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Free Car Seat Safety Check: Columbia, SC

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Need to have your child’s car seat checked in Columbia, SC? It’s true what they say, “You can never be too safe,” especially when it comes to your children! And car seat safety is absolutely no exception!

Columbia, SC Car Seat Inspections

Car Seats in South Carolina: Things to Know

Need help finding the right car seat? Or just need some guidance on getting started? The US Department of Transportation has a great resource to help you choose the right car seat and learn how to install it. (We still recommend having your car seat installation checked.)

If you want to freshen up on South Carolina’s car seat laws, be sure to read South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s guide to Child Passenger Safety. Or check out this helpful video from DHEC.

And, of course, when your child has outgrown their car seat, or when the car seat has expired, you can trade it in at Target. Target will recycle old, expired, or damaged car seats and give you 20% off another car seat, a stroller, or select baby gear. Read more about Target’s Car Seat Trade-In Program.

Statistics shockingly estimate around 80% of car seats are NOT correctly installed. Now is the perfect time to make sure yours isn’t one of them.

Where to Get a Car Seat Installation Check in Columbia, SC

Items needed when getting your car seat installation checked:

  • the owner’s manual for your car (if available)
  • the owner’s manual for the car seat (if available)
  • your vehicle
  • your child

We’ve listed the inspection stations near Columbia by county below.

Where to Get Your Car Seat Installation Checked in Richland County

City of Columbia Police Department
1 Justice Square, Columbia
By appointment only

Irmo Police Department
1230 Columbia Avenue, Irmo
By appointment only

Lexington Medical Center (Department of Public Safety)
115 West Hospital Drive, West Columbia
By appointment only

South Carolina State Fire Office
141 Monticello Trail, Columbia
By appointment only

2100 Bull Street, Columbia
By appointment only

The Therapy Place
3620 Covenant Road, Columbia
By appointment only

Forest Acres Police Department
5205 North Trenholm Road, Forest Acres
By appointment only

Richland County Sheriff’s Department
5623 Two Notch Road, Columbia

Irmo Fire District
6017 St. Andrews Road, Columbia
By appointment only

Prisma Health Children’s Hospital-Midlands
7 Medical Park Drive, Columbia
By appointment only

Where to Get Your Car Seat Installation Checked in Lexington County

Lexington Police Department
111 Maiden Lain, Lexington
By appointment only

Lexington County Health Services District (Department of Public Safety)
115 West Hospital Drive, West Columbia
By appointment only

Irmo Fire District Northlake
117 Lincreek Road, Columbia
By appointment only

Cayce Public Safety
2 Lavern Jumper Road, Cayce
By appointment only

West Columbia Police Department
200 North 12th Street, West Columbia
803.794.0721 ext. 825
By appointment only

Lexington County Sheriff Department
521 Gibson Road, Lexington
By appointment only

Swansea Police Department
320 West 3rd Street, Swansea
By appointment only

Batesburg/Leesville Police Department
660 West Columbia Avenue, Batesburg/Leesville

The SC DHEC website has a list of available car seat inspection stations near Columbia, SC

Parenting in Columbia, SC

See all of Kidding Around’s Parenting Content in one place!

Parenting Guide

(2024) Best Easter Egg Hunts & Events: Columbia, SC

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Are your kids excited to search out some colorful Easter Eggs at the Easter Egg Hunts in Columbia, SC this year? Maybe you’re looking for more Easter things to do, like catching up with the Easter Bunny for a special bunny photo. Or, maybe an Easter craft activity is more to your liking. Either way, we have a totally huge list of Columbia’s Easter Egg hunts and Easter events to help you out.

Easter Egg Hunts in Columbia, SC

We hope it’ll help you make the most of the Easter season in Columbia, SC with your family!

We’ll be adding to this list throughout the Easter season, so check back soon for all the best Easter events in Columbia, SC!

Easter in Columbia, SC: What do you want to do?

Easter Egg Hunts: Columbia SC

Clinton Sease Farm Easter Egg Hunts

March 29th and 30th, 2024Children’s Easter Egg hunt that includes a cow train, wagon rides, bubbles, playground, obstacle course, and photos with the Easter Bunny. Details and pricing for 2024 coming soon.

