10 fun fall activities to do for newcomers to Greenville
Maybe you just moved to Greenville or maybe you have family or friends visiting? There is a lot of fun and adventure for the whole family to experience during the fall in Greenville and the upstate. In this guest post from local real estate agent Dan Hamilton, you’ll find plenty of activities that will remind you why Greenville is the place to be!
Thanks to Hamilton & Co. for sponsoring Kidding Around.
Greenville is an amazing place whatever the season, but fall is especially noticeable in the upstate. The foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway explodes in color, and temperatures drop steadily after a long summer. Hiking, biking and other popular Greenville activities become even more enjoyable in cooler weather and the season is packed with fun with dozens of festivals and events.
I raised my family in Greenville and discovered so many fun fall activities over the years. Read on as I share some of my family’s favorites as well as some recommendations from my real estate clients who have recently moved to the area.
1. Denver Downs
Denver Downs Farm is a South Carolina farm of the century owned and operated by the Garrison family of Anderson County since 1869. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was established as a cotton farm, converted into a dairy farm , and is still today a working farm dedicated to agrotourism and entertainment!
Denver Downs features a 12 acre corn maze, pumpkin patch, zipline, bonfires, pig races and more! If you love the fall festivities, Denver Downs is the place to be.
My family love to go to Denver Downs in October when the weather turns cold. There are enough activities to keep the kids entertained for hours, and mine especially loves the corn maze. It gets bigger and bigger every year!
There are a few Denver Downs events you won’t want to miss this fall:
- Halloween weekend festivities include costume contests, pig races, a candy cannon and more! See the full Denver Downs weekend lineup here.
- Every Friday and Saturday night from sunset to closing, enjoy a bonfire, live music and S’mores.
Take a virtual tour of Denver Down’s full list of activities using this event photo gallery. It’s definitely a local fall attraction that you won’t want to miss.
2. Apple orchard Justus
There are dozens of amazing apple orchards within hours of Upstate, SC, but our family’s favorite is Justus Orchard.
At Justus, you can pick your own apples or pick some for yourself. Justus also offers a huge selection of baked goods and ciders, including our personal favorites, the Apple Cider Donuts.
In addition to apple picking, Justus has plenty of fun activities for kids, including a playground, farm animals, a bouncing pad and more.
If you love to shop and want a bite to eat (and maybe make up for the sweetness of those donuts!) Hendersonville is only 20 minutes from Justus. Taking a walk through this beautiful mountain town in North Carolina is the perfect way to end a fall day in the mountains. Plus, your kids will love the colorful bear statues on each block that have been expertly painted by local artists.
3. Hike to a waterfall
Waterfalls are a feature of Greenville. There are over 50 waterfalls in Greenville County alone, the most notable running through downtown (have you ever walked through Falls Park on the Reedy?).
If you are looking for more hiking one of my favorites is Wildcat Wayside Falls. About 40 minutes from downtown Greenville, this hike features multiple waterfalls with a variety of hiking times and difficulties depending on your preference.
The Lower Wildcat Falls are easily accessible from the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway and have a cool pool perfect for swimming (maybe expect next summer to get your swimwear out!). Swimming or not, this first fall is magnificent and easily accessible.
The Middle Falls are a short 10 minute hike from the trailhead on a well maintained trail. This hike is perfect for bringing small children and a favorite among my kids. Finally, the Upper Falls features huge boulders and is a moderate 45 minute hike from where you started. This hike is best for older children due to the difficulty of the hike and the dangerous ledges at the base of the falls.
4. The BMW Zentrum Museum
Calling all car enthusiasts! The upstate is home to the only BMW manufacturing plant in the United States (and the BMW plant with the highest production volume in the world!). The BMW Zentrum Museum and Visitor Center is an incredible experience for all ages. Learn about BMW’s history in the United States, get up close to incredible vintage and premium BMW models, and enjoy a meal in the on-site cafe. There’s even a gift shop full of fun souvenirs.
