18 Best Things To Do In Greenville, South Carolina With Kids

A family of fives stands together in Falls Park, one of the best things to do in Greenville with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Kyleen Bontrager

Add these fun things to do in Greenville, South Carolina, with kids to your future family itinerary! Greenville is an excellent destination for families, with plenty of activities to keep everyone happy. As a mom of three active children, I’m always looking for new ways of exploring without breaking our budget. Luckily, Greenville has a ton of affordable activities, and some of them are even free! From exploring the city’s many fun parks to visiting a museum or seeing a show, you can stroll around and take in all the sights and sounds of this low-key city. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of some of the best things to do in Greenville with kids that won’t break the bank, plus some must-visit attractions every family should see. Stay tuned to learn more about fun things to do in upstate South Carolina with kids! 

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Explore One of the City’s Many Parks

Several people enjoy a nice sunny day of exploring Falls Park in Greenville, South Carolina.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Greenville

If you’re looking for a fun and often free activity the entire family can enjoy, there are plenty of parks to explore in Greenville, South Carolina, with kids! Whether you want to get active or enjoy a peaceful picnic, you’ll love these many spaces around the city. Here are some specific suggestions for fun things to do in upstate South Carolina with kids!  

Falls Park

One of the best things to do in Greenville, South Carolina, with kids is to explore Falls Park on the Reedy! As Greenville’s most celebrated park, it’s located in the center of downtown and was created to enhance the area around the Reedy River as it runs through the city. Falls Park boasts beautiful walking trails along the Reedy River, which connect to the larger Swamp Rabbit Trail greenway. There’s also an elevator that takes visitors from Main St. to the river walking paths. Liberty Bridge offers an aerial view of the waterfalls, and chances are that there is some community event happening whenever you visit. Parents can print a free 26-page activity guide to entertain children and help them learn about the history and nature of the park. 

McPherson Park

Greenville’s McPherson Park is a great place to explore with kids. Established in 1884, this 12-acre park is the oldest park in the city and has plenty to keep the little ones entertained. The well-shaded area has a small creek that runs through it, with walking trails all around. There are tennis courts, a playground, a picnic pavilion, and a free putt-putt course. The playground has slides, climbing structures, and swings, and it’s a perfect spot to cool off on a hot day. The splash pad adjacent to the playground also has several spray features that kids will love. This is a favorite, budget-friendly activity for my family. Bring a putter, some tennis rackets, and balls for some fun family time together! 

Frankie’s Fun Park

One of the best things to do in Greenville with kids is to visit Frankie’s Fun Park. If you’re looking for something to entertain all ages, this mini amusement park is the perfect place for a fun day! From mini golf to go-carts, bumper-boats to batting cages, you pay per activity, so you can pick and choose what each person’s favorite ride is. There’s also an arcade, laser tag, a 3D movie ride, and virtual reality games. Plus, a selection of food and drink outlets, so you can refuel after a day of thrills. Pick your teams and have a blast! 

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Visit a Museum or Historic Site

For fun and educational things to do with your kids in Greenville, visit one of the city’s many museums. From art and history museums to children’s museums and more, there’s something for everyone in Greenville. Keep reading to learn more!  

American Legion Military War Museum

An exhibit at American Legion Military War Museum, featuring model planes and other war memorabilia.
Photo Courtesy: Discover South Carolina

One block from McPherson Park is the American Legion Military War Museum. This free museum is open to the public on weekends and is a great place to take your kids if you’re looking for something educational and fun. The museum has a variety of exhibits that focus on different aspects of military history, as well as several interactive features that will keep your kids entertained. Plus, impressive collections of memorabilia, artifacts, clothing, gear, and records from each major war that America has taken part in. Children and adults alike will be fascinated to learn more about how the people from Greenville have served the armed forces through personal stories and tributes within the museum.  

Roper Mountain Science Center

Three kids work at an exhibit in the Roper Mountain Science Center.
Photo Courtesy: Roper Mountain Science Center

When it comes to family-friendly attractions in Greenville, the Roper Mountain Science Center is definitely one of the best. From the trenches to the skies, this fantastic science center has something for everyone, with topics ranging from astrophysics to zoology. Kids will love getting hands-on with the many interactive exhibits, and there are also plenty of opportunities to learn about the local environment and wildlife.

