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Enjoy a Spectacular Puppet Show at the Marionette Theater in Columbia, SC

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Have you been thinking about a family trip to the Columbia Marionette Theater? Are you looking for something “new” to do with your kids? No matter what time of year it is or how old your children are, you will love it at the Marionette Theater! It is such a unique and wholesome opportunity for fun with puppets, bright colors, lights, music, and smiles to be had by all. We’ve got all you need to know to make your trip to the next puppet show a terrific one! 

Looking for more indoor things to do? Check out our list with 30+ more ideas for indoor things to do in Columbia, SC!

Make it to the Marionette 

The Columbia Marionette Theater is somewhere that I have wanted to go for a long time. When my family and I finally got the opportunity to go to a show, it did not disappoint, and I left asking myself why we hadn’t gone sooner!

The building itself is so charming – painted to look like a castle and oh so welcoming. Neither of my kids, but especially my toddler, could get enough of the magic, and the whole way home he was asking when we could go again! 

Marionette Theater in Columbia

It’s Showtime at Columbia’s Marionette Theater! 

The Marionette Theater is a non-profit organization that specializes in puppetry. They host puppet shows every Saturday at 11 am and 3 pm and every third Monday of the month at 10 am. The Saturday shows last about 1 hour – the PERFECT length of time before littles start to get too wiggly! 

The Monday shows are a bit more hands-on than the Saturday shows. At “Marionette Monday”, your kiddos not only get to see the production, but also learn more about the puppets and behind-the-scenes work, try out a puppet, see various puppet demonstrations, and more! 

Each production is shown for about 3 months at a time. You can visit the Marionette Theater website to see current and upcoming shows.

Tickets for the Puppet Shows 

Tickets for the shows cannot be purchased in advance. Have no fear, though, there are 200 seats within the theater, and shows rarely sell out.

Tickets to Marionette Theater are $7 per person and children under 2 years old are free. Senior citizens and active duty military can purchase tickets for $6. 

Stage at Columbia Marionette Theater

Seating Within the Theater 

All seating at the theater is general admission. Because of this, we suggest arriving a few minutes early to secure a great spot! To be sure that kids have the best possible view of the show, the first 3 rows are reserved just for them. Our family sat in the 5th row, and we had a great view the whole time. Even our 3-year-old decided to stay with us and never complained about not being able to see. 

Take Home a Puppet of Your Own 

The gift shop at the Marionette Theater is so charming and cute! With beautiful murals on the walls, puppets everywhere you look and the kindest staff, it will be hard to go home without a little souvenir. They have everything from large puppets to $1 finger puppets and everything in between. 

The gift shop at Marionette Theater
Marionette Theater gift shop

Plan Your Next Birthday Party at the Marionette Theater  

Around the perimeter of the stage and main seating, there are 4 rooms decorated in different themes: dinosaur, underwater, Wizard of Oz, and Medieval Castle. These are their birthday party rooms and can be rented for $75 plus $6 per child. Birthday parties are 2 hours long and come with a special prize for the birthday boy or girl, priority seating for attendees, and more. 

Don’t forget, Kidding Around also has a huge guide to birthday parties in Columbia, SC!

Columbia Marionette Theater 
401 Laurel Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Shows every Saturday at 11 am and 3 pm 
Every third Monday of the month at 10 am 

What puppet show did your family get to enjoy at the Columbia Marionette Theater? 

Enjoy the Rivers of Columbia on Three Rivers Greenway Trail: West Columbia Riverwalk, Cayce Riverwalk, Saluda Riverwalk

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Are you looking for a great way to enjoy the beautiful rivers at a riverwalk? Columbia, SC has several riverwalk options on the Three Rivers Greenway Trail and the Saluda Riverwalk. No matter what time of year, the riverwalks within the Three Rivers Greenway Trail provide a fantastic place to exercise, take a leisurely stroll with your family, enjoy a picnic, fish, learn how to bike ride, and so much more. Below we’ve got all you need to know about the West Columbia Riverwalk, Cayce Riverwalk, and newly developed Saluda Riverwalk! 

Paved path at West Columbia Riverwalk

Be sure to also check out our list of 50+ totally FREE things to do!


