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50+ Things to Do in Columbia, SC: Fun Days Start Here

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What is there to do in Columbia? A lot! If you’re looking for things to do or attractions in Columbia, SC you’ve come to the right spot. When you’re spending time in South Carolina’s capital city with your family and kids, there are a lot of things to do and adventures to fill your days. Here are some great kids’ activities in Columbia and more ideas to keep you busy.

This article includes:
Things to Do Outdoors in Columbia, SC
Things to Do Indoors in Columbia, SC
Seasonal Fun: Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring Fun in Columbia, SC

Looking for dining and restaurants? If you’re searching for things to eat in Columbia, we have some suggestions here: Find Your Favorite Restaurants and Family Dining in Columbia, SC.

Columbia, SC

Are Your Children Safe in a Golf Cart?

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It’s common to see golf carts scooting around neighborhoods but are children safe while riding them? Pediatric surgeon Stanton Adkins, MD, explains why parents should be concerned about golf cart safety.

Thank you to Prisma Health for sponsoring this article!

Why Should You Be Concerned?

While most parents buckle up their children and use child safety seats in their cars, they don’t use that same care with recreational vehicles. Golf carts are not toys, however, and drivers should be educated about the risks they pose.

Prisma Health 2023

“Golf carts are not protective. We are concerned by the increasing number of golf carts we are seeing on public roads, often with unrestrained children riding in them,” said Dr. Adkins.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 1,000 people are injured every month and the majority of those hurt are children and teens.

Prisma Health 2023

“Most golf carts don’t have seat belts and people don’t wear helmets when riding in them,” said Dr. Adkins. “These vehicles generally are not licensed for the road. It is frightening to see people driving down busy major roads with very little protection, especially for child passengers.”

Most injuries occur when the cart tips over or riders are thrown from the carts during sharp turns. About half of golf cart injuries are related to falling or jumping from a golf cart.

What You Should Know About Golf Cart Safety

“Most of our streets and roads do not have golf cart paths. We want to remind parents that children can be seriously injured in and around golf carts, so families should use extra caution with these and other recreational vehicles,” said Dr. Adkins.

Prisma Health 2023

Dr. Adkins wants everyone to remember these golf cart safety facts:

  • Children are at the highest risk for falls.
  • A fall is twice as likely to cause a head or neck injury.
  • Rear-facing golf cart seats pose a high risk for falls.
  • Golf carts traveling even at slow speeds can eject a passenger during a turn.
  • Most golf carts don’t have brakes on all four wheels.
  • Most golf carts don’t have seat belts or stability mechanisms.
  • Golf carts offer little protection in a collision.
  • Golf carts often don’t have lights or reflectors.
  • Golf carts should not be operated at night.

Need a Primary Care Doctor?

The best time to schedule a new patient visit is while your child is well. Find a provider who’s right for your family by viewing online profiles, star ratings and reviews.

Stanton Adkins, MD, is a pediatric general surgeon with Prisma Health. He is board certified in general and pediatric surgery.

Golf Cart Safety Tips from Kidding Around

Golf cart safety is the responsibility of the driver. The driver controls whose in the cart, the maximum speed, and where you go.

Disclaimer: Kidding Around doesn’t have any expert golf cart knowledge. But having been in a golf cart that nearly tipped because a grown-up thought it would be cool to let a kid drive, I’d like to just take a minute to summarize a few dos and don’ts for golf cart drivers to consider.

  1. Make sure passengers are safely seated before driving the cart, and don’t exceed the number of passengers the cart is designed for.
  2. Avoid sharp turns, sudden starts, stops and fast turns, and don’t drive straight up and down slopes.
  3. Avoid excessive speed and always yield to pedestrians.
  4. This one sounds maybe a little silly, but make sure you know how to operate the golf cart before moving the golf cart. This includes knowing how to use hand signals for turning signals.
  5. Golf carts were made for the golf course, not for regular family transportation. Don’t operate them in bad weather.
  6. Just like the rides at the theme park, body parts stay in the cart. Don’t let anyone hang off.
  7. Use the parking brake when stopped. You pull up to chat with the neighbor for a minute as you’re driving by, it’s time to use that parking brake.
  8. Avoid distractions! Phones, we’re looking at you.
  9. Consider wearing seat belts, and installing them if you don’t have them.
  10. Consider bike helmets for kids.
  11. Kids really shouldn’t be driving golf carts. They aren’t licensed drivers and they don’t have the experience needed to make quick decisions and corrections if something unexpected should happen.

