After a long, wet winter, summer is finally right around the corner. That means it’s time to start planning fun, warm-weather activities for the whole family. As a father of four, Dr. Buddy Davis knows how busy the summer break can be when you have kids. When he’s not treating patients at Davis Orthodontics, he’s exploring all the fun activities in Greer and Simpsonville with his family. From free water parks and outdoor movies to kid-friendly hikes and museums, there’s an endless list of things to do with your little ones this summer.
So grab the family, pack a bag and hit the road. Here’s the ultimate round-up of fun things to do with kids in Greer, Simpsonville and beyond.
1. Meet Other Local Families with Hike It Baby
If you’re a new parent, it can be tough to meet other moms and dads in your area. But with Hike It Baby, you can easily find other local parents (and kids) to socialize with this summer. Hike It Baby organizes hikes for families all over the country in an effort to get little ones outside from an early age. There’s always something going on in Greenville — so dust off your hiking boots and take your children to Swamp Rabbit Trail (and make sure to stop for lunch at the cafe!).
2. Picnic in the Park at Musgrove Mill State Historic Site
Nestled in the peaceful Piedmont Woods, Musgrove Mill was the site of a battle during the Revolutionary War. The park is dedicated to the protection and remembrance of those who fought there. Admission is free, and there are guided hikes and kid’s days throughout the summer. Depending on where you live, it can be a bit of a drive so make a day of it. Check out the schedule, pack a picnic and get ready to soak up some nature (with an added side of history).
3. Bowl a Strike with Kids Bowl Free
Looking for some fun indoor activities for kids in Greenville? Sign your kids up for Kids Bowl Free — children under 15 get two free games to use all summer long. Your local participating alley is Spare Time Entertainment in Greenville. Note that bowling shoes are required and are not included with the free pass.
4. Ride the Slides at a Local Waterpark
Summers in South Carolina can be ruthlessly hot and humid. Keep your kids cool with a day at a local waterpark. Greenville is home to three fun waterparks: Discovery Island, Otter Creek and 7th Inning Splash. With countless water slides, swimming pools and concession stands, a trip to the waterpark is one of the best summer activities for kids in the Simpsonville area. Admission prices are based on height, so be sure to check the website for current rates. Swimming lessons are also available at Discovery Island and Otter Creek.
5. Frolic for Free at a Neighborhood Splash Pad
As the temperatures climb higher and higher, finding sweet relief from the heat will become a top priority. But you don’t have to dish out cash to get your splash on — just head to the nearest splash pad in your area. Splash pads are all over the place and they’re a totally free activity for kids you can enjoy all summer long.
6. Hit a Round at McPherson Park Mini Golf
Due to recent renovations, the miniature golf course at McPherson Park was removed — but thankfully, it’s back and better than ever. With 18 holes, creek and rock features, and a variety of obstacles to overcome, McPherson Park’s new-and-improved golf course is fun for the whole family. The best part? It’s free! Clubs and balls are not included, though, so be sure to pack your own putters before you hit the green.
7. Find the Waterfall at Cedar Falls Park
Cedar Falls Park is more than a beautiful wooded park with walking trails and wildlife — it’s also full of local history. In its early days, the park was a Cherokee hunting ground and an old transportation hub. Now, it’s the perfect place to spend a summer day with the family. There’s a playground, a paved path that’s perfect for strollers, and even a secret waterfall. Let your kids play guide and take a family stroll to see the falls. Take warning, though: the waterfall flows from a section of the Reedy River that may not be safe for swimming, so it’s best to admire from afar.
8. Ride the Train at Heritage Park
Many years ago, steam engines passed through Simpsonville on their journey across the country. To keep this special part of history alive, Heritage Park is home to a mini replica version of the trains of old. The train runs around the perimeter of Heritage Park, giving riders a view of several of Simpsonville’s historic landmarks. Admission is just $2 and children under two are free.
9. Learn at the Upcountry History Museum
There’s fun for parents and kids alike at the Upcountry History Museum. Located at Furman University in the heart of Greenville, the museum shares the history of the 15 counties in the Upcountry. To get in for free, visit during Neighborhood Nights on the first Thursday of the month between 5:30pm and 8:30pm.
10. Pick Fruit at a Local Farm
What’s the best thing about summer? It’s berry season! Grab a bucket and take the kids to pick their own fruity snacks. For strawberries, head to Buck and Ann’s Strawberry Farm in Greer. Less than an hour west of Greenville, The Happy Berry is your go-to spot for fresh blackberries, blueberries and grapes. For a wide variety of fruits, veggies and more, Callaham Orchards in Belton is your best option. Picking your own fruit is the perfect way to spend some sweet time with your kids this summer.
11. Catch a Free Outdoor Movie
Free outdoor movies are everywhere in Greer and Simpsonville this summer, and they’re all kid-friendly! Head to the Greer City Park Amphitheater on Thursdays starting June 6th — activities kick off at 6pm with games and dancing, and movies start at dusk. On Wednesdays in May and September, catch your favorite flicks at Falls Park. Attention parents: you can even BYOB with the purchase of $1 wristband! Talk about a fun summer activity everyone can enjoy.
12. Enjoy a Free Outdoor Concert
When the sun goes down, get ready to groove at one of the free outdoor concerts in Greer this summer. At Furman University, concerts are held every Thursday at 7:30pm all summer long. For free live music in Greenville, head to NOMA Square on Friday evenings at 5:30pm for Greenville Heritage Main Street Fridays. Complete with a kid’s area, there’s a little something for everyone.
13. See the Animals at Greenville Zoo
Would it really be summer without a trip to the Greenville Zoo? Watch your kids’ eyes light up as they watch the monkeys, lions and giraffes roam and play. Admission is just under $10 for adults and $6.50 for kids. Little ones under three get in for free.
14. Splash Around at Kroc Center Pool
For those hot summer days when the heat wave is just too much to take, take the kiddos to Kroc Center for some indoor pool-time fun. There’s a mini jungle gym, water slide, rock climbing wall and a large pool with beach-style walk-in. For little ones who can’t yet swim, Kroc Center also offers swimming lessons.
15. Grab a Reading at a Local Library
Need a relaxing escape from the heat? Head to a local library for readings, workshops and more. With events planned for the entire summer and beyond, there are always things to do with kids in Greenville County’s libraries. From camp outs and craft nights to dance classes and kid’s comedy shows, you’re little ones are set for indoor fun this summer.