Emily Douglas Park: The Perfect Cozy Playground and Splash Pad in the Heart of Columbia, SC

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Have you ever been to Emily Douglas Park? Are you looking for a laid-back playground with a space to cool off in downtown Columbia, SC? We’ve got the perfect place for you and wow, is it nostalgic in all the best ways! Complete with a sprinkler, separate play spaces, large green space, dog park, and community center, your family will love this simple, fun-filled neighborhood park! 

Interested in discovering more parks around Columbia? Be sure to check out our huge guide of the best playgrounds around!

Things to Love about Emily Douglas Park 

Under the shade of the large oak trees, nestled in the historic Shandon neighborhood of downtown Columbia, you will find this quaint and cozy playground and spray pool. Although it’s an older-style playground, it doesn’t lack in attractions!

My family enjoys going to this park not only for a change of scenery but to also enjoy the city life all around. It’s just an added bonus that in the heat of the summer, my kids can also have a fun place to cool off before moving on to our next adventure! The park is completely fenced in which is also a nice safety feature for those kiddos who love to run! 

Cool off in the Sprinkler at Emily Douglas Park 

The spray pool at Emily Douglas is open during the summer weekdays from 10 am – 12 pm and then again from 4 pm – 6 pm and closed on Saturday and Sunday. It includes one tall sprinkler with water spraying out from all directions. There is plenty of paved space for kids to run through the water and catch a break from the heat. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a modern-day splash area, I promise your kids will still have a blast. Simplicity is oftentimes the best way to let your child’s imagination run wild! 

Splash pad at Emily Douglas Park

Play Spaces 

Along with several swings, Emily Douglas Park also offers two separate play spaces. One of these is better suited for the older kiddos and includes monkey bars, a large climbing structure, and balance swing. 

The second play area is designed for kids between the ages of 2 – 5 years old. In this space, you will find a perfectly-sized playspace with 2 slides, a bridge, and various climbing structures. 

Playground at Emily Douglas Park

Run and Play in the Open Green Space 

The green space at Emily Douglas is big and offers a lot of space for several activities! Here, the options are endless, but some great ideas would be to bring a soccer ball, football, bubbles, or picnic blanket and enjoy your time running free with your family! 

Along the outsides of the green space, you will find a gazebo and “Meditation Garden” as well as an amphitheater. 

Dog Park in Columbia 

Situated in the back corner of the playground, there is a dog park. It is quite popular for the residents of the neighborhood and almost every time we’re here we see at least one dog and owner enjoying this space. Dogs are also allowed throughout the entire park, however must be kept on a leash outside of the dog park. 

Emily Douglas Neighborhood and Community Center 

The neighborhood center is open Monday – Friday from 2 pm – 6 pm. Inside you will find ping pong and foosball tables, restrooms, and vending machines. After-school care for children ages 5 – 12 years old is also offered through this space. For more information on after-school activities contact Parks & Recreation at 803.545.3100. 

Community Center at Emily Douglas Park

More Things To Do Around the Park  

The location of Emily Douglas Park couldn’t be much better! Once done at the playground, you could continue your day of fun with less than a 5-minute drive to Five Points, Columbia’s downtown area, or a 10 min drive to the University of South Carolina.

In Five Points you will find several clothing stores, coffee shops, sweet treats, and excellent restaurants such as the Gourmet Shop, Grouchos, and Home Team BBQ.

If none of this peaks your interest, head over to the university and stroll through the historical “Horseshoe” or even stay parked at the playground and walk through the beautiful streets of the Shandon Neighborhood.  

Emily Douglas Park 
2500 Wheat Street
Columbia, SC 29205 

What does your family enjoy most about Emily Douglas Park? 

Kayla Simmons
About the Author
Kayla grew up right outside of Charleston, SC and is a proud graduate of the University of South Carolina. She has lived in Columbia for a combination of 5 years. Kayla has a background working with special needs children, but now enjoys nothing more than being a stay-at-home mom of two. She enjoys keeping her kids busy by finding unique play spaces and events, involving them in hands-on activities and watching them learn about the world through play. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercise and spending quality time with her family and friends.

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