mary Evan Giles as Mrs. Bucket. The show is Co- Directed by Max Quinlan and Drew Whitley with choreography by Fawn Clark.

“In my youth, I became enamored with the Roald Dahl books, and was especially drawn to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” described Willy Wonka actor Carter Allen. “The idea of an eccentric recluse who has a whole world of pure imagination and possibilities intrigued me. I cannot wait for audiences to experience this show at Greenville Theatre. I also love family shows like this because it is inevitable that in every audience there will be someone coming to their first ever live show. The ability to bring the magic of this type of storytelling to a whole new group of people every day is a true gift.”

Chance To Get Your Very Own Golden Ticket

Not only will audiences get to experience this incredible show, but they will have the opportunity to purchase their very own chocolate Wonka Bar. At each performance, one lucky winner will find their very own “Greenville Theatre Golden Ticket” inside! The winner will get an exclusive backstage tour of Greenville Theatre’s “factory” from Willy Wonka himself, Carter Allen, complete with a photo on stage!

Run Time: 2.5hrs (15 minute intermission between acts)
Age Recommendation: ages 4+
Ticket Price: $40 | Seniors & Veterans $38

Show Times

Too excited to wait? Purchase tickets online today!

  • November 30, 2023 | 7:30 PM
  • December 1, 2023 | 8:00 PM
  • December 2, 2023 | 8:00 PM
  • December 3, 2023 | 3:00 PM
  • December 7, 2023 | 7:30 PM
  • December 8, 2023 | 8:00 PM
  • December 9, 2023 | 2:00 PM, 8:00 PM
  • December 10, 2023 | 3:00 PM
  • December 14, 2023 | 7:30 PM
  • December 15, 2023 | 8:00 PM
  • December 16, 2023 | 2:00 PM, 8:00 PM
  • December 17, 2023 | 3:00 PM

The Giveaway

One Kidding Around reader will win 4 FREE TICKETS to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Greenville Theatre! Giveaway runs Nov 21st – Nov 28th, 2023, 11:59PM. Good luck!

  • You must be 18 or older and live in the USA to enter this giveaway.
  • You must use a valid email address to enter this giveaway.
  • One entry per person per day.
  • We will contact the winner via the email address provided within three [3] days of the giveaway ending. The winner will have three [3] days (72 hours) to respond via email. If the winner does not respond within the three [3] days (72 hours), the prize will be forfeited and another winner chosen. Directions for claiming the prize will be given via email. A valid photo ID and/or mailing address may be required.
  • For a complete list of Kidding Around Greenville SC’s giveaway policies and terms and conditions, see the Kidding Around Greenville SC policy page. By entering this giveaway, you agree to comply with Kidding Around Greenville SC’s terms and conditions.
  • If you have issues with the giveaway not appearing, please email [email protected].

4 Miles, 4 Million Lights: Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas Lights in Concord, NC

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With more than four million lights, the Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas lights at Speedway Christmas in Concord, NC is one of the biggest in the country and we’re here for it!

Thanks to Explore Cabarrus for media tickets and an overnight at the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Concord so we could review the experience for our readers. All opinions are our own.

Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Speedway Christmas Presented by Atrium Health is unique in that you get to drive your own car on the racetrack that is normally driven on by professional NASCAR drivers.  Unfortunately, your mini-van will be going at a snail’s pace, but it’s still pretty cool. On the four-mile drive-thru course, visitors get to view displays consisting of over four million lights!  The Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas lights are easily one of the biggest displays in the country and there is just so much to see.

The Speedway is about an hour and 45 minutes from Greenville so if you want to stay overnight nearby, we’ve got just the place to do so at the Embassy Suites in Concord. Read on for the full review.

The Completely Epic Light Display with the Speedway Christmas Lights

There are four miles of more than four million lights at the Speedway Christmas. I’ve been to most of the Christmas light drive-through shows in our area so had a decent idea of what to expect but I can say with confidence that I was wrong. This light show is just unreal with so many cool surprises that it kept my kids and me enamored the whole time. For 2023, you get to see some awesome beach-themed displays in celebration of the theme, A Christmas Beach Party.

Entering the Racetrack for the Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas Lights

Once you get past the gate, you’ll go right onto the massive track. I had to squash the urge to floor it because really, how many times do you get to drive on a real racetrack? I did no flooring and went very slow with my headlights off like the other drivers, which is exactly what you need to do, so pay attention.