Get Free School Supplies in Columbia, SC (And Have Fun Doing It)

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Are you in need of free school supplies or clothing for your students this upcoming school year in and around Columbia, SC?  With the school year quickly approaching, families could be feeling extra financial pressure and we understand all the supplies, clothing, bookbags, etc. add up quickly! Fortunately local churches, community groups, schools, and organizations are planning quite a few free back-to-school supply events. Whether you’re in need of supplies, lunch boxes, backpacks, or even clothing we’ve got a lengthy list of places for you! 

Back to school free supplies in Columbia, SC

This article includes:
How Can I Get Free School Supplies for My Kids?
Columbia, SC Area Free School Supply Events

How Do I Get Free School Supplies for My Kids?

It is estimated that families will spend, on average, about $750 to get their kids ready to head back to school. While that number is shocking and stressful for so many, our Columbia community has done a fantastic job at putting together back-to-school supply drives and free events for families in need.

These events are fun and often include live music and free cook-out-style lunches in addition to a school supply giveaway. Celebrate back to school! The easiest way to get free school supplies for kids is to look for these community events. Below are several options for your kiddos to get what is on their school list in Columbia, SC.

Free School Supplies Events for Kids Near Columbia, SC

2023 Build a Backpack Event

When: July 15th, 2023 9 am to 2 pm
Where: Greenview Community Center, 6700 David Street, Columbia, SC
Details: Free school supplies from vendors, presented byt he CMMS Foundation
Build a Backpack Event

Back To School Bash Drive Thru – Richland County Recreation Department

Multiple Events!
When and Where:
July 28th, 2023 at 6 pm at North Springs Park, 1320 Clemson Road, Columbia, SC
August 3rd, 2023 at 6 pm at Meadowlake Park, 600 Beckman Road, Columbia, SC
August 4th, 2023 at 6 pm at Friarsgate Park, 1712 Chadford Road, Irmo, SC
August 10th, 2023 at 6 pm at St. Andrews Park, 920 Beatty Road, Columbia
August 11th, 2023 at 6 pm at Hopkins Park,150 Hopkins Park Road, Hopkins, SC
August 12th, 2023 at 11 am at Eastover Park, 1031 Main Street, Eastover, SC

Details: This is a drive-thru event where school supply stations will be set up throughout the parking lot. Students must be present and in the car in order to receive supplies. Supplies are a first come, first serve basis so plan to be there a few minutes early! For more information contact Melanie Comans at 803.741.7272 x 112.
Richland County Back To School Bash Drive Thru

Back to School Bash

When: July 29th, 2023 from 11 am to 3 pm
Where: 550 N. Parason Street, West Columbia
Details: Free school supplies, free food, live music, and fun
Back to School Bash

Community Back to School Bash

When: July 29th, 2023 from 10 am to 1 pm
Where: Church of Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ of The Apostolic Faith, 1632 Germany Street, Columbia
Details: Free community event with free school supplies, free food, and community resources. There will be story time and bounce houses!
Community Back to School Bash

Back to School Event: His Hands Family Outreach Services

When: July 29th, 2023 from 9 am to 1 pm (You must register in advance, by July 16th!)
Where: Radius Church, White Knoll Campus
Details: Free school supplies and free activities including haircuts for kids K-8th grade, face painting, bounce houses, lunch, and more!
Back to School Event

