• Heritage Christian Jan 2024

Author Archive

Mardi Gras & King Cakes: Celebrate in Columbia, SC

Posted on |

Are you ready for Mardi Gras in Columbia, SC? We have all the things you need to know to plan your celebration from where to get King Cakes in Columbia, to family-friendly events and some special events for the adults. Get Ready for Mardi Gras: Columbia, SC!

Mardi Gras Columbia SC, and where to get king cakes in Columbia, SC

History of Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is a French term translated literally to Fat Tuesday. It’s a celebration of the last day of feasting before the fasting of Lent begins. The origins date back to the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons. Over time, it evolved from a celebration of “Boeuf Gras” (fatted calf) to more elegant high society balls, and then from 1781 the Mardi Gras “carnival” was introduced and later came to include parades, eventually floats and then throws, which were first recorded in 1870.

Having had the pleasure of living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for about 6 years, our family was able to experience Mardi Gras parades throughout late January and early February. It was surprising to me that Mardi Gras is actually an entire season of parades, not just the Fat Tuesday Parade through downtown NOLA.

Believe it or not, most parades generally aren’t the wild experience many imagine them to be. The way kids’ (and adults’) faces light up as they catch the beads, candy, cups, footballs, and other random throws is so much fun. While we have never been to THE Mardi Gras parade, we’ve enjoyed many others as a family.

Mardi Gras In NOLA

Mardi Gras in NOLA

Similar to the way that schools here celebrate Halloween with a parade of students dressed in costume, Louisiana schools celebrate Mardi Gras with students dressed as coordinated “Krewes” each with their own theme. They parade around the school with decorated wagons, tossing candy and other throws to parents and siblings. Those were some of my fondest memories of our time spent in Louisiana.

Mardi Gras fully encompasses the general culture and vibe of New Orleans: laid back, fun, and friendly with a passion for food, music, and art. It is unlike any other celebration on earth!

If you ever get the chance to visit during Mardi Gras, I highly recommend it. Most of the parades are very family-friendly and occur all over the state, all different days and times. The food is unparalleled and it will be a blast, guaranteed.

Where to Celebrate Mardi Gras in Columbia

Fortunately, Columbia has some festive things going on so you can save the gas money and celebrate close to home this year.

Family-Friendly Mardi Gras Events in Columbia

14th Annual Mardi Gras Columbia Festival

This fun, family-friendly event is sponsored by Louisiana’s own Abita Brewing Company. It will take place on Saturday, February 10th at City Roots Urban Farm.

Mardi Gras Parade in Columbia, SC: The parade will kick off the festivities at 11 am down Jim Hamilton Boulevard and is free and open to the public.

The festival will be free for kids 12 and under and only $10 for admission otherwise. There will be live music, food trucks, local vendors, and of course beer from Abita Brewing Company. Bring beads, cash, and your dancing shoes. Prepare to have a great day. Let’s Geaux!
14th Annual Mardi Gras Columbia Festival

Mardi Gras Afterparty at Foxfield Bar and Grille

After the Parade and Festival, head over to Foxfield Bar and Grille for live music and more fun. This is a free and family friendly event and will have outdoor heaters plus shelter in the event of rain!
Mardi Gras Afterparty at Foxfield Bar and Grille

BOHO Pizza and Brew

Come enjoy the Fat Tuesday Celebration on February 13th featuring Abita beer specials and receive beads when you order it. This restaurant is very kid friendly with a large outdoor dining area featuring a playset to keep the kids entertained while you enjoy the celebration.
BOHO Pizza and Brew

Miss Mardi Gras Pageant

Pelion Performing Arts Center is hosting the Miss Mardi Gras Pageant and welcomes girls and boys of all ages to participate. Most beautiful, Beauty and Mardi Gras Wear/Outfit of choice will be the events of the day. See link for application details.
Miss Mardi Gras Pageant

Mardi-Gras for Adults

Mardi Gras Party at Top Dawg Tavern – Village at Sandhill

Join Top Dawg Tavern on February 13th in celebrating Mardi Gras with all-day $5 Hurricanes, $1 wings, half-price boneless wings, and a Happy Hour from 4-7 pm. The party starts at 11 am and ends at 10 pm.
Mardi Gras Party at Top Dawg Tavern

