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Posts Tagged ‘Playgrounds’

Cedar Falls Park in Fountain Inn is the Perfect Park to Visit on a Beautiful Fall Day

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Looking for a beautiful park to enjoy on a crisp fall day? Cedar Falls Park in Fountain Inn offers a fun playground, a paved walking path, a historical site, and a waterfall. We’ll give you all the information you need to plan a day at this park with your family.

Parks and playgrounds near Greenville, South Carolina

Looking for more parks? We’ve got your Ultimate Guide to Parks and Playgrounds Near Greenville, SC.

Want more ideas on parks to explore, places to hike and more outdoor fun? Check out our Things to do Outside page.

I was first introduced to Cedar Falls Park by Deirdre at JDaniel4’s Mom. Deirdre and I are friends, and she is also a local blogger. She blogged about her visit to Cedar Falls Park during the 2013 Greenville Park Hop. I could tell that she and J Daniel had a lot of fun during their visit, and I decided that my family would need to check the park out ourselves.

After our visit my husband and I agreed that Cedar Falls Park is a local secret. The playground is imaginative and great for getting kids active. But the best part about Cedar Falls Park is the paved path (yay for strollers!) that leads to a beautiful wooded area where the Reedy River rolls over waterfalls and wildlife abounds.

waterfall at Cedar Falls Park

The history of Cedar Falls Park

Cedar Falls Park doubles as not just a recreational spot but also as an historic area. The site originated as a Cherokee hunting ground and transportation hub across the Reedy River. Later in the 1800s, a dam was built to power several mills. In the 1900s, a larger dam generated electric power for the Fork Shoals Mill. A more complete history of the Cedar Falls is located on a park sign on the trail.

On the trail, you will also find a sign explaining the Cherokee history of the site as well as a sign about the environmental aspects of the Reedy River which includes a chart of wildlife in the area.

Basic Information about Cedar Falls Park

The 90+ acres at Cedar Falls Park contains so much:

  • a paved walking trail to the falls
  • a sand volleyball court
  • picnic shelter
  • restrooms
  • playground
  • parking at both the playground and a small amount of parking beside the falls
  • large grassy areas for play
Cedar Falls Park playground

The Playground at Cedar Falls Park

My kids really enjoyed the play area located at the first entrance of the park. The playground based on fairy tales, included a bean stalk ladder, rock wall, small cave window, and large fun climbing structures. As a mom of a very brave toddler, I was glad to see that even the larger playground wasn’t terribly high (not that I would have wanted her to fall off it).

The playground designed for smaller kids was a little larger than other local options. I liked how it was still challenging and fun for even my 5 year-old (though he was fascinated with the larger structure on the other side).

The playground did not have a fence and both levels of playgrounds were connected. Since the playground was beside the parking lot, you did have to watch small kids closely to make sure they didn’t wander off.

The Falls at Cedar Falls Park

The walk to Cedar Falls was not difficult. Our kids (2 and 5) complained a little and we ended up toting the toddler, but we made it there and back without too much trouble. We did not bring a stroller, but the path was completely paved down to the falls.

We noticed a lot of people playing in the water, but we did not due to it being part of the Reedy River. Parents will want to know that this portion of the Reedy River has the same toxic level warning signs as you will find near the Reedy River at Falls Park.

I wore flip flops and the kids wore shorts on our visit. I would recommend tennis shoes and long pants as you will want to explore off of the path once you reach the falls. Don’t forget plenty of water and snacks too. Basically dress and pack for a hike.

The area was beautiful and we noticed lots of interesting insects and birds.

Even though the park was a little outside the normal area we travel for park visits, I’m sure that we will visit again. The kids really enjoyed their time playing at the park, and word is that Cedar Falls Park is a must-see spot in Greenville in the fall.

Visit Cedar Falls Park with your family

Cedar Falls Park is open daily from 9 am – dusk.

