35+ Things to Do with Grandparents in the Upstate

Are you looking for things to do with grandparents in Greenville, SC and across the Upstate? The grandparents are coming to visit your family in Upstate, SC, which is great! But what do you do with them together while they are visiting? We have a lot of ideas for you, most of which are based upon our own experiences with grandparents visiting. We’ve broken our list down by activity level.

I treasure the relationships my own kids have with their grandparents and wanted to do things with all of them to help strengthen those bonds while having fun. Hopefully, you get some good ideas here and are able to spend some quality time together with your grandparents when they are visiting you in Greenville, SC.

We organized the list according to activity level, from low to high. Low is the easiest and has the least amount of walking around while high is the opposite.

This article includes:
Low Activity Level Things to Do With Grandparents in Greenville, SC
Medium Activity Level Things to Do With Grandparents Near Greenville
High Activity Level Things to Do With Grandparents

Low Activity Level Things to Do with Grandparents

Treehouse Cafe & Art Studio

This is such a fun place in Travelers Rest to take grandparents as they can do some art with their grandkids in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. Coffee, breakfast, and lunch are served there as well.

Model Trains Station

A huge indoor museum that features model trains galore in Taylors is fun for kids and grandparents, especially if they all love trains. There are hands-on exhibits and interactive trains for everyone. Tickets are $10/adults, $6/kids, and $8/seniors.

Pottery Class

Taking a pottery class has been on my list forever and what better time to try it out than with a grandparent and your kids. Hollowed Earth Pottery and In the Potter’s Hands are two great local spots. Prices vary.

First time on a pottery wheel at Hollowed Earth

Paint Your Own Pottery

If you’re not into making your own pottery, painting your own pottery is a great second choice! You can choose from all kinds of different things to paint. The Color Clay Cafe is popular in Greenville and Hearts of Clay in Spartanburg is wonderful. Usually places have a per person fee plus whatever the cost of the piece of pottery you are painting.

Starry Nights at the Robert Mountain Science Center

This is always a winner since the shows are awesome and all you have do is sit there and watch the stars. Be sure to reserve ahead of time since the shows often sell out a month in advance. Tickets are free for RMSC members, $6/adults and $5/kids and seniors.

Upstate Pinball & Arcade Museum

Bring the grandparents to relive some of the fun games they may have played way long ago — and let them introduce your kids to those cooler than cool games at the Upstate Pinball & Arcade Museum in Simpsonville. It’s $10/person for all-day play.

Take a Drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The views are always amazing on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs from Virginia through North Carolina and ends at the Smoky Mountains. I like to jump on near Brevard, NC at the intersection of the Parkway and 276. Take a picnic and drive and stop at the overlooks for gorgeous views! It is closed in the winter and some parts are still closed during the early spring due to ice so check the map before you go.

Visit the Cradle of Forestry

This place is super cool and my kids’ grandmother loved it. It involves a little walking around the building, which has incredible exhibits about forestry, including an indoor helicopter that you and ride in with a video of a forest fire below. They also have events and paved trails and you can visit on your way up to the Blue Ridge Parkway as it’s right on 276 in Pisgah Forest.

Playgrounds

Playgrounds are a good option when grandparents come to visit so they can watch the kids get out their energy. We’d suggest playgrounds that are shaded and playgrounds that are enclosed.

Go See a Play

The Upstate has so many great options for theater. Places such as the SC Children’s Theater, Center Stage, the Logos Theater, Greer Children’s Theatre, the Greenville Theater, the Younts Center for Performing Arts, and the Peace Center all have wonderful lineups. During the summer, the Upstate Shakespeare Festival hosts free shows outdoors.

A Boat Tour on Lake Jocassee

There is no better way to see the wonders and waterfalls of Lake Jocassee. We have gone on multiple excursions with Jocassee Lake Tours and cannot recommend them highly enough. Prices are $50-$60/person.

Waterfall Driving Tour

Take a waterfall driving tour throughout Western NC and visit waterfalls and overlooks that require little to no hiking.

ReCraft

Endless creativity abounds at ReCraft for kids of all ages. You can make whatever your heart desires with the abundance of recycled material. Kids are free and adults are $10.

Roller Skating

This is going under the low activity level category if grandparents want to watch their kids roller skate. Feel free to put it in the high activity level category if the grandparents want to skate themselves! Prices vary per location.

Happy Cow Creamery

Touring Happy Cow Creamery in Pelzer is a lot of fun as you get on a big wagon and learn all about the history of the farm and get to see the cows that make the milk. Tours are $8/person and must be booked in advance and run from about late March to November, depending on the weather.

Topgolf

Grandparents can have fun either playing or watching! You can order food and drinks here as well and they have kids clubs. You pay per hour to rent each bay. Pricing starts at $27/hour per bay (half price on Tuesdays) and varies by time of day and day of the week.

