• Heritage Christian Jan 2024

Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

It’s Winter! 20+ Things to Do in Columbia, SC

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You’re looking for things to do this winter in Columbia, SC? The holidays have come to an end, and January and February stretch out in front of you long and cold-ish and boring.

But, there’s so much to look forward to! The winter season offers lots of unique opportunities and things to do in Columbia. Plus, there are some seriously epic winter day trips nearby. You can read that as “Yes, there are day trips for snow tubing near Columbia, SC.” So, have no fear. We have loads of ideas to keep your winter lively and put a bounce in your step that’ll last all the way to Spring. The only thing you’ll have to do is figure out which Columbia, SC winter activity you want to do first!

Winter Activities to Do in Columbia, SC

Winter Planetarium Shows at SC State Museum

We love the South Carolina State Museum for its huge amount of exhibits and hands-on learning. In the winter, they offer a live sky planetarium show where your family can learn about the constellations, stars, and planets that make up Columbia’s winter sky. How cool is that!? Shows are about 30 minutes and should run through all of the cold months. Book your planetarium tickets Live Sky Tour online in advance if you want to be sure to get in at your chosen time!

Additional shows currently available at the Planetarium are Arora, Mars, James Webb Space Telescope and We Are Stars. You can book your tickets at the link above.

Dine-Out, Literally: Heated Outdoor Dining in Columbia, SC

We have ideas for great family restaurants in Columbia, and we also have a huge kids eat free list, but what restaurants let us dine outdoors no matter the weather?

Who has a heated outdoor dining space in Columbia, SC?

Restaurants with outdoor dining in Columbia, SC

Check out this list of heated outdoor dining options we found, or, if you’re bringing the kids along, here are a couple of restaurants and breweries from our big Columbia family restaurant list that also have heated outdoor dining!

Family-Friendly Heated Outdoor Dining in Columbia, SC

  • Home Team BBQ Classic BBQ with a kids’ menu, plus a patio with panels that keep it toasty.
    • Location: 700 Harden Street, Columbia, SC 29205 – 803.724.3900
    • Hours: Sunday through Friday from 11 am – 12 am (midnight)
      Saturday from 11 am to 2 am
  • Cantina 76  The Devine Street location offers a heated outdoor dining space and all the delicious Mexican-inspired cuisine you could hope for.
    • Location: 2901 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29205 – 803.708.6004
    • Hours: Sunday from 11 am – 9 pm, Monday – Wednesday from 11 am – 9:30 pm, Thursday – Saturday from 11 am – 10 pm
  • Steel Hands Brewing Co. Load up the kids for pretzels, sandwiches, and nachos around the fire pits outdoors at Steel Hands Brewing Co.
    • Location: 2350 Foreman Street, Cayce, SC 29033 – 803.708.9864
    • Hours: Monday – Closed, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 pm – 8 pm, Thursday from 3 pm – 10 pm, Friday and Saturday from 12 pm – 11 pm, Sunday from 10 am – 8 pm 
  • Upper Crust The Gourmet wood-fired pizza place is in the process of setting up dome dining for these cold winter months. The domes will be heated in the winter and cooled in the summer. They also serve brunch and offer “take and bake” pizzas if you prefer dining at home. Check back for official dome completion update!
    • Location: 843-4 Polo Road, Columbia
    • Hours: Monday – Closed, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 am – 3 pm, Thursday from 10 am – 8:30 pm, Friday from 10 am – 9 pm, Saturday from 10 am – 8:30 pm and Sunday 10 am – 2:30 pm
  • Backstreets Grill of Columbia Enjoy the beautiful outdoor atmosphere here while dining on soup, salad, choice meats and seafood!
    • Location: 2400 Devine Street, Columbia
    • Hours: Monday – Friday 11 am – 10 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11:30 am – 10 pm
  • Publico Kitchen + Tap Located in Five Points, Publico serves Latin-Asian inspired cuisine, craft beer, margaritas, tacos and Sunday Brunch. They have heaters on the patio as well as heated dome dining available for reservation. They also offer an extensive and festive mocktail menu, vegan menu and most uniquely, a VIP (Very Important Puppy) Menu – Yes, puppy menu! They have a menu specially for dining with your dog! The puppy portion sizes are served based on weight and all profit from the VIP menu go to help a local rescue.
    • Location: 2013 Greene Street, Columbia
    • Hours: Monday through Saturday 11 am – 10 pm
  • Publico at Bullstreet Features Latin-Asian inspired dishes including tacos, ramen, salads and sandwiches. They also offer a vegan and brunch menu plus the VIP Menu (Very Important Puppy) incorporates your dog as part of your family while dining here! They have heaters on their patio to keep you warm in these cold winter months!
    • Location: 2180 Boyce Street Suite A, Columbia
    • Hours: Sunday through Thursday 11 am – 11 pm, Friday & Saturday 11 am – 12 am
  • BOKU Kitchen & Saloon Serves Pan-Asian cuisine and uses locally sourced ingredients. They have heaters on their outdoor patio to warm you up while you enjoy outdoor dining.
    • Location: 916 Gervais Street, Columbia
    • Hours: Monday-Wednesday 11 am – 10 pm Kitchen, 11 pm Bar
      Thursday & Friday 11 am – 11 pm Kitchen, 1 am Bar
      Saturday Brunch 11 am – 3 pm, Dinner 4 pm – 11 pm Kitchen, 1 am Bar
      Sunday Brunch 11 am to 3 pm, Dinner 4 pm – 10 pm, Kitchen, 11 pm Bar
  • Market on Main Voted 2023’s Best Place to Dine Outdoors, they have a Jumbotron TV outside, live music and offer dome dining on their outdoor patio! They allow your dog to dine with you on the outdoor patio and offer a variety of family friendly events throughout the year. Specializing in gourmet Americana cuisine, this restaurant provides an atmosphere the whole family, even Fido, will enjoy!
    • Location: 1320 Main Street #150, Columbia
    • Hours: Monday – Closed, Tuesday & Wednesday 11 am – 10:30 pm, Thursday through Saturday 11 am – 12 am, Sunday 10:30 am to 9 pm