201 Cedar Falls Road, Fountain Inn

Visit the Cedar Falls Park website for more information.

What is your family’s favorite thing about Cedar Falls Park?

Mom Review: The Runway Park at Greenville Downtown Airport

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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!

Runway Park at the Greenville Downtown Airport in Greenville, South Carolina

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!

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Va-Du-Mar McMillan Park Makes for a Perfect Fall Day Out

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Are you looking for information about Va-Du-Mar McMillan Park? If you want to know all the reasons this is a great park for kids, you’ve come to the right place. Local mom, Erika, has reviewed all of Va-Du-Mar McMillan Park’s amenities and is sharing why it is one of her kids’ favorite parks. 

Goodbye to those hot, humid days of summer, and hello to the cooler, crisp air that fall brings! Now is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors, and what better way to do that than to check out one of the wonderful parks that Spartanburg has to offer?

One park worth mentioning, and well worth the trip to Boiling Springs, is Va-Du-Mar McMillan Park, located at 591 McMillan Blvd. Whether you have never heard of it before, or just haven’t had a chance to make it out there, there are multiple reasons to add this park to your “to-do-with-the-kids” list.

parks and playgrounds spartanburg greenville

Want to explore other parks? Here’s a round-up of the best parks and playgrounds near Spartanburg, SC and Greenville, SC.

What’s so great about Va-Du-Mar McMillan Park?

How is the playground?  Great; but we’ll get to that part later. Va-Du-Mar McMillan Park offers a lot more than just a playground and a few swings. Seven different sports fields, with football goal posts and soccer goals, are located in this gem of a park, so bring your soccer ball along and let the kids run off some of their energy. The fields are well maintained with the grass kept short and fire ant mounds are sprayed frequently.

Inside the park, lies Shoally Creek Disc Golf Course. This 18-hole course sits on a “hilly” landscape, making it a bit more exciting, and most of the course is played through the woods. A course map is posted near the start, of course, giving you an idea of what to expect as you play. A wildlife sign is posted, so keep a lookout for the critters that call the woods home. The course is open during daylight hours and is free of charge, just be sure to bring your own discs.

If you’re a fan of Disc Golf, check out our list of more locations where you can play Disc Golf In Spartanburg.

Nestled in the back of the park, away from the noise of the playground, you will find a sand volleyball court, as well as a caged tennis court, with three courts located inside. You will also find a paved walking trail with “doggy bag” receptacles, so leashed pets are welcome on the trail.

Var Du Mar MacMillan Park playground in Boiling Springs

The playground is great too

What is a park without a playground? Va-Du-Mar McMillan Park offers not one, but two fenced-in, fun playgrounds geared toward children ages two and up. The smaller playground is designed for children age two to five and offers multiple height-appropriate slides, a tic tac toe board, a steering wheel, a bridge, and multiple ways to climb onto the playground, such as stairs, an arched ladder, and a climbing wall. The playground is open underneath so your little one can run under it for added play space. With twelve swings total, four are kiddie swings for children four-years-old and under, and eight regular swings, it’s not likely that your child will have to wait their turn for a swing!

The larger playground, geared toward children age five to 12, doesn’t lack space or fun! A large bridge connects two different parts of this awesome playground, and each side includes a covered “treehouse-like” area. Various slides, ranging from smaller ones with less of an incline, spiral slides that are high enough to include three spirals before you reach the bottom, and side-by-side slides so your children can race each other down, sit on all sides of this playground. Multiple climbing walls, stepping stones, and staircases can turn this playground into a fun obstacle course, amongst other fun ways to enjoy it.

Neither of the playgrounds is made of wood, so no need to worry about pulling any splinters out at the end of the day. The ground of the playground area is mulch; however, there is soft padding at the end of each slide so your child has a soft place to land.

What else makes this park great?

