• YMCA May 2024
  • Five Oaks May 2024
  • Int'l Ballet April 2024
  • SCCT April 2024
  • CCES May 2024
  • Prisma Health Jan 2024

Posts Tagged ‘things to do outside’

The Ultimate Guide to All 47 South Carolina State Parks: Everything You Need to Know

Posted on | No Comments

Are you new to South Carolina and want to start getting outside and exploring our SC State Parks? Are you a local who wants to branch out and try a new park state park near Greenville, SC for camping or hiking? We’ve put this guide together to help with your adventures! From the Upstate to the Coast, we have the details for all 47 South Carolina State Parks.

SC State parks

This article includes:
South Carolina State Parks in the Upstate
South Carolina State Parks in the Midlands
Coastal South Carolina State Parks
South Carolina State Park Passports, Annual Admission Membership Program
South Carolina State Parks Outsiders Incentive Program


Visit Spartanburg Spring Fling!

Posted on | No Comments

The annual Spartanburg Spring Fling runs April 26-28, 2024 in the streets of downtown Spartanburg. If you are new in town or have not been to Spring Fling, plan to visit this special outdoor festival with your family. Most local families agree this is an event they look forward to all year.

Spring Fling in Spartanburg

Heading to Spartanburg’s Spring Fling? Here’s What You Need to Know


Things to Do Outside in Spartanburg, SC

Posted on | No Comments

Are you looking for things to do outside in Spartanburg, SC? Spartanburg has some of the most beautiful parks, playgrounds, gardens, waterways, and outdoor spaces to explore in the Upstate. Below you will find a comprehensive list of guides and Kidding Around reviews of places and activities we recommend your family explore while enjoying the natural beauty that Spartanburg County has to offer.

Things to do Outdoors in Spartanburg, SC
Sparkle City mini putt

Looking for other things to do in Spartanburg? Check out our Giant List of Things to do in Spartanburg, SC!

We also have a huge list of Things to do Indoors in Spartanburg if you’re wanting to avoid the heat or rain.

Cleveland Park Gazebo and Pond Spartanburg SC

Parks and Playgrounds in Spartanburg, SC

Kidding Around Spartanburg Ultimate Park Guide

With our diversity of needs and desires, Kidding Around Spartanburg has put together a guide to help you find the park best for your family in Spartanburg County. ~Deborah Pope

Best Playgrounds in Spartanburg

You don’t have to venture far from the upstate to enjoy a day outdoors with your children. With these playgrounds offering such a different atmosphere, each one will create a brand-new adventure. ~Erika Morelli

Cleveland Park

Just off of Ashville Highway and right inside the city limits of Spartanburg is Cleveland Park, a large, beautiful old park with a new playground. It is one of my family’s favorite places to go for outings! Our kids love not only the amazing play structures but also the footpaths around the park where we can walk and enjoy the beautiful scenery together. ~Christina Goshorn

Tyger River Park

This park is perfect for a long day of fun in the sun, there is just so much to do! A FREE splash pad, two large playgrounds, over 60 ft climbing structure, and so much more.

Tyger River Playground

Downtown Memorial Airport Park

If you have a plane lover in the family, this is the perfect park for them. Located right beside the airport, your kids can watch planes come and go while playing on the play structures and splashing in the free splash pad.

Va-Du-Mar McMillian Park 

Located in Boiling Springs, this park has EVERYTHING! Seven sports complexes, soccer and football goal posts, Sholley Creek Disc Golf course, large play structures, and more. 

Va-Du-Mar Mcmillan Park playgound toddlers

Stoneledge Park

This park it situated right beside Shipwreck Cove in Duncan. It has some nicely shaded areas to rest while watching your kids play on the playground structures. 

Croft State Park in Spartanburg, SC
Croft State Park in Spartanburg, SC

Croft State Park  

Wooden dock, clear lake, tiny minnows sparkling in sunny shallow waters, tall trees, horses, hiking trails, and a playground.  Sound good?  Then you’ll want to check out Croft State Park the next time you’re looking for a family adventure. ~Maria Bassett

Anchor Park at Lake Bowen

Anchor Park offers a fenced-in playground area to enjoy while your family fishes, enjoy the lakeside views, and you may even decide to rent a boat while there.  

