Summer is coming to a close, the kids are back in school, and we are all about to be rewarded for surviving the grueling Columbia summer with what I would argue is some of the best fall weather around. With all of these comes a great reason to get outdoors, and a desire to soak up some family time after everyone’s busy work and school weeks are done.
If you’re looking for ways to enjoy some family time this fall, plus take advantage of the great activities that our city has to offer, here is a list of twenty-five upcoming events that are great for kids and family.
Festivals and Fairs
- Chapin Labor Day Festival – 9/03-9/05 – Check out the activities, shopping, and concerts this three day event has to offer. Make sure not to miss the parade on Monday 9/5 starting at 9:30 am!
- Rosewood Art and Music Festival – 9/10 – A great cultural experience focused on both visual and performing arts, located in the Rosewood and Shandon communities of downtown Columbia.
- SC Moonfest – 9/10 – Held from 5-9 pm at the West Columbia Riverwalk, this festival features great food, crafts, face painting, music, and karate demonstrations.
- Columbia’s Greek Festival – 9/15-9/18 – take the chance to learn more about Greek culture, do some shopping, and try out the amazing food offered at a long-time Columbia favorite!
- Irmo Okra Strut – 9/23-9/24 – The Okra Strut starts on Friday evening, 9/23 with the Street Dance, followed the next morning by a parade and plenty of vendors, food, and activities. This one is held in the beautiful Irmo Community Park.
- Jerryfest – 10/02 – Free and open to all ages, Jerryfest takes place in Five Points and features live music, food, and activities and crafts for the entire family.
- Congaree Bluegrass Festival – 10/01-10/02 – Head to the Historic Columbia Speedway in Cayce, SC, and enjoy activities for parents and children. The festival features live music, dancing, and local artists. Sunday 10/2 is specifically dedicated to gospel bluegrass.
- South Carolina State Fair – 10/12-10/23 – The always popular SC State Fair is a blast for the entire family! Make sure not to miss this one.
- Boo at the Zoo – 10/21-10/30 – Dress up the kids (and yourself) and enjoy trick-or-treating and dancing for the kids, plus make s’mores and see the beautiful Halloween lights at Riverbanks Zoo.
Learn and Explore
- Animal Enrichment Day at Riverbanks Zoo – 9/17 – Free with paid admission or membership, Animal Enrichment Day lets visitors see some of their favorite animals up close, as the animals play and get some exercise for their minds and bodies. Check this out between 10 am and 4 pm.
- Midlands Kid’s Festival & Birthday Party Expo – 10/08 – This event is free for the entire family and held at the Jamil Temple. Check out the different vendors and sponsors, and get ideas for throwing your child’s next birthday party. There are plenty of activities for both your big kid or toddler to keep them entertained!
- Storybook Ball at Edventure – 11/19 – This is another Edventure event, held from 5 to 9 pm. Get in costume and enjoy watching some of your child’s favorite stories come to life. Dinner is served during the event, and there are plenty of activities to make the night memorable for everyone.
- Edventure – Family Night – Learn and play at Family Night, held every second Tuesday of the month (next is held 9/13) from 5 to 8 pm. Admission is $1 per person.
- SC State Museum Second Shift Twosdays – Enjoy the exhibits of the SC State Museum after hours every Tuesday from 5 to 8 pm, and stay to stargaze at the Observatory from 8 to 10 pm. Admission is 2 for $10!
- Columbia Museum of Art – Enjoy the exhibits with free admission on Sundays!
- Blooming Butterflies – Check out this living exhibit at Edventure before it’s gone at the end of October!
See A Show
- Peppa Pig Live – 10/7 – Take the kids to see Peppa and George at the Township Auditorium.
- Octonauts Live – 11/5 – Check out the Octonauts as they perform live at the Koger Center at 5pm.
- Soda City Market – Every Saturday, rain or shine. Sample food from local restaurants or — my favorite — grab some coffee on Main Street in downtown Columbia while you shop for art, crafts, or fruits and vegetables from local farmers. There is always great music and some fun for the kids.
- Irmo Farmer’s Market – The market runs through September, on the first and third Saturday of the month. Visit the Irmo Farmer’s Market before it wraps up for the year at the end of September. Held at the Irmo Community Park, the market features plenty of shopping, food and drink vendors, and activities for the kids.
Get Out and Move
- Gamecock Football Fans – Tickets or not, spend some time at Gamecock Village before the USC home games and watch the team walk in, see the cheerleaders, and hear the marching band perform. Gamecock Village features games and activities for the whole family.
- Brittany Allison Corgan Memorial 5K – 9/10 – This 5K is a fundraiser in memory of the sister of one our Columbia SC Mom’s Blog contributors. Registration proceeds will go to Lexington Medical Center for Epilepsy patients and epilepsy programs associated with Southeastern Neurology.
- Walk for Life 2016 – 10/22 – Start or join a team and take a walk together through Historic Downtown Columbia for a good cause. Proceeds will go to help fund breast cancer detection technology in multiple Palmetto Health hospitals across the Midlands.
- Family Connection Columbia Buddy Walk – 10/23 – Held at Saluda Shoals Park from 1 pm to 5 pm, the Columbia Buddy Walk helps fund programs through Family Connection. Tailgate, take a walk, and then enjoy the “Buddy Walk” just for those with Down Syndrome to be celebrated.
- YMCA Pumpkin Run 5K – 10/29 – Held at the NorthWest Columbia YMCA in Irmo and starting at 7 am, the Pumpkin run features both a 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run.