For a lower budget option, check out Spring Park Golf Range in Travelers Rest. Just buy a bucket or two of balls (prices range from $5 to $16 depending on the size of the bucket). If you don’t have clubs, they can be rented here for $5. The Whistle Stop Cafe is right next door and they even have an outdoor window where you can buy select menu items to enjoy at the range. Tip: pack some camp chairs to put on the lawn and watch your golfers.

Home Depot/Lowe’s Kids Workshops

My dad loves doing this with his grandkids and it’s super fun, easy, and free. Both the Home Depot and Lowe’s have their kid’s workshops back in person now.

Library Events

The Greenville Library has so many awesome programs from Family Craft Night to Story Time to painting and science experiments. Plus, most branches have a play area for kids with comfy seating.

Ballyhoo Petting Zoo

The only dedicated petting zoo in our area, Ballyhoo has lots of adorable animals ready to cuddle and feed. It’s small and doesn’t include a lot of walking. Admission is $9/adult, $8/senior, $7/kids ages 3-15.

Bowling

You can sign your kids up for Kids Bowl Free during the summer, which is so fun and easy to bring the grandparents along to. There are other bowling alleys in our area as well.

Medium Activity Level Things to Do with Grandparents

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate

Both locations of TCMU in Greenville and Spartanburg are wonderful choices for grandparents to go with their grandkids. There are places to sit and watch the kids plus exhibits to interact with. Tickets are free for members and $6/person at the Spartanburg location and $15/person at the Greenville location.

Takeoff Mini Golf

The new aviation-themed mini-golf course right next to the popular Runway Park in Greenville is a lot of fun. Even grandparents who have no idea how to golf (or kids for that matter) will enjoy this place. It’s not a huge course so doable for even those with limited walking abilities. Admission for a round of mini-golf is $11.50/adult and $9.50/kids.

Greenville Zoo

The Greenville Zoo, while small in size, packs a punch in the variety of animals they have. There are also benches for rest and shaded areas. It’s about a mile loop to walk the whole thing. You can rent a wheelchair if needed for $8. Admission is $12/adults, $11/seniors, $8/children ages 3-12.

Split Creek Farm Self-Guided Tour

The small, Grade A dairy farm in Anderson has self-guided tours available during visiting hours on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s not a long walk at all and there are goats, and in the spring, baby goats!

Trolley Rides around Greenville

My kids love riding the free trolley around Greenville and it’s fun for grandparents to do as well. There will be some walking just depending on where you pick up the trolley and where you want to go.

Greenville Drive Game

Take your grandparents out to a summer ball game at Fluor Field and eat hot dogs and popcorn. Always a good time! Tickets start at $10.

Sandy Mountain Beaches

Most of the sandy mountain beaches involve walking a short distance (or hiking a bit longer) but they are great activities for hot summer months. Many of the places on our list involve an entrance fee.

Pick-Your-Own Farms

There are plenty of tasty spots to pick your own strawberries, peaches, blueberries, and apples, depending on the season. Most places involve at least walking into the berry patch or orchard on uneven ground.

Campbell’s Bridge

The oldest covered bridge in the state also happens to sit on beautiful picnic grounds. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the view. There is a decent-sized, paved hill to get down to the bridge though, and, of course, you’ll have to walk back up to get to your car.

Denver Downs

The trip to Denver Downs is an annual tradition in the fall for my family and the grandparents will come if they are around. It’s a big area so it does involve some walking but there are plenty of places to sit and watch the grandkids have fun.

Oasis Ranch in Seneca

Another mini-golf course that is fun for anyone is out in Seneca and called the Oasis Ranch and features lots of koi ponds. Admission is $12/adults and $8/under 18.

High Activity Level Things to Do with Grandparents

Hiking

If the grandparents are up for some hiking, there are wonderful trails all around the Upstate. Easy ones are here. Plus, the Nalley Brown Nature Park in Easley is a great option.

Biking

The Swamp Rabbit Trail and the Doodle Trail are good options for an easy bike ride along a paved path. You can go on as far or short a ride as you like.

The Biltmore

The famed Biltmore Estate would be a wonderful trip for grandparents who have good mobility. Although you can borrow wheelchairs, they are on a first-come, first-serve basis and there is a lot of walking involved if you want to visit the House and Gardens. Only the first and second floors of the Biltmore House are accessible for wheelchairs as well. Tickets start at around $89 depending on the season.

Ziplining

If you’ve got those kind of grandparents, there are lots of good zip lining options around the Upstate. If the grandparents would rather the kids zip line all over the place, Flying Rabbit Adventures in Greenville is a fantastic option. They have a beautiful, covered terrace where anyone can relax and watch the zipliners.

Festivals

I love, love festivals in Greenville but they will certainly involve a lot of walking around. The Duck Derby, Artisphere, Fall for Greenville, and the Greek Festival are all my favorites and I think are great options for the more active grandparents. The Greek Festival in Greenville involves the least amount of walking, especially if you drop off the grandparents at the entrance.

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