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Kidding Around Spartanburg: The Ultimate Guide to Spartanburg, SC

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Spartanburg, SC, also known at the Hub City, has a little of everything for families: amazing parks, cultural venues, a bustling food scene, plus a walkable and growing downtown with shops and lots of things to do. Residents of Spartanburg enjoy ever-changing seasonal festivities and holiday traditions. Children have a wide variety of educational options. It’s all right here in Spartanburg, SC!

Things to do in Spartanburg, SC

Things to Do in Spartanburg

Things to Do in Spartanburg, SC: If you’re looking for things to do in Spartanburg, this is your list. It is our giant guide of things to do near Spartanburg full of adventures and things to discover in the Hub City.

Caboose at the Hub City Museum in Spartanburg, SC
Hub City Museum

Seasonal Fun in Spartanburg, SC

You’ll find special seasonal events, festivals, and not-to-miss fun activities in our seasonal guides to Spartanburg.

Spartanburg, SC Christmas Tree Lighting
Spartanburg Tree Lighting

Dine Out in Spartanburg

Spartanburg Restaurant Guide: Want to find the perfect place to grab a bite to eat? No matter what type of cuisine you’re after or dining experience you’re looking for, you’ll find it here in the Spartanburg, SC Restaurant Guide.

Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free (or for cheap!) in Spartanburg: Check out some restaurants that offer deals on kids meals.

Schooling and Education Options in Spartanburg, SC

Private Schools near Spartanburg: Use our list to find the private school option that’s right for your family.

Preschools Near Spartanburg: There are a lot of preschool options near Spartanburg. Use our list to sort by location, hours and program offered.

Homeschooling in the Upstate: If you’re a homeschooling family in Spartanburg, you’ll want to bookmark this guide. It’s full of resources, classes, field trip opportunities and more.

Afterschool Care Near Spartanburg: Find the afterschool care your child needs in our Afterschool Care Guide.

Spartanburg Public Schools

Guide to Spartanburg School Districts: Find information for each of Spartanburg’s seven public school districts.

Spartanburg, SC Back to School Guide: Time for school to start? Here’s everything you need to know.

Spartanburg Schools News and Updates: Things at school can change pretty quickly. Find the newest updates from Spartanburg districts on our news page.

Celebrate a Birthday in Spartanburg

Birthday Guide: Where to Host a Birthday Party Near Spartanburg: Find the best place to host a birthday party in Spartanburg, SC

Lemongrass Kitchen Is Where You Find Authentic Vietnamese Flavors in Spartanburg

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Have you been to Lemongrass Kitchen in Spartanburg, SC yet? Growing up with a love of flavors and spices, I am in constant search not so much for fusion restaurants but more authentic dining experiences, places that are about celebrating their heritage and remain true to the characteristics of each dish.

Lemongrass Kitchen Spartanburg SC

There’s nothing like discovering a family-run restaurant who boldly share their home-grown recipes to share with the public. The Lemongrass Kitchen is such a place. It’s run by husband and wife team Tony Nguyen and his wife Thang Bui. Transplants from California, Tony used to run a kitchen in Chinatown, Los Angeles. Now they are adding to the growing list of fun dining options in downtown Spartanburg.

Spartanburg SC Restaurants

Hub City has GREAT restaurants! Here are some of the best restaurants in Spartanburg, SC!

About The Lemongrass Kitchen

Just a block off Main Street, The Lemongrass Kitchen mostly serves Southern Vietnamese dishes. Just as if you were in Saigon, the restaurant specializes in Pho, a good-sized noodle dish, sometimes served in chicken or beef broth and paired with fragrant condiments of basil, mint leaves and bean sprouts, a definite Southern Vietnam touch.

Some visitors might be surprised with the limited menu, but if you were to visit Vietnam, this is actually typical. Restaurants specialize in specific dishes and have about multiple variations of the same dish. So goes with The Lemongrass Kitchen. On our visit, hubby had the “dry” noodle dish, Bun Thit, a combination of vermicelli rice noodles, fresh vegetables, spring rolls, and sliced pork. I was feeling cold and ordered the beef Pho, Pho Tai cooked with a deep sweetish broth and served with thick flat noodles. If you noticed, both dishes had noodles, veggies, and meat.