Parents: don’t forget to keep a close eye on kids around outdoor heaters and fireplaces. Both can get very hot and accidents can happen quickly!

Chase the Snow: Day Trips Snow Tubing and More

I know. We aren’t likely to see many snowflakes in Columbia. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t head out on one (or two) totally epic winter day trips and chase after that snow.

Snow Tubing Near Columbia, SC

Go skiing, go snowboarding, go snow tubing. You can do it all just a couple of hours away in Western North Carolina. You’ll want to start here: 13+ Places to Ski, Snowboard, and Snow Tube: North Carolina & Beyond

If snow tubing is your aim, check out Black Bear Snow Tubing in Hendersonville, NC. We just visited and had a blast. It makes an amazing family day trip!

Sliding down in a tube at Black Bear Tubing
Black Bear Snow Tubing

Sledding: Where is there snow?

Last but not least, if you’d rather just go see some snow and maybe find a good hill to sled down, you are in luck. Load up that sled. Here are spots in Western North Carolina where you can sled and go play in the snow! from our sister site, Kidding Around Greenville.

Outdoor Ice Skating

Head up to the Whitewater Center in Charlotte for epic outdoor ice skating. They have several skating spaces and ice trails, it’s much more than an oval rink! Skating is open through mid-February. Find out all about it in our Whitewater Ice Skating Review!

Ice skating at Whitewater Center

Things to Do Inside

Have you seen our Indoor Guide to Columbia? It has all the ideas for family fun indoors.

This winter we recommend:

Children's Area in Richland County Libraries

The Weather is Beautiful: Go Outdoors

So, we may have to travel to see that snow, but that probably means things are looking pretty temperate and sunny out there, perfect for some outdoor winter activities. Columbia, SC has a whole heap. That means you can go for a hike or explore the zoo comfortably and not even break a sweat. Anyone who has been to the zoo in the middle of July knows what we’re talking about.

Free Winter Things to Do in Columbia, SC

Build projects with your kids for free at Home Depot. The Free Kids Workshops at Home Depot are awesome.

February 3rd, 2024: Valentine’s Basket
March 2nd, 2024: Butterfly house

Or, head to Lowe’s Home Improvement Store for their free kids’ kits. Here’s a sneak peek at January’s project. My First DIY Toolbox

Winter Events in Columbia, SC

Check out these winter-themed events happening over the winter months in Columbia. If you’re looking for more activities and events, don’t forget to check out our full Columbia events page.

Things to do Columbia, SC

Looking for more?

Don’t miss our huge list of things to do in Columbia, SC

Winter Break from School

Our winter break bucket list will fill that school break with lots of family fun.

Where to Go For A Beautiful Winter Hike: Columbia, SC

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What’s so great about winter hikes? Columbia, SC offers lots of places to get out and enjoy the outdoors on a hike, and the surrounding area particularly towards the mountains brings beautiful winter hiking opportunities just a day trip away. This winter hiking guide will help you choose your winter hiking destination and pack your bag so you’re prepared for a fun adventure.

What You’ll See & Why Winter is Great for Hiking

Why should we go hike in the winter, anyway?

