Are you working to fill your 2023 bucket list with fun, family things to do in Greenville? Kidding Around is here with some fabulous ideas to get your started, including outdoor adventures, free things to do, and things everyone in Greenville should do at least once. Make 2023 a year full of fun and adventure.
Hi, 2023. I don’t know where 2022 went but whatever, welcome. I’m not one for resolution lists but I definitely am one for adventure lists, hence this 2023 bucket list. I’m always looking for my next adventure with my kids and while I’ve done some of these items on the list, I plan to do some new ones as well and make wonderful memories with my family this year.
I absolutely love this quote by A.B. Guthrie because it is very much how I live my life with my kids: “If you must be regretful, regret what you didn’t do, not what you did. A man lets too many smiling opportunities pass him by.” High five to that guy. Say “yes” more this year!
So here it is – your fun New Years adventures bucket list for 2023. Print it out and start crossing them off!
2023 Bucket List
Ice skate in downtown Greenville
Ice skating in the heart of our beautiful downtown is a magical experience. But you have to go before they close on January 16, 2023. Ice on Main has several promotions throughout their season where you can score discounted tickets so follow them on Facebook to learn more. A one-hour skate costs $10 for adults and $8 for children and includes skate rental. Buy tickets in advance online.
Hike with Llamas
You can hike with llamas or play with them in an obstacle course and of course, give them lots of hugs at Ellaberry Llama Farm in nearby Hendersonville, NC. Make those llama dreams come true.
Ski or slide down a mountain
While Greenville doesn’t get a ton of snow, we are surrounded by mountains, which do get some of the white stuff. There are places to go both near and far – check out our list of places to ski or snow tube near Greenville, SC. I don’t ski but pretty much anyone can use a snow tube (or so I hope).
Chase some waterfalls
I find waterfalls to be magical and I know it’s not just me who feels that way. I think they are just amazing and I have a whole list of waterfalls near Greenville, SC I want to go to (and some to swim in). And if you haven’t been to Midnight Hole – well, trust us, put it on your 2023 list.
Pick berries in the spring, blueberries in the summer, and apples in the fall
This is a favorite activity of my family and an awesome way to learn how to eat seasonally (and cheaper). Plus, it’s fun to pick your own yummy fruit. Check out our lists of places to pick berries and pick apples.
Go day (or weekend) trippin’
There are so many neat day trips and weekend trips to take from Greenville that it’s hard to choose. I explored Flat Rock and the Carl Sandburg house, the Biltmore, Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, Athens, GA, and the Great Smoky Mountains in 2022 and I really want to not only go back to every single one of these in 2023 but to try new places as well.
Among our Kidding Around staff, our 2023 wish list includes (but is not limited to) visiting wild ponies at Grayson Highlands, panning for gold at Gold River Camp, searching for mermaids in Hilton Head, riding the Alpine Coaster in Banner Elk, sleeping in a treehouse, seeing Roan Mountain in the snow, relaxing in a salt cave in Asheville, staying in a covered wagon near Gatlinburg, and taking a dip at Hot Springs, North Carolina. If you need further inspiration, reference our well-populated Travel page or our Day Trip Guide.
Become a Wild Child
I learned about the Jocassee Wild Child program a couple years ago and I think it’s one of the most fun and educational things to do during the warmer months out on that beautiful lake. Read my Jocassee Wild Child review why this experience is a must-do for families. The same company also offers kids kayak clinics on the lake, which are so much fun as well!
See an outdoor movie
Summer is an awesome season here in Greenville and there are lots of great places to see outdoor movies. Bonus is that this option is free and works great for working parents. And don’t forget the drive-in movie theater about an hour away in Greenwood.
Make extra money
Consignment sales in the Upstate, here I come. I’m going to try consigning tons of my kids’ gently used clothes and attempt to make a few bucks and clean out the closets. If you miss these large-scale sales, you can also take your gently used goods to a local consignment store throughout the year.