Free Bookbag Giveaway

When: July 29th, 2023, 10 am to 11 am
Where: Irmo Community Park, 7505 Eastview Drive Irmo, SC
Details: Arise Church will be giving away bookbags stuffed with school supplies to children (while supplies last). There will be music, bouncy houses, free food, free sports physicals, sno cones and more!
Free Bookbag Giveaway

Back 2 School Calvary Community Church

When: July 29th, 2023 from 3 pm to 5 pm
Where: Calvary Community Church, 4045 Calvary Road, West Columbia
Deatils: Free school supplies and clothing while supplies last
Back 2 School Event at Cavlary Community Church

Back to School Bash- For Children and Adults With Hearing Loss and Their Families

When: July 29th, 2023, from 9 am to 11 am
Where: Seven Oaks Park, 200 Leisure Lane, Columbia
Details: Free haircuts, free school supplies, snacks, information on resources, and visits with Juliet the therapy dog. This event is for families impacted by hearing loss.
Register in advance.

TCC Verizon – School Rocks Backpack Giveaway 

When: July 30th, 2023 1 pm
Where: TCC Verizon stores

  • TCC Irmo – 1100 Dutch Fork Rd., Ste G, Irmo, SC 29063
  • TCC Chapin – 1221 Chapin Rd., Ste G, Chapin, SC 29036
  • TCC Lexington – 851 Highway 378, Ste 104, Lexington, SC 29072 

Details: It’s the 11th anniversary of the School Rocks Giveaway and students can receive one backpack stocked with school supplies. This event giveaway is a first come, first serve basis so plan to be there early! 
School Rocks Backpack Giveaway

Back to School Bash: Rhema Word Restoration Ministries

When: July 30th, 2023 from 2 pm to 5 pm
Where: 908 North Brickyard Road, Columbia
Details: Free school supplies for kids K5- college. Free food, waterslide, bounce house, games and more.
Back to School Bash

Richland School District 2 Back to School Bash

When: August 5th, 2023, 10 am to 12 pm
Where: R2I2, 763 Fashion Drive, Columbia
Details: Free backpacks and school supplies (limited quantity) plus children’s activities, vision screenings, sports sign-up, job recruitment, and more!
Richland 2 Back to School Bash

Post 215 Back to School Bash

When: August 9th, 2023, 6 pm to 8 pm
Where: Columbia SC Louis D Simmons American Legion Post 215, 2433 Chappelle Street, Columbia
Details: Free fun and school supplies for kids
Post 215 Back to School Bash

Back 2 School Bash

When: August 12th, 2023, 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Lorick Park, 1600 Lorick Avenue, Columbia
Details: Free food, games and school supplies. This event is put on by Healthy Blue and The City of Columbia Parks.
Back 2 School Bash

Yell Out for Youth

When: August 26th, 2023 from 12 pm to 3 pm
Where: MLK Park, 2300 Greene Street, Columbia
Details: Free food, games, ice cream, school supplies, parent giveaways, and free vendors
Yell Out For Youth

Gamecock School Supplies 

When: Throughout the school year
Where: Student Success Center
Details: This service is ONLY for undergraduates of the University of South Carolina. While this service is a little different than other events listed, we wanted to get the word out to any families that have college students! The Gamecock supply closet is the newest service of the Student Success Center and offers free school supplies such as notebooks, scantrons, dry erase boards, calculators, and much, much more. Students can utilize this service once every two weeks and all undergraduates are eligible with their valid Carolina Card. 
Gamecock School Supplies

Free Things to Do in Columbia, SC

Have a free adventure!

Discover all the free things to do in Columbia, SC

In the Upstate area? Don’t miss free school supplies near Greenville, SC.

Jump, Skate, and Play Laser Tag at Flight Adventure Park in Columbia, SC

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Are you searching for an indoor place to have fun with your family in Northeast Columbia, SC? Whether you’ve got toddlers, teenagers, or a mix of both, Flight Adventure Park is the perfect place for you! Here your kiddos can jump on trampolines and bounce houses, roller skate, play laser tag, and more! Below you will find all you need to know about Flight Adventure Park – from purchasing tickets to information on all the awesome attractions! 

