Childhood goes by quickly. It’s a fact of life we, as moms, know all too well. It seems like just yesterday when you held your baby in your arms. Now that baby is in 3rd grade. Make the most out of these special years — make some memories! We’ve put together a bucket list for your kid’s childhood; things they must do before they grow up.
Must do list for kids in Spartanburg
Feed the Ducks at Milliken
Milliken Corporation Headquarters is located in Spartanburg just off Pine Street and Interstate 585. It is a large and beautiful campus, often confused as a park as it features more than 500 different trees and shrubs, 15 decorative fountains and six ponds. The Milliken Arboretum is a nationally recognized greenspaces on 600 acres at the Roger Milliken Center and is now one of the largest corporate arboretums in the Southeast. The campus is open to the public and Spartanburg families have been making memories at these duck ponds and picnic spots for generations.
Note: Some healthy foods to feed ducks include corn, peas, oats, or birdseed.
Have his/her own Library Card
Our Spartanburg County Library system is awesome. Every child should be a card carrying member, and have the responsibility of checking out and enjoying his or her own library selections. There are also interesting activities and programs offered at each location for kids and families. Having a library card and participating in library activities should be enjoyed by each Spartanburg child.
Attend Panthers Training Camp
In late July and early August, the Carolina Panthers move to Wofford College and hold their training camp right here in Spartanburg. All the practices are free and open to the public. It’s a great chance to see the players up close and there are also usually kids activities going on around the field.
Eat at Wades and the Beacon
No doubt, we could (and may) make a list of 30 places in Spartanburg you should eat, but there are a few restaurants so iconic, that should make every list about Spartanburg. When I asked my family what should be included on this list, they all either said the Beacon or Wades!
Explore Downtown Spartanburg
Downtown Spartanburg is becoming quite the place to be! There are new restaurants, shops and activities opening all the time. You can find something new to do, eat or buy almost any day of the week, any time of the year. An afternoon or even a whole day can be spent exploring the
downtown area of Spartanburg. Here’s a map of all the great things Downtown Spartanburg has to offer.
Skate at Roebuck Skating Center
Kids have been celebrating birthday parties and Friday nights at Roebuck Skating Center since 1978. The local hangout has recently updated their entire facility and the venue now includes a 3 story, 2500 square foot, indoor playground.Take the family, lace up your old school skates and show the kids how it’s done.
Go to Spring Fling
Spartanburg has welcomed spring with a huge street festival, the Spring Fling, for almost 40 years! Admission to Spring Fling is free and it’s a weekend full of food, vendors, music and fun. There are four entertainment stages, exciting new attractions every year, a Family Fun Zone and LOTS of food and market vendors. It will become one of your family’s favorite annual Spartanburg traditions.
Visit HubCity Railway Museum
Railroad transit shaped the history of Spartanburg and the HubCity Railway Museum is the place to go to learn all about the history of trains in our city, as well as Spartanburg history in general.
Go to Summer Camp
There are a ton of summer camps in our area depending on your child’s interests. Summer camps are a great way to make lifelong friends and develop personal knowledge and skills. Summer Camps are also a great way to experience all Spartanburg has to offer families!
Tour Local Colleges
Spark kids’ interest in higher education by visiting one of the many colleges in our area. Your family can tour the campuses and attend collegiate sporting events at a variety of beautiful upstate schools. Wofford College, Converse College, University of SC Upstate, Spartanburg Methodist College and Spartanburg Community College are all within Spartanburg County, or you could travel a little further and visit many others like Clemson, Furman, or Bob Jones.
Visit Hatcher Gardens
This public botanical garden and woodland preserve is a gem right in the heart of Spartanburg. Its a beautiful escape any time of the year, but
Hatcher Garden in the spring is really something every kid should experience. This 10-acre garden, primarily planted by volunteers, offers a
woodland setting with trees, shrubs, flora, waterfalls, creeks ponds, and both paved and natural paths. The garden is open during daylight hours and is free to the public.
Attend a Show at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium
Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium has been and institution in Spartanburg since 1951. It has a seating capacity of 3244 and one of the largest stages in the southeast. Here, Spartanburg hosts Broadway shows, comedy acts, celebrity speakers, sporting events, a variety of musical entertainment, family shows and trade shows. Over the years the auditorium has hosted top name acts including Taylor Swift, Harry Connick Jr., Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Matthews, Kenny Chesney, President George Bush and President George W. Bush, Lady Margaret Thatcher, Carol Burnett, Tom Brokaw, Broadway shows of all kinds, and family shows such as Sesame Street Live, Barney Live, Magic of David Copperfield, Peppa Pig and the circus. As a bonus, its right across the street from Krispy Kreme, so you can walk there for a treat after the show.
Visit the BMW Zentrum Museum
There’s no denying that the BMW plant is a huge part of Spartanburg’s identity. It is the only BMW manufacturing plant in the US and there is also a very interesting BMW museum here too. You’ve probably passed this cool building facing Interstate 85 at the edge of BMWs campus. The Zentrum is a state of the art facility, with free admission, where you can learn history, see the cars, and even grab a bite in the cafe. Learn as a family, how BMW plays a huge part in our economic culture.