You will follow along with a string of red or blue lights, so you don’t have to worry about taking a wrong turn. If you’re behind someone going super slow, there are several places to pass cars if you want to do that. The speedway also recommends that slower traffic stay to the right, so those who want to go a little faster through the light show can pass on the left.

Speedway Christmas 2023 Santa's Beach Party

The First Section of Lights

There are three different areas of the light display but they all sync up to Christmas music that you listen to through your car radio. The first section is more of a fun light display with Santa doing funny things. As you enter the racetrack, you will see lots of animated displays following the theme. Wakeboarding Santa, Penguins splashing into a pool, Santa cruising on a boat with his reindeer friends shooting a canon of light, just to name a few.

The Second Section of Lights

The second section is a massive display of flashing lights from the bottom of the Speedway up through the seating area. This is where you will begin driving through a couple of light tunnels. You will also see the synchronized light displays with giant Christmas trees matching the beat of the songs coming from your 101.3FM radio channel with the LED light displays along the bleachers. This was probably my kid’s favorite part of the drive because of how many lights were dancing to the music.

Christmas trees at Speedway Christmas in Charlotte, North Carolina

The Final Section of Lights

The third and final section is tunnels full of lights – it’s super cool. As you leave the infield Christmas Village, you get to drive through the last portion of the lights display, which honestly, was my personal favorite. You will come across an area where you can pull off and look over all the lights, which was really neat to see.

You will also go through several light tunnels. The tunnels were done so well, and each one is unique in shape and color display. You also get to see some really unique animated and stationary light displays! Our favorites were the two astronauts, a ballerina pig, and a snowman being built through animation.

The entire light show took us around 45 minutes to drive through if you choose not to stop at the Christmas Village.

Full view of Speedway Christmas in Charlotte, North Carolina

The Christmas Village at the Speedway

Once you go through the bulk of the park, you will be guided to the infield parking lot. Here, you have the option to stop at the Christmas Village and/or see the drive-in movie playing.

The Christmas Village has a lot to do! The arches of lights, giant illuminated snowflakes, and “snow bubbles” that release a puff of smoke when they pop were some of my young daughter’s favorites. They also have a really cool FREE 360-camera experience for 2023. Your family stands on a platform as a camera zooms around you three times, giving you a unique holiday memory to enjoy! 

Large outdoor light displays at the Christmas Village at Speedway Christmas

Indoor Activities: Santa and More

The indoor section of the Christmas Village has two unique mazes, Christmas crafts at the elf village, vendors, decorated Christmas trees, and the opportunity to take photos with Santa. Santa was really kind, and your child can choose to stand or sit beside him. They even offer a little stool in case a parent needs to kneel down to keep their kids from getting nervous before rattling off this Christmas list. Pictures with Santa start at $10 for 1 photo.

Outdoor Food Court

The food truck lane has a lot of vendors with everything from Gyros to hot apple cider. One of the cooler food court stalls is the kettlecorn popcorn guy. My kids (and husband) enjoyed watching him flip the giant popcorn maker and reveal the sweet goodness that is delicious kettle corn. Plus, his stall has a little train engine on top that blows smoke every once in a while, which made us giggle.

We ended our food court adventure by purchasing some marshmallows to roast by the fire. We rocked in the rocking chairs, ate marshmallows drank cider, and just enjoyed the vibes. Afterwards, we visited the reindeer (animated, but so adorable!) for the kids to pet. They are super soft and look so real!

Reindeer at Speedway Christmas Village

Drive-In Movie

And then, perhaps my favorite thing – a drive-in movie. The Speedway makes use of one of its huge screens to show different holiday movies. You can park your car facing the screen, tune your radio to the channel dedicated to the movie, eat some popcorn, and watch the movie. My kids wanted to sit in the car and watch the film so that’s what I let them do because #Christmas. They thought it was really neat.

