Mom Review: The Runway Park at Greenville Downtown Airport

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Please tell me you’ve been. A couple of years ago, my dad and I took the boys to the downtown airport to let them watch the planes take off. There was a playground. It was cute and the kids enjoyed it. I’ll be honest, at that time there wasn’t much to write home about. It certainly wasn’t worthy of an article. Well, maybe the food was, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

But recently we went again and I was pleasantly surprised at all the changes.

runway park playground

A Little About The 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 just whenever you have time).

downtown airport park

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.

RELATED: Corral Those Toddlers: Enclosed Playgrounds in Greenville

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 is a small shelter with picnic tables – which, btw, 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!

RELATED: Dine & Play: Places Where You Can Eat While Your Kids Play

If you love Runway Park, you will also want to know that funds are currently being raised to add a paved parking lot and possibly a splash pad, and mini-golf course.

downtown airport park 8

Incorporating Runway Park Into A 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 Around Runway Park!

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 29607
Open Daily from dawn until dusk.
Visit their website or Facebook page for more details.

Let me know what your favorite part of The Runway Park is!

Takeoff Mini-golf

You can play mini-golf at Take-off Mini Golf, an aviation-themed course at the Greenville Downtown Airport!

RELATED: 5 Playgrounds Your Children Will Beg Not to Leave | Homeschooling Around Greenville: Exploring Flight | Runway Park Scavenger Hunt | Sunniest Playgrounds in Greenville

About the Author
Andrea Beam works for the Greenville County School System, but her passion is writing! Greenville has always been her home. Her family enjoys exploring everything the town has to offer. In addition to Kidding Around Greenville, she blogs at Sunshine & Rain.

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7 years ago

Actually, the body of the airplane you enter the park through IS real. Greenville Tech took an old Boeing 737 and converted the fuselage to what is now the park entrance.

Barrie King
6 years ago
Reply to  Leanne

Yes, I was going to write the same thing. It is a true body of a 737.

6 years ago
Reply to  Barrie King

Thank you. We have just made a correction on the post!

Jack & Ermina Cameron
4 years ago

For a couple of visiting out-of-state grandparents your site is a godsend. Your comments about Airport Park are right on. Our 8yr girl and 5yr boy love it. Thanks!