Free Things to Do in Greenville
You don’t have to have a big budget to have a great time in Greenville, SC! Here are some free things to do—and some low-cost bonus ideas—to make the most of your trip to the area.
There are numerous free events happening all over Greenville all the time. In spring through early fall, Main Street at NOMA Square shuts down on both Thursday and Friday evenings for live music at Downtown Alive and Main Street Fridays. On Saturday mornings May-October (and once in December), Main Street is shut down for the TD Saturday Market. Make sure to check out our Events page to see all the local events going on during your visit.
Greenville’s food trucks can be found serving up delicious street food at free city events, so be sure to grab a bite to eat from one of these mobile eateries while you are there. You can also take some cash with you to all of these events to purchase beverages, produce, local goods, and more.
Also part of the Art in Public Places initiative, the Mice on Main are 9 tiny bronze mice hidden along a section of Main Street for kids and kids-at-heart to discover. Inspired by the children's book Goodnight Moon, the mice were originally ideated as a local high-schooler's class project. Stop by the VisitGreenvilleSC Visitor Center in City Hall for your free copy of the Mice on Main clues or you can get them online.
Pop into O.P. Taylor’s toy store and grab a copy of the book, Mice on Main, written by Linda Kelly and illustrated by mice sculptor, Zan Wells, as an adorable reminder of your experience.
Two of the most prominent open gathering spaces downtown, both NOMA Square and ONE City plaza are hubs of activity and offer things to do like free yoga classes, live music, dog-friendly "yappy" hours, and more.
There are tons of shopping and dining options surrounding both plazas. Try a few chocolate confections at Kilwins Chocolates, Fudge & Ice Cream, or maybe take home an interesting foodie souvenir from Oil & Vinegar. If you're hungry, grab a seat at Roost Restaurant. Feeling creative? Join a candle-making class at Magnolia Scents by Design near NOMA. If you’re at ONE, you can grab a table outdoors for a meal at Sassafras Southern Bistro, Tupelo Honey, or Cantina 76, and later browse the clothing selections at Anthropologie.
Greenville County is home to numerous parks and greenspaces that are free to enjoy. For the kids, visit the Children’s Garden at Linky Stone Park, a unique garden that features interactive displays for young ones.
In the warmer months, make sure to pay a visit to one of three Greenville County Waterparks. For dog-lovers, each year in the early fall, Discovery Island and Otter Creek waterparks both host Waggin’ at the Waterpark—events just for pups!
This historic grocery store-turned museum houses artifacts and exhibits related to Travelers Rest and surrounding areas, highlighting the history of the town being a “resting place” for people traveling through the mountains to the coast and beyond.
While in TR (as the locals call it), visit the downtown area and peruse the shops and dining in this quaint local town like Tandem Creperie and Coffeehouse and The Carolina Honey Bee Company. You can also head one block over to Upcountry Provisions Bakery and Bistro for freshly baked breads and other delicious and tempting baked goods.
Designated an “Important Bird Area of Global Significance” by the National Audubon Society, this nature preserve’s 400 acres of beautiful natural habitat is a true treat for any nature lover. Not only can you see birds here, but you can find numerous other species of animals like deer, raccoon, beaver, fox, river otter, and various other small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
Once each month, the preserve hosts fun, learning-based Knee-High Naturalists events led by local educators where kids will be able to do various activities like building fairy houses. Keep an eye out for these special events on our Events page.