Ready to visit the new Unity Park in Greenville, SC? The $66 million project near downtown Greenville is open to the public and we’ve got all the details.
The huge Unity Park is now open and it is gorgeous. Families will love the wide-open spaces, playgrounds, shelters, paved trails, and of course, the splash pad.
The Playgrounds at Unity Park
There are three playgrounds at the park: a natural play area with lots of climbing apparatuses, a turf playground with large hills for more climbing, slides, and swings, and a tot play area with a music garden and equipment perfect for the smaller ages.
The Betty and Judd Farr Music Garden which consists of instruments kids can use to create their own music is located inside the Donovan Playground, the toddler area that has all-in-one play structures with swings, slides, and teeter-totters. The Ann Watson Trotter Memorial Garden is a large area that includes swings, natural play elements, a climbing wall, and a storytelling circle. And the playground next to that one is the TD SYNNEX Playground, which has all the huge climbing elements and lookout towers.
Fencing is around all playgrounds but there are no gates so parents need to be aware of where their kids are wandering off to. There is plenty of seating throughout all the playgrounds and really, parents may want to get in there and play with their kids because everything is so fun!
The playgrounds are set on two acres, making the space enormous. There is a lot of room to run around, get out energy, and just enjoy being a kid. The playgrounds and splash pad together are one of, if not the, largest playgrounds in Greenville. Hours for the playground are dawn to dusk.
The Greenville Water Splash Pad at Unity Park
Let’s get to the good stuff! The Greenville Water Splash Pad is set up with several benches and is stationed right next to the toddler playground. The splash pad has two sections – one for smaller kids with shorter water spouts and then another area for bigger kids, where the water can shoot up to nine feet high.
The splash pad is located in between the toddler play area and the bigger kid playground and next to the public restrooms. It’s really in a great place for parents to be able to watch the kids no matter where they want to play.
The splash pad will be open seasonally May 1-October 15. Their hours after Labor Day are Mondays 1 pm – sunset and Tuesdays – Sundays 9 am – sunset. The 2023 open date is Monday, May 1.
As of June 4, 2022, the City of Greenville added several shaded areas around the playground and splash pad. We will post photos when we get them.
The City of Greenville has also said they will be installing permanent shade in the near future, much to the delight of families visiting.
The Michelin Green
Unity Park has a ton of open green space on the Michelin Green, which is just perfect for running around, having a picnic, or just relaxing in a beautiful spot. I can easily imagine lots of people out there reading a book while laying on a blanket and enjoying the beauty of the park.
There are beautifully-constructed shelters along the Green as well that are available for rent. It is in this open space where families can gather for special events, such as the Fireworks on the Fourth at Unity Park (more on that below). Contact the City of Greenville to rent out the picnic shelters.
The Prisma Health Welcome Center
Close to The Commons is the Prisma Health Welcome Center, which has a lactation room, restrooms, a rotating art display, and a history wall. There is a big wraparound deck where people can sit at tables and enjoy the view, conduct business meetings, and just watch their kids play in the open space below.
The Welcome Center is available to rent out as well and is an excellent space for corporate meetings and events.
While the park is beautiful on the outside, so much work went into it behind the scenes that truly make the space something special.
At the large playground there are several big dirt mounds that are meant for climbing and rolling down. They were covered in spraycrete and then wrapped in cushioning. The turf is super bouncy as well, making for a pretty soft surface.
The other surfaces, including poured-in-place rubber and synthetic turf, were all thoughtfully selected to provide protection for kids as they naturally fall or take a tumble. The surfaces are also ADA-accessible, are is the route that leads kids up to the lookout tower, where you get an awesome view of the park.
The management of the Reedy River was also a key construction aspect of Unity Park. Engineers and landscape architects worked together to reduce the risk of flooding and improve water quality by creating flat tables with specially selected trees, plants, and flowers. This enables the area to be able to absorb more of the river in a possible flood situation – plus it looks pretty! There is also a state-of-the-art drainage system in place to aid in this project.
You’ll get a great view of the new Auro Bridge if you head down to the river to check out the pretty flowers and other fauna on the river table.
The Wetlands at Unity Park
The wetlands opened to the public in May 2023 and is beautiful. There are low-impact boardwalks, a beautiful outdoor classroom sponsored by Duke Energy, and even a canopy with windchimes that is just so cool.
The eight acres of wetlands mark the original path of Reedy Reedy before it was diverted in 1933 as a Depression-era project by city engineers. The boardwalk is ADA-accessible and both kids and adults can go on a scavenger hunt throughout the wetlands to find different animals and plants that are listed on various kiosks on the boardwalk.
The wetlands entrance is at the gravel parking lot, which is across from the big parking lot at the Commons. You can walk there from the playground as well and enjoy the beautiful new park in Greenville!
The main entrance to Unity Park is off Hudson Street and onto Welborn Street and into the Commons. You can park there or in another lot off Meadow Street, which will get you pretty close to the Commons as well. You just have to walk across a small bridge and then the playgrounds will be to the left.
Unity Park will also be accessible via the Greenville Trolley system. Additionally, you can ride bikes from the Children’s Garden at Linky Park or park in several of the paid parking lots near there and walk the quarter-mile on the Swamp Rabbit Trail over to the park.
There are also 41 parking spots along the edge of the playgrounds on Welborn Street.
Fireworks on the Fourth at Unity Park
Greenville’s big fireworks display, Fireworks on the Fourth at Unity Park, moved to Unity Park in July 2022. The 2023 fireworks display at Unity Park will be on July 4, 2023 around 9 pm. Live music and food trucks will be at the park from 6-9 pm. It is not a festival so no alcohol will be served and pets are not allowed at any public event at the park, including this one. The space is perfect for bringing a picnic and letting the kids get out their energy before the big show.
You can bring coolers, chairs, blankets, and food but alcohol is not allowed.
Tips on Visiting
- Your best bet is to get to Unity Park early in the day, especially in the summer when it’s hot. It’s a very popular park and while there is a lot of parking, it fills up.
- If you have more than one kid, it may be helpful to have their wear bright clothing, a bright hat, or some other easily identifiable clothing because the hills on the main playground can obscure the vision of parents trying to keep track of their kids.
- Know that none of the play areas are fully enclosed. There are fences around but none go all the way around each play area so kids can escape if not being watched carefully.
- Have kids wear water shoes at the splash area. It does get slick and it is concrete so to minimize instances of falling or scratches on feet, water shoes are good idea.
Unity Park is open 5 am – 11 pm daily. The playground is open dawn to dusk and the splash pad is open 9 am – 8 pm. There is no charge to enter the park, playgrounds, or splash pad. Dogs are allowed on leash.
320 S. Hudson Street, Greenville