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Posts Tagged ‘Free Things to Do’

FREE Kids Craft Events: JCPenney Kids Zone

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Did you know that JCPenney offers free kids’ craft events on the second Saturday of each month? Just visit your local participating JCPenney for these JCPenney Kids Zone events between 11 am and 12 pm on the second Saturday each month. You’ll get a totally free craft kit for kids, plus a store coupon for mom and dad.

We love free activities for the kids! For more free kids activities from national chain retailers, see the FREE Home Depot Kids Workshop and FREE Lowes Kids Workshop.

JCPenney Kids Crafts each month

Going out for a little family fun doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Kids just want to spend time with the people who love them. This is why we love free kids’ activity events, like the monthly kid’s crafts events at JCPenney.

Spring Banner in March 2024

JC Penney Kids Zone crafts are often very seasonal and make cute little gifts kids can give to those important people in their lives or enjoy for themselves!
March 9th: Make a spring banner. This craft includes a banner and wooden dowl, plus foam stickers for decorating and a string to hang it.

About Kids Zone, FREE Crafts for Kids at JCPenney

JCPenney Kids Zone happens on the second Saturday of each month. Just drop in between 11 am and 12 pm, you do not need to sign up in advance. These kids’ crafts are totally free and include all the supplies necessary to complete the craft.

Plus, kids will receive an ID badge, lanyard, and a collectible pin at the completion of each craft. Once kids have completed 6 kids zone crafts, they will receive a Master Medallion.

Kids must be accompanied by an adult. That adult will receive a coupon for 10% off their shopping trip, so you get to save a little money, too! No purchase is necessary for the kids to do their free craft.

Free Crafts for Kids JCPenney Kids Zone Schedule (2024)

January 13th, 2024: Arctic Snowglobe
February 10th, 2024: Cactus Valentines Bag
March 9th, 2024: Spring banner
April 13th, 2024: Owl Dream Catcher

Check back soon for additional JCPenney Kids Crafts in 2024.

Past projects included:

Penguin Pillow
Sloth or Panda Valentine
Windchimes
Grow your own flower kit
Mother’s Day bouquet
Father’s Day Grill
Summer Tote Bag
Pencil Pouch

JCPenney Kids Zone Free Kids Crafts at Haywood Mall, Greenville, SC

Check with your local JCPenny to ensure participation. These in-store events happen only where local mandates allow. The JC Penney location in the Haywood Mall, Greenville, SC does participate.

FREE Lowe’s Kids Workshops (2024): What will you make this month?

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Ready to load up the kids for a FREE DIY Kids Workshop at Lowe’s? Each month your kids will enjoy a new project and it’s totally free. Build and complete your project right in person at Lowes and you won’t even have to deal with the mess at home, or bring your free kit home and build whenever you want!

Upcoming Lowes Kids Workshops:



Free fun DIY workshops and free fun out of the house on Saturday? We love it and we think you will too! Here’s everything you need to know to sign up and join in the fun at your local store.

Lowe's Free Kids' Workshop schedule

Remember, those kids are only little once. There are a lot of memories to be made right at Lowes. Kids love their free projects and so do their grown-ups. Go make those family memories and have fun now. They grow up quickly and you’ll both treasure memories of time spent together creating something fun at these hands-on workshops.

Kids Workshop at Lowe’s

The Lowe’s kids workshops are similar to the other big box store where kids get a free construction project that is geared for their age and they get to put it together.

Ideally, kids do this with some help from parents. Some help, not all the help. They have to learn somehow! You don’t need any special skills, the directions are all included and they are easy. We know from experience that one little mistake in the project doesn’t matter, you’ll still have fun making something together. Trust us, the time you spend together is way more important than that project. Though, that’ll be pretty cool, too!

Have fun creating something together and watching your child learn and grow their skills!

kids and parent workshop

What Do Kids Make at Lowe’s DIY Kids Workshops?

The projects are all kinds of fun crafts like little cars or games or frames or insect houses. Recent past projects include a dancing turkey toy, jolly holiday ornament, and a football goalpost. The people who come up with these kits are pretty creative and we love how the crafts are festive and fit the season. Often they make a great gift for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, or even to give to Grandma for a just-because gift.

One of my favorite Valentine’s gifts is a heart frame my husband and two boys made me at one Lowe’s Kids Workshop. They still sit on my bookshelf with pictures of the boys at the age they made them, which at this point was about 10 years ago. So, yes, they can totally make great gifts.