Read our review of Clinton Sease Farm

The Great Lexington Egg Hunt

2024 Information on the Great Lexington Egg Hunt is still TBA. We will update when information is announced! And now for a different kind of egg hunt! Visit Lexington parks and match each egg to the correct location.

Print your form or pick one up at the Lexington Town Hall.

More Egg Hunts in Columbia, SC

Easter Bunny Photos: Columbia, SC

Photos with the Easter Bunny are a time-honored tradition. Where can you can get a photo with the Easter Bunny in Columbia, SC?

Visit these events to snap a picture with the Easter Bunny.

Easter Bunny Photos at Columbiana Centre

100 Columbiana Circle, Columbia, SC 29212
Bunny Photo Experiences starts March 1st, 2024.
Photo package costs range from $40 – $50. You need to either pay $20 at booking and select photo package at your appointment or select the desired package at booking. (Your $20 booking fee will be applied toward the package purchase.)

Book in advance! Easter Bunny at Columbiana Centre

More Photos with the Bunny

Free Easter Bunny Photos at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops

See the Easter Bunny at Cabela's

Head up to Greenville, SC or Charlotte, NC for an opportunity to get a free professional, printed 4×6 photo with the Easter Bunny at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops. 2024 Dates and Times TBA

Visit the Cabela’s Easter Event page to find the location nearest you and to register.

Columbia’s Bunny Brunches and More

Who doesn’t want to have breakfast or brunch with the Easter Bunny himself? Or maybe you can catch the bunny and share a special cupcake, cookie, or Easter treat.

Make plans to head to one of these places and you can spend some time with the Easter Bunny and enjoy some yummy food, too!

Riverbanks Zoo Breakfast with the Bunny

Riverbanks Zoo Breakfast with the Bunny 2024 TBA

More Easter Brunch and Bunny Meals

Easter Brunch at Columbo’s Double Tree Hilton

Easter Brunch Columbo’s Menu 2024 TBA
Reservations are recommended!
2100 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC

The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli- Take and Bake

Order your take-and-bake cinnamon rolls for a low-key Easter breakfast at home.

More Easter Events: Everything happening for Easter in Columbia, SC

Need more things to do? Fun days start with our HUGE Things to do in Columbia, SC Guide.

Have fun all season long!

More ways to celebrate spring in Columbia, SC

Spring: Columbia, SC

Easter Egg Hunt Tips For Families

Choose Your Egg Hunt Wisely.

Choose a hunt that fits the age of your children and their temperaments. A fast, competitive child might enjoy a free-for-all egg hunt, but some children might find the same hunt frightening and sadly leave without a single egg.

No one wants tears at an Easter Egg hunt, right?

So, find out . . . What are the rules for this egg hunt?

  • What are the ages of kids hunting together?
  • Is there a limit of eggs per kid?
  • How large is the event? (The larger the number of kids hunting at the same time, the greater chance there will be some aggressive behavior from the kids hunting.)
  • How much waiting is involved?

Dress Appropriately

Easter is mid-April this year which means the day could rapidly go from a cool early morning to a hot late morning or afternoon depending on the weather.

  • Think layers. Keep them on if it’s cooler, or take off a layer if it gets warm or if your kids get hot from running around.
  • Remember the sunscreen. The UV index can catch you by surprise this time of year.
  • Footwear should be something kids can run in. Tennis shoes are best. Keep those toes covered so they don’t get stepped on or bit by ants.
  • Many of the public hunts offer bounce houses for the kids to play in so be sure your kids wear socks.

Plan ahead

Plan time to park. Give yourself at least 30 minutes before the hunt is scheduled to begin for parking and registration. If your egg hunt has an age requirement for a specific time, your child will likely only be allowed to hunt at that time.

Bring water and snacks if you think the kids will get hungry waiting for the hunt to start. 

Stash some backup eggs in the car. If your kiddo isn’t able to collect any for whatever reason, you’ll be glad you did!