Teach the kids where food comes from
There are lots of farms in the area and the farm-to-table movement hasn’t slowed down. Taking my kids on farm tours is not only fun but it’s educational. Since I love baby goats, we did a self-guided farm tour of Split Creek Farm and it was amazing because #babygoats.
We also started our participation in the SC Agritourism Passport Program this past year so I hope to continue that. If you visit a participating farm, grab a passport and collect stamps to earn Certified South Carolina swag. As I check out other local farms, stay tuned to our website for more cuddly-farm-animal-cuteness because you know I’m writing about it.
Go on dates
In Greenville, crafting fun and memorable dates doesn’t take much. You can go on a cheap ice cream date and stroll around downtown. Or spend a little more for an Escape Artist date or a food culinary tour. I also want to take time to take each of my children on dates (ideas for dates with kids here).
Give to others
Whether it’s time or talent, I want to take the opportunity to volunteer with my kids and help the community. Supporting our community while demonstrating the importance of compassion and empathy has taken on added significance given the hardships that so many have faced recently. Here are some ideas for volunteering in Greenville.
Check out a festival
We have an abundance of amazing festivals in Greenville to check out all year round. If you haven’t gone to any or want to try a new one, definitely don’t miss out! Some of our favorites are the Duck Derby, Aristphere, Fall for Greenville, the Greenville Greek Festival, SOOIE! BBQ Festival, and Spartanburg Soaring.
Take a trail ride at Eden Farms
My daughters and I love horses and so completely enjoyed our trail ride at Eden Farms in Marietta. The farm does wonderful horse therapy work and their public programs all help to support that.
Enjoy the Roper Mountain Science Center
The Roper Mountain Science Center is one of the jewels of Greenville and I’m convinced not enough people know this fun fact. I first bought a membership two years ago and let me tell you, I took my kids almost every week we were in town during the summer to walk the dinosaur trail, watch a cockroach race, enjoy the new environmental building and exhibits, and bring treasures to the Nature Exchange. We’ve gone to their special events and planetarium shows also and I have no plans to stop in 2023. I can’t wait to see what they will have in store for the new year.
Do the free summer reading program at the Greenville Library
The Greenville Library Summer Reading Program is on my bucket list every year because it’s such a great thing to do with my kids. They got a card for a free pastry at Swamp Rabbit Cafe, a medal, and other prizes. You know I’m doing it again this year with my kids.
Become one with the outdoors
Getting outdoors has always been a part of my life, but it took on added importance this year as my family sought out even more adventures like using our stand up paddleboarding at beautiful lakes in the Upstate, going camping, and tubing in rivers. I really need to try my hand at fishing as well.
For those who are really all-in on their dedication to outdoor experiences, you can take on the task of becoming an SC State Park Ultimate Outsider. You do this by visiting each of South Carolina’s 47 state parks and collecting stamps in an Ultimate Outsider guidebook. Mission accomplished? You’ll earn a commemorative T-shirt and major bragging rights. Check out some others’ adventures at #SCStateParks or #UltimateOutsider.
Ride the longest zip line in the world
Did you know the longest zip line in the world, at about three quarters of a mile, is less than three hours from Greenville at Historic Banning Mills in Georgia? My youngest was too small to ride this when we went in 2022 so I’m hoping she grows a little this year so we can go back and do this adventure!
Stay in a tiny river house
I got to stay at Saluda Tiny Memorial Day weekend in Easley and oh my gosh, it was awesome! We went tubing along the river there and had such fun. They also have really cute river tiny camping A-frames that I’d love to try.
Foster environmental stewardship
Because the great outdoors gave us so much this past year, my family will put our gratitude for the great outdoors into action: We will make a more intentional effort to take care of Mother Nature. Some ways to pitch in are simply doing things like minimizing use of single-use plastics or starting a compost pile. You could also do things like sign up with Upstate Forever to participate in local cleanups, or create a Palmetto Pride Clean Team that is charged with monitoring and cleaning up an area at least four times a year. Plus, we practice the Leave No Trace principles and bring trash bags and gloves for collecting trash that we spot along trails.
