Trying to plan the perfect activities for your kids during Spring Break in Columbia, SC? Feel like you’ve already done everything there is to do? Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities, indoor events, ideas for staying at-home, or unique adventures, Columbia has it all! So, if you’re wondering how to keep your kids entertained AND give them a memorable Spring Break, we’ve got a long list of fantastic ideas for you!
Spring Break for public schools in Richland County is April 8th to April 15th, 2023. Spring break for schools in Lexington County varies by district. Check with your district for dates.
Be sure to check out our list of FREE things to do around Columbia for more fantastic, budget-friendly ideas!
Outdoor Things to do for Spring Break
Spring Break is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors! Here in Columbia, it’ll start heating up fast so enjoy the fresh air, nice temperatures, and cool breeze while you can.
Play at a new playground
There are SO MANY great playgrounds around our beautiful city for you and your family to enjoy. Maybe head out and explore one you’ve never been to and burn off some of that never-ending energy. We’ve got a whole list of our favorite parks and playgrounds just for you!
Spring break is the perfect time to explore a new playground.
Visit the Zoo
Have you heard that the brand new Aquarium & Reptile Conservation Center officially opened at the beginning of March? If you haven’t been able to check it out yet, we highly recommend giving it a shot! You can even feed the giraffes, ride the carousel, give the ropes course a try, or stroll through the gardens – there are so many options at Riverbanks!
Here’s everything you should know about visiting Riverbanks Zoo with the kids!
Plan a hike
Looking to get a little adventurous? We’ve put together a list of great hiking trails! Whether you’re looking for paved trails, natural terrains, or even playgrounds that have trails included nearby!
Interact with animals at a petting zoo
Columbia is home to several petting zoo farms! We have had the opportunity to go to several of them and this is an activity that both of my kids always LOVE! Here are a few of our favorites:
Have a picnic
There is just something so sweet about packing up a delicious lunch, cozy blanket, a few balls or games to keep the kids entertained, and heading out for a picnic! Just about every playground will have picnic tables or green spaces to spread out on, but if you’re looking for something a little different, we recommend heading to the Columbia Riverwalks.
The majority of the riverwalks are paved, well-manicured, and give great views of the river. My son loves to bring his bike along and cruise along until we find the perfect picnic spot.
One of my family’s absolute favorite “family date” ideas is to go play at Carraway Park, then walk right across the street to the West Columbia Riverwalk, have a picnic along the river, and get some extra steps in. It makes for a super fun day…and the kids are usually exhausted afterward – parental WIN!
Head to a baseball game
Both the USC Gamecocks baseball team and the Fireflies will be having baseball games during Spring Break!
- Fireflies play Augusta: April 7th at 7 pm
- Fireflies play Augusta: April 8th at 6 pm
- USC plays LSU: April 7th at 7 pm
- USC plays LSU: April 8th at 12 pm
- USC plays USC Upstate: April 11th at 7 pm
Go on a weekend or day trip
Want to plan a quick trip during break? Charleston, SC is about a 2-hour drive from Columbia. It is a great place full of kid-friendly activities such as: the South Carolina Aquarium, Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, North Charleston Fire Museum, or the Patriots Point Naval Museum.
Check out this list of kid-friendly vacation rentals in Charleston, SC from our sister site.
You could even head to the upstate and explore Greenville or Spartanburg. Visit the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, stroll through Falls Park, or try one of these super fun things to do in Downtown Greenville.
Just under 2 hours away, Charlotte, NC is another great place to go. You could try to catch a minor league baseball game at Truist Field, explore the Nascar Hall of Fame, or even learn something new at the Discovery Place Science Museum.
Things to do Indoors During Spring Break
While we hope to have beautiful, spring weather during break, Mother Nature might have other ideas. The good news is, there are TONS of indoor places to have fun around the Midlands!
Jump at a trampoline park
There’s nothing quite like a good ole’ trampoline park to completely wear your kids out, am I right? Even if you’ve got younger tots at home, several of these trampoline parks offer toddler jump times just for them!
Be sure to check out our list of the best trampoline parks in Cola!
Go see a movie
It might seem a little old-fashioned, but heading out to a good movie paired with buttery popcorn and your favorite candy is the perfect way to spend your spring break! We’ve put together a list of our favorite theaters just for our readers. You’ll even find an added bonus on how to make going to the theaters a bit more budget-friendly!
Play at Glow Dragon
Glow Dragon is located just northeast of Columbia in Elgin, SC. They have A LOT to offer! Here you can play indoor glow putt-putt, test your luck in an escape room, axe throw, and more.
Head to EdVenture
EdVenture is a two-story children’s museum full of exhibits that offer hands-on learning, STEM, pretend play stations, and much more.
Learn something new at the SC State Museum
The SC State Museum is a must-see! Your children will have the opportunity to learn about a variety of things pertaining to South Carolina history. From wars to dinosaur fossils and everything in between, there is a lot to see and discover here!
