If you are thinking about spending an afternoon racing go-karts, Greenville, SC has a couple of venues nearby that offer indoor or outdoor karting. So, grab the kids for a bonding session, your significant other for a date, or your arch nemesis for a karting throwdown. Either way, check out this list of places where you can go karting in the Upstate.
Have you been to The Kroc Center in Greenville, SC? One of its key features is the kid-friendly heated indoor waterpark! Greenville, SC residents can also enjoy a lap pool, tennis, indoor basketball courts, a gym, soccer fields, and so much more when they visit the Downtown Greenville location. We have all the information you need to enjoy a day at The Kroc Center, or maybe even become a member!
Play Cafe at Judson Mill in Greenville, SC is about to make every parent of little kids dreams come true with their huge indoor play area and cafe.
Austin Motes and Daniel Kingsbury are both dads with little kids. They acutely understand the challenge of finding fun, safe, and affordable places for their kids to play indoors but not at the expense of the sanity of the parents. And with Greenville growing so fast and so many new families coming to put down roots here – many of whom work from home – they also saw the need for a massive indoor space that allows parents to work but where their kids can get out energy and play.
They started dreaming up something big. Like really, really big.
Enter the new Play Cafe of Judson Mill, a massive new indoor play space with structures up to three stories tall and a cafe and comfortable tables and chairs for parents to get some work done.
The photo below is a possible rendering of what one of the playgrounds at the Play Cafe will look like. We also have photos from a sneak peek in September 2023 of how construction is coming so read on.
About the Play Cafe
Austin Motes works in construction and has extensive knowledge of what it takes to navigate building codes and permits. Daniel Kingsbury owns SC Party Rentals so his expertise lies in entertainment. These Greenville natives are the co-owners of the Play Cafe and it’s their experience as parents and their knowledge of their respective industries that will make this new business venture appealing to families in Greenville (and beyond).
The vision behind the Play Cafe, they both told me, was to have a fun and relaxing place for kids to play safely but also to make sure parents didn’t need a vacation after spending a couple of hours there with their kids.
To that end, there will be no arcade, no loud air blowing through inflatables, and no musical aspects. Of course, kids will be loud but none of the play structures will add to that noise.
The Indoor Playgrounds
Austin and Daniel have quite literally scoured the world to find the coolest indoor play structures to bring to Greenville. They have gone to the biggest convention of theme park operators and inventors to find unique aspects to bring to the Play Cafe. This is no small deal to say the least.
The entire Play Cafe will occupy more than 14,500 square feet, which is enormous.
There will be two huge play structures, one of them two stories high and the other three stories high. They will be netted, and have slides, climbing structures, balls to throw and play with, tunnels, ladders, and other surprises.
Smaller kids will have an enclosed area to play apart from the bigger kids as well as a sensory area to explore. One side of the enclosed space will have a bartop counter where parents can sit with their coffee and laptops and watch their kids.
The Play Cafe is designed for kids through around middle or early high school and while kids can play on any structure they’d like, one structure will be geared more for younger kids and the other for older kids.
It’s obvious two dads and their wives planned this space, which I so appreciate!
For kids who may not want to play on the larger structures, the Play Cafe will have several Imagination Stations. These are small areas that are themed where kids can use their imaginations to become whatever their little hearts desire.
Some of the themed Imagination Stations will include a veterinarian’s office, a fire station, a princess castle, and a doctor’s office.
Safety at the Play Cafe
Safety is, of course, of utmost importance at the Play Cafe. All the play structures are sturdy, strong, and basically indestructible. These aren’t flimsy structures.
Additionally, when parents and their kids come to play, they will be given wristbands. To exit the facility, the kids must have the same wristband as their parents or they cannot leave. And there is only one entrance and exit so parents don’t need to worry about their little escape artists wandering off.
The Cafe will have comfortable seating throughout the space and service coffee, smoothies, pizza, and sandwiches. The Play Cafe will also be working with Feed & Seed, also located at Judson Mill, to offer healthier options if parents want to choose those.
And working parents, this is your place to bring the kids so you can get some work done. There will be plenty of space to bring your laptop, connect to the Wifi, and let your kids get some energy out while you meet your deadlines. In fact, parents will be able to rent out the party rooms during the week to have meetings and get work done while their kids play. I nearly jumped up and down when I heard this. Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant.
Birthday Parties & Special Events
The Play Cafe at Judson Mill will offer several different birthday party packages for guests, ranging from a more budget-friendly version to an all out turnkey event where the parents only need to reserve the room and everything else will be handled for them. Um, yes please.
There will be seven birthday party rooms – yes, seven. So if the weather looks bad for your outdoor party, you have a pretty good chance of snagging one of the birthday party rooms here at the Play Cafe.
Additionally, all the party rooms will be the same with the option of projecting a theme throughout the room. Think a princess castle or jungle full of dinosaurs.
Play Passes & Memberships
The pricing for a day of play has not been finalized yet but it will be competitive and there will be discounts for siblings. Memberships, homeschool days, tot times, and special needs hours will also be part of the new Play Cafe at Judson Mill.
For parents who work at the Play Cafe, the owners will allow them to bring one child per shift.
