Looking for some fun things to do when you visit Greenville, SC? There are so many opportunities for memories to be made… from visiting museums to hiking to chasing waterfalls to bike riding to letting your inner foodie enjoy bites throughout town to taking a stroll down Main Street… you are bound to find something for everyone in the family to enjoy. To make planning your trip to Greenville a little easier, we’ve rounded up a list of things for you to do while you’re here.
Are you wondering “what are the outdoor things to do near me”? We get it. It’s good to get outside and get some Vitamin D and fresh air. Being outside makes everyone happier. So we’ve compiled a giant list, organized seasonally, of all the things you can do outside in the Greenville and Spartanburg areas. Make some memories with your family and spend some time outside together—no matter the season.
The Upstate is home to an incredible number of parks and playgrounds. Each park has unique features, as does each playground. You could spend at least an hour at each park, if not, more. And to help you out with finding the perfect park and playground for your family, we have extensive guides for you to comb through before you head out the door.
While it’s not a large zoo, The Greenville Zoo is still one of the “must-see” places in the area. It’s a quick and easy visit, but you’ll see some giraffes, primates, leopards, birds, red pandas, and more! Be sure to read Everything You Need to Know About the Greenville Zoo before heading that way!
Visit Roper Mountain Science Center
While the Roper Mountain Science Center also has indoor exhibit spaces, outdoors you’ll find a dinosaur trail, historic farm, nature trail, gardens, play spaces, and more!
This is such a fun activity, especially for toddlers and younger children, but older kids and adults have fun with it, too! Read about the history and find some clues on the Mice on Main website. You can even purchase a fun picture book about the Mice on Main at the Mast General Store in downtown Greenville. Definitely check out our tips on Mice on Main for more information and help.
If sledding isn’t your thing, maybe hiking is, and lucky for you, there are winter hikes you can take! The cooler temperatures mean you’re going to get a broader view when you’re at the peak of each hike. Here are 5 Amazing Winter Hikes for Families Near Greenville.
If you love Christmas and holiday lights, the Upstate is no stranger to mega-light displays around the holidays. Some are public light displays and some are light displays that people have on their homes and in their yards for you to enjoy. Regardless, we have 50+ Holiday Lights Near Greenville, SC that you can check out.
Go Ice Skating
If you love ice skating and want to practice outdoors (or maybe you just want to try ice skating for the first time), it’s always fun to go ice skating at Ice on Main in Downtown Greenville!
Once it’s officially baseball season, it’s always fun to head to Flour Field to see the Greenville Drive in action. Be sure to check out our tips for going to the Drive games.
Outdoor Things to Do Near Me in the Summer
Go Blueberry Picking
Another fun activity to do is to go blueberry picking! It’s also a great way to teach your kids about agriculture. After you pick your blueberries, head home and make some blueberry muffins or pancakes! Not sure where to pick blueberries? Read our Guide to Picking Your Own Blueberry and Blackberries.
This area has some of the most beautiful fall foliage, so be sure to take advantage of that, and take a drive or hike to see some of it. Stuck on where to find those hues of rust, auburn, orange, and gold? We’ve got you covered on Where to Find the Best Fall Leaves Near Greenville, SC.
Visit Denver Downs
Lots of family fall fun all in one place at Denver Downs. Enjoy a corn maze, unique playgrounds, pig races, pumpkin patch, games, and more.
One of Greenville’s most beloved festivals is Fall for Greenville. The downtown streets are packed with restaurants, music, art, and people. It’s even been awarded as one of the best fall festivals by Country Living!
Are you looking for an animal shelter in Greenville, SC? Maybe you’re looking for dog adoption information. Or maybe you need care for your own pet or rescue for a stray animal that keeps coming to your house. One of the beautiful things about our area is that there are several different animal care facilities, animal shelters, and animal rescue organizations in Greenville and Spartanburg.
Each organization and facility operate a little differently. Some have brick-and-mortar facilities, while some operate only as foster homes. We’ve compiled a list of the animal shelters in Greenville, SC as well as the animal care facilities and rescue organizations throughout Spartanburg.
Have you been to Herdklotz Park in Greenville? It’s such a beautiful park, is close to Paris Mountain, and gives you an unexpected view of the downtown Greenville skyline. With two large playgrounds, unique climbing structures, and two multi-purpose athletic fields, this park has it all.