Mardi Gras Party at the Village Cafe

Limited Spots are available for this event and it require reservations. The party will feature Mardi Gras-inspired drinks and Classic “N’awlins” dishes plus more NOLA fun.
Mardi Gras Party at The Village Cafe

Fat Tuesday Sip & Shop

B & L Antiques and Tandem Treasures present an evening of extended hours at Shoppes of Pontiac for those 21+ to enjoy adult beverages while shopping.
Fat Tuesday Sip & Shop

Crawfish & Pancakes

Fat Tuesday Crawfish Boil

CJ’s Fivepoints is hosting a Fat Tuesday Celebration complete with Crawfish Boil, corn and all the fixings and spice! Bring your beads and come enjoy the DJ and Karaoke!
Fat Tuesday Crawfish Boil

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Suppers

Embrace the ancient tradition of Shrove Tuesday and enjoy a rich meal of pancakes before entering into Lent on Wednesday. Here is where you can find Pancake Suppers around Columbia.

Cherokee Presbyterian Church – Gilbert

St. John United Methodist Church – St. Andrews

St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church – Chapin

Pilgrim Lutheran Church – Lexington

Ascension Lutheran Church – Columbia

Shandon United Methodist Church – Columbia (Fundraiser)

What’s a King Cake?

Believed to have originated in France around the 12th Century, the King Cake is a Roman Catholic tradition that celebrates the Epiphany, the coming of the Three Wise Men. Observed on January 6th and ending on Mardi Gras Eve it is also known as Kings Day and marks the end of the Christmas Season and the beginning of Carnival.

Have you ever had King Cake before? If not, now is the time to try and see what all the hype is about. Not only are they pretty, they are even more delicious than they look. Traditionally, the cake is made with a cinnamon-flavored dough, topped with icing or sugar (or both) ,and decorated with royal shades of green, gold and purple.

Think a wreath-shaped cinnamon roll – but better and ranging from pastry-like to less sweet bread-like consistency. The wreath shape symbolizes a king’s crown. Almond, cream cheese, praline, chocolate, and fruit are also popular fillings in Louisiana, but if you look hard enough you can find Nutella, goat cheese and even bacon-topped King Cakes.

Another thing that sets the King Cake apart as special? The fève, or little trinket you may luck out and find inside. The tradition that began as a bean and is now typically a plastic baby, symbolizes the hiding of Baby Jesus from King Herod’s troops. Whoever finds the baby in their slice is King or Queen for the day and responsible for hosting the next celebration or providing the King Cake for it.

Where to Get King Cakes in Columbia, SC?

Traveling to Louisana would be quite a trip to pick up a King Cake. Though some NOLA bakeries will ship them, there are plenty of bakeries serving up King Cake right here in Columbia.

Luzianna Purchase Charcuterie, Art & Po Boys is a Cajun & Creole Restaurant known for its authentic Cajun Creole dishes. They are selling the famous Gambino’s King Cake delivered fresh from NOLA. Cypress Corner is nestled inside and features unique gifts and art, complete with Mardi Gras-themed items. Geaux see them this Carnival Season.
Address: 7011 St. Andrews Road C2, Irmo
Hours: Saturday 10 am – 1 pm, Tuesday – Friday 11 am – 3 pm.

Tiffany’s Eats, Sweets & Meeting Place makes King Cakes using the 40-year-old recipe with original NOLA Cinnamon Schmear filling (standard) or cream cheese filling (upon request). Yes, there is a baby hidden somewhere inside. There is 48 hours’ notice required when ordering so be sure to plan ahead.
Address: 9704 Two Notch Road, Columbia
Hours: Monday 7 am-6 pm kitchen closed, Tuesday & Wednesday 7 am – 6 pm, Thursday & Friday 7 am – 9 pm, Saturday 8 am – 6 pm.