Convenient options can make or break a park for parents, and Va-Du-Mar McMillan Park does not fall short in this category. Some of the most dreaded words a parent wants to hear 10 minutes after arriving at the playground are “I have to go potty!” only to realize that the closest bathrooms are all the way back home. This park has a men and women’s bathroom, located near the tennis courts, with multiple stalls and a changing table; and more importantly, these bathrooms are kept clean! There are several benches throughout the playground area for parents to sit and relax while their children play. Shaded areas with picnic tables are easily accessible, so you can pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic with your family. The playground area is fenced in, reducing the worry of your child running into the parking lot. Trash cans are situated throughout the park for your convenience and are frequently emptied to keep bugs away. Beverage vending machines are located near the fields closer to the park entrance, as well as a concession stand that is open during organized sporting events.

As with any public park, there are rules set in place for the safety of everyone.  Glass containers are not allowed, so keep that in mind if you decide to pack a lunch.  While leashed pets are allowed in certain areas of the park, they are not allowed in the fenced playground area; however, service animals are allowed in all areas of the park.

The park is open 7 days a week, park hours vary throughout the year:
Nov. 1‐ Feb. 28: 7 am ‐ 7 pm
March 1 ‐ Oct. 31: 7 am ‐ 9 pm

You can view the full list of park rules here.

Do your kids love Va-Du-Mar McMillan Park as much as mine do?

Kids Can Do More than Just Play at Railroad Mini Park

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Have you visited Railroad Mini Park? This modest park is right off Stone Avenue near Downtown Greenville, so it is perfect for a quick play date after school or on the weekend. KAG contributor and local mom, Deborah, recently visited the park and tells us why this park offers more than just play.

What to Expect at Railroad Mini Park

No railroad. No train. This park is named after the street it is near, Railroad Street. Just a quarter mile off Stone Avenue, you’ll find a large grassy area, a full basketball court, and a playground. Park along Becker Street or Scott Street and walk across the grass.

View of the playground at Railroad Mini Park in Greenville, South Carolina

This playground is perfect for children of all ages and will improve balance and strength. The bouncy balance beam is a fun twist to the classic balance beam. No one will have to wait to slide with two slides on opposite sides of the playground. In the center, there are a few games. My boys’ favorite game was the spinner. Spin the arrow and then find that symbol somewhere on the playground.

A large cover keeps much of the playground shaded when the sun is at its highest. Bring a picnic to enjoy at the picnic table under the shade beside the playground. If you don’t want to pack a picnic, drive less than a mile and enjoy Willy Taco, where kids and adults can enjoy deliciously fresh Mexican food and even play a game of cornhole.

Railroad Mini Park sits just half a mile from NorthPointe, home to Harris Teeter, stores and restaurants, apartments, and a large parking garage.

Bring a basketball and other lawn games and your whole family to enjoy the park and maybe do a little shopping too. Yet another day made great in Greenville!

Obstacles on the playground at Railroad Mini Park in Greenville, SC

Railroad Mini Park
32 Becker Street, Greenville

Have you taken your kids to the new Railroad Mini Park yet?


Park Guide to Greenville, SC

Want to check out even more great parks in the Greenville area? Visit our guide to parks near Greenville, SC for info and reviews on tons of local parks!


Kid Venture 2.0 in Anderson, SC is Full of Playful Structures and Has a Brand New Splash Pad!

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Have you been to Kid Venture 2.0, the Anderson splash pad and playground yet? We are here to tell you all about it because you are going to really love it!

Kid Venture 2.0 has been in the works for several years and cost about $3.5 million. I learned that it has really been a lesson in bureaucracy done right. Everything from the funding to the planning to the implementation has been local counties and governments working together in a way that has produced something so beneficial to the community. 

The biggest draw of the playground is the splash pad, but there’s so much more to enjoy! The splash pad is open starting Memorial Day 2023 and runs through August 13, 2023 daily from 9 am – 8 pm. Then only Saturday and Sunday plus Labor Day from August 19th – September 3rd, 2023.