The Roper Mountain Science Center also has a planetarium that hosts Friday Starry Nights. Except for select dates, the Planetarium is open every Friday Night with a variety of show offerings changing each quarter. They also offer Afternoon Explorations most Tuesday to Friday afternoons, where children can explore the exhibit halls, a dinosaur walk, a butterfly garden, an outdoor playscape, and an environmental science building. Finally, there is special programming is offered on First Fridays and Third Thursdays during Afternoon Explorations.

Kilgore-Lewis House

Seasonal flowers bloom near a pond at Kilgore-Lewis House.
Photo Courtesy: Mike Nice

Stroll a short way from the Military War Museum, and you’ll see the beautifully restored Kilgore-Lewis House. Dating back to the early 1800s, this Palladian-style home is now the Greenville Council of Garden Club’s headquarters and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The five acres surrounding the house include botanical gardens and an arboretum. A beautiful place to explore in all seasons, a docent is available to give free house and garden tours every Wednesday through Friday from 10:00 am-2:00 pm. Families can learn about the history of the house and the people who lived there and see some of the furniture and artifacts. This is a lovely place to explore and learn the names of the beautiful plants and trees on the property too. 

Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library

An encased exhibit sharing artifacts to museum-goers at Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library.
Photo Courtesy: Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library

Greenville is home to the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library, which is a must-see for any baseball fan – especially if you have kids. The museum chronicles the life and career of Shoeless Joe Jackson, a Major League Baseball player from 1908 to 1915. It also has interactive exhibits that kids will enjoy and a baseball library with more than 4,000 books about the game. Kids will love learning more about the sport and seeing artifacts from Jackson’s career, including his bat and glove. Plus, there are a variety of rare baseball cards. Joe Jackson’s rise from poverty and natural talent will also inspire you and your kids and give your family a glimpse of what life was like in the Upstate in the early twentieth century.  

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Heritage Green

Kids feet shown behind the feet of a statue found while exploring Heritage Green, one of the best things to do in Greenville, South Carolina with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Greenville

Take a break from being outside and head over to Heritage Green with your family. As one of the best things to do in South Carolina with kids, this downtown spot hosts the Greenville County Museum of Art and the Hughes Main Library. These two free attractions will let you cool down in the summer and enjoy culture and literature. The Greenville County Museum of Art has one of the largest collections by American artist Andrew Wyeth and other 18th, 19th, and 20th-century pieces. On the weekends, the museum opens up for music performances that all can enjoy. The two-story Hughes Main library also has a fun children’s area with computers, doll houses, and a giant giraffe. The library offers many children’s events, including preschool story time, kids’ craft time, and a Lego club.

Children’s Museum of the Upstate

Kids playing in a pretend garden exhibit at Children's Museum of the Upstate.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Greenville

If your budget allows, Heritage Green offers several other fun family activities. Everyone can have fun at the Children’s Museum of the Upstate! With over 80,000 square feet of exhibit space, this three-level extraordinary museum has something for everyone. The museum’s permanent collection features hands-on, interactive exhibits designed to spark imagination and curiosity in children. Galleries focus on science, arts, and humanities to guide children to understand the world around them. Kids can explore a two-story tree house, play at a water table, pretend to be a doctor in the medical center, or cook up a storm in the grocery store. Make sure you allow plenty of time to take in all this museum offers and grab a snack at the cafe on the first level! 

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Upcountry History Museum

The exterior of the large Upcountry History Museum on a sunny day.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Greenville

Hop across Heritage Green to the Upcountry History Museum to learn more about South Carolina and the Upstate! A great place to start your exploration of Greenville’s past, this Smithsonian Affiliate takes guests on a multifaceted journey through the many parts of upstate South Carolina’s rich 300-year history. It offers a unique, hands-on look at key periods, including the frontier days, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the textile industry, and Civil Rights. The Museum also features different interactive children’s traveling exhibitions throughout the year that provide children and families with an opportunity to discover new experiences. The Upcountry History Museum also has a variety of family-friendly activities each month, such as Family Fun Day, Toddler Time, and Neighborhood Night. And don’t forget to stop by the Gift Shop for that special exhibit-specific toy, book, or craft.

