Are you looking for things to do in York, SC? We recently spent a few days exploring all that York County, South Carolina has to offer visitors and we found a lot! There’s something there no matter what your family enjoys doing. We discovered orchards, outdoor activities, and delicious food that we know you will enjoy. So, let us help you get ready for your next day trip to York, South Carolina!
We were the guests of VisitYorkCounty.com for the purpose of this guide to York County, SC. However, the words and opinions of our team member are honest and genuine.
Are you thinking about a trip to Carowinds? There is so much family fun waiting for you at this amusement park near Charlotte, NC, but there’s also a lot to know. We’re telling you here how to save money on tickets and food, plus our tips on rides, visiting with small children, special events, and even what to pack. If you are wondering how much is parking at Carowinds, we know that too! Enjoy a day trip to Carowinds with the family any time of year at the Carolina’s best theme park.
Local mom Bethany Winston reviews the Reedy Creek Park, Nature Center, and Preserves in Charlotte, North Carolina. This free day-trip destination includes a treehouse-themed playground, hiking, and an indoor nature center.
Recently, my family discovered an amazing nature center and preserve about 6 miles northwest of downtown Charlotte: Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve located inside the large Reedy Creek Park. This county-owned park was completely free, including parking. While there might not be an admission fee, don’t make the mistake of thinking that means that this nature center is not worth the drive from Greenville.
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Family-Friendly Things to Do at Reedy Creek Park
Reedy Creek Park has three playgrounds that we discovered. The first playground was on our left almost immediately after entering the park. It’s a large playground with plenty of slides, ramps, and ladders. The play structures were not particularly high and I think even smaller children would enjoy it as long as they are comfortable climbing short ladders.
There was little shade on this playground and it was hot on the day we visited so my kids chose not to play long, but it was a large, interesting playground and I’m sure would have been a completely different experience if we had visited earlier in the day or during a cooler season of the year.
Adjacent to the playground, we also found basketball courts and picnic shelters. There was also a rather large dog park on our right before we reached the playground.
Just a little bit farther up the road, we found the parking lot for the Reedy Creek Nature Center. This area of the park was wooded (quite a relief due to the heat).
Outside the Reedy Creek Nature Center, we found a second playground that felt like a hidden magical world tucked away in the forest. The playground included natural-themed play structures such as artificial tree stumps and the main focal structure was a treehouse complete with a bridge. My kids played for a good hour on this playground and probably would have been content to spend the day on it.
Later in our day, we drove up to the third playground which was beside a lake. This “playground” only had a couple of swings and a volleyball court, but it was an easy walk down to a beautiful lake with a fishing pier. We saw several families picnicking and fishing in this area.
Reedy Creek Nature Center
The Nature Center was small but it was free and even better air-conditioned. Inside the Nature Center, our children were able to look at animals and small science displays. We also found a quiet area for pretend play where our children could dress up as rangers and play in a pretend campsite.
The room had a couple of rocking chairs for adults too. It was very quiet on the day we visited and we had the spot to ourselves. Our kids had a lot of fun and didn’t want to leave even after a long playtime.
Hiking at Reedy Creek Park
After a long day of fun (we had already spent hours at Discovery Place in downtown Charlotte) our kids were too tired and hot for us to dare attempt sustained hiking, but the map showed several easy hikes on the preserve that we hope to try on another day.
One hike lead to a historic site and was only an hour’s walk. The grounds also had butterfly gardens, bird feeders, streams, vast wooded areas, and lakes. We were able to obtain a free map from the Nature Center so that we could still take a short stroll. The trail system was clearly marked and it was possible to take both short walks along the trails and longer hikes.
Tips for Your Visit
If you visit on a hot day, be sure to pack sunscreen and bug spray. While the preserve does have a lot of shade, there are several open spaces with little shade.
Plan plenty of time if you want to get the full experience. The preserve alone is over 900 acres of woods. Fortunately, the park does have a decent road system and multiple parking lots, so you can drive to the parts of the park in this article if you are short on time or if your children are tired (like us).
Don’t forget your fishing supplies. The park has two fishing lakes. Visitors over 16 must have a fishing license.
The Nature Center has a gift shop for those who would like to purchase souvenirs.
Bikers will find plenty of bike-friendly areas but are limited to the gravel trails and paved roads.
Hummingbird Festival at Reedy Creek Nature Center
Each August, a hummingbird festival is held at the Reedy Creek Nature Center. It includes bird banding, science experiments, bird hikes, art vendors, and storytelling sessions. The events are held throughout the week, and some require pre-registration. The front desk at the Nature Center recommended coming early to see the most hummingbirds.
About the Reedy Creek Nature Center & Preserve
Reedy Creek Park, Nature Center, and Preserve 2900 Rocky River Rd. Charlotte, NC 980.314.1119
Have you heard of the Anne Springs Close Greenway? Are you looking for a new wide-open space to explore with your family? I recently spent a few days exploring York County, South Carolina and found so many wonderful things. This nature preserve was just one of the discoveries we made while there.
Anne Springs Close Greenway is really the perfect spot for any outdoor adventure you are looking to enjoy. It’s family-friendly, with a restaurant, live music events, hiking, horseback riding, historical relevance, paddle sports, and over 2100 acres to explore. At about 90 minutes from the Upstate in Fort Mill, SC, this is the perfect day trip for your family. We spent several days in York County and left without getting to do everything on our list!
Looking for one more swimming hole to try this summer? The Quarry at Carrigan Farms in Mooresville, NC might be just the place. Here’s everything you need to plan a fun, family day swimming at Carrigan Farms.
If you have an adventurous spirit and are not afraid to jump into a 25-foot deep natural spring quarry, then this is the place for you. The Quarry at Carrigan Farms is not only a beautiful sight to behold, but also a full day of water activities including several rock jump-off points, rope swings, swimming areas, and a sand beach volleyball area. It’s hard to believe that this natural playground was the result of an accidental discovery.