Expect to see things as you haven’t before. Fewer leaves on the trees means that you can see through them for a view usually hidden. Expect to walk along trails that feel much more open, and expect more lookout stops and panoramic mountain views, even from the valley trails.

What you won’t see many of? Bugs. And snakes (usually). And while it’s colder and you’ll want to layer up (more on that later), you also won’t be dripping sweat and hiking through summer humidity. That right there makes winter hiking a lovely alternative.

Take a peek at winter hiking

Spoiler alert: It’s gorgeous

Winter Hiking Tips

  1. Bring water and snacks. It can be tempting to bring less water when it’s cooler but don’t. It’s better to have too much than not enough, and the dryer winter air will make you thirsty!
  2. Consider bringing hot chocolate in a thermos. The tasty treat will taste even better accompanied by gorgeous views, well earned. And, it can work as a bit of an encouragement for little legs that might want to stop hiking before the end of the trail!
  3. Pack a first-aid kit and emergency supplies. Chapstick, hand warmers, and an emergency blanket are what we’d pack on a mountain winter hike.
  4. Dress in layers. Start with a tank or t-shirt, layered with something long-sleeved and then a jacket on top of that.
  5. Wear or bring hats, gloves, and wool socks.
Winter Hikes: Columbia, SC

Winter Hikes: Close to Columbia

If you want to find panoramic mountain views you’ll want to head up towards the Upstate of South Carolina for your winter hike. But if you can’t dedicate a whole day to your adventure, there are still several spots for winter hiking right in and near Columbia.

Pick a place on our Columbia Hiking Guide. Any of those trails can be enjoyed in the cooler winter temperatures.

If that’s too many choices, we recommend one of these three spots!

Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve

Enjoy the open forest, and a waterfall when you hike the trail at the Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve.

Hiking Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve with kids

Harbison State Forest

There are over 20 miles of hiking and biking trails in Harbison State Forest, including and ADA-accessible trail so everyone can enjoy a winter trail hike together.

Sesquicentennial State Park

Enjoy a light hike around the lake at Sesquicentennial State Park. In the winter you’ll avoid insects and humidity, and likely enjoy a much less crowded park. The trail is only half a mile, so the whole family can enjoy it together.

Winter Hikes Near the Upstate

For a longer winter hike in the mountains, you’ll want to plan a day trip to the Upstate.

Check out these 7 Winter Hikes Near Greenville, SC for lots of options or try one of these favorite spots.

Table Rock State Park

In winter, the strenuous trail offers an incredible view. While the hike to the top of Table Rock is tough, it’s definitely more doable in the cooler temperatures. The panoramic view is a huge pay-off.

If temperatures are below freezing, we do not recommend going to the top since the steps to Governors Rock will be frozen over. Instead, hike the Carrick Creek loop.

Raven Falls at Caesars Head

Raven Cliff Falls

This hike is great in winter because you can see a whole lot further and you can’t play in the falls anyway. The waterfall is a long distance away from the overlook, you may want to bring binoculars.

Crowders Mountain

Crowders Mountain is near Kings Mountain on the SC/NC border, about 2 hours from Columbia. You can do a five-mile moderate loop trail that gives you incredible views in winter. We could even see Charlotte from the top!

Winter Activities to Do in Columbia, SC

Visit our Winter Guide to Columbia for lots more ideas and winter fun!

Lots of Winter Family Fun at Black Bear Snow Tubing in Hendersonville, NC

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Are you thinking about snow tubing at Black Bear Snow Tubing in Hendersonville, NC? Western North Carolina has great snow tubing and Black Bear Snow Tubing is a stellar option for families! They have a huge mountain to get your winter in high gear with a fun snow tubing trip for the whole family! We took a trip up to try out that snow-tubing mountain and it was so much fun! Now we have all the details to share so you can plan your trip!

Media tickets were provided for this review and the opinions are solely those of the author.

Snow tubing at Black Bear in Hendersonville, NC

While there aren’t any places to snow tube in the Upstate, SC, there are definitely options nearby and one of them is Black Bear Snow Tubing in nearby Hendersonville, NC, just over an hour from Greenville, SC. The snow tubing family-owned operation has been in business for over seven years and they really have a good thing going there, which I’m going to tell you all about in this story.

Scenes From the Slope

Take a sneak peek at this video at Black Bear Snow Tubing.

Snow Tubing at Black Bear

The slope at Black Bear Snow Tubing is 600 feet long with an 80-foot drop and it’s pretty fast. They make their own snow (unless they get a big snowstorm, which doesn’t happen too often) and the hill is well-maintained by their attentive staff.

