Park playgrounds are the perfect outing. They are free, offer kids a chance to run and play, and also provide a great lunch or play-date locations. We have tried to visit as many playgrounds in the Greater Greenville area as possible, and these are my family’s Top park playgrounds in Greenville. I chose these park playgrounds based on unique play structures, imaginative themes, and scenic surroundings.
This article includes:
Kids’ Planet at Century Park
Simpsonville City Park
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Have you seen our Park Guide? If your family loves parks you do not want to miss our Ultimate Guide to Parks in the Upstate. In this guide, you can look up parks by location and by desired amenities, like swings, basketball courts, and more.
Best Playgrounds Near Greenville, SC
Century Park: Kids Planet
Century Park and its accompanying playground, known as Kids Planet is often listed as a local favorite. After a complete remodel, the playground reopened in the summer of 2021.
There are some amazing play features at the new playground like a zip line, hillside slides, and ground-level trampoline. Parents will love the two age-appropriate play areas that are enclosed with a fence.
Kids of all ages will enjoy the musical instrument station between the playgrounds, and we can’t wait to check out the new misting station when the weather warms up.
IMPORTANT: The playground will be closed for maintenance every Wednesday from 7 am – Noon.
What do you love most about the new playgrounds at Kids Planet?
Kids’ Planet at Century Park – 3605 Brushy Creek Road, Greer
Herdklotz has two playgrounds separated by a fence and a walking path. The smaller playground is one of the best playgrounds in our area for young children with not just a fun set of play equipment but also an overlook with a sidewalk area perfect for chalk drawings. This playground area also contains a small picnic shelter within the fencing making it easy to eat lunch while watching your child.
The larger playground is one of the largest play structures in Greenville with tall slides and climbing structures.
Perhaps my favorite reason to list Herdklotz is the play area is shady and cool. The elevation is also a little bit higher than most of Greenville allowing you to have a great view of the city. The shaded benches and natural styled landscaping also adds to the natural beauty of this park.
Nearby to the playground are also a volleyball court, horse shoe court, open walking trail, and large fields.
If you have both older children and young children, note that it is difficult to see the upper playground from the lower one. You may want to go with a friend, or prepare your children ahead of time to split times on the two playgrounds.
And, by the way, did you know that Herdklotz is also known for being a historic ghost sighting spot?
Herdklotz Park – 126 Beverly Road, Greenville
Cleveland Park is not just one of Greenville’s best playgrounds but also is conveniently located downtown beside the Greenville Zoo. The playground is hot in the summertime with its black soft surface but has two shade tents that help deflect the heat.
My kids love the unique play structures that incorporate balance, arm strength, and climbing skills, into play. This playground does a great job of encouraging active hard-working play and is advanced enough for older children while still providing plenty of fun for younger kids.
Also, Cleveland Park adjoins several nice sections of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. You can walk just a little bit down the trail to see an additional small train replica playground and the Vietnam War Memorial. The trail also connects into the scenic area of downtown Greenville, making this park a great starting place for an afternoon walk or bike ride.
Cleveland Park –East Washington and Cleveland Park Drive, Greenville
Check out this our review of Cleveland Park next to the Greenville Zoo!
We’ve watched this park grow into a popular play space, known for being one of the most unusual and fun playgrounds in Greenville. Located right beside the Greenville Downtown Airport, kids love watching the planes fly in and out while playing on aviation-themed equipment. My kids also love running down the small runway in the center of the park while pretending to be planes.
Currently, the park has two playgrounds inside a fenced in area with play spaces for both small and older children. A plane hanger-styled picnic shelter sits to the side, and a real Cessna 310 aircraft flies over the park positioned on a pole to the side.
We’ve noticed on visits that kids also walk and ride more at this park due to the runway-themed walkways being positioned inside the fence where parents can easily watch from a distance. At the edge of the fence, kids can sit at a small amphitheater where they can get a front-row view of the planes taking off and landing.
The park has a restroom and benches with a little shade, but don’t forget the sunscreen as the play spaces of this park are not shaded.
Note: While the entrance to the park is a super neat fuselage of an actual plane, the gate doesn’t latch and opens directly to a parking lot. Your kiddos might require an extra level of supervision to ensure they don’t run out into the parking lot.
Runway Park – 21 Airport Road Extension, Greenville
The Runway Park (is our favorite) because it is fenced in and has a younger and an older section. It also has a track and a case next to it. And of course you get to watch the airplanes!Sarah A.
