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Archive for the ‘Fall’ Category

Premier Family Guide: The (2023) South Carolina State Fair

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Have you ever been to the South Carolina State Fair in Columbia, SC? This year, the fair will be in town from October 11th to October 22nd, 2023. The SC State Fair is an exciting fall tradition that dates back over 150 years ago!


Kidding Around SC State Fair Guide


Each year, the fair brings in thousands of people from all around the state who enjoy all of the great things it has to offer – games, prizes, rides, food, and animals just to name a few! Whether this is your first year attending or if you’ve been to the State Fair in the past, keep reading as we will walk you through how to save money on tickets, what to expect inside, where to park, what to bring with you, and more! 

Scenes from the South Carolina State Fair

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10 Parent-Hacks for Amazing & Memorable Trips to the Farm this Fall

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Want to make sure your family trip to the farm is amazing? Farms in the fall are perfect places for family fun and lots of memory-making. But, bringing your whole crew anywhere can sometimes be a little stressful, right? So, we have some tips to help you make your fall farm trip easy with nothing but fun and happy faces.

Parent tips for farm trips
Famoda Farm

Wear the correct clothes.

A farm is a great opportunity to take some adorable, matching farm-themed photos, but it’s important to realize that it is a farm. Farms have dirt, fire ants, and typically a lot of sun. Cute smocked outfits, warm “fall” clothes, and open-toed shoes might look great in photos but may not be comfortable, practical attire for having fun at the farm.

If your main goal is photos, consider either outfit choices that are comfortable and can get dirty or take your photos and schedule another visit for full farm activities.

We recommend wearing:

  • Clothes that can get dirty
  • Closed-toed shoes that are comfortable for walking such as tennis shoes or boots
  • Layers, even on cooler fall days it can feel really hot in the sun especially if you spend an hour wandering in a corn maze.
  • A hat or sunglasses if it’s a sunny day
Moo Cow farms cow cuddling
Moo Cow Farms

Bring snacks and water.

Most farms will allow you to eat on the property or at your car. Some serve food, but not all. Most do not have a place to refill water bottles.

We recommend making sure you have plenty of food and water.

There will likely only be porta-potties at the farm so plan accordingly.

Wear your sunscreen. It can get hot in October in our region.

Apple slingshot
Apple slingshot at McLadke Orchards

Go over farm etiquette before getting out of the car.

It’s important to go over basic farm rules with your kids if they are unfamiliar with farm etiquette. Farming is hard work and it’s important to respect the farmer’s property.

Follow all farm signs and rules.

Be sure to treat plants with respect. Only pick what you plan to pay for and don’t destroy farm property such as forming new paths in a corn maze.

Don’t throw produce such as pumpkins or corn unless it’s part of a farm-approved game.

Watch your kids closely. Farm equipment can be dangerous.

Don’t feed animals unless signs give permission to feed them and only feed animals food that is approved by the farm.

If you have the opportunity to touch or hold animals, remind your children to be gentle.

Feeding animals at Goat Daddy's Farm
Goat Daddy’s Farm

Be prepared before you get lost in the corn maze.

Corn mazes are fun but they also are in direct sunlight and involve a lot of wandering around trying to figure your way out.

Your kids will likely insist on picking all of the turns which often results in walking in circles for hours.

  • Make sure your preschooler/toddler understands that they have to stay with you because losing a child in a corn maze is more excitement than most of us want when visiting a farm.
  • Take a photo of the corn maze before you enter. That way if you get lost and tired, you can still find your way out.
  • If all else fails, follow the wall-hugger trick.
  • Make sure you have your water with you.
  • Go to the bathroom before your start the maze.
  • If your kids are little, they usually won’t know the difference between the entrance and exit so you can always have a short visit into the corn maze and just exit out the way you came before everyone gets tired.
Corn maze
Denver Downs

Pick the right farm.

If you want to pick apples or pumpkins, make sure the farm lets you pick them before arriving. Some orchards and farms only sell pre-picked produce.

Some farms allow you to enjoy all the activities for one price, whereas others charge per activity. If your main event is picking apples, paying once for the jumping pillow or hay ride might be the right choice. If your main activity is playing at the farm, consider one with an all-inclusive price.

Denver Downs Slide
Denver Downs

Check to see what forms of payment they accept.

Some of the farms in the region only accept cash or check. Make sure you are prepared.

