24 hours in Greenville, SC with kids

Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery is my #1 favorite Instagram page. Their photos are tops - I drool at all their food photos, awesome local products (Hello Sweet’s Syrup!!), and they host the BEST events - I wish Greenville, SC, was closer! If you’ve never been, I highly recommend - it’s a very special place!

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I saw their post on June 25th about the next day being “Make Believe Day” - complete with fort building, face painting, fairy hair, Rapunzel, a Disney dance party and story time. Since we had ZERO plans for the weekend, I made super-last-minute plans for a fun, impromptu visit. I was able to incorporate a few Sweet’s deliveries to Greenville and Spartanburg. I just love mixing business and fun!

I used to travel ALL THE TIME to Greenville of the South (seems like every state has a Greenville…) when I was in medical sales. It has always been one of my favorite cities. I could easily live there. Back when I had my Johnson & Johnson corporate card, I would always stay at the Westin Poinsett, which is a gorgeous historic hotel downtown. I stalked George Clooney when he stayed there while filming “Leatherheads” and spotted him a few times, along with John Krazinski and Renee Zellweger!

When I did a Hotwire “Hot Fare” search and found a room at the Westin for $115 it was a no-brainer. Tip: I LOVE these Hotwire “Hot Fares” and you can figure out what hotel you are getting by looking at the number of reviews and comparing it to the other hotels that are NOT “Hot Fares.” Then I always call the hotel and try to book direct - and most of the time they will do it! This is what the Westin deal looks like….

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We got to Swamp Rabbit around 2:00 and the kids had a blast. The event was so well done and kids everywhere were having a big time! All the employees were dressed up and totally into it. The face painting crew was PHENOMENAL.

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Bonus for parents: They have beers, FROSE and other drinks on tap. Olivia and Teddy did it ALL. They made fairy wands, built forts, played in the play area, got their faces painted, hung out with Rapunzel, and drew pictures.

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We spent FIVE hours playing at Swamp Rabbit. We had delicious pizza and headed for the hotel, a short 9 minute drive. I would be comfortable betting any event Swamp Rabbit puts on is a great time. Ffollow them @swamprabbitcafe. I promise you’ll love it!

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The kids LOVED the hotel. (They actually call all hotels a “condor” because Olivia called my parent’s beach condo a “condor” and I’ve never corrected her, because it cracks me up. Teddy says it too, ha!) Their lobby is absolutely gorgeous and if you’re kid f-free they have an awesome bar (maybe next time). My kids love “green muffins” (here is the recipe - great way to hide veggies!) for breakfast, so I brought a few and popped them into the room mini-fridge so they could eat them first thing Saturday.

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When we left the hotel I was surprised and SO HAPPY there was a Saturday Street Market. That’s my HAPPY PLACE! Main Street had vendor tents on each side of the street - all local, awesome stuff. I was excited to see Swamp Rabbit had a tent and a huge long line. I was also thrilled to see Kuka Juice, another Sweet’s vendor. Their “UnBeetable” is ridiculously good. Bellews Market and their gorgeous peaches and berries represented too! I bought two beautiful Pilea Peperomioides for only $10 each, a big score in my book. One of my favorite things is going to markets where I can support local artisans and farmers. and they had some GOOD ones there!

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For breakfast we went to Maple Street Biscuit Company, which I highly, highly recommend. They offer “comfort food with a modern twist.” I later discovered they’re a chain, but it was still really good and had a very local feel! This was definitely a splurge meal, as I don't indulge in biscuits often, but it was a worthwhile treat! I ordered “The Iron Goat,” which was a goat cheese medallion with sautéed spinach on a biscuit. Devoured it. The kids loved theirs too. We will definitely return to this place!

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BIG TIP: Bring water shoes for your kids to wear when exploring Greenville. There are many awesome water fountains, splash pads and water features for them to play in. In every block there was another place to get wet. An awesome and very beautiful area is “One City Plaza” over by Anthropologie, Tupulo Honey, and ALOFT Hotel. The kids took off their shoes and spent a good hour playing around in the fountains. This spot had lots of shade, but there were others that we avoided that were full sun (the one over across the bridge in Falls Park by the shops was full sun). The kids had so much fun (and it was FREE!!). We passed Pure on Main, which is an awesome wellness store (woman owned!) that are the absolute experts on detox and cleanses - they weren’t open yet, but I highly recommend a visit!

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We continued to head down Main Street to Falls Park on the Reedy and had so much fun playing in the creek under the bridge - was shady, clean and a hit. Had a snack there and the kids played on the rocks and with the sand for a good hour. Again, bring water shoes!!

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Teddy and Olivia had such a great time at Swamp Rabbit they kept begging to go back, so we ate lunch there. So glad we did, my salad did not disappoint - even better than their gorgeous photos! I love finding a place that has healthy options for me and the kids. Stocked up on groceries, bought a t-shirt (so cool, saw them all over Greenville), and the kids played for another hour in their play area while enjoying a frose!

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Highly recommend a quick visit (or make it longer!) to Greenville with the fam - everything we did was free and easy to navigate. Let me know if you find any other favorites for our next stay!







Stephanie Rickenbaker