Things to Do at Flight Adventure Park:
Ninja Course
Roller Skating
Laser Tag
Turf Field

This article includes:
About Flight Adventure Park
Tickets and Pricing at Flight
Things to Do at Flight Adventure Park
Deals and Events at Flight Adventure Park

Ninja course at Flight Adventure Park

30+ Places For Your Family to Cool Off, Splash Around, and Swim Near Columbia, SC

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Looking for a place to splash, swim, or cool off in Columbia, SC? Beat the heat this summer in “famously hot” Columbia, SC with some swimming at a Columbia, SC splash pad, public pool, or swimming hole! With temperatures quickly approaching the mid-90’s and only getting hotter, it’s almost impossible to not be around water for much longer.

Whether you’re looking for splash pads, public pools, lake and river access, or water parks we’ve got it all! Below you will find an extensive list of outdoor places in and around Columbia to cool off with your family this summer and the good news is, the majority of them are FREE!  

Where to splash and swim: Columbia, SC

Water safety is so important! Please always be cautious and aware of your children while in and around water. Some of the places listed may not have on-duty lifeguards. Swim at your own risk and be sure to always check for dangers, wear lifejackets when appropriate, and stay alert.    

Here’s Where to Cool Off in Columbia:
Splash pads and spray pools in Columbia, SC
Public Pools in Columbia, SC
Natural Swimming Spots in Columbia, SC: Lakes, rivers, and creeks
Columbia, SC Water Parks


23+ Standout Coffee Shops: Columbia, SC in 2023

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Are you on the hunt for a delicious coffee shop in or around the Columbia area? We gathered a large list of our favorite coffee shops, most of them locally owned, near Columbia, SC. Our list includes coffee shops in Irmo, Blythewood, Chapin, Cayce, and Lexington, too!

Whether you’re in need of a midday pick-me-up or even a staple coffee shop to add into your morning routine, we’ve got you covered! Grab your favorite drip coffee, cold brew, or maybe something fancy like a rose cardamom latte. Yum. Or, just grab some coffee beans for later. These places are serving coffee, but you’ll also find some with treats, small plates, and cafe-style breakfast and lunch.

Looking for more meal ideas? Don’t forget to take a look at our delicious list of restaurants!

This article includes:
Best Coffee Shops in Columbia, SC
Delicious Coffee Shops in Lexington, SC
Great Coffee Shops in Irmo, SC
Favorite Coffee Shops in Chapin, SC
Best Coffee Shops in Blythewood, SC


Delicious! Our Favorite Bakeries in Columbia, SC

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Are you looking for your new favorite bakery? Columbia, SC has a diverse and vibrant bakery scene. There is no shortage in Columbia when it comes to tackling that sweet tooth craving!

There’s something so special about walking into a local sweet shop and picking out the perfect baked good. In this article, we’ll highlight a few of our favorite bakeries around town and provide an extended list that are all worth the visit.

Whether you’re looking for the best petit four in the state (maybe I’m biased, but it is REALLY good), a delicious gluten-free or vegan cupcake that requires two hands to eat, or a heavenly slice of cake we’ve got you covered.

Find your favorite bakery! Columbia, SC is full of great bakery options.

From the famous Tiffany’s Sweets, Eats and Meeting place in Northeast Columbia, to the adorable Love a Cup Bakery staking its claim in West Cola, to the O’Haras bakery nestled in downtown Lexington, we’ll introduce you to these bakeries and what makes them special to our city. We’ll also include an extended list of bakeries that you don’t want to sleep on! So get ready to indulge in your senses and explore the world of bakeries in Columbia!

Tiffany’s Eats, Sweets and Meeting Place – NE Columbia

If you haven’t visited this local gem you should stop what you’re doing now and head on over. Make sure to check their hours though as they are selective. Tiffany’s really holds such a special place in our Northeast Columbia hearts. Since 1977 this establishment has been serving up some delicious bistro-style meals in addition to its outstanding confectioneries. This bakery is worth a lunch trip if you have time because you don’t want to miss out on their freshly made soups or sandwiches (made from their own freshly baked bread!) or salads.

