12 kid-friendly activities for winter break
Greenville-Spartanburg area schools are on winter break, and families looking for activities to enjoy together before the end of the year are in luck. Here are some family-friendly options to consider.
Greenville Water presents Skating on the Big Ice 1 – 5 p.m. Dec. 22 – 26 and Dec. 28 – 30, and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Dec. 31 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Families can enjoy ice-skating on the biggest ice in town during winter break. Cost is $5 for ages 6 and younger, $7 for ages 7 and older and $3 skate rentals. There’s no rental fee if you bring your own skates. Parking is free in the VIP lot. For details, visit http://bonsecoursarena.com/event/skating-on-the-big-ice-2015/.
There’s also still time to enjoy ice-skating outdoors at United Community Bank Ice on Main in downtown Greenville. The open-air ice skating rink is open daily though Jan. 18, including 4 – 10 p.m. Christmas day. School break hours of operation are 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Mondays – Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 3. The cost is $10 for adults and $8 for children 12 and younger, which includes skate rental. Receive $2 off by presenting an Ingles Advantage Card Dec. 28 – 30. For details, visit www.iceonmain.com.
Those in Spartanburg can enjoy Skating on the Square in Morgan Square daily through Jan. 3. Cost is $10 a person (includes skate rental). The rink is open noon – 9 p.m. Mondays – Thursdays, noon – 10 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturdays, and noon – 8 p.m. Sundays. The rink is open Christmas eve and day and New Year's Eve, and features buy one admission, get one free on Tuesdays. For details, visit http://www.cityofspartanburg.org/skating-on-the-square.
Have you visited the Upcountry History Museum lately? Its latest traveling exhibition is “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” a 1,500-square-foot immersive exhibit based on the popular and iconic book “The Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. Built as a larger than life pop-up book, the exhibition is filled with graphics and interactive Oz experiences. The museum is closed Christmas day but is open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students with ID, $4 for children 12 and younger, and free for children 3 and younger. For details, visit www.upcountryhistory.org.
There’s still time to visit the largest O-scale Christmas model train display in the Southeast. Miniature World of Trains’ annual Christmas Model Train Display is on exhibit through Jan. 2 at 2801 Wade Hampton Blvd. in Taylors. Kids can explore the exhibit and complete two scavenger hunts themed to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and Disney’s “Frozen.” The exhibit will be open noon – 5 p.m. Christmas day, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, and noon – 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5. For more details, visit www.miniatureworldoftrains.com.
Catch the Holiday Traditions Exhibit at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate through Jan. 3. The museum will be closed Christmas day, but it will reopen Saturday with plenty of fun activities for families to enjoy daily, including Gingerbread Playdough Story and More sessions at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Kwanzaa Stiry Time from 2:30-3 p.m. and Holiday Art Open Art Studio 1-4 p.m. For details, visit www.tcmupstate.org.
Whether it's cold outside or not, kids need to stay active. Consider taking them to one of these places to let them to spend some energy:
• Sky Zone Trampoline Park: Located on Laurens Road near Interstate 85 in Greenville, Sky Zone is a trampoline park great for older kids. Its hours are extended during winter break, too. The park is open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. through Wednesday, Dec. 23, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Christmas eve, and 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. – midnight Dec. 26, noon – 8 p.m. Dec. 27, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Dec. 28 – Dec. 31 (with a New Year's Eve bash 9 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.), and 10 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. New Year's Day. Waivers are required for all jumpers. For details, visit http://www.skyzone.com/greenville/
• Monkey Joe's: Down the street from Sky Zone is Monkey Joe's, an indoor playground that lets kids jump, bounce, slide, and climb on wall-to-wall inflatables. Walk-ins are welcome, and it's open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mondays – Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Wednesdays – Saturdays, and noon – 6 p.m. Sundays. Be sure to check its Facebook page for specials, such as Toddler Thursday's discounted admission. It will be open 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Christmas eve, is closed Christmas day, and is open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. New Year's Eve and New Year’s Day. For details, visit http://www.monkeyjoes.com/locations/greenville.
• Gravitopia Extreme Air Sports: Gravitopia serves all ages and features more than 60 trampolines in its 30,000-square-foot facility. Older kids will love open jump admission, dodgeball, air dunk and foam pits, but little ones can jump, too. KidJump is only $8 per child for an hour and is held 9-10 a.m. every week day only for kids 6 and younger. A parent jumps for free while Disney songs are played. The park also holds Family Night from 6 – 9 p.m. Mondays. All members of an immediate family can jump together for one hour for only $35. Open jump admission is 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturdays. For details, visit http://www.gravitopia.us.
• Take a family stroll through Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve, located at 820 John B. White Sr. Blvd., Spartanburg. This preserve is open 365 days a year during daylight hours and has free admission. It makes a fun afternoon outing, even during winter break. For details, visit http://www.hatchergarden.org.
•The Greenville Zoo is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily except Christmas and New Year's Day. Cost is $9 for adults, $5.75 for children ages 3 – 15, and free for kids ages 2 and younger. For details, visit www.greenvillezoo.com.
• Cakes By U in Greenville has expanded drop-in-and-decorate hours during winter break. Stop by and decorate cakes and cupcakes 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. through Dec. 23, Dec. 26, Dec. 28-30, and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Dec. 31. Cost varies by size, but starts at $8. For details, visit http://www.cakesbyu.com.
Find more family-friendly events, contests and resources online at www.UpstateParent.com.