The free kits include all the materials necessary to complete the projects. This may include wood, nails, glue, stickers, and more. They really are 100% free.

The crafts are designed for kids ages 4 and up. It’s a really fun activity to do together.

While there is no cost to do a kids’ workshop, you do need to sign up. The workshops are from 10 am – Noon on the days they have the kids’ workshops. Walk-ins starting after 12 are accepted, for any remaining kits, but we highly recommend reserving your kit.

 

Signing Up for Lowe’s Kids Workshops

When you go to sign up for the workshop online, you will be asked to create an account and then choose a time slot, either 9 – 10 am, 10 – 11 am, or 11 am – Noon.

Lowe’s has everything you will need to complete the project so there is no need to bring anything extra. When I took my kids to the Lowe’s workshop, they never had painting projects so your kids should be fine to wear whatever they want as they won’t be using paint.

What is this month’s Free Lowes Kids Project? (2024 Schedule of Lowes Kids Free Workshops)

Wondering what your child will be making at the next Lowes Kids’ Workshop?

Past projects include:

  • Home Team Football Card Holder
  • Snowman Picture Frame
  • Swan Note Holder (Valentine’s)
  • Cardinal Garden Ornament
  • Build a Bunny Planter
  • Spring Flower Pop-Up Toy
  • Lawn Mower Photo Holder
  • Tic-Tac-Toe Grill Game
  • Rolling Toy Pick-Up Truck
  • Fun Football Player Card Holder
  • Fire Truck Toy
  • Thanksgiving Turkey Photo Holder

Become a Senior Builder

Once kids complete 12 projects they will become a “senior builder” and earn a free tool bag from Lowes.

We will update our calendar when Lowes adds more kids’ workshops to their schedule!

Lowes Kids Workshop FAQ

Do I need to sign-up for the free workshops for kids at Lowes?

Yes! While walk-ins are accepted after 12 pm on workshop days, there is no guarantee there will actually be any extra kits. Sign-up to avoid disappointment.

How do I sign-up for Lowes Kids Workshops?

Right here! Sign up for Lowes kids workshops online. Registration opens the month before the project date.

Are the Lowes Build and Grow Kits Really Free?

Yep. Attend the workshop and it’s totally free. You and your child will have everything you need to complete the project. Go make some free memories!

How old do kids need to be for the Free Lowes Kids Workshops?

The workshops are recommended for ages 4 and up. Younger kids will need more help from mom and dad, but that’s totally ok. Older kids will get a chance to be a little more independent, and that’s great, too.

Are Lowe’s Kids Workshops Worth it? Should we bother going?

So much yes. Truly free family fun is rare, and it’s the stuff awesome memories are made of, so don’t pass up these fun workshops.

Remember, those kids are only little once. Go make those family memories and have fun now. They grow up quickly and you’ll both treasure memories of time spent together creating something fun.

Do any other stores do free projects for kids?

Yes!


 

 

Split Creek Farm: Learn all about goats – and even play with them – at this farm in Anderson, SC

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Did you know there is a FREE self-guided tour at Split Creek Farm in Anderson, SC? Goats and educational opportunities are plentiful at Split Creek Farm in Anderson, SC. Plus, the farm shop sells award-winning cheese and must-eat fudge made from their goat milk. Get outdoors, enjoy some animals, and learn something new!

Split Creek Farm tours

If there are baby goats involved somewhere around the Upstate, we’ll be there. Goats, especially baby goats, make us so happy! Split Creek Farm is a Grade A goat dairy farm in Anderson, SC that we’ve written about and visited before to the delight of both us and our readers. But they are more than goats. Education is hugely important to the farm and to that end, they have recently designed and installed a new self-guided tour that anyone can take.

We tried it out because, well, goats. And I’m homeschooling and thought this would be a fun adventure.

If you’re looking for more cute animals, see our Adorable Farms and Petting Zoos story.

Goats 4 Goodness

Goats 4 Goodness is the non-profit arm of Split Creek Farm. It was established a few years ago with the intent to “do good things” and has delivered on that goal through goat yoga, virtual farm tours, allowing guests playtime with baby goats, and participating in Make A Wish.