VooDoo Kitchen Catering is offering Traditional King Cake, Mini King Cake (regular or cream cheese icing), King Cake in Jar (option to add fruit filling), King Cake Bread Pudding Boudin King Cake (Boudin is sausage made with pork and rice) with a variety of options. A 50% deposit is required upon ordering. Call or text 843.991.7339 to place your order. All Mardi Gras items include a baby and Mardi Gras bead.
Address: Holly Hill, SC

The Blended Bakery King Cakes are available to order and do come with the baby inside, if you prefer it “on the side” please notify them when ordering. Visit the Blended Bakery Website to place your order.
Address: 5076 Sunset Boulevard, STE A, Lexington
Hours: Closed Monday, Tuesday – Thursday 10 am – 3 pm, Friday & Saturday 9 am – 5 pm, Sunday 9 am – 3 pm.

Sweet Pea’s Ice Cream & Cafe is baking King Cakes using the traditional cinnamon sugar filling but they are happy to make variations upon request. King Cakes are available to order and require 48 hours advance notice. Be sure to check out all the other delicious chocolate-covered treats, Cocoa Bombs, and pies available before you place your order. King Cake will likely be one of the many things you add to your cart.
Address: 412 McNulty Street, Suite B, Blythewood
Hours: Monday – Thursday 1 – 7 pm, Friday & Saturday 1 – 8 pm, Sunday 2 – 6 pm.

Sour and Salt Bakery is offering 4 King Cake Variations; Cream Cheese and Cinnamon , Chocolate, Apple Cream Chees and Rasberry Cream Cheese. Orders typically require 48 hours’ notice and are availble in 3 sizes. Plan on snagging some unique bagels, like spinach and feta or roasted carrot with smoked paprika and habanero, or a slice of Biscoff cheesecake or baklava when picking up your King Cake order.
Address: 2761 Rosewood Drive
Hours: Monday Closed, Tuesday – Friday 8 am – 6 pm, Saturday & Sunday 8 am – 2 pm.

Tres Leches Bakery is a dessert shop specializing in pastries and features authentic Mexican, Cuban, and Colombian options in addition to traditional American pastries. They have King Cakes available for order which appear to more closely resemble a Rosca de Reyes, similar to a brioche bread, rather than pastry dough and looks delicious.
Address: 6903 St. Andrews Road, Columbia
Hours: Monday 8 am – 7 pm, Tuesday 11 am – 7 pm, Wednesday – Saturday 8 am – 7 pm, Sunday Noon – 5 pm.

Lowe’s Foods, Publix & Whole Foods carry King Cakes as well. And if you’re looking for a truly authentic King Cake, Kroger carries Gambinos King Cake which is made in NOLA and popular among those originally from Louisiana.

Events in Columbia, SC, this month, this weekend

Find lots more events in Columbia, SC on our KA COLA Events Calendar.

Looking for more Mardi-Gras? Check out the Mardi-Gras Celebrations Near Greenville, SC.

Richland’s Ballentine Library Location is Full of Amazing Things to Do!

Posted on |

Have you visited the Ballentine Branch of the Richland Library System yet? If you haven’t been there recently, now is the time. They have lots of special features and public programs, most of which are free. The staff is beyond helpful and there is so much to explore beyond the books (which are awesome too!).

Ballentine Library

Start with a library card

Library cards are free for residents and property owners of Richland County and Education cards are available free for students (Pre-K through college), K-12 teachers and daycare employees in Richland County educational institutions.

Ballentine Library Features

  • Children’s Area
  • Nature Walk & Raised Garden
  • Patio
  • Pick-Up Window
  • Reading Nooks
  • Teen Area
  • Meeting Spaces
  • Library of Things
  • Living Room
  • Makerspace
Ballentine Library maker space, Richland County Libraries

Peek Inside Ballentine Library

Free Programs at Ballentine Library

Family Story Time

Family Story Time occurs twice weekly on Thursdays and Saturdays at 10 am and is intended for families with young children from birth to preschool but of course, older children are welcome as well. Families will listen to stories, sing songs, and have fun together while building literacy skills with their early learner.

Monday Morning Makers

Monday Morning Makers is on Monday mornings from 9:30 – 11:30 am and you can drop on anytime within those hours. The projects, which are designed for those 6 years old and up, are different each week and all ages and abilities are welcome.

This program takes place in the Makerspace which is packed with art supplies to fuel your creativity! The Makerspace also features a corner of windows that stretch to the ceiling and allow for some amazing birdwatching! Seventy-two different species of birds have been sighted here.

