10+ Fun Fall Outings for Less than $25 a Family in Greenville, SC

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If you are looking for cheap fall activities, Greenville, SC has a couple that can include your entire family without going over budget! Spending time together doesn’t have to mean spending lots of money. To help you out, our Kidding Around Greenville team has come up with some amazingly cheap fall outings that you can enjoy. These outings are all $25 or under in admission fees for a family of 4 and all of these suggestions are outings that are particularly great in the fall. Some of these ideas are even completely free!

Cheap fall activities near Greenville, South Carolina

For more ideas on outdoor activities see our Things to Do Outside in Greenville page. 

Cheap Fall Activities: Greenville, SC & Close By

Picking Apples

Cost for a family of 4: Free (with purchase of apples)

Taking your kids apple picking is not only affordable, but it’s also a wonderful way to teach them about local agriculture and fresh foods. Most of the apple orchards offer tasting stations where you can try different varieties of apples and also sell pre-picked apples (in case your kids aren’t able to pick as many apples as you would like to take home).

The best part is this outing can be as inexpensive as a little gas in your car plus some of your grocery budget to cover the apples. Jeter Mountain and Justus Orchard in Hendersonville are two affordable options. You can find a complete list of local options in our list of u-pick apple orchards near Greenville.

Jeter Mountain Play Area
Indoor play area at Jeter Mountain

Hawk Watch at Caesar’s Head

Cost for a family of 4: free

Each September-November, thousands of hawks migrate through Caesar’s Head State Park in Cleveland, SC. It’s possible during the peak to even see as many as 300 hawks at a time! Fall colors should already be starting in the higher elevations by late September and the colors typically peak by early October.  Please note that there is no fee for the overlook, but the trails have a fee of $3 per adult, kids aged 6-15 are $1, and kids 5 and under are free.


Cost for a family of 4: free (may need to pay for parking, depending on the time of day and place)

Fall’s cooler temps make it the ideal time of year to pull out the family bikes (or rent some) and check out Greenville’s famous bike trails. We have a list of great places to ride a bike with kids as well as a Guide to the Entire Swamp Rabbit Trail, so you can decide where you want to start off your bike ride.

Visit Farms and Earn Prizes

Cost for a family of 4: Free to participate in the passport program. Individual farms may charge admission, depending on their programming.

With the South Carolina Agritourism Passport Program your family can earn prizes just for visiting participating farms across the state. There are several participating farms right in the Upstate.

Flowering Bridge at Lake Lure

Cost for a family of 4: Free

This beautiful bridge has thousands of flowers and gardens and it’s totally free. It’s whimsical and a lot of fun. Plus, you can walk around Chimney Rock or hike a nearby trail. It’s a perfect fall trip. The leaves of the surrounding mountains will be changing colors in early October as the temperatures become more comfortable.

Flowering Bridge in Lake Lure, NC
Flowering Bridge at Lake Lure

Clemson University

Cost for a family of 4: free

Clemson University is only a forty-minute drive from Greenville, and there are so many free things to do there that we have an entire list of things to do with kids at Clemson. If you need to pick just one thing to do in Clemson this fall, we would recommend the South Carolina Botanical Gardens.

Inside the botanical gardens, your kids will love the small children’s garden that is modeled after Peter Rabbit with a small playhouse and garden. You can then head over to the free Bob Cambell Geology Museum, which is only a short walk or drive from the botanical garden entrance. Like Furman University though, be sure to check the football schedule before making your plans as traffic can back up significantly near Clemson on home game days.

NC Arboretum

Cost for a family of 4: $20/car

The NC Arboretum is a great place to visit in the fall. With no admission fee, it’s especially great for a family day trip on a budget. Bring a picnic and head out into the gorgeous gardens. Don’t miss the arboretum’s Rocky Cove Railroad Model Train exhibit, open on weekends from 12-4 pm.  The conductor just may let you have a turn with the whistle controls.

NC Arboretum Train
Model Trail at NC Arboretum

Hagood Mill

Cost for a family of 4: free

On Wednesdays through Saturdays, you can tour the Hagood Mill in nearby Pickens for free between 10 am – 4 pm and there is no parking fee. This historic attraction includes a blacksmith shop and gristmill as well as historic cabins. Be sure to wear your hiking shoes as well as there are a couple of nature trails.

Carl Sandburg Home

Cost for a family of 4: free

Visit the goats at the barn or hike the beautiful trails around the property just an hour from Greenville in Flat Rock, NC. The only charge is for the tour of the house but you can have a lot of fun without doing that.

Baby goats at Carl Sandburg House

Trick-or-Treating Events

Cost for a family of 4: often free

House-to-house trick-or-treating comes with a number of serious safety concerns, the greatest being that twice as many children are killed by traffic on Halloween as on any other day of the year. Greenville, fortunately, offers a wide variety of local Halloween and Fall Festivals where kids can wear their costumes, trick-or-treat, in a safe environment away from traffic.

Many of these events are free and hosted by local churches and community groups. We have a complete list of trick-or-treating and Halloween events in Greenville that we update each fall.

Hiking in the Fall

Cost for a family of 4: Free or nominal park admission charges

After a hot summer, fall is looking like the perfect time to head into nature to enjoy cooler temperatures and the changing colors of fall foliage. See our Guide to Fall Colors for a list of the best places to see the changing fall leaves in Greenville.

Also, we have a great list of good hikes for toddlers in Greenville, a list of waterfalls near Greenville, and reviews of popular hiking spots such as Jones Gap, Little Bradley Falls, and Dupont Forest. Within Greenville, you can find excellent hiking at both Paris Mountain (which has a modest admission fee) and Lake Conestee Nature Park.

Hendersonville, NC

Cost: free (or inexpensive depending on activities)

A trip up to Hendersonville, NC is worth the drive. It’s only under an hour from Greenville and the drive will naturally take you up moderately winding hills into the North Carolina mountains. Hendersonville’s quaint downtown is worth the drive alone with its small-town feel and excellent shopping and eateries.

Also located in the general area are several free or inexpensive museums, a number of apple orchards, and Carl Sandburg’s home in neighboring Flat Rock. You can read more about the many options for affordable family fun on our list of 10 Family Day Trips that Cost Less than $25/Family.

WNC Nature Center

Cost: 50% off with Greenville Zoo membership. Double-check the reciprocity agreement before you go. Many nature centers/zoos have changed agreements.

Located in nearby Asheville, NC, the Western North Carolina Nature Center features animals only from the geographic area.  These local animals include hawks, otters, wolves, bobcats, and mountain lions. In the fall, you will definitely want to plan plenty of time because the nature center also includes access to a small nature trail and a spider web-themed play area. Children will also enjoy the hands-on petting zoo that allows kids to actually get in the pen with some of the smaller farm animals.

WNC Nature farm exhibit

Are there any cheap fall activities Greenville, SC has that your family enjoys? Share it in the comments!

2023 Fall Festivals near Greenville, South Carolina

KA Ultimate Guide to Fall, with events, day trip ideas, and so much more near Greenville, SC!

parks with swings
About the Author
How does Kidding Around® bring readers high-quality and up-to-date content month after month and season after season? We have a dedicated team of writers and editors who regularly update our fabulous content to keep it current and relevant for our readers. This team combs lists of events, heads out into the community to experience new Upstate offerings, and communicates with local businesses. Many of our updated articles and event lists, like this one, reflect the contributions and hard work of multiple Kidding Around® team members.

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