19+ Best Playgrounds and Parks: Columbia, SC

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Are you looking for fun parks or playgrounds near Columbia, SC? If you’re looking for the best places to play outdoors in or near Columbia, you’ve come to the right place. Our Parks: Columbia, SC list includes parks with playgrounds, walking trails, and hiking trails, nature parks, art parks, splash pads, parks with picnic areas and picnic shelters, and a whole lot more about our favorite places to play!

Parks: Columbia, SC with playgrounds and fun places to explore

There are so many options when it comes to parks and playgrounds. These parks have great playgrounds, wide open spaces, basketball courts, picnic tables, walking trails, or just amazing outdoor spaces. We have reviewed some of our absolute favorite places to play, but we also have lots more coming soon!

Great Parks and Playgrounds Around Columbia, SC

Looking for playgrounds in or near Columbia where the kids can play? There are so many cool options in the Midlands! Pick one of these fun playgrounds and get playing outdoors!

Columbia’s Most Unique Parks and Outdoor Spaces

Have you visited Sesquicentennial State Park?

With a beautiful little lake, playground, easy hiking, free splash pad, and cheap boat rentals, Sesquicentennial State Park is the ultimate family day kind of park! Pack a picnic and get going! Enjoy the shaded picnic tables and benches beside the lake.

Visit Sesquicentennial State Park in Columbia, SC

Experience local art for free at West Columbia Interactive Art Park

What’s at the West Columbia Interactive Art Park? Kids and grown-ups will enjoy walking along the paths of this interactive art park in West Columbia. Play the drums, and enjoy the murals, sculptures, and time together. There are even some very family-friendly places to eat out in the park and nearby.

Drums at the West Columbia Interactive Art Park
Drums at the West Columbia Interactive Art Park

Lake Murray

In the summer Lake Murray Public Park is the place to be for outdoor play in the water and sand. There’s also a great picnic area to enjoy the fresh air and lake view.

Lake Murray Lexington, SC

Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park is a unique park with old-growth forests for hiking, cool boardwalk trails to explore, and out-of-this-world kayak trails.

Want to walk or hike on Columbia’s hiking trails?

These walking trails and hiking trails near Columbia are perfect for a little hiking or getting out those bikes and strollers.

Splash Pads at Columbia Parks

Here are all the parks where you can splash, swim, and cool off in Columbia, SC

Best Parks in Columbia, SC for Toddlers

There are so many fantastic parks for even the tiny tots all around Columbia! Let your littles learn to climb, swing in bucket swings, or enjoy small slides made just for them.

Stroller-friendly parks in Columbia, SC

Going for a stroll?
These Columbia, SC Parks are Stroller-Friendly!

Best Parks in Columbia, SC for Preschoolers

Have a preschooler who is a bit too big for the small stuff, but not quite big enough for the full-sized equipment? Here are a few playgrounds we think they’d love:

Best Parks in Columbia, SC for Older Kids

Even the older kids can benefit from a park day or two! Enjoy the outdoors with your bigger kids at these fun playgrounds!

Looking for more of the best parks in Columbia?

Our coverage of parks and playgrounds is growing and we’ll have more on Columbia’s best playgrounds soon. But you’ll also find great information on the area’s outdoor places to play at websites for local town and city recreation departments.

Which park or playground in Columbia is your favorite?

Things to do Columbia, SC

Need more places to play?

Fun days start with this list of over 50 Things to Do in Columbia, SC.

20+ Local Favorites for the Best Pizza in Columbia, SC

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Are you searching for where to get the best pizza in Columbia, SC? We have found some fantastic locally-owned pizza joints that offer woodfire ovens, a variety of pizza styles, and some that even have vegan and gluten-free options! Whether you’re looking to meet up with friends, take your family out for a relaxed meal, or even just try someplace new, we’ve got you covered on this list of amazing pizza options in the Columbia area.

The best pizza in Columbia is on this list!

Best pizza, Columbia, SC

Where to Go For A Beautiful Winter Hike: Columbia, SC

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What’s so great about winter hikes? Columbia, SC offers lots of places to get out and enjoy the outdoors on a hike, and the surrounding area particularly towards the mountains brings beautiful winter hiking opportunities just a day trip away. This winter hiking guide will help you choose your winter hiking destination and pack your bag so you’re prepared for a fun adventure.