If there’s one thing my child loves, it’s heading to the park and playing on the playground. And to be honest—I love the opportunity for her to be outside and get some energy out. Herdklotz Park is a perfect place for her to play and run around.
First, a little history. Herdklotz Park is named for former county councilman, Dick Herdklotz, because of his desire to advance outdoor recreation in the Greenville area. So, even if the name is hard to remember, the sentiment behind it is very much appreciated. The location of this beautiful park is that of the former Hopewell Hospital, built in 1930 to treat patients with tuberculosis. The original building burned down one morning in 2002, but you can still walk by one remaining building and read about its history.
This spacious county park sits on 17 acres at the base of Paris Mountain. You will find very large athletic fields on both sides of the playground. Games and team practice are often going on, but if you’re lucky enough to find the fields open, they’re perfect for running and playing.
Herdklotz boasts one of the few county parks that has a sand volleyball court and horseshoe pits (you furnish the horseshoes). The pavilion shelter is up on the hill overlooking the park and is a lovely spot for a gathering (be sure to reserve your time in advance!). Bathrooms are just on the other side of the pavilion. And the panoramic view of downtown Greenville can be seen from the top of the hill.
The playgrounds at Herdklotz
The Herdklotz Park playgrounds are some of the best playgrounds in Greenville (see our list of the 5 best playgrounds in Greenville for even more choices). The larger playground has a three-story tower for climbing. There are 6 slides, a climbing wall, a large swing set and a kid favorite—the sliding handle. Because it’s so large and challenging, this is definitely the place for older children or younger ones who are good at climbing.
The smaller playground is fenced in and has its own covered pavilion with a few picnic tables (perfect for a mid-visit snack!). This smaller playground is where you’ll find the swings for toddlers and the much smaller playset geared toward the little ones.
Between the two playgrounds is a .545 walking trail, perfect for exercising while the children play. You can see the larger playground no matter where you are on the path. If you want to take the children on a walk with you, there is a learning path with signs and many teaching opportunities.
fenced in toddler/smaller playground with picnic tables under a small shelter
the famous sliding handle
large athletic fields
little playground and big playground are far apart
no toddler seats on the big playground swings
Where is Herdklotz Park
Herdklotz Park is tucked away off Rutherford Road, right behind Half Mile Lake subdivision at 126 Beverly Road in Greenville. The parking lot is vast, with spots close to the playgrounds. And if you’re lucky, you’ll watch a train go by on your drive to or from the park.
What do laundry, coffee, and wifi have to do with each other? You’ll find all three at Green Laundry Lounge, a modern, eco-friendly laundromat in Greer, SC. And this is not what you imagine when you think of a typical laundromat. It’s bright, incredibly clean, modern, and comfortable. They offer a variety of services from self-service to drop-off services, all geared to take the hassle out of laundry day.
Have you ever seen a poll that says something like “Which is worse: doing laundry or cooking dinner?” I don’t know about you, but I have no hesitation in telling you that I despise doing laundry. I’d rather clean toilets than do laundry. Laundry is so time-consuming and boring. But Green Laundry Lounge may change my mind.
Green Laundry Lounge’s Founder and Part-Owner, Jay Desai, is trying to reinvent laundry and dry-cleaning services so communities and families can spend more time together. Desai, who cares deeply for the environment, built a sustainable laundromat. With energy-efficient washers, dryers, and sustainable laundry products, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your laundry is being cleaned safely.
Green Laundry Lounge has an outdoor park, patio, lounge with food and drink options, an iPad station for both kids and adults, books, and a kid’s area to encourage community and gathering together. While you can drop your laundry off, you’re also invited to stay and spend time with your family while you’re doing your laundry.
The entire facility is bright, clean, and well-maintained.
How do the Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Services work at Green Laundry Lounge?
Green Laundry Lounge’s laundromat uses some of the best laundry appliances available. With washer capacities up to 80 lbs and dryers up to 83 lbs, you’ll be able to wash and dry up to 9 loads at a time (think about how much time you’ll save!). You’re able to choose as many washers and dryers as you’d like, or just utilize one. The largest capacity machines can get you in and out in under an hour.
Each machine has a delicate cycle for your most fragile fabrics. And yes, you can certainly wash and dry your large items like those down comforters and your pet’s bedding.
As for the Dry Cleaning services, Green Laundry Lounge actually uses an Organic Dry Cleaning Technology, better known as Wet-Cleaning. No harsh or harmful chemicals or solvents are used. They only use bio-degradable soap, conditioner, and water. The staff is careful in handling your delicates, and steam machines take care of your ironing and pressing needs.
