Trying to plan some one-on-time with your child in Greenville? Writer Kristina Hernandez shares her 20 ideas for a great date with your kid. These ideas range from splurges to free outings and are appropriate for all types of families and situations! We also have some tips to make the most of your special time.
As soon as my daughter was old enough, as in she could maybe hold a slice of pizza and take a tentative bite, I took her on a date to my favorite pizza joint. While conversation with a three-year-old was limited, it was the time we spent together that made the difference. As she has grown up and the concept of a “date” is slowly beginning to form in her little mind, she loves it when it’s just her and I out together or her and dad. Nurturing the child-parent relationship with dates is one of my favorite ways to spend time together – and here’s some ideas to make it one of your favorite times too.
Tips for Date Time With Your Kid
Here are a few tips for maximizing this special time with your child from Kidding Around Owner Bethany Winston.
- Don’t make the date a reward for good behavior.
Don’t let this treat be one that has to be earned. Make it a treat that they get just because you love them and want to spend time with them. The kid that constantly presses your buttons is likely the kid that also really needs your attention.
- Put your cell phone on “Do Not Disturb”
If nothing else, it will send a clear message to your child that they are more important than your business and Facebook.
- Do something inexpensive and simple.
Remember this outing is about taking time to just enjoy your child. Big, glitzy programs can distract you from being able to really talk and get to know each other. When the outing is inexpensive and simple, it’s also easier to repeat frequently.
- Don’t force your kids to talk.
Sometimes it’s good just to take a break from trying to find out information from your child, and instead give them space to talk about what they want to talk about. You never know where that might lead.
- Cater to your kid’s preferences.
Try to let your child do something that they enjoy rather than having to cater to your tastes. This might mean eating at a place that wouldn’t be your top choice or spending a half hour watching your kid climb a playground.
- Try to incorporate moments like these into everyday life.
Places to Have a Date With Your Kid
Dates with your kid can be super simple. But if you’re looking to get out and about, here are some great ideas for places you can bring your child in Greenville!
Ice Cream Date
Because, really, who doesn’t love going on an ice cream date. It’s inexpensive, doesn’t require a smaller child to sit still for a long time, and it can involve chocolate.
My personal favorite trampoline parks are Big Air, which has a ninja course, climbing walls, and a ropes course, and DEFY. Other great local choices are the Big Air Spartanburg, Sky Zone Greenville, and Urban Air.
This can either involve an actual bike with an older kid or the parent walking next to their child riding a bike. Go around the block a couple times and talk with your child or go on the Swamp Rabbit Trail (or other places) together. It’s exercise and bonding.
Fly through the air
Go zip lining and climb through rope courses in the air at Flying Rabbit Adventures. This would be awesome for older kids who you can do the bigger course together with.
Go see a play
I’ve taken my daughter to the South Carolina Children’s Theatre to see shows and it’s really fun. I used to go to Broadway shows in New York City with my own mother when I was old enough and while Greenville isn’t NYC, it certainly has a wonderful theater community with excellent plays. And the Greenville Theatre has wonderful age-appropriate shows throughout the year.
Climb rocks indoors
BlocHaven is a great new spot to go rock climbing indoors and have a special adventure together.
Go to Home Depot Free Craft Days
Home Depot has a kid craft day and we’ve been going for well over a year. It’s free and you get to build something together and paint it and get all messy. It’s a blast. However, right now due to COVID-19, you can swing by your local Home Depot and just ask for a kit to take home. New kits come out on the first Saturday of each month and are available while supplies last.
Libraries are worlds of imagination and creativity. I am an avid reader and my kids love books so taking one to story time is a treat. Libraries also have lots of free craft activities so one of those events is also a great date idea.
The Upcountry History Museum always has awesome exhibits and I’ve taken my daughter to them for dates before and we always really enjoy it. They are interactive and give parents the chance to read quickly and look smart for their kids (hoping that’s not just me). The Children’s Museum of the Upstate also has tons of great workshops and exhibits.
You can visit the Greenville County Museum of Art absolutely free. They also have great events and activities on their calendar and many are free. Be sure to check out their “Sundays at 2” programs, which are usually art-centered and free.
Roper Mountain Science Center Starry Nights
The Roper Mountain Science Center has a planetarium night every Friday evening about the stars and constellations and you get to lean back and look up at the starry night sky. It’s really neat and fun for both kids and adults.
I really don’t enjoy shopping but I do enjoy shopping for my kids and letting them pick out clothes or a book or a toy. I’m a big fan of some of the children’s consignment stores in the area and thrift stores like Miracle Hill and Goodwill. It’s fun to take your child and pick out a book for 50 cents or a dress for a couple dollars.
Find a new picnic spot
Greenville has so many special little outdoor nooks that are perfect for picnics. Pack your own meal or grab a to-go meal from one of your favorite restaurants. If you need tips, we’ve got you covered with ideas on how to plan the perfect picnic.
While your kids hopefully aren’t addicted to coffee like us crazy adults, there are tons of great little cafes in the Greenville area to grab a caffeinated beverage for you, a hot chocolate for your kid, and maybe a scone or two to share and relax while sitting on a comfy sofa or at a window overlooking Main Street.
Take a hike
With miles and miles of trails in the area, you can’t really go wrong taking a hike together. Pack a lunch and make a great day together.
Whether in your own kitchen, taking a cooking class together (some places in the area have classes specifically for kids), or decorating cookies or a cake, learning to make delicious food together is something that will your child will carry for the rest of their lives.
Painting & Creating
The TReehouse Cafe and Art Studio is one of our favorite places thanks to its relaxing yet funky and artsy vibe. You can grab a meal together and paint or create art while there. Or you can go together to one of these painting/art places around town (just call ahead of time to be sure they have space).
Go to a game
From downtown Greenville to Travelers Rest to Simpsonville, the summer months are filled with beautiful farmers markets where you can take a stroll with your kid through the stands, grab a scone and pick out produce and fruit that they like. In the winter time, hit up the Toasty Farmer Indoors Farmer Market. It’s a good opportunity for them to help choose nurturing food for you both to cook at home together.
Run a race together
So many great races are happening this spring in the Greenville area. Some offer child races but if your kid is old enough, run a short race with them (or if they are smaller, some races allow you to run with a jogger).
Enjoy the Outdoors
Greenville is situated in such a perfect place – it’s not far from the mountains or beautiful, pristine lakes. Go kayaking on a date with your kid in either a tandem kayak if they are smaller or two kayaks. Go hiking – the trails here are really fun and there are hikes for people of all ages. Or go fishing together!
Go old school
Take your child to the Upstate Pinball & Arcade Museum where you can play all kinds of old school games together.
Do you have a great idea for a date with your kid to add to our list?