Drive-in movie at the Speedway Christmas

Here’s the movie schedule for 2023:

  • November 17-19: “Christmas Vacation”
  • November 23-26: “The Grinch” presented by Bojangles
  • November 30-Dec 3: Classic Christmas shorts presented by Food Lion
  • December 7-10: “White Christmas” presented by Cook Out
  • December 14-19: “Elf” presented by AutoBell
  • December 20-23: “Polar Express” presented by Cook Out
  • December 28-31: “Home Alone”

There are also bathrooms right inside the Christmas Village as well as directly next to the drive-in movie, which is really nice since the route does take a while to drive.

The Christmas Village is closed on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.


Tips to Enjoy the Speedway Christmas

Knowing what to expect helps everyone enjoy the lights.

Wait Times

Because this is such a hugely popular attraction, the wait may be long. This can be said of most holiday light events anywhere during the holiday season. Make sure everyone has taken a bathroom break before heading towards the Speedway and have snacks on hand. In past years, the wait times have gotten up to more than two hours.

We went on opening night for the 2023 season right when they opened at 6 pm and while we were able to skip the lines with an Express Lane pass thanks to Explore Cabarrus, we did pass the main entrance and there was hardly a line.

On busy nights, the express pass will save you about an hour of that two-hour wait. The Express Lane has a different entrance (5197 Morehead Road, Concord) than the Main Gate and there are signs indicating where you need to go.

Visiting Monday through Wednesday is suggested because attendance will be at its lowest on those days.

Bathrooms

The Speedway has set up port-a-potties along the route for guests to use if they need to. You do need to remain in your car while driving but there is plenty of room to pull over for these bathrooms if you need. You will also find clean bathrooms at the Christmas Village.

Pets

Pets are allowed but they must stay in your car the entire time, including if you choose to visit the Christmas Village

Purchasing Tickets

Guests have the option to purchase tickets ahead of time online at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s website but they also have passes available at the gate. The tickets you purchase online must be used on the date you choose so if you’re not sure when you’re going, you can just purchase your ticket at the gate. Stay tuned to the website to be notified of any closures due to bad weather.

Dress for the Weather

The light show obviously happens during the colder winter months so dress for the weather with jackets, hats, and gloves, especially if you want to go to the Christmas Village, much of which is outdoors.


Tickets for Speedway Christmas

Ticket prices range from $35-$45 per car depending on when you go. General admission tickets are typically $35 Monday through Wednesday, and $45 Thursday through Sunday night are more expensive.

On Thursdays through Sundays, there is also an express lane option for $75. If you have more than 15 people in your vehicle, you’ll be paying the van and bus rate of $140 to $175.

You can see the exact price on the day you’d like to go at the Speedway Lights ticket site.

While Monday through Wednesday visits are cheaper, remember that the Christmas Village is not open on these days. The exception is December 18th through the 20th, 2023 when the village will be open and tickets will be at the regular $45 price.

Speedway Christmas runs from Friday, November 17, 2023, through January 7th, 2024.


Honest Mom Review of Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas Lights

My kids and I just loved this light show. It was almost overwhelming how many lights there were at the Speedway Christmas. I kept thinking, “How long did all of this take to set up?”! It is very well done and obvious the organizers take great pride in the light display and making sure it’s top-notch.

Part of the Christmas Village at the Speedway Christmas

For kids who may have sensory issues, the light show may be a little much in some parts. I thought the Christmas Village and drive-in movie was a great rest stop to just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere before heading out to the last part of the show. And staying nearby at the Embassy Suites was fantastic. I didn’t need to worry about driving home late at night and my kids could enjoy the pool before bed. We were at the light show in its entirety – driving and the Christmas Village – about an hour and a half total.


Cabarrus, North Carolina

We think spending a day in Cabarrus, North Carolina is a great day trip. We’ve had several of our writers spend a lot of time there and have stories on some of the fun things to do in Cabarrus County, NC.  You can spend the day there or make it a weekend with a stay in the Great Wolf Lodge, another favorite destination for us, here at Kidding Around.  Regardless of the length of your trip, we think the Charlotte Motor Speedway’s light display should be on your itinerary.


Lodging in Concord near the Speedway

Embassy Suites in Concord

Explore Cabarrus sent us to stay at the lovely Embassy Suites in Concord in 2022 right off I-85 and five minutes from the Speedway. I’ve stayed at Embassy Suites in the past and always like them for their spacious rooms, free breakfasts, and great amenities.

