I love playdates! As a work-from-home/stay-at-home mom, I’ll take any opportunity to get out of the house with my kids, meet up with some friends, and have fun! Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for playdates at someone’s house, but as every stay-at-home mom knows, it’s
good great to get out of the house too! Fortunately, Columbia offers a variety of places that are perfect to meet up with your mom friends and have a playdate.
Here are my five favorite spots:
You can’t go wrong with the zoo! Exotic Animals, climbing walls, giraffe feeding, a playground, and so much more! I enjoy going to the zoo not just for all it offers, but also because it can be a great time to chat and bond with your friends. There is also the brand new Waterfall Junction open at the Botanic Gardens! Waterfall Junction offers 3 acres of different areas children can explore, including giant tree houses, a 25 ft cascading waterfall to play under, a life size T-Rex to unearth, and rabbit holes to pop in and out of. I just recently met a friend there for a play date and it is amazing! It exceeded my expectation and I can’t wait to return!
Jumping Jacks, The Plex at Sandhills
I love The Plex because there are activities for both younger children and older children. But, the best spot there for a playdate is Jumping Jacks Inflatable Park. This area has 11 large inflatables children can run and jump and play in as long as they want. There is a designated parent area, where you and your mom friends can sit and relax while the kids play. It’s open 7 days a week and is $8 per child (children under 2 are free when accompanied by a paying child). No need for reservations! You can just pop on in whenever you’d like. Another bonus, free Wi-Fi!
The Play Area and Carousal at Columbiana Centre Mall
I think mall play areas are underrated. They are truly a great meet-up place for a playdate because kids can run around in the enclosed play area, play with their friends and meet new friends. There are plenty of “obstacles” for them to climb on/over and into. There is a small slide inside a tree, a play canoe, a bridge and it’s all in a carpeted area. Parents can sit inside the area on the comfy seats lining the walls and chat while their kids run around freely and play. The best part is that it’s FREE! And, you can’t go to the mall without also hitting up the carousal. And, hey, if you’re there with your friends for a playdate, might as well sneak in a little shopping.
This is a beautiful outdoor area with twelve themed gardens, where children can explore nature and play. There are life size cutouts of Winnie the Pooh and friends, a slide, a dinosaur to climb on, a large sandbox, and play houses. There are also plenty of picnic tables, where you can enjoy a nice picnic lunch with your children and friends. If you’re up for a bit more exploring, there is a path that leads down to a large pond that is full of lily pads and teeming with fish and other wildlife. You and your mom friends can take your children on a wonderful nature walk and do a scavenger hunt for birds, lizards, fish, frogs, and butterflies. I love going to the Carolina Children’s Garden because it is such a peaceful place, it’s never crowded, and kids can explore and learn more about nature while having fun at the same time. The garden is open every day from 7:30am-dusk and is FREE.
There are so many wonderful parks in Columbia! I love meeting up with friends at the park because it’s a great outdoor activity for kids and moms. Moms can chat while their kids climb the jungle gym, swing, and run around the play areas. Since there are so many parks in Columbia, you can pick a different park each time you go and you’ll never get bored. Some of my favorite parks are Blythewood Park, North Springs Park, Sesquicentennial State Park, and Irmo Community Park.