Go tubing during the summer
We have tried to hit as many tubing places as possible – so far, we’ve gone to Helen, Georgia, Bryson City, NC, the Green River in NC, and the Saluda River in Easley. All were awesome! We will surely go tubing again this summer at any of these places to tube near Greenville.
Do a scavenger hunt or play mini-golf at Runway Park
This is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers – let them find a bunch of stuff at Runway Park while watching small planes land. It makes for a great afternoon of fun. If you like minigolf, you must try Takeoff Minigolf, located right there at Runway Park. It’s an aviation-themed minigolf course!
Get my family (or myself) a cool experience gift
While toys and books and games are pretty common gifts in my household, I’d love to give the gift of experiences to my family and loved ones. A bonus is that a lot of these experiences can address the creative flair that the last year may have sparked in you or your kids.
And, confession – taking a pottery class has been on my mind for decades after seeing the movie Ghost. There, I said it. I’m thinking to try a class at Hollowed Earth Pottery because they look awesome and I really want to learn how to make something pretty from clay. Or, if you or your family want to pick up some other skills, check out some of the offerings in our comprehensive class and activity guide.
Family Day at Denver Downs
This is on my bucket list every year because it is so awesome. This is truly one of my favorite activities to do as a family and we look forward to it every single year. We pack a lunch, show up right when they open on a Saturday in the fall, and stay and play all day long. Don’t miss it in 2023. Read our Mom review of Denver Downs. Also, look for special Spring break events so you can experience the farm twice a year.
Support local restaurants
The restaurant industry has been hit hard these past two years. My family has surely cut back on the amount we eat out. However, when we do eat out, we are going to choose local eateries. There are plenty of ways to do this. Check out our Kids Eat Free list and find your favorite joint with outdoor dining.
Splash around in Fountain Inn & Unity Park
If you haven’t been to the splash pad in Fountain Inn and Unity Park, put it on your 2022 bucket list. They are both free & fun!
Hit up a waterpark
I got to go to Soaky Mountain near Gatlinburg, TN two summers ago and oh my gosh, how fun! I’d love to go back and try out their new water coasters. Splash Country at Dollywood is another favorite and hopefully, I will get the chance to visit that amazing waterpark again in 2023. And if I’m super lucky and convince my family to have a reunion in the Gatlinburg area, I want to stay at the Go Lodge game mansion again!
Go on a Christmas light driving tour
We always love putting together these Christmas light driving tours for the Upstate area for families who want a little Christmas spirit for free and I like to do as many as possible with my family.
Enjoy a ballet at the Peace Center
I got to see The Nutcracker at the Peace Center in 2022 performed by the International Ballet with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and oh my gosh, I had no idea what I was missing out on having never seen this before! It was so incredible and I’d love to see it again in 2023.
Gaze upon the stars
Remember the 2020 Christmas Star – the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter? That totally reinvigorated the space nerd in me. If we time is right, you can spot the International Space Station.
And if your family is feeling really space-y, consider heading down to Kennedy Space Center to watch a launch.
Find some Blue Ghosts
The Blue Ghost tour at the Cradle of Forestry in Pisgah Forest remains one of my all-time coolest experiences ever in our region. The Blue Ghosts are a special kind of firefly and you get to see them light up the night at the Cradle of Forestry while learning about them and the environment where they live. Tickets go very fast and typically go on sale April 1.
Get rewarded for eating tacos
In 2022, Greenville introduced the Taco Trail, which should really be at the top of the city’s accomplishments this year. Basically, you get a booklet with lots of great taco places in Greenville and as you visit them, you get a stamp. When you visit a certain number, you get prizes. The more taco places you visit, the more prizes you win.
Be wow’d by dolphins & explore a Vanishing Island
I’ve done dolphin tours with Island Explorer in Hilton Head twice and I plan to go back again because it’s easily one of my family’s favorite things to do. Dolphins are so amazing, the tour company is fun and knowledgeable, and you can search for sand dollars on Vanishing Island.
What’s on your 2023 bucket list?