When you grow up in the frozen tundra where temperature and windchill at -20 is commonplace and snow is present 8 or 9 months out of the year, you appreciate a spring thaw more than most. Cabin fever is a real thing people. So when temperatures rise above freezing and all things green return to the landscape, we definitely take advantage of the wonders spring has to offer. When I moved to the Columbia area, I was absolutely giddy when flowers, robins, and buds on the trees started to appear in March. No snow to melt, but the feeling of renewal and rebirth is very much the same.
This year, we have had a very early spring (pollen plague started in February-ugh). Even though the changes are less dramatic than in the North, I can’t help but feel as though I need to take advantage of the season just as much. Due to the rather ‘famously hot’ summers here, spring is prime time for doing, well … pretty much everything out of doors. Embrace it! Breathe deeply, get busy, and maybe try something different!
Last October I shared a fall version of this same list and because of the gorgeous weather here in South Carolina, many of the activities are applicable to both seasons. Be sure to visit the Fall Bucket List post as well!
Don’t forget to pin this post for later so you can use it as inspiration throughout the rest of the year! Lets make memories and enjoy this great place we call home!
Go To a drive-in . . . and bring a homemade snack
I don’t know if you are aware, but the Monetta Drive-In, also known as The Big Mo, opened for the season. Yes! An actual, honest to goodness drive-in! Have you been before? It is just as fun as you would think it would be and as outings go, it is pretty fantastic for the whole family. It’s not far out of the Columbia area and absolutely worth the drive.
There is a large variety of films offered so be sure to check the website and keep up on their Facebook page to see what is playing. Why not take it one step further and make some treats of your own to bring along? These Honey Oat Protein Bites are perfect for traveling, won’t make a mess in the car, and while they taste like a sweet treat, are actually a good for you, super easy snack! Now that berries are more readily available, you could fill up a thermos with this Strawberry Milk! These No-Cook Dinners pack well, and if you need something to keep you awake for the drive home, this DIY Cold Brew Coffee hits the spot!
Visit a state park . . . and plan a camping trip
With the exception of fall, spring is our favorite time of year to make the rounds to local state parks. During the summer, the steamy temperatures keep our family in air conditioning, at Lake Murray, or on the coast. But springtime, when plants and trees are starting to bud, the bugs are at a minimum, and the humidity is bearable…*sigh*. Perfect time to venture out on a hike, long walk, or bike ride. Check the South Carolina State Park website for details. While you are there, why not look into a camping trip?! With inexpensive fees and a plethora of locations, you won’t have to travel far to sleep under the stars. Dust off your tent or borrow equipment from a friend and head to the outdoors!
Purge your closets . . . and start a DIY project
With all of the hype right now about the popularity of simple living and minimalistic lifestyles, the idea of purging your closet could turn into pages and pages of advice and planning. However, I am not suggesting anything all that involved. Merely a quick reassessment of your belongings.
I keep a rubbermaid tub in my front closet that I continually add donation items to as I come across them. My son’s shirt is suddenly too small? Off it comes and into the bin. I trip over the unopened deep fryer my husband and I got as a wedding gift (15 years ago) in the back of my pantry? Out it goes.
Kids can help with their own closets so be sure to put them to work. And if you uncover that cute little table you have been meaning to paint and use as an end table, then do it! Buy the supplies, step outside, and get to work! Less stuff means you can appreciate what you DO love and use that much more. I know you have plenty of ideas on Pinterest, so pick a favorite and get started!
Grab an ice cream cone . . . and then make your own!
Yes, an ice cold ice cream cone is quite welcome on a hot day. But I argue that before the busy rush of summer floods your favorite shops with customers, indulge early when you can enjoy the serenade of spring birds and the sun on your back. Take advantage of off season prices and hit up any of these great ice cream places in the area! More of a do-it-yourself kind of family? Try this super easy No-Churn Ice Cream recipe, and then pin it so you can use it all summer long!