Carraway Park Provides Fantastic Play for All: West Columbia, SC

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Have you visited Carraway Park at the Riverwalk in West Columbia, SC? Are you looking for a safe, all-inclusive way to spend some time outdoors with your family? Whether you’re wanting a quick trip out of the house for some fresh air or an adventure to take up the majority of your day, Carraway Park is the place for you! This playground features a large picnic shelter, all-inclusive play equipment, and wonderful safety features that are sure to help keep your mind at ease. 

The playground at Carraway Park in West Columbia
Carraway Park Playground in West Columbia, SC

Eat Local! Best Farmers Markets: Columbia, SC

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Have you visited any farmers’ markets in Columbia, SC? Are you looking for opportunities to support local farmers, artists, crafters, and musicians? Whether you’re in need of great places to purchase fresh, locally-grown produce, unique artwork, baked goods, or even fresh flowers, we’ve got several places for you! Below, we’ve got a list of the best farmers’ markets in and around Columbia! 

Farmers' Market in Columbia, SC: Farmer's Markets to visit

Be sure to also check out our restaurant guide for ideas on where to enjoy fresh produce, kid-friendly meals, and more!

Why Try a Columbia, SC Farmers Market? 

Farmers’ markets are not only a fantastic way to support local farmers and other small businesses but also a great way to pick out flavorful food that is oftentimes a lot better for our health! Get fresh veggies and fruit at peak season. Several vendors at the farmers’ markets listed below provide organic, local produce; allergy-free products such as sauces, spices, and baked goods; as well as cage and chemical-free eggs and meat.

Aside from delicious foods, these local markets also have one-of-a-kind hand-crafted items and focus on all forms of art – painting, photography, sewing, music, woodwork, etc. The atmosphere at farmers’ markets is always so laid-back, making for a wonderful social event with your family and friends!  

Soda City Market in Columbia, SC, people walking at the farmers' market, Columbia, SC

Our Favorite Farmers Markets: Columbia SC

Columbia Farmers Markets include:
Soda City Market
West Columbia Meeting Street Artisan Market
Clemson Sandhill Market
Blythewood Farmers Market
Lake Carolina Farmers Market
South Carolina State Farmers Market

You can find a local farmers’ market happening almost every day of the week. Most of these run from spring – late fall; however, there are a few markets that continue year-round! Pro tip: before heading out, be sure to grab a decent-sized bag to carry around and hold all of your fresh produce, specialty items, and unique finds – we promise you’ll need it!

Soda City Market

Address: 1300 – 1600 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201
When: Every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm, year-round

Looking for a fantastic way to start your Saturday morning? The Soda City Market in downtown Columbia will not disappoint. Seriously, you haven’t been to a farmers market until you’ve been to Soda City! Several blocks of Main Street are closed off for this event, allowing people to walk in the road and on the sidewalks. The best part is, you can shop year-round!

Each weekend you can expect to find around 150 vendors. Soda City is a producer-only market which means that everything you find will be handmade or grown by the vendors. Some things you can expect to find here are small, local farmers selling delicious fruits and veggies, flowers, food vendors, coffee trucks, clothing, homemade bread, paintings, musicians, sweet treats, and SO MUCH more. 

All walkways are wide enough for strollers and wagons; however, they can be a bit tricky to maneuver through the crowds during peak times. This is one of the many reasons why we suggest getting there as early as possible, especially if you’ve got smaller kiddos!  Furry friends are welcome to join you at the market as well. 

If you decide to check out Soda City, there are several options for parking. Keep in mind that metered spots are free on Saturdays. But, if you can’t find a metered space, there are three nearby parking garages to try on Lady Street, Taylor Street, and Washington Street. My family and I usually head straight to the garage on Taylor Street as it is only half a block away from the action! 

Soda City Market

Soda City Market flowers in Columbia, SC

West Columbia Farmers’ Market

Address: WeCo Interactive Art Park – 425 Meeting Street, West Columbia, SC 

Under the pavilion at the WeCo Interactive Art Park you will find this awesome farmers market! The Artisan Market has several vendors such as local artists, baked goods, seasonal produce, and crafts. After finishing up your shopping, take a stroll through the Art Park or try out a new restaurant as there are several to choose from within just a few blocks of the market. Check out their calendar on their website for market and special event dates!