Green Laundry Lounge offers same-day laundry and dry cleaning services. You can stay and wait on your laundry or drop it off to pick it up later.
They also offer a convenient rewards program that rewards you each time you come in. With every purchase, you get points that can be used for discounts or free services. It’s a great way to save money while getting your clothes clean and fresh.
The Cafe and Lounge at Green Laundry Lounge in Greer
Green Laundry Lounge has a Cafe & Lounge with both indoor and outdoor seating. You can have a hand-crafted specialty coffee, traditional chai, Beer & Wine, and a snack while waiting on your laundry. There’s even wifi if you want to get some work done while you’re there.
Most ingredients are sourced locally. Desai believes that if you can find something in Greer or localy, why would you go somewhere else to source it?
While some of the items on the menu are standard year-round, there are also seasonal options. During my visit, I tried the Caramel Crunch Latte, and it did not disappoint.
What will you find at Green Laundry Lounge?
Here are some of the amenities to enjoy at Green Laundry Lounge in Greer:
eco-friendly laundry products
organic dry cleaning (also known as wet cleaning, which is more efficient and more sustainable than dry-cleaning)
multiple payment options, including credit/debit card, mobile pay, or cash/coin
change machines and an ATM
24 hour surveillance
Free sanitizing rinse on machines (each machine is sanitized after each use)
wash and fold service using chemical-free soap
text messages in real-time to keep you updated on the availability of laundry machines
TV with news and sports
Cafe with specialty coffees, beer, wine, kombucha, and farm-to-table sandwiches and bowls
If you’ve been a Kidding Around reader for any length of time, you’ve likely seen some of our coverage of Hidden Pastures Unicorn Farm in Fountain Inn, SC. While the farm is open year-round with varying hours, you don’t want to miss Yuletide Unicorn & Night Lights Festival. With Christmas celebrations leading up to New Year’s Day, you and your child are bound to make memories together during a visit to Hidden Pastures.
After all of the rain we’ve had lately, we were ready to get out of the house at the first break of sunshine (despite the bite of cold air). We bundled up ourselves and our daughter and made our way to Hidden Pastures Unicorn Farm. Owner Kate greeted us with smiles and gave us a rundown of the history and what to expect once we walked through the entrance barn doors. As soon as we were done talking with Kate, our daughter took off.
My favorite part of the entire visit? The free-range animals that roam the grounds. Everywhere you turn, there’s either a friendly goat, eager chicken, adorable calf, or magical unicorn ready to greet you (and likely waiting for some snacks to gently eat out of your hand).
There are plenty of outdoor toys for your child to enjoy. There are see-saws, rocking horses, bouncing horses, a tiny toddler playhouse, slides, swings, and a giant inflatable bounce house with a slide.
But the best part about this time of year? The Christmas decorations, Santa, hot chocolate, live music (select days only), Christmas lights, and a night-time Christmas moving showing with a firepit. If our daughter was a bit older, we definitely would have visited at night. Since she’s a bit young, we made a daytime visit, but look forward to visiting in the evening when she’s a little older.
And if you need something to do on New Year’s Eve, the Unicorn Farm will be showing a special movie, will keep their Christmas lights on, and have a food truck available). (CANCELED Due to rain)
Hidden Pastures Unicorn Farm Yuletide Unicorn & Night Lights Festival with Santa Details
Unicorn Farm Location: 245 Little Virginia Road Fountain Inn
Where are the locally-owned toy stores in Greenville, SC? Is there a toy store near me? What are the best places to buy toys in Greenville? If you’re looking to support local small businesses and find great gifts and fun toys while you’re at it, this is the list you’re looking for. These unique shops are some of the best toy shops around.
Where to Buy Toys Around Greenville, SC
Sure, I love online shopping like the best of them, but there’s something that can’t beat walking into a toy store, shopping for gifts, or looking around. And, if I can support a local small business, I’m going to always choose that first. Luckily, we live in an area where there are plenty of locally-owned toy stores.
One of my favorite things to do is pop into one of these stores with my daughter and let her look around for a few minutes. It reminds me of when I used to do the same thing with my parents when I was younger. So if you’re like me and you want to support local businesses, here’s a roundup of some of the best locally-owned toy stores near Greenville, SC.