The room we had was a one-bedroom suite with a living space area, full bathroom, and a bedroom with a closed door. The beds were comfortable and there was plenty of space for my two kids and I. But this could easily fit a family of five even since the couch in the living space area is a pullout.

Embassy Suites Concord, NC Pool

The free breakfast in the morning was a hit with my kids. They had pancakes, eggs, French toast, yogurt, cereal, toast, biscuits and gravy, fruit, and a made-to-order omelet and waffle station. They also had coffee, tea, and juice.

This Embassy Suites also had a heated indoor pool, which my kids enjoyed after we went to the light show. It was a great way to wind down the night.

Homewood Suites By Hilton Concord/Charlotte

For our visit in 2023, Explore Cabbarus sent us to Homewood Suites by Hilton, located right beside the Embassy Suites. This lovely hotel is located right off of 1-85 and is only a 5-minute drive from the Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas lights. It is also close to tons of options for dining.

The hotel check-in was a breeze, and all the staff we interacted with were extremely helpful and kind. Our room was very clean, and even smelled good when we entered (that is always a good sign!) Our room was a suite, with a kitchen and living room, with a separate bedroom with double queen beds. The separate bedroom really helped us out because were able to put the kids down to bed, and then rest in the living room. We were very happy that the hotel was clean, quiet, and close to everything we would need.

The hotel offers free breakfast in the morning, which my husband took full advantage of. We had fresh waffles from the “make your own” waffle station, a mix of fruit, sausage patties, delicious muffins, cheesy omelets, orange juice, and fresh coffee.

Homewood Suites Concord

Other Lodging

If you need another place to stay near the Speedway, you can see the map below. This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.

There’s a lot to do in Concord and the Speedway Christmas show is a great way to end a day or weekend trip to Cabarrus County!

Have you made it out to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas lights? What was your favorite part?


Places to see Christmas lights in Charlotte, North Carolina

Want more lights? We have that!

Here are more than 10 places to see awesome Christmas Lights in Charlotte, NC!


25+ Gifts for Teens: Ideas For Impossible To Shop For Teens

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Do you need gifts for teens this year? If you have a teen on your gift list this year, you know that teens are not the easiest to please. They aren’t quite adults, and they are no longer children. This makes gift-giving times extraordinarily difficult if you are trying to be creative. That’s why we set out to discover what teens wish for this holiday season. The result is this list full of teen-approved gift ideas so you’ll know exactly what to gift teens in your life this year!

Gifts for teens


This piece contains Amazon Affiliate links.

What To Buy For A Teenager?

When you think of gift ideas for teens, the first thing that probably pops into your mind is something like a gift card. Let them pick out what they want or need. And that’s all well and good. But, teens like opening presents, too. And what if you want to surprise them with a gift and not a card? What do you buy that a teen will love?

We went straight to the teens and asked for their Christmas wish lists. Then, we offered some suggestions for their approval to round out the list! The result is a teen-approved wish list for gift shopping, with items for a wide variety of budgets.

Gifts Teens Want in 2023

What gifts do teens want in 2023?
Experience-gifts
Music streaming subscriptions and equipment
Gift cards
Gaming systems
Subscription Boxes
Water bottles
Decal stickers
Sports and teams items
Room decor
Board Games for Teens
More gift ideas

Teen-Approved Experience Gifts

Sometimes an experience is a better gift than a “thing.” So, that leaves the question, “What do teens want to go do?” We asked and here’s what they said.

Take them to an Escape Room!

I’m sure at one time or another, we’ve thought about locking our kids up in a room and grabbing some peace while they navigated an escape route. So, a visit to an escape room near you could be the ultimate teen experience gift. These interactive escape rooms will challenge guests with their creative puzzles and talented actors.

In Greenville, SC try Escape Artist Greenville. You can read all about several of our experiences with the different rooms at Escape Artist.

Selfie Museum

A selfie museum, like The Pixel Experience in Greenville, is a unique spot to take selfie photos in a variety of themed rooms and walls. It will have your resident TikTok’r thinking you’re the best gift-giver ever! With 20+ backgrounds to take advantage of, the aspiring Instagram influencer in your family will have months of content to post!

Ax Throwing

We know what you are thinking. Handing an angst-ridden teen a hatchet or an ax and asking them to throw it at something might not be the first thing that comes to mind. It also probably doesn’t sound like the best idea. But trust me when I tell you, they will love it!
Try Blue Ox Hatchet House in Greenville, SC.