But a big part of the vision of Goats 4 Goodness is the educational component of the farm. They do offer tours, both virtually (imagine surprising your co-workers on a Zoom call with baby goats!) and in-person, as well as field trips and other opportunities to educate the public on what their farm does, which is a ton. The goats are the backbone of the farm, supplying the milk needed to make their award-winning feta cheese, the delicious fudge, yogurt, and other products. The farm also supports the local restaurant industry and breeds nearly-extinct breeds of goats. They also participate in local and regional goat shows and research.

Sandra and Jessica, the owners of Split Creek Farm, are pioneers in many areas of goat farming and their non-profit helps to provide funds to further the goals of the farm and integrate them even deeper into the supportive local community, bringing the joy of the goats to everyone.

The new self-guided tour

While the farm store is open Monday – Saturday for purchases, self-guided tours are available only on Friday and Saturday. The farm employs a small number of people and as you can probably imagine, it takes a huge amount of work to run the farm, milk the goats, make the cheese, fudge, and yogurt, clean the pens, collect the eggs, take care of the babies, and care and feed the herd.

Split Creek Farm Self-guided tour sign

As much as Sandra and Jessica would like to take every single guest on a personal tour of the farm, they needed to find a way to make what they do more accessible and understandable for guests and their families. And so was born the self-guided tour with easy-to-read and follow boards around the farm.

The topics are broad and fascinating. Guests will learn about all the different breeds of goats and why they are unique. They will learn about how the cheese is made and where the goats are milked and how that process worked. They will learn about every animal on the farm and why their individual jobs are important to making the farm run smoothly. I’ve personally been to Split Creek Farm numerous times and still learned a lot walking through the tour and reading all the plaques.

For myself and my kids, learning about where our food comes from and what goes into that process often has led to a deeper appreciation for farms and all the work they do. My own love of goats is only compounded every time I learn more about them. And my goodness, they make me happy. And they make my kids happy, which is all the more reason to visit the farm and learn about the goats.

It’s totally free to visit the farm and take self-guided tours. If you come with kids, just be sure to keep a close eye on them as it is a working farm and guests need to be respectful of those rules.

Playing with the goats

Split Creek Farm treats their animals with extraordinary care. I’ve seen both Sandra and Jessica speak to these animals exactly like I speak to my own kids. But the difference is that the goats listen to them! The goats obviously love the owners and employees and the female goats are quite literally what makes the farm run due to the sale of the products made with their milk.

So it’s no wonder the farm is protective of their animals. However, the animals get a lot of freedom and you’ll probably run into goats wandering around and Sam, the border collie, making sure they are where they need to be. There are chickens and two enormous pot-bellied pigs roaming around as well.

Playing with goats at Split Creek Farm

As long as guests are respectful of the animals, they are allowed to play with them and pet them. This is glorious. Playing with the goats is just awesome, especially the smaller ones. They are super curious (one really enjoyed munching on my daughter’s hair) and sweet and fun. Sam likes to play fetch with his frisbee and the chickens, well, they do their own thing.

Sometimes the farm will do special events where guests are able to play with the baby goats or have goat yoga sessions. Follow their Facebook page for that info. It’s really fun to play with the goats especially after you’ve done the self-guided tour because, I feel, that you may have a greater respect for them and for what goes on at the farm.

Virtual farm tours

Split Creek Farm also does virtual tours for anyone anywhere. People have really loved these as seeing the goats on their computer screens always elicits a lot of joy. Virtual tours can be arranged here at Goats 4 Goodness.

Goats at Split Creek Farm

Visiting Split Creek Farm

It’s free to visit the farm and you don’t need to sign up to do the self-guided tours. Just follow all the posted rules, which include no pets. Once you arrive at the farm, you’ll see the space allowed for visitor parking on your left. The first couple of self-guided posts will be on your right near the huge penned goat pasture and on your left near the open barn. You’ll see the others around the farm.

Self-guided tours are available Friday and Saturday 10 am – 6 pm.

The farm shop is open Monday-Saturday 10 am – 6 pm.

For the latest on events and pictures of their baby goats come late winter, follow Split Creek Farm on Facebook.

Split Creek Farm
3806 Centerville Road, Anderson
864.287.3921

Duke World of Energy: Learn About What Powers The Upstate

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Do you have a young one with an inquisitive mind? Bring them to the Duke World of Energy where they can learn how the electricity that keeps the lights on at home is generated and brought to local houses and businesses.

Did we mention this exhibit is FREE?

We know our readers love free things to do near Greenville so we visited the Duke World of Energy and we’re bringing you all the information you need to plan your own visit soon!