Monday Morning Makers

Read to a Dog

The Read to a Dog program typically occurs once a month and allows children to spend 10 minutes, one-on-one, practicing reading aloud to Bailey The Therapy Dog. There are only 10 spots available to read to Bailey, so this program is first come, first served. The handler will be with the dog and child at all times.

Birding at Ballentine

Birding at Ballentine is a monthly program led by the Ballentine Library Staff where you will learn how to use binoculars to identify local birds, plus how to help the birds in your own backyard beyond bird feeders.

Come see how many of the 72 different species you can spot!

Ballentine Library space

Career Ready: Resume Help

Career Ready: Resume Help provides community members with individual help in building a resume from one of the library’s Career Coaches. This is recommended for both adults and teens, whether you are creating your first resume to transition into the workforce for the first time or refining an existing resume, the Career Coach is available to answer your questions.

Make and Create: Adults Get Crafty (Adults Only)

With all the time you can spend here as a family and with the kids, you may be craving some alone time. That’s okay too. They have several adult-only classes available also. Every Friday, adults gather to create some really fun projects.

Every other week the craft typically incorporates some form of crochet to give a variety of projects and plenty of opportunity to use different crafting materials and techniques. There is a wall in the Makerspace that features examples of past (and some future) projects and inquiries into the techniques used in each are welcome.

Benefits of Free Library Programs

Not only are these programs a great way to bond with your child and make learning fun but they provide an excellent opportunity to make new friends as well.

Working on a project at Ballentine Library

Let’s be honest, being a parent isn’t always easy and sometimes it can even feel isolating. Getting out, connecting with others, and taking advantage of the FREE library programs is beneficial in so many ways, plus you may even discover a skill or interest you never knew you had.

Additional Ballentine Library Info

Seed Library

Be sure to visit the Seed Library after your program! They have flower seeds and Non-GMO vegetable seeds. You can take up to 10 packets. Each packet is labeled with details and instructions so you’ll know exactly when to plant, how long until harvest, and how to grow your new seeds.

Nature Trail

Grab a scavenger hunt sheet at the seed library for the kids and head out back to the large patio and nature trail.

Eye Spy Nature Hunt

Nature Trail at Ballentine Library

Library of Things

The staff at Ballentine Library is super helpful, friendly, and excited to share about the resources the library has to offer.

Ballentine is one of 4 Libraries within the Richland Library System that has a Library of Things. Baking supplies such as stand mixers, cake pans, cake decorating tip set, bread and scone kits, and cookie cutters are available to check out.

You are also able to check out games like corn hole, a giant wooden Connect Four set, Bean Bag Bucketz, Croquet Set, and a Giant Tumbling Timber Toy. Tools, including an electric tiller, electric pressure washer, electric earth auger, push reel mower, and lawn maintenance kit are also available to rent at Ballentine.

Some other noteworthy items are a film-to-digital converter, binoculars (and birdwatching kit), monoculars, trail cam kit, sewing machine, and Cricut Maker Machine which are also available here.

There are rules and restrictions associated with checking these items out so be sure to read those in detail beforehand. You must have a library card to access the Library of Things and check items out. Main, Lower Richland, and Edgewood locations also have a Library of Things which includes an unbelievable variety of items from tents and telescopes to projection screens and a Stop-Motion Animation Kit.

Ballentine Library, Richland County Libraries location

More to Love at Richland County Libraries

There are programs for every age, ability, and interest across the Richland Library Branches. Programs they offer across the branches include family storytimes, Read To A Dog, Make & Create, Bilingual storytime, Crafternoon (babies, toddlers, teens, and adults all welcome), Teen Gaming Night and so much more.

Each branch also has a unique feature like the Print Studio at the Eastover Branch, Bike Repair Station at Edgewood, and Recording Studio at North Main. The Richland Library Main Branch has a Makerspace, Fiberworks Studio, Production Stage, Post-Production Lab, Theater, Artist-in-Residence Studio, and more. That’s just to name a few of the unique features they each offer.

You can read more about those at the Richland County Libraries Website.

We highly recommend you take advantage of the many free and fun resources the Richland Library has to offer. There is literally something for everyone. We highlight some of the upcoming events on our calendar.

Which is your favorite Richland Library location to visit and why

Richland County Libraries

Check out what’s happening at Richland’s Main Library.