Ziplining

Creating memories with your teenager while still being seen in public with you is a great gift to give them. But, sometimes, that needs to be disguised as an extreme activity, and you’ll need to step out of your comfort zone. Zip-lining is the perfect blend of that and safety. Plus, it won’t clutter up their bedroom.

Try The Gorge Zipline. If you feel even more adventurous, you can hop over to their sister site for some water-related adventures. Green River Adventures offers white water rafting, kayak, SUP, waterfall hikes, and rappelling.

Gifts for Music-Loving Teens

This section includes affiliate links.

Teenagers will always love music; this will never change. So giving them away to enjoy it quickly is a great gift that they can appreciate over and over! So here are some teen-approved ways to get those tunes to them.

Spotify Premium
This popular music streaming service provides premium members with ad-free enjoyment of millions of songs. Plans range from $4.99 a month for college students to $14.99 for family plans that include six accounts.

YouTube Music Premium

Ad free music streaming, plus the ability to download your favorites to listen to when you’re offline. The first month is free and then $9.99 per month.

AirPods
These slight wireless ear-bud-style headphones were super popular with the teens we polled. They work in companion with Apple brand products and can sense when they are in your ears! Prices range from $100-$200 depending on the model you select.

Bluetooth Beanie Hat
I was shocked that the kids I spoke with had never heard of this! These knit beanie hats make a great gift not only for teens but for any age child (or adult). They look like your typical beanie hat, but tucked inside are wireless, Bluetooth headphones. They will work with any Bluetooth-enabled device and are great because there are no wires to damage younger kids! Prices range from $13 to $30.

iTunes Gift Cards
I was surprised to find that my go-to teen gift idea was still trendy in this age range. Not only can they use the funds for music purchases but video games, movies, and more. Card values start at $25.

Jackson B. explained to me why he likes getting these as a gift – “iTunes gift cards because we use phones a lot and we can choose what we want to spend it on”

Apple Products
If you have the budget for it, of the hundred or so teens I spoke to, nearly all of them mentioned some Apple brand devices – iPhones, iPods, Apple watches, Mac Books. It seems you can’t go wrong with a gift from the Apple store.

Concert Tickets
A set of tickets to a concert for their favorite performer might be the perfect gift! Sporting event tickets also make a great gift, and there’s no shortage of sports teams locally to support!

Gift cards

Some of the more popular gift cards mentioned were for the following :

  • Coffee : Starbucks, Little River Coffee, Barista Alley, Bridge Coffee, and other local coffee shops
  • Makeup : Ulta, Sephora
  • Retailers : Target, American Eagle, Apple, Amazon
  • Shoes : Vans, Converse, Nike

Gaming Systems

Hefty price tag alert, but it probably comes as no surprise that gaming systems are popular among the teens also. Teens also said gaming chairs, curved gaming screens, gaming computers, desks, and headsets are also on their wishlists.

Subscription Box Gifts for Teens

Subscription services are a trend that offers everything from cooking to makeup, and teenagers want them! Some of the more popular mentioned were –

Fab Fit Fun
these subscription boxes offer up to $300 worth of items for $54.99 quarterly. Items include room décor, health and beauty items, and more.

Sketch Box
for $25-$35 a month, you will receive art supplies and a piece of art to inspire your creativity.

Escape The Crate
If your teen likes escape room adventures, then this is the perfect gift! For $29.99 bi-monthly, they’ll receive a mystery along with challenges to decipher, tools to help, and exciting objects that serve as rewards as you advance through the puzzle.

Gifts For The Adventure Seeker

The most important item to a hydrated teen is a Hydroflask. They are a brand of insulated bottles, and they start at $30 for an 18oz bottle. Try Simple Modern brand bottles; they are less expensive, look the same, and have more color and accessory options. Plus, if a decal covers up that logo, no one will be the wiser—a 32oz Simple modern starts at $18.99.

Decal Stickers

Speaking of decals, they make a great gift! Check out locally owned shops for local decals, or look on for special interest decals on Etsy.