West Columbia Meeting Street Artisan Market

Clemson Sandhill Farmers Market

Address: 900 Clemson Road, Columbia, SC 29229
When: Tuesdays from 2 pm to 6 pm beginning in May and ending in November 

At the Clemson Sandhill Farmers Market you will find farmers from all around the region selling fresh and seasonal produce, local honey, baked goods, flowers, eggs, farm-raised meat, and a whole lot more! There are also various crafters and artists that sell their work – paintings, jewelry, and unique clothing items, just to name a few. The Clemson Sandhill Farmers’ Market will being the 2023 season on May 2nd!

Clemson Sandhill Farmers Market

Blythewood Farmers Market

Address: Doko Meadows Park – 171 Langford Road, Blythewood, SC 29016
When: Wednesdays from 4 pm to 7 pm beginning in spring and ending in fall 

The Blythewood Farmers Market is set up in the large field all around the amphitheater at Doko Meadows Park. Here, you will find over 30 vendors ranging from fresh produce to a table for the local library and everything in between.

By visiting their website you can see a detailed list of vendors each week and where they will be set up around the park. The 11th season of the Blythewood Farmers’ Market begins April 17, 2024!

There is so much for kids to do at the Blythewood Farmers Market. Most weeks, you can find the “Amazing Train Ride” setup. This is a 4-minute long “train ride” that your kiddos will love!

Also, with the Doko playground and walking trails close by, you can allow them to get some energy out before heading back home and cooking up your fresh veggies! 

We have lots more on what you’ll find at Doko Meadows Park in our review!

Blythewood Farmers Market

Lake Carolina Farmers Market

Address: 300 Long Pointe Lane, Columbia, SC 29229
When: Thursdays from 3 pm to 7 pm beginning in April and ending in October

The Lake Carolina Farmers Market is a smaller-scale market found within the popular Lake Carolina neighborhood in northeast Columbia. Although it is located within a neighborhood, the farmers market is open to the public. 

This can be a great place to go for a quick stop if you’re in need of fresh vegetables, fruits, sweets, or handcrafted items such as wreaths, soaps, jewelry and more! Along with the vendors, each week you will also be able to listen to live music.

There are almost always fun activities for children to engage in as well – sprinklers to run in, dressed-up characters, a petting zoo, animal balloon makers, etc. 

Lake Carolina Farmers Market

South Carolina State Farmers Market

Address: 3483 Charleston Highway, West Columbia, SC 29172
When: Open 7 days a week, but vendor hours will vary 

The SC State Farmers Market is massive and has several different buildings and amenities within it. There are specific areas for wholesale vendors, agricultural goods, and a farmer’s shed for farmers to rent spaces in order to sell their goods. Also found at the market is a retail building with a restaurant, bakery, and general store within. 

You can find just about anything at the state farmers market. They’ve got fresh seafood at the “Seafood Cottage,” beautiful flowers and plants, local produce, and even artists and crafters. The recommended time to go in order to get the best produce is between April and October. 

A well-known and popular event held here is the “Midlands Plant and Flower Festival.” This is usually a weekend-long event where you can find HUNDREDS of different flowers and plants for the coming season.

Even if you don’t have an interest in taking any plants home, it is still a neat event to go to!

South Carolina State Farmers Market

What is your favorite thing about our local farmers’ markets?

Enjoy Some All-American, Bat-Cracking Fun at Founders Park: USC Gamecock Baseball

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Have you been to Founders Park to cheer on the USC Gamecock Baseball team yet? Spring is here and that can only mean one thing – it’s baseball season in Columbia, South Carolina! Time to load up on peanuts, cracker jacks, and wholesome, all-American family fun! My family and I love to cheer on the Gamecocks and I’ve got all you need to know on how to make your trip to Founders Park a homerun.

Did you know there are several sports teams and events in Columbia, SC throughout the year? Be sure to check out our list of all the home teams!

Bring the kids to Founders Park for a SC Gamecocks Baseball game.

The final 2024 regular season home game will be against Georgia on May 11th. This leaves you plenty of time between now and then to go enjoy some strikes, steals, and fast pitches! 

Catch a Game at Founders Park: USC Baseball 

In 2010 and 2011, the USC Baseball team won back-to-back National Championships, awarding them tons of national popularity and an even larger fan base.  