Check out a farmer’s market . . . and get inspired to plant a garden
I feel a bit silly adding this to a bucket list, but I am including it here for all of you who don’t already frequent one! Here in Columbia, we are doing pretty good when it comes to local markets and farm-to-table options. Due to the fact that there are SO many in the surrounding area, I won’t list all of the Farmer’s Markets here. However, Local Harvest has a pretty good list, as well as specific information regarding CSA, events, etc.
While you and your family are doing some weekly fruit and veggie shopping, why not pick up a few plants for your own garden as well? Whether you have a plot of land you need to seed or just a small deck that will hold a few pots of container gardens, there are plenty of ways to harness that inspiration into your own green experiments! It doesn’t have to be huge, but everything helps. Whether it is a potted blueberry bush on your deck or the sudden inspiration to build a coop and raise backyard chickens, the Farmer’s Market can help point you in the right direction!
Go mini golfing . . . then find a fun game to play at home
There are few things as loud as the squeal of kids when you tell them you are going mini golfing. This is a PERFECT outing during the spring while the weather is mild. Many locations have several different activities, but we prefer to stay outside where the adults can embarrass ourselves with our lack of mini golf skills. It is fun and silly and involves the whole family.
On that note, why not also try and find a new activity to play at home? Do a quick internet search and see what else you can do as a family that is best played outside. Of course bags (corn hole) is a classic option and my kids love it as much as my husband and I do! Game of Graces is also a favorite. Rollers is a new game that looks like a TON of fun and good old fashioned lawn darts, bocce ball, and horseshoes are definitely winners. Badminton is much less involved and easier to set up, but a sure fire way to enjoy yourself! Exploding Kittens is a new game I got my husband for Christmas and we all are addicted to it! Not for the lawn, but definitely deck, porch, patio, or veranda friendly!
Go on a picnic . . . and let your kids pick the menu and pack the basket
Eating alfresco is a majorly favorite thing with my kids. Like, major! I have no idea why it makes things so much more exciting, but given the fantastic weather here in South Carolina for the majority of the year, there are plenty of opportunities to make it happen. Lack of bugs and less oppressive heat make the spring prime time to find a picnic bench or a place to spread a blanket. Whether you are packing a fancy basket with homemade vittles or stacking take out containers in a plastic bag, fresh air makes everything taste better. Give your kids the opportunity to plan what to eat and the freedom to (safely) show off some cooking skills! Need some ideas on what to pack? Try these ideas form our Family Picnic Memorial Day post!
Build a bird feeder . . . then see what other kind of wildlife you can attract
I’m not talking about snakes or raccoons, but a variety of GOOD wildlife and insects. Bees and butterflies are always looking for certain flowers and gardens for food. An extra pot or two on the patio with a few specific types of plants can make a big difference in your area. As for the bird feeders I LOVE these ideas from Crafty Morning. Check Pinterest or ask around for options that use recycled resources whenever possible. Listen for the birds, watch the insects, and enjoy being a friend of nature!
Check out the Spring list at your local library . . . and start an adult or child book club
I absolutely love the books that fill the ‘featured’ section at my library. It changes with the holidays and seasons and right now there are books about nature, Easter, springtime, April rains, end of school activities, and spring break vacations. Use these books as a jumping off point to focus on the season happening right now and why it is so special!
Want to take it further? Ever been part of a book club? There is never a bad time to join one and you can get your kids involved too! Once they hit the age of 8 or 9 and start delving into chapter books, they can discuss as well! Let the kids choose their own books to read and discuss and watch their love of reading grow! The great thing about book clubs is that they can be anything you want them to be so get creative and hit your local library!
Note: There are BIG things happening with the libraries in the Midlands right now! Expansions, additions, and new branches opening up! Facebook is a great way to keep up with the news but definitely check out the direct websites! Here is the link for the main Richland County site, Lexington County Public Library branches, and the locations of Calhoun County branches.
Host a neighborhood BBQ . . . and finish it off with a bonfire
This is definitely my favorite time of year to host a barbecue! The weather is perfect and our weekends are not yet flooded with summer weddings and vacations. Everyone can bring a dish to pass and the fire at the end of the night will feel OH so good when the temperature cools off just a bit! Don’t forget the fixings for s’mores!