But the variations come in broth options, type of noodles, and protein of choice (they also have tofu on request). I also ordered a pearl milk tea, just because they had it and I was glad I did. It was a nice addition to the savory dish I had.

The Lemongrass Kitchen Spartanburg SC

One thing we love about Vietnamese food is its freshness. We found the same experience at The Lemongrass Kitchen which sources their produce from the local farmers’ markets. The broth was crystal clear, probably from simmered bone marrow cooked for hours and strained with love. Compared to Japanese Ramen, it is much lighter and the noodles are made of rice, not wheat (though we do love our fair share of Ramen).

Before you add any Sriracha (the now ubiquitous Vietnamese chili sauce)  to your dish, make sure to taste the broth first and savor it. Every kitchen has its signature Pho flavor. Then proceed and make it your own, with a squeeze of lemon, a bite of basil, a handful of bean sprouts for crunch, and maybe a splash of more fish sauce.

Another thing we ordered was the Cha Gio or the Vietnamese egg roll. It was a delicious appetizer and quite reasonable. Altogether, our bill was roughly $25, though if you didn’t order all the other things I did, a meal here would cost $10 per dish. A bowl of Pho can easily be shared with your littles. If you’re not up to having soup or a baguette sandwich (Banh Mi), I would suggest trying a couple of the appetizers for a meal.

The restaurant is casual dining, decorated with a bamboo theme. They mostly cater to the office lunch crowd but open for dinner till 8 pm.

Vietnamese food at Lemongrass Spartanburg

Plan a visit for yourself

The Lemongrass Kitchen
121 Dunbar Street (a block from Main Street)
Monday-Thursday 11 am to 8 pm
Friday and Saturday 10 am to 9 pm
Closed on Sundays
864.205.6150

Do you love a great Vietnamese restaurant?

Your Child Can Play in Band, Strings and So Much More at Lawson Academy of the Arts

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Do you know about Lawson Academy of the Arts at Converse University? The academy is an amazing resource for music education and the performing arts in the Upstate, South Carolina community. At Lawson your children can take private lessons and group lessons on a variety of instruments, but the thing that makes this music teacher and homeschooling mama’s heart sing is the music ensemble opportunities they offer.

Our family has been a part of Lawson Band for several years and I want to make sure every upstate family knows about the amazing opportunities at Lawson.

This review is 100% a review from a thankful mom. Lawson Academy is not a Kidding Around sponsor and nothing was given in exchange for this review.

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Winter Guide to Spartanburg, SC

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Are you looking for things to do this winter in Spartanburg, SC? Our Winter Guide is full of our best winter content with ideas about things to do this winter, places to go, winter travel, shopping and more! Enjoy the Upstate this winter!

Spartanburg Winter guide

Winter Treats

Wintertime is perfect for a steaming cup of something warm and delicious. Check out these places our readers recommend for hot chocolate and a great cup of coffee in Spartanburg.

Dine Outdoors This Winter

Want to eat outdoors? These Spartanburg restaurants have heated outdoor patios and dining spaces. You can enjoy a meal outside even if it’s a bit chilly out there.

Get Outdoors This Winter in Spartanburg

Where to Hike This Winter Near Spartanburg, SC

Get outdoors and hike this winter! Here’s a list of parks and trails in and near Spartanburg that are perfect for wintertime hikes.

Ski and Snow Tube Near Upstate, SC

While there might not be snow on the ground here in Spartanburg, nearby there are several places where you can enjoy winter on the snowy slopes for tubing and skiing. See Places to Ski and Snow Tube Near Spartanburg and Upstate SC.

Waterfall Driving Tour

Hunt out some frozen waterfalls in nearby Western North Carolina. Make a day of it with this Waterfall Driving Tour of WNC. See all these waterfalls without any hiking. This tour is a Kidding Around staff and reader favorite day trip adventure.

