Are you looking for free or cheap family-friendly things to do in Spartanburg? Do you have an idea in your head that doing something fun with your kids in Spartanburg is going to cost money (and probably a lot of it)? We are setting the record correct today once and for all that Spartanburg has tons of fun free things to do and even more that are really cheap.
Free Places to Go in Downtown Spartanburg
Spartanburg Library – Ask your average person why you would visit the library and they will say to “check out books”. The Spartanburg Library offers much more than just books though. On their schedule you can find everything from puppet shows, to LEGO programs, to even exercise classes. The Spartanburg Headquarters Library even has a playground right outside the children’s area.
Hub City Railroad Museum – This free train museum downtown allows children to sit in a caboose, watch trains from a special deck, and use a telegraph.
Sparkle City Mini Putt – You can pick up your putters and ball from several local businesses and play mini-golf for free in this Spartanburg themed mini putt. Now with the addition of FR8 Yard, you can also grab dinner.
Easy Free Walking Trails
The Rail Trail – This paved trail near the Spartanburg YMCA is perfect for biking, scooters, and walking. The trail is also located beside the Hot Spot Skate Park where in-county kids can skate for just $2-3. The new NFL Play 60 obstacle course also opened this year.
Cottonwood Trail Preserve – These easy trails will take you over boardwalks, through forests, and into open picnic areas.
Tyger River Nature Park & Tyger-10 Nature Park – These two parks offer scenic easy hiking along the Tyger River. It’s common to see families wading and picnicking on the riverside.
Glendale Shoals Preserves – This park is a favorite of photographers and offers a pleasant place to walk.
Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve – This garden is beautiful in all seasons and easy to walk or picnic in.
Amazing Playgrounds Near Spartanburg
Cleveland Park – The playground at this park in downtown Spartanburg has bright colors and imaginative structures that encourage pretend play. The park also offers a walking trail that bends around a pretty pond with a gazebo. One disadvantage of this park is the playground is not fenced and it’s difficult to watch your child if they are quickly moving from place to place.
Tyger River Park – The massive park in Duncan contains perhaps one of the most impressive play areas in the Upstate. The playground has many surprises including a small cave, a pretend river with stones, and a sandbox. During the summer a splash pad is also open.
Stoneledge Park – Right beside Shipwreck Cove in Duncan, Stoneledge Park is tucked away. This large playground is unique in that it has a rubber turf floor and decent shade. There are also two large picnic shelters that are relatively cheap to rent for parties.
Happy Hollow Park – This park is small but nestled in the scenic Converse Heights area. The playground is fenced in and offers plenty of shade. There is a small walking trail and green space as well.
Lake Bowen Park – This playground in Inman has a lake as the backdrop making it a scenic spot for picnics and evening play times.
McMillan Park – This large playground in Boiling Springs is unique in that the entire play area including small kid playground, big kid playground, picnic shelters and swings is entirely fenced-in making it a very easy place to keep track of your kids.
The Airport Park – This new playground opened this past year at the Spartanburg Downtown Airport and features an aviation playground plus a splash pad. Of course, the big attraction is watching the planes land and fly while you play.
Conestee Park & Lake Conestee Park – While these two parks are located in Greenville, they are certainly worth the drive. We recommend entering in the Conestee Park main entrance where you will find a large playground, green space, and picnic shelters. A short walk from the playground, you will find a main trail head that leads into Lake Conestee Park where you will find several simple trail loops that include educational stops, boardwalks, and observation decks. This park offers a wide variety of wildlife to observe as well.
Runway Park – It’s easy to make a day trip to this playground in Greenville because not only does it offer a fun place to play while watching planes, but you can also purchase lunch at Runway Cafe and eat it in the park.
Herdklotz Park – This playground in Taylors is one of the largest in the area and has a lot of shade.
Simpsonville City Park – This park has brand-new play equipment which includes a zip-line.
Inexpensive Things to Do in Spartanburg
Spartanburg Science Center – Spartanburg Science Center just opened three new exhibits including a robotic arm, a science theatre, and a virtual reality experience. They also have a very cute hedgehog (plus other animals). Admission is just $5 and kids under 5 are free.
The Children’s Museum of the Upstate – The Children’s Museum of the Upstate opened the new Spartanburg location that focuses on children 5 and under. Admission is just $5 and
Croft State Park – This wonderful state park includes boating, fishing, and hiking. Admission is only $2/adults.
Free or Inexpensive Day Trips Near Spartanburg
Reedy Creek Nature Center & Preserves (Charlotte) – You won’t believe it but this nature center is completely free. Amenities include two large playgrounds (one that is a treehouse theme and covered with shade), an indoor nature center with a play space, and hiking.
Roper Mountain Science Center (Greenville) – Once you figure out how much there is to do at Roper Mountain Science Center, you will want a family membership. Events include several 2nd Saturday events, planetarium shows, and the Butterfly Adventure where you can see butterflies up close. Admission is a great value for the activities at just $5-8/person. In addition, the grounds are open on non-event day open hours and the ground include a walking trail, imaginative play areas, and the gardens.
Upcountry History Museum (Greenville) – Upcountry History Museum offers a free family night on the first Thursday evening of each month. In the summer, they traditionally feature a large children’s exhibit. It’s all contained in one room making it an easy place for the kids to play without the parents having to worry about them getting out of sight.
Paris Mountain State Park (Greenville) – Paris Mountain State Park is a pretty place to hike and spend the day. During the summer season, they also offer a swim area on Lake Placid.
Jocassee Gorges (Upper SC) – The Jocassee Gorges have been named one of the 50 World’s Last Great Places by National Geographic. This large wilderness includes the beautiful Lake Jocassee and Devils Fork State Park.