The real prize of this place though, without a doubt, the Petit Four. These tiny, melt-in-your-mouth cakes steal the show at any baby, bridal, or wedding shower. Don’t wait for a special occasion to indulge though, pop in any time and grab one (or a dozen) and just sit back and go to your happy place.

Tiffany's Sweets

Love A Cup Bakery – West Columbia

True to its name, these desserts really feel like they’re made with love. The owner, Mrs Curry, can usually be found baking away or behind the counter, but she’s as sweet as the treats she’s putting out. Not only is there an abundance of cupcakes, cookies and desserts to try in store, but speciality items are available for order as well. The one thing you don’t want to miss out on, the cupcakes. So big, and so many amazing flavors to choose from, the only thing you won’t enjoy is having to pick just one! Good thing you can buy as many as you like.

Not only are these cupcakes perfect for any occasion, but also for almost any dietary need. Love A Cup offers vegan and gluten-free options for several of their desserts! These are not lacking in flavor a bit, so if you’ve got a craving and require a special diet option, look no further!

O’Hara’s Bakery Cafe – Lexington

This bakery, and brand, have created quite the stir in downtown Lexington. O’Hara’s has expanded their bakery to now include brunch and lunch options and they look just as tempting as their desserts! Whether you’re in the mood for a coffee and breakfast pastry on the go, or a cappacino and slice of amazing cake to dine in with, this place has you covered!

We enjoyed the red velvet cheesecake (a specialty item at the time) and a slice of their Butterfinger cake (definitely something to write home about). The bakery features some rotating specialty baked goods as well as a defined menu of muffins, pastries, cakes, and cookies! What more could you ask for? A little-known secret around town too, is the owners bought out the recipes from the beloved Nonnah’s that used to reside downtown. So if you’re missing any of your favorite treats, it’s worth the drive to stop by and see what they have!

Don’t hesitate to step next door to the original O’hara’s for lunch or dinner as well. Irish pub vibes with some amazing dishes you don’t want to miss out on.

Ohara's Bakery Cafe in Lexington, SC
O’hara’s Bakery Cafe

Extended List: Find a great bakery in Columbia, SC

Here are some more bakeries around the Columbia area that you absolutely don’t want to skip!

Ally & Eloise — Main Street / Forest Drive
Silver Spoon Bake Shop — Devine Street
Sweet GG’s Bake Shop — Harden Street
The Strudel Shop — Washington Street
Meesha’s Sinful Cakes — Two Notch Road
Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli — Devine Street
Blue Flour Bakery — St Andrews Road

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 to 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.

(2023) 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.

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 Egg Hunts in Columbia, SC

What do you want to do for Easter in Columbia, SC?
Easter Egg Hunts Columbia, SC
Easter Bunny Photos
Brunch with the Bunny
Everything! ALL the Easter Events: Columbia, SC
Bonus: Parent Tips for Easter Egg Hunts

Easter Egg Hunts: Columbia SC

Clinton Sease Farm Easter Egg Hunts

April 8, 2023: 10 am to 1 pm- Children’s Easter Egg hunt that includes a cow train, wagon rides, bubbles, playground, obstacle course, and photos with the Easter Bunny. Tickets are $15 or $10 for those not participating in the egg hunt.

Read our review of Clinton Sease Farm

Clinton Sease Farm also offers an adult Easter Egg Hunt on April 1st at 6:30 pm.

The Great Lexington Egg Hunt

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.

Submit your form by April 10th for a chance to win!

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 run March 17th, 2023 through April 8th, 2023 
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. Registration opens March 25th, 2023, and you will definitely want to register in advance.