LadyBluByrd has decals with shoutouts to local places in Upstate, SC, famous characters, coffee, and more! These make an excellent stocking stuffer and are super easy to mail to a loved one.

shop local decals
Photo Credit: LadyBluByrd

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Depending on the teen you are shopping for, a sport-related gift might be perfect. Think about a gift for either a sport they play or a team they love! Think personalized collegiate flags, corn hole set with that same team décor, hoodies, even socks or slippers in their team’s colors.

Depending on the sport your child plays, new equipment is always a great idea. Skateboards and long-boards are still a popular thing, too.

Room Decor

Let teens dress up their space! These are a few room decor items teens asked for:

We are loving these room decor ideas because they are things teens will use all year long, and many of them are very budget-friendly. LED strips, fuzzy pillows, and lava lamps can all be found for under $25.

Teens Like to Eat: Food and Beverage gifts for teens

Growing teens seem to be able to eat and drink non-stop. The food doesn’t stay in the house long, the grocery list is endless, and bugging mom and dad for those special extra items is not always an option, which makes them a pretty perfect gift.

Soda Stream

A Soda Steam lets you make sodas and sparkling waters at home. While it’s one of the more expensive gifts for teens on this list, it’s definitely unique. And, it’ll let them make any flavors of sparkling beverages they’d like.

Bubble Tea Kit

Let teens make their own bubble tea right at home!

Favorite Snacks or a Snack Box

Do you know their favorite chips, cookies, or ice cream? If not, how about a care package-type box loaded with a huge variety of snacks?

Board Games for Teens

Escape the Room: Murder in the Mafia

ThinkFun’s Escape the Room games are essentially escape rooms in a box. They come cleverly assembled in the box in such a way that you only have to follow a few simple instructions to pop the room up before you’re ready to start looking for clues and playing the game.

Throughout the game the story booklet guides you through each chapter as you solve the clues, and see if you can determine who is the murderer. And if you get stuck you can go online for additional clues and assistance..

ThinkFun Escape the Room titles include:

EXIT Games

Another fun version of an escape room board games are EXIT games. You can spread these materials out and a larger group can work to solve these games. Clues are on cards, in booklets, and hidden in the strangest places. The card and solution wheel systems help you get hints if you’re stuck and also guide you from clue to clue. These games can only be played once as solving them often requires cutting or marking up game pieces, but they are worth it for a fun afternoon with family and friends.

EXIT Games: The Abandoned Cabin

Echoes: Audio Mystery Game

Download a free app and use it to scan the cards and listen to the audio hints. Put them together in the right sequence to unlock each chapter with additional story clues. Finally, use the clues to put the story into the right order. This one is a great family teamwork game. The sounds are a little creepy, and the clues require listening carefully. But don’t worry if you get lost, the app can give you clues if you’re stuck!

Echoes: Audio Mystery Game

More Great Gift Ideas For Teens

  • mini fridges
  • loft beds
  • Beats headphones
  • Hoodies
  • Gloves
  • Fuzzy socks

We hope this helps you navigate the gift-giving season a bit easier.

Needs more gift ideas? Don’t miss our Holiday Gift Guide to Greenville. It includes ideas for experience Gifts, local gifts, ideas for teacher gifts, and much more!

10+ Ways To Celebrate Christmas In Asheville, NC

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If you are planning a festive day trip, then Christmas in Asheville, NC will check off all the boxes on your itinerary! Asheville, North Carolina offers a variety of things to do for the holidays, from Christmas lights to gingerbread houses, parades, and more!

We’ve got a list of kid-friendly holiday events to do in Asheville, NC, and all the details you’ll need to plan your visit.

Christmas activities in Asheville, North Carolina

Christmas in Asheville, NC

I never need much of a reason to visit Asheville. I love the view of the mountains in the background while walking around downtown. There is always live music by musicians busking outside and all the shops welcome you with a smile. There are a variety of different restaurants and historical landmarks to visit within walking distance or just a small drive away. Plus, with the gorgeous backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, maybe you’re family will get a magical snowy adventure while you celebrate the holiday season in Asheville.

Watch A Holiday Parade To Kickoff The Season

Get in the holiday spirit by watching a Holiday Parade. Everyone gathers together to welcome the beginning of the holiday season.