The entire park is free.

Kid Venture 2.0 splash pad and shade

The Splash Pad

Let’s just start there because that’s why you’re reading this story, isn’t it? The splash pad hours for 2023 start Memorial Day and run through August 13, 2023 daily from 9 am – 8 pm. Then only Saturday and Sunday plus Labor Day from August 19th – September 3rd, 2023.

Kid Venture 2.0 Anderson splash pad

The design of the entire playground is so playful and fun, including the splash pad. There is water that comes out from the ground as well as drops from above in structures that are tall and colorful. There isn’t much shade yet at the splash pad but the county will be planting trees along the benches to help remedy that challenge. They couldn’t do it in the heat of summer or the trees would die. 

The entire splash pad is fenced in and sits right next to the path along the pond where the ducks and geese are. 

The Playground

The whole playground is ADA-accessible and part of the playground is also sensory-friendly. Glenn Brill, the Director of the Parks, Recreation & Tourism Division for Anderson County, told me this playground is meant to be for everyone. His enthusiasm was contagious and I could easily see how excited he is for the playground and splash pad to open to the public. 

There is an adorable little market area for little kids with a fire truck for them to drive, tunnels to climb through, and an imitation farmers market. It is so cute and they call it the Lil Village. Aw!

Kid Venture 2.0 playground

The sensory-friendly area is just beyond that part with cozy nooks to sit inside. 

Part of the original playground from Kid Venture is still there and it includes some of the swing and bigger slides and walkways. There’s also a spinning area called Swingin & Blues with little seats that spin, a mushroom spinning wheel kids can hang onto, and a wheelchair-accessible ground level spinning covered seat Merry Go Round. My kids loved this one. 

There are beautiful shaded areas with benches throughout the playground and the ground is quite soft. 

The Bathrooms

The bathrooms are large and beautiful and heavy duty. Glenn told me they double as a storm shelter and can sustain winds up to 120 mph. You didn’t know a bathroom could do that, did you? Don’t feel bad, neither did I. 

The bathrooms are on automatic locks and are open 8 am – 8 pm and are right inside the playground next to the splash pad for easy access. 

The Picnic Shelter

There’s a nice, big shaded picnic area at Kid Venture but the county isn’t renting it out – it’s first come, first served. So if you want to have a birthday party there for your kid (which would be pretty cool), just get there early and set up. There’s no charge for having a party there or any other gathering.

Visiting Kid Venture 2.0

Kid Venture 2.0 has a lot going for it and as a parent, the two things I noticed straight away that I thought were so key was that the entire playground is fenced in and that there are plenty of shaded areas for sitting. And the shade isn’t just some canopy. Nope. They are gorgeous butterflies and flowers, so eye-catching and pretty and useful! If you’ve been to Dollywood, these look very similar to the shade structures they have there.

Kid Venture 2.0

The playground is open daily for play, bathrooms open from 8 am – 8 pm. The splash pad is open daily starting Memorial Day, 9 am – 8 pm.

There is no fee for the playground or splash pad. The county has installed cameras throughout the park for security as well. 

I brought my kids, ages 11 and 7, to both the playground and splash pad, and they loved it. I’d say the best ages are toddlers through middle school, maybe a bit younger. Kid Venture 2.0 is such a great addition to Anderson County and I think the community will truly love this place. 

Kid Venture
7 Jim Ed, Rice Circle, Anderson
864.260.4800
Kid Venture Facebook page

parks and playgrounds spartanburg greenville

Looking for more parks and playgrounds near Greenville, SC? Here’s your ultimate guide to all the parks and playgrounds in the Upstate.

Pinckney-Fludd Park Has a Climbing Structure Your Kids will Love

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Are you looking for a new park to explore in downtown? KAG contributor and local mom, Deborah, has the scoop on Pinkney Fludd Park and some other exciting ways to enjoy your time downtown. Pinckney Fludd Park offers a fun playground, climbing structure and more, all within a short walk of Heritage Green.