Happy Hallows Park  

One of Spartanburg’s lesser-known parks is also one of its best.  Tucked away in the historic neighborhood of Converse Heights, Happy Hollow Park spans one block at the corners of S. Fairview and Glendalyn Avenue.  Small and secure, Happy Hollow Park provides a safe and shady place for children of all ages to play. ~Juliet Wright

Stewart Park

Located near the Beacon Restaurant, this smaller park offers basketball courts, a playground, and a splash pad! 

Subaru Bike Park

The Vic Bailey Subaru Bike Park is located along Spartanburg’s Mary Black Rail Trail. The park has features for bikers of all skill levels from beginners to advanced including a pump track, easy street, and advanced skill features like table-top jumps, a vertical wooden bridge, and more. ~Maria Bassett

Hot Spot Skate Park

Looking for a place to take the kids where they can grow their skateboard skills? Hot Spot Skate Park is the place! Located at 339 Union Street in Spartanburg, Hot Spot features a variety of street style steps, ramps, ledges, rails, half-pipes, and bowls for kids ages 6 and up. ~Nikki Hulton

3 Amazing Parks in Boiling Springs Your Kids Will Love

No matter what part of North Spartanburg you live in, these parks are all worth the short drive it takes to get your family out of the house. Each park is perfect for playdates with friends, picnics with families or even quiet solo walks. ~Jennifer Curry

Water Parks & Splash Pads Near Spartanburg

Once it gets to be summer (and 90 degrees) in Spartanburg, it’s time to find the nearest or best water park to cool off. That’s why we have created this list of 11 water parks and splash pads that are near Spartanburg. This list includes some free splash pads connected to playgrounds as well as larger water parks that are worth driving to (one even is connected to a hotel). ~Erika Morelli

Park Hop

Park Hop has come to Spartanburg, SC and now you can join the fun with this FREE park scavenger hunt with prizes for the kids! Since 2013 the kids of Greenville County have been discovering the local parks and earning prizes with this annual summertime event.

Kids in Parks

Kids in Parks is a user-friendly website that includes an always-expanding list of nationwide locations that are considered TRACK trails. It allows families to search for locations near their hometown or even for an out-of-town adventure. That includes 160 TRACK Trails in 10 states, Washington DC, and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation with dozens of locations just a short drive away in North Carolina and Congaree National Park in South Carolina.

Camping in Spartanburg, SC

Places to Sleep Under The Stars In and Around Spartanburg

Ready to enjoy some camping in Spartanburg? With all of the natural beauty surrounding us in the Upstate, the best way to enjoy it is by immersing yourself. We have a guide to all the places you’ll want to check out when looking for a place to camp near Spartanburg.

Kings Mountain State Park

Kings Mountain State Park offers both tent camping and RV camping. There are designated tent camping spots, as well as primitive camping spots to reserve. 

Croft State Park

Croft State Park has primitive camping spots for organized groups of up to 100! They also have RV spots that are packed with gravel with electrical and water hookups.

Gardens to Explore in Spartanburg, SC

Hatcher Garden

Just a couple miles off of I-26 in Spartanburg, amongst shopping and restaurants on the busy main thoroughfare of John D. White, Sr. Blvd, is a 10-acre botanical garden and woodland preserve.  The beautiful space is full of ponds, waterfalls, wildlife, trees, and gardens with a wide variety of leafy and flowering plants.  Hatcher Garden is open free to the public and should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Spartanburg. ~Maria Bassett

Gardens Near Spartanburg

We are lucky to live near so many beautiful and diverse gardens. Here is a list of some of the best gardens and arboretums in Spartanburg and around the Upstate. ~Kristen Alcock

Hiking and Nature Activities in Spartanburg, SC

Drayton Mill Trail

Drayton Mills Trail & Beaumont Mill Village Pathway– This paved trail can be accessed at a couple of points, the easiest is probably the large parking lot across from Drayton Mills. Or, start at the small parking lot for the Beaumont Mill Village Pathway beside Adam’s Park on East Boundary Drive. This is where the Story Walk trail starts if you have kids who would enjoy that.

Check out this video of the Story Walk trail.