Free Things to Do in Greenville, SC

Looking for more Free Things to do in the Upstate? Here’s our list of free and low-cost things to do near Greenville, SC!

Duke Energy World of Energy

Located on the southern shore of beautiful Lake Keowee, The Oconee Nuclear Station provides energy to nearly 2 million homes via nuclear power. There is a multitude of steps that go into producing so much energy, and families can learn all about it at the power plant’s educational center.

Inside the Duke World of Energy

The Duke World of Energy is a free hands-on exhibit. Visitors will learn how electricity is generated at the plant and how the surrounding lakes contribute. You’ll start off with a short film, followed by a variety of interactive educational displays about energy production at the plant. The experience takes about 30-45 minutes.

As you enter each exhibit room, the presentation is started by an interactive touchpad. As you move from room to room you will learn about the process the plant uses to create the power that flows into homes. The way the exhibit is set up, in multiple rooms will keep kids from toddler to school-age entertained. About halfway through, you’ll find a huge picture window overlooking the power plant – a perfect photo opportunity. I was surprised to learn that this is the fifth-largest nuclear plant in the country.

Duke Energy World of Energy

The exhibits towards the end seemed to be the stars of the show for my children. My son loved the security display which features half of a car and the mirrored tool they use to check underneath cars entering the facility. The last two rooms – my daughter’s favorite – feature a simulated outdoor space, complete with taxidermy animals and an adjoining room that looks like a home. She loved looking out the window back into the “outdoor” room and waving to us.

The topography map is really neat – you can see the entire Jocassee Gorges, the Foothills Trail, the SC State Parks near there, and Lake Jocassee and Lake Keowee. These kinds of maps are always fascinating!

Topographical map at Duke Energy World of Energy

Nature Trail and More at Duke Energy: World of Energy

After visiting the World of Energy exhibit, head outside to the quarter-mile nature trail by the lake. You’ll find a covered picnic shelter, a fishing pier, and even a butterfly garden that’s open during the warmer months. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of dining options nearby, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead and bring a picnic.

We sat on the dock to eat lunch and finish our homeschool work and it was very relaxing. There’s a path that winds its way down to a small beach as well where you can hang out and enjoy the beautiful view. Stay off the helipad though, as the signs say!

You can also fish on the pier if you like. This is such a great way to spend a leisurely afternoon and a fun field trip. The view is breathtaking, and you just might learn something while you’re there.

Dock at Duke Energy World of Energy

FREE Special Events at Duke World of Energy

Don’t forget to check the Duke Energy website for events. In the past, The World of Energy has hosted several community events, including a National Hunting, an Orchid event (currently scheduled for February 15-17, 2024), a Fishing Day event, and a home school day.

Want to Visit Duke World of Energy?

Duke World Of Energy
7812 Rochester Highway | Seneca, SC 29672
864.873.4600

Hours:
Open 10 am-4 pm
Wednesday through Friday
Please confirm the hours before you head to the World Of Energy.

This article was originally written by Melanie Coblentz and has been updated by the Kidding Around Team.

Hunting for Toads on Trade in Greer, SC

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If you’ve never hunted for the Toads on Trade in Greer, SC, add it to your list of things to do. Inspired by Greenville’s Mice on Main, the downtown Greer scavenger hunt features 16 tiny toad statues tucked away on historic buildings. And if you’ve never ventured to find all 16 toads? We’ve got everything you need to know (including a short history lesson) before you go toad hunting.

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25+ Free (or Inexpensive) Winter Things to Do in Greenville, SC

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If you have experienced a Greenville, SC winter, free things to do are everywhere! We’ve gathered up our favorite free and inexpensive winter activities in Greenville. “Inexpensive” in this case means the total cost of the activity is less than $20 for a family of four to do.

Free and cheap winter things to do near Greenville, South Carolina

Winter can put a damper on outdoor activities because of the cold but do not fear, here’s a list of free and inexpensive things to do in the Upstate, South Carolina that will keep you and your kids from crying boredom and will help relieve that cabin fever.

Looking for more? If our winter list isn’t enough, check out our full list of Free and Inexpensive Things to Do in Greenville.

A quick tip: if you don’t have one already, we highly recommend purchasing a Greenville Attractions Dining & Value Guide ($25), which has great coupons to use at not only tons of restaurants in the area but also has vouchers for many entertainment venues and attractions and significant discounts off of admission to the Pavilion and Pump It Up bounce houses, water parks, and DEFY, among others. I saved over $200 last year using it.