What you’ll find at Pinckney-Fludd Park

The small neighborhood park of Pinckney Fludd is on Pinckney Street just up from the beautiful, historic district of Hampton-Pinckney. The first house in this district was built by William Pinckney McBee, Vardry McBee’s son, before the Civil War, so you can expect mature trees and a wide street in a quiet neighborhood.

Just three minutes away from Heritage Green, this park makes the perfect addition to a day at the Children’s Museum or the Hughes Main Library!

Parking for the Pickney Fludd Park is conveniently located on Pinckney Street right in front of the gate. The park is fully enclosed and includes a basketball net as well as a picnic table and shaded bench. The new playground equipment did not disappoint!

My boys loved trying to climb across the playground without ever touching the ground. They even made it a race by timing themselves. As your children tryout the playground’s climbing structures, they will build confidence, determination, and important motor skills.

The go-round was a highlight to the playground. You can safely spin around in it very quickly, and even when you stop pushing it, it will continue to turn around slowly when children are in it. My son was super excited when he noticed the “space ship.” He called it this because of the clear dome at the top of the slide. These kinds of features really ignite the imagination of a child!

Pinckney Fludd park in downtown Greenville

More to do after you visit the park

After the playground, we decided to drive down to the Greenville Train Station and were thrilled to watch a long train pulling all sorts of military vehicles! Trains and tanks – how can you go wrong!

Last, but not least, this park is only a block from two trolley stops on the Arts West line, or green line. Catch a free ride downtown to the farmer’s market from 10 am – 2 pm on Saturdays.

Or, enjoy our exciting downtown Thursday through Sunday evenings. Be sure to download the Trolley Tracker app so you know exactly when the next trolley will arrive.

Grab a basketball and bring your entire family out for a fun day or evening together!

parks and playgrounds spartanburg greenville

Did you know there are TONS of parks and playgrounds near you? We’ve got the Ultimate List of Parks and Playgrounds Near Greenville, SC.

You Can Fish, Boat, Play on a Unique Playground or Simply Relax at Anchor Park on Lake Bowen

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Are you looking for a place on the water where the whole family can enjoy fishing, water sports, and a fenced-in playground? Whether it’s spending time on the lake or enjoying a picnic in the shade we’ve found the perfect spot. We’ve included all the info you’ll need for spending the day on Lake Bowen and at Anchor Park.

For more ideas on outdoor activities this summer check out our list of Things to do Outside in Spartanburg, SC.

About Lake Bowen

Lake Bowen covers over 1,500 acres and contains approximately 33 miles of shoreline. Anchor Park on the lake includes picnic pavilions, fishing, a playground, two boat ramps, and the Lake Bowen Warden’s Office.

Anchor Park at Lake Bowen

Water sports on Lake Bowen

If you plan on use of any type of watercraft, be sure to call the Warden’s Office in advance at 864.592.2240. There are office hours posted, however, the office isn’t always open during those hours. If the warden goes out on the lake, the office will be closed. This is the only way to obtain a permit to be on the lake, so call ahead.

Boat permits are issued through the Spartanburg Water system that owns the lake. Rates start at $25 seasonally for non-motorized boats. Life jackets are required and a loaner system has been set up at the boat dock if you forgot one.

If boating isn’t what you had in mind, the park has tons of shade trees and a modern playground. The play area is divided into two age-appropriate sections and is completely fenced-in with picnic shelters and a green space.

Picnic shelters at Lake Bowen

The picnic shelter is rather large , containing eight large family-size picnic tables and two charcoal grills. If you want to reserve the whole shelter, it can be reserved by calling 864.583.7361. The restroom facility is nearby just outside of the fence on the opposite side of the playground.

