50+ Experience Gifts in Greenville & Spartanburg That Don’t Take Up Space

Posted on | 5 Comments

You have found our giant list of experience gifts in Greenville and Spartanburg, SC! Closet, toy boxes and toy shelves a little full? So many toys in your house its too hard to pick one to play with? We get it. With the holidays quickly approaching, the toy problem increases. So, we’ve created a list of experience gifts available in Greenville, Spartanburg, and surrounding areas that families will love. You’ll make memories, learn new things, and they won’t take up any space in the toy box, either! So when Grandma calls and asks what the kids would like for Christmas this year, just send her this list.

Being a mom, I hang out with lots of moms and one topic of conversation comes up pretty frequently, the massive amounts of “stuff” that our kids accumulate. As a parent, I’ve heard a couple of strategies for tackling the “toy problem.” Over Christmas there is one solution that I think is brilliant: buy a gift that doesn’t take up space. Creating a memory is priceless. Spending time as a family is essential. These are experiences that instead will bring smiles, build up families, and won’t end up in a donation bin.

And, beyond the kids, experience gifts are definitely great gifts for adults, so I’ve included some great ideas (Culinary Tour, anyone?) for the grown-ups in your life too.

This article includes:
Memberships That Make Great Gifts
Event Tickets to Give for a Gift
Local Classes Make an Excellent Gift
Experience Gifts: Arcades, Arts and Crafts and Lots More
Great Experience Gifts and Memberships No Matter Where You Live
Give the Gift of a Day Trip

Roper Mountain Science Center

Disclaimer: This list does include advertisers, partners, in addition to other businesses that we recommend. This list contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

Membership Gifts

This section includes:
Membership Gifts in Greenville, SC
Membership Gifts in Spartanburg, SC

We have some pretty amazing membership options in the Upstate. Many memberships provide unlimited visits during the year. Trust me. Parents love these as gifts for their kids! Remember, this list is just for informational purposes, and we can’t guarantee pricing. We have provided links to the original sources where you can find the most current information.

Membership Gifts in Greenville, SC

Play passes – Lots of local, indoor play places have some version of a play pass, where you get either a certain number of entries or unlimited play. Try Village Play, Palmetto Proper, SkyZone Fall Pass, or Big Air PLAYer Pass,

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate – TCMU is a favorite among many Upstate families and offers so many kid and family activities throughout the year that a membership would be a great gift. Also, don’t forget that in addition to their Greenville campus, they also have a campus in Spartanburg that is designed for children aged 5 and under!

Greenville Zoo – Greenville Zoo memberships include extra perks such as guest tickets and it’s a reciprocal membership which means that you can use your membership to get into other participating zoos at a discounted or free price.

Roper Mountain Science Center – RMSC memberships include admission to weekly planetarium shows, Summer Adventure, Afternoon Explorations, and discounts on other services. Memberships for a family are $95 (homeschool families can take advantage of the teacher price of $90). This membership is also reciprocal. You can read about how my family saved over $100 on vacation one year by using ours.

Greenville Water Parks Season Passes – These memberships include Greenville’s water parks.  Individual memberships for parks start at $59 and go up to $89 per person. The Rec ‘N Crew pass, priced at $149, gets the passholder admission to all three water parks plus year-round admission to The Pavilion’s Ice Rink and Bounce House.

Flying Rabbit Adventures Annual Pass – You can get an annual pass ($495) and play on the big aerial course for 2.5 hours a day when the adventure course is open. Super fun!

Family memberships to local gyms and recreational facilities offer not just access to exercise equipment and swimming pools but also discounted prices on classes, sports, and more. Joining fees and monthly fees vary on the specific facility in Greenville.

Upcountry History Museum – A membership at the Upcountry History Museum not only includes unlimited visits but also access to their Family Fun Days, UHM Kids Book Club and more!  A family membership is $95 for the year.

Back to the top: Experience Gift Guide

Membership Gifts in Spartanburg

If you live in Spartanburg or don’t mind driving 30 minutes from Greenville, Hub City has plenty of family fun to offer!

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate – While this museum’s Spartanburg location is geared for younger children (5 years and under), the membership is reciprocal and can be used at both the Greenville museum and the Spartanburg museum.

The YMCA of Greater Spartanburg – Any kid and their parents will be thrilled with a YMCA membership because it means they have access to all the YMCA fun!

Big Air Trampoline Park – The indoor trampoline park in Greenville and Spartanburg is a super fun place to visit, but it can add up quickly. That’s why families love the monthly membership packages that include daily two-hour jump sessions.