Want more indoor things to do? Don’t miss our HUGE Indoor Guide to Columbia, SC.

Wild Lights at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden 

Posted on |

Have you heard about the new Wild Lights at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden? Whether you’re looking for a beautiful place to get in a few steps or just ready to experience new holiday fun, we have found the place for you! Wild Lights at the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is sure to bring a smile to your family’s face! This is truly a light show unlike any other and one you need to experience for yourself! 

Sneak Peek: Just a Bit of What You’ll See

Take a walk through Wild Lights with us.

What to Expect at Wild Lights

The walk up to the entrance is beautiful and gives you just a taste of the dazzling colors and displays that await you inside. The color-changing Angel’s Wings outside the gate serves as a great photo opportunity and the nightly snowfall as you enter is sure to catch the kids’ attention!

Wild Lights at Riverbanks Zoo

Once inside, you are greeted by photographers at a green screen. These creative photos are worth your time as they are transformed into pure magic by the time you circle back. These and other photo opportunities, including Santa, are available for purchase on your way out of the zoo. Be sure to keep the photo cards that you receive in a safe place as you’ll need those to get your pictures, plus, you can scan them after you leave in case you missed the stop on your way out.  

Travel through the Wild Lights at your own pace and in any direction that you choose with illuminations around every corner. Don’t be surprised if you get captivated by the color-changing lights on many of the displays. The kids will want to stop and ride the Merry – Go – Round and you’ll also want to pause and relax at one of the toasty fire tables. 

Riding the carousel at Wild Lights, Riverbanks Zoo

Santa at Wild Lights

One of the kids’ favorite stops will be the Stepping Board tiles that light up as they bounce across the giant illuminated “2023.” There are nightly visits from Santa and Mrs. Clause and while you wait, the friendliest elf will let your kids know if they made the naughty or nice list.

Visit Santa at Wild Lights

See what visiting with Santa looks like at Wild Lights

In Santa’s Village you can also color a card for the children at Children’s Hospital, details and supplies are provided there. Santa will only be there through December 23, 2023, so keep that in mind if you plan to see him on your visit.

There is light food available for purchase and lots of seating in this area and be sure to take advantage of some beautiful photo opportunities while you wait.  

Wild Lights

Noteworthy Displays at Riverbanks Zoo’s Wild Lights

While each lantern display is stunning, there are a few that stand out. The most memorable is one that absolutely can’t be missed. Situated in the center of the zoo, stands the stunning Lingzhi Tree, which is actually a species of mushroom! Topped with butterflies, it delicately changes color and is relaxing to watch plus makes for a great photo backdrop!

Not far from the Lingzhi, you’ll find illuminated Moonlight Swings that provide a fun place for both adults and kids to play and yet another great photo and video opportunity. Throughout your walk, you can stand and pose inside the mouth of a dinosaur and a crocodile! Remember to look up while you explore and take in the beautifully lit trees, Palace Lanterns, and color-changing butterflies.

The peacock spider and giant crab both have moving elements as well as the salamanders. Possibly the coolest moving lantern in the zoo? The Peacock! Twinkling with rainbow-colored lights the peacock initially appears small but if you wait just a few minutes, you’ll get to see it raise its feathers which creates a beautiful new display to enjoy! A train circles around the peacock and offers another fun activity for kids and parents too! 

Peacock at Wild Lights

Will We See Animals at Wild Lights?

While most of the animals are either off exhibit or sleeping, you may still luck out and find some awake and active! On our most recent trip, we had the pleasure of watching a koala enjoy a bamboo snack and even saw a zebra off in the distance through the dark.

The kids really enjoyed searching the enclosures to see if they could spot anything. The flamingoes were visible, squirrel monkeys were playful and we spotted several other indoor animals as well! The sea lions were very active, vocal, and lots of fun to watch before we headed home!  

Flowers at Riverbanks Zoo

Tips for Wild Lights

Make sure your camera and phone are fully charged.

Plan for your visit to take 1-2 hours depending on your pace and popularity of the day you go.  Allow extra time to capture some stunning pictures and videos and be sure to tag Kidding Around Columbia, Kidding Around Greenville, and Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens (so we can share in all the fun you’re having too!)

