There are so many wonderful parks in Greenville County that offer a way for frugal families to have fun. Even though a one-day trip to any of the parks is great, here is my family's idea of a fun way to explore three of them in one weekend...a "park hop!"


Pack a picnic and head downtown to Falls Park for dinner "alfresco" and family fun! Take a stroll across The Liberty Bridge and check out the Reedy River Falls from above! Toss a ball in one of the park's open areas, have a hula-hoop competition, or have a quack-tastic conversation with some of the park's resident ducks! Don't forget to stop by Spill the Beans at the entrance to the park before you head home for some custom-blended ice cream (my favorite "blend" is cheesecake, caramel and dark chocolate...delicious!) Insider's Tip: Visit the park's website calendar for upcoming special events the whole family will enjoy.


Saturday is the perfect day for exploring all that Cleveland Park has to offer! Pile the family into the car and head over for a morning visit with the animals at the Greenville Zoo! Be sure to say, "hello," to two of the zoo's adorable youngsters during your visit...Kiko the giraffe and Bob the orangutan! Then, have even MORE fun at the park's amazing playground! We like to sit along the stone benches and watch the kids play, and, during warmer weather, the snow cone truck is often parked close by (we like to mix flavors for a different cool treat every time). End your second "park hop" day with a family hike on one of the park's winding trails. Insider's Tip: A visit to the park's two memorials, The Greenville County Vietnam Veteran's Memorial and The Anderson Memorial airplane offers a special way for families to remember and honor hometown heroes.


For day three, "hop" on over to The Children's Garden at Linky Stone Park to learn while you play! This colorful park is full of plants, storybook sculptures and fun activities to inspire creativity and discovery. The "Five Senses Garden" is a favorite for our family! A short walk from the park up River Street to Camperdown Way is Rick's Deli & Market. Stop in and let the kids pick a treat from one of the dessert cases for a sweet ending to your "park hop" weekend.

THAT Something Extra:

Who's up for some free miniature golf?

Bring your own putters and balls to McPherson Park on the corner of North Main Street and East Park Avenue for free family fun on the park's 9-hole mini-golf course.

How about a park for man's best friend?

Check out the Canine Corner in Cleveland Park! Your canine buddy can run and play with other furry friends in this fenced-in dog park, and who knows? You just might make a few new friends, too.