Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Mauldin, SC

  • Published 2022/12/30

In stunning Upstate South Carolina lies the progressive city of Mauldin, a place worth exploring.

Mauldin was named after Lieutenant Governor W.L. Mauldin.

Its history dates back to 1784 when Benjamin Griffith was awarded 100 acres, becoming one of the pioneer settlers in the area now known as Mauldin.

Based on the National Council for Home Safety and Security, Mauldin is fifth on the list of the safest cities in South Carolina.

This city in Greenville County offers a bevy of free attractions perfect for families who want to enjoy but are on a tight budget.

The city’s renowned Cultural Center is home to more than 1,000 events annually, mostly family-oriented.

You’ll enjoy many exciting activities and attractions with your family, from arts and food to live music and other outdoor events.

If you’re curious about what the city has to offer, these are the free things to do in Mauldin, South Carolina:

Listen to Your Favorite Beach Hits at Beachin’ Fridays

If you’re seeking summer entertainment or want to hear your favorite beach hits, watch out for Beachin’ Fridays.

Since 2016, this concert series has brought the best beach music scene to Mauldin, attracting many people from all over the Upstate.

Located on East Butler Road, the Mauldin Cultural Center’s Outdoor Amphitheater hosts this popular evening event.

Don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes, blankets, lawn chairs, and even your leashed dogs.

Beachin’ Fridays also features shag dancing, outdoor shows, food trucks, beer and wine, and a beautiful fireworks display on the finale.

As entrance and all shows are free, mark the Friday nights of your June and July calendar for this fun event.

Explore the Mauldin Makers Market

On second Tuesdays from April to November, residents, and guests flock to the Mauldin Farmers Market or the Mauldin Makers Market.

It’s accessible via the Mauldin Cultural Center’s Outdoor Amphitheater.

Various vendors from around the upstate sell locally produced and sourced items, from fresh produce and baked goods to gifts, clothing, and accessories.

It’s a great place to stroll with your family and dogs on a leash without spending money since parking and admission are free.

Mauldin Makers Market’s food trucks, live music, and children’s activities make it more fun and unique.

Bring Your Family to the SOOIE Mauldin BBQ Cook-Off

The annual SOOIE Mauldin BBQ Cook-Off is a famous festival in Mauldin that highlights the community’s heritage.

The two-day festivity features food, live music, kids’ activities, and family fun.

The festival’s main event is the BBQ cook-off competition, where more than 20 cooks from all over the Southeast compete to bring the best BBQ to the city.

This competition comes with a panel of certified BBQ judges, and the public can also vote for the best BBQ and People’s Choice Award winner.

Meanwhile, the “Anything Butt” competition is not to be missed, as participating cooks serve mouthwatering side dishes and anything but BBQ.

Not only admission and parking are free at the SOOIE Mauldin BBQ Cook-Off, but also the great live music and kids’ zone.

Don’t miss this family-friendly festival in September at the Mauldin Cultural Center’s Outdoor Amphitheater!

Watch Multiple Trains Running on the Layout at the Trains, Trains and More Trains

Catch the popular Trains, Trains and More Trains at the Mauldin Cultural Center in the fall season.

The Mauldin Chamber of Commerce organizes this annual interactive model train show at the Mauldin Cultural Center.

This must-see event is held for two weekends in September.

The Atlantic Coast S Gaugers put on this exhibit featuring the largest push button-operated interactive N and S Scale train layouts on the East Coast.

Layouts include American flyer trains from the 1940s and 1950s.

There are also working accessories, including a log loader, sawmill, outhouse door, and more that children and adults can operate.

You can also see the Thomas the Tank Engine train from Thomas’ Cab.

If you haven’t been to a huge train show, the Trains, Trains and More Trains is perfect for people of all ages, especially kids and those who love trains.

View Impressive Sculptures at the Mauldin Public Art Trail

If you’re a fan of art, you shouldn’t miss out on viewing astounding artwork at the Mauldin Public Art Trail.

It’s a yearly program that started in December 2014 to beautify the community by displaying public art by talented South Carolina artists.

New artwork, which exemplifies the annual theme, is selected each year to fill the remaining sites along the perimeter of the Outdoor Amphitheater.

The latest addition installed to the trail as of this writing is “Community in Flux” by Carey Morton, which exemplifies the theme “Heroes and Leaders.”

Every decade, a new slate of artwork replaces the oldest installation, which will be relocated to other spaces around the community.

The Mauldin Public Art Trail is an excellent way of showcasing the outstanding talent of artists that residents and visitors alike can view outdoors.

Groove to Blues and Jazz Music at the Pizza, Blues & Jazz Festival and Arts Market

Those who love pizza, blues, jazz, and arts should head to the Mauldin Outdoor Amphitheater in April.

Pizza, Blues & Jazz Festival and Arts Market is a fun festival where you can sink your teeth into delicious pizza and enjoy it with beer and wine.

The annual festivity features live blues and jazz bands, perfect for those who enjoy these music genres.

You can also browse a variety of items, including paintings, pottery, jewelry, candles, and more, from local art vendors.

You can also bring your leashed dogs to the Pizza, Blues & Jazz Festival and Arts Market.

Feel the Holiday Spirit at the Mauldin Christmas Parade

In the city of Mauldin, the annual Mauldin Christmas Parade is a spectacular moment in welcoming the holiday season.

The Mauldin Christmas Parade occurs in December at the Mauldin Cultural Center’s Outdoor Amphitheater.