Now to the fun part.


Greenville, SC: Winter Free Things to Do!

Outdoor Winter Fun

Go sledding if it snows!

Typically staying in your neighborhood is a good idea, especially if the roads are bad (and it’s free). Ideas for improvised sleds: tape up the seams of larger cardboard boxes with duct tape, use pool toys, a large cookie sheet, lunch tray, tops of garbage cans, an old car hood, laundry basket, or plastic kiddie pool. [disclaimer: don’t blame us if these ideas don’t work]

But if you’re looking for something more (that does cost money) KAG readers recommend Maggie Valley,  Moonshine Mountain, and Jonas Ridge, which are all in North Carolina.

Go on a driving waterfall tour of North Carolina waterfalls that involve little to no hiking at all. Bonus is that you may get to see a frozen waterfall or two!

Winter Hikes are free (depending on your hiking location) and have lots of fun. Enjoy the crisp, fresh air and a hike without the sweltering summer heat! Caesars Head State Park has particularly stunning views year-round. We have 6 Upstate Winter Hike locations for you to try.

Explore Falls Park on the Reedy in Downtown Greenville to watch the ducks and geese swim around, they are usually there all year. Then you can stroll the streets of Downtown Greenville and window shop. Camperdown Plaza is also pretty fun to walk about, with art in every corner.

Spend an afternoon at one of Greenville’s Park with Sunny Spaces and Playgrounds.

When the weather cooperates, take a bike ride or walk on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

Indoor Winter Activities

Sign up for a free trial toddler classPiano Central Studios, and The Little Gym.

Eat for free using our Kids Eat Free list.

Library: Both the Spartanburg and Greenville County library systems are enormous and they have a ton of free stuff to do – virtual storytimes, craft kits, and special online events. Most branches have free parking but the ones downtown do charge anywhere from $1-$2.

Enjoy the fish at the small aquarium at Bass Pro Shops on Woodruff Road and have your kids pick out their favorite wild animal on display all around the massive store.

Looking at the aquarium of fish at Bass Pro Shops in Greenville, South Carolina

Visit small creatures at local Petco or PetSmart stores, the Greenville Humane Society, or Greenville County Animal Care.

Continue kindness! Just because the holiday season is coming to a close, shouldn’t mean the end of being kind and thoughtful. Write a nice note for a service member and send it with a care package, bake cookies for your local firefighters, volunteer for Meals on Wheels, and catch up on thank you notes for all those Christmas gifts.


Inexpensive Things to Do During the Winter in Greenville

Warm-up with hot chocolate at these places with great hot chocolate in Greenville.

On sunny days, take your young kids to play in the enclosed outdoor playspace at Swamp Rabbit Cafe after a bike ride on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. You can grab a hot chocolate or snack from the market to enjoy.

Splash in the fun indoor slide and play area at the Kroc Center Pool (daily passes available, $5-10). Reserve space online.

Kroc Center indoor waterpark, Greenville, SC

Family Fun Gym at Acrosmith Gymnastics is offered Monday – Thursday at 9:00 am and 10:15 am, and Fridays at 10:15 am. The 9 am time slot is for kids walking through six years old and the 10:15 am time slot is for kids up to age 12.

It is an open gym with parent participation, remaining within the arm’s reach of the child. Kids get to bounce around on trampolines, try the balance beams, and test their ninja skills on the obstacle course.
You must pre-register. Registration closes at the start of Tot Time.  The cost is $6 per session, and sessions are limited to 50 children – winter schedule is available online.

Spend time at the TRee House Cafe & Art Studio in Travelers Rest where your kids can make art right at the table while you enjoy a warm cup of coffee.

Visit a Trampoline Park: Take children ages 6 and under to DEFY, for the KidsJump hour every Monday-Friday from 9 – noon. It’s $17.99/child and parents/caregivers jump for free.

If you buy a membership pass to Big Air, it works out to be inexpensive fun. They offer open jump as well as Toddler Time, Homeschool Jump, and Cosmic Nights! That coupon book we mentioned earlier can really save you a good bit at Big Air too.

Head to Kids Play & Cafe, where your kids can play dress up and make-believe, climb the indoor play structure, slide, and run around all within the safety of the indoor play place. Younger children and babies may enjoy Village Play in Fountain Inn as well.

