Isn’t summer break great? It’s a great time to pull out the sprinkler, blow bubbles, and send the kids outside to play. But, what do you do when you’ve already exhausted your go-to summer fun list and perhaps your budget at the same time? Fortunately, in Greenville we have tons of options for families looking for cheap fun. In fact, here is our list of 30+ Free (or Cheap) Things to Do This Summer.
P.S. Our definition of “cheap” is approximately $5 or less per person. For fun activities that cost more but are still fun, see our calendar.
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This list may contain unpaid mentions of Kidding Around Greenville sponsors.
The Top 5 Free Things to Do in Greenville This Summer
Your kids can bowl free all summer long with the Kids Bowl Free program.
Splash in a waterfall pool or swimming hole. Here’s a list of natural swimming places near Greenville.
Play at the new Unity Park playground and splash pad.
Go Park Hopping and win prizes! Upstate, SC Park Hop
See a Free Outdoor Movie, there are so many in the Upstate!
Free Scavenger Hunt Fun in Greenville
Work as a family to complete some scavenger hunts this summer! Explore downtown areas using clues to help you find mini sculptures of mice or toads. Or, see if you can complete this summer’s park hop!
- Find all the Mice on Main.
- Find all the Toads on Trade.
- Check out some library books, use this fun library BINGO sheet, and/or get started on a summer reading program.
- Park Hop with your children through parks in Greenville and Spartanburg to earn prizes.
Hike and Bike, Explore Greenville’s Outdoors
- Visit Greenville’s newest park! Unity Park
- Bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail. (Don’t forget to stop at Swamp Rabbit Cafe.)
- Mountain Bike at one of these Mountain Biking Parks near Greenville, SC.
- Go on a hike on one of our favorite trails. Join Hike It Baby Greenville to learn even more about family-friendly hiking in the Upstate.
- Visit Musgrove Mill State Historic Site, enjoy a hike through a historic Revolutionary War battle or splash around at Horseshoe Falls.
- Blow bubbles, play in the sand or throw a frisbee at Legacy Park.
- Pack the putters and head to McPherson Park for a free game of mini-golf.
- Go on a picnic using our list of tips.
- Visit Carl Sandburg’s home in Flat Rock, NC and play with goats for free. Hiking on the grounds is free.
- Enjoy a round of disc golf at one of the many local courses.
- Try one of these affordable activities in Clemson. (The SC Botanical Gardens is a great free choice).
- Grab your club and play a free round of mini-putt at Sparkle City in Spartanburg.
- Explore one of these gardens in Upstate SC.
- Find one of these local trains (which includes real train cars & train-themed play structures).
- On a breezy day, fly a kite at one of these perfect kite-flying spots.
- Find one of Greenville’s top-secret spots.
- Pick fruit at one of these great orchards, farms, or berry patches.
- Ride the train at Heritage Park.
- Birdwatch at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve.
- Explore some local green spaces.
- Find fairies and gnomes at the Fairy Trail at Bullington Gardens in Hendersonville, NC
Splish Splash Your Way Through Summer
- Put on your bathing suit and head to a lake or swimming hole.
- Find the waterfall at Cedar Falls Park.
- Swim, hike, or camp at Paris Mountain State Park. Free with an annual pass or regular admission is $3.50-$6 per person.
- Stomp around in a creek
- Grab sand toys and a beach chair to hang out at any of these sandy mountain beaches in the Upstate.
- Chill out at the foot of a local waterfall.
- Go tubing for free at Dolly Cooper Park in Greenville
Keep Learning all Summer in Greenville
- Join a summer reading program and win prizes
- Learn some Upstate history with a visit to a textile mill.
- Gaze the night sky for a satellite train.
- Tour local murals and appreciate some art.
- Visit Kings Mountain Revolutionary War Battlefield
- Check out the free Geology Museum at Clemson
Free and Inexpensive Dates in Greenville
- Visit a Farmer’s Market.
- Take an early evening stroll through downtown and Falls Park.
- Go out for ice cream at one of our favorite spots.
- For more date ideas check out this list of 10 dates that cost $0 in Greenville.
Free Day Trips from Upstate, SC
We know day trips aren’t exactly free when you factor in gas and maybe food. But these destinations all have super fun free things to do and will make at least a very cheap day-trip adventure for your family!
The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, part of the University of Georgia, is totally free to visit. We love the hidden playgrounds, trails, and beautiful grounds. It’s worth a day trip! Plus, find more to do in the area in our Guide to Athens, GA.
Hendersonville, NC may have some of the coolest free things to do, and the most variety we’ve ever seen. You can visit museums for history, geology, airplanes, and model trains totally free. Visit the coolest obstacle course playground for free or learn something new on a hike in an educational forest. Play a round of mini-golf for just $3, or learn about ocean life and reptiles for just a couple of dollars per person. Check out all the free and very cheap things to do in Hendersonville, NC.
The South Carolina State Capital has lots of free and very cheap things to do for families. We are seriously impressed with the number of free splash pads and pools in the area, and low-cost lake access for swimming. Plus you can rent a kayak for just $5 at Sesqui State Park, and they have a gorgeous splash pad. If you’re looking to learn something new, you can tour the statehouse for free, or go on a public art tour. How can you go wrong? Here’s our list of Free and Cheap Things to Do in Columbia.