Clinton Sease Farm Offers Incredible Fall Fun in Lexington, SC

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Are you thinking about a trip to Clinton Sease Farm this fall? If you’re looking for a family-friendly place to enjoy the season and all the festivities it has to offer, Clinton Sease is the place for you! At this farm, you will find a huge corn maze, pumpkin patch, two awesome kid zones FULL of activities, tractor rides, and more. We recently went and have all you need to know in order to make your trip a memorable one! 

This article includes:
About Clinton Sease Farm
Clinton Sease Farm Hours
Tickets for Clinton Sease Farm
Things to Do for Kids at Clinton Sease Farm
Corn Maze at Clinton Sease Farm
Pumpkin Patch: Pick your pumpkin off the vine
Tractor Rides
Birthday Parties at Clinton Sease Farm

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Get Ready for a Fun Halloween Night: Boo at the Zoo in Columbia, SC

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Are you searching for a family-friendly place to trick-or-treat and enjoy the Halloween spirit this year? It’s time to get ready for the wildest trick-or-treating event, Boo at the Zoo in Columbia, SC! Riverbanks Zoo will host its annual “Boo at the Zoo” event from October 20 through October 30, 2023. We have everything you need to know about Boot at the Zoo from a local mom. Your kids will have a blast dressing up in their costumes, trick-or-treating throughout the zoo, and experiencing other spook-tastic Halloween fun! 



5 Riverbanks Boo at the Zoo Top Parent Tips

  • Get Riverbanks Boo at the Zoo Tickets in Advance
  • Don’t forget to bring your own treat bag!
  • Come in costume, but no full face masks or scary costumes for adults.
  • Attend on a weekday if at all possible.
  • Keep it simple and have fun!
Boo at the Zoo, Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia SC.

Don’t miss the Biggest Halloween Guide in Columbia! It’s packed full of Halloween events and activities in Columbia, plus spooky day trips, haunted houses, and much more!

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Fall Snow Tubing is a Real Thing at Black Bear Snow Tubing in Hendersonville, NC

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Did you know you can “snow” tube in the fall at Black Bear Snow Tubing? You can! No snow is required thanks to Black Bear’s super-fast tubing mat, the only one like it in the United States! We got to visit Black Bear and try this “snow” tubing and let us tell you, fall snow tubing is where it’s at. Move over pumpkins, there’s a new fall favorite in town. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your visit to Black Bear Snow Tubing this fall.

Thanks to Black Bear Snow Tubing for providing tickets so we could bring this review to our readers.

Fall snow tubing opens September 2, 2023, at Black Bear Tubing!

Tubing at Black Bear Snow Tubing in Hendersonville, NC

How can you snow tube without snow?

The special green and white mat in use at Black Bear comes all the way from Germany. Purchased for use at Black Bear because this mat outperforms all its competitors when it comes to speed. In the winter the mat is covered in snow, but in the fall, you can tube right on the mat.

This means even in warm winters with little snow, tubing is still an option for family fun. So, what we have learned is, snow is not required for super speedy “snow” tubing runs.

Black Bear Tubing Run

Fall is awesome at Black Bear Snow Tubing

No crowds, fewer lines, fun music, and a pretty view of changing leaves across the valley make fall an awesome time to visit Black Bear Snow Tubing. You’ll get more rides down the hill in your tubing time than in the winter. It’s not cold. It’s not wet.

You can even get yourself some apple cider donuts, coffee, or cocoa and enjoy them on the covered rocking chair back porch, overlooking the tubing hill. We tried it and we are convinced, fall is perfect for snow tubing!

Black Bear Tubing fun

Tickets for Black Bear Snow Tubing

Purchase Black Bear tickets for one hour or two hours of tubing online. Walk-ups are also available in the less busy fall season.

  • Summer tubing, without snow, runs weekends through October 29th, 2023.
  • Winter tubing, with snow, runs weekends beginning mid-December. (If the weather is too warm for snow, tubing will still be open using the mat.)
Black Bear Tubing Lodge

Visiting Black Bear

First off, we love nearby Hendersonville, NC, and the drive up from downtown to Black Bear Tubing through the changing leaves was gorgeous. When you arrive at Black Bear, just follow the signs to park and then head towards the fun!

Visit the video shed first where you’ll watch a very short safety video. It’s just a couple of minutes long and it plays on a loop. While you’re there, sign the waiver for yourself and the kids.