The Elephant’s Trunk is a specialty toy store that sells educational and unique toys for kids of all ages. Reviewers rave about the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. Need assistance finding the perfect toy for a specific age? They’ll help you without blinking an eye.
Hollipops is another local favorite. Filled with unique, high-quality toys, you’ll find something for every child at every age. And if you need recommendations on what toy to buy, the staff will quickly help you find the perfect gift.
If you’re looking for a gift for a comic book or game, then look no further than Borderlands Comics and Games. Packed full with comic books, graphic novels, collectibles, and games, it’s a dream come true for the comic book or game lover in your life.
410 South Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville 864.235.3488
Toy Federation comes highly rated. They buy, sell, and trade new and vintage toys from your childhood to today. One reviewer even said it’s like a “classic toy museum where you can buy the toys.” If you’re wanting to introduce your kids to some toys from your childhood (or just reminisce yourself), make a visit to this locally-owned toy store tucked away in Greer.
Once you step inside Boardwalk, you’ll find that the entire space is filled with all types of tabletop-style games. From board games to card games to darts and more, your competitive heart will be pleased. They even offer year-round gaming events.
Located in downtown Spartanburg, Imagination Station is a locally-owned toys store offering toys for kids of all ages. They even have trendy toys in stock (like Tonies)… so while you’re buying something popular, you’re also supporting small businesses. Win-win for everyone.
Both TCMU- Greenville and TCMU- Spartanburg offer toy stores located within the museum. The stores have a varied selection of arts and crafts, age-appropriate toys, STEAM-related toys, books, and TCMU merchandise. You can also shop online and purchase curated gift bundles from the museum for that special child in your life!
Got a kid who loves cars and looking for activities to do around North and South Carolina? Because we’re located in an area where there are many car lovers, there are plenty of things to do and see. From museums to events to drag ways and speedways, your little car enthusiast will have so much oohing and aahing over classic cars, concept cars, race cars, and so much more. We’ve rounded up a list of some of the best things to do across the Carolinas for the kid who loves cars.
The BMW Zentrum Museum in Greer is a one-of-a-kind experience for any car enthusiast. Visitors get to experience BMW from its beginnings in aviation and motorsports to where it is now on a global scale. You’ll see BMW’s milestones, rare vehicles from the past such as the famous Isetta “Bubblecar”, and restored classics. You’ll also be able to explore current BMW vehicles through modern-day exhibits and displays. For safety purposes, vehicle doors remain locked in the museum. The museum itself is self-guided, but you can book guided tours of the plant and factory if you prefer that.
Cars and Coffee is an Upstate SC gathering for car enthusiasts that takes place on the 4th Saturday of each month. Visitors have the opportunity to see sports cars, exotic cars, classic cars, and more. The gathering takes place in a Michelin parking lot, so the Michelin cafeteria is open for visitors to grab a coffee and various pastries.
Local car groups and organizations frequently organize car shows at local venues. They are often free and sometimes include other fun things to do like trunk or treats at Halloween or benefit charities, like toy drives around Christmas.
To find car shows near you, check online and on Facebook. In Upstate, SC, you’ll find a list of some of the upcoming car shows at Upstate Car Shows.
The Greer Dragway, established in 1957, features a 1/8th mile concrete and asphalt strip and has Grudge Racing every Thursday and Bracket Racing every Saturday. There’s a weather radar, a concession stand, and clean restrooms on the premises.
Located in Easley, the Greenville-Pickens Speedway features a half-mile of asphalt to give your entire family an experience they won’t forget. The track hosts weekly NASCAR-sanctioned races, which is bound to give any car enthusiast starry-eyes. In addition to racing, the Speedway offers events throughout the year, including the Upstate Holiday Lights Show.
The Charlotte Motor Speedway, located in Concord, NC, is a motorsport complex featuring a 1.5 mile quad oval track that hosts NASCAR racing. Events include the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend, The Bank of America Roval 400 in October, and more. Ticket prices range from event to event, so it’s best to see the Charlotte Motor Speedway website for ticket details.
Affectionately known as “The Bellagio of Race Tracks,” the zMAX Dragway in Concord, NC is a venue at Charlotte Motor Speedway featuring the world’s first 4-lane drag strip for NHRA races and other events. Ticket prices range from event to event, so it’s best to see the Charlotte Motor Speedway website for ticket details.
AutoBarn Classic Cars is a 60,000-square-foot indoor showroom located at the Gibson Mill community gathering spot in Concord. It’s just a 10-minute drive away from Charlotte Motor Speedway and is a great place to browse classic and concept cars. And for an added bonus, race cars and classic memorabilia are up for sale.
