Have you ever heard of Glow Dragon in Elgin, SC? Glow Dragon is a one-stop shop for several family-friendly activities. They have indoor glow putt-putt, axe throwing, and even escape rooms! Whether you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day or even just something new to do with the kids, Glow Dragon is a great option for you!
We visited Glow Dragon with kids, and we’re bringing you this mom review so you’ll know what to expect when you go!
One Stop Shop for Fun: Glow Dragon
Located just outside of Columbia, in Elgin, SC, you will find Glow Dragon. Here you can have all kinds of fun and stay for as long as you’d like! It is a great place for children of all ages with a wide variety of fun activities. It’s important to note that they are only open on Saturdays and Sundays!
Unlimited Indoor Glow Putt-Putt
Yes, you read that right…UNLIMITED putt-putt at Glow Dragon! My family and I recently had the chance to check it out and my kids loved the glow-in-the-dark dragon theme. There were plenty of golf club sizes to choose from – from adult sizes all the way to small plastic ones for toddlers. The course is made up of 9 holes that get a bit more tricky along the way with fun, glowing obstacles, ramps, and more!
Also included in the mini golf price is access to the arcade! Here you will find tons of “old-school” arcade games like Pac-Man and NBA Jam as well as pool tables, foosball, and even basketball hoops.
Unlimited putt-putt prices are as follows:
$15/person; ages 2 and under free
SUNDAY FAMILY PASS: This pass is good for up to 8 people and will cost $65. Along with mini golf and the arcade, it will also include 1 scoop of ice cream for each family member!
They often run other deals that will be posted on their Facebook page, be sure to follow along
Glow Dragon Axe Throwing
Looking for a quaint and cozy place to give axe throwing a try? Glow Dragon would be perfect for you! They have just 3 lanes which gives you plenty of opportunity to learn the basics in a more quiet, laid back atmosphere. Each lane can hold up to 4 people, however children must be at least 10 years old to enjoy the fun.
It is HIGHLY recommended that you book your lane online in advance! The cost to book a lane is $20/person for 1 hour of throwing.
Escape Rooms at Glow Dragon
At Glow Dragon, you will also find two noteworthy escape rooms! The room themes do change from time to time so be on the lookout for one you might enjoy. The newest theme is “Operation Ransom” and is set to open very soon.
The escape rooms cost $25/person.
Plan Your Next Birthday Party a Glow Dragon: Elgin, Sc
Looking for a unique place to host your next birthday party? At Glow Dragon there are 2 party options to choose from:
Princess Victoria/Prince William Party Room
Includes: 2-hour rental, up to 15 guests, private party room, unlimited mini golf, ice cream
Party Facility Rental
Includes: 4-hour rental, up to 50 guests, unlimited mini golf, arcade rooms
Have you visited Cottle Strawberry Farm for strawberry picking? Columbia, SC has one of the largest strawberry patches located on a beautiful, huge farm where strawberries are plentiful. Plus, it is such a memorable springtime experience to visit a strawberry farm. Columbia, SC’s Cottle Strawberry Farm offers both u-pick and prepicked strawberries, so you’ll never go without those sweet juicy berries.
The first thing I noticed when pulling into Cottle Strawberry Farm outside Columbia, SC was the rows upon rows upon rows of strawberries. The place is huge and the berries are juicy, sweet, and delicious.
Bluey is coming to Columbia, SC! Bluey, the wildly popular, Emmy award-winning cartoon featuring the loveable Aussie family of Heelers, will be coming to the Koger Center on May 9th and 10th, 2023. And get ready, because tickets go on sale on now!
If you have Bluey-obsessed kids like we do, then attending the theatrical adaptation of “Bluey’s Big Play” will probably become a core memory of their childhood. The production is to feature crafted puppets of the Heeler family and is sure to explore many of the silly and wisdom-loaded themes the Bluey series regularly delves into.
Have you visited EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia, South Carolina? This museum is the perfect combination of hands-on play and educational fun for your family! Keep reading as we will share all the tips and info you’ll need to make your trip to Edventure: Columbia, SC perfect!
