The weather is getting cooler, kids are back in school and pretty soon, we’ll be overwhelmed with pumpkin-spice everything. With fall just around the corner, plan some family time to enjoy these fun activities happening around Columbia and the Midlands.
Festivals and Fairs
- Chapin Labor Day Festival – 9/02-9/04 – There will be something going on the entire weekend. Check out the Farmer’s Market on Clark Street on Saturday morning. There will be concerts on Sunday night with celebrations continuing on Monday. The Labor Day Parade begins at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Class Car Show and Children’s Carnival. Enjoy more live music and check out the Chapin Public Library annual book sale.
- Doko Fest – 9/16 – Enjoy free music, food, local crafts, vendors and more at Doko Meadows Park in Blythewood from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy jam sessions at this event sponsored by The Blythewood Lion’s Club. Free eye exams will also be provided by the Lion’s Club at this 2nd annual bluegrass festival.
- Columbia’s Greek Festival – 9/14-9/17 – Learn more about Greek culture, do some shopping, and try out the amazing food offered at a long-time Columbia favorite! Held at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, the festival gives you a chance to be Greek for a week!
- Rosewood Art and Music Festival – 9/30 – Enjoy a great cultural experience focused on both visual and performing arts. Located in the Rosewood/Shandon communities of downtown Columbia, this free outdoor festival takes place from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Irmo Okra Strut – 9/29-9/30 – The Okra Strut starts on Friday evening with the music by The Root Doctors and The Finesse Band 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 – 10/01 – 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 – 10/07-10/08 – The Congaree Bluegrass Festival is a 2-day event at the Historic Columbia Speedway in Cayce presented by The City of Cayce and the Cayce Events Committee. This festival expanded to a two day event last year. Enjoy Bluegrass music, food, drinks, and crafts at the 10th annual festival. There will also be a free children’s area with bouncy houses, carnival rides and tractor rides around the historic track. There will be festival food, square dancers, cloggers and much more. The family friendly festival starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 7. Gates open at 10am with admission only $10 for adults (free to Cayce residents). Children 12 and under are free. Sundays Gospel show will begin at 1:00 p.m. Gates open at noon and is free to all.
- South Carolina State Fair – 10/11-10/22 – The always popular South Carolina State Fair is a blast for the entire family! The 12-day state fair is operated by the State Agricultural and Mechanical Society of South Carolina. Fun for all ages, families can enjoy shows, animals, games, food and rides along with concerts from names like ZZ Top and Sabrina Carpenter.
- Boo at the Zoo – 10/20-10/30 – Bring your kids in costume for a “wild” night of fun trick-or-treating through the zoo, busting moves at a dance party and walking through a foam zone. Taking place from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., there is also a marshmallow roast, haunted carousel and a spooky railroad attraction.
- Korean Festival – 11/04 – The Korean Community Presbyterian Church hosts this annual festival that started in 2005 with all proceeds being donated to local charities. The purpose of the festival is to share, promote and raise awareness of the beauty and diversity of Korean culture. Families can enjoy some Korean entertainment on a festival stage with different performances from k-pop to drum dances. Festival attendees can also purchase tickets to enjoy various Korean foods served at festival tents. The festival takes place from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Learn and Explore
- Animal Enrichment Day at Riverbanks Zoo – 9/16 – 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 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
- BrickUniverserse Columbia LEGO Fan Expo – 10/14-10/15 – This hands-on experience features LEGO attractions and activities at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The family friendly event will have creations, building zones, guest speakers and vendors.
- Storybook Ball at EdVenture – 11/4 – This is another EdVenture event, held from 6 – 9 p.m. Get in costume and enjoy watching some of your child’s favorite stories come to life. Make the night memorable for everyone while enjoying dinner and activities throughout the night.
- SC State Museum Second Shift Twosdays – Enjoy the exhibits of the SC State Museum after hours every Tuesday from open until 8 p.m., and stay to stargaze at the Observatory from open until 10 p.m. Admission is 2 for $10!
- Soda City Market – Open year-round, rain or shine from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Columbia’s Main Street market is focused on your brain, body and belly! This dog-friendly farmers market features dozens of local vendors, music and entertainment. Everyone is sure to find something they love at this market.
- Irmo Farmer’s Market – The market runs through September on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – noon. Visit the Irmo Farmer’s Market before it wraps up for the year at the end of September. Held at the Irmo High School, the market features shopping, food vendors and activities for the kids.
Get Out and Move
- Walk for Life and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon 5K +10K – 10/14 – Start or join a team for this event where proceeds stay in the community and benefit Palmetto Health Best Center. The 5K, 10K and half marathon start at Spirit Communications Park and participants can choose to run or walk any of these races. There is also an Expo Day on October 13 from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Spirit Communications Park.
- Ray Tanner Home Run – 10/21 – Established in 2006, this race features a 12K Run, a 5K Run/Walk, a 1-Mile Run and a Kids’ Fun Run. The 1 Mile run is for anyone over 10 years of age. The Kids Fun Run is inside Carolina Stadium Field at 9 a.m.
- Family Connection Columbia Buddy Walk – 10/22 – Held at Saluda Shoals Park from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., 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 – 10/28 – Held at the NorthWest Columbia YMCA in Irmo and starting at 7 a.m., the Pumpkin run features both a 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run. Proceeds from the Pumpkin Run 5K & Kids Fun Run will support the YMCA’s Annual Campaign to ensure a brighter future for the Midlands.