Spring Break will be here before you know it! Not planning a big family trip? Try these ideas for things to keep the kiddos entertained and happy during their time off from school.
10 Things to Do at Home and Around Town
1. Explore a New to You Park
Irmo Community Park is my favorite with their mini playhouse for kids, lake, trails, and playgrounds for most all ages, but our area has several parks worth visiting. Check out our Guide to Columbia Area Outside Activities for a list of parks, playgrounds and more!
2. Go to the Play Area on Bower Parkway
Harbison Blvd can be the worst, but Target is there, so how bad can it be?! Do you know about the cute play area next to British Bulldog Pub on Bower Parkway? Let Target take all of your money and then head to Bower Parkway and grab some ice cream. Hit the play area to slide and run around.
3. Check out The Horseshoe
Visit The Horseshoe on the campus of The University of South Carolina. Bring a blanket and let your little one run loose. Great open space and fantastic people watching.
4. Visit a Local Museum
South Carolina State Museum has a great play area for little ones downstairs, near the art gallery (The Discovery Room) and, of course, you can spend a whole day exploring the museum. Include a visit to EdVenture next door and check out the new Timbuktu exhibit, soar through the skies in Flight, build something special in the Maker Works, explore Eddie and more. I plan to visit the Columbia Museum of Art. Did you know they have programs for all ages? Check their calendar to see what might be happening during your Spring Break.
5. Take a Day Trip
Falls Park on the Reedy in Greenville is my first choice for a day trip. Leave town in the morning and make a day of everything Greenville has to offer, but make sure you spend a large chunk of your time at this park. Beautiful flowers, waterfalls, walking paths, and lots of places to pull out a blanket and relax! Check out our Great Day Trips from Columbia post for more ideas of places to go.
6. Visit the Public Library
It does not matter what county in the midlands you live in … we all have access to fantastic public libraries! Visit a branch you do not normally go to or just schedule an afternoon to hang out at your local, regular branch. Chances are, there will be awesome programming happening while your child is on Spring Break, so check the library’s calendar for events! Richland Library Calendar/Lexington County Public Library Calendar
7. Grab a Sweet Treat
Who does not love ice cream?! Go to an actual ice cream shop near you (if you have not tried Scoopy Doo Gelato Shop in Five Points, it is a MUST!) or just hit up your favorite fast food place for a cone! You could even set up your own ice cream bar at home after a quick trip to the grocery store for supplies (sprinkles, chocolate syrup, etc.).
8. Plan a Movie Day
Watch an old favorite under a pile of blankets or check out something new! Make popcorn and turn off all the lights to make it extra special. Not sure what to watch? Explore Common Sense Media’s Best Movies lists for recommendations.
9. Have a YES DAY!
Have you read Yes Day! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal? Basically, it is about a day where whatever the kid asks for, the adult says YES! Pizza for breakfast? Sure. All the cheddar squares you can eat? Of course. It sort of seems like a terrible idea, but set up some ground rules and have fun with a day where you do not have to keep saying, “no” to all the crazy requests! One of our contributors tried it out for herself and shared her experience. She actually learned there was a lot of joy and value in not saying no to certain things.
10. Do NOTHING?
It is not often that we allow ourselves or our children to do nothing. Schedule one day during Spring Break to just let the day unfold. Allow your children be bored and see what happens. Here is a great article about the benefits of letting your child get bored.
5 Spring Break Camps to Check Out
Your children do not have school, but you still have to work? No worries! Just because your child is on Spring Break, doesn’t mean you are too. If you need to find somewhere for your kiddo to go for the week, explore these camps!
1. Riverbanks Zoo “Dive, Dig, Swing, Soar” Camp for ages 5 – 9
From the zoo’s website, “campers will have a hopping good time discovering the wide variety of animal motions through daily animal encounters, behind-the-scenes tours, zoo walks, arts and crafts, games and more!” Find out more details and register.
2. South Carolina State Museum Spring Break Camp for ages 6 – 13
From SCSM’s website, “Each day will focus on a different subject matter from science to history and art.” Find out more details and register.
3. EdVenture Children’s Museum Spring Break Camp for ages 4 – 12
From EdVenture’s website, “Camp EdVenture is open to the public and offers a variety of camps for campers ages 4–12. Fun, hands-on activities keep children busy, happy and learning all day long.” Find out more details and register.
4. YMCA of Columbia Spring Break Camp for ages 5 – 14
From the YMCA website, “There will be games, sports, arts and crafts, and STEM activities throughout the camp week.” Find out more details and register at a location near you.