It features the annual Christmas parade, which begins at Mauldin High School and finishes at the Cultural Center.

Mauldin’s Annual Tree Lighting ceremony is where everyone can see the tree light up with charming glittering lights.

There’s also a Holiday Market with many vendors around, live holiday music, and performances by local community groups.

Your whole family, including your leashed dogs, shouldn’t skip the Pictures with Santa for a beautiful memory to remember.

Make sure to bring chairs for this free magical event with the family and community!

Let the Kids Frolick at the Annual Community Egg Drop

If you’re on the lookout for a fun event for your kids, take them to the annual community Egg Drop.

This popular free event for the whole family takes place at Sunset Park on Fowler Circle.

Kids are divided into age groups and assigned to designated fields.

A helicopter drops thousands of eggs filled with treats that kids can enjoy collecting and filling their Easter baskets.

There are also games, inflatables, face painting, music, and other family-friendly activities.

Make sure to arrive early, as the one-day Annual Community Egg Drop draws a large crowd.

Watch Performances at National Night Out

National Night Out is a celebration in the city hosted by the Mauldin Police Department.

What makes it exceptional is its promotion of strengthening police-community relationships.

National Night Out also helps increase awareness of community crime and drug prevention.

The fun activities at National Night Out include face painting, bounce houses, a K-9 demonstration, a petting zoo, musical performances, and more.

You’ll also enjoy free food and drinks like hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, snow cones, cotton candy, chips, and soda.

Likewise, you can get to meet and talk with police officers.

There’s much more that children and adults can enjoy at this fun annual tradition.

Spend a Relaxing Afternoon at Mauldin City Park

Mauldin City Park is one of the oldest parks in the city.

Here you can explore the walking trail and take your kids to the playground.

There are also a lot of green spaces to sit in, read a book, or watch a game.

The park is an ideal spot to enjoy a relaxing afternoon in a tranquil setting.

Other amenities include a basketball court, baseball diamonds, and picnic shelters.

Mauldin City Park is situated along East Butler Road.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go Birdwatching at the Conestee Nature Preserve

You can never go wrong at the Conestee Nature Preserve, previously the Lake Conestee Nature Park.

It’s an oasis with recreational, educational, environmental, and historical value.

Lake Conestee was created when the Reedy River was dammed to provide power to Conestee Mill in 1892.

At the 640-acre preserve, you can enjoy a bevy of activities, including hiking, biking, birdwatching, wildlife viewing, and photography.

It has over 13 miles of trails and boardwalks, 40 self-guided learning stations, and 11 wildlife viewing decks.

Its main trailhead is on Mauldin Road, while its main office sits on Conestee Road, 2.5 miles from Mauldin.

A wide variety of animals inhabit the natural habitat of Conestee Nature Preserve, including deer, beavers, raccoons, great blue herons, and rusty blackbirds.

If you love exploring the great outdoors and nature, join the more than 100,000 annual visitors who enjoy the beauty of Conestee Nature Preserve.

View Fascinating Military Memorabilia at the Military History Center of the Carolinas

If you’re interested in military and history, visit the Military History Center of the Carolinas.

This museum honors the veterans, preserves American military history, and conducts community service events.

Here, you can view a fascinating collection of military items from the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, up to the present.

Memorabilia include military uniforms, vehicles, medals, helmets, and a rare Model T ambulance from World War I.

You may also take a tour of the Military History Center of the Carolinas to dig deeper into the stories of the exhibits and veterans.

The Military History Center of the Carolinas lies on Airport Road Extension, around 15 minutes from Mauldin.

Admission is free, and it’s open on the weekends, so make sure to take your kids so they can enjoy it, too.

Bike along Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail

Take a break from the city’s hustle and bustle and explore the 22-mile Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail.

Since its opening in 2009, it has offered recreation, fitness areas, and community transportation throughout Greenville County, 23 minutes from Mauldin.

This long trail is best for outdoor activities like hiking, running, biking with family and friends, and walking with your dog.

During your trip, you’ll find many charming parks, including Trailblazer Park, Poinsett Park, and Falls Park.

Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail is an excellent way to enjoy the spectacular wonders of nature.

Visit Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library

The Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library is a beautiful attraction that baseball fans and museumgoers should check out.

It is dedicated to Joe Jackson, one of the top baseball players during the early 1900s.

The museum, which was his original home, houses loads of authentic artifacts, photographs, books, and other interesting items related to his life and career.

Before it was moved to its current location on Field Street, this museum was initially situated at 119 East Wilburn Street.

The Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library offers free admission and two-hour parking.

It is a 19-minute drive from Mauldin.

Check Out Impressive Exhibits at the Greenville County Museum of Art

The Greenville County Museum of Art is among the prime American art museums in South Carolina.

It has a Southern collection of American art, from Federal portraits to contemporary conceptual works.

The museum is known for housing the world’s largest collection of watercolors by legendary American artist Andrew Wyeth.

You’ll also find famous South Carolina contemporary artist Jasper Johns’s awe-inspiring collection of paintings and prints here.

Likewise, there’s always something new to check out on display since the museum also has rotating exhibits.

If you’re an art lover and seek a free attraction, visit the Greenville County Museum of Art on Greenville’s College Street, a 20-minute drive from Mauldin.

Final Thoughts

Mauldin is a charming destination because of its arts, parks, family-friendly festivals, and other attractions.

Visiting this diverse city won’t burn a hole in your pocket since there are plenty of things to do for free.

Check out these free things to do in Mauldin, South Carolina, with your family!

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