Founders Park, home of the Gamecock baseball team, is a standout ballpark that seats just over 8,000 fans! It is not super uncommon for the stadium to completely sell out, especially for big SEC matchups. Founders Park is known for being one of the most attended college baseball stadiums in the nation – WOW! 

Founders Park is beautiful.

A Playground in the Stadium 

Situated near first base, right behind “The Berm”, you will find the Hay Fant Sparks Jr. Playground. And let me just tell you, kids LOVE it here! There are several climbing structures and slides that make it the perfect place to allow your children to get their wiggles out before, during, or even after the game. 

During the day, the playground is well shaded providing kiddos a nice break from the “famously hot” spring and summer sun. Have no fear, the playground is even lit for night games! 

Kids play at the playground at Founders Park

“The Berm” – Grassy Hill Seating at Founders Park 

We can’t talk about Founders Park without mentioning “The Berm”. This is a grassy hillside next to right field that is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. This area is super popular for families with little ones, especially those who like to take advantage of the playground. 

If you plan to sit here, be sure to bring a blanket to spread out on. It might even be a good idea to bring a baseball glove or two…who knows, you could get lucky and catch a foul ball! 

At a recent game, my family and I chose to sit here and it was great for being able to walk my son to and from the playground and back to our blanket, all while being able to keep (somewhat) of an eye on the game. Since my youngest isn’t quite big enough to enjoy the play area, sitting on the hill also allowed her to move around and explore a bit – a big win for everyone! 

Enjoy a USC Gamecocks Baseball game

Where Can I Find USC Baseball Tickets? 

You can either purchase tickets at the stadium or online. The best way to manage online tickets is by downloading the “Gameday App”. Here you will be able to not only manage mobile tickets, but also stay updated on scores, schedules, important news, buy merchandise, and more for ALL Gamecock sports. 

Ticket prices vary greatly depending on the opponent, day of the week, game time, etc. In general, SEC rivalry games will be a bit more pricey. As always, the earlier you plan and purchase your tickets, the better chance you have at finding more budget-friendly options. 

Ballgame Tips 

Here are a few things to be aware of before heading to a USC ballgame: 

  • Clear bag policy 
  • No outside food/drinks
  • No umbrellas 
  • No strollers 

Founders Park 
431 Williams Street 

Have you been to a Gamecock baseball game yet?

Lake Murray Public Park: The Perfect Swimming Spot This Summer in Lexington, SC

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Are you planning a trip to Lake Murray Public Park in Lexington, SC? If you are looking for a family-friendly place to take a swim this summer, Lake Murray might be just the place. At Lake Murray Public Park you’ll find both a beach area and lake swimming access that’s the perfect place to play, then jump in and cool off. We recently visited Lake Murray Public Park and have all the details you need to know from a mom’s perspective.  

Lake Murray Park beach

Owens Field Park in Columbia, SC is Full of Exciting Attractions

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Have you ever been to Owens Field Park in Columbia, SC? If not, let us be the first to tell you, you’ve got to give it a try! Owens Field Park features an all-inclusive playground, a huge skatepark, a unique bicycle course, disc golf, ball fields, and more. Whether you’re planning an all-day outing or just need to pass the time for a few hours, you and your children will have a blast! 

Columbia, SC: Owens Field Park

Owens Field Park is one of the most unique parks in all of Columbia, SC! Located directly across from the Jim Hamilton airport, this park is packed FULL of great things to do. You could spend as much or as little time here as you’d like. Bring a ball, a lunch, bicycles, or whatever your kiddos are interested in as there is PLENTY of room for just about any outdoor activity. 

Zip lines Owens Field Park

What is There To Do at Owens Field Park?

There is no shortage of family-friendly attractions at Owens Field Park! They’ve got an all-inclusive playground, skate park, pump track, ball fields, and more! 

Skate Park

There is a large skatepark at Owens Field that is full of some super cool equipment! You will find stairs, metal rails, ramps, and even a “pool bowl”. The skate park is free and available for skateboards, in-line skates, and bicycles. Pads and helmets are required!   

The skate park at Owens Field Park in Columbia, SC

Pump Track Course

You’ll DEFINITELY want to load up your children’s bikes before your trip! The pump track is arguably one of the coolest features at Owens Field. You can often find it full of kiddos of all ages, biking levels, as well as a variety of bikes – balance bikes, training wheels, traditional bikes, etc. One lap around the track is about 0.2 miles. It is full of neat obstacles such as rolling hills, bridges, and wood roller corners. 