Want to see a show? Nearby, the Greenville Theater on Heritage Green has been performing for guests for 96 years. With shows like Big River (based on Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), Shrek the Musical, and the Broadway Holiday Spectacular, families can enjoy a night of entertainment together. It’s undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Greenville with kids!

Make a Splash at a Water Park

A life guard helps a young boy on a splash board at Discovery Island, a waterpark in Greenville.
Photo Courtesy: Greenville Rec

For a fun and exciting way to cool off this summer, a visit to a water park is the perfect solution! Greenville is home to several great water parks, each offering a unique experience for visitors of all ages. One of the most popular is Discovery Island at Southside Park. This family-friendly park features a lazy river, multiple slides, and a kids’ play area with smaller slides and sprinklers. There’s also a sand volleyball court and a concession stand, so you can spend all day enjoying the sun and water!

Another great option is Otter Creek Waterpark. This water park has everything from body slides and wave pools to kiddie pools and spray fountains. You can also rent cabanas for the day, which are perfect for relaxing between rides. A smaller option is the 7th Inning Splash Waterpark, located just outside Greenville. 

Enjoy fun in the sun on these Best Barrier Islands For Your South Carolina Family Vacation!

Go Ice Skating

Several people enjoy open skate at a rec center in Greenville, ice skating is one of the best things to do in the area with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Greenville Rec

If you’re looking for a fun year-round activity the whole family can enjoy in Greenville, ice skating is a great way to get some exercise while spending time together. For a day of fun, take the family out to the Pavilion Recreation Complex. This NHL-size rink is open to the public for skating and hockey. They also offer skate rentals, so everyone in the family can enjoy skating. Your ticket includes an hour and a half of skate time and ice skates. If your child (or you) needs a walker, you can rent one. This is an excellent change of pace during the hot summer months and a fun winter holiday activity for the family. The Pavilion also offers a Bounce House room with fun obstacle courses and jump inflatables. It’s the perfect rainy day family activity! 

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Enjoy a Minor League Baseball Game

Filled stands watching baseball during a The Greenville Drive night game, one of the best things to do in Greenville with kids.
Photo Courtesy: The Greenville Drive

There’s nothing like spending a summer evening at the ballpark watching America’s favorite pastime with your kids! Greenville is home to the minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, the Greenville Drive, which you can see in person during your visit. The Drive plays its home games at Fluor Field, a state-of-the-art ballpark located in the heart of downtown. Kids will especially enjoy the antics of Reedy Rip’it frog, the Drive’s team mascot. Tickets are also affordable, and there are plenty of concession stand options for food and drink. Families can enjoy some traditional ballpark food and southern bbq. Don’t forget to indulge in some ice cream to end the night! If you visit the Drive on Friday nights, you’ll be treated to a fireworks show at the end of the game.  

Swing From the Trees at an Aerial Park

A young girl makes her way across a course at the TreeTop Quest.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Greenville

What better way to enjoy a South Carolina adventure than by swinging from the trees at an aerial park and zip-line course? Greenville has two aerial parks with ropes courses and zip lines for all ages. Push your adrenaline as you scale a course 40 feet in the air and fly through the trees on a massive zip line! Flying Rabbit Adventures is right off the Swamp Rabbit Trail and has 58 unique course experiences.

TreeTop Quest is another aerial adventure park only 5 minutes from downtown Greenville. It has 60 different obstacles with five different levels of difficulty, including a Chick Pea level for the littlest climbers ages 4-6. Experience some family bonding time that’ll fill you with fresh air and will leave you exhausted but wanting more!

Hunt the Mice on Main

One of the many small art installation mice part of the Mice on Main hunt in Greenville.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Greenville

Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? When visiting Greenville with kids, families can hunt the Mice on Main! Nine of these adorable bronze mouse statues dot the Main Street of downtown Greenville. The idea came from a local high school senior and was created by a local artist inspired by children’s books. It’s a fun way to get kids engaged as you keep a close eye out for these little critters along Main Street. Use this link to find a set of clues to help you find the whole mouse family. You can also download a printable version of the scavenger hunt clues as well. Find all nine mice to claim your “Big Cheese” status! Be sure to take some time to explore the rest of downtown while you’re here too. There’s plenty of great shopping and dining to enjoy on Main Street. 