What You’ll See & Why Winter is Great for Hiking

Why should we go hike in the winter, anyway?

Expect to see things as you haven’t before. Fewer leaves on the trees means that you can see through them for a view usually hidden. Expect to walk along trails that feel much more open, and expect more lookout stops and panoramic mountain views, even from the valley trails.

What you won’t see many of? Bugs. And snakes (usually). And while it’s colder and you’ll want to layer up (more on that later), you also won’t be dripping sweat and hiking through summer humidity. That right there makes winter hiking a lovely alternative.

Take a peek at winter hiking

Spoiler alert: It’s gorgeous

Winter Hiking Tips

  1. Bring water and snacks. It can be tempting to bring less water when it’s cooler but don’t. It’s better to have too much than not enough, and the dryer winter air will make you thirsty!
  2. Consider bringing hot chocolate in a thermos. The tasty treat will taste even better accompanied by gorgeous views, well earned. And, it can work as a bit of an encouragement for little legs that might want to stop hiking before the end of the trail!
  3. Pack a first-aid kit and emergency supplies. Chapstick, hand warmers, and an emergency blanket are what we’d pack on a mountain winter hike.
  4. Dress in layers. Start with a tank or t-shirt, layered with something long-sleeved and then a jacket on top of that.
  5. Wear or bring hats, gloves, and wool socks.
Winter Hikes: Columbia, SC

Winter Hikes: Close to Columbia

If you want to find panoramic mountain views you’ll want to head up towards the Upstate of South Carolina for your winter hike. But if you can’t dedicate a whole day to your adventure, there are still several spots for winter hiking right in and near Columbia.

Pick a place on our Columbia Hiking Guide. Any of those trails can be enjoyed in the cooler winter temperatures.

If that’s too many choices, we recommend one of these three spots!

Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve

Enjoy the open forest, and a waterfall when you hike the trail at the Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve.

Hiking Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve with kids

Harbison State Forest

There are over 20 miles of hiking and biking trails in Harbison State Forest, including and ADA-accessible trail so everyone can enjoy a winter trail hike together.

Sesquicentennial State Park

Enjoy a light hike around the lake at Sesquicentennial State Park. In the winter you’ll avoid insects and humidity, and likely enjoy a much less crowded park. The trail is only half a mile, so the whole family can enjoy it together.

Winter Hikes Near the Upstate

For a longer winter hike in the mountains, you’ll want to plan a day trip to the Upstate.

Check out these 7 Winter Hikes Near Greenville, SC for lots of options or try one of these favorite spots.

Table Rock State Park

In winter, the strenuous trail offers an incredible view. While the hike to the top of Table Rock is tough, it’s definitely more doable in the cooler temperatures. The panoramic view is a huge pay-off.

If temperatures are below freezing, we do not recommend going to the top since the steps to Governors Rock will be frozen over. Instead, hike the Carrick Creek loop.

Raven Falls at Caesars Head

Raven Cliff Falls

This hike is great in winter because you can see a whole lot further and you can’t play in the falls anyway. The waterfall is a long distance away from the overlook, you may want to bring binoculars.

Crowders Mountain

Crowders Mountain is near Kings Mountain on the SC/NC border, about 2 hours from Columbia. You can do a five-mile moderate loop trail that gives you incredible views in winter. We could even see Charlotte from the top!

Winter Activities to Do in Columbia, SC

Visit our Winter Guide to Columbia for lots more ideas and winter fun!

Who Has the Best Christmas House in Columbia?

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Who has the best-decorated house for Christmas this year? You decide!

It’s the first Kidding Around Columbia Best Christmas Lights Contest.

Go for a drive with one of our FREE holiday light driving tours, then let us know who you think is the best. The winner gets bragging rights for an entire year, so choose carefully.

Christmas lights in Columbia contest

Take a Sneak Peek

Check out some of this year’s holiday houses in Columbia.

