Now that spring is here, my daughters and I are trying to spend as much time outside as possible. But they get bored with the backyard quickly, and my number one go-to is a local park or playground. Here are some of our favorite parks in and around Columbia to enjoy with your family as well.
This one is just a few years old and it’s expanded quite a lot since it first opened. Tucked away in the woods, Irmo Community Park has beautiful scenery, walking trails, and three different playground areas. You can enjoy lunch in one of the two covered picnic areas and bring pets as well. The shelters are also available for rent to host a birthday party.
Located in Lexington, this park offers multiple playgrounds, including a separate one for special needs children. You can walk the trails and take in the sights at the multiple gardens and koi pond. There is also a beautiful creek with overlooks.
The playground area at Saluda Shoals is located next to the Splash Pad. The playground is shaded, so it’s a nice spot to get a little break from the sun. There are picnic shelters and tables close by as well. This is another great place to host a birthday party!
Ballentine Park is just outside of Irmo, and hosts plenty of sporting events throughout the year. It also has a great playground well-suited for younger children. There are picnic tables to enjoy a snack, and soccer fields close by if the kids want to play a game or just run around.
Located in Northeast Columbia, Sesqui is a beautiful park with activities for everyone in your family to enjoy. There are two playgrounds located at the picnic area, as well as nature trails with great scenery. Boat rentals are available for fishing and kayaking, or you can rent a paddleboat and peddle your way across the lake. While you’re there, take in some bird watching, or some softball or sand volleyball. Make sure to check out the splash pad as well!
This park is located off of Rosewood Drive in Columbia and is full of great amenities. Another great place for summer days, the Edisto Discovery Park includes a splash pad and spray pool. There are basketball courts, a walking and soft track, and a playground as well.
This is a small but cozy park located near downtown Columbia. There is a great playground which includes swings for babies, as well as picnic areas, a large grassy area, and plenty of shade. It is also beautifully landscaped throughout.
Located near the intersection of St. Andrews and Piney Grove Roads in the Irmo area, Seven Oaks park offers two playgrounds right next to each other with plenty of shade. There are also walking trails perfect for a stroll, bike riding or your scooter. Since it’s right next to their athletic fields, be sure to bring a ball or bat and brush up on your game. There’s plenty of picnic tables and benches to enjoy a snack or take a break.
Visit Earlewood Park in the Earlewood neighborhood north of downtown Columbia and definitely make an afternoon of it. The park features a new Community Center, one-of-a-kind playground, amphitheater, disc golf course, baseball/kickball fields, basketball courts and tennis courts. You can also enjoy the walking track and nature trails, and enjoy a unique view of the train trestle crossing North Main Street.
Crooked Creek is located in Chapin, and is another great spot to check out. There are walking trails, and several playgrounds located throughout the park. There are also plenty of soccer and baseball fields available, and even a disc hole golf course.
Citadel Park is located in the Forest Acres area, and has a great play area for younger children. There is plenty of room to run around, and also great tree coverage to sit in the shade! The best part, the playground area contains foam padding, so no worries about your kids getting sand or woodchips in their shoes (plus it makes for an easier fall is your little one takes a spill).
Nestled in the Old Woodlands subdivision off Garners Ferry Road, next to Meadowfield Elementary, is an amazing open grassy area with great playground and swings (for both big kids and baby). Included is a small walking trail, picnic tables, benches, and lots of big shady trees that are perfect for big imaginations. Bring a ball or Frisbee to throw around, or visit the nearby tennis courts. Bonus: During weekdays, the community center next to the school has bathrooms and a water fountain during their afterschool program.