From babies to pre-teens, EdVenture Children’s Museum is sure to have something for all! Several exhibits make up the two floors of wonder and include activities ranging from science and engineering to pretend play and everything in between. Before we discuss the exhibits, let’s start with some helpful tips to get you prepared for your “edventure.” This children’s museum is closed on Tuesday’s, but is open every other day of the week.
Admissions and Fees to Columbia’s EdVenture
Tickets can be purchased at the museum or online before you go for $13.00/person (children under 2 are free). Yearly memberships can also be purchased with various price ranges and package deals. EdVenture has a strong belief that EVERY child should have the opportunity to engage in educational fun within the museum. Because of this, they have discounted admissions options for families who receive SNAP, WIC, or Medicaid for $3 entry per person.
Once tickets are purchased, you can leave and re-enter the museum throughout the same day for no extra fees.
Camps, Classes, and Regular Events at EdVenture
EdVenture offers several extra programs throughout the week and during different seasons including:
Spring Break & Summer Camp
$198 weekly per child, $30 membership discount for Spring Break
$249 weekly per child, 15% discount for members for Summer Break
I was very impressed by all of the thoughtful features throughout the museum for even the littlest of littles! For starters, the museum is well-planned out making it easy to maneuver strollers to and from the exhibits. There is also an elevator located in the middle of the museum that is large enough for the whole family – strollers and all!
On the second floor, in “My Backyard” (the area for those under 3 years old), there is a cozy nursing room complete with a rocking chair, bookshelf, and dark, retractable curtains.
On the first floor, to the right of the main entrance, you can enjoy a fresh lunch or quick snacks. The cafe has a decent-sized menu and serves things such as pizza, sub sandwiches, salads, and a variety of grilled items as well as beverages. No outside food is allowed within the museum.
EdVenture Children’s Museum Exhibits
More than nine different areas with endless amounts of learning and exploration can be found at EdVenture. We will walk you through each level of the museum and let you know what to expect as you wander around with your kids!
On the main level of EdVenture you’ll find the majority of the museum’s exhibits.
World of Work
What do you want to be when you grow up? A firefighter? How about a farmer? Or maybe even a chef? You can try it all throughout this exhibit! “World of Work” takes up the majority of the main level of EdVenture.
Your children can climb into a 24 foot life-size fire truck, flash the lights and even create their own fire escape plan. Across from the firetruck, you will find a dairy and produce farm. Here, your children can “milk” a cow, harvest vegetables, climb onto a tractor and collect fruits from the fruit trees to send to the grocery store.
Next, make a “grocery list” and send your littles out on an errand – the Neighborhood Market is always a popular place to be! With small shopping carts, 2 check-out lanes, and realistic foods and goods, your family is sure to have a fun time playing pretend.
Be sure to also check out the Little Spot Diner (situated right outside of the grocery store) and let your kids make you a delicious meal. My favorite thing about “World of Work” is watching my kid’s creativity and imagination come to life in these real-world settings sized just right for them!
You can’t miss him, he’s the world’s largest child measuring in at over 40 feet tall with a heart weighing over 500 pounds! Eddie is his name and he will help teach your children all about body organs and their functions!
You can climb up a set of stairs that will take you into his stomach, intestines, heart, and brain. Eddie is the perfect combination of fun and education as his insides are set up like a jungle gym, but with realistic organs – You can hear his beating heart, the electricity inside of his brain as well as his stomach growling when you listen carefully.
As you make your way up, take a tunnel slide back down to his large shoes (which are each about the size of a car, might I add), and start your exploration again! I love that Eddie opens up a door for parents and caregivers to talk to and teach their children about the wonderful things our bodies can do at such an age-appropriate level.
The News Room
Has your child ever wanted to be on TV? If so, head on over to the “News Room.” Here, your child can pretend to be a news anchor or even a producer. With realistic equipment and large TV screens to look up at, this exhibit is sure to be a treat. Be mindful that to get here, you will have to go up a small flight of stairs!