Explore our State
The glory of our state is not contained to Spartanburg and the beauty of it is you can get to any part of our great state in a few hours. Spartanburg kids should explore as much of South Carolina as possible while growing up, from the coast, to the mountains, farmlands to the cities.
There’s a little of everything here. Spartanburg kids are blessed to grow up in such an awesome city and state.
Step back in Time at Walnut Grove Plantation
Charles & Mary Moore settled in what is now the Roebuck area in 1767. The home is now part of the Spartanburg Historical Association and open to the public. Spend a day touring the house, outlying buildings, property’s cemetery, and nature trail, to see how some of the first residents of our area lived.
Explore Other Cultures
The Spartanburg International Festival began in 1985 and has grown into one of our most anticipated annual events. Its usually held in October and celebrates the many diverse cultures of our residents and businesses. It’s a full day of music, art, dance, food and international fun!
Your family will enjoy celebrating Spartanburg’s rich international culture.
Enjoy Spartanburg Parks
We are fortunate in Spartanburg to have a thriving Parks and Recreation Department. Spartanburg kiddos should visit as many of these parks as possible. The Spartanburg Parks website gives you a list of all our parks, by location and amenity.
Star Gaze in the Country
There are numerous places in Spartanburg where you can get away from the city lights and urban development so you can really see the stars. Pick a comfortable, clear night, and find a remote corner of Spartanburg where you can look up and experience stargazing in the country.
Enjoy Strawberry Hill USA
The Shed at Strawberry Hill USA is a simple, historic peach shed built in 1955 and used as a peach packing shed through 1989. The original packing shed was transformed into a premier roadside market by 1990 and as of 2017, Strawberry Hill U.S.A. is the largest strawberry farm in SC with 115 acres. Peaches are still the primary crop with close to 1,000 acres in production but you will also find summer squash, cucumbers, cantaloupes, runner beans, and pumpkins grown and sold at Strawberry Hill. You will get a taste of farm life as you see the tractors pull around the shed with a load of fresh peaches or strawberries fresh from the field. You can also visit the adjacent family restaurant and ice cream parlor. The Shed is closed
for the season until Spring 2018 but the cafe and ice cream parlor are open year round.
Shop at the Farmers Market
Hub City Farmers’ Market will start their 15th year this April. The primary market, the Saturday Market, offers a variety of produce, meats, eggs, plants, artisan crafts, and prepared foods. It is a great place for families to shop, and a runs from 8 am-noon, April – December.
Play a Sport at Upward Star Center
Upward Star Center is a huge sports complex located just off Interstate 85 in Spartanburg. They offer baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, lacrosse, soccer, softball, volleyball, rock climbing, camps and more! Its a great place for Spartanburg kids (and adults) to learn and develop a sport, make friends and memories.
Splash at Shipwreck Cove
Shipwreck Cove Water Park, in Duncan, SC, is technically part of Spartanburg Park and Recreation but deserves it own spot on the list as Spartanburg’s only water park. This family-friendly water park offers fun for all ages and is open from Memorial Day until Labor Day each year. There is a larger pool for older kids with rustic pirate play ship and multi directional water cannons, two large flume slides on it’s main pool, a kiddie lagoon with misting water features, a lazy river around skull island with inflatable tubes, and certified lifeguards on duty at all times.
There is also a snack bar and a playground area of the neighboring Stone Ledge Park.
Celebrate a Dickens Christmas
A Dickens of a Christmas has become a community tradition that festively celebrates the start of the Christmas season. The “Charles Dickens” period event offers a Christmas Market, carolers dressed in victorian costume, horse-drawn carriage rides, live Christmas music, living window displays, ice skating on Morgan Square, and of course the official lighting of the Denny’s Christmas tree. Your family should experience Spartanburg’s signature yuletide celebration.
Volunteer at the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen
The Spartanburg Soup Kitchen has been serving meals to the hungry in our area for more than 35 years. Located in downtown Spartanburg, they are open at lunchtime 365 days a year; and serve between 350 and 500 guests per day. The Spartanburg Soup Kitchen relies solely on the donation of time, money, and goods from individuals, groups, small businesses, and corporations.
Volunteer opportunities are available daily, between 9:30am and 1:30pm. Help is needed with food preparation, organization and unloading of donations, assembling children’s take-home bags, dishwashing, food line servering and after lunch clean up. To volunteer, contact Director, Lou Sartor at 864-585-0022 or visit their website.
Visit Chapman Cultural Center
Chapman Cultural Center is the hub for the arts in Hub City. Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg Regional History Museum, Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg Gallery, Student Galleries, John F. Green Spartanburg Science Center, The Spartanburg Little Theater, Spartanburg Youth Theater, Spartanburg Philharmonic, and Ballet Spartanburg are all located and/or perform here. The Chapman Cultural Center should be a place every Spartanburg child visits, and often.
What’s on your child’s must do list before they grow up?