Exotic plants, dinosaurs and amazing nature sculpture at the SC Botanical Garden (free things to do with kids around Greenville)

SC Botanical Garden welcomes you to 295 acres of woodlands and streams, award winning exotic gardens, a 70 acre arboretum, and miles of gentle hiking trails decorated with incredible nature based sculptures. The garden grounds are free to attend and open year around from dawn till dusk.

Nature based sculpture at SC Botanical Garden

Notable attractions to see at the SC Botanical Garden

1. Bob Campbell Geology Museum – come see Clemson’s oldest tiger the Saber-toothed cat, hunt for gems, admire beautiful glowing rocks like the rose quartz and pegmatite and dig up some fossils. Open Wednesday to Saturday 10AM – 5PM and Sunday 1PM – 5PM (closed on Clemson University holidays). Admission fee: Adult $3, children $2, under 2 years is FREE. Free admission on every 3rd weekend!

Mining headframe at the Geology Museum inside SC Botanical Garden

2. Fran Hanson Discovery Center – home to the Botanical Garden visitor center provides maps and area attractions info. It features the Elizabeth Belser Fuller gallery and selective art by prominent SC artists. Kids will enjoy exploring the interactive exhibits inside the Nature Discovery room. Open Monday thru Saturday 10AM to 4PM.

Welcome to the SC Botanical Garden at Clemson

3. Hanover House – 1716 French Huguenot house, listed on National Register of Historic places. Open Saturday 10AM -12PM and Sunday 2PM – 4:30PM; closed on home football games. Call (864)-656-4789 for group tours reservations.

Hanover House photo

4. Nature-based sculpture – country’s largest nature-based outdoor sculpture collection by artists from all over the world.

Inside the tree sculpture at SC Botanical Garden

5. Hosta Garden – one of the largest collections of hostas in the Southeast featuring a lavish pond waterfall and shaded walking trails.

Smelling pretty Japanese plant at SC Botanical Garden

6. Hunt Family cabin – 1826 pioneer cabin located near the pretty Duck Pond it’s a great place to experience grassroots heritage programs held throughout the year.

7. Clemson Southern Caboose – legacy of the Class of 39th. This little red train will delight kids of all ages. Make sure to stop by the Heritage Garden nearby to learn more about Clemson University history.

Clemson Southern train photo at SC Botanical Garden

We were amused by the old-school disciplinary methods applied to the young soldier pupils. Must have been something quite important since they dedicated a plaque to it!

Disciplining pupils old school!

More area attractions and FREE things to do with kids:

• Pendleton historic houses (Farmer’s Hall, Ashtabula, Woodburn) and art district
• Duke’s World of Energy Museum
• Stumphouse Tunnel and Issaqueena Falls
Hagood Mill and Pickens County Museum of History and Art

Here is the Google Map with all the free and under $5 must see attractions around Greenville, Oconee and Devils Fork State parks.

Hosta Garden

Discover the beautiful gardens and mysterious dinosaurs of the South Carolina Upcountry!


2 Responses

  1. We have a summer camp with about 60-70 kids and we are interested in taking a fieldtrip to the sc botanical gardens. Would you please email me some information about setting that up and prices.

    Thank you,
    Candice Ehlenbach
    Assistant Director
    Abundant Life CDC

    • Hi Candice

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m not affiliated with the SC Botanical Gardens I just wrote about them since we had such a great time on our visit last year. Here is their contact info I’m sure they’ll love to accommodate you:

      Contact Dr. Lisa Wagner email: lwagner@clemson.edu or call 864-656-3679 to schedule your next school or group Garden program!

      Meanwhile here is a link that has lots of info about school groups tours as well as a registration form

      Have fun on your school trip!


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