Play structures indoors at Kids Play and Cafe in Easley, SC

If you live near Greenville, SC, what winter free things to do are you most excited about?

Winter Guide to Greenville, SC

Check out our KA Guide to Winter near Greenville, SC, with tons of ideas to beat the winter blues!

See Historic Planes for FREE! Western North Carolina Air Museum in Hendersonville, NC

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Did you know Hendersonville, NC has a FREE airplane museum? The Western North Carolina Air Museum is in a hangar beside a small runway full of historic airplanes. Learn about the history of the planes, how they’re made, and how they fly. There are even aircraft that kids can climb in, explore, and experiment with the controls. If you have an aviation enthusiast in your family, no matter their age, this is not a place you’ll want to skip. Let us introduce you to this amazing little gem in Hendersonville so you can plan your visit soon!

WNC Air Museum planes

What is the Western North Carolina Air Museum?

The museum consists of a single hanger filled to the brim with interesting and historic aircraft, informational exhibits, and knowledgable staff there to answer your questions and explain everything about these planes. There is also an aviation library that takes up almost an entire wall of the hanger, full of information for anyone researching an aviation topic whether it’s historical, technical, or anything in between.

Plane at the WNC Air Museum

Is the WNC Air Museum a Place for Kids?

YES! Definitely bring kids to this museum. Signage at the museum asks parents to supervise their children at all times, which makes sense since there are so many valuable aircraft and exhibits densely packed into the space.

That said there are definitely things for kids to touch, explore, play with, and enjoy. There are photo ops for kids in the form of a wooden painted plane. And your kids may also notice some stuffies doing a little piloting. Both a plane and a gyrocopter are available for kids to climb into the pilot’s seat and move the controls. They’ll actually be able to move the rudder, ailerons, and elevator. This was definitely my kids’ favorite part of the museum.

Kids lpiloting at WNC Air Museum

The staff at the museum were very kind to my kids, answering all their questions and complimenting us on their inquisitiveness and behavior. And really, what parent doesn’t want to hear things like that about their kids?

On our way out, my kids were offered copies of some aviation magazines which they eagerly accepted. Members of the Air Museum donate copies they are done with to the museum so kids can bring them home to learn more.

WNC Air Museum Stuffed Pilots

When Can We Visit the Western North Carolina Air Museum?

The regular hours of the museum are as follows:

  • April – October: Wednesday & Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm
  • November – March: Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, 12 pm to 5 pm

The museum may also be open for additional hours for special events, like the Hendersonville Apple Festival. Visit the Western North Carolina Air Museum website for special event information.

WNC Air Museum

Getting to the WNC Air Museum

When you plug the address into your GPS or maps app you should have no trouble getting to the museum. It’s located just a few miles from downtown Hendersonville, but the area is residential and you may feel like you’re headed off in the wrong direction. The drive is gravel and you’ll see the hanger from the road.

WNC Air Museum entrance

Western North Carolina Air Museum
1340 Gilbert Street, Hendersonville
FREE admission and parking

Free Things to Do in Hendersonville, NC

There are so many more free and fun adventures in Hendersonville, NC!

Here’s our list of totally free fun in Hendersonville, NC.

Watch Free Holiday Movies at NCG Theaters (2023): Here’s How

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Free holiday movies? Yep, you heard that right. NCG Cinemas has brought back their FREE Holiday Family Film Fest. Your family can load up on holiday cheer for free with three different holiday family movies throughout December 2023, and it won’t cost you a dime! We love free family fun and we know our readers do, too! Happy, happy (free) Christmas family fun!

NCG free holiday film festival

NCG Cinemas 2023 Holiday Film Fest Schedule

13 December days with free Christmas movies at NCG movie theater? If that doesn’t put a little jingle in your step this season, we’re not sure what will. See the following movies free at NCG Cinemas in December 2023! Plus, each movie showing will have the option for a sensory-friendly viewing for 2023.

  • The Grinch (2018): December 8th-10th, 2023 at 10 am
  • ELF: December 15th – 17th, 2023 at 10 am
  • The Polar Express: December 18th – 24th, 2023 at 10 am

NCG Free Christmas movie calendar

  • December 8, 2023, see The Grinch free at 10 am
  • December 9, 2023, see The Grinch free at 10 am
  • December 15, 2023, see Elf free at 10 am
  • December 16, 2023, see Elf free at 10 am
  • December 17, 2023, see Elf free at 10 am
  • December 18, 2023, see The Polar Express free at 10 am
  • December 19, 2023, see The Polar Express free at 10 am
  • December 20, 2023, see The Polar Express free at 10 am
  • December 21, 2023, see The Polar Express free at 10 am
  • December 22, 2023, see The Polar Express free at 10 am
  • December 23, 2023, see The Polar Express free at 10 am
  • December 24, 2023, see The Polar Express free at 10 am

Free Christmas Movies Near Me?