  • Saturday, April 1st, 11 am to 6 pm
  • Sunday, April 2nd,  11 am to 4 pm
  • Monday, April 3rd, 5 pm to 8 om
  • Tuesday, April 4th, 5 pm to 8 pm
  • Wednesday, April 5th, 5 pm to 8 pm
  • Thursday, April 6th, 4 pm to 8 pm
  • Friday, April 7th, 11 am to 6 pm
  • Saturday, April 8th, 11 am to 6 pm
  • Sunday, April 9th, 11 am to 3 pm

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 on Sunday, April 2nd, 2023 is sold out.

More Easter Brunch and Bunny Meals

Easter Brunch at Columbo’s Double Tree Hilton

Easter Brunch Columbo’s Menu
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!

50+ Free Things to Do in Columbia, SC

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Looking for free activities in Columbia, SC? You can fill up a day in Columbia without spending a dime! We’ve compiled a list and it is packed full of free and cheap ideas for you. Grab your family and make some fun-filled memories together for free. Here’s our list of free things to do in Columbia, SC with kids!

Free Things to Do in Columbia, SC

This article includes:
Free Things to Do Outdoors in Columbia, SC
Kids Eat Free
Free Things to Do Indoors in Columbia, SC
Free Events in Columbia, SC

Free Things to Do Outside in Columbia, SC

Go on a walk: Head to Columbia’s Riverwalk for a walk with your family. With more than 20 miles of riverwalk and trails, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors. You can find shade under the trees and bridges, and parking is free!

Paved path at West Columbia Riverwalk

Have a picnic at the Horseshoe at the University of South Carolina: The Horseshoe at USC is a perfect place to have a family picnic and spend the afternoon. Bring some outdoor toys and bikes and enjoy the weather together. While there’s plenty of shade, you will need to bring a little money to park.

Play tennis: Head to one of Columbia’s public recreational tennis courts.

Cool off at a pool or splash pad: One of the most fun things to do in the summer is taking your kids to a pool or splash pad. While the Maxcy Gregg and Greenview Pools have a small fee ($3 – $4 depending on age), the splash pads and spray pools are free and open to the public. 

We have a huge list of 30+ places to cool off, swim, and splash in Columbia, SC. Many of them are totally FREE!

Elmwood Roy Lynch Park Splashpad
Splashpad at Elmwood Roy Lynch Park in Columbia, SC

Spray Pools and Pads in Columbia *Be sure to call the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department at 803.545.3100 or check online for operating hours.

  • Anna’s Park – 1315 Liberty Hill Avenue
  • Drew Park – 2102 Walker Solomon Way
  • Edisto Discovery Park – 1914 Wiley Street 
  • Emily Douglas Park – 2500 Wheat Street
  • Heathwood Park – 800 Abelia Road
  • Hyatt Park – 950 Jackson Avenue
  • Lorick Park – 1600 Lorick Avenue
  • Mays Park – 4100 Trenholm Road
  • Melrose Park – 1500 Fairview Road
  • Pacific Park – 200 Wayne Street
  • Pinehurst Park – 2300 Pinehurst Road
  • Roy Lynch Park – 900 Abbeville Street
  • Sims Park – 3500 Duncan Street

Play at one of the local parks or playgrounds: What kid doesn’t love to run around at a cool playground? There are plenty of beautiful parks with great playgrounds in the Columbia area.

The Community Park of Irmo, Elmwood/Roy Lynch Park, and the Owens Field Skate Park & Pump Track are all great parks with playgrounds and other amenities such as walking trails, ball fields, zip lines, and splash pads.

If you are looking for a great park with shade to avoid those famously hot Columbia days, Hollywood Park is an excellent choice. For the days you’re wanting to be more immersed in nature, check out Doko Meadows Park.

If you are needing an all-inclusive playground, then Leo’s Landing is definitely the park to go to.

In West Columbia, Carraway Park has an amazing playground space!

The playground at Carraway Park in West Columbia
Carraway Park

Sesquicentennial State Park has lots of amenities, including $5 kayak rentals. Park admission is required unless you have SC State Park Annual Pass. If you do, admission is free.

