Let’s be honest, vacations aren’t cheap. Even trekking it two hours down the road to the beach can cost a pretty penny. Why not save some money, and discover all that the Midlands has to offer? Here are some of our favorite things to do right here in the Columbia area!
Frankie’s Fun Park is a great opportunity to get together as a family, eat some pizza, and play some games. With go-cart tracks, different mini-golf courses, laser tag, batting cages, an indoor fun house, and an arcade, there’s truly something for everyone!
Located off Harbison Blvd at 140 Parkridge Dr, Columbia, SC 29063, Frankie’s is Open Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-midnight, and Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Admission: Free, but rides and games will cost you extra
Located in Northeast Columbia and Irmo, Hi-Wire Trampoline Park is one of the largest trampoline jumping fields in America. Featuring over 60 trampolines, including the famous angled wall trampolines, children and adults alike will have a blast practicing their skills.
Kids age 6 and younger are always welcome to jump during standard park hours, but #KidsJump is reserved just for these little ones from 9am to 10am Monday through Saturday. Children can jump with kids their own age without the rustle and bustle of a bunch of other kids in the way. And one accompanying parent or legal guardian jumps for free.
Bonus of younger kids: Jumping Jacks inflatable bounce houses, located inside the Plex beside Hi-Wire in Northeast Columbia, is reserved for children 12 and under only at a special rate of $8 for the whole day.
Located at 741 Fashion Dr in Northeast Columbia and 1019 Broad Stone Rd in Irmo
Admission: 1 Hour Flight Ticket $14, 2 Hour Flight Ticket $22, 6 and under 1 Hour Flight Ticket $9, under 2 is FREE with paying adult
Get outdoors and visit Sesquicentennial State Park, located off Two Notch Road, and immerse yourself in the 1,400 acres of pines, camping sites, and nature trails. With a new splash pad, you can’t go wrong!! Kids will also love the playground, feeding the ducks, and even renting a canoe or paddleboat to take out on the lake with mom and dad!
Located at 9564 Two Notch Rd, Columbia, SC 29223 , the park is open daily from 8 a.m. to dark
Admission: $5 adults; $3.25 SC seniors; $3 ages 6-15 age 5 & younger FREE
Not many areas can say they have a National Park in their backyard! Congaree has the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland forest in the Southeast. There are trails for both new and experienced hikers. Like the water? Take guided kayak or canoe tours through the park. Make sure to like their Facebook page to get updates on the synchronized fireflies!
Located at 100 National Park Road, Hopkins, SC, the visitor center is open 9-5 p.m.
Need a beach? We have one. The beach at Lake Murray is just south of the dam. Enjoy a picnic or a dip in the lake at the beach. This is also a great destination for fishing!
Located at 2101 N. Lake Dr, Columbia, SC 29212, Open April – Mid September, check their website for hours
Admission: $3 per car
This local children’s museum houses ten state of the art exhibits, making it the destination for imagination in Columbia! Your child can explore Eddie, the world’s biggest kid or “shop” in the EdVenture grocery store. One of the newest exhibits Flight takes your child into the skies. A plane cockpit was installed on the side of the building so your child has nothing to stop their imagination.
Located at 211 Gervais Street Columbia, SC 29201, the museum is open Monday-Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Children and Adults $11.50. Under 2 FREE
It is never too early to introduce your child to good art. Their family programs offer parents and children the opportunity to explore the many aspects of art and culture together. Listen to storytelling in the galleries, take a family safari through our collection, or create a piece of original artwork! Let Gladys the grasshopper guide you to family fun throughout the museum.
Located at 1515 Main St., the museum is open Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Due to extensive renovation, admission prices are lower than normal! Adults: $6. Students: $2.50. Children under 6 FREE
One of the most popular destinations in Columbia is the Riverbanks Zoo! Make sure to not miss the penguin feeding everyday at 11 a.m. or take the train over to the gorgeous Botanical Gardens and see the spring blooms. During the summer, take advantage of Waterfall Junction to beat the heat. Frolic around and under a 25-foot cascading waterfall and splash zones, unearth a life-size replica of T-Rex, play in giant tree houses, pop in and out of rabbit holes, and more.
The main entrance to the zoo is located just off Greystone Blvd. at 500 Wildlife Parkway Columbia, SC 29210. Botanical Gardens entrance is located at 1300 Botanical Parkway West Columbia, SC 29169. Open Monday-Sunday 9-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults $15.95, Children (2-12 years) $13.50, Children (Under 2) FREE , Military (with military ID) $14.95
If taking the scenic route was more of your thing, how about an hour on a train riding through Fairfield County? The South Carolina Railroad Museum offers train rides most Saturdays during the summer. Ride either the coach or open air car (open air is a personal favorite), while learning about the history of the area. A treat for any age!
Located: 110 Industrial Park Rd, Winnsboro, SC 29180
Admission: Depends on Event and Car. $15-20 a person 3+