Shipwreck Cove – Go ahead and purchase a season pass to Shipwreck Cove waterpark in Duncan and parents and kids will be thanking you for making summer wet and wild.

Back to the top: Experience Gift Guide

Event Tickets

This section includes:
Ticket Gifts in Greenville, SC
Ticket Gifts in Spartanburg, SC

I don’t know about you but my kids absolutely love being spectators. Sometimes I catch them in a state of wonder or amazement when I take them to sporting events, plays, music performances, and even monster truck rallies. Not only do event tickets make a great gift for children but they can also be a great way to treat a whole family or plan for a special date for the grandparents and kids.

Ticket Gifts in Greenville

Swamp Rabbits Hockey – My kids absolutely love hockey. It’s a fun, family-friendly environment. Check the schedule for fun promotional night events.

Furman University basketball tickets – Grab tickets to the local university’s basketball games.

Clemson Tigers – Clemson football fans would love tickets to a home game.

Greenville Theatre – The Greenville Theatre features musicals, dramas, comedies, and more throughout the year.

South Carolina Children’s Theatre – The SCCT has performances for everyone. They also offer programming for younger audiences via their Tell-Me-A-Story Theatre. During the summer months, kids can take advantage of their classes and summer camps. And it all takes part in their bright and shiny theatre on Augusta Street!

Greer Cultural Arts Council – In addition to productions by the Greer Children’s Theatre, the Greer Cultural Arts Council also offers courses in the arts, dance, drama, literature, and music.

Peace Center – The Peace Center has many offerings including Broadway shows and music performances.

The Well also has a fun round-up of family-friendly events. (Tip: The Well is home to Monster Jam!)

Monster Jam at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena

Greenville Drive – Baseball games are always fun, especially at the family-friendly Fluor Field, where they even have a playground on site.

Greenville Triumph – One of our town’s newest teams, the Greenville Triumph soccer team wows fans young and old.

Back to the top: Experience Gift Guide

Ticket Gifts in Spartanburg

Spartanburg Little Theatre – Local theatre company that performs shows for various age groups

Spartanburg Youth Theatre – Local youth theatre that performs shows for kids by kids

Ballet Spartanburg – Performs beautiful ballet at Chapman Cultural Center

Greer Cultural Center – Venue for music concerts and Greer Children’s Theatre performances. It also hosts classes in a range of arts, dance, drama, literature, and music.

College Sports Tickets – Cheer on a hometown team with tickets to a local college’s sporting events. Local schools include ClemsonUSC UpstateWofford, and Converse.

Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium – Hosts a variety of live events such as Charlie Brown Christmas and Disney Junior Live

Back to the top: Experience Gift Guide

Local Classes

This section includes:
Classes in Greenville, SC that Make Great Gifts
Classes in Spartanburg, SC that Make Great Gifts

Purchasing a class is a great way to have fun learning. While this list is not comprehensive it includes several of our favorite options.

Class Gifts in Greenville

Dance Without Limits– Dance Without Limits offers dance classes beginning as young as 18 months in their Mommy and Me Dance Class all the way through advanced dance classes. Ballet, tap, lyrical, and tumbling classes are available as well as summer camps. Dance is for everyone at Dance Without Limits.

Kindermusik with Piano Central Studios – Kindermusik is a great way to introduce music to a baby or toddler.

Color Clay Cafe – This pottery studio offers painting and other art designs for both adults and children. You can also enjoy Open Studio times outside of classes.

I9 Sports – This youth sports league offers a range of different sports options for children.

Sylvan Learning – For kids who enjoy an extra challenge, Sylvan Learning provides a full range of interesting classes including classes on robotics and coding.

The Little Gym – This local children’s gym is a favorite of our readers!

DRUM Percussion Studio – Kids can begin classes here starting at just two years old and parents love all the studio offers.

Also you can purchase certificates for Art Workshops through the  Greenville Center for Creative Arts, Spartanburg Art Museum, and more. Many of these workshops are excellent parent and child bonding experiences.

Acrosmith Gymnastics, Airborne Athletics, and Greenville Gymnastics all offer classes year-round. If you’ve got a budding gymnast, buying them classes for a month is a great gift.

Roller Time Skating Academy offers roller skating lessons and summer camps for beginners through advanced skaters.

Back to the top: Experience Gift Guide

Class Gifts in Spartanburg

Spartanburg Youth Theatre – Offers theatre classes for kids preschool – high school

Plate 108 – Offers cooking classes for kids and culinary camps at its Greer location

Sylvan Learning Center – In addition to tutoring, Sylvan Learning Center also offers Robotics for Kids.