It’s a battle every time we need to leave. They love it thereKendra T
Learn more about the Downtown Greenville Airport’s Runway Park, from this local mom’s review.
We love the playground at Conestee Park. But, if you have never been to the adjacent Lake Conestee Nature Park then you are really missing out. Its Nature Walk Trails are amazing and perfect for the whole family. Plus, the park is known for its wide variety of wildlife, especially birds.
Beyond the amazing nature trails and large ball fields, Conestee Park also has one of the best newer playgrounds, featuring imaginative elements such as “trees” to climb and a toadstool table and benches. The playgrounds are hot with little shade, but do provide large safe spaces for running and play.
I love this playground for its scenic location and wide-open spaces. If you are looking for the perfect place to enjoy both a view of the blue sky and a shady exploration of nature, this is the park for you.
Also, don’t miss this article on bird-watching at Lake Conestee complete with some lovely photos!
Conestee Park – 840 Mauldin Road, Greenville
Simpsonville City Park
The City of Simpsonville recently spent around $200,000 of dedicated recreation funds to totally revamp the playground. Additional private money was raised to create the Simpsonville Sensory Playground, an area dedicated to providing kids with sensory disorders a place of their own to enjoy play, although all kids are welcome to use the equipment.
There are several climbing structures and balancing equipment, which definitely lend themselves to kids who are practicing to be little ninja warriors. There are plenty of swings, including two for children who are disabled, baby swings, and regular swings for bigger kids. The zip line is pretty awesome, too. Kids (and I imagine adults – truth be told, I really wanted to try it out) line up for their turn to sit on the seat hanging by a thick rope and zip on the line to the other end of the playground. This is a popular feature and certainly a favorite activity for my own kids.
Simpsonville City Park – 100 Park Drive, Simpsonville
Check out our review of this modern park in Simpsonville’s Downtown!
Which of these Greenville area playgrounds is your favorite?
I’m sure that you may have other favorite playgrounds that I missed. Please share in the comments!
My friend and I met at the downtown airport park today and had a blast. I loved that the whole thing was fenced in with only one exit so I didn’t have to chase my two year old constantly or give him constant directions. To say he was excited to see the planes is a huge understatement. I also enjoyed the fact that there was a lot of friends there his age for him to play with. We will definitely return…..possibly tomorrow with a bike and my husband! Thanks so much!
Thanks, Lisa. I’m so glad that the list helped you. I’m always surprised by how many people have never heard of the aviation park. It really is a unique, special spot!
Thanks for the list! I totally agree about the airport park. It is one of our favorites. Century Park though, I’ve got to disagree. Even though it is the closest to our home, it is always so dirty. And I don’t mean from the sand. Every time I’m there I see wrappers, food waste, etc in the playground structure. I’ve seen a used pad. I’ve seen a condom wrapper. Gross. After those last two (both in the same visit) I said no more. That was last summer. I feel like I can’t let my children climb all over those wooden… Read more »
Those are cons. Based on the park’s unique play structures and popularity in general, I still would include it in a list of best playgrounds. I also think that the cleanliness of Century Park depends greatly on the time of year and whether the city has cleaned it recently. While I’ve never noticed trash as disgusting as you’ve seen, I have noticed some food trash & wrappers in the summer time. Recently, I was there and it was very clean and the paint was fresh. I have seen the city actively out there cleaning it too. Maybe this summer will… Read more »
Just visited today and it is in great need of repairs not to mention food wrappers and garbage. The bathrooms were very dirty and there were hazard cones up around several areas, which was quite odd. With the spring weather and many people visiting I feel like spring cleaning should have taken place, but instead it seems as if this park was forgotten about.
They are remodeling the park this fall completely so that’s probably why extensive repairs were not made in the spring.
Heritage park is a gem!
I agree, Liz. I should probably write a sequel with 5 other park playgrounds. That would be one of them.
Not a big fan of heritage as they rent out the baseball fields so you have to pay to get in. Although they do have another area to play in by the train. Their is also a train at the park at the pavillion on Taylor’s if heritage park in simpsonville is out of the way. Also their is a beautiful park on verde blvd where the charleston pe houses are. They have a pond two play areas with fenced in little kids play area. Swings trail and sand volley ball..
Thanks Mary for the great insights. Yes, we love Legacy Park too!
Oh man, I was hoping to keep Conestee a secret for a bit longer. 🙂
I know I was shocked the first time I visited. It’s an amazing park. Airport Park is the same way, very quiet but an very cool place.