Winter Getaways

Winter cabin rentals near Greenville, South Carolina

Book one of these cozy mountain vacation rentals. Bring some hot cocoa and a good book and maybe you’ll even get some snow. With all the amenities at these rentals, like fireplaces, pool tables, and hot tubs, we don’t think you’ll mind getting snowed in!

Indoor Things to Do This Winter Near Spartanburg

Indoor Guide of Spartanburg, SC Things to Do

Here’s our gigantic list of indoor things to do in Spartanburg, SC. You’ll find activities for families with kids of all ages including trampoline parks, pottery studios, museums, libraries and so much more!

Indoor Things to Do with Your Preschooler

Keep the little kids busy with these indoor things to do.

Winter Consignment Sales

Fill up the kids’ closet this year for less with these winter consignment sales.

What is your favorite winter activity to do in Spartanburg, SC?

Roller Skating Rinks Near Greenville, SC

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Are you looking for local skating rinks to go roller skating? Greenville, SC and Spartanburg, SC are lucky enough to have a couple of rinks! For those of us who were born in a year starting with a “1”, chances are you have some kind of childhood memories involving a skating rink. The art of rolling around on skates is cool again, so go and show the young ‘uns how it’s done. 

Roller skating rinks near Greenville, South Carolina

When I was in high school I could almost always be found at the skating rink. I was friends with the owner’s son, and the staff consisted mostly of my classmates.

As with everything else lately, TikTok is making the old new again. Some things we wish would stay gone. (Mom jeans? Really? Ok.) Other things we enjoyed and now watch a whole new generation discover, like roller skating. Search #Shuffleskate on any platform and you will see grown folks having fun and zipping around skating rinks across the country!

So dust off the skates, we are going to relive our youth at a local rink!


Roller Skating Rinks Near Greenville, SC

Roller Sports

328 W. Main Street, Taylors |864.268.7397

The Roller Sports Rink has been around longer than most reading this have been alive, and they are still around for new memories to be made. Parents who are only there to watch are allowed in for free with their children. The monthly schedule of sessions can be found on the Roller Sports Rink website. They have Homeschool Skate every third Friday of the month.

Roller Sports has drop-off events on Friday and Saturday nights from 7-11 pm for kids 10 and over.

Golden Lanes & Skate

108 Balcome Boulevard, Simpsonville | 864.967.8851

Both a bowling alley and skating rink. Skating is only open on weekends. Current hours for skating are Friday night 7-11 pm ($12), Saturday 1-4 pm ($6) and 7-11 pm ($10), and Sunday 2-5 pm ($5).

Skateland USA

414 Clemson Boulevard, Anderson | 864.224.8175

For the weekly event and session schedule, call Skateland USA. They update the voicemail message with the week’s info. Most sessions are $5 per person, and they are not open on Wednesdays.

Skateland USA roller skating rink in Greenville, South Carolina

Roller Time Family Skate Easley

719 Ross Avenue, Easley | 864.671.6433

Family Skate Night is every Tuesday from 6:30-8:30 pm and it costs $5/person. Open sessions on other days range from $6-$8/person. Check their Facebook page to see their latest schedule.

Roller Time Family Skate Piedmont

2310 River Road, Piedmont, SC | 864.412.5333

Open Skate ranges from $6-$8/person. Check their Facebook page for the latest schedule of sessions.


Roller Skating Rinks Near Spartanburg, SC

Sk8erz Family Fun Center

415 Sha Lane, Spartanburg | 864.585.1005

Sk8terz has drop-off events on Fridays (6-9 pm) and Saturdays (5-9 pm) for just $15 per child. This includes the $2 rental fee. Event announcements can be found on the Sk8erz Facebook page.