Is there an NCG Cinemas with free Christmas movies near me?

In the Upstate, we are lucky to have NCG Cinemas right in Spartanburg, SC. You’ll be able to see NCG’s free Christmas movies at the Spartanburg location on the designated days.

NCG Cinemas Spartanburg
1985 E Main Street, Spartanburg

Not in the South Carolina Upstate? To see if there is an NCG Cinemas near you, head to the NCG Cinemas locations website.

New for 2023: Sensory Friendly Showings

For 2023, with each regular showing of the movie, the theatre will also host a sensory-friendly showing at the same time. When purchasing your tickets, be sure to select the showing you think is best for your child or family.

More Info for NCG Free Holiday Movies

  • Will there be popcorn and snack deals for the holiday film fest?

For 2023, guests can purchase a $5 Kids mini combo, which comes with a drink, popcorn, and a small treat (typically, fruit snacks). One combo per ticket.

  • Do I need tickets for the free movies at NCG Cinemas?

All guests will need a ticket and will reserve an assigned seat when purchasing their tickets online. Tickets sell out quickly, so purchase online.

Regal Cinemas holiday movies in 2023

More Christmas Movies, Cheap!

$5 Holiday Classics at Regal Cinemas


Holiday in Greenville, SC, Celebrate Christmas, Greenville, SC

Find lots more holiday things to do in our HUGE holiday guide to Greenville, SC.

(2023) FREE Fun & Photo With Santa at Cabela’s & Bass Pro Shops

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If you are thinking about bringing your kids to Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s, Santa will be there too! Kick off the holiday season with Santa’s Wonderland at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops. Truly FREE, a visit to Santa’s Wonderland includes not only a chance to talk to Santa, but also a free studio-quality printed 4×6 photo. You’ll enjoy free activities, candy cane, games, and more. This is one place where holiday magic is really, actually free, and we love it.



See Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s Santa in 2023

  • Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s: Santa arrives on November 4th, 2023!
  • Free 4×6 high-quality photo
  • Lots of Free fun all season long!
  • Reservations are open NOW! Make your reservation to see Santa at Cabela’s!

Saturday, November 4th, 2023: Santa’s Arrival Parade at 5 pm in front of Bass Pro Shop.
November 5th, 2023 through December 24, 2023: FREE photos with Santa at Cabela’s.

Note: The times listed above are for Santa at Cabela’s of Greenville, SC. Times and dates may vary by location, but the offerings will be very similar.

Just check with your local Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shop for their Santa’s Wonderland schedule.

Santa arrives via boat at Cabela's
Photo credit: Cabela’s

See Santa and Where to Mail Your Letter: Video

FREE Arrival Parade Event

Santa will arrive on a boat straight from the North Pole at Cabela’s & Bass Pro Shops on November 4th, 2023 at 5 p.m.

The arrival event will include:

  • Carolers
  • Free special giveaways
  • Hot chocolate and cookies
  • Various vendors
  • Free games and activities

Free Photos With Santa and Visit to Santa’s Wonderland: Yes! It’s Really Free!

  • Make a reservation in advance.
  • Visits include a FREE 4×6 photo with Santa that you will receive on-site.
  • A visit to Santa’s Wonderland includes FREE crafts and games
  • Use the letterbox to drop off your list to Santa
Santa at Cabela's

Want more photos? Purchase Additional Photos with Santa at Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops

Love your free photo? Copying is prohibited, but you can purchase a photo package for additional photos. They’ll print right in the store. Use your CLUB Mastercard® and you can purchase a special CLUB Members Exclusive Photo Package for just $20.

But, remember, no purchase is necessary to visit Santa’s Wonderland at Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops. No purchase is necessary for a free photo with Santa. You can have a great time with the kids and spend nothing at all.

Santa’s Wonderland: What you need to know before you visit with Santa

Kidding Around Guest Contributor Lauren Justus brought her family to Cabela’s of Greenville for a visit with Santa. Here are her parent tips: everything you need to know before you go for your visit with the big man in red.