Bring your waiver across to the lodge where you’ll pay, get your stickers, and also where you can purchase treats and beverages like apple cider donuts, coffee drinks, cocoa, and more.

Video Shed Tubing Video Shed

When you’re ready to tube, you’ll head down the stairs, grab your tube and jump in the line for the tube tugging line that will bring you to the top of Black Bear’s 600-foot-long tubing run. Staff will hook you onto the line.

At the top, you’ll be unhooked from the line and then walk your tube to the run. Staff will help you get your tube into position and push you off down the 80ft vertical drop.

Black Bear Tubing at the top of the hill

Up to 4 people can go down the run at a time, and you can hang onto other tubes if you want to all go together. Want extra fun? Just ask the staff at the top to spin you going down.

Once you’re at the bottom, pull your tube back over to the tube tugging line and you’ll be off on another run before you know it.

At the bottom of the hill at Black Bear Snow Tubing

Clean portapotties are available beside the video shed, as well as an outdoor handwashing station.

Who can tube at Black Bear?

  • First, kids under 4, and under 35 lbs, cannot be on the slope. They can use the slope-side playground for some fun while bigger kids tube.
  • Second, kids ages 4 to 6 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • Third, there is a maximum weight of 300 lbs.
Playground at Black Bear Tubing

My kids, ages 11 and 14, had a blast. Initially, my 14-year-old was a little not sure he wanted to come, thinking it was not going to be very exciting and that he was too old for such things. He was so glad he came. And, in fact, we saw lots of adults taking runs down the slope, too. I had planned to go down once or twice, just to be thorough in my review, and ended up going down a lot more because it was really fun!

It’s one of those life things that are just plain fun for anyone. Escape from whatever is bugging you to the fresh air and whip down that hill on a tube. Laugh with the kids. Enjoy them, even as teens and preteens, asking you to go down the run with them. There are not enough moments like that in the world, if you ask me.

Tube tugging line at Black Bear Snow Tubing

Our Review

We really loved the family atmosphere at Black Bear. They do not allow alcohol or any open profanity. All the staff were super friendly and helpful. When I wasn’t tubing myself, I could clearly see where my kids were at all times from the covered porch. It was really brilliantly arranged for a couple of hours of low-stress family fun.

Tubing on the mat was really fun. No heavy coats, no wet gloves. It was all the fun of snow tubing without the cold, with the added benefit of short lines and no crowds. We had a great time and think you’ll enjoy it, too!

Plan Your Trip to Black Bear Tubing

  • 1-hour tickets are $30 each, and 2-hour tickets are $40 each. (2023 prices)
  • Open until October 29th for summer tubing, and then opening mid-December for winter snow tubing.
  • Saturday: Open at 10 am, last ticket is for 7 pm. Sunday: Open at 12 pm, last ticket is for 5 pm.

Black Bear Snow Tubing
373 Kerr Road, Hendersonville, NC
Black Bear Snow Tubing Facebook


Things to Do in Hendersonville, NC.

Discover Hendersonville!

Check out all the things you don’t want to miss in our Hendersonville, NC Guide.

Get Festive! Fall Festivals in Columbia, SC

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Are you ready for fall festivals in Columbia, SC? State fairs, farm days, Halloween celebrations, and pumpkin spice everything added to a backdrop of color-changing leaves make the season so special. These events are a wonderful way to mingle with the community while making memories with your family. Check out our list of fall festivals near Columbia that celebrate all the wonderful things the season has to offer! 

South Carolina State Fair Rides

Information about individual events is subject to change. Please check the festival’s website or social media page for updates regarding ticket pricing, rescheduling due to weather, changes to scheduled events, and more.


Fall activities in Columbia, SC

Love fall?

We have a huge fall guide. Don’t miss all the amazing fall activities near Columbia!


Fall Festivals In and Near Columbia, SC 

Fall Arts and Crafts Market

September 16th – 17th, 2023 from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday and 12 pm to 4 pm on Sunday
State Farmers Market, 3483 Charleston Highway, Columbia SC
Features art, food trucks, woodworking, lawn & garden, clothing boutiques, crafts, and so much more
Free parking and admission

Irmo Okra Strutt 

September 29th and 30th, 2023
Irmo Community Park, 7507 Eastview Dr. Irmo, South Carolina 29063.
Live music, Saturday morning parade, crafts, art, amusement rides, and lots of food! 
Free admission

