If you have a kid who loves airplanes, then Runway Park near Downtown Greenville, SC is the best park ever! Please tell me you’ve been. There is a wonderful park, with swings, climbing structures, a paved trail for bike riding, and lots of different slides. But the best part is that you can watch small-engine planes take off while you play! There is also a mini golf course and family-friendly restaurant in the same parking lot. What a win!
If your kid is super duper into planes, check out Spartanburg’s Downtown Memorial Airport Park. The park has a playground and even a free splash pad!
A Little About Runway Park
The charm of the place catches you from the moment you arrive. To enter the play area, you walk through the body of an airplane – which is actually the real body of an old Boeing 737. On the left, there is a set of play equipment for the smaller kids. On the right, there is another (pretend) plane to climb/sit on (it’s perfect for pictures). The playset for the older children is closest to the runway.
A track surrounds the area. Make sure to throw bikes and scooters in the trunk of your car. Had I known ahead of time about the track, we might have avoided a meltdown or two (or three). So I repeat, TAKE THEIR WHEELS! (You can shoot me a “thank you” email whenever you have time).
Everything is fenced in. The whole place. It is super easy to keep up with your tribe. And aside from a small gate door that leads to the café, there’s only one way in and out.
While the bright and colorful bars, slides, and swings are nice, that’s not at all my favorite part. I love all the green grass. Thankfully, on this day, I had my blanket in the van. If stretching out on a blanket isn’t your cup ‘O tea, there are a couple of picnic tables – which, btw, the picnic hanger would be a nice place to host a birthday party. Nearby the picnic shelter is a small building with restrooms, making getting to those potty breaks quick and easy.
Clearly, I give the playground at Runway two thumbs up. I would give it three if I had an extra!
Because I know you’re already making plans to go, while you’re there, stop in Runway Cafe for a bite to eat. The food is reasonably priced and very yummy!
Incorporating The Park Into An Educational Opportunity
You can make great use of the fact that the park is located beside a bustling airstrip. Check out some of the ways we have found helpful in linking a fun day at Runway Park with an educational lesson about physics.
- At the park, observe the planes taking off and discuss the forces at work. Why does the plane speed up to take off? Where is the air moving fast? Where is the air moving slowly? Where is the high pressure that pushes the plane up?
- Use the park’s unique pretend runway to act out this idea of lift. Encourage students to use proper vocabulary (air speed, air pressure, lift, Bernoulli principle) as they pretend to take off.
- When you get home, consider a writing assignment, vocabulary, journal entry, or labeled drawing for older students.
Oh, What Fun! A Scavenger Hunt!
Do your little ones love scavenger hunts or the game I-Spy? If so, they will love this unique photo scavenger park at Runway Park! Kids will have a blast using the photo scavenger hunt to find fun spots to play at Runway Park in Greenville.
Difficulty Level: Easy (This scavenger hunt is designed for small children 2-5.)
Link to Download this Scavenger Hunt as a Free Printable: Runway Park Scavenger Hunt
Plan Your Own Trip to The Runway Park
29 Airport Road Ext, Greenville, SC
Open Daily from dawn until dusk.
Let me know what your favorite part of The Runway Park is!
You will find even more amazing parks and playgrounds in our KA Guide to Parks Near Greenville, SC!
You can play mini-golf at Take-off Mini Golf, an aviation-themed course at the Greenville Downtown Airport!