How it works is that when you get to Black Bear, you go to a little shed to watch a short safety video, where you learn how to get out of your tube on the run and not to start snowball fights, sign a waiver, and head inside the cozy lodge to pay. Then you get your tubes and head to the hill.

They have a pulley system to get you to the top of the hill, which works by slipping the handle of your tube on a cable that takes you, while sitting inside your tube, right up the hill to the top. Once at the top, you’ll wait for a few minutes before being situated into your group by the staff and then sliding down the hill.

On the snow tube pully at Black Bear in Hendersonville, NC
Black Bear Snow Tubing Pulley System

Why Black Bear is Different

I’ve snow tubed at many places in our area and I think Black Bear Snow Tubing is pretty fantastic. Here’s why:

  • You can (and should) make a reservation ahead of time, which is crucial for us in Greenville who need to travel out of state to go snow tubing. It’s quite a bummer to get to our snow tubing place and either find out that they are sold out or having to wait hours for an open slot.
  • The staff is attentive and efficient. They were always around watching the hill to make sure things were running smoothly and safely. When there was a slight backup at the top of the hill, they figured out how to manage to get us all down the hill and back up to keep snow tubing without interruption.
  • The lodge is super cozy and warm and has reasonable concessions. I got a $2 hot chocolate and it was amazing. Plus, they have food, including apple cider donuts, that is affordable and you can get warm by the wood-burning stove inside or watch on the deck if you don’t want to go tubing.
  • The setup takes into account smaller kids. There is playground next to the place where you wait in line to go up the hill so smaller kids can get out their energy and there is a big fire pit also near the waiting area where you can warm up.
  • If you forgot a hat or gloves, they have them for sale inside the lodge. I feel like us parents can relate when our kid gets out of the car to go snow tubing and forgot his or her winter hat.
  • The check-in is fast. This is important because you want to get on the hill and start having fun as soon as possible!
  • Black Bear has excellent communication. They post daily on their Facebook page about current snow conditions, which is super helpful when you’re unsure about the weather.
  • The snow is real. They don’t have any synthetic chemicals in the snow – it’s the real deal.

My kids, ages 11 and 8, and I had such a blast snow tubing at Black Bear Snow Tubing. We went down the hill about 10 times (maybe more, I lost count honestly) and had so much fun together. I really love places where adults can carelessly be kids again. My kids are already asking to go back. The hill was super fast and seeing my kids faces light up with joy was special. I love those moments.

Tips on How to Enjoy Snow Tubing at Black Bear

Winter being winter, it’s usually cold when you go snow tubing. I’ve found that bringing hand and foot warmers is a really good trick to keeping everyone warm and comfortable. You can get them at Wal-Mart, Amazon, or most drug stores and they stay warm for hours.

Sliding down in a tube at Black Bear Tubing

It’s also really important to make a reservation when you know you want to go snow tubing. This is especially true during school breaks and holidays. Snow tubing is an awesome family activity on a day off but a lot of people also have the same thought. Don’t forget to make a reservation.

You don’t need to wear snow bibs or snow pants. I had on fleece leggings, hiking boots, and a couple layers of tops with a heavy coat (it was really cold when we went!) and I was fine. I saw people wearing all kinds of clothes that worked for them like pants, leggings, jeans, and sweatpants. The snow wasn’t wet at all when we went but if you go on a warmer day, you may want to bring a change of pants in case they get wet.

There are port-a-potties outside the lodge to use and no bathrooms indoors.

Double-check Black Bear’s Facebook page before heading out. Snow tubing is very dependent on weather, which changes often in the mountains. They will post current conditions and if they are open or closed most days.

Ticket Prices and Policies at Black Bear Snow Tubing

Tickets are $30/hour or $40/two hours for snow tubing. Kids must be 4 years old in order to go snow tubing. You can either sign a waiver when you get to Black Bear Snow Tubing or print one out online ahead of time. Either is fine.

While Black Bear Snow Tubing does take walk-ups, it is much better to make a reservation ahead of time instead of getting there and finding out they are full. Online reservations are fantastic for this very reason so definitely make use of them.

And be sure to check Black Bear Snow Tubing’s Facebook page before heading out to double check they are open and running. Winter tubing runs mid-December through February usually depending on the weather, of course.

And if you want to tube during other times of the year, you totally can! They have warm-weather tubing in the fall.

Black Bear Snow Tubing
373 Kerr Road, Hendersonville, NC

Want to spend the day in Hendersonville? We’ve got lots of ideas on what to do in this fun town!

Things to Do in Hendersonville, North Carolina

Hendersonville is full of family fun.
Check it out!