The Asheville Holiday Parade
November 18th, 2023 | 11 AM to 12:30 PM, with streets closing and traffic beginning around 7 AM
Downtown Asheville will have a variety of streets closed for this event, but come early and you can snag a spot along the one-mile route. There will be over 100 entries to enjoy as they travel down the main part of town. The parade starts at Biltmore Avenue and travels up, ending at South French Broad Avenue. There will be photos with Santa at the Restoration Hotel from 2 pm to 4 pm following the parade.


Attend A Tree Lighting Ceremony or Festival In Asheville

The Grove Arcade Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony is the place to be the weekend after Thanksgiving. In addition, the Ingles Giving Tree lighting ceremony is always spectacular! You can also explore the decorated Christmas trees throughout December at the Monte Vista Hotel.

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Win 4 Tickets to Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party

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Feld Entertainment is giving away a family 4-pack of tickets to Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party to two Kidding Around Greenville readers! Scroll down to learn more and to enter. Giveaway ends November 20, 2023.

Thank you to Feld Entertainment for sponsoring this giveaway.

The Show

Embark on a quest with Mickey Mouse and pals as they follow Captain Hook’s treasure map for clues to find Tinker Bell after he attempts to capture her magic. Journey across the Marigold Bridge with Miguel from Disney Pixar’s Coco into the magnificent and mystical Land of the Dead and discover a vibrantly colorful performance with skeletons atop sway poles dancing over the audience in a beautiful cultural celebration of family. Travel to the wintry world of Arendelle and sing along with Elsa as video projection creates a kaleidoscope of crystals to help build her ice palace. Witness Belle lift into the sky as the enchanted chandelier comes to life high over the ice. Demonstrate the power of teamwork when Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie recruit the Green Army Men for a daring rescue in Andy’s room. Laugh hysterically as the hilarious pirates’ flip, tumble, and twist on tumble tracks, stilts and more to showcase their talents for Captain Hook. Sail away with Moana on her daring voyage across the ocean and bravely encounter the fiery wrath of Te Ka. And make memories with your whole family during Aladdin and The Little Mermaid as the search party becomes an all-out magical celebration.

Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party is bringing the magic to guests through dynamic moments that take place on the ice and in the air. This adventure delivers compelling storytelling through multi-leveled production numbers so be prepared to join this magical search and help unlock an epic journey when Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party delivers an unforgettable experience!

What to Wear

Since the show is on ice, expect the arena to be a cooler than normal. A sweater or light jacket will keep you and your family comfortable. Children under 14 years of age are invited to dress in their favorite Disney-themed costume!

Run Time: 2hrs (with one intermission)
Age Recommendation: all ages
Ticket Price: starting at $20

Show Times

Too excited to wait? Purchase tickets online today!

  • November 22, 2023 | 7:00 PM
  • November 24, 2023 | 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM
  • November 25, 2023 | 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM
  • November 26, 2023 | 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM

The Giveaway

Two lucky Kidding Around readers will win 4 FREE TICKETS to see Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party at Bon Secours Wellness Arena! Giveaway runs from Nov 16th – Nov 20th, 2023, 11:59PM. Good luck!

  • You must be 18 or older and live in the USA to enter this giveaway.
  • You must use a valid email address to enter this giveaway.
  • One entry per person per day.
  • We will contact the winner via the email address provided within three [3] days of the giveaway ending. The winner will have three [3] days (72 hours) to respond via email. If the winner does not respond within the three [3] days (72 hours), the prize will be forfeited and another winner chosen. Directions for claiming the prize will be given via email. A valid photo ID and/or mailing address may be required.
  • For a complete list of Kidding Around Greenville SC’s giveaway policies and terms and conditions, see the Kidding Around Greenville SC policy page. By entering this giveaway, you agree to comply with Kidding Around Greenville SC’s terms and conditions.
  • If you have issues with the giveaway not appearing, please email [email protected].

15+ Foolproof Gifts for Teachers: Plus Dos and Don’ts Tips

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Looking for gifts for teachers in your life? It can be tricky trying to find school teacher and preschool teacher gifts that they will love that are within your budget – especially when you are buying for multiple teachers! Whether you’re looking for a holiday gift, something for teacher appreciation week, or an end-of-the-school-year celebration gift, our readers came through with some thoughtful gifts and great ideas.

What gifts do teachers want?

Want to Buy Your Child’s Teacher an Awesome Gift and Skip the Reading? Choose one of these gifts!

This post contains Amazon Associate links.

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