Wags & Whiskers
Get ready to put your children’s pet care abilities to the test! In this area, they will be able to care for a variety of different animals with x-rays, grooming and veterinary tools, and basic pet care needs. Wags & Whiskers teaches your child how to care for the health of their pets through interactive play.
Biolab at EdVenture
Let your child explore their inner scientist in the Biolab, designed to teach kids about biomedical science in a fun way! With teaching laboratories, this exhibit and programming is geared toward kids ages 5 – 14 to spark a lifelong interest in the biomedical field.
Cooking Lab at EdVenture
Enjoy cooking and preparing real food in the Cooking Lab, all while learning about the body, how nutrition is important, and tie all the information together with what is taught in the Biolab.
Outdoor Fun at EdVenture
The outdoor area at EdVenture is made up primarily of water play which is great in the warmer months, but be mindful that your kids may get pretty wet so an extra shirt or full change of clothes isn’t a bad idea! There are also several tricycles and a small, model airplane in this area that kids can climb into and “fly.”
The seasonal exhibit changes frequently to match whatever is going on during…well, each season! EdVenture often has holiday characters such as Santa and the Easter Bunny set up here. You will also find holiday-specific activities, education on different cultural and traditional beliefs, and goodies throughout the year!
Fly an Airplane on the Second Floor of EdVenture
The second level of the museum is home to all things science, engineering, and technology, but with a closed-off room dedicated to the tiniest explorers.
This part of the museum is full of flight simulators and educational, hands-on displays that teach children about gravity, the solar system, and how/why some things can take flight while others can’t.
My son’s favorite part of this exhibit is the Boeing 757 cockpit where you can sit in the pilot’s seat, explore the gears, and look out of the windshield at a view of the city.
In this area, you can also create and launch your own paper airplane, climb and play in a rocket ship, read interesting facts about aeronautics, and learn to fly in the Boeing 777 flight simulators.
In this area, your children will be able to create and build. In the “Open Make” center, there are several recycled materials where your kids can cut, glue, fold and color their own creations. There are also several different styles of blocks that can be found – magnetic, large Legos, KAPLA blocks, waffle blocks, etc. that will put your child’s problem-solving and engineering skills to the test!
This part of the museum is best suited for children 5-10 years old, however, with extra assistance, younger children might also be able to engage in some of the play (especially with the building blocks).
Strictly reserved for children 3 years old and younger, here you will find tons of toddler and baby-safe play! There is a treehouse-styled jungle gym, a boat where kiddos can dress up in rain boots and large yellow jackets, puzzles, soft play mats, a ball pit, and several ways to meet the sensory needs of your tots!
As mentioned before, there is also a nursing area and large, family-style restroom within.
Party Room at EdVenture
Looking for the perfect place to host a birthday party? You might want to check out the EdVenture party room! Parties are $300 for non-members and $260 for members. The birthday packages come with several incentives including all-day admission for 35 guests, discounts in the gift shop, downloadable party invitations, 90-minute private party, and more! You can visit the EdVenture Birthday page to check for dates and find out more.
Have you been to Founders Park to cheer on the Gamecock Baseball team yet? Spring is here and that can only mean one thing – it’s baseball season in Columbia, South Carolina! Time to load up on peanuts, cracker jacks, and wholesome, all-American family fun! My family and I love to cheer on the Gamecocks and I’ve got all you need to know on how to make your trip to Founders Park a homerun.
The 2023 regular season will end with a home game against Tennessee on May 20th. This leaves you plenty of time between now and then to go enjoy some strikes, steals, and fast pitches!
Catch a Game at Founders Park: USC Baseball
In 2010 and 2011, the USC Baseball team won back-to-back National Championships, awarding them tons of national popularity and an even larger fan base.
Founders Park, home of the Gamecock baseball team, is a standout ballpark that seats just over 8,000 fans! It is not super uncommon for the stadium to completely sell out, especially for big SEC matchups. Founders Park is known for being one of the most attended college baseball stadiums in the nation – WOW!
