Would a Christmas day trip help your family enjoy some holiday spirit? There’s a bunch of places you can head for the weekend or just the day to enjoy some holiday fun away, just a short drive from Columbia, SC.
Check out our list of popular destinations for day trips during the holiday season. From train rides to giant light displays, and towns all decked out for Christmas there are some fantastic ideas on this list!
Have you visited the drive-thru safari park at Eudora Farms? Get the family ready for a thrilling animal adventure, right from the car! Just south of Columbia, SC, this drive-thru safari is waiting for you with over 200 exotic animals. You’ll see exotic birds, camels, zebra, water buffalo, ostriches, and so much more!
We hopped in the car to check it out and this attraction was a hit for everyone! Here’s everything you need to know about Eudora Farms Wildlife Safari near Columbia, South Carolina, in Salley, SC.
Visiting South Carolina’s Eudora Farms Wildlife Safari
My family loved our recent adventure to Eudora Farms! I’m not totally sure what we were expecting, but our experience went above and beyond anything we had in mind! We shared plenty of giggles, unsure shrieks, and big smiles all around.
Before you head out to Eudora Farms, be sure to check the Eudora Farms social media account for any weather/closure updates. It’s far enough away that driving there and not being able to get in would make for a lot of tears (and the kids would be upset, too).
Planning Your Trip
After leaving Columbia, there aren’t many places to stop for gas, food, or potty breaks. The majority of the trip is very rural and there is often a line to get into the farm, so a quick pit stop before getting out of town wouldn’t be the worst idea.
Arriving at Eudora Farms
You will have to drive down a long dirt road before making it to the entrance of the farm. Upon arrival there will be a shelter where you can purchase (or show pre-purchased) tickets, buy buckets of food, and be given important rules and information.
Eudora Farms Tickets
Admission prices are as follows:
1 – 2 people in the vehicle: $18/person
3 – 6 people in the vehicle: $45/vehicle
Animal Food Buckets for Purchase
We recommend purchasing several bowls of food. Each bowl costs $5 or you can do a bundle of 5 bowls and save a few bucks. That is what my family chose to do and while it felt like too much at first, I promise, it goes fast! Be sure to keep the food not being used WELL HIDDEN! We will talk more about this later.
What Animals Can You See at Eudora Farms?
Overall, there are a couple of hundred animals that live on Eudora Farms!
The safari driving trail will wind through several fields where you will see animals such as ostriches, zebras, camels, African Watusi, water buffalo, goats, llamas, and so much more! Some of these animals will gleefully approach your vehicle while others might need a little coaxing.
My son’s favorite animal was “the guy with the big horns”, better known as the African Watusi. Several of them greeted us right at the entrance and I think my son was in awe of how massive their horns were! My personal favorite was the highland cattle for no other reason than I think they’re cute and surprisingly rather gentle!
Beware of Ostriches & Camels
If you don’t remember anything else from this article, remember this: The ostriches will nip you! It doesn’t hurt (I got bitten); just scares the living snot out of you. You will usually be able to see the ostriches coming, so when/if it’s safe to do so, just roll your window up and they will move right along.
A second animal I MUST warn you about are the camels! They like food, A LOT, and are not afraid of sticking their enormous necks in and stealing whatever is in their eyesight.
During our adventure, we had two separate camels steal a total of 3 food bowls from us. One of which I swore was going to end up sitting in my lap – he stretched through the front window, into the floorboard of the back seat, and snatched up 2 bowls like it was nothing. He was definitely well-trained on the act! (lol!)
Tips and Tricks for Eudora Farms
1. Bring Towels
Seriously, you’re going to need them! After getting 3 full bowls of food snatched out of the backseat of my van we used a towel to cover the rest of them on the floorboard. Out of sight, out of…danger of being robbed by camels!
Another great use for towels is draping them over the side of your car so that some is covering both the outside and inside of your door. We saw a few cars doing this and thought it was BRILLIANT. The animals will undoubtedly bring in a lot of mud, dirt, and, well…slobber, so having an extra barrier there will be helpful!
2. Pack Hand Sanitizer or Wipes
While there are handwashing stations in the walkthrough safari areas, there is no way to wash your hands while in the drive-thru portion. Remember how I said you’re going to encounter lots of animal dirt and slobber?! Hand sanitizer and/or wet wipes are necessary, for sure!
3. Demonstrate How to Properly Feed Animals
I know they probably don’t do it on purpose, however, some of the animals are more aggressive than others at getting their food. It would be wise to have a quick teaching moment and/or demonstration with younger kiddos about holding their hands flat to feed, staying calm when animals approach, etc.
4. Bring More Containers
While you CANNOT bring your own food to feed the animals, you can bring smaller containers to divide the food into. This helps a ton with not only rationing food out to your kids but it also gives them a place to hold it besides just their hands or laps. Think along the lines of a few small, plastic bowls or Tupperware containers.
