Our southern charm and easy-going attitude make Columbia a great place for families. Here, we have more things for the whole family to do than hours to do them.
Take the entire gang to the Riverbanks Zoo for animal spotting, giraffe feeding, and adventure seeking. This is not your average zoo with its Waterfall Junction, zip line canopy tour, rock climbing wall, and sky-high safari vertical ropes challenge. The zoo also features family-friendly signature events throughout the year, like Boo at the Zoo, Lights Before Christmas, and summer movies at the amphitheater.
Our museums also go above and beyond to create fun for the whole family. Take one step into EdVenture, our children’s museum, and you’ll spot Eddie, a 40-foot tall, 10-year-old-boy that kids can climb to explore the human brain, heart, and stomach. From there, visit the busy bee farm or the neighborhood market, and be sure to check out the exhibits. Sit in the cockpit at the FLIGHT exhibit, and experience the sensation of flying over Columbia.
EdVenture shares a parking lot with the South Carolina State Museum, making it easy to keep the learning going. With four floors of art, science, history, and technology exhibits, the whole family will dig this spot. They’ve got a digital planetarium, 4D interactive theater, and Boeing observatory deck as well as a constant cycle of exhibits.
On Saturdays, head downtown with the family to the Soda City Market. Grab some Carolina popcorn, boiled peanuts, and coffee from Indah to keep everyone content while you stroll Main Street. The kids will likely have their pick of balloon animals or face painting, and they can watch their peers perform magic tricks and the like. All the while, you can grab some fresh produce and locally made gifts. Don’t forget to stop in at Mast General. Your kids will like the barrels of candy and old-timey toys, and you can peak at some breezy outdoor fashion or the latest camping gear.
From there, check out the Columbia Museum of Art, just off Boyd Plaza in the heart of Soda City. The Museum offers gallery scavenger hunts, art explorer backpacks, and a hands-on creative space to keep kids engaged while touring the Museum.
We’ve also got tons of options to explore the great outdoors. If you’re a hiking family, lace up your boots and head to Congaree National Park, South Carolina’s only National Park. Looking to kayak, canoe, or picnic? Saluda Shoals, located along the banks of the Saluda River, is a great place to spend the day. Their splash pad is perfect to keep the little ones cool and entertained on a toasty summer day.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed experience with nature, enjoy the summer movie series at Finlay Park. Every other Friday, they feature a pre-show activity, like trivia or karaoke, followed by a family-friendly flick. Don’t forget a picnic, blankets, and lawn chairs.
Need to burn some more energy? Go bananas at Frankie’s Fun Park. They’ve got an arcade, mini golf, go-carts, and more. Or give Plex HiWire a try. The trampoline park has locations in Irmo and Northeast Columbia. We’ve seen 12-year-olds and 30-year-olds enjoy jumping into foam pits.
Celebrate America’s pastime cheering on the Columbia Fireflies, our minor league baseball team. The entertainment never stops here, with themed fan nights, contests between innings, and fireworks following the game. Need a break? Send the little ones to the kids zone just off the third baseline, while you appreciate the game and take in the 2016 Ballpark of the Year.
There you have it – whether you’re looking to spend time relaxing on the river or to experience jam-packed entertainment, we’ve got you covered in Columbia.