Go to an event at the library
This is an activity that my family and I do frequently! The Richland County library system does a fantastic job at scheduling their calendar FULL of fun events for children of all ages! They’ve got teen game nights, school-aged crafting, and story time just to name a few.
Not interested in an event? That’s okay, too! Another great thing about the libraries around town is that they are full of puzzles, games, scavenger hunts, unique building blocks, you name it, that are always available to the public.
Enjoy a sweet, tasty treat
Take your kids out for a special sweet treat to celebrate Spring Break! There’s not much better than a yummy ice cream or snow cone on a warm day with no school!
Score a strike at bowling
There are PLENTY of bowling alleys in our great city, but my personal favorite is The Grand on Main. Here, you can eat a delicious restaurant meal, enjoy a boutique bowling experience, and then maybe stroll around downtown Main Street or venture over to the State House!
Test your luck at an escape room
If you’ve never done an escape room, now is the perfect time to give one a try! You’ll get 60-minutes to work as a team and break the mystery to “escape” from the room. There are several escape rooms throughout Columbia, here are a few we’d recommend:
Feeling nostalgic? Load up the fam and head to a skate rink!
Create art at The Mad Platter
With over 500 ceramic pieces to choose from, at The Mad Platter, your kids can have a blast creating their own masterpiece. They’ll get to choose their piece then decorate it all on their own. All you’ll have to do is return in a few days to pick-up their artwork. Walk-ins are accepted here!
Spring Break Camps in Columbia
Columbia Museum of Art, Spring It On! Spring Workshop: Kids 4-7 can attend this 3-day workshop where they will explore animals, plants and habitats through art in the museum, then get some time to create their own art.
The workshop runs from 9 am to 12 pm from April 11th -13th, 2023.
Cost is $120 or $96 for members.
Columbia Museum of Art, Bowled Over Spring workshop: Kids 8 -12 can attend a 3 day workshop learning techniques for hand-building bowls, and other clay vessels.
The workshop runs from 9 am to 12 pm from April 11th – 13th, 2023
Spring Break Camp at the Cathy Novinger Girl Scout Leadership Center
Two week-long spring break camp options to choose from.
- April 3-7, 2023
- April 10-14, 2023
- Plus one day of Spring Break Camp at Camp Mary Elizabeth on April 7th
EdVenture Children’s Museum Spring Break Camp is April 10th-14th, 2023
- Ages 4-5, Claws and Paws
- Ages 6 -7, Express Yourself
- Ages 8-10, Full Steam Ahead
Camp runs from 9 am to 3 pm, with early drop-off and extended day options.
Unique Spring Break Ideas That Will Have Your Child Talking About it Forever
Shopping basket fill-up
You might have seen this trend floating around on social media, but if not, we’ll give you a quick run-down. Basically, you’ll take your kiddo to their favorite store and let them carry around a shopping basket. Whatever they can fit inside of the basket AND carry throughout the store on their own, you will commit to buying.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, A LOT can go wrong here. What if your child puts an expensive electronic into the basket? Well, that’s where you will have to set a few boundaries based on your child’s age and interests. Maybe tell them everything HAS to come from the toy or clothing isles, no 1 item can be over a certain price, set a silly time limit of just 3 or 4 minutes, etc.
Exactly as it sounds…a day that you say “yes” to all of your children(s) requests. This idea became popular after the movie “Yes Day” was released in 2021. Don’t be scared, it’s really not as bad as it seems!
There are some boundaries and rules that can (and should) still be placed. However, the main idea is that you let your kid lead the day. Maybe set a budget for the day, a distance you’re willing to travel, and be clear that nothing can be unsafe or result in lengthy consequences (like buying a pet, for example).
If a full day of saying “yes” still seems daunting, cap it at just a few hours or as a morning/afternoon activity. Do whatever works best for your family!
Go Geocaching, the modern-day treasure hunt
“X” marks the spot, only in this game, you’ll have some help from a trusty GPS. Geocaching is a modern day treasure hunt mainly done using apps on your phone. Richland County has set up a geocaching adventure.
You’ll download a “Drains Aren’t Dumps” passport, learn how to keep our waterways clean, view some art throughout downtown, and hunt for treasure! Wholesome fun for the whole family, give it a try!
What to do At-Home for Spring Break
We get it, it’s not always feasible to load everyone up and go somewhere to do something fun, especially not every day.
Here are a few unique ways you can keep your kiddos entertained around the house:
- Build a fort
- Play in the sprinklers outside
- Bake something together
- Plant flowers/vegetables
- Do a puzzle
- Go on a bike ride
- Draw, paint, color pictures, and mail them to relatives
- Make lemonade
- “Camp” in the backyard
- Complete a science experiment
- Play a board game
- Do some spring cleaning
- Read a book
There’s More Spring Fun in Columbia
How will you be spending your time this Spring Break?