Plan Ahead

In order to visit Santa’s Wonderland, you are required to make a free online reservation with Santa. It takes just a minute to register and you will receive a confirmation email with your booking date and time.

Reservations are available up to seven days in advance, November 5-December 24, 2023. No walk-ins are allowed at this time. 

Visiting Santa at Cabela's
Photo Credit: Cabela’s

How It Works

Upon arrival, one of Santa’s helpers will ask to see your booking confirmation. After your photo is taken, each family will receive a complimentary 4 x 6 print as part of their free online booking. There are additional photo packages available for purchase.

Santa at Cabela's
Photo with Santa provided by Cabela’s at Lauren’s visit.

Extra Touches

Before our exit, Santa’s helpers provided our children with an individually packaged holiday activity kit full of festive surprises. They were also given a huge candy cane and a “Letter for Santa” printout to send to the North Pole in the coming weeks! 

Santa’s Letterbox

There is a letterbox at Santa’s Wonderland so you can send your list! You can take some time to fill out your list right away and mail it, or bring it back to the store to mail when you’re done.

Do some shopping or enjoy the displays

Don’t forget to take a walk through the store before or after your visit so you can enjoy the large aquariums and wildlife displays throughout each store. That’s actually something that’s great to do any day, but even more fun when you’re making a day of it and visiting Santa, too!

Where will your family visit with Santa this year?


Festival of Trees at the Hyatt in Greenville, South Carolina

The holidays do not always have to be expensive! Check out these Free Things to Do This Christmas Near Greenville, SC!


See Model Trains for FREE at Apple Valley Model RR Club in Hendersonville, NC

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Did you know there is a free model railroad museum you can visit in Hendersonville, NC? The Apple Valley RR Club is located in the historic train station in Hendersonville and visitors can check out the indoor and outdoor model trains, and climb aboard a real caboose, totally free. Read on to find out all the details to plan your visit to the Apple Valley Model RR Club.

Railroad scene at Apple Valley Model Club, Apple Valley Model RR Club

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I planned a stop on our day in Hendersonville, NC at the Apple Valley Model RR Club. But, I figured with free admission and several kids who enjoy model trains, it was worth a stop.

Wow, was it worth the stop! The station is full of some of the coolest displays we’ve seen. How rare it is to find something like with without an admission cost! We loved our time watching the trains and look forward to stopping by again.

Take a Peek!

Here’s a fun video from our visit so you can see some of the trains at the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club.

Things to See at the Apple Valley Model RR Club

The model train displays at the Apple Valley Model RR Club flow through the several rooms that make up the historic train station. In one room you can watch club members work on trains and scenery and beyond that are rooms full of elaborate scenery, tunnels, and HO scale model trains.

Tunnels in a model railroad display

The station is filled with the sounds of running trains chugging and whistling across the displays. Train lovers young and old can watch as the trains go by, and meander from room to room to check out the different displays. Take as much time as you’d like, it’s free and there is a lot to see!

Huge model train displays

Outdoor Train Display at Apple Valley

A G-scale model train runs outdoors behind the station and there are some very special features of this outdoor display. First, young ones should head here to visit both Thomas the Train and Percy. They both chug through the large outdoor display.

G-scale outdoor train display with Thomas

Next, notice the mirrors along the back of the display. You’ll be able to watch the trains moving behind the display on their way to the other side.

But the biggest special feature is the onboard camera running on one of the outdoor trains. You can see this onboard view from the lobby. My kids enjoyed positioning themselves outdoors to be seen on the camera while their siblings watched for them in the lobby.

Climb Aboard the Caboose

Beside the train station is an old caboose. When the station is open, the caboose is also open. Climb aboard and check out the interior with its coal stove and storage, benches, and even a toilet.

Caboose at Apple Valley Model RR Club

Where to Find the Apple Valley Railroad Club

The Apple Valley Model Railroad Club is located in a historic 1902 train station beside the railroad tracks in downtown Hendersonville, NC. There is free parking beside the station and it is an easy walk to or from the restaurants and shops on Main Street.

Historic Railroad station in Hendersonville, NC

Visit the Apple Valley Model RR Club

  • Admission is FREE!
  • Hours: Wednesday 1 pm to 3 pm and Saturday 10 am to 2 pm

650 Maple Street
Hendersonville, NC
Apple Valley Model RR Club