Take the Tour


Voting begins December 7th, 2023 and runs through December 21st, 2023.
Editor’s Note: If the voting box does not appear below, please refresh your page and wait a minute or two for the voting box to load. The voting program takes a little bit of time! Thank you!

Christmas Light Driving Routes in Columbia, SC

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Go for a Christmas light drive around Columbia, SC! What’s more festive than a night of Christmas lights? Columbia has some seriously decked-out homes that you can enjoy for free and we arranged them all into a driving tour. Want more? We also included a couple of popular drive-thru professional displays in our tours. Fill up a thermos with some hot cocoa, pack some Christmas cookies, cue up the holiday music, and load up the kids. The holiday pajamas are optional, but, are highly recommended.

Use our maps or set up your preferred map direction app with the addresses and you’re ready to go!

Disclaimer: Kidding Around is not responsible for property damage, neighborhood safety, or any possible injuries of any kind that may happen while driving, stopping, and viewing holiday lights and decorations. Drivers and property owners maintain all responsibility for general safety, operating a vehicle safely, light-viewing enjoyment, and holiday cheer. Drive slowly, be respectful, share holiday magic, and don’t be a Scrooge.

Hooray! Our Holiday Lights Driving Tour is finally here!! We are beginning the season with two routes but be sure to check back regularly as displays are being added daily!

Help us grow these routes! Did you take this year’s Christmas decorating extra seriously? Want to share it with all of Columbia? Use this holiday home form to let us know.

Christmas lights in Columbia contest

Which house is the best?

The Kidding Around Columbia Christmas Lights Contest

Sneak Peak: Columbia’s Christmas Houses

Christmas Lights Map

Map is being updated often as displays are added! Be sure to check back often!

Columbia Holiday Lights Driving Tour

Chapin/Irmo (Red) Approximately 35 Minutes

2311 Harvestwood Lane

2311 Harvestwood Lane, Chapin is fully framed in bright colorful lights and has trees in every window! Be sure to drive through the rest of this neighborhood as there are lots of festively decorated homes to be admired!

6 Kagle Court, Chapin

Be sure to check out the backyard of this home, which is a sight to be seen and is visible from Westcott Ridge Road, which you’ll likely pass if using the red route.

311 Hollow Cove Road, Chapin

Within the same neighborhood as Kagle court, this home has a pretty display and is at the end of the street.

617 Hamlin Way, Irmo

627 Newton Road, Irmo

402 West Ashford Way, Irmo

10 Walnut Grove Way, Irmo

7 Abbey Court, Irmo

394 Poets Walk, Irmo displays a Christmas Light Show

Warden Way, Irmo Worth the trip to see the neighboring 3 homes synced to the same impressive light show, roll down windows and enjoy the music and dynamic light displays! Tune to 92.7 FM if you prefer to keep your windows closed! This show features 40 minutes of music and lights with the playlist and show alternating every other day!

Warden Way
Warden Way

Lexington Route (Yellow) Approximately 1 hour

Woodberry Christmas house

759 Woodberry Road, Lexington, SC This impressive display expresses the family’s love of the Christmas season. Enjoy through 1/6/24.

Photo Credit: Jayna

Silver Branch

309 Silver Branch Road Yard features several inflatables and lights strung across the front yard.

Photo Credit: Daniel Geddings

303 Lace Bark Lane has a light show that dances to music

284 Black Pine Court has a light show synced to music, tune in to 92.5 FM and enjoy the show!

Carriage Hill Drive Christmas House

142 Carriage Hill Drive, Lexington Features a very dynamic display that dances to music! The show runs Sunday – Thursday 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm and Friday and Saturday until 10:30 pm. Please use the loop at the end of the road to turn around and park across from the house to enjoy! This area will provide the best view!

(Photo Credit: Kris Walling) The Carriage Hill Drive display will be static only (not dancing to music) on December 16th and visitors are encouraged to come enjoy on a different day. This is for safety reasons as they are hoping to reduce traffic on that night only.