Pump track and bikes at Owens Field Park


There is also an all-inclusive playground at Owens Field! Children of all ages and abilities will love it here. The playspace features 2 zip lines, a saucer swing, musical instruments, slides, climbing apparatisies, and more! It even has padded turf! At our recent visit, my kids loved relaxing on the saucer swing and my 4-year-old couldn’t get enough of the ziplines. 

Playground at Owens Field Park

Disc Golf Course

Do you know about the 18-hole disc golf course at Owens Field? The course is well-marked and winds all throughout a large portion of the woods next to the soccer fields. The walkways along the course are manicured and on a day when there aren’t many people playing disc golf, it also doubles as a fantastic and easy walking trail. Because of the tree roots, I wouldn’t recommend it for strollers or bicycles, however for a quick nature walk it’s perfect! 

On our recent trip, my son had a fun time leading our family on a “bear hunt” along the course. Much to his disappointment, we didn’t come across any bears, but we did see a lot of other neat creatures! 

Disc golf course at Owens Field Park

More to Love at Owens Field

It’s hard to believe, but there are several other fun attractions at Owens Field: 

  • 12 Soccer Fields
  • Several Baseball Fields 
  • Outdoor Track 
  • Miracle League Field 
  • Free Little Library 

Owens Field Park 
1401 Jim Hamilton Boulevard 

What is your family’s favorite attraction at Owens Field Park?

Our Favorite Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Columbia, SC

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Are you looking for kid-friendly restaurants in Columbia, SC? Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly place to grab breakfast or even enjoy a sit-down dinner, we’ve got you covered! The Kidding Around Team has lots of experience with kids in restaurants. We’ve been there and seen just about all there is to see. On this list we included the truly kid-friendly spots. These are family restaurants that include built-in ice cream or dessert shops, arcade games, and endless kid-friendly meals, and we’re thinking this list will have the perfect spot for you! 

Need more restaurant ideas? Discover some of the best date night, BBQ, pizza, and dessert restaurants – we’ve got it all!

Messy Hands, Hungry Bellies, Let’s Eat! 

Taking the whole family out to eat can sometimes be a bit stressful. Will there be high chairs? Outside areas to sit or walk antsy legs? Or how about every parent’s with young children worst nightmare . . . white tablecloths? Have no fear! We’ve got a great list of family and kid-friendly restaurants all around Columbia. And good news for you, no, there won’t be any white tablecloths! 

Where to Eat Out With Kids in Columbia, SC

Great Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Columbia, SC:
Burgers, Wings, and Sandwiches
Mexican Food
Family Friendly Breweries


Your Family Will Love the All-Inclusive Playground at Leo’s Landing in Irmo, SC

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Have you been to Leo’s Landing at Saluda Shoals in Irmo, SC? Are you looking for a modern park that is more than just your typical swing and slide set-up? Whether you’re looking for a new go-to park or somewhere special to visit every once in a while, Leo’s Landing inclusive playground at Saluda Shoals Park is sure to be the perfect place to exceed all of your expectations! This playground features all-inclusive play equipment, covered picnic shelters, and several safety features that will make your outing a great one! 

Leo's Landing Playground in Columbia, SC at Saluda Shoals

See more about Saluda Shoals Park in Columbia, SC.


10 Tips For the Best Day at Riverbanks Zoo: Columbia, SC

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Are you planning a trip to Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC? Some call it the Riverbanks Zoo, some call it the Columbia Zoo. No matter what you call it, we know you’ll enjoy a trip to this popular Columbia, SC zoo.

With over 2,000 animals spread across 170 acres, plus a fairly new aquarium and reptile complex, there is so much to explore, learn, and do! We will share all of our tips, what to expect, and how to prepare for your day of wild, memorable fun at this awesome zoo in Columbia, beside the Saluda River.

Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia Zoo, Columbia, SC
Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC

The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is made up of two large sections. You have the zoo side and then you have the botanical gardens’ side. This is where Waterfall Junction, the popular splash pad and play space, is located.

Waterfall Junction, Riverbanks Zoo Splashpad

It’s so cool, that we have a whole other article focused just on the Riverbanks Botanical Gardens and Waterfall Junction.