Roebuck Skate Center

989 Old Georgia Road, Moore | 864.576.8550

The Roebuck Skate center offers family skate and open skate events. The hours are as follows:

  • Thursday Family Night
    6:30 -8:30 pm | $5 (Includes skate rental)
  • Friday 
    6 – 9 pm | $8 admission / $2 skate rental
  • Saturday
    2 -5 pm | $6 admission / $2 skate rental
    5-8 pm | $8 admission / $2 skate rental
  • Sunday
    2 -5 pm | $6 admission / $2 skate rental

Guide to things to do indoors near Greenville, South Carolina

Looking for more fun? Check out our Premier Guide to Indoor Fun Near Greenville, SC!

5+ Fun and Free Things To Do This Holiday Season Near Spartanburg, SC

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If you are celebrating the holidays on a budget and are looking for free things to do for Christmas, Spartanburg, SC has a few that are wonderful! The holidays can be a financially stressful time for a lot of families. Finding festive activities to enjoy that are free and low-cost can help when you are trying to keep the kids occupied during winter break.

Free things to do during Christmas time in Spartanburg, South Carolina

For more Holiday fun – check out Kidding Around’s Guide to the Holidays in Spartanburg

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Croft State Park: The Perfect Park for an Outdoor Adventure Near Spartanburg, SC

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Have you visited Croft State Park? With a wooden dock, a clear lake, tiny minnows sparkling in sunny shallow waters, tall trees, horses, hiking trails, and a playground, it sounds like the perfect place, right?  You’ll want to check out Croft State Park the next time you’re looking for a family adventure!

Croft State Park in Spartanburg, South Carolina

Spending a Day at Croft State Park

This gorgeous 7,000-acre state park offers miles of hiking, biking, and even equestrian trails.  On our visit, we walked the short Lake Craig connector trail and then enjoyed views of an absolutely beautiful Lake Craig.  We ate snacks we enjoyed them sitting on an adorable little dock watching the tiny minnows in the shallow water around us.  The nearby fishermen were also quite entertaining for my crew.

We enjoyed a very peaceful morning in the park.  My homeschoolers were able to practice making super sentences with quality adjectives about all the things they were noticing from the dock.  “The sun sparkles on the backs of the wiggling minnows.”   The next time we go I will bring sketchbooks and writing paper so they can write down their sentences and illustrate.  There were definitely plenty of places to sit near the lake, and lots of grass for blankets, if that’s your preference.

You will find bathrooms conveniently near the parking lot for Lake Craig, and a short walk up the hill brings you to a nice playground with views of the park’s equestrian facilities.  While there were only a handful of horses and riders when we visited, my children really enjoyed watching as we walked past.  The playground was great for my children (ages 4 through 8), but younger children will need to be watched carefully due to the height of some of the equipment.

croft-state-park

Things to Do at Croft State Park

Hiking and Biking Trails

Croft has many hiking trails, including an easy Nature Trail that’s about one and a half miles long.  We went to the park intending to hike this trail, but even with a map, we struggled to find the trailhead.  We gave up and went on our little adventure at the lake and playground instead.  However, as we drove back down the park road headed for home, we noticed work crews clearing a few trees, and their trucks had been parked in front of the trailhead for the nature trail.  We could have driven by 20 times and never seen it!  ‘

Trails at Croft

There are several trails at Croft, with some of the major ones being the Palmetto Trail (Croft Passage), Nature Trail, Foster Mill, Southside Loop, and Rocky Ridge/ Whitestone Springs. You will also find several additional mixed-use trails that are designated for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. This park has over 20 miles of mountain biking trails, which is spectacular if you love the sport.

The SC State Park Croft State Park website does a great job detailing what trails are for what, their difficulty, and how long each trail is. The Park Ranger can also help you out, with office hours 11 am to noon and 4 pm to 5 pm daily.

Fortunately, there’s so much to see and enjoy at Croft State Park, that it didn’t matter much to us.  But, do bring a map with you! If you’re looking for the Nature Trail, then you’ll find the trailhead on the right, just before you get to the parking lot for the equestrian facilities.