Are you planning to celebrate the berry season with a blueberry, blackberry, or strawberry festival? South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia have several berry festivals is spring and summer worth a visit to. What better item to celebrate with a festival than juicy, sweet berries?
Strawberries, Blueberries, and Blackberries are celebrated nationwide; luckily, we have a handful of festivals that are accessible to the Upstate! If you’re a huge fan of these vitamin-packed gems, you can plan your summer vacation to include part of a festival a little further from home!
Love a good puzzle challenge with the family? The Escape Game at Concord Mills recently opened with 5 escape room challenges for your friends and family to conquer. All five rooms differ with regard to difficulty and the number of players able to play together, so groups big and small, and beginner or more seasoned escape room players, will all find a game that’s right for their group.
Three of my kids, aged 10-13, and I got to play the Playground Escape Game and we had a blast! It was a very cooperative game and really required us to divide and conquer and help each other to solve all the puzzles in time.
The game was full of surprises and we won’t share all the details, so you can enjoy the game yourself. But here’s how our experience went.
The Escape Game at Concord Mills
The Escape Game is located between the movie theater and Dave & Busters at Concord Mills. If you head towards the movie theater parking lot and then keep going around towards Dave and Busters, you’ll see The Escape Game, painted black and white, on the exterior of the mall. You won’t need to walk through the mall to get to The Escape Game, but there’s an entrance in the mall, too!
When you arrive you’ll check in with your name, if you’ve made reservations in advance. This is recommended, by the way. Then, if you haven’t filled out a waiver, there’s a quick form to fill out on a tablet kiosk. Then, you’re ready to go.
Your guide will walk you to your game and welcome you to the space. A movie intro will play on the screen above the door and you’re off.
Our game, Playground, set us up as 4th-grade students on the very last day of 4th grade. But our teacher wouldn’t let us out until we had completed all the tasks on the report card. Each lit up as we completed them during the game, helping us keep track of where we were and how many more puzzles were yet to be solved.
Up to 12 players can play this game, so I was a little nervous about how the 4 of us would do. We’re not exactly expert escape room players. But our game guide helped us out from time to time with clues on the video screen and little tips to let us know if we were headed in the right direction or not. Which, was super helpful and helped keep the game enjoyable and not frustrating.
The Puzzles at The Escape Game
The puzzles we had to solve were all themed by school subject, fitting with the 4th-grade classroom experience. The way information was displayed and hidden for each problem varied greatly. Some clues had us bouncing between rooms as they were opened and some of it was hidden in plain sight and required some deduction and logic, and maybe a little math to find the solutions. Each problem worked together to get us the information we needed to escape that fourth-grade class.
There were lots of fun little surprises along the way, that I, at least, have never seen in an escape room before. My kids really enjoyed those surprises.
Mom Review: The Escape Game: Concord, NC
We had a great time playing Playground. Escape rooms are a great family activity for families, especially with hard-to-please tweens and teens and I would definitely would recommend playing a game at The Escape Game. Our game was really well done and we enjoyed working together to solve it and escape.
In my opinion, I don’t think kids much younger than 8 or 9 would be able to contribute much towards solving the puzzles and they might get bored. Although one nice thing about Playground is that there are a significant number of tasks that require collecting objects and younger kids could certainly help with that. But, suffice it to say, these are really geared toward older kids and adults.
Prison Break: 60 minutes to escape prison. Difficulty 9/10, for up to 8 players
The Depths: A secret underwater lab? Difficulty 7/10, for up to 8 players
Special Ops: A mysterious market…. Difficulty 8/10, for up to 8 players
Gold Rush: Time to find some gold. Difficulty 7/10, for up to 8 players
Playground: Escape the 4th grade, can’t be that hard, right? Difficulty 6/10 for up to 12 players
Tickets for The Escape Game
Tickets are $34.99. Smaller groups may end up together, so if you’d like to book privately, for only your group, you can purchase the entire room beginning at $280. Of course, the other option is just to make sure you bring enough friends to fill the room.
More to Do: Concord Mills
Being located in Concord Mills, a large mall, you could easily turn your visit into a full day. Concord Mills has an aquarium, an arcade, movie theater, lots of shopping, and places to eat.
Our family went to the Lego Store and then decided to drive over to SunFlour Baking Company for lunch, which is a family favorite just about 15 minutes from the mall.
With more than four million lights, the Speedway Christmas display in Concord, NC, under two hours from Greenville, SC, is one of the biggest in the country and we’re here for it! Thanks to Explore Cabarrus for media tickets and an overnight at the Embassy Suites in Concord so we could review the experience for our readers. All opinions are our own.
Have you visited Cabarrus County in North Carolina? Just a short two-hour drive from the Upstate, Cabarrus County offers tons of fun for kids from a historic gold mine you can tour, to a famous NASCAR speedway and NHRA dragway. In this article, we’ll share more than 10 places you can take your kids near Concord plus all the tips you need to make it a family memory you will never forget.
Thank you to Explore Cabarrus for providing lodging and some of these experiences.
Are you looking for a great place for breakfast or lunch in Cabarrus County? If you’ve never visited Sunflour Baking Company you are missing out. The flakiest most delicious breakfast pastries, sandwiches, cookies, and cupcakes are waiting for you at one of Sunflour’s four locations near Charlotte, NC and we think you’ll want to pop in and enjoy their delicious offerings. We spent a weekend in Cabarrus County and we so enjoyed our breakfast that we stopped in for lunch the next day.
Our breakfast was courtesy of Explore Cabarrus County, our lunch was not. Thank you to Explore Cabarrus County for introducing us to what might be our new family favorite restaurant!