You forgot to include Greenville Zoo! It’s big, clean, and seems pretty safe since there’s so many folks around coming in and out of the zoo. We love it!
I agree that Greenville Zoo is wonderful. This post was limited to park playgrounds just to make it more manageable. My family does love especially the playground inside the zoo, well, I love it because it has rocking chairs. : )
We love Conestee too. It is great for hiking and playing.
We love Legacy Park! I love that the toddler playground is fenced in. The older kids love the “big kids” playground next to it. We also love to have picnics at this beautiful park or ride bikes around the pond.
My kids and I went to the Downtown Airport park this morning. I had a couple things to add to the above description. It is a super fun park. Pro’s: It has 2 nice playgrounds, it is fenced in, tables for lunch, riding track for bikes, and you can see all the planes taking off. Con’s: It has no shade. We went on a cloudy day so it was fine but had it been sunny we wouldn’t have stayed nearly enough. Aimed for younger kids, but my 8 year old had fun with his razor scooter. Thanks again for this… Read more »
Thanks, Lisa. I do need to update this post. The new playground and lunch areas were just added a couple weeks go. There is still a picnic shade scheduled to go in soon. Hopefully, that will help with the shade issue. Personally, I try to only go in the evening this time of year. It’s really pleasant once the heat goes down a little and the breeze starts up.
Runway Park, unfortunately, can’t add shade because it would block a pilot’s line of sight, which is required to be clear, by the FAA.
The original plan renderings for the park showed benches with awnings above them. Has this plan changed?
Kids and I explored the nature loops and playground at Conestee Park, thanks for putting that on the list, a real gem.
Thanks, Lisa! I’m glad you had fun. 🙂
Can we please somehow start campaigning for some parks with WATER FEATURES in the summer!??? While I lived in Louisville KY the city went through and systematically installed at least one water feature in every single park throughout the city (and Louisville has an amazing park system). Even the smallest pocket park has a sprinkler. Larger parks have spraygrounds or spritzers next to the playground, and the downtown park by the river has a huge slip n slide. So so so helpful in the hot summer, yet no risk of drowning like pools have. Actually the city went through and… Read more »
For example, here is little Shelby Park, which is in the heart of Louisville’s inner city and NOT an upscale or big park at all. https://www.flickr.com/photos/louisvillemetro/sets/72157627293663802/
Thanks for the comment, Christina. I’m not sure what factors would be involved in a project like that. I know that the parks in general have been upgraded significantly over the past decade so it may just be that there have been other projects that have taken precedence such as trying to make sure that there is free play spaces accessible and safe throughout the area. I am though on a workgroup that discusses suggestions for the city for future park developments, so I’ll pass this comment on.
Yes, thank you! It just makes parks so much more bearable in the heat, especially where parks lack shade (which most of ours do).
Tyger River Park in Reidville now has a splash pad inside. It has great areas for younger and older kids. Great new playground 🙂
I’m going to have to check that out, Rhonda!
Any thing close to Easley? We are new to the area.
Yes, here’s lots of great suggestions: https://www.facebook.com/groups/485893248111865/permalink/1154671261234057/
Thanks for the list helps so much when you are new!
The “model” airplane on the pole in Runway Park at GMU is a real Cessna 310 aircraft.
Thank you. I have made a correction.
I took my children to play at this playground yesterday. I am sad to say I will not go back. It has fallen in to disrepair. Several slides were broken, graffiti, missing parts to most play implements, more childless adults hanging around than children playing. The sand box was more of a splinter box, very little sand and the wood is old and splintering. It looks like it was a nice park at one time, however it has gone down hill
Hey we are coming to Greenville for a day & wanting to have a park to have a drop in reunion with 30- 40 people. Which of these parks would be ideal ( bathrooms & shelter close to play ground)? What about Herdklotz? Would that be a good choice?
Herdklotz is great and they have bathrooms and shelters all close together. Lake Conestee is also a great options – tons of space, a big shelter, bathrooms, and playground all close by.
Is the zip line at simpsonville city park fixed ?
We went last week and it was fine.
New Mauldin playground! On Butler Rd in the Mauldin Veterans Memorial Park. It is located across from the Baptist church not far from the intersection of Bulter and Main. There are shaded picnic areas, restrooms and a fenced section for younger children that includes a merry-go-round. The area for the older children has a good mix of climbing, swinging and sliding with plenty to entertain for a good long visit. The ground is covered with an artificial turf that appears to drain well. FUN!!