Morrison Motor Car Musem is full of sports and muscle cars. There are more than 50 cars featured in this exhibit, all from the past century. There’s also a gift shop and opportunities to buy a collector car such as a Mustang or Camaro on the property’s lot.
Morrison Motor Car Museum Details:
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:30 am – 4 pm // Saturday 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
Ticket Cost: General Admission $8 // Seniors and Children under age 5 $6
This showroom carries an impressive collection of street classics. Guests can view street rods, muscle cars, vintage cars, and more. The 70,000-square-foot showroom has over 300 classic cars that are up for sale.
Streetside Classics Visit Details:
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9 am – 6 pm // Saturday 9 am – 5 pm
The perfect place for Mustang lovers! Mustangs grace the museum’s displays, with various modified vehicles displayed throughout the year. The museum also hosts car shows and cruise events like the “Best of the Best Car Show’ and the “Mustang Chili & Cornbread Cook-Off.”
Mustang Owner’s Museum Visit Details:
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm // Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm *Closed major holidays
Ticket Cost: Adults $10 // Children 12 & under Free
Dale Earnhardt’s No. 2 car can be seen at Curb Motorsports Museum! The Curb Museum features a collection of NASCAR and Indy cars. The museum also holds cars that wrote pages in the motorsport history book including the car that Dale Earnhardt drove when he won his first Winston Cup Championship.
The NC Transportation Museum, located in the former Southern Railway’s Spencer Shops, is a transportation lover’s dream. The museum features history about all types of transportation: railroads, automotives, aviation, and more. Visitors will see the Barber Junction Depot (a train station built in 1898), the Bob Julian Roundhouse (the largest remaining roundhouse in North America featuring locomotives, passenger railcars, and a replica of the Wright Flyer), and so much more. The museum offers several seasonal and holiday events, including The Polar Express Train Ride.
NC Transportation Museum Details:
Tuesday – Saturday 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm
Beginning November 11, museum hours change to accommodate The Polar Express Train Rides. Please refer to the museum’s website for details.
Regular museum train rides do not operate November 7 – December 26 for The Polar Express Train Rides..
There’s a new initiative in Greenville County that is providing free and low-cost access to preschools and other childcare facilities to families with young children. This initiative has been in the making for a long time, and it’s finally here. Read all about Greenville County’s new First Steps 4K program, learn eligibility requirements, and how this will impact our community.
The History and Purpose of First Steps 4K
Over 20 years ago, a group of community members, teachers, and parents got together to discuss how Greenville could serve families with young children. The number one goal was to provide access to free and low-cost childcare for these families. The Greenville First Steps board explored how to leverage federal, state, and local taxpayer-funded services in partnership with current childcare providers to create a network of services.
The result is finally here: First Steps 4K.
Greenville County School District, SHARE Head Start, and over 200 childcare providers in Greenville County have partnered to create a network of free and low-cost childcare services for families with 4-year-olds.
Childcare providers range from school-based to private to church-based, and most offer free 4K services. Some also offer discounted services for younger siblings.
Eligibility Requirements for First Steps 4K
There are eligibility requirements in order to receive the benefits of the program.
For the 2022-2023 school year, in order to qualify, your child must be:
4 years old on September 1, 2022
Eligible for Medicaid, free/reduced-price lunch, or SNAP/TANF recipient; experiencing homelessness or transiency; or in foster care
A resident of South Carolina
You can easily check your child’s eligibility at Free4KSC.org.
First Steps 4K+ Siblings Program
Siblings (ages 0-12) of 4-year-olds who are enrolled in First Steps 4K may qualify for childcare scholarships. There are some eligibility requirements. Read the details bout First Steps 4K+ Siblings program.
How First Steps 4K Works
Once your eligibility is confirmed, you’ll be able to select your choice of program type: private, school-based, community-based, or faith-based. All programs are in-person, 5 days a week during the school year. Most programs are full 8-hour days, and some operate year-round. It’s easy to filter through programs to find the perfect one for your family.
Looking for a place to play pickleball in Greenville, Spartanburg, and the rest of the Upstate? Or maybe you’re just interested in learning about this widely loved sport. Regardless, we’ve got basic information for you on how to play the game as well as a list of places where you can play the game. And luckily, there are plenty of places to play pickleball in the Upstate.