Check out all the parks and playgrounds in Columbia

Ride bikes: Grab your bikes and go on a bike ride. Download the Sprocket app, an app created by The Cola Town Bike Collective, to help you find the perfect, safe bike route for you and your family.

Go fishing: Enjoy free fishing thanks to the South Carolina Fishing Tackle Loaner program where you can borrow a rod, reel, and tackle box for FREE. Some fishing spots to consider are Lake Murray (head to Dreher Island State Park) or Saluda Shoals Park.

Go Swimming at Lake Murray: Pay $5 to park at the closest parking lot or use the free parking and walk. Either way, enjoy the beach and swimming area on a sunny day with your family.

Playing at Lake Murray Park
Lake Murray Park

Go see an outdoor movie: The Icehouse Amphitheater in Lexington shows movies every now and then. Be sure to check their schedule for upcoming shows and other events. You can also enjoy a summer movie for free at Doko Meadows park.

Or, check out this list of free and cheap movies this summer in Columbia.

Head out for a hike: There are plenty of hiking trails in Columbia. From paved multi-use trails to longer, more rugged trails, you’ll find something for you and your family to enjoy. Check out our list of some of the best hiking trails with free admittance in the Columbia, SC area.

  • Cayce Riverwalk | Main Entrance: 201 Naples Avenue, Cayce, SC 
  • Columbia Canal and Broad River Trail | 312 Laurel Street., Columbia, SC
  • Saluda Riverwalk | Candi Lane, Columbia, SC
  • Guignard Clay Quarry Loop | 634 Old State Road, Cayce, SC
  • Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve | 2207 Conservancy Road, Kershaw, SC
  • Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve | 883 Peachtree Rock Road, Lexington, SC
  • Congaree National Park Hiking Trails | 100 National Park Road, Hopkins, SC

Stroll down Main Street for Soda City Market: Every Saturday from 9 am – 1 pm, vendors gather on Main Street for a European-inspired street market for the Soda City Market. Everything sold is unique, hand-crafted, and produced in the Southeast. While strolling and perusing what the vendors have to offer, you’ll hear music and be able to do a lot of people-watching.

Throw a frisbee around at one of the disc golf courses: Grab your disc golf frisbee and play disc golf for free. Udisc has a list of courses in the area.

Go on a public art tour: You can treat this as a scavenger hunt if you’d like, but there are plenty of public art installations around Columbia that you can visit for free. One Columbia has an interactive map for you to find art spots.

The art in Columbia includes the “world’s largest fire hydrant” sculpture located on Taylor Street in Columbia, SC, between Marion and Bull Street.

You can also visit the Interactive Art Park in West Columbia. It’s free!

West Columbia Interactive Art Park

Grab the family and head to one of the many Columbia area farmer’s markets! One of the most popular, The Soda City Farmers Market in Downtown Columbia, has tons of vendors and is a lot of fun for the entire family. You can also check out The Market at Icehouse, located at the Icehouse Amphitheatre in Lexington.

First Thursdays on Main: First Thursdays on Main include free live music and even free admission to cultural venues, like the Columbia Museum of Art on select First Thursdays. Food and other items are available for purchase.

Attend a FREE event at Congaree National Park, like the Ranger Guided Owl Prowl hike. You might get a chance to see or hear one of these amazing creatures in the wild! But even if you don’t, you’ll learn a lot and have some fun!

Play pickleball: Pickleball has become quite a popular hobby in the last few years! There are several public pickleball courts all throughout Columbia that operate on a first-come, first serve basis:

Go Geocaching: Have you ever been geocaching? We can assure you that this is an activity that your whole family will get hooked on! Geocaching is an outdoor game, very similar to a treasure hunt, where you use GPS to locate different “treasures” hidden by others.

Richland County has set up an interactive geocaching game where you can learn how to keep our waterways clean, experience local art, and hunt for geocaches! Start by downloading a “Drains Aren’t Dumps Passport” and you will quickly be on your way to discovering awesome treasure.

