Whether you're a visitor looking for a family adventure or a local looking to have a family day of fun, here are some things to do with the kids in tow:
EdVenture® is the South's largest children's museum and also boasts the World's Largest Child - or, as we like to call him, EDDIE®. Weighing in at 35,000 pounds and sitting at 40-feet-tall, EDDIE® is one huge addition to the Southeast's largest children's museum and also serves as an interactive exhibit for visitors. The museum also features rotating exhibits that are sure to delight, such as this spring and summer's "Blooming Butterflies."
At the zoo, that is. With more than 2,000 animals, a botanical garden and interactive things to do, Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens is a day in itself. Feed the giraffes or the lorikeets, go above and beyond at the Sky High Safari, get up close to some 'roos at the Kangaroo Walkabout, climb the rockwall or ride some ponies during your trip.
How about getting back to nature? Head to Saluda Shoals Park to rent kayaks or canoes for the family and cruise down the Saluda River. If you don't want to get in the river, kids love Saluda Shoals' splash pad. The park also offers picnic areas and bike rentals with paved trails.
Just outside of downtown Columbia, SC is Congaree National Park, South Carolina's only national park. It's free, and, in addition to wooded trails throughout the park, the elevated boardwalk gives you a better look at the old growth bottomland hardwood forest around you. Find more parks and outdoors.
Check out Soda City
Grab the kids (and the dogs, if you've got 'em!) and head downtown to explore Soda City - Columbia SC's Main Street market. Every Saturday 9AM-1PM, rain or shine!
Find Sally Salamander
Walking tours are a perfect way to enjoy beautiful weather and experience the capital city. Follow the official state amphibian, Sally the Salamander, on a walking tour through Columbia's downtown streets. She starts at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center and finds her way to many of Columbia's major landmarks.
Explore the past
Get a peek into the past at the South Carolina State House, where you can learn about South Carolina's most iconic building. Then, check out the South Carolina State Museum to get a hands-on learning experience of the state's past, from its natural history through its contributions to space exploration. Kids love looking at the Museum's giant shark suspended from the ceiling! Find more museums.
Take a trip to the theatre
The Columbia Children's Theatre or Columbia Marionette Theatre offer shows year-round that delight kids and adults alike. For a list of performances, search for theatre events on our calendar.
Read a story
A library you don't want to miss, Richland Library features a children's room with a mural of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, the first and only place where Sendak has allowed his work to be used as public art. Storytimes for younger children, like a "pajamarama" and family storytime, will take your kids on a journey into their imaginations.
Looking for more fun in Columbia SC? Check out our Things To Do page.