5. Have No Fear, More Food is Available
We thought we were running out of food and started getting nervous, but about ¾ of the way through your trip there will be another shelter to purchase food buckets at!
6. No Petting or Feeding the Zebras
They will also tell you this when you’re checking-in, but you are not allowed to pet or feed the zebras! Make sure your children are also aware of this rule because the zebras will still stick their heads into the car and say hello. Just ignore them and they’ll leave quickly!
7. Only Honk if you Need Help
Honking your horn means you need assistance so you should only do this if you’re in need of a staff member.
More Things To Do at Eudora Wildlife Safari Park
Now that the farm is 100% complete, in addition to the drive-thru safari, there is a petting zoo, giraffe visit, walk-thru safari, and food trucks.
Walk-through safari at Eudora Farms
Along the walk-thru safari, you can get up close to lemurs, tropical birds, bearcats, kangaroos, and have a chance to feed parakeets.
Petting Zoo at Eudora Farms
At the petting zoo, you can feed baby animals such as goats, camels, and cows.
Has your family visited Eudora Farms? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Eudora Farms Wildlife Safari Drive-thru is reader-recommended
We had a fun adventure last week down in Salley at Eudora Farm. Kidding around Greenville has been such a fabulous resource and totally saved me multiple times. I wanted to share with the group. Eudora Farm is a drive through safari that’s only $36 a car. Takes about an hour to drive through depending on how long you choose to interact with the animals. There’s camels, exotic cattle, zebras, large birds, llamas, alpacas, a GIRAFFE, etc. etc. A wide variety came up to the car to be fed or pet. Buckets of grain are $5. After the drive there’s a small area where you can pet young animals and Elliot the giraffe. There’s a bird enclosure with about 60 parakeets that you can feed for $2 a stick. We spent ages in there. There’s some concessions, but we packed in food and ate at the picnic tables. Portapotties are available and handwashing stations. It’s a bit of a drive, but well worth it!!
Have you visited the Schiele Museum of Natural History & Planetarium? Located in Gastonia, North Carolina the museum makes a great day trip. Expect to have a spectacular time exploring exhibits on dinosaurs, minerals, animals, critters, nature and so much more! If you haven’t been yet, you should definitely add it to your museum bucket list.
Thank you to the Schiele Museum for providing admission to the museum so we could bring this review to our readers! The words and opinions in this article are those of the writer.
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!
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.
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!
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Are you looking for a South Carolina town day trip packed with Revolutionary War history? We found the perfect spot in nearby Camden, SC just 2 hours from Greenville. As South Carolina’s earliest inland town, Camden provides opportunities to learn about the American Revolution, enjoy a small-town downtown complete with unique shopping and dining, and even kayak through a state park.
A Couple Tips for Camden, SC
Parking is easy downtown. There is plenty of free street parking.
It’s a friendly town. If you have a question about what to do or eat, just ask.
Have you visited Grandad’s Apples? Fall is just around the corner and your family might be hunting for the perfect apple orchard! We checked out Grandad’s Apples ‘N Such and had so much fun. You’ll find activities for kids at Grandad’s Apples ‘N Such, with beautiful views, and, of course, apples.
U-PICK: U-pick is TBD. Grandad’s asked that you follow their Facebook page for the latest updates.
Hendersonville, North Carolina is known for its delicious apples and it’s easy to see why on the drive up to Grandad’s Apples ‘N Such. There are a handful of orchards within a few-mile radius and several farm stands all selling the delicious fruit. On my quest to find the perfect apple orchard experience, I headed on over to Grandad’s, which I heard was pretty awesome.
So, you’re thinking about taking the family to a farm or petting zoo near Columbia, SC for a fun day spending some time with all kinds of farm animals. It’s hard to resist a photo of your child petting or interacting with a cute animal at a farm or petting zoo.
But, you’re not sure which farm to visit, or, you might be thinking “are there any petting zoos near me?”
We’re here to tell you “Yes!” There are quite a few petting zoos and farms to visit! We’ve pulled together a huge list of petting zoos and farms where you can interact with animals.
Is There a Petting Zoo Near Me?
Yes, there probably is a petting zoo on this list near you! In Columbia, SC there are more than 7 awesome petting zoos, and there are a few great options with just a short drive.
Petting Zoos Near Columbia, SC
Goat Daddy’s Farm
Pet, feed, and learn about animals at Goat Daddy’s Farm. We would suggest setting aside at least 1 to 2 hours of your day in order to get the full Goat Daddy’s experience! There is so much to see and learn and even some opportunities for hands-on experiences!
In Elgin, SC
The farm is open to the public every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.
Admission: Age 2 and under- free, Under 12 – $5, Over 12- $10. Prices subject to changes.