Spot Animals at the Greenville Zoo

Two giraffes stand together at the Greenville Zoo, one of the best things to do in Greenville with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Greenville

One of the best fun things to do in Greenville, South Carolina, with kids is to go wild at the Greenville Zoo! Divided into continental regions, there are plenty of things to see and do, and your kids will love getting up close and personal with the animals. Visit the African Savannah Exhibit, where you can see lions, zebras, and more. Then, head to the Giraffe feeding station for a chance to feed these gentle giants. Families can also stroll through the Butterfly Garden and marvel at the beauty of these creatures up close. Make your way to the Reptile House to see snakes, lizards, and other reptiles up close. Or, stop by the Elephant Exhibit to learn more about these fantastic animals. The zoo also offers several educational programs and events for kids. 

Pro Tip: Stop at the ticket office before heading inside and ask for a Safari Adventure Pack. These free backpacks can be checked out and are full of activities and games that families can play while exploring the zoo.  

Click here to find 18 Fun Things to Do in Charleston With Kids!

Go Hiking or Biking

Two people bike along the Swamp Rabbit Trail in the background, with a recycled material bunny art installation in the foreground.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Greenville

Adventurous families can’t miss a chance to trek the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville! From industry to eco-tourism, the city has taken an old railroad passage and turned it into 22 miles of walking and bike trails. From Falls Park, you can head north or south to explore. Along the trail, you will find art sculptures, memorials, a zoo, a swan lake at Furman University, and multiple playgrounds, parks, and restrooms. This wide, paved greenway is handicap-accessible, and pets are welcome. Hiking on the Swamp Rabbit Trail is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air too. It also offers stunning views of the surrounding area and is a great place to see wildlife. 

Would you rather cycle than walk? There are also several bike rental facilities, such as Reedy Rides, Bike the Rabbit, and Greenville BCycle. These shops have all different bike sizes and attachments for every family member. You can enjoy riding the trails for half or whole-day sessions or try an all-electric bike to tackle the entire 22 miles of the Swamp Rabbit Trail.  

Grab a Bite to Eat

A plate of yummy cajun food at The Lost Cajun, one of the best restaurants for families in Greenville, South Carolina.
Photo Courtesy: The Lost Cajun

If you’re looking for something to do with the kids in Greenville, South Carolina, why not grab a bite to eat? There are plenty of kid-friendly restaurants to keep little ones happy. After you enjoy Swamp Rabbit Trail, stop at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery to fuel up for more fun. Breakfast is served all day, and bakery goods offer special treats. The deli offers delicious sandwiches and salads. Another one of my personal favorites in Greenville is Willy Taco. This quirky taco bar is fun and funky and serves delicious dishes such as the Patagonia Steak and the Mother Clucker. The easy-going atmosphere is great for bringing the kids for a muy bueno feast. For something a bit different, take kids to The Lost Cajun. This family-friendly restaurant is known for its delicious Cajun cuisine; children will love the fun, festive atmosphere!

Explore this highly-rated Just Desserts tour in Greenville through Viator!

Where to Stay in Greenville with Kids

The exterior entrance to Hyatt Regency Greenville lit up at night.
Photo Courtesy: Hyatt Regency Greenville

Need somewhere to stay in Greenville with kids? The Westin Poinsett is a historic landmark hotel that has been beautifully restored. It offers luxurious accommodations and is centrally located in the heart of downtown Greenville. Embassy Suites by Hilton Greenville Downtown Riverplace is another great option for families, offering two-room suites and a heated indoor pool. Hyatt Regency Greenville is located in the south end of downtown and also offers an outdoor pool for kids to splash in. Families also love the Grand Bohemian Lodge Greenville or the Hampton Inn & Suites Greenville-Downtown-RiverPlace. For more space, check out Airbnb or Vrbo.

Happy Travels! 

We hope you liked this article on the Best Things To Do In Greenville With Kids by our contributor Kyleen Bontrager! These are just a few of the many fun, family-friendly activities Greenville has to offer. Make sure to add Greenville to your list of places to visit with your family. It will not disappoint!

You can find more from Kyleen and her family adventures by reading her blog, The Bonnie Traveler.

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision. 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.

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