Decorate, Hide, and Find Painted Rocks: Most of us are familiar with discovering painted rocks hidden throughout the city, but what you might not know is that there is a Facebook group called Columbia-SC Rocks! People will post pictures of their decorated rocks and give hints as to where they can be found. Along with hunting for them, it’s super fun to paint a few with your kiddos, go around to some of their favorite places, and hide them for others to enjoy.

Visit the Sandhill Children’s Garden: The Sandhill Children’s Garden is located near the Farmer’s Market on Clemson Road, across from the Sandhill Shopping Center. Here you will find beautiful gardens, birdhouses, neat flowers, and much more. There are sometimes even small events that take place here. Looking to introduce your children to volunteer work? The Sandhill Children’s Garden is almost always looking for new volunteers to keep the gardens looking spectacular!

Eat Free

Kids Eat FREE in Columbia: While you’re out and about on your free things to do adventure, grab a cheap meal by taking advantage of these kids eat free deals.

Kids Eat Free in Columbia, SC

Free Things to Do Inside in Columbia, SC

See model trains! Visit the Associated Model Railroad of Columbia on most Thursday evenings for free! Learn about model trains, watch the trains chug through the beautiful displays, and kids may even get a chance to drive a train!

Note: They are not open on the first Thursday of the month.
1800 Lincoln Street, Columbia 

See model trains! Columbia, SC has a free model train museum at AMROC.

Go Bowling: There are several bowling alleys in the Columbia area where kids up to age 15 can bowl for free in summer. You’ll still need to rent shoes or bring your own.

Anchor Lanes – 1000 Columbia Avenue, Irmo
Royal Z Lanes – 8512 Two Notch Road, Columbia
Stars and Strikes – 700 Columbiana Drive, Irmo

Head to the library: Richland County Libraries and Lexington County Library both have children‘s programs you can participate in, which include storytime, crafts, and movies.

Grab a free DIY Kit from Home Depot: Home Depot has free Kids Workshop kits that you can pick up on the first Saturday of each month from 9 am – 12 pm while supplies last. 

Don’t miss 10+ FREE Things to Do for Kids Across the USA.

Participate in a DIY-U Lowe’s Event: Lowe’s has both in-store and online DIY workshops that are completely free! Workshops for kids usually take place once each month and are led by Red Vest experts. This is a GREAT hands-on activity that your kids will love! Be sure to register in advance for these events!

Tour the South Carolina State House: Want to get a little education with your activity? Head to the State House for a free guided or self-guided tour. Tours are given every half hour from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm Monday through Friday when the chambers are not in session. The State House is also open for tours each Saturday. You do not have to make a reservation, but you can call ahead if you’d like to.

Visit Fort Jackson’s military museum at the U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Museum for an educational trip in disguise. Guests can directly interact with soldiers, ask questions, and learn about the history and evolution of combat training.

Visit the Melton Observatory on the USC Columbia campus. You’ll get a chance to use their huge telescope to check out the sun, moon, galaxies, planets and more!

Bonus! Are you a homeschooling family? The SC State Museum offers FREE admission to homeschooling families. The South Carolina State Museum is a great place to go explore and learn something new!

Free Events in Columbia, SC

What’s free and happening soon in Columbia, SC? This is a list of upcoming events that are free! That means there is no admission cost to attend these events, and may mean there are free crafts, entertainment, food, and more! However, there may be charges and fees for activities or food at some of these events so do check event websites for details.

Just click on each event for more information.

Bonus: Cheap Things to Do in Columbia, SC

Looking for a few more fun things to do for cheap? If you’re looking for some great family activities that won’t break the bank, we have a couple more ideas for you!

Two Girls and a Farm in Lexington, SC

Petting Zoo Meet & Greets

Ready for animal fun? Bring the family to Two Girls and a Farm for just $20 for a family of 4. That even includes a bag of animal feed.

More Fun, Free Things to Do

McPherson Park mini golf

There are more free things to do in Greenville, SC.

Take a day trip, for free.

Looking for more fun things to do in Columbia, SC? We’ve compiled the ultimate Columbia list for you.