Fishing on Lake Bowen

While there’s no fishing pier structure, there is plenty of shoreline to fish from. Just make sure you have your fishing license handy. Obtain one from the Warden’s Office or online at SCDNR.com. We didn’t have a chance to do any fishing this time, but I hope to do so in the near future.

This park really is lovely. There are plenty of benches and even a few that swing. The open green space is perfect if you want to bring along a cornhole set for some friendly family competition. We brought our hammock, but never had a chance to set it up. Pesky summer storms! There are plenty of trees, I just didn’t notice if any were close enough together.

If you pack a picnic, you really could spend the whole day relaxing here. There’s even an ice machine in the park to help make sure those sodas stay frosty!

I hope you’ll plan a day on Lake Bowen soon. I know we are looking forward to going back.

Lake Bowen Spartanburg County Parks

Visit Lake Bowen

8515 Highway 9, Inman
864.592.2240
Visit the Lake Bowen website.

Daily park hours: 6 am – midnight- Restrooms close at 7 pm and open at 6:30 am
Office hours for purchasing land permits: Monday – Friday 2 – 4 pm
Office hours for purchasing boating permits: Sunday – Friday 12 – 4 pm, Saturday 8:30 am – 5 pm

What’s your family’s favorite thing to do at Lake Bowen?

RELATED: Renting a Boat on Lake Cooley Needs to be on Your Summer Bucket List

Gower Estates Park Has a Zip Line For Your Kids to Enjoy

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Are you looking for an awesome playground to visit without leaving Greenville? Gower Estates Park has a zip line and plenty of shade, making it an excellent choice for your next park day!

[Gower Park will be closed for major renovations until 2024]

Gower Estates Park in Greenville, South Carolina

I had never been to Gower Estates Park until we were invited to a birthday party there. This little park is secretly tucked away just off Lauren’s Road. If you’re like my kids, you call it “the park with the tank”. Yes, it has an army tank and the kids can climb all over it. #funpictures! Gower has some great tennis courts and a couple of very nice baseball fields.

The playground at Gower Estates Park

The Playground at Gower Estates Park

The best part is the playground equipment! The set boasts a two-level jungle gym with a slide. Next to it is a fun hanging merry-go-round sort of thing. (Try it and see if you can hang on!)

A Zipline

And last but not least, the feature that will provoke endless giggles and be the reason why you return to the park, is a zip line. Picture the zip line everyone waits for at Hertklotz, but five times longer and you get to sit on it. So much fun! My kids even forgot that it was 93 degrees for a few minutes. I’m guessing this is our new request for go-to parks.

Parents, here’s your takeaway on the new digs. Metal poles are made with this new material that doesn’t get hot in the sun. Fresh mulch is not dyed, so don’t worry about stains on clothes. There is a cover on the playground and lots of trees so there’s plenty of shade. And the main attraction for parents? The bathrooms are generally clean!

The zipline at Gower Park

Disc Golf, Tennis Courts, and Picnic Shelters to Rent

Not only does Gower Park have an excellent playground, but it also has softball fields, basketball courts, tennis/pickleball courts, and more. There is also a 9-hole disc golf course that is a fun way to spend an afternoon with your kids.

You will also find a paved walking trail, perfect for pushing a stroller or taking your young kids out to practice riding their bikes or scooters.

If you want to rent a shelter at Gower Park, you can for birthday parties, special events, or family gatherings. They offer half-day or full-day rentals, with 5 covered picnic shelters available.

Visit Gower Estates Park

Gower Park
24 Evelyn Avenue, Greenville
Open daily 6 am – 9 pm

What is your favorite thing about the renovated Gower Estates Park?


Park Guide to Greenville, SC

Check out our KA Guide to Parks Near Greenville, SC for a detailed guide of what each park offers!

Pittman Park Has A Shaded Playground for a Hot Summer Day

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Have you visited Pittman Park? This Greenville area park has a shaded playground with mature trees that make it perfect for those hot summer days when you want to avoid the sun at all costs. The Gary L. Pittman Memorial Park is one of KAG Contributor Lindy Wilson’s favorites! It offers a shaded playground, a walking trail, space to roam, soccer fields to practice on, and more!

