Travelers Rest is getting a new play space for kids along with a relaxing coffee shop for parents. Kristina checked out Palmetto Proper and here’s what to expect.
This review was originally written in 2020 and has been updated in 2023.
“Mom, can we go back tomorrow?” both my kids asked in unison seconds after we left Palmetto Proper, the brand new café/kids play area/retail space in Travelers Rest. My kids are 9 and 6 and I had to drag them out of there after talking with the owner, Meredith Jackson, for awhile about how this super cool place came about.
Meredith has six kids and knows more than a thing or two about what parents want when it comes to a place where they can maybe get a couple things done on their laptop while their kids play safely or catch up with a friend over a cup of delicious coffee and tempting snacks.
Palmetto Proper in downtown Travelers Rest checks all those boxes and more.
Huge Open Space + Cozy Cafe
Travelers Rest has a lot going for it and if I’m ever anywhere near there, I always visit. I just love Sidewall Pizza, TRee House Cafe & Art Studio, and TR Makers.
Yet there has been this gap of an indoor place for kids to get out their energy – but not anymore.
Meredith and her husband moved to the Upstate from Western North Carolina, where there were indoor play places like Mountain Play Lodge available all year round and offered a combination of play for kids and rest and relaxation for parents. She wanted that here.
Palmetto Proper used to have a small retail location in Cherrydale but ended up expanding to the large space in Travelers Rest when it became available since Meredith really had a vision of a place where kids could enjoy time to explore and play while parents had a chance to catch their breath, meet for coffee, or just chill out for a bit while their kids got out energy.
Even though I had just met Meredith, she was able to describe exactly what I wanted as a working mom who just needed a place for her kids to play and leave me some time to get done what I needed to get done.
She nailed it with Palmetto Proper.
Imagination Reigns Supreme
The space is huge with tall ceilings, colorful paint, and a big, padded floor where kids can run around. There is a large play structure with a climbing apparatus and seesaw-like contraption in the middle of the space. There’s a small ball pit, an imitation garden, and farm market.
There is a big loft that will be used for birthday parties or private events that overlooks the play area. Under that are little rooms that are totally geared towards letting kids use their imaginations.
There’s a movie theater room with dress up outfits, little chairs with popcorn holders, and a curtain. This was my kids’ favorite room. They hit it off immediately with Meredith’s three youngest children and had a Broadway production and comedy show going on by the time we were ready to leave.
Next to the theater is an adorable grocery market with pasta boxes, plastic produce, and little shopping carts. And next to that room is an animal vet hospital, which has lots of cute medical toys and x-rays.
In the corner by the bathrooms is a construction zone, perfect for kids to build whatever they desire.
Enclosed Little Kids Area
When my kids were a bit smaller, I was always anxious taking them to indoor places where bigger kids ruled the play structures. Palmetto Proper has a small space that is perfect for kids in that crawling and just-walking stage that is totally enclosed and right next to tables where their parents can easily keep an eye on them.
This is certainly a thoughtful touch.
Actually, the entire kids area is enclosed, which makes it a lot easier to really enjoy that cup of coffee or send those pressing emails and not worry about your kids escaping.
Retail + Coffee
The first thing I noticed when I walked in the door to Palmetto Proper was actually some really fluffy pullovers. I love fluffy pullovers. But there’s more: candles that smell so heavily of vanilla that it makes you want to buy every single one and light them all around your house, tons of Melissa & Doug toys for your kids, super cute dresses and t-shirts, and jewelry and hand towels.
Meredith did a nice job sourcing a good variety of products that will appeal to a wide audience. You could probably get all of your Christmas shopping done.
And the coffee menu also caught my eye with delicious-sounding frappes and spiced chai lattes. They even have juice boxes for kids and lots of snacks because, really, kids essentially run on snacks.
Play Passes + Age Restrictions
As of April 2023, only kids ages 0-6 will be able to use the play space during open play. Palmetto Proper will have board games that older kids can freely use.
Daily admission gets kids access to Palmetto Proper for the whole day. You can go in and out and play when you like. Daily admission is $10 for the first child and $8 for each additional child.
Monthly and yearlyy memberships are also available.
Be sure you and your kids wear socks as they are needed to enjoy all the play structures.
Make it a Day Trip
If you don’t live in Travelers Rest and want to explore for the day, hanging out at Palmetto Proper is the ideal way to spend time there. It’s right across the street from the Swamp Rabbit Trail and within walking distance to tons of fabulous places in town like the Whistle Stop Cafe, Sidewall Pizza, TRee House Cafe & Art Studio, TR Makers, Tandem Creperie, and Sunrift Adventures.
There are also lots of cute shops to check out and Trailblazer Park isn’t far away. OH – and Sidewall Pastry and Farmhouse Tacos are literally right next door to Palmetto Proper. We love Travelers Rest so much we wrote a whole guide to it.
Will you check out Palmetto Proper?
Monday – Closed
Tuesday-Saturday – 9 am – 6 pm
Sunday – 1 pm – 5 pm
164 S Main Street, Suite B, Travelers Rest