We love taking a small portion of the Palmetto Trail out to Fairforest Creek in the summer because it is not too difficult of a portion of the trail, so our toddler and four-year-old can come along. It also leads out to the creek, which is a great place to splash in the creek for a little while on hot days.

Camping

Love camping? Then camping at Croft should be on your radar for places to go next time you’re ready to pack up and head to the great outdoors. The park offers both RV camping and tent camping sites, in addition to a primitive group camping site that can accommodate up to 100 people. Camping sites are on packed gravel and come with electrical and water hookups. There are even hot showers, which as a mom with messy kids, makes taking them camping a little easier.

Canoe, Kayak, and Paddleboard Rentals

One of the great places to do watersports in the area is at Croft. You can bring your own equipment, or you can rent canoes, small boats, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards from the state park itself. For Jon boat and canoe rentals, you pay $15 for 4 hours of time or $25 per day. For kayaks and paddleboards, the cost is $10 per hour for the rental. They do not rent after 6 pm, so keep that in mind when planning your trip.

Nature Trail at Croft State Park
Nature Trail at Croft State Park

Want to go to Croft?

Admission for Croft State Park is $3 for adults, and $1 for children 6- 15. Children under 6 are free.

Pets are allowed as long as they are leashed.

Park hours are 7 am – 6 pm daily (8 p.m. on Fridays), and 7 am – 9 pm daily during daylight savings time.

Croft State Park Address: 450 Croft State Park Road, Spartanburg, SC

Have you ever been exploring at Croft State Park?


Winter hiking in Spartanburg, South Carolina

These trails in Spartanburg, SC are great places to hike during the wintertime!


A Dickens of a Christmas: Spartanburg’s Christmas Celebration is Back in 2023!

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Were you thinking about going to visit A Dickens of a Christmas in Spartanburg? This unique Victorian Christmas festival has carolers, horse-drawn carriages, a festive holiday market, tree lighting, and so much more this year.

This holiday event is worth the drive from Greenville, or wherever you live in the Upstate!

The 2023 Dickens of a Christmas is December 5th, 2023, from 6 to 9 pm.

For more free holiday fun in Spartanburg, check out our Kidding Around Holiday Guide To Free Fun.

Holiday in Spartanburg SC, Christmas Spartanburg SC, a full guide

For more holiday fun, check out the Spartanburg Guide to the Holidays. It’s packed with things to do to get you in the holiday spirit.

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Shop Local: Visit These Locally Owned Shops in Spartanburg, SC

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Are you looking for places to go shopping in Spartanburg to support local small business owners? Spartanburg is home to many unique small businesses offering everything from special services to food products to clothing to pet products. For those of you wanting to shop on Small Business Saturday or shop local any day of the year, we’ve compiled this list of 40+ local Spartanburg businesses to guide your wallet.

Imagination Station Spartanburg SC

Gifts & Toys for Kids

Imagination Station
A downtown Spartanburg specialty toy store

Playthings Aplenty
A Spartanburg favorite on the Eastside of town offering a wide variety of unique toys and sensory play items

Showoffs Kids Boutique
A kids clothing shop on Reidville Road in Spartanburg

Clothing and Unique Gift Boutiques

Inside Irwin’s
Adjoined to Ace Hardware on the Eastside, this is a specialty store offering decor, women’s accessories, children’s, and gift items

Palmetto Twist
Women’s clothing store (plus monogramming) in Boiling Springs

Southern Charm Gifts and Boutique
Located in Inman, this store offers women’s clothing and gifts for fans of all things Southern

The Kindred Spirits
Marketplace with all things one of a kind and handmade in downtown Spartanburg

Southerndipity
This Spartanburg boutique offers one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list.

Market on Main
This market has local jewelry, treats, arts, furniture, and everything in between and features more than 30 artisans; they also host DIY classes

Pink on Main
Located in Spartanburg, Pink on Main is a clothing and accessory store with inventory that includes Lily Pulitzer and Mommy-and-me matching sets.

Arrowhead Design Company
A website and advertising firm in Spartanburg that also offers screen printing!