Spartanburg Science Center Lego Robotics Club – Offers after-school Lego robotics clubs for kids 6-12 years old

Musikgarten at Lawson Academy for the Arts – Offers music classes for kids 0-7 years old at Converse College

Spartanburg Art Museum – Offers art classes from preschool through adult classes at Chapman Cultural Center

For even more ideas, see our giant Activity & Classes Guide which will help you find:

  • Martial Arts Classes
  • Ballet Classes
  • Gymnastics and Cheer Classes
  • Equestrian Experiences
  • and more!

Back to the top: Experience Gift Guide

Local Experiences

This section includes:
Experience Gifts in Greenville, SC
Experience Gifts in Spartanburg, SC

Making memories through shared experiences and new adventures is always a win! Whether for yourself, you and your significant other, or the whole family, the Upstate has plenty of neat experiences to explore!

Experience Gifts in Greenville

Greenville Culinary Tours – I was invited to experience the Greenville Culinary Tour myself and hands down, it’s an absolutely awesome gift idea. The price is an excellent value and I would definitely do it again. Tickets include food and a drink at each location.

Escape Artist Greenville – Our team here at Kidding Around has done three of the escape rooms and had a blast. This is a perfect date night activity or just for fun with friends.

Wine & Design – This art studio offers canvas painting classes for adults and even has an Art Buzz kids line of classes for children.

Trapped in the Upstate – This escape room in Greer will test your problem-solving skills while delivering a fun night of entertainment.

Princess Palace – Treat your princess to some time getting pampered at the only spa for little girls in Greenville.

Ice on Main – Ice skating on Main Street would make the perfect treat for the kids (or a special someone).

Once Upon a Dream Parties – Did you know that you hire a princess for as little as $50?

Topgolf Greenville – Take a few swings and have a great meal together. Fun for the whole family (they even have kid clubs available).

Mad Smash Rage Room – Get out your frustrations by smashing a whole bunch of stuff in a smash room. Kids ages 8+ can participate.

Moo Cow Farm – Enjoy cuddles with cows at this farm in Simpsonville. It’s a great gift for the animal lover.

Ballyhoo Petting Zoo – This is the only dedicated petting zoo in the Upstate and tickets here for your kids would be awesome. They have several animals to feed and cuddle with.

Flying Rabbit Adventures – They’ve got two huge ropes and obstacle courses with zip lines plus a pump track. This is a really fun experience for the whole family.

Back to the top: Experience Gift Guide

Experience Gifts in Spartanburg

Big E Gaffney – Movies, putt-putt, bowling, ropes course, and more

East Main Arts – Offers a variety of adult paint and wine parties, as well as family arts and costumed character appearances

Hearts of Clay – A Spartanburg local favorite. This is a spot to make personalized art and pottery.

Spartanburg County Historical Association – Support your local historical association by purchasing a membership, which will provide you with free or discounted admission to properties and special events

Back to the top: Experience Gift Guide

Good Gifts No Matter Where You Live

While the Upstate has plenty to offer, there are plenty of good clutter-busting and memory-making gifts to be found in almost any community.

South Carolina State Park Passport– State Park Passports are great for families who love the outdoors. You can get a Select Park Passport for only $75, which provides admission for everyone in the vehicle to 35 of the 47 SC State Parks. The All Park Passport is $99. And if you’re shopping for someone who doesn’t live in South Carolina, there is surely a similar program for their home state’s park system!

Nail or Spa Gift Certificates – A spa gift certificate is another excellent choice – especially for busy moms. One of our local favorites is Drift Float! Buy a float for someone in your life who needs to relax (or yourself, no judgement here). We did it and it was awesome.

Drift Spa

Pool Memberships – Even though it is too cold to swim right now, you can always plan ahead. Purchase a family pool membership so the kids can enjoy the pool all summer long. Topside Pool Club will make you the cool kid if you snag a membership to this rooftop pool club in Greenville. You can bring kids, preferably in the morning or early afternoon.

Photography – Book a local photographer to capture photographs of your family – and don’t forget to print them out to give to the gift recipient!

Indoor Play Ideas (check our rainy day guide for a massive list of places that offer bouncing or play during the day)

Meal Delivery Services / Grocery Delivery – Help out a busy family by paying the fee for a meal delivery or grocery delivery service such as Shipt (for groceries) or Hello Fresh (for meals). Need inspiration? See how you can Get Those Groceries Delivered in Upstate, SC!

Gift cards to local restaurants – My family always loves receiving gift cards to local restaurants since we don’t eat out often. In addition to the many chain restaurant gift card options, most local Spartanburg restaurants offer gift cards as well.