Even if you are not a fan of cars (a few of my family are not) you will enjoy this unique museum.
Note: The Zentrum also organizes tours of the entire BMW factory. Sadly, these are on hold for the time being due to COVID, but you should definitely mark this experience for later!
5. Customer choice! Greenville Classical Academy Fall Festival and Holiday Market
This annual festival is hosted by Greenville Classical Academy (GCA), a local K-12 classical school. This festival is a favorite among some of my real estate clients. There are dozens of local artisan vendors, food trucks, and baked goods, plus a kids’ area with slides, bouncy houses, face painting, and more.
If you love to shop locally, this festival is an amazing place to learn about Greenville small businesses. Plus, the festival takes place in early November, which makes it a great time to do a lot of your Christmas shopping.
6. Greenville Swamp Rabbit Game
If you are new to Greenville, you might be surprised to learn that we have a professional ice hockey team here in town. The Swamp Rabbits are affiliated with the Florida Panthers and the Charlotte Checkers and play their home games in the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in downtown Greenville.
These games are an absolute blast for the whole family. Plus, there are free activities throughout the game, including temporary tattoos, interactive games, and sign making.
Check out Swamp Rabbit’s full season schedule and get a game on your family’s schedule!
7. Flying Rabbit Adventures
Flying Rabbit Adventures is the new way to get out and be active in Greenville. Located in Holland Park, Flying Rabbit offers a 3-story aerial park with many levels of difficulty for all ages. Plus, enjoy other amenities like a barbecue restaurant, brasserie, observation deck and more!
I had the opportunity to speak with Jonathan Simmons, the co-founder of Flying Rabbit, on my radio show My house in Greenville. The outdoor park is so much fun and the perfect family outing now that the weather is cooling off.
8. Marsh Rabbit Trail
One of Greenville’s most iconic attractions, the Swamp Rabbit Trail is a 35-mile (and growing!) Network of biking and hiking trails that stretch from the Blue Ridge Escarpment in the south to Travelers Rest. and Greenville proper. The trail is especially popular in the fall as the days get colder and the leaves are exploding in color.
I love this trail because there are so many different ways to enjoy it. Families with young children who prefer a shorter trip can stroll through Cleveland Historic Park and enjoy some of the city’s most popular playgrounds. Ambitious bikers will enjoy the 10 mile hike from downtown Greenville to Travelers Rest. Although longer, this trip can be accomplished with children (plus a few breaks!)
Speaking of food, there are plenty of great places to stop along the trail if you want a bite to eat. The Swamp Rabbit Cafe is a very popular restaurant and grocery store overlooking the Greenville Trail. If you’re heading to Travelers Rest, Tandem Coffeehouse and Creperie, Topsoil Restaurant, and Shortfields are all great options.
9. The Pumpkin at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church
Dozens of my customers have shared that St. Matthew’s Pumpkin Patch is one of their favorites, and I agree. There are a wide variety of pumpkins to choose from and kids love to pick their favorites. Plus, all profits go to local charities including Rebuild Upstate, United Ministries, etc.
This is just one of many local pumpkin patches. Find out more here.
ten. Customer choice! Caroline’s craft fair
The annual Carolina Craft Fair isn’t something you’ll want to miss. The event takes your family back to the Camelot era, with jousting knights and medieval artisans. The kids are having so much fun dressing up for the festival and living out stories they love.
The festival offers jousting, falconry, more than 150 craft vendors and children’s rides. Special themes are built into the pageantry almost every weekend, from Time Traveler’s Weekend to Halloween Haze and Pirate Christmas. Although I wasn’t myself, many of my clients have recommended this event as a Carolina must-see.
Want to learn more about why Upstate is the perfect place for you and your family?
Contact Dan Hamilton to find out more.
Hamilton & Co. by Keller Williams Greenville Upstate
403 Woods Lake Road, Suite 100
Greenville SC 29607