We love summer break! Between the sun staying out later and no homework, it might be our favorite time of the year. But, let’s talk about the hardest part of summer – keeping your kids occupied and entertained all summer long! Eventually, they will get tired of sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and even tv. Fortunately, there are tons of things to do in and around Spartanburg this summer that are perfect for families. Best of all? We have come up with over 50 things to do in the Upstate that are free (or pretty cheap).
Don’t forget to join our corresponding Facebook page to stay plugged into the fun all summer long! P.S. Our definition of “cheap” is approximately $5 or less per person. For fun activities that cost more but are still fun see our calendar and don’t forget to subscribe to our Family Fun Planner to get our email each week.
This list may contain unpaid mentions of Kidding Around Spartanburg sponsors.
Free Things to Do in Spartanburg
Spartanburg County Public Library hosts a fun-filled Summer Reading Program. There are rewards for reading plus tons of free events for kids, teens, and adults all summer long at all the library branches.
Kids bowl 2 free games each day all summer long at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg.
Let the kids get wet at one of Spartanburg’s Splash Pads (including Barnet Park, Tyger River, and the new Airport Park).
Play mini golf for free downtown at Sparkle City Mini Putt.
Enjoy a whole week of fun at local VBS (Vacation Bible School) events.
Each Saturday at 11 am, Barnes and Noble hosts storytime that includes reading a book and an activity. Check our calendar for all the local storytimes.
Each month, kids can attend a Home Depot Kids Workshop for free! These events include hands-on building and decorating.
Go on an Artbulb scavenger hunt in downtown.
Visit the Hub City Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.
Picnic at Milliken Arboretum.
Trek through Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve.
Bike the Mary Black Rail Trail.
Hike the Cottonwood Trail or one of the nearby trails that have kid-friendly hikes.
Enjoy free music outdoors each Thursday evening at Music on Main.
Visit the Hub City Railroad Museum.
On a windy day, fly a kite at Barnet Park.
Play frisbee (disc) golf at one of the several local parks that has a disc golf course.
Watch airplanes and play at the new Spartanburg Memorial Airport Park.
Each week, your kids can attend a free storytime at Books Come Alive at Chick-fil-a. See our calendar for dates and locations.
Enjoy free museum time at Sundays Unplugged at Chapman Cultural Center.
Look at some art at Spartanburg Art Museum.
(Really) Cheap Things to Do in Spartanburg
Michael’s hosts Kids Club events each weekend from 10 am – 12 pm. You can shop on the premises while your kids participate in Kid’s Club for $2.
In addition to free summer movies, there are tons of cheap summer movie options!
Explore Croft State Park for only $2 (kids 15 and under are free!).
Go back in time at Cowpens National Battlefield, Musgrove Mills State Historic Site, Spartanburg Regional History Museum, and Walnut Grove Plantation.
Hunt for the best ice cream.
Visit the Spartanburg Science Center for $2 for those 5 and up (free for those under 5!).
Spend some time at Hot Spot Skate Park for $3 or less (depending on ages).
Visit the new Children’s Museum of the Upstate – Spartanburg!
Swim at Camp Mary Elizabeth for only $2! (Yes, it is open to the public.)
Free (or Cheap) Things to Do Nearby that are Worth the Drive
Visit one of the many upstate gardens.
Find all the Mice on Main in downtown Greenville.
See a free Shakespeare play at the Upstate Shakespeare Festival in Falls Park.
Visit the Carl Sandburg Home in Flat Rock, NC.
Spend some time at Lake Lure.
Explore Hands On! Children’s Museum in Hendersonville, NC.
Get back to nature at Reedy Creek Nature Center.
Final Helpful Tips for Saving Money this Summer
Save money during the summer with our Kids Eat Free guide.
Use your memberships to places like Roper Mountain Science Center to take advantage of events like Starry Nights and Butterfly Adventure. And, don’t forget – if you have a membership, be sure to see if you have a reciprocal membership to other museums, zoos, and science centers across the country (such as Western North Carolina Nature Center and Discovery Place).
If you are not already a member of a Moms’ Group in Spartanburg, summer is a great time to get connected. Many of these local groups host free or cheap events for moms and their kids.