Two Doors Down

A woman’s boutique in downtown Spartanburg with seasonally rotating clothing

Spartanburg dining

Gifts for Foodies

Palmetto Olive Oil Co
Offers premium olive oils and balsamic vinegar (You can visit the downtown storefront for tastings)

Blue Moon Speciality Foods
Offers flavored seasonings, sauces, and marinades, as well as fresh food and gift baskets. You can also find Spartanburg fav’s Those Pickle Ladies at Blue Moon! If someone in your life loves pickles, you must give them a jar of flavored pickles from this Spartanburg favorite

Little River Roasting
Local coffee shop in downtown Spartanburg. You can purchase coffee and gift cards

Hub City Bookshop store front

Gifts for the Book and Art Lovers

Hub City Bookshop
A local independent bookstore in downtown Spartanburg with books for all ages

Paint It Up
Commissioned paintings as well as art classes for locals

Friends of the Library Store
Located in Headquarters Library, this store offers unique items from local merchants, as well as gently-used and rare books

The Tangled Web
Local Spartanburg comic book store with comics, games, and more

The Art Lounge
Custom framing store in Spartanburg

Sparkle City Snaps
Artist Nick Trainor offers one-of-a-kind photos in Spartanburg

Gifts for the Nature Enthusiasts

Botanical Brew
This neighborhood coffee and plant shop is in Lyman

Home and Garden Classics
A Southern lifestyle store that is home to rite at Home (fine stationery), Sugah Cakes (bakery), and The Brides Club of Spartanburg (Bridal Registry). It also sells interiors, kitchen accessories, and more.

Coggins Flowers & Gifts
Send flowers from this local Spartanburg florist for the perfect gift

The Local Hiker
Located in downtown Spartanburg, this store offers hiking, camping, and backpacking gear

The Urban Planter
Unique plant shop in downtown Spartanburg offering house plants, art pieces, and more

go kart spartanburg

Local Experience Gift Ideas

Speed Factory Indoor Karting
Gift recipients of all ages will appreciate a lap around the track at this indoor karting facility.

Experience Gifts in Spartanburg

Forget the packages and buy a gift that doesn’t take up space or need batteries! See 50+ Experience Gifts in or Near Spartanburg for great ideas.

Other Local Favorite Spots For Picking Out Holiday Gifts

Artists Collective
A Holiday Artists market from November 7th – December 23rd.

Paisley Paw
For the pet lovers in your life, Paisley Paw is a pet boutique offering gifts that will make pet owners and their four-legged friends happy

Stone Lighting
Lighting store in Spartanburg

Oops Clothing Store (SC local)
The Oops! Co. is a South Carolina company that offers deeply discounted clothing with new shipments daily

For more local Upstate places to shop, plus holiday deals in the Upstate, check out the Greenville Shop Local Guide.

Holiday Events and Things to Do in Spartanburg, SC

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Are you looking for things to do and events to celebrate the holidays in Spartanburg, SC? This list has some great ideas for celebrating the Christmas season in Spartanburg with things to do all season long plus not to miss exhibits, theatre, special events and lots more! Don’t miss any of Spartanburg’s holiday fun!

Jump Down to:
Spartanburg Holiday Events by Date

Spartanburg Christmas Things to Do, Christmas events Spartanburg, SC

Spend a Festive Day in Downtown Spartanburg

Want to enjoy a festive day in Downtown Spartanburg? Check out the shops, enjoy a hot chocolate, take a peek at the Christmas tree. There’s even a fun playground right on Main Street that the kids will love. Our list includes all kinds of holiday fun in Downtown Spartanburg.

Free Things to Do in Spartanburg, SC This Holiday Season

There are lots of totally free ways to enjoy the holiday season in Spartanburg. Just pick a few items off our list of Free Things to Do for Christmas in Spartanburg and enjoy a fun family day, without spending a dime.

Spartanburg Christmas & Holiday Events Organized by Date

april

No Events

may

No Events