Weekends are typically busier than weekdays and of course, the warmer days will likely attract more visitors.

Don’t forget to stop and see how your photos have transformed since you took them upon entry and let the kids pick a couple of favorites to take home.

Stop in the beautifully decorated gift shop on your way out and let the kids give you Christmas gift ideas.

Wild Lights will return annually, however, the displays will rotate each year so it always remains fresh and new. With that said, you won’t want to miss this year’s displays so secure your tickets today!  

Wild Lights Dino

Time to Go Visit Wild Lights: Riverbanks Zoo

Whether you’re searching for a place to see Santa or a fun family night, Wild Lights at Riverbanks Zoo will be a fun adventure for everyone in your family! Immerse yourself in the twinkling wonderland of Wild Lights and prepare for a night of smiles and laughter!

Admission: Free for Zoo members, must reserve tickets online.  

General admission is $19.99 – $24.99 per adult 

 $14.99 – $19.99 per child (depending on the day you select) save up to $5.00 per ticket by purchasing in advance.  Children under two years old are free.   

Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia Zoo, Columbia, SC

Riverbanks Zoo is great any time of year. Find out all about it in our full Riverbanks Zoo Review.

Which Wild Lights are you looking forward to seeing the most? 

Wild Lights
Hours: 5 pm to 9 pm select nights  
Dates: November 17, 2023 through January 14, 2024. 

 

Give Back With These Volunteer Opportunities: Columbia, SC

Posted on |

You’d like to help out and give back to your community, but you’re not sure where to find volunteer opportunities. Columbia, SC is full of places where you can lend a hand and give back. We pulled together this list of ideas to get you started volunteering in Columbia, SC. Here are some places around Columbia that are happy for contributions of both supplies and time!

Volunteer opportunities: Columbia SC

Volunteer: Columbia, South Carolina

Soldiers Angels

Soldiers Angels is focused on supporting veterans through a variety of programs and has both in-person opportunities as well as virtual opportunities. Writing letters and making care packages for the deployed is one way in which even the youngest family members can contribute to this organization though they have other opportunities for almost everyone.

Youth Volunteer Corps

Youth Volunteer Corps welcomes children ages 11-18 and encourages parents to volunteer with their kids. Some recent past events include a fall clean up and community clean up.

This season there is an upcoming Shoe Drive opportunity taking place November 30, 2023 – December 1, 2023 and a Back in Stock event taking place on December 16, 2023, which offers an opportunity to help a family in need. Find more information on both of these Youth Volunteer Corps Projects on their website.

Local Animal Shelters

  • Pawmetto Lifeline helps homeless cats and dogs in the Midlands area and strives to reduce the overpopulation of pets by providing discounted spay and neuter appointments. Their Boots in Service program was created to help veterans’ pets receive medical care while their owner is away from home or receiving care themselves. Pawmetto Lifeline requires volunteers to be at least 16 years of age but younger family members are encouraged to help through donation drives or raise money through kid friendly fundraisers, lemonade stands or selling baked goods.
  • Final Victory Animal Rescue is a non-profit cat and dog rescue that focuses on providing a loving and positive experience for animals while working towards the ultimate goal of finding a forever home. They offer a wide variety of volunteer opportunities including building structures, on-site assistance, special events, photography, transportation, and dog socialization. Please contact them for questions regarding the age requirements for each category.
  • City of Columbia Animal Services has animals available for adoption/foster and welcomes volunteers of all ages. Opportunities include hands on help such as enrichment for the animals, dog walking and cat socialization and helping behind the scenes to enhance services and programs at the shelter. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while volunteering.

Harvest Hope

Harvest Hope is the largest food bank in South Carolina and strives to eliminate hunger across our communities. In addition to accepting food donations, they also rescue food from stores and spread it across the state’s shelters, soup kitchens and pantries. They have volunteer opportunities which are critical to the success of their organization. Volunteers must be 11 years of age and accompanied by an adult if ages 11-15.

Junior League of Columbia

Junior League of Columbia focuses on teaching youth, specifically girls in 7th-12th grade, the importance of volunteering. They offer a formal program and will be awarded a certificate upon completion.

Kids That Do Good

Kids That Do Good is a great resource to check frequently as they have volunteer opportunities in Columbia available for all ages. and The opportunities are searchable by location which is great if you’re looking to take a day trip or add a charitable component to your next family trip!