Subscription Boxes – Subscription boxes are all the rage and there are a ton to choose from! Most subscription boxes allow you to choose the increment (monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly). Plus, they offer them for kids (i.e., books, arts & crafts) and adults (i.e., coffee, adult beverages, to name a few). While I’ve never tried it, I’ve heard other parents say that they love Kiwi Crate and try Tinker Crate for older children.

Streaming Services Subscriptions (Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sling) – Help a family cut the cord by paying for a subscription to a streaming tv service.

Summer Camp – Summer camp is an amazing gift. Many places will soon open their registrations. My child had a blast last summer at Conestee Camp with Greenville Rec and Space Camp at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate. If you need inspiration, check out our massive Summer Camp Guide!

Attractions Dining & Value Guide – One of my absolute favorite ideas is the Attractions Book. You can purchase them online and they are offered for Greenville, Spartanburg, and several other parts of South Carolina. It supports local businesses and the coupons are quite good. It would make an excellent stocking stuffer! Ask around as many schools and non-profits sell this book as a fundraiser.

Back to the top: Experience Gift Guide

Day Trip Gifts

One of the benefits of living in the Upstate is that we’re sandwiched in between several cities that offer plenty of family fun activities–many of which are easily worth an hour or so of driving!

The Georgia Aquarium – We took our child to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta several years ago for his birthday and he still talks about it!

The Biltmore An annual pass at the Biltmore includes not only admission to the house but also to the farm where kids can pet chickens and goats, the winery, and discounts on tickets to Dollywood and Tweetsie Railroad.

The Biltmore

Dollywood – The beloved theme park is only three hours from Greenville and is fun for the whole family, especially during special holiday events like the nightly Christmas parade or the fall Pumpkinfest. Dollywood’s Splash Country is also amazing in the summer. (Read our review!)

Anakeesta – Also in East Tennessee, this mountaintop village is just magical. The views are stunning and you can eat dinner or watch an outdoor movie overlooking the Smoky Mountains. They have seasonal events and offer year-round passes.

WNC Nature Center – Located in Asheville, the WNC Nature Center focuses on animals and plants in the southern Appalachian mountains. The center includes lots of shade, walkways, and natural playgrounds and is perfect for a day trip with little children.

Discovery Place – A hands-on science museum located in Charlotte

Carowinds – A theme park located in Concord (Charlotte area) with tons of rides designed for their littlest visitors!

Hands On! Children’s Museum – A children’s museum located directly on Hendersonville’s charming Main Street, the Hands On! Children’s Museum has a target audience of children aged ten and under.

Mountain Play Lodge – An indoor play space for children in Arden that features two large climbing areas, complete with steps, multiple slides, and overhead tunnels with obstacles to climb over, around, and through.

Don’t miss our List of Holiday and Winter Events and Things to Do and Holiday Guide to Greenville.

Back to the top: Experience Gift Guide

About the Author
Bethany Winston is the owner and editor-in-chief of Kidding Around Greenville & Kidding Around Spartanburg. She enjoys exploring parks, discovering local events, and meeting the people who make Greenville an amazing place to live. You can contact her directly at [email protected]

Sign up for our email newsletter.

Subscribe
Notify of
5 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 years ago

How about gift certificates to attend creative art workshops? I offer private & small group felting workshops/party for adults & family (group of 5+, age 7-100 by appointment). I also teach Adult class & Family Bonding ‘Parent & Me’ Needle & Wet Felting Workshops in Jan/Feb 2016 at Greenville Center for Creative Arts, as well as Kid+Adult Holiday Stocking Workshop (Dec12) at Spartanburg Art Museum. All offer gift certificates that will make a great learning & bonding creative time with your loved ones! – Cecilia

Sarah
4 years ago

Don’t forget about the Spartanburg youth theater! They are at the Chapman Cultural Center. They have fantastic shows. They also offer drama classes.

3 years ago

This is such a wonderful list! We love giving experience gifts and usually give an open-ended gift certificate that tells what we want to do with our nieces or nephews. Then, when the day comes, we pay for all the goodies and take them out for a fun adventure while mom and dad get to relax a bit. It’s fun for us to be part of the experience AND get to spend quality time with our family! Here are the certificates we use if it’s helpful! https://www.etsy.com/shop/locallyfamous

Karla H
2 years ago

Don’t forget indoor climbing memberships or passes at Climb at Blue Ridge! http://www.climbbr.com

Stephanie
15 days ago

Big Play in a Box should be added to your subscription box ideas. They are local and developed by an OT. They can be shipped or picked up. They have a book, sensory toy/activity, and a few crafts in them. They are a HUGE hit with the kids!!