Kidding Around Guide to Hendersonville

20+ Activities & Winter Camps: Columbia, SC (2023) Winter Break Bucket List

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Is your family ready for winter break in Columbia, SC? It’s almost that time. The kids will be home and looking for things to do. After all those Christmas cookies are eaten and the presents have been opened, what will do to make winter break fun and relaxing? We have some ideas, of course! We made this winter break bucket list, full of things to do over winter break in Columbia, SC!

Winter break in Columbia, SC

This article includes:
Columbia’s Winter Break Bucket List
2023 Winter Camps for Kids in Columbia

Things to Do Over Winter Break

  1. Go Bowling. It’s old-fashioned family fun and you can’t go wrong. Try one of these bowling alleys in Columbia, SC.
  2. Do the Zoo. It may sound obvious, but Columbia’s zoo, Riverbanks Zoo, should not be overlooked. It’s full of fun and education any day of the year.
  3. See Christmas Lights, head out on a driving tour of amazing Christmas homes in Columbia. FREE
  4. Jump at a trampoline park.
  5. Take a walk. Pull on your hat and head to Cayce Riverwalk or any of Columbia’s Riverwalks. FREE
  6. Go for a hike! Try one of these hiking trails near Columbia, SC.
  7. Make art! Paint some pottery or paint a picture or sign. Try one of these places to make art in Columbia.
  8. Drive through the lights at Saluda Shoals Holiday Lights on the River.
  9. Visit Leo’s Landing for some playground fun!
  10. Visit the library. Get a book or attend a story time for special event. FREE The Richland County libraries have everything from free family movie nights to teen video game nights and family craft events during winter break.
  11. Get the kids outside! Visit Carraway Park for some fun FREE playground fun! Or try any one of these extra fun parks and playgrounds in Columbia, SC.
  12. Take the kids out for hot chocolate or enjoy a coffee and a treat at one of these fantastic coffee shops in Columbia, SC.
  13. Hit the road for some snow tubing fun. Head up to North Carolina for snow tubing fun!
  14. Try an escape room! Gather the family and see if you can solve the puzzles and escape! Escape Rooms near Columbia
  15. Go ice skating! Where can you ice skate in Columbia? Flight Adventure Park in Irmo offers indoor ice skating year-round!
  16. Safari Time! Visit Eudora Farms for a drive-thru safari, plus a petting zoo and more!
  17. Catch a holiday movie at Regal Cinemas for just $5.
    • December 16th, 2023: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
    • December 17th, 2023: The Polar Express
    • December 23rd, 2023: The Grinch
  18. Make dinner easy! Grab a family meal deal or check out these kids eat free deals.
  19. Put a bounce house in the yard for the kids! You can stay home and the kids will have a blast. Here’s where you can rent a bounce house in Columbia, SC.
  20. Visit EdVenture Children’s Museum.
  21. Learn something new and awesome at the SC State Museum.
  22. Get some local produce, meats, dairy, jams or baked goods at Columbia’s Farmers Markets.
Cows at Eudora Farm
Cows at Eudora Farms
Winter Activities to Do in Columbia, SC

Find all the winter fun in our Columbia, SC Winter Guide

Winter Break Camps (2023) in Columbia, SC

YMCA Winter Camp

  • December 18- 22, 2023 (Northwest Y), December 26-29, 2023 (Northwest and Jeep Rogers- No care on the 25th), January 2 -5, 2024 (Jeep Rogers)
  • At Northwest (Irmo) and Jeep Rogers (Lake Carolina)
  • Sports, arts and crafts, swimming, and lots more!
  • Register for YMCA Winter Camp Online

Riverbanks Zoo Winter Camp

Tennis Camp

  • December 18-21, 2023
  • Topspin Racquet Club
  • Full-day and half-day options
  • A festive tennis experience
  • Topspin Tennis Camp

Carolina Crossfire Cheer

  • December 20th, 2023 from 8 am to 5 pm
  • Ages 4 and up
  • Cheer, gymnastics, crafts and games
  • Cheer Crossfire Camp

Carolina Gymnastics Winter Wonder Wonderland Camp

  • December 27 – 29, 2023, 9 am to 12 pm
  • Carolina Gymnastics
  • Ages 4 to 12
  • Gymnastics, games, open play
  • Carolina Gymnastics Camp

STEM for Kids Winter Camp

More Things to Do Over Winter Break: Indoor Guide

The weather is blah, and you’re still bored? Check out our HUGE Indoor Guide to Columbia, SC. It’s full of ideas for fun and learning the whole family will enjoy!

Indoor Guide to Columbia, SC