We visited Greenville in the winter of 2016 on a Southeast road trip from Miami. We have actually been twice to this city – once as a stopover driving over from Atlanta, and the other time from Charleston. I read that this city won “one of the top small towns in America” not that long ago, and I can see why! It had plenty of great food, drinks, and family-friendly activities. It quickly moved up in the ranks as one of our favorite Southeast cities. There were plenty of things to do with kids in Greenville SC. Check out these ideas if you are headed to this lovely little South Carolina gem.
Things to do with Kids in Greenville SC
Falls Park on the Reedy
This is one of my favorite things to do with kids in Greenville SC is right in downtown. Falls Park on the Reedy has a great central location. We parked our car in a lot nearby and walked a quick minute to the park. It has a little hiking trail and a neat bridge to cross over. We spent about an hour just walking around admiring Falls Park and talking. It really was quite scenic and very surprising to be “in” the city. There are open areas to sit and picnic or just throw a ball around. Many people were walking on the paths and enjoying the outdoors. Falls Park on the Reedy should definitely be on the top of your list when you visit.
Swamp Rabbit Trail
This is my pick for the best activity to do with kids in Greenville. This is about a
Children’s Museum of the Upstate
This place ended up being quite a surprise. I had seen that it was one of the best things to do in Greenville on TripAdvisor, and we had some time to kill since we gave up on the bike ride. I am so glad we did the Children’s Museum of the Upstate because the kids (8 and 6 at the time) had a blast! They had many interactive sections that were educational and entertaining, and they also had a giant play structure in the middle (which my kids did not want to get out of).
I would say that this children’s museum is among the top things to do with kids in Greenville SC, especially if you have kids under the age of 10. Admission is very reasonable at $10 per adult and $9 per child. There are multiple hands-on exhibits, play areas, and programs for kids of all ages. We really could have spent much longer here, but we showed up after lunch. Check out their site for more details.
Eat at Local Restaurants
Greenville was quite the foodie haven! While kids usually don’t have the best palates, we take a look at menus before we visit to make sure the kids have at least a couple of options. In addition to what I am about to recommend, there are tons of other delicious local food options in town. Eating should definitely be on your list of things to do in Greenville with kids (or without).
This is a Southern chain restaurant that has great food, great drinks,
This was the place we rode bike to in the frigid temperatures. Needless to say, when we arrived, we were thrilled to have a warm place to sit. The food was so fresh and the coffee was divine! I wish we would have gone back the next day because they had so many delicious looking pastries. My husband and I both had the egg sandwich – like I mentioned before, fresh and delicious overall! They are open for lunch too.
This place was great! You can put your imagination to work by creating your own donut experiment. Donuts are made fresh and then you create your own with a selection of toppings and icings. We were sad to only eat here once, as there were so many choices to create.
This place was a win-win for the entire family. My husband and I ordered some coffee while the kids ordered ice cream. Every one was happy while we ate and drank our treats and strolled though Falls Park on the Reedy.
This was the goal at the end of our bike ride so that we could have a beer and a snack. Since that did not occur, we drove to this place after our museum visit (it is in Traveler’s Rest). I love a good local craft beer. We ordered a snack with the kids and took a growler back to the hotel to drink later! If you are a craft beer lover, check this place out.
Though small, the Greenville Zoo is one of the best things to do with kids in Greenville SC. Rates are reasonable and there are plenty of animals to keep kids and parents entertained. There are also many kids programs available for kids as young as two to elementary-aged kids interested in zoo-keeping. From giraffes to lions to flamingos, gators and primates, this zoo is a must-do for kids if you’re visiting Greenville.
Roper Mountain Science Center
While we did not get to visit this place on our trip because it was not open, I did plenty of research and hope to return and add this to my list of things to do with kids in Greenville SC. The Roper Mountain Science Center is only open to the public for select events throughout the year and for school field trips. One of the events I was hoping to attend was Friday Starry Nights, but we didn’t arrive in time. If you happen to be visiting Greenville during one of these events, be sure to check their site to get tickets and enjoy with the family.
Sigal Music Museum
Formerly known as the Carolina Music Museum, this is a pretty interesting to visit a place filled with historic instruments. While I admit, this museum may not be for everyone, if there is a music lover in your group or your kids are in the school band/orchestra, this could be a fun and unique place to learn about some period musical instruments. You can buy combo tickets to the Sigal Music Museum, the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, and the Upcountry History Museum at Furhman University if you plan on visiting Greenville for multiple days.
Where to Stay in Greenville
I would recommend staying in the downtown area as it is quite walkable. There are so many places to eat and great local shops. I love staying at Hyatt properties, and there are two in the downtown area, Hyatt Regency Greenville, and Hyatt Place Greenville Downtown. If you cannot find a hotel close enough, consider renting an Airbnb. Our family does it often and it gives you more space, a unique stay, and a full kitchen if needed.
In terms of where to stay, both times we stayed at a hotel off the highway (booked free with our points). We try to stay at places with free breakfast, free parking and that are low in points! Check out how I maximize my credit cards and get free hotel stays. The Holiday Inn Express Greenville and Townplace Suites Greenville are the two places we stayed when we have visited. To check rates click on the link below.
Check out – Hotels in Greenville
Why You Should Visit Greenville, SC
Greenville is often an overlooked city when traveling in the South. I feel that in many ways it deserves more credit than it gets. Although the last couple of years, Greenville has made a few lists of best towns in America, I feel it is still pretty underrated and is a great stop for families. If you are looking for other great places for a family trip, check out the top 10 underrated destinations that are perfect for families.
It also makes for a great home base when visiting other cities or parks in the South. It is not too far from Tallulah Gorge State Park, Athens, Atlanta, Congaree National Park, Charlotte, Asheville, and even Smoky Mountain National Park. If you are looking to take a road trip around the South with your kids, check out this video on how to plan a family road trip vacation.
That wraps up my touring recommendations about the things to do with kids in Greenville SC. Click to read more about other stops on this Southern road trip. If you are spending a weekend in Greenville, check out this post for more things to do and places to eat/stay. If you enjoyed this post and plan on visiting, don’t forget to Pin It!
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