Schedule a tour to visit Little Creek Farm and your family will get to meets ducks, sheep, goats, pigs, an emu, and so much more! Your crew will get to help on the farm, feed animals, brush a horse, and of course, pet the animals. One hour tours are just $50 for up to 5 people and $10 per additional person.
In Lexington, SC
Not open daily, schedule a tour
Lots of opportunities to interact with animals and learn about farm life
Much more than a petting zoo, this huge zoo has not only animals but a ropes course, gardens, a carousel and climbing wall, and outdoor playgrounds. As far as the animal encounters and petting zoo components, you can feed the giraffes and lorikeets and pet animals in the farmyard all for a small fee, around $2 for each cup of feed or per person.
In Columbia, SC
Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily, closed Thanksgiving and Christmas
Admission: $24.99/adults, $21.99/kids ages 2-12
Parking: $5 per vehicle
Animals: The ones you can interact with are the giraffes, goats, sheep, and lorikeets.
Have you visited the Bee City Zoo? There is something so wonderful about watching your child’s face light up when exploring new places and learning new things. One place that is always sure to excite and encourage curiosity is the zoo!
A zoo that is really setting itself apart from the conventional animal sanctuary is Bee City Zoo in Cottageville, SC. Recently, my family took a day trip to this little animal kingdom to see what all the buzz was about. We truly had such an adventure exploring this zoo and your family will too!
Tickets were provided by Bee City Zoo for this review. The opinions are those of the writer.
In this article, I will tell you all about our journey around Bee City, the must-do activities, and unique exhibits. This little off-the-beaten-path gem has so much to offer. It’s more than worth the 1 hour and 45-minute drive from Columbia, SC.
This zoo is dedicated to the conservation of the honey bee and its extraordinary role in our ecosystem. Don’t let the name fool you though, there are many other activities to see and an abundance of animals to learn about.
As we venture into the heart of Bee City I’ll tell you all about our experience feeding the animals, learning about the honey bee, and taking a safari ride! Prepare to get excited about this heartwarming zoo and start planning a trip for your family to explore Bee City!
Scenes from the zoo
Here’s what you’ll see at Bee City Zoo.
Arriving at Bee City Zoo
Where is Bee City Zoo?
Cottageville is a very sweet country town right outside of Summerville, SC. Getting to the zoo in this town will definitely require a GPS or maps application. It is nestled off back roads with a few signs directing you along the way.
Once you get close though, you won’t miss the entrance. The main parking lot right outside the zoo doesn’t have a lot of space, but there is an overflow parking lot directly across from it that is a very short walk. The parking lots are gravel and dirt but we had no issue at all pushing a stroll to the entrance.
When you get to the ticket gates there are 4 lanes with workers prepared to help you. For this article, we were given tickets to visit Bee City and take a safari ride, along with the activity coins for feeding birds, kangaroos, and the monkeys.
The employees will explain which animals can eat which foods, but don’t worry about forgetting the rules because they are well-posted throughout the zoo! Safaris are by reservation only and it’s a good idea to check their schedule online because you can book before you go, or check at the gate to see if seats are still available when you arrive.
Purchasing animal snacks and food
If you would like to feed the animals, you’ll need to purchase some when you arrive. Large cups of oats, and carrots are $3 each. There is also a $12 combo that includes each of those cups as well as monkeyos to feed the monkeys, and coins to enter the bird and kangaroo exhibit for 2 people. If you’d like to purchase the Monkeyos separately they are $2, and the coins providing 2 entries each in the kangaroo exhibit or the bird exhibit are also $2.
Once you’ve got your tickets and animal treats it’s time to explore the zoo!
Feeding The Animals
What animals are at Bee City Zoo?
One of the first areas we decided to explore, and arguably the most fun, was the monkeys and lemurs. We had such a good time holding out their treats for them to grab directly out of your hands! Some of the monkeys do have a pulley system or tubes they retrieve their food from but there are plenty of stations to hand feed as well.
Speaking of hands, there are several hand-washing stations around so make sure to take advantage when you see one!
Llamas, goats, and more
Past the monkey area, you can find a plethora of hooved animals that are waiting not so patiently for their treats as well! We got to feed llamas, goats, emu, camels, and zebras! There are several other exotic deer and antelope through this route so make sure to save some snacks for them too.
Some of these animals can eat the treats right out of your hand while others have areas to pour their snacks.
We arrived at the zoo around 11 am on a Saturday and I wondered if the animals would have been full by then, but not a single animal we encountered turned away a snack! This is something to consider if arriving later in the day, however.
Birds and Kangaroos
We really enjoyed visiting the exhibits that required coins to enter like the bird feeding area, and the kangaroos. Inside the bird exhibit there are lots of birds flying above and also some ducks waddling around so be mindful of where you step!