A Playground in the Stadium
Situated near first base, right behind “The Berm”, you will find the Hay Fant Sparks Jr. Playground. And let me just tell you, kids LOVE it here! There are several climbing structures and slides that make it the perfect place to allow your children to get their wiggles out before, during, or even after the game.
During the day, the playground is well shaded providing kiddos a nice break from the “famously hot” spring and summer sun. Have no fear, the playground is even lit for night games!
“The Berm” – Grassy Hill Seating at Founders Park
We can’t talk about Founders Park without mentioning “The Berm”. This is a grassy hillside next to right field that is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. This area is super popular for families with little ones, especially those who like to take advantage of the playground.
If you plan to sit here, be sure to bring a blanket to spread out on. It might even be a good idea to bring a baseball glove or two…who knows, you could get lucky and catch a foul ball!
At a recent game, my family and I chose to sit here and it was great for being able to walk my son to and from the playground and back to our blanket, all while being able to keep (somewhat) of an eye on the game. Since my youngest isn’t quite big enough to enjoy the play area, sitting on the hill also allowed her to move around and explore a bit – a big win for everyone!
Where Can I Find USC Baseball Tickets?
You can either purchase tickets at the stadium or online. The best way to manage online tickets is by downloading the “Gameday App”. Here you will be able to not only manage mobile tickets, but also stay updated on scores, schedules, important news, buy merchandise, and more for ALL Gamecock sports.
Ticket prices vary greatly depending on the opponent, day of the week, game time, etc. In general, SEC rivalry games will be a bit more pricey. As always, the earlier you plan and purchase your tickets, the better chance you have at finding more budget-friendly options.
Here are a few things to be aware of before heading to a USC ballgame:
Do you have any baseball fans in your family? Have you ever been to a Columbia Fireflies baseball game at Segra Park? In this mom review of a Fireflies game with kids, we’ll tell you all about this Certified Sensory Inclusive ballpark where your family can enjoy a lively baseball game, engage in fun, family-friendly promotions, and have the chance to get free Fireflies gear.
Columbia Fireflies games are an excellent way to spend quality time with your family and friends and we’ve got all you need to know to plan the perfect night out at the ballfield!
Purchase individual game tickets now for the 2023 home games at Segra Park! The 2023 season will kick off with a home game on April 6th. The last regular season home game is scheduled for September 3, 2023 – giving you plenty of time to enjoy a day out at the ballfield.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
Free Things to Do Inside in Columbia, SC
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.
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.
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!
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.
Are you planning a trip to Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC? Some call it the Riverbank Zoo, some call it the Columbia Zoo, no matter what you call it, we know you’ll enjoy a trip to this popular zoo in South Carolina. With over 2,000 animals spread across 170-acres there is so much to explore, learn and do! We will share all of our tips, what to expect, and how to prepare for your day of wild, memorable fun at this awesome zoo in Columbia.
The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is made up of two large sections. You have the zoo side and then you have the botanical gardens side. This is where Waterfall Junction, the popular splash pad and play space, is located. It’s so cool, that we have a whole other article focused just on the Riverbanks Botanical Gardens and Waterfall Junction.
Are you thinking about a visit to Saluda Shoals Park? If you’re looking for ways to enjoy the great outdoors, have some fun on the Saluda River or explore awesome play areas with your kids, Saluda Shoals is the place for you! Saluda makes for the perfect day trip activity or even a wonderful place to spend a few extra hours out of the house. We’ve got all you need to know about things to do, our favorite places to go within the park, and events you won’t want to miss out on!
Are you planning a trip to Lake Murray Public Park in Lexington, SC? If you are looking for a family-friendly place to take a swim this summer, Lake Murray might be just the place. At Lake Murray Public Park you’ll find both a beach area and lake swimming access that’s the perfect place to play, then jump in and cool off. We recently visited Lake Murray Public Park and have all the details you need to know from a mom’s perspective.