Cottonwood Trail Preserve

The Cottonwood Trail is the perfect space for your children to experience the seasons in the Upstate.  Lush and green in the summer, crackling with autumnal colors in the fall, sparse and atmospheric in the winter, and brimming with new life in the spring, your children can observe the seasonal changes while exploring the great outdoors. ~Juliet Wright

Parks and Trails for Winter Hikes

Enjoy the South Carolina winter’s cooler temperatures and the great outdoors with a wintertime hike. There are several parks and trails perfect for cool weather hikes for the whole family near Spartanburg. ~Hope Evans

Lake Cooley 

Lake Cooley has so much to offer, including boat and kayak rentals, fishing, a playground, plenty of spaces for picnics, and even the Lake Cooley Outdoor Education Center! 

Mary Black Rail Trail

This trail offers 4 miles of perfectly flat ground to get outside and exercise or take a leisure stroll. The trail is perfect for biking, and is actually a converted trail rail! 

Winter Hiking in Spartanburg, SC

This list of trails offers the best trails for hiking during the cool winter months in Spartanburg. 

Downtown Spartanburg

Things to Do in Downtown Spartanburg

We went out on a hot summer day for some visits around Spartanburg, SC. We had a great time each place we went! We spent our day inside the city limits and had an enjoyable family experience in this picturesque, friendly location. ~Christina Johnson

Sparkle City Mini Golf

A FREE mini golf course in the heart of downtown! Sparkle City Mini Golf is located near Hub City Scoops. You can borrow a club and ball from several local businesses.

Hub City Farmer’s Market 

When talking to friends and acquaintances who live in Spartanburg, I’ve noticed that one particular attraction has come up repeatedly in conversation: the Hub City Farmers’ Market. This local market meets on Saturdays from March-December at Northside Harvest Park from 8 a.m.-noon.  The market boasts an invigorating, exciting atmosphere with an emphasis on health, all while supporting local businesses and farms. The food and handmade goods sold there are all locally grown and produced. ~Christina Johnson

Blue Duck E- Scooters

Looking for a unique and fun way to explore downtown Spartanburg? Look no further than Blue Duck Scooters. You can rent scooters for $1 plus 25 cents per minute, then drop them off once you’re done at multiple places throughout the city.

Stewart Farms in Enoree, SC
Stewart Farms in Enoree, SC

Outdoor Activities to Enjoy in Spartanburg, SC

Disc Golf Courses Throughout Spartanburg

If you haven’t tried Disc Golf (frisbee golf), now is a perfect time. There are multiple courses throughout Spartanburg, many of them scenic and shaded so you can play throughout the summer months as well! Play as a family, or even on a day date with your loved one. 

Stewart Farms 

Whether it is strawberry picking, sunflower galore, or pumpkin patch season, there is always something going on at Stewart Farms in Enoree. They offer a u-pick for both strawberries and pumpkins, along with lots of other goodies and groceries in their store. 

Textile Mill Sites to Explore 

The Upstate was one of the country’s hubs for the textile industry, with remnants of those mills being renewed through a transformation into places to explore their ruins, including Glendale Shoals in Spartanburg. 

Swim With These Spartanburg, SC Pool Memberships

Have a family of swimmers that crave the water when the temperature starts to warm up? Check out this list of pool memberships throughout Spartanburg so you can soak up the sun poolside all season long. 

Shipwreck Cove

Waterpark! Say no more. Shipwreck Cove in Duncan will have you spending all day by the pool, or getting drenched under the splash pad. This water park has a lazy river, waterslides, and more!

Outdoor Dining in Spartanburg, SC

Dining Options Outdoors in Spartanburg, SC

This comprehensive list of places that offer outdoor dining in Spartanburg, SC is loaded! There is something for everyone to enjoy while hanging out on the patio or even under the stars while enjoying your meal! 

Dray Bar + Grill

You can enjoy dinner under the stars at Dray Bar + Grill, who offer an expansive patio as well as seating out amongst the mill area where you will find the location. They occasionally offer movie nights and other events outdoors as well!

Outdoor Festivals in Spartanburg, SC

Kite Flying at Spartanburg Soaring Kite Flying Festival

Kite Flying is mesmerizing when it is just one kite, now imagine dozens whipping and gliding through the air. You can see that and more at Spartanburg Soaring!

Spring Festivals in Spartanburg, SC

This list of Spring Festivals in Spartanburg has a little something for everyone to enjoy as the weather begins to warm and we are all itching to get outside!

Fall Festivals in Spartanburg, SC

As the crisp, cool air and autumn begins to make its way into the Upstate, these Fall festivals will have you heading outdoors to enjoy the beginning of the season. 

What are your favorite things to do outdoors in Spartanburg, SC?

20+ Free or Cheap Things to Do in Spartanburg, SC

Posted on | 3 Comments

Are you looking for free things to do in Spartanburg, SC? Do you have an idea in your head that doing something fun with your kids in Spartanburg is going to cost money (and probably a lot of it)? We are setting the record correct today once and for all: Spartanburg has tons of fun free things to do and even more that are really cheap.

free things to do in Spartanburg, SC
Things to do in Spartanburg, SC

And here’s where you can find a giant list of things to do in Spartanburg, SC!


2023 Festivals That Will Have You Celebrating This Fall In Spartanburg, SC

Posted on | No Comments

Leaves crunching underfoot, the smell of pumpkin spice wafting from a coffee cup, and all things apple-related usher in the fall season. Another thing to look forward to during the close of summer is festivals, and we have the best fall festivals near Spartanburg, SC! There are no shortages of celebrations in Hub City, so let’s get to planning the fun you and your family can have this fall!

This list is provided for informational purposes, and events may change or be canceled at the last minute. Therefore, please be sure to confirm the status of an event before heading out.

For more fall festivals and other events not listed here, check out our Events Calendar.


What You Need to Know for a Day at Carolina Panthers Training Camp

Posted on | No Comments

The Carolina Panthers Training Camp is a unique opportunity to watch a professional football team up close, and it should be on every Spartanburg family’s bucket list! After a two-year absence from the training facility at Wofford, the Carolina Panthers are back in Spartanburg.

We’ve got all the info you’ll need if you plan on going to watch the Carolina Panthers train at Wofford this year!

Play 60 Park in Spartanburg, SC
Play 60 Carolina Panthers Park in Spartanburg, SC

This article includes:
How to Attend Panthers Training Camp in Spartanburg, SC
Things to Do in Spartanburg During Training Camp
How to Get a Panthers Autograph
“Back Together” Free Panthers Fan Event in Spartanburg, SC
See the Panthers in Charlotte, NC at Fan Fest

Carolina Panthers Training Camp In Spartanburg, SC

The 2023 Carolina Panthers’ Training Camp will be held July 22nd – August 10th, 2023

When Carolina Panthers Training Camp roars into Wofford College in Spartanburg, fans of professional football should be sure to head to this beautiful campus to watch!

Whether you have multiple trips under your belt or are visiting for the first time, this information will be handy to help you make the most of a day watching the Carolina Panthers Train.

Carolina Panthers Training Camp
Carolina Panthers Training Camp 2016 Wofford College Spartanburg, SC

What to Expect at a Carolina Panthers Training Session

Not sure what to expect? Here’s a video of a 2021 practice session.

2023 Carolina Panthers Training Camp Schedule

Most training sessions are at 10:15 am but see the schedule below. Attendance is completely free, but NEW this year, you will need to reserve your free Panthers training tickets on Ticket Master.

There is a great parking map available on the Panthers Training Camp site.

The free Carolina Panthers’ training schedule is as follows:

  • July 26th, 2023 at 10:15 am
  • July 27th, 2023 at 10:15 am
  • July 31st, 2023 at 10:25 am
  • August 1st, 2023 at 10:15 am
  • August 4th, 2023 at 10:15 am
  • August 5th, 2023 at 10:15 am
  • August 6th, 2023 at 10:15 am
  • August 8th, 2023 at 10:15 am
  • August 9th, 2023 at 10:15 am (Joint Practice with the New York Jets)
  • August 20th, 2023 at 9 am (Joint Practice with the New York Jets)

There are two events not happening at Wofford Field. These are: July 29th, 2023 at 11 am (Back Together Saturday at Gibbs Field) and August 2nd, 2023 at 7 pm (Fan Fest Charlotte, NC- tickets are $5)

Attending The Carolina Panthers’ Training Session in Spartanburg, SC

Seating is first come – first serve along the grassy hillside of the training practice field at the back of the campus. Strollers, coolers, and non-alcoholic beverages are welcome at the training camps, as well as sunshade umbrellas and folding chairs. Pop-up tents are not permitted.

In the event of inclement weather, practice times may be shifted or canceled. Updates for training camp status will be posted by the Panthers on Twitter.

Can I bring food to the Panthers Training Camp?

Yes! Coolers are allowed, with food and non-alcoholic beverages. No glass is permitted for safety reasons. You can also bring backpacks and bags, strollers, blankets, folding chairs, etc.

Visiting Spartanburg, SC for Training Camp

Fans of the Panthers will be visiting Spartanburg, some for the first time. The training camps are just a few hours in the morning, so that leaves the rest of the day to explore!

Guest Itinerary for Spartanburg Visitors to Carolina Panther Training Camp

Here are a few great things to do from Kidding Around Spartanburg:

  • Visit the Panthers themed Play 60 Park where kids can train like the pros. FREE
  • Summer equals kids wanting to splash around in the water, and who can blame them? Luckily Spartanburg has several splash pads and a waterpark to enjoy while you are visiting Spartanburg!
  • Grab the family, and hit the road, grabbing breakfast from a local coffee shop on the way to your chosen splash spot. Enjoy the sounds of kids laughing and having fun!
  • When lunchtime hits, you can grab another perennial summer favorite! We’ve got a list of local places where readers love to grab a hot dog, and then you can return to the splashing!
  • A long day in the sun will make everyone tired, so why not grab a family meal of BBQ to eat at the place where you are staying. If everyone has the energy and room in their bellies, you can treat the family to a frozen dessert at a local favorite!

Make The Most of Your Time With This Weekend Itinerary For A Trip to Spartanburg, SC

Where to Stay in Spartanburg, SC

Getting An Autograph From A Carolina Panther

Autographs are back this year! Fans will be hopefully able to get an autograph after practices are over. Look for the signs that will direct you to the area along the Field 1 fence. All players don’t necessarily stop there but there is certainly the potential for players to stop and sign autographs for fans.

Attending The Carolina Panthers’ Fan Fest in Charlotte, NC

Fan Fest is August 2nd at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. They have entertainment, inflatables, fun things for kids, and fireworks. Tickets are $5 a person.

Here is the schedule:
5:30 pm Gates Open
6 pm Entertainment Begins
7 pm Practice Begins
~9:15 pm Fireworks and laser show

Carolina Panthers Training Camp News

  • The Carolina Panthers have launched an app to help fans keep up do date and informed of all the things going on with the team.
  • Head Coach Frank Reich will take part in the training camp practices at Wofford this summer.
  • Rookie Quarterback first overall pick Bryce Young will also be at training camp, giving fans an early chance to likely see a new leader in action.

For more fun to be found when visiting the Carolina Panthers hometown, Check out the Kidding Around Ultimate Guide To Fun With Kids in Charlotte

Spend The Day At The Anne Springs Close Greenway In York County, SC

Posted on | No Comments

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. 

The Anne Springs Close Greenway in York, South Carolina

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! 

Guide to visiting York County, South Carolina

Check out the Kidding Around guide to York County, SC for more adventures to be found in this destination, just a few hours from Greenville.


The Picnic Greenville, SC Guide: 10 Spots for Picnic Food & Where to Eat it

Posted on |

Are you wanting to plan a picnic? Greenville, SC has dozens of restaurants that offer picnic-worthy food for takeout. Summertime means dining outdoors and dining outdoors equals picnics. We’ve gathered 10 of the best options for procuring picnic provisions in Greenville, SC. These places will provide you with things to eat and drink, whether your picnic is happening lakeside, poolside, or at the park. We also have some of the top tips for planning a picnic, so that your outside meal goes perfectly.

Picnic: Greenville, SC restaurants for takeout picnic items, and tips for planning a picnic.

25 Things Your Child Must Do In Spartanburg Before They Grow Up

Posted on | No Comments

Childhood goes by quickly. It’s a fact of life we, as moms, know all too well. It seems like just yesterday when you held your baby in your arms. Now that baby is in 3rd grade. Make the most out of these special years — make some memories! We’ve put together a bucket list for your kid’s childhood; things they must do before they grow up.

Must do list for kids in Spartanburg

Feed the Ducks at Milliken

Milliken Corporation Headquarters is located in Spartanburg just off Pine Street and Interstate 585. It is a large and beautiful campus, often confused as a park as it features more than 500 different trees and shrubs, 15 decorative fountains and six ponds. The Milliken Arboretum is a nationally recognized greenspaces on 600 acres at the Roger Milliken Center and is now one of the largest corporate arboretums in the Southeast. The campus is open to the public and Spartanburg families have been making memories at these duck ponds and picnic spots for generations.

Note: Some healthy foods to feed ducks include corn, peas, oats, or birdseed.

Have his/her own Library Card

Our Spartanburg County Library system is awesome. Every child should be a card carrying member, and have the responsibility of checking out and enjoying his or her own library selections. There are also interesting activities and programs offered at each location for kids and families. Having a library card and participating in library activities should be enjoyed by each Spartanburg child.

Attend Panthers Training Camp

In late July and early August, the Carolina Panthers move to Wofford College and hold their training camp right here in Spartanburg. All the practices are free and open to the public. It’s a great chance to see the players up close and there are also usually kids activities going on around the field.

Eat at Wades and the Beacon

No doubt, we could (and may) make a list of 30 places in Spartanburg you should eat, but there are a few restaurants so iconic, that should make every list about Spartanburg. When I asked my family what should be included on this list, they all either said the Beacon or Wades!

Explore Downtown Spartanburg

Downtown Spartanburg is becoming quite the place to be! There are new restaurants, shops and activities opening all the time. You can find something new to do, eat or buy almost any day of the week, any time of the year. An afternoon or even a whole day can be spent exploring the
downtown area of Spartanburg. Here’s a map of all the great things Downtown Spartanburg has to offer.

Skate at Roebuck Skating Center

Kids have been celebrating birthday parties and Friday nights at Roebuck Skating Center since 1978. The local hangout has recently updated their entire facility and the venue now includes a 3 story, 2500 square foot, indoor playground.Take the family, lace up your old school skates and show the kids how it’s done.

Go to Spring Fling

Spartanburg has welcomed spring with a huge street festival, the Spring Fling, for almost 40 years! Admission to Spring Fling is free and it’s a weekend full of food, vendors, music and fun. There are four entertainment stages, exciting new attractions every year, a Family Fun Zone and LOTS of food and market vendors. It will become one of your family’s favorite annual Spartanburg traditions.

Visit HubCity Railway Museum

Railroad transit shaped the history of Spartanburg and the HubCity Railway Museum is the place to go to learn all about the history of trains in our city, as well as Spartanburg history in general.

Go to Summer Camp

There are a ton of summer camps in our area depending on your child’s interests. Summer camps are a great way to make lifelong friends and develop personal knowledge and skills. Summer Camps are also a great way to experience all Spartanburg has to offer families!

Tour Local Colleges

Spark kids’ interest in higher education by visiting one of the many colleges in our area. Your family can tour the campuses and attend collegiate sporting events at a variety of beautiful upstate schools. Wofford College, Converse College, University of SC Upstate, Spartanburg Methodist College and Spartanburg Community College are all within Spartanburg County, or you could travel a little further and visit many others like Clemson, Furman, or Bob Jones.

Visit Hatcher Gardens

This public botanical garden and woodland preserve is a gem right in the heart of Spartanburg. Its a beautiful escape any time of the year, but
Hatcher Garden in the spring is really something every kid should experience. This 10-acre garden, primarily planted by volunteers, offers a
woodland setting with trees, shrubs, flora, waterfalls, creeks ponds, and both paved and natural paths. The garden is open during daylight hours and is free to the public.

Attend a Show at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium

Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium has been and institution in Spartanburg since 1951. It has a seating capacity of 3244 and one of the largest stages in the southeast. Here, Spartanburg hosts Broadway shows, comedy acts, celebrity speakers, sporting events, a variety of musical entertainment, family shows and trade shows. Over the years the auditorium has hosted top name acts including Taylor Swift, Harry Connick Jr., Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Matthews, Kenny Chesney, President George Bush and President George W. Bush, Lady Margaret Thatcher, Carol Burnett, Tom Brokaw, Broadway shows of all kinds, and family shows such as Sesame Street Live, Barney Live, Magic of David Copperfield, Peppa Pig and the circus. As a bonus, its right across the street from Krispy Kreme, so you can walk there for a treat after the show.

Visit the BMW Zentrum Museum

There’s no denying that the BMW plant is a huge part of Spartanburg’s identity. It is the only BMW manufacturing plant in the US and there is also a very interesting BMW museum here too. You’ve probably passed this cool building facing Interstate 85 at the edge of BMWs campus. The Zentrum is a state of the art facility, with free admission, where you can learn history, see the cars, and even grab a bite in the cafe. Learn as a family, how BMW plays a huge part in our economic culture.

Explore our State

The glory of our state is not contained to Spartanburg and the beauty of it is you can get to any part of our great state in a few hours. Spartanburg kids should explore as much of South Carolina as possible while growing up, from the coast, to the mountains, farmlands to the cities.
There’s a little of everything here. Spartanburg kids are blessed to grow up in such an awesome city and state.

Step back in Time at Walnut Grove Plantation

Charles & Mary Moore settled in what is now the Roebuck area in 1767. The home is now part of the Spartanburg Historical Association and open to the public. Spend a day touring the house, outlying buildings, property’s cemetery, and nature trail, to see how some of the first residents of our area lived.

Explore Other Cultures

The Spartanburg International Festival began in 1985 and has grown into one of our most anticipated annual events. Its usually held in October and celebrates the many diverse cultures of our residents and businesses. It’s a full day of music, art, dance, food and international fun!
Your family will enjoy celebrating Spartanburg’s rich international culture.

Enjoy Spartanburg Parks

We are fortunate in Spartanburg to have a thriving Parks and Recreation Department. Spartanburg kiddos should visit as many of these parks as possible. The Spartanburg Parks website gives you a list of all our parks, by location and amenity.

Star Gaze in the Country

There are numerous places in Spartanburg where you can get away from the city lights and urban development so you can really see the stars. Pick a comfortable, clear night, and find a remote corner of Spartanburg where you can look up and experience stargazing in the country.

Enjoy Strawberry Hill USA

The Shed at Strawberry Hill USA is a simple, historic peach shed built in 1955 and used as a peach packing shed through 1989. The original packing shed was transformed into a premier roadside market by 1990 and as of 2017, Strawberry Hill U.S.A. is the largest strawberry farm in SC with 115 acres. Peaches are still the primary crop with close to 1,000 acres in production but you will also find summer squash, cucumbers, cantaloupes, runner beans, and pumpkins grown and sold at Strawberry Hill. You will get a taste of farm life as you see the tractors pull around the shed with a load of fresh peaches or strawberries fresh from the field. You can also visit the adjacent family restaurant and ice cream parlor. The Shed is closed
for the season until Spring 2018 but the cafe and ice cream parlor are open year round.

Shop at the Farmers Market

Hub City Farmers’ Market will start their 15th year this April. The primary market, the Saturday Market, offers a variety of produce, meats, eggs, plants, artisan crafts, and prepared foods. It is a great place for families to shop, and a runs from 8 am-noon, April – December.

Hub City Farmer's Market in Spartanburg, SC

Play a Sport at Upward Star Center

Upward Star Center is a huge sports complex located just off Interstate 85 in Spartanburg. They offer baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, lacrosse, soccer, softball, volleyball, rock climbing, camps and more! Its a great place for Spartanburg kids (and adults) to learn and develop a sport, make friends and memories.

Splash at Shipwreck Cove

Shipwreck Cove Water Park, in Duncan, SC, is technically part of Spartanburg Park and Recreation but deserves it own spot on the list as Spartanburg’s only water park. This family-friendly water park offers fun for all ages and is open from Memorial Day until Labor Day each year. There is a larger pool for older kids with rustic pirate play ship and multi directional water cannons, two large flume slides on it’s main pool, a kiddie lagoon with misting water features, a lazy river around skull island with inflatable tubes, and certified lifeguards on duty at all times.

There is also a snack bar and a playground area of the neighboring Stone Ledge Park.

Celebrate a Dickens Christmas

A Dickens of a Christmas has become a community tradition that festively celebrates the start of the Christmas season. The “Charles Dickens” period event offers a Christmas Market, carolers dressed in victorian costume, horse-drawn carriage rides, live Christmas music, living window displays, ice skating on Morgan Square, and of course the official lighting of the Denny’s Christmas tree. Your family should experience Spartanburg’s signature yuletide celebration.

Volunteer at the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen

The Spartanburg Soup Kitchen has been serving meals to the hungry in our area for more than 35 years. Located in downtown Spartanburg, they are open at lunchtime 365 days a year; and serve between 350 and 500 guests per day. The Spartanburg Soup Kitchen relies solely on the donation of time, money, and goods from individuals, groups, small businesses, and corporations.

Volunteer opportunities are available daily, between 9:30am and 1:30pm. Help  is needed with food preparation, organization and unloading of donations, assembling children’s take-home bags, dishwashing, food line servering and after lunch clean up. To volunteer, contact Director, Lou Sartor at 864-585-0022 or visit their website.

Visit Chapman Cultural Center

Chapman Cultural Center is the hub for the arts in Hub City. Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg Regional History Museum, Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg Gallery, Student Galleries, John F. Green Spartanburg Science Center, The Spartanburg Little Theater, Spartanburg Youth Theater, Spartanburg Philharmonic, and Ballet Spartanburg are all located and/or perform here. The Chapman Cultural Center should be a place every Spartanburg child visits, and often.

What’s on your child’s must do list before they grow up?

Meet Jaime Brown
Jaime Brown grew up in Spartanburg and Greenville where she met her future husband in the 6th grade. After marriage and a few kids they moved away for a decade and now find themselves back in the Upstate with their four daughters ages 18, 14, 7 and 4. Having a college age child, high schooler, elementary aged fireball, and a special needs preschooler keeps her very busy but she loves each stage and encourages other moms
to enjoy motherhood. Jaime enjoys rediscovering the city where she grew up with her family. Bonfires, good coffee creamer, date nights, international travel, frugal interior design, and sleeping children are some of her favorite things. You can connect with her on instagram or her blog.
instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/jaimelbrown/
blog: coming soon

Celebrate the 4th at Spartanburg’s Annual Red, White & BOOM!

Posted on | No Comments


Independence Day celebrations are a time to celebrate our historical heritage and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.  Traditionally, friends and family gather together for good food and fun, and Spartanburg’s annual Red, White, and Boom provides the perfect entertainment. This local favorite July 4th celebration combines fair foods, family-friendly music, and an impressive fireworks show in a community setting.

RELATED: See our list of fireworks near Spartanburg for even more choices on where to celebrate the 4th of July.

What to Know

Location and Time

Located at 248 E Saint John Street, Barnet Park is a sprawling seven acre urban park in downtown Spartanburg.  The gates for Red,White, and Boom open at 5 p.m. but the festivities officially begin at 6 p.m. and end after the fireworks display at 10 p.m.


Free parking is available in the Saint John Street Parking garage (adjacent to the park and Chapman Cultural Center) and the surrounding area parking lots are usually open, as well.  Parking is on a first come basis.  Red, White, and Boom is a popular event, so expect crowds.


Admission to the event is $5 per person, and children 6 and under are free!  Tickets can be purchased at the gate.

What to Bring

  • Cash $$$ and I.D. – Admission and event vendors accept cash only! Also, you will need a valid identification card if you wish to purchase alcoholic beverages at the event.
  • Lawn chairs and blankets – Bring your own lawn chairs and blankets and pick your spot for the musical entertainment and fireworks display.
  • Bug Spray – Tis the season for mosquitoes, so bring bug repellent.

What to Expect

  • Food – Local vendors offer tasty BBQ, hot dogs and hamburgers, funnel cakes, candy apples, and soft drinks and beer, bottled water, ice cream, cotton candy, snow cones and more!
  • Music – Every Red, White, and Boom features a musical performance.
  • Fireworks – The evening ends with a lengthy fireworks display by Zambelli Fireworks set to patriotic music.  If you have little ones, you may want to bring ear/hearing protection or just be ready to move to the back of the park or outside the gates to lessen the noise intensity. Many children are totally fine with the noise, but if you have a sensory sensitive child, it’s best to be prepared.  The good news is that the fireworks display is visible from the surrounding parking areas, top of the parking garage, and sidewalks outside the gates, so you can get farther away without missing the beautiful displays.
  • Light Up Paraphernalia – glow necklaces and light up wands are available for sale.  Kids love to see them light up as the sun sets.

Happy 4th of July!!!

RELATED: See our list of fireworks near Spartanburg for even more choices on where to celebrate the 4th of July.

Meet Juliet Wright
Juliet Autenzio Wright has lived in the Upstate for over 20 years. She is a proud alumna of Converse College and a former high school teacher. Now a stay-at-home mom to three little girls, ages five, two, and six months, Juliet loves exploring Spartanburg through the eyes of her children. Her favorite family-friendly activities include local parks and nature walks, library story times, and the many local festivals Spartanburg has to offer. In her spare time, she privately tutors, ghost writes, and reads as many books as possible. Juliet’s family and friends make her world go round!