Harvest Festival

September 30th, 2023 from 10 am to 5 pm
The Farm, 1127 Corley Mill Road, Lexington SC
Family-friendly fall fun on a local farm with tons of games and activities
Tickets available now for $25, limited availability

Fall Fido Festival 2023

October 1st, 2023 from 1 pm to 4 pm
Crooked Creek Park, 1098 Old Lexington Highway, Chapin SC
Grab your furry friends and have some family fun with games, vendors, food trucks, adoptions, raffles, and much more
$5, however pets and children under 12 are free

Midland Plant and Flower Festival 

October 6th – October 8th, 2023, from 8 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm
South Carolina State Farmers Market, 3483 Charleston Highway, West Columbia, SC
Festival and sale of plants and flowers for Fall and in preparation for other seasons. 

Big Red Barn Retreat 2023

Saturday, October 7th, 2023, beginning at 5 pm
Segra Park, 1640 Freed Street, Columbia SC
Fun fall concert with country music singers Chris Janson and Brooks Herring
Tickets on sale now, prices vary

Cayce Fall Festival

Saturday, October 7th, 2023
Granby Gardens Park, 1800 12th Street, Cayce SC
Featuring live music, food, drinks, a children’s area, and more.
Free admission

Rosewood Art and Music Festival

Saturday, October 7th, 2023, from 11 am to 6 pm
901 S Holly St, Columbia, SC 29205
Celebration of art, music, and southern culture through family-friendly activities. 
Free admission

SC State Fair Midway

South Carolina State Fair

October 11th – October 22nd, 2023
1200 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, SC 29201
Major attractions, carnival rides, food, entertainment, animals, crafts, art, stage shows, and much more!
Ticket sales begin September 12th online – Early bird ticket pricing is $10; Prices during the fair are $20 for ages 6 – 54 and $15 for 55+.

South Carolina State Fair

Here’s everything you need to know about the SC State Fair from a local mom.

Oktoberfest Columbia

October 20th – October 22nd, 2023, from 11 am to 10 pm
Incarnation Lutheran Church, ​3005 Devine Street, Columbia
Celebration of German culture with authentic food, drinks, dancing, and more. 
There will be a kid’s area with face painting, balloon art, a playground, and activities. 
Free admission

Fall Festival of Columbia

October 21st, 2023, from 2 pm to 8 pm
Columbus Meeting Hall, 1623 Marion Street, Columbia SC
6th annual fall fest including crafts, vendors, food, music, and more

Boo at the Zoo 

October 20th – October 30th , 2023
500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia, SC
Trick or Treat through the Riverbank Zoo! 
See our Mom Review of Boo at the Zoo

Trick or Treating at Boo at the Zoo Riverbanks Zoo

Eudora Wildlife Safari Park Fall Festival

Dates TBA
Eudora Wildlife Safari Park, 219 Salem Lane, Salley SC
Pumpkin patch, corn maze, fall activities, kids games, Parakeet adventure, pony rides, petting zoo, and paintball shooting.
Admission is an additional $26 per car of 6 guests to the original $36 per car fee for Drive Thru Safari
Check out our review of Eudora Farms

Harvest Festival

Dates TBA
Mt. Hermon Lutheran Church, West Columbia, SC
Featuring Trunk or Treat, food, hay rides, and more.
Free admission

Blythewood Oktoberfest

Dates TBA
Doko Meadows Park, 100 Alvina Hagood Circle, Blythewood SC
An all-day family-friendly event complete with food and beverages, children’s games, yodeling contest, keg toss, 5K, and so much more
Free admission

Do you have a favorite fall festival in Columbia, SC that you just can not miss? Let us know in the comments!

Pick Your Pumpkin Off the Vine at Nix Pumpkin Patch in Hendersonville, NC

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Looking forward to picking a pumpkin at The Nix Pumpkin Patch in Hendersonville, NC? This u-pick pumpkin patch allows you to cut the pumpkin right off the vine. We visited The Nix Pumpkin Patch and had so much fun searching for the perfect pumpkin, visiting their market, drinking apple cider, and making a lot of memories! 

The Pumpkin Patch is open from September 9th, 2023 until late November.

Nix Pumpkin Patch sign

The Nix Pumpkin Patch is a family-owned and operated pick-your-own pumpkin patch. Situated amongst a plethora of orchards and farms, you’ll find one of the only u-pick patches in the Hendersonville area. There is just something about cutting your pumpkin right off that vine that makes it so much better! 

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