213 Meetze Ave Lexington, SC Park your car, tune your radio to 90.3 and enjoy the 100,000+ lights dance to the music.

Meetz Ave Christmas House

301 Southberry Way, Lexington Has lots of inflatables and a brightly lit home.

Photo Credit: Mollohan Bryan

Southberry Way

497 Sandy Point Road, Lexington Features beautiful lighting, a nativity scene. Photo Credits: Missy Porth

Bonus: Saluda Shoals Park, Holiday Lights on the River, Cost $25 per car. (Just skip this stop to keep your route free!)

Garden at Holiday Lights on the River
Holiday Lights on the River

Worth the Ride: More Lights

These homes are worth the drive, especially if you’re traveling through the area but were not included in the map as they are further out than the others!

Wire Road, Aiken Christmas drive through

2482 Wire Road, Aiken, SC 29805 (Off of exit 29 on I-20) While this free drive-through display is a bit further out, it boasts lots and lots of lights and blow-ups and would be a great pit stop if traveling towards Augusta! PLUS they offer $2 homemade hot cocoa and $1 cookies nightly! Enjoy through 12/30/23.

1820 Birch Drive, North Augusta Drive up and tune in to 90.5 and enjoy the show. Their annual Star Wars Night is happening on December 16th from 6-11 pm and will feature a live lightsaber fight between Jedi, a special appearance by Darth Vader and all will be visiting with families following the battle. Be sure to stick around for the dancing Grinch and Olaf singing!

They have a partnership with the Ronald McDonald House of Augusta. Help meet their goal by contributing here: Ronald McDonald House.

217 McKade Lane, Leesville, SC 29070 Tune your radio to 98.1 FM and enjoy the show!

305 Hudson Street, West Columbia Colorful and fun

Photo Credit: Bo Slice

Hudson Street

433 Glen Arven Court, Chapin features a 27 foot tall light tree, snowman, Santa and sleigh.

936 Trident Maple Lane Chapin has fun, colorful lights all over, “Santa on water” and a tall tree formed by strands of Christmas lights.

118 Judiths Path, West Columbia features handmade Disney Characters highlighted with red and green spotlights and the house is lined with colorful lights.

740 Martin Smith Road, Gilbert is a 3-acre traditional display and photo only shows a small portion of all they have illuminated!

740 Martin Smith Rd Gilbert SC 29054

725 Formby Drive, Columbia in the Spring Valley Subdivision. Synchronized display, tune to 88.7. Lisznyai House Lights are on from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm. These folks are raising money for Make a Wish SC. If you’d like to participate you can look for the drop box at the display OR donate online. Enjoy through 1/1/24.

Lisznyai lights
Photo Credit: Jennifer Lisznyai

Spring Valley Subdivision: Since you’re already there viewing the Lisznyai House, drive through the rest of the Spring Valley Subdivision, well-known as a neighborhood with lots of festive lights to enjoy.

Lake Carolina: Another neighborhood, not too far from Spring Valley, that’s known for rolling out the holiday cheer with lights this time of year.

Bonus: Visit Carolina Lights at the State Fairgrounds. Carolina Lights $20 per car. To keep your route free, just skip this stop.

Help us grow these routes! Add your home to these routes! Use this holiday home form to let us know you’d like to be considered!

Want more lights?

Holiday border

Winter Break is Coming.
Stay busy with activities and camps.
Winter Break Bucket List!

Wolf Ridge Tubing

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Southern Christmas Day Trips for a Festive Holiday Season

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Would a Christmas day trip help your family enjoy some holiday spirit? There’s a bunch of places you can head for the weekend or just the day to enjoy some holiday fun away, just a short drive from Columbia, SC.

Check out our list of popular destinations for day trips during the holiday season. From train rides to giant light displays, and towns all decked out for Christmas there are some fantastic ideas on this list!

For more holiday fun, make sure you check out our guide to the holidays in Columbia, SC.


Visit Farms and Win Prizes with the SC Agritourism Passport Program

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Looking for a fun way to explore our state’s different sources of plant- and animal-based products? The SC Agritourism Passport Program is an incentive program where people can earn free goodies for visiting places that are probably already on your to-do list! The good news is there are nearly two dozen farms not far from Greenville and Spartanburg. Visiting farms is more than a fun, family activity; it’s also a field trip-worthy educational opportunity!