Families Helping Families

Families Helping Families helps provide services around the holidays including Christmas gifts, food, and clothing. Opportunities include food preparation, warehouse help, answering calls, and donations among others.

Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots

Toys For Tots is another program that welcomes both volunteers and donations around the holidays.

Toy and Supply Drives

  • Toy Drive @ Airport High School: New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the main office of Airport High School from now until November 17, 2023.
  • Drive n’ Drop Supply Drive: Come together as a community and make a positive impact in the drive n’ drop senior resources supply drive. Things needs are soup cans, cereal, peanut butter, toiletries, and more. All donations will be benefiting Senior Resources and Meals on Wheels.

More Volunteer and Charitable Events

More Ideas for the Whole Family: Volunteering

  • Deliver cards to Nursing Home residents
  • Contact Local church to find events or opportunities
  • Donate Clothing for Newborns in the NICU
  • Volunteer at a local zoo, farm, or nature center
  • Make bird feeders to place in your yard
  • Deliver meals or treats to your local firehouse
  • Distribute holiday cards or gifts to children in the hospital
  • Make and distribute care packages for the homeless or keep in your car to hand out when the opportunity arises
  • Help your child create a collection box for their birthday (or any time of year) and select a cause they care about then ask classmates, neighbors, and party invitees for items to donate
  • Make a DIY dog or cat toy and deliver to a local animal shelter
  • Read to an animal at your local ASPCA or Humane Society
  • Visit WorldWildlife.org and let your child select their favorite endangered animal, give a craft or drawing of the animal to friends and family in exchange for donations and then “adopt” the animal and receive a matching plush
  • Build and fill a “free book library” outside your home where neighbors can take one or leave one!
  • Gather and deposit food to a local food bank (or shop your pantry if it is unopened and within date)

Guess What? Chickenbutt Donuts Are Amazing

Posted on |

What’s a Chickenbutt Donut? If you are looking for a quick breakfast treat in the Columbia area, whether that’s a place to sit and enjoy the atmosphere or grab and go, we have the perfect place for you! Chickenbutt Donuts is the local donut destination that attracts both local residents and travelers alike, guaranteeing a fresh and fun experience with each visit!

Donuts from Chickenbutt Donuts in Chapin, SC

Welcome to Chickenbutt Donuts

Located in Chapin, South Carolina, Chickenbutt Donuts is truly a gem of the area. You know you’re in for a good time even before opening the front door when you see the sign posted Grumpy People Not Allowed, This Is A Happy Place Where Donuts Are Made. Upon entry, you will be joyfully greeted by owners Tre and Sue and their team who make the donut shopping experience unlike any other.

Video Review: Chickenbutt Donuts

The Chickenbutt Story

Tre and Sue worked for 25 years in the service industry before moving on to work at Amazon in West Columbia. After 6 years of working “real jobs” they realized that wasn’t the life for them and they began brainstorming what business venture to begin that wasn’t already saturated.

They eventually landed on making donuts, purchased a donut machine on eBay and taught themselves how to make them in their garage! They conducted about 6 months of “market research” taking 50 dozen donuts to employees at the very same Amazon Facility for free in exchange for their opinions and feedback.

They eventually opened a storefront and thus Chickenbutt Donuts was born. “How did they come up with that name though,” you may ask. Well, we were curious too, so we asked! Originally, the theme was set to be centered around Tiki Décor like palm trees and tiki masks.

One afternoon, while literally in the middle of designing some of the décor, their children came running in announcing they had an idea and yelling “Guess what!? Guess what!?” What was their idea?

Yes, that’s right, you guessed it!

Chickenbutt!

Their kindergartener and first grader named their donut shop and it has been growing ever since.

Chickenbutt Donuts in Chapin, SC

Chickenbutt is all about fun

The same humor with which it was created is the same humor that greets you at the door with each and every visit. Tre, Sue and their team are a happy group of people who love what they do and you truly feel it while you’re there. The only thing that may be more fun than your visit is witnessing the smiles and laughter of those who receive the fun assortment of donuts.

