We’re not kiddin’ around. From major attractions like the EdVenture Children’s Museum to hidden gems like the the spray pool at Lorick Park, there’s something in Soda City for children of all ages. You’ll have no trouble entertaining the youngsters with this list of 22 kid-friendly activities around the 803.
🧠 Educational activities
EdVenture Children’s Museum, 211 Gervais St. | $13
Explore the Southeast’s largest children’s museum which boasts hands-on exhibits like a bio lab. Kids will remember Eddie — a giant sculpture of a child that kids can crawl inside to learn about organs like the brain and heart.
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, 500 Wildlife Pkwy. | $19+ | 🎟️ Family memberships available
This 170-acre site introduces children to over 2,000 animals, not to mention the botanical garden. Kids will remember how pink flamingos are in person.
Columbia Fire Museum, 1800 Laurel St. | Free
Take your aspiring firefighter to this one-room exhibit which has displays and antiques commemorating the history of Cola’s fire department. Kids will remember the horse-drawn fire engine from 1903.
Anne Frank Center, 1731 College St. | Free
One for the older kids. Located on the UofSC campus, this is the only site in North America to partner with the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Take a free public tour — ideal for those with children aged 12 and up — of the four-room exhibit which explores the legacy of Anne Frank. Kids will remember the photographs, videos, and original artifacts from this tour.
🎨 All about the arts
Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St. | $5+ | 🎟️ Family memberships available
The CMA is the perfect place to foster a love of art. Kids can enjoy storytelling in the galleries, going on a safari through the art collections, and even summer camps. Kids will remember creating an original piece of art in the CMA studios.
Columbia Children’s Theatre, Brookland Lakeview Empowerment Center, 1218 Batchelor St., West Columbia | $15
These professional plays allow children to foster their love of the arts up close, plus the theater offers performance opportunities and voice lessons. Kids will remember the audience participation.
Columbia Marionette Theatre, 401 Laurel St. | $7
Catch a show and learn about the tradition and artistry of puppetry. Kids will remember the unique, handcrafted marionettes.
🌊 Splash around
⛱️ Pool party
Greenview Pool, 6700 David St. | $3+
This public pool also has water slides and a zero-depth splash pad, plus recreational swimming on weekends. Kids will remember going down the water slide over and over again.
Jeep Rogers Family YMCA, 900 Lake Carolina Dr. | 🎟️ Family memberships available
Beyond the eight-lane swimming pool, there are also tennis courts, a basketball gym, child watch hours, and swim lessons. Kids will remember learning how to swim here.
🌳 Great outdoors
Sesquicentennial State Park, 9564 Two Notch Rd. | $6+
Before you hit the trail for hiking, kayaking, and paddling, head to the park office for kid-friendly activities — or print them out at home. Kids will remember using the scavenger hunt and trail map on a hike.
Congaree National Park, 100 National Park Rd. | Free
Foster a love for nature by exploring 26,000 acres of SC’s only National Park. Kids will remember strolling the Boardwalk trail
Harbison State Forest, 5600 Broad River Rd. | $5+
You don’t have to leave city limits to get into the great outdoors at this large greenspace. Kids will remember learning about the park at the Harbison Environmental Education Center.
🧺 Pack a picnic
Irmo Community Park, 7473 Church St., Irmo | Free
Beyond the playgrounds, kids can take walks along the trails with the family, or enjoy a barbecue picnic. Kids will remember coming here for the Okra Strut Festival.
The Horseshoe, University of Southern Carolina | Free
Play frisbee or throw a ball with the family dog after riding your bikes around. Kids will remember taking a picnic in the shade.
🎳 Indoor adventures
Transmission Arcade, 1712 Main St. | $1 for four tokens
Introduce young gamers to the arcade classics like “Frogger” and “Dig Dug” — plus, “Mortal Kombat” for the older crowd. Kids will remember discovering all the games from your childhood.
Altitude, 7451 Garners Ferry Rd. