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Croft State Park: The Perfect Park for an Outdoor Adventure Near Spartanburg, SC

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Have you visited Croft State Park? With a wooden dock, a clear lake, tiny minnows sparkling in sunny shallow waters, tall trees, horses, hiking trails, and a playground, it sounds like the perfect place, right?  You’ll want to check out Croft State Park the next time you’re looking for a family adventure!

Croft State Park in Spartanburg, South Carolina

Spending a Day at Croft State Park

This gorgeous 7,000-acre state park offers miles of hiking, biking, and even equestrian trails.  On our visit, we walked the short Lake Craig connector trail and then enjoyed views of an absolutely beautiful Lake Craig.  We ate snacks we enjoyed them sitting on an adorable little dock watching the tiny minnows in the shallow water around us.  The nearby fishermen were also quite entertaining for my crew.

We enjoyed a very peaceful morning in the park.  My homeschoolers were able to practice making super sentences with quality adjectives about all the things they were noticing from the dock.  “The sun sparkles on the backs of the wiggling minnows.”   The next time we go I will bring sketchbooks and writing paper so they can write down their sentences and illustrate.  There were definitely plenty of places to sit near the lake, and lots of grass for blankets, if that’s your preference.

You will find bathrooms conveniently near the parking lot for Lake Craig, and a short walk up the hill brings you to a nice playground with views of the park’s equestrian facilities.  While there were only a handful of horses and riders when we visited, my children really enjoyed watching as we walked past.  The playground was great for my children (ages 4 through 8), but younger children will need to be watched carefully due to the height of some of the equipment.

croft-state-park

Things to Do at Croft State Park

Hiking and Biking Trails

Croft has many hiking trails, including an easy Nature Trail that’s about one and a half miles long.  We went to the park intending to hike this trail, but even with a map, we struggled to find the trailhead.  We gave up and went on our little adventure at the lake and playground instead.  However, as we drove back down the park road headed for home, we noticed work crews clearing a few trees, and their trucks had been parked in front of the trailhead for the nature trail.  We could have driven by 20 times and never seen it!  ‘

Trails at Croft

There are several trails at Croft, with some of the major ones being the Palmetto Trail (Croft Passage), Nature Trail, Foster Mill, Southside Loop, and Rocky Ridge/ Whitestone Springs. You will also find several additional mixed-use trails that are designated for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. This park has over 20 miles of mountain biking trails, which is spectacular if you love the sport.

The SC State Park Croft State Park website does a great job detailing what trails are for what, their difficulty, and how long each trail is. The Park Ranger can also help you out, with office hours 11 am to noon and 4 pm to 5 pm daily.

Fortunately, there’s so much to see and enjoy at Croft State Park, that it didn’t matter much to us.  But, do bring a map with you! If you’re looking for the Nature Trail, then you’ll find the trailhead on the right, just before you get to the parking lot for the equestrian facilities.

We love taking a small portion of the Palmetto Trail out to Fairforest Creek in the summer because it is not too difficult of a portion of the trail, so our toddler and four-year-old can come along. It also leads out to the creek, which is a great place to splash in the creek for a little while on hot days.

Camping

Love camping? Then camping at Croft should be on your radar for places to go next time you’re ready to pack up and head to the great outdoors. The park offers both RV camping and tent camping sites, in addition to a primitive group camping site that can accommodate up to 100 people. Camping sites are on packed gravel and come with electrical and water hookups. There are even hot showers, which as a mom with messy kids, makes taking them camping a little easier.

Canoe, Kayak, and Paddleboard Rentals

One of the great places to do watersports in the area is at Croft. You can bring your own equipment, or you can rent canoes, small boats, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards from the state park itself. For Jon boat and canoe rentals, you pay $15 for 4 hours of time or $25 per day. For kayaks and paddleboards, the cost is $10 per hour for the rental. They do not rent after 6 pm, so keep that in mind when planning your trip.

Nature Trail at Croft State Park
Nature Trail at Croft State Park

Want to go to Croft?

Admission for Croft State Park is $3 for adults, and $1 for children 6- 15. Children under 6 are free.

Pets are allowed as long as they are leashed.

Park hours are 7 am – 6 pm daily (8 p.m. on Fridays), and 7 am – 9 pm daily during daylight savings time.

Croft State Park Address: 450 Croft State Park Road, Spartanburg, SC

Have you ever been exploring at Croft State Park?


Winter hiking in Spartanburg, South Carolina

These trails in Spartanburg, SC are great places to hike during the wintertime!


Fun Things to Do with Your Preschooler Inside in Spartanburg, SC

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Are you looking for indoor things to do with preschoolers in Spartanburg, SC? If so, local mom, Juliet has some fantastic ideas of nearby indoor activities your preschooler will love! Check out her suggestions for indoor preschool hang-outs and let us know others in the comments.

Let’s face it, walking in a winter wonderland or enjoying a warm, sunny day sounds great in theory, but not so much with your spirited preschoolers in tow!  If extreme weather has nixed your usual outdoor activities and the dreaded cabin fever has hit your household like a ton of bricks, check out these low-cost, indoor activities in Spartanburg that are perfect for preschoolers.  Keep it handy for rainy days, too.

Spartanburg Science Center

Things to Do for Preschoolers Inside in Spartanburg, SC

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate – Spartanburg

Designed for children aged 5 and under, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate – Spartanburg is a cozy venue for letting little ones burn off some energy and explore. In addition to interactive exhibits for preschoolers, padded and contained areas on each of the museum’s two levels are designed for infants to crawl or cruise around safely while parents can keep an eye on an older, more independent sibling.

The museum also has an active events calendar of drop-in events, such as Random Acts of Science, Open Art Studios, and Story Time & More. Admission is $7-9 and children under the age of six months get in free. Admission is also included with a TCMU membership.

TCMU Spartanburg

The Spartanburg Science Center

Located on East Saint John Street in downtown Spartanburg, the John F. Green Spartanburg Science Center is a great way to spend a cold winter’s day.  With interactive exhibits, a reptile room, and Legos galore, preschoolers can easily spend several hours playing, exploring new concepts, and observing nature. 

Other exhibits include a robotic arm, a science mini-theatre with short films, and a 3-person Virtual Reality experience.  Check out the Spartanburg Science Center website for current hours, admission fees, and holiday/summer camp opportunities.

Westgate Mall Children’s Play Area

Looking for some free entertainment for the kiddos? Look no further than the local Westgate Mall!  An indoor play area- perfectly sized for little hands and feet to climb and jump- is located beside the Belk department store. Bring your extra quarters and send them around the tiny carousel nearby, too.

It’s rarely crowded during morning hours, and if you bring your stroller, you can even get in some fast-paced mall walking/exercise beforehand.  Head to the food court for a special lunch treat or dessert afterward.

Storytime and Playtime

We all know how important reading is for preschoolers, and Spartanburg has great options when it comes to making reading fun. The Spartanburg Public Library Headquarters, located in downtown Spartanburg, has a fantastic setup of indoor play tables with puzzles, light boards, manipulatives, and drawing tables.  Combine these self-paced play opportunities with a storytime full of songs, books, poetry, and the occasional puppet show, and you have a preschooler’s paradise. 

Check out Spartanburg Library Events for ALL the storytimes available in the county! Most storytimes follow up with a special child-led playtime – think of carts of toys! If you only get books at Spartanburg County Library, you are missing out!

Toddler Time at Big Air Trampoline Park Spartanburg

Every Wednesday and Thursday from 10 am -1 pm when Spartanburg District 6 schools are in session, Big Air caters to its littlest customers with their Toddler Time.  Ages 6 and under have three hours to roam all of Big Air’s attractions without the intimidation factor of older children.  Admission is $12 per jumper. Big Air even guarantees your little will play hard and nap harder!

Big Air Trampoline Park

Think outside the box

Looking for activities to get out of the house AND socialization opportunities for yourself and your preschooler?  Join a local moms club – where activities like indoor crafts, parties, and playdates are scheduled on a weekly basis, check out church groups for Bible studies or MOPS that are kid-friendly.  Join a gym with a childcare center or sign up for a weekly preschool gymnastics or music class.

What’s your favorite indoor activity for your little ones?

Indoor things to do in the Upstate, SC

For more things to do inside, see our Kidding Around Indoor Guide to Upstate, SC.

Cheap Family Movie Deals All Summer Long Near Greenville, SC

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Looking for cheap movies this summer, or a “dollar movie theater”? Many theaters offer low-cost movie deals to keep the entire family entertained throughout the summer.

So, find that “cheap movie theater near me” with the help of this list, then grab some delicious popcorn and escape the humid summer heat. These upstate movie theaters offer showings of popular movies at an affordable price.

These promotions are so cheap that even your kids might break open their piggy bank and treat you to a movie date!

Cheap summer movies for kids

This article includes:
Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Deals: Greenville, Spartanburg & More
Anderson, SC Cheap Summer Movie Deals
Gaffney, SC Summer Movie Deals
Spartanburg, SC Movie Deals
Seneca, Easley, & Greenwood Summer Movie Deals

Did you know that several of the movie theaters in the Greenville area offer super cheap movies over the summer months?

With plenty of hot afternoons ahead and cranky kids to entertain, catching one of these movies would be the perfect way to spend your afternoon. Please check with venues before attending as information may change without notice.

Also, don’t forget the fun experience of free outdoor movies and drive-in movies that the Upstate offers!

$2 Movies at Regal Cinemas

Have a Regal Cinema near you? Regal Cinemas offer Summer Movie Express all summer long! Regal offers these showings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for $2. All movies have either G or PG ratings.

Regal Cinema has two Greenville locations, two Spartanburg locations, and theaters in Anderson, Simpsonville, and Asheville.

Summer Movie Express Titles begin May 23rd and end September 6th. Titles include Sonic the Hedgehog, Captain Underpants, Sponge Bob, Minions and more.

Summer Movie Titles

Here’s the list of movies and dates at Regal Cinemas in our area. These are fairly consistent at all our local locations. Times do vary – usually between 10 am – 12 pm start times – so be sure to plug in your location to get the correct time and movie playing.

  • May 23 and May 24, 2023: How to Train Your Dragon and Abominable
  • May 30 and May 31, 2023: The Croods: A New Age and Shrek Forever After
  • June 6 and June 7, 2023: Puss in Boots and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
  • June 13 and June 14, 2023: Sing and Spongebob Movie: A Sponge Out of Water
  • There are more movies! See the rest of the Regal Summer Movie Schedule.

Cheap Movies in Anderson at AmStar 14

In addition to their Super Saver Tuesday, AmStar 14 has a Summer Kid’s Flicks series. $5 gets guests admission, a box of popcorn, and a soda. Their carefully curated list of kid’s films occurs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 am and it includes fun favorites like Despicable Me, Curious George, and Sing 2.

Summer Movie Titles at AmStar 14

The promotion will begin on June 13, 2023, and will run until August 16, 2023. Schedule is below:

June 13 and 14, 2023: Chicken Run
June 20 and 21, 2023: Madagascar
June 27 and 28, 2023: Megamind
July 4 and 5, 2023: Boss Baby
July 11 and 12, 2023: Trolls
July 18 and 19, 2023: The Bad Guys
July 25 and 26, 2023: Kung Fu Panda
August 1 and 2, 2023: Over the Hedge
August 8 and 9, 2023: Captain Underpants
August 15 and 16, 2023: Home

$5 Movies In Gaffney, SC at The Big E

The $5 Summer Movie Series at The Big E in Gaffney returns in May 2023. The promotional series will begin on May 29, 2023. Movies showings occur Monday-Saturday at 10:30 am.

More than just a movie ticket! The $5 package includes one summer series movie viewing, popcorn, soda, and a $2 game card.

Check The Big E’s website for the most up-to-date information on this movie series.

Summer Movie Titles at The Big E

$6 Tickets Every Tuesday at NCG Cinema in Spartanburg

Tickets for matinee showtimes on Tuesdays are only $6. Some restrictions may apply so make sure you check NCG’s website or call before heading to the cinema.

See also Regal Cinema Summer Express for more summer movie options in Spartanburg, SC.

Kids at the movies

FREE Summer Movies! Movies in Easley, Seneca, & Greenwood

Premiere Cinemas in Easley, Seneca, and Greenwood offers free kid movie deals all summer long. Showings of movies will occur on Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. with a wonderful lineup of family-friendly movies. This totally free program starts June 7th and 8th, 2023 with SC League of Super Pets. The last free movie is July 26 and 27th, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.

Have you been eagerly awaiting these Summer movie deals?

Want to go see a free outdoor movie near Greenville, SC? Be sure to check our guide for all the latest opportunities!

Heading to Columbia, SC? Here are the free and cheap summer movies in Columbia, SC.

Yellowbobbypins: Your Young Artist Will Love Creating at This Local Art Studio for Kids

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Have you been looking for art classes for kids in Greenville, SC? Make art, get messy with paint, learn something new, and take home their creation. What could be better? My four-year-old daughter and I were invited to create some art at one of Yellowbobbypins’ art classes at their Hampton Station location.

It was such a joyful experience that further strengthened her interest in the creative arts. Yellowbobbypins has art playgroups, art classes, party packages, and even art camps for the budding artist in your life. Find out more about Yellowbobbypins below.

Beginning September 5th, 2023, Yellowbobbypins with open its doors in its larger, expanded location at Hampton Station! Stay tuned for more information.

yellowbobbypins Greenville, SC

A special thank you to Lauren Runion, owner of Yellowbobbypins, for having us for this review!

Art Classes for Kids: Yellowbobbypins Art Camp at Hampton Station

My daughter loves to create art, but finding art classes for kids that fit her age range hasn’t always been easy. Good thing Yellowbobbypins has art classes for kids ages 2 – 12! From the moment we walked into Yellowbobbypins owner Lauren Runion’s studio space at Hampton Station, I knew we were in the perfect place to create comfortably. 

Firstly, Lauren exudes creativity and kindness. It was beautiful watching her interact with the children in a kind, calm, and direct way. Her passion for art is delightful and she is such a talented art educator. Her knowledge stems from many years of experience as an art teacher in the public school system.

Throughout the class, she patiently guided the kids through each step of their project and addressed each child by name. She was helpful and attentive to each child and their project.

My daughter is a little nervous in new situations (as am I), and Lauren made it a point to ask her questions about her art pieces and to include her with the other children who regularly attend classes. This really brought out her creativity and interest in the class, making for a memorable experience for both of us.

yellowbobbypins art classes

Drop-in and Semester Long Art Classes

For the budding artist in your life, Yellowbobbypins offers semester classes, drop-in art classes, and online classes. Classes strengthen creative problem-solving, build confidence, and teach about various art techniques such as painting, drawing, and mixed media art. 

The in-person art classes are located at the Hampton Station studio. Kids of all ages are welcome, with classes in groups of different age ranges (4-6 years old; 7-9 years old; 10-12 years old). Parents can opt to have their child in the classes for the full semester, exploring a core theme throughout. Or, drop-in classes are also available, where the child can join the group to explore the theme for that day. 

There are class options for morning, afternoon, and evening classes throughout the week. When my daughter went for a drop-in visit, she explored Mexican Hojalata metal and mirror art! These classes are 1 hour long, guided classes with the instructor, Lauren, and the kids constantly learn as they go.  Classes are available throughout the school year, but there are no classes during the summertime (but there are summer camps your child can join!). Find out more and register for art classes at Yellowbobbypins on their website.

yellowbobbypins art classes

Art Playgroup: Wee Create at Yellowbobbypins

Have a young kid who loves to make art? Worried about the mess that usually comes along with arts and crafts with small kids? Worry no more! Yellowbobbypins offers Wee Create art playgroups for ages 2-6. Plus, you do not have to worry about cleanup. These classes are currently available Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings. Here, parents and children can engage in art play that strengthens creativity through engaging and interactive lessons. Kids will build on their fine motor skills, explore with their hands with art materials, socialize with other kids, and engage their senses through sensory play.

During the art playgroup, the kids will explore different sensory stations with different topics, like oceans and cities. Adult participation is required for the art playgroups, but parents will have just as much fun creating as their kids will. Art playgroups are 1-hour long morning classes, with some parent/child activity classes occasionally offered during evening hours. You can register for classes on the Yellowbobbypins website.

Yellowbobbypin art classes: Greenville, SC

Art Summer Camp with Yellowbobbypins

Summer camp at Yellowbobbypins is a fun way to keep your child engaged during summer break! They have several themed art camps available to choose from, with camps like Dollhouse Camp and Harry Potter Camp! Each camp is 1 week long from Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 12 pm. Check out the current availability for summer camps on the Yellowbobbypins website!

Of course, you can see all the summer camps in Greenville on our huge Summer Camp Guide to Greenville, SC.

Art Birthday Parties at Yellowbobbypins

Yellowbobbypins also hosts parties for ages 2 and up! The space is perfect for an intimate birthday party centered around art and learning new things. Parents can choose from three party packages, including painting parties for ages 6 and older, Little Parties for ages 2-6 years old, or a custom event of your choosing! Party packages start at $200 and can be offsite or at the Yellowbobbypins studio at Hampton Station in Greenville, SC.

Would your child love a visit to Yellowbobbypins?

Yellowbobbypins
1320 Hampton Avenue Extension
Greenville, SC

The South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, SC is A Must-See

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The SC State Museum is not only huge but so entertaining, educational, and fun. Here’s why you should consider a trip to Columbia, SC to explore it. 

The South Carolina State Museum has been on my list as a homeschooling parent (actually, before that since my daughter was supposed to go as a third-grader and then the pandemic hit). I had heard it was cool but did not know the extent of exactly how amazing it would be. So I hauled my kids out there for a truly fun day trip. And if you’re a homeschooling parent, read all the way through for a special admission tip. 

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25+ Indoor Things to Do with Your Preschooler in Greenville, SC

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Searching for ‘things to do with preschoolers inside near me’? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up some of the best things to do with preschoolers inside in Greenville, SC. Let the indoor fun begin!

I love kids. I especially love my kid. Want to know what I don’t love? I do not love sitting at home for hours trying to come up with a variety of activities that both entertain and accommodate his non-existent attention span.  

Enter Kidding Around Greenville.

We have compiled a list of 25 things to inside to keep you and your preschooler busy! This list focuses on indoor and cold weather activities so stay tuned for a future sequel that focuses on the summer months. Of course, regardless of the weather outside unless the activity requires cold weather most of these activities are a fun choice any time of year!

Things to do in Greenville with preschoolers
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Three Parks in Boiling Springs Your Kids Will Love

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Do you live in Boiling Springs or travel there often? If so, there are three great parks in Boiling Springs you are going to love. Read below to find out which of these Boiling Springs parks is the right one for your family to visit today.

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The Best Places to Fly a Kite in Greenville, SC

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Thinking about getting that kite out and wondering “what are the best places for kite flying near me?” The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, breezes are blowing, and the children are begging to get back outside. It’s finally springtime in Greenville and conditions are becoming ideal for long weekends at beautiful parks, backyard cookouts, and most importantly: kite flying!

Read about the best places in Greenville to fly a kite below.

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

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Are you looking for free or cheap family-friendly things to do in Spartanburg? 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.

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