NEW: September 2023 Update
We got a sneak peek at the construction inside of the Play Cafe and it’s going to be awesome. Parents, we are so sorry this place isn’t opening sooner but when it does, it is going to be amazing so hang on tight, it’s coming.
Some of the things we got to see are the smaller playground about halfway constructed. It’s about 18 feet high with multiple slides and tunnels. There is also an adjacent, enclosed area for kids about age one and under. We love enclosed spaces.
The equipment for the bigger playground is mostly at the site but it hasn’t been constructed yet. Some cool things included there will be plastic ball fountains and nerf guns plus huge – huge – slides. This structure is going to be about 22 feet high. Good luck trying to get your kids to leave once this place opens.
Opening Date & Frequently Asked Questions
It took an entire year for Austin and Daniel to find the location and get the permits for the Play Cafe and the space is enormous, which means they need a lot of time to get everything together from scratch and go through all the bureaucratic avenues. An opening date is planned for closer to the end of the year in 2023.
In the meantime, be sure to follow the Play Cafe on Facebook and we will be updating our readers as soon as it’s open. They will also be launching their website soon. We will update our story when they do.
Here are a few questions you may have with answers:
When will the Play Cafe open? Toward the end of 2023
Can I go see the Play Cafe now? No.
Will the Play Cafe be booking birthday parties soon? They will. Follow them on Facebook for the most updated announcements.
Will the Play Cafe have WiFi and areas for parents to work? Yes, indeed. This will be a great place for working parents.
Why is it taking so long for the Play Cafe to open? Because good things take time. Also, because the space is huge and the owners have to deal with a lot of local government requirements to open, which can take a long time.
Interested in trying out rock climbing? Greenville, SC has several places, plus there are a lot of unique rock climbing gyms near the Upstate. With its proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains, you can find plenty of challenging and exciting rock climbing spots near the city, both indoor and outdoor. From experienced climbers to beginners, there are plenty of options for everyone in and around Greenville.
Our list includes indoor and outdoor climbing options. That means we have all the local climbing gyms, outdoor crags, and everything in between. There is something for everyone in the Greenville area. Read on to find out more about the best places to rock climb near Greenville.
Places to go Rock Climbing: Greenville, SC and The Upstate
Climb @ Blue Ridge
Climb@Blue Ridge, located in Taylors, has climbing spaces for bouldering, top roping, and lead climbing. There’s something for all climbing skill levels. And no fear of boredom for return visits—the climbing routes are changed regularly to keep you on your toes. This is a great climbing gym Greenville, SC locals seem to enjoy. They also have several events throughout the week and year (Homeschool Program, Ladies’ Nights, Yoga, Tai Chi, and more).
Blochaven is another great local rock climbing gym in Greenville, SC. Located in Judson Mill, Blochaven is a family-run business with the goal to make Greenville a bouldering community. You can purchase a day pass, or for the more committed climbers, you can purchase a membership.
Blochaven 701 Easley Bridge Road – Suite 6020, Greenville 864.405.3003
Looking for a rock climbing gym in Easley? projectROCK is your answer. The gym and climbing routes are all inspired by places the owners have traveled. Fun Fact: projectROCK Easley is home to the highest climbing wall in the country… at 84 feet tall. They offer classes for beginners and also have a competitive league and a recreation league. And like other climbing gyms, you can purchase a day pass or a membership.
Trailhead Climbing & Outdoor Center in Anderson, SC has 50’ rock climbing walls. Climbers of all skill levels are welcome, and they offer classes for beginners. You can purchase a day pass or a membership. They also have party packages for your rock climbing-loving kids (or big kids!).
Looking for an outdoor rock-climbing adventure near Greenville? Pisgah Climbing School has several locations in Western North Carolina that aren’t too far away. The school wants to give climbing opportunities for both beginners and advanced climbers.
Their beginner climbing consists of top roping, fundamental knots, and belaying instruction. Sometimes with the right weather, you can even participate in ice climbing…just be sure to call ahead to see if weather conditions are allowing for it.
Located in Mills River, NC, Riveter has an indoor rock climbing gym that boasts over 16,000 square feet of climbing terrain. The bouldering area has 60 routes, and there’s even a kid’s area for your youngest climber. Day passes and memberships are both available for purchase.
Riveter 701 Old Fanning Bridge Road, Mills River 828.676.2566
Brevard Rock Gym
Brevard Rock Gym is just over an hour away from the Upstate in Brevard, NC. The climbing gym also has an indoor rock climbing and bouldering. They also offer several classes for all skill levels and ages. They even have youth climbing programs. You can purchase a day pass or a punch pass.
You’ll find an extensive list of outdoor climbing spaces, routes, and details about what to expect at each spot at Carolina Climbers. Routes are listed for North and South Carolina, as well as Tennessee and Georgia.
Places to Buy Climbing Gear
Having the right climbing gear is critical to rock climbing. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rock climbing veteran, there are a few great stores near Greenville, SC to choose from. Whether you’re looking for climbing shoes, ropes, harnesses, or other accessories, here are a few places to buy climbing gear near Greenville.
Note: If you’re new to climbing, REI is a great place to get gear. With their generous return policy for members, you can be sure to get the right shoes and harness for you! They also offer lightly used items online at REI Garage. This is only for REI co-op members but is a great option because you’ll find equipment in good shape at a steep discount.