View of the playground at Pittman Park in Greenville, South Carolina

About Pittman Park

Pittman Park is located off Blacks Road, which runs from Pelham Road to Roper Mountain Road. This makes it a very convenient stop when running errands in that area or Woodruff Road, as well as close to the 385 and 85. It also is near the Pelham Road branch of the library. The location makes Pittman Park the perfect park to stop by on a hot summer day!

The Playground at Pittman Park

If your kids need space to run, they’ll love Pittman Park as it offers many fields and is great for soccer. Or bring your child’s bike and circle the fields on the paved trail. It’s the perfect spot to burn some energy between errands!

The playground is a bit old school with a tall metal design, but it is fun. There are lots of slides including smaller ones you can assist an older baby down. There is no toddler playground, however, there are toddler swings as well as standard ones. The ground is covered with wood chips which are much less messy than the sand found at some playgrounds. Our 1-year-old has no issue navigating the playground and loves the double slide where we can ride down together safely.

Pittman Park tends to be a good warm weather park as there is plenty of shade thanks to the trees surrounding the park. The ice cream truck even stops by occasionally. You’ll find various benches for sitting or even having a picnic. While there are no reservations for use, it’s a popular spot for birthday parties. (See our list of Inexpensive Birthday Party Ideas in Greenville for even more suggestions.)

View from a distance of Pittman Park

Restrooms

The bathroom is relatively close but it’s up the hill so it can be a little trek from the play area. Keep that in mind if you have newly potty-trained toddlers. The bathrooms are outdated but are usually kept clean and maintained. You’ll also find water fountains next to the bathrooms.

Soccer & Sports Fields

The park can be busy as there are several soccer fields. However, it’s so big that crowding is almost never an issue. You will regularly see groups using the fields to practice volleyball, soccer, rugby, and even flying kites in the lower fields.

Parking & Landscape at Pittman Park

The parking lot is pretty unique in that it’s oriented longways so there are many spots right along the grass/sidewalk. This is nice because kids can jump out of the car and hit the park without crossing through the parking lot. The fact that the park is downhill from the parking lot also means it’s harder for kids to run off. The landscaping retaining wall also helps as does the more open playground design. I can usually spot my kids without running around to see past walls. This puts my mind at ease while allowing my kids to freely explore.

Kids Biking and Scootering

The park is a great place to ride a scooter or bike, but do know that there are places on the paved trail where roots have pushed up the asphalt, so it gets a little bumpy in places.

Toddler swings at Pittman Park

Overall, Pittman is a great park. A fun playground, a nice trail, lots of grassy fields, and some nice places to sit in the shade all make it a winner in our book. We hope you enjoy it too!

Visit Pittman Park

Pittman Park
420 Blacks Road, Greenville

What do you and your kids love the most about Pittman Park?


Park Guide to Greenville, SC

Looking for more parks in Greenville? Check out our KA Park Guide, with all the information you need for a perfect park day!

Explore the Reedy Creek Park, Nature Center, & Preserves in Charlotte, NC

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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.

Things to Do at Reedy Creek Park and Nature Center in Charlotte

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.

Find a place to stay near Reedy Creek. This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.

Family-Friendly Things to Do at Reedy Creek Park

Playgrounds

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.

Playground at Reedy Creek Park

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.

Inside of the Reedy Creek Nature Center at Reedy Creek Park

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.

Trail system at Reedy Creek Park in Charlotte

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.
The nature preserve at Reedy Creek Park in Charlotte

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

Hours:
Monday – Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday, 1-5 pm

Have you ever been to the Reedy Creek Nature Center?


Your guide to cheap day trips near me and inexpensive day trips near me

For more inexpensive day trip ideas see our list of day trips under $25 from Greenville.