5 free things to do with kids this summer in the Upstate
Movies in the Park
Fidelity Investments Moonlight Movies screens free movies in Falls Park on the Reedy in Greenville each Wednesday in May. Each event features trivia before the show and food trucks, and most movies are kid-friendly. While the lineup hadn’t been announced by press time, past showings have included “E.T. The Extraterrestrial” and “Hook.” Shows start at sundown, and you’re welcome to bring a picnic, blanket and chairs. Pets and smoking, however, are not allowed. For details, visit https://www.greenvillesc.gov/1324/Fidelity-Moonlight-Movies.
You’ll also find free outdoor movies at Greer City Park, Heritage Park Amphitheater in Simpsonville, and Trailblazer Park in Travelers Rest. Check their websites for details.
TD Saturday Market
Downtown Greenville’s farmers’ market returns to Main Street Saturday, May 4, offering locally sourced goods from more than 75 Upstate vendors. It also features live music, children’s activities and chef’s demonstrations. Family-oriented events include Touch-a-Truck Day June 1, and Spuds and Sprouts, a weekly children's program aimed at teaching kids about locally grown foods and giving them the opportunity to try new fruits and vegetables. For more details, visit https://www.saturdaymarketlive.com.
Hit the trail
Families have plenty of opportunities to walk, bike, or geocache in the Upstate, thanks to nature trails such as Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville and The Doodle Trail in Easley. The 22-mile long Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail runs along the scenic Reedy River in Greenville County, extending from Fountain Inn to Travelers Rest. Bike rentals are available, and residents can download an app to guide them along the trail.
The Doodle Trail is a 7.5-mile long multi-use trail that runs between Easley and Pickens along its historic railway system. Families can enjoy biking, walking, running and rollerblading. For more information, visit https://www.cityofpickens.com/doodle.
Lake Conestee Nature Park
Lake Conestee Nature Park consists of approximately 400 acres of beautiful natural habitat on the Reedy River just 6 miles south of downtown Greenville. Visitors can see a diversity of wildlife while exploring the forest and 3 miles of the Reedy River. There are numerous activities at the park throughout the summer, and the park’s official website features downloadable maps for family-friendly walks. Visit https://lakeconesteenaturepark.com for details.
Hatcher Garden Public Botanical Garden & Woodland Preserve is found in the middle of Spartanburg — an urban garden and woodland preserve that provides a home for wildlife. The garden is open with free admission every day of the year during daylight hours and is a popular spot for picnics and casual strolls. Parents who need to wile away an afternoon with the kids can use the garden to educate their children on conservation while taking beautiful photos. For more information, visit http://www.hatchergarden.org.