downtowngreenvillegirl











{January 6, 2012}   DTGVL’s Sure Cure for Your Kid’s Cabin Fever

Winter can be pretty miserable in many parts of the country, trapping kids & their harried parents inside for days at a time. Here in the Upstate, we are often blessed with unexpectedly Spring-like weather in the middle of January – usually right before or right after a bout with bad weather (I think it’s Mother Nature’s apology for all those ice storms). So, on those wonderful days when the sky is a perfect shade of Carolina blue and the temps are delightfully mild, corral the kids and head Downtown for a little family fun.

The first destination of your Downtown excursion should be The Children’s Museum of the Upstate.(www.tcmgreenvillesc.org) Located in Heritage Green on College Street, this interactive museum, complete with ever-changing, kid-friendly exhibits, is a favorite among parents & children alike. With everything from cooking classes to art projects, TCM offers plenty of activities to keep young minds & little hands busy! Sharing the Heritage Green location are the Upcountry History Museum (www.upcountryhistory.org) and the Hughes Main Library (www.greenvillelibrary.org). Kids will love the passle of piggies that greet them at the door as the museum allows them to truly experience Greenville’s diverse history. After your museum visit, hop next door to the library, where your little ones can choose from a variety of fun and informative activities to feed their imaginations (there are even cool projects for bored teens and tweens).

Back on Main Street, at the Hyatt’s fountain, you will discover another of Downtown Greenville’s favorite attractions – the Mice on Main. Scattered in clever hiding places all along a seven-block stretch, these adorable bronze sculptures were inspired by the book, Goodnight Moon, and proposed by high school student, Jimmy Ryan for his senior project. Download clues from their website, www.miceonmain.net for a fun-filled scavenger hunt. Later, take a break from scouting for mice and duck into Mast General Store. With huge barrels of candy and vintage-style toys, you’ll think you took a step back in time to your grandparents’childhood. While you’re there, look for the Mice on Main book and game as souveniers of your family outing.

Downtown Greenville offers a variety of beautiful public parks. One of the most unique is Linky Stone Park, located just behind the Peace Center. This delightful children’s garden is filled with fun, interactive elements that appeal to all ages. The statues of favorite childhood characters such as Winnie the Pooh will bring out the kid in even the most serious of adults. A few blocks down Main Street is the centerpiece of Downtown, Falls Park. A perfect setting for the Reedy River Falls, this park is truly a labor of love by the City of Greenville and the Carolina Foothills Garden Club. Take a stroll on Liberty Bridge, a world-class pedestrian bridge than offers spectacular views of the Falls. Run off any excess energy with a hike on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a system of trails and pathways created to link Upstate residents and visitors to the great outdoors. The Downtown portion connects Falls Park to nearby Cleveland Park. As Greenville’s most extensive recreation area, Cleveland Park boasts the city’s largest playground, as well as jogging trails, tennis courts and exercise equipment. Located in the park is the Greenville Zoo (www.greenvillezoo.com), where you can visit giraffes, lions, orangutans, bright pink flamingoes and a petting zoo of farm animals. Open daily (except on certain holidays) the Zoo offers fun for everyone.

Your kids will agree that the perfect ending for this fun-filled day is a sweet treat. Located at the West End Market, near Falls Park, is Coffee to a Tea. With yummy cookies and fanciful cakes that are almost to pretty to eat, this cafe also has a Storytime Hour for kids on Tuesday mornings. If you prefer to head back up Main Street, stop by the Marble Slab Creamery for a delicious frozen treat with your choice of toppings or pop in The Chocolate Moose for a wide assortment of delectable cupcakes (the Key Lime and Red Velvet are my favorites). Craving a hot dog? Check out one of the many hot dog vending carts found along Main, for a “big city” lunch experience.

Downtown offers a fun-filled day for everyone from 1 to 101. For a daily list of activities, visit the Downtown Greenville, SC Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/DowntownGreenvilleSC). Also, check out these additional family-friendly attractions:

South Carolina Children’s TheatreThis unique theatrical venue offers performances targeted to young audiences. SCCT also gives children of all ages and backgrounds the chance to become a part of Greenville’s theatre community through classes, workshops, volunteer opportunities and auditions for parts in live productions. For more information, visit: www.scchildrenstheatre.org.

McPherson Park– Located on the corner of Main and Park Avenue, McPherson is Greenville’s oldest park. Opened in 1884, this charming little park includes a playground, lighted tennis courts and a bring-your-own-clubs putt-putt course, as well as a log cabin craft store and a large covered gazebo for gatherings.

Trolley Rides– The City of Greenville provides freetrolley rides on Thursday & Friday (6PM-11PM), all day Saturday (10AM-11PM) and Sunday (1PM – 8PM). Trolley stops start at North Main at Horizon Records and continue down Main Street and the West End. It’s a great, relaxing way to tour Downtown Greenville!

Reedy River Rickshaw– Rickshaw Rides for tips are offered in Downtown Greenville during evening hours every weekday except Monday and from noon until the wee hours on weekends. For details, see www. RRRickshaw.com.

Reedy Rides– Bicycle rentals are available every day through Reedy Rides. Great for pedaling down the bike friendly lanes on Downtown streets and exploring the Swamp Rabbit Trail. For rates and reservations, visit www.reedyrides.com.

Greenville Road Warriors-Catch hockey fever when the Road Warriors are in town! Greenville’s ECHL team can be seen every Fall & Winter at the BILO Center. For a team schedule, roster and ticket information, visit: www.GreenvilleRoadWarriors.com

Greenville Drive Greenville’s minor league baseball team shows the Upstate’s long-time love of America’s favorite sport. Every Spring, Fluor Field comes alive with cheering fans. For a team schedule, roster and ticket information, visit: www.greenvilledrive.com

Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum Located in the former home of baseball legend and Greenville native, Shoeless Joe Jackson, this free museum is a must-see for sports fans! Open every Saturday, 10AM – 2PM, the museum displays many of Joe’s personal effects as well as items of historic significance to the early days of professional baseball. For more info, see www.shoelessjoejackson.org.

Greenville History Tours– Discover Greenville’s rich, diverse history with walking tours of Downtown. Tours are available on weekday evenings and at various times throughout the day on weekends. Children under 10 are free with a paying adult. For more information and reservations, visit www.greenvillehistorytours or call 864-567-3940.

Greenville Ghost Tours– Want a tour so good it’s scary? This tour invites you to explore Downtown’s spooky side. Tours are available every weekend in September and October and by appointment the rest of the year. For more information and reservations, call 864-248-6472 or visit www.GreenvilleGhost.com.

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