The Midlands offer a wide variety of parks; small to large, bustling to peaceful, traditional to unique, urban, suburban, and rural/wooded.
Below is a list of some of my personal favorite small, neighborhood parks (defined as smaller than 2 acres). These are great places to meet neighbors, have a play date, and build your family’s community.
No exact address, but it is bordered by North Beltline Blvd, Trenholm Rd, Valley Rd, with Groggy Ct in the middle.
Located in Forest Acres, hidden behind a Walgreens, at the corner of North Beltline and Forest, this quiet park’s criss-crossing rubber paths is perfect for those just learning to bike ride or skate. In the summer, let your kids ride under the misting station as you swing peacefully from one of their porch swings or rest in the shade in a picnic shelter. The park is segmented into two parts; the upper and lower. The upper park is hilly and smaller. The lower part is flatter. Groggy Ct intersects the two – essentially this is a very small traffic circle that is virtually unused, only leading to a single house. (Still practice caution if crossing).
This park is more meant for bikes and walkers/runners, so there is no traditional playground equipment. But, what’s great is that the bottom area is completely fenced, so your children can’t run away from you so easily.
Though there are no official park restrooms, there are a number of surrounding businesses which may let you use their restroom for free or for a nominal purchase.
There is a small, free parking lot as well as free street parking on Valley road.
4941 Citadel Ave, Columbia, SC 29206
You will find this park near Trenholm Plaza in the heart of Forest Acres. It offers two playgrounds — one more suitable to smaller kids– a rubberized surface in the playground area, a grassy area good for soccer or kite-flying, picnic tables, a gazebo, and porch swings. It’s lively on a fair weather day after school, but very relaxed.
There is a decorative fence, but kids can easily slip through, so keep a sharp eye on wanderers.
There is no bathroom available, but there is a drinking fountain.
Parking is free on the streets bordering the park.
There is no exact address, but it is bordered by the streets of Woodleigh Park Dr, Bayside Dr, Logan Rd, and Chalmers Ln in the Woodleigh neighborhood of Lake Carolina.
Looking for a playground that’s completely fenced in? Look no further than this small park nestled in Lake Carolina, NE Columbia. There is traditional playground equipment (swings, slides, see-saw). This is a great park if you have an autistic child that likes to wander, curious toddlers not yet cognizant of the dangers of traffic, multiple young children who like to go opposite ways, or for a play date.
Note: Lake Carolina has several playgrounds, some of which are only for residents. However, Woodleigh does not require a key fob– it is not members only.
There is no public bathroom but parking is free and on the streets bordering the park.
300 South Gregg Street, Columbia, SC 29205
Travel through the oak tree-lined streets to find this gem. Visit during spring and summer to best enjoy the colorful flowers this park boasts. The landscaping here is beautiful and well-kept!
Here you will find playground equipment, a picnic shelter and a large grassy area. There are also large trees that offer shade in three corners of the park. Perfect for those hot sunny South Carolina days! There is partial fencing– one entrance has no gate or fence, otherwise there is fencing all the way around.
There is no public restroom but there is a restroom. Parking is on the street.