Passionate About Columbia SC
and the Moms Who Live Here

Summer Bucket List for NE Columbia :: 30+ Free & Affordable Activities

Summer Bucket List for NE Columbia - 30+ Free & Affordable Activities | Columbia SC Moms Blog

So summer has begun, and with all of the camps and VBS weeks coming up, I feel like it will be gone before I know it. But there will be a lot of unscheduled days, too, and I want to use them well without breaking the bank and without spending hours in the car. There are a LOT of wonderful things to do right here in Columbia, and even right here where I live in NE Columbia. Here is my real-life bucket list for NE Columbia Summer 2018.

FREE (or just the cost of materials)

  • Sleep in (Do it!)
  • Attend our church Vacation Bible School
  • Sign the kids up for Vacation Bible School at a church I don’t attend (so I am not working it!)
  • Decorate the patio or driveway with sidewalk chalk
  • Have a water gun fight in the backyard
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Backyard pool (we have a little plastic one)
  • Run through sprinklers in the backyard
  • Make a slip-n-slide with a plastic tarp in the back yard
  • Attend an event at the library
  • Go to the children’s section of the Sandhills library just for fun and let them play with magnets or enjoy a story time
  • Take the kids bowling with the Kids Bowl Free program (pay for shoe rental)
  • Go to Congaree National Park
  • Go to the Carolina Children’s Garden on Clemson Road
  • Go to our neighborhood pool and playground
  • Go to Doko Meadows and look for turtles in the lake
  • Go play at North Springs Park
  • Camp out in the backyard
  • Make smores over our charcoal grill
  • Family movie nights
  • Go to a yard sale
  • Go to a farmer’s market
  • Attend a patriotic concert
  • Go on a bike ride
  • Make Jell-O
  • Make juice popsicles and teach them how to suck out the juice and leave behind the ice (who else did that as a kid?)
  • Eat watermelon on the back patio
  • Go on an evening walk in the neighborhood


  • Dollar movies at Sandhills Regal Cinema
  • Half-price milkshakes after 8 p.m. at Sonic
  • Sesquicentennial State Park – $5 adults; $3.25 SC seniors (age 65 & older); $3 children ages 6-15; ages 5 and under, free – hiking, playground, boating (rentals for $5 to $10 an hour), splash pad
  • Get a new craft kit for the kids from Hobby Lobby or Michaels (use one of those 40% off full price coupons)
  • Get a new craft kit for ME!


  • Palmetto Falls Water Park – $12/person civilian, $7/person DoD ID holder; children two and under are free
  • Kids Club at Spring Valley Baptist Church ($10 per child grades 1-5, Tuesdays from 10-3; you send a lunch with them)
  • Sign the kids up for one half-day week-long camp through the Jeep Rogers YMCA
  • Go to Waterfall Junction at the zoo before our membership ends (if you don’t have a membership, zoo tickets for adults are $15.95 and children ages 2-12 are $13.50; military is $14.95) 
  • Go to Classical Conversations Parent Practicum (free three-day homeschool parent training in the classical approach, $42/child for Camp/childcare)

What would you add to this list??

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