Our Favorite Chickenbutt Donuts

Chickenbutt Donuts is a great stop before heading out for a day on Lake Murray, a quick breakfast on the run, or a fun stop for the kids. It is also a great place to take friends or family from out of town or sit and relax while enjoying some coffee.

Their donuts are uniquely all cake donuts and the vanilla base flavor is always available. The cake consistency is very light and airy, not what you may traditionally think a cake donut to be, a taste you truly have to experience to understand!

There are a variety of specialty flavors that rotate daily including Blueberry, Chocolate, Carrot Cake, Pumpkin Spice, and the locally legendary Apple Cider Cake Donut!

Every donut is made to order and you can quite literally create any combination imaginable from simple to fancy or beyond.

Some of the existing donuts you’ll already find on the menu are the Banana Cream, Blueberry Pancake with Walnuts, Cannoli, Dirt and Worms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Reese’s, S’mores, or my personal favorite, The Maple Bacon Donut!

The one you really need to see to believe is the signature Chickenbutt Donut which, oddly enough, perfectly resembles its name!

Chickenbutt Donuts: Maple bacon donuts

Picking your donuts

Building your dream donut can be a bit overwhelming your first time, especially with the endless variety of toppings and combinations so we recommend visiting the website ahead of time to peruse your options, especially if the kids are already hungry. Donut boxes are also available for pre-order on their user-friendly website.

The Chicken’s Choice Boxes provide a good variety if you’re in a hurry or indecisive and The Kids Party Box is sure to impress the littles!

You’ll love Chickenbutt, too!

Chickenbutt Donuts will be your kids’ most requested breakfast spot once they experience the endless options and fun creations like the Chickenbutt Donut and the Lake Murray Monster Donut.

They also serve both hot and iced coffee and have a wide variety of coffee flavorings. Their available blends are Loveland’s Chickenbutt Blend and Bart’s Crazy Good O.M.G. Blend, both are local and are available bagged to take home as well.

They offer seasonal donut boxes and kits for major holidays which include donuts, icing, and decorations. These make a great family activity or gift!

Be sure to follow them on Facebook as their page is always entertaining.

Chickenbutt Donuts
2130B Dutch Fork Road, Chapin

Looking for breakfast places with a few more options? Brunch Restaurants in Columbia, SC

Columbia, SC Restaurants: where to eat out

Find more great places to eat out in Columbia, SC.

Here’s the Kidding Around Guide to Restaurants in Columbia, SC

Great Things to Do at Beautiful Irmo Community Park

Posted on |

Have you visited Irmo Community Park yet? This hidden park is tucked away, but it’s still very popular with locals. Beautifully landscaped and full of things to do, including trails and playgrounds, Irmo Community Park is also home to many community events including the famous Okra Strut Festival!

Irmo Community Park

About Irmo Community Park

Irmo Community Park is gorgeous. The park is well landscaped and full of mature trees with a pretty pond, walking trails, picnic shelters, multiple playgrounds, and an amphitheater.

Stop by to let the kids burn off some energy, get in some extra steps on the shady trails, or catch an upcoming event in the amphitheater!

The Playgrounds

Shaded and unique, the playgrounds at Irmo Community Park offer space for both the little ones and the big kids to climb, slide, and have some fun. The ground cover under the climbers is solid rubber, but there’s still mulch and sandy dirt between each area. There are several climbing walls and climbing structures, a saucer swing, plus spinning features that will get the kids dizzy. The smaller play area is covered with a sun canopy and nearby there is a large log mounted for kids to practice their balancing skills!

The spaces are open and not fenced.


What to Know Before You Go

Spring and Summer are beautiful times of year to visit Irmo Community Park as the landscaping is very
colorful and hosts a variety of photo-worthy backdrops! The tall mature trees and stream line a
portion of the walking path adding to the natural beauty of this park.

There are restrooms on-site located near the pond and only a short walk from the playground and amphitheater.

Pond at Irmo Community Park

There are 2 picnic shelters with BBQ grills which can be reserved for parties and special events. The park is free for public use and is open from 7 am to 10 pm daily.

Irmo Community Park
7507 Eastview Drive

Irmo Community Park amphitheater

What is your favorite community event to attend at Irmo Community Park?


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

Don’t miss our huge guide to Parks and Playgrounds in Columbia, SC!