Trying to plan some one-on-time with your child in Greenville, SC? 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 are 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 who constantly presses your buttons is likely the kid who 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
Whether you’re planning a mother-daughter/son or daddy-daughter/son date, they 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 throughout Greenville, SC!
Ice Cream Date
Because 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 of times and talk with your child or go on the Swamp Rabbit Trail (or other places) together. It’s exercise and bonding.
Take a ride on a pedicab through Greenville with Greenville Bike Taxi. We did it during the holidays but you can do it any time of the year!
The Greenville Bike Taxi is so much fun, your kids will LOVE exploring the city!
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.
The Flying Rabbit Adventures ropes course is an epic kid date night!
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 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.
Head to ReCraft for a fun time together making new things out of old things!
ReCraft Greenville is a great place to craft with your kids!
Go to Home Depot Free Workshop Days
Home Depot has a kid workshop day every first Saturday of the month and we’ve been going for years. It’s free and you get to build something together and paint it and get all messy. It’s a blast.
Shop for Cheap Books
If your kid loves to read, make a date out of any of our area’s used book sales or the massive Book Warehouse Outlet sales.
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! There are also several storytime events throughout Greenville that your kids will enjoy.
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.
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.
Roper Mountain Science Center has so much to do, including Starry Nights on Fridays, that make a perfect daddy/daughter, mother/son date night!
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 of dollars.
Find a new picnic spot
Greenville has so many special little outdoor nooks that are perfect for picnics. Pack your 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.
Go Indoor Rock Climbing
Places to go rock climbing near Greenville, SC, with indoor and outdoor options!
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 have a great day together.
Get cooking or baking
Whether in your kitchen or taking a cooking class together like this bread-making class! Learning to make delicious food together is something that 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).
TReehouse Cafe and Art Studio in Travelers Rest is a great kid’s date idea, with art projects, delicious food, and awesome decor!
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 wintertime, 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.
Go mini-golfing or golfing together
Takeoff Mini-Golf next to Runway Park in Greenville is such a fun place to go mini-golfing. There’s also free mini-golfing at McPherson Park in Greenville or Sparkle City Putt Putt in Spartanburg. For older kids, Top Golf or 3’s Greenville Golf & Grill are great choices.
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 or paddleboarding 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.
The Upstate Pinball & Arcade Museum has $10 all-day gameplay!
Do you have a great idea for a date with your kid to add to our list?