The kangaroos had definitely been well-fed by the time we arrived as they were not nearly as interested in the food as the other animals. There is a trail you have to stay on inside the kangaroo exhibit, but the kangaroos are clearly not aware of the rules and roam as they please. It is truly an up-close encounter with them!
Are there Giraffes at Bee City Zoo?
One of the final exhibits we really enjoyed was feeding the giraffes! The zoo currently has two toddler giraffes in their care that are so curious and love their carrots! The feeding times do vary for the giraffes so make sure to check the times when you arrive. This feeding is included in your admission and it’s a very up close feeding with an attendant monitoring the experience.
Our safari ride was scheduled at 1 pm on a Saturday which must have been a popular time because it was packed full! There are signs directing you to the safari area so if you book a ride make sure to look for this spot ahead of time so you don’t have to rush there when you’re ready.
The safari ride consists of two tractor-pulled trains that drive you through an outdoor exhibit full of some really fun animals! You stop twice along the ride in two separate areas so you can hand out treats.
Our ride was directed by zoo attendants who were really knowledgeable about all of the animals on the ride. They introduce you, by name, to some of their unique or really friendly animals such as E.T. the camel or Elvis the emu.
On our ride, we also saw some amazing bovines, zebras, and yak! When the trains stop, you are able to stand up and move around but you cannot leave the train itself. No worries though, the animals know what you’re there for! Within a couple of minutes, the trains are surrounded by animals looking for a treat and they truly get up close and personal.
While strollers are not allowed on the train there is an area to stow them inside the safari area, as well as a place for your animal treats if you still have some. My family had so much fun doing this and I highly recommend booking the experience!
Bee City offers many options for animal encounters and petting zoo-style interactions. I was so excited to enter the reptile area and see they had a baby (well 2-year-old) alligator out of its enclosure for visitors to interact with! The zookeeper was so experienced with these animals and she knew so much about the alligators in her care as well as how they live in the wild.
We were allowed to hold the alligator, which she gave us instructions on how to do, and it was such a great experience! If you have a reptile lover in your family you will love this exhibit! Lots of amazing snakes, lizards, and turtles in the reptile area.
For an additional cost, the zoo does offer personal encounters with a variety of animals. You can view the prices and animal list on their website, it includes experiences with armadillos, kangaroos, and even a sloth! We did not do one of these encounters but I would look into booking one for a special occasion like a birthday party!
Now to the zoo’s namesake. There is a wonderful little exhibit inside the zoo where visitors can see the bee houses and even a hive you can open up and look for the queen! On the zoo’s website, you can find a ton of information about their involvement with the Lowcountry Beekeeper’s Association and even join as a member. You can buy honey from the bee’s you see here as well as many other homemade products from their beeswax.
While I did expect more of an experience with the bees, it was really amazing seeing the bees at work in their homes and reading about all the family does to educate the public about the importance of the honey bee and the art of beekeeping!
Food and Drink at Bee City Zoo
There is a cafe located inside the zoo that can accommodate all of your family’s basic needs. We were able to bring water bottles in with us, I didn’t bring any other food but it doesn’t say on the zoo’s website that you are not allowed to. The cafe has what I would consider normal prices for an entertainment venue. While we did not eat here I did see prices between 10 – 15 dollars for meals like chicken tenders, hamburgers, and hot dogs.
Gift Shop and More
I’m not normally one to browse a gift shop because I will inevitably impulse buy something overpriced. We were very impressed however with the prices at the Bee City gift shop! We found stuffed animals between 10 and 20 dollars! My son fell in love with a little bee we found and at these prices, I couldn’t say no!
There are tons of fun gifts in there as well, from honeycombs and lotions made from the bees that live here, to local artists’ souvenirs and of course some personalized Bee City Zoo memorabilia. You have to exit the zoo through the gift shop so if you were hoping to avoid your kids seeing all the trinkets and things you’re out of luck, but it’s worth the tour if you’re looking for something fun to take home!
Last tip for the Bee City Zoo
One additional thing that felt worth a mention is the cell phone service. Or rather, lack thereof. We had ZERO signal once we arrived at the zoo, which I wasn’t expecting in a place so close to Summerville. Luckily, the zoo has very good wifi you can connect to for free so don’t panic if you see no bars!
Are you thinking about a trip to Carowinds? There is so much family fun waiting for you at this amusement park near Charlotte, NC, but there’s also a lot to know. We’re telling you here how to save money on tickets and food, plus our tips on rides, visiting with small children, special events, and even what to pack. If you are wondering how much is parking at Carowinds, we know that too! Enjoy a day trip to Carowinds with the family any time of year at the Carolina’s best theme park.
Are you looking for day trip ideas near the Columbia, South Carolina area? You have found our official Kidding Around Day Trip Headquarters! We have compiled our ever-expansive list of day trip offerings to one page, where you can easily find your desired trip, fuel your wanderlust, and still have the kiddos back by bedtime! Happy adventuring!