Downtown Greenville has many fun, family-friendly activities to enjoy.

Some of them are behind closed doors, however, so you may not realize what you’ve been missing.

Get cookin’

You’ve probably walked by Charleston Cooks! dozens of times. Maybe you even went inside.

But did you know that they have cooking classes for children and adults? A chef and a registered dietitian work together to help a class of children learn to cook great-tasting, healthy foods. OK, the s’more cupcake was probably not all that healthy, but the kids made soup, veggies, fancy grilled cheese sandwiches, and shrimp and grits, then sat down to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Parents can drop off children for the 90-minute class, or hang out and get photographic evidence that your kids are capable of helping out in the kitchen.

There was one 4 year old in the session we were in, but I would recommend this more for kids 6 years old or older.

For the love of art

As we walked out of of our cooking class, we found local artist Pat Grills encouraging passers-by to step into the art gallery right next door.

Hidden in the back corner of the lobby in the old Ivey’s department store is a simple art gallery filled with a varied works from local artists: the Artists Guild Gallery of Greenville.

Painter Elisa Cooley was in the gallery when we popped in, and she gave us a tour of the different walls and the artists whose works were featured.

There is some amazing talent in the Upstate from artists who work in a variety of mediums.

Cooley and Grills were both excited to share their craft, eager to show the kids the different mediums, explain a little about the artists, and even answer the never-ending questions.

There is plenty of space for a stroller. It will only take about 15 – 20 minutes to get a good look at all of the art, but give yourself time to talk to the artists you’ll meet.

Time to eat

The kids have just had a feast of their own making, but you have not.

Head toward Falls Park and check out Snack Works. Just look for the neon alligator in the window.

Owner Patrick DeMarco sells a little bit of everything: hot sandwiches, cold salads, sweet fruit smoothies and salty trail mix.

Most of the items are designed to grab-and-go, so you can take it with you as you walk along Main Street, or find a sunny spot at Falls Park. DeMarco, however, prides himself on the quality of his ingredients. Many are organic and all natural, and food and smoothies are all made fresh to order.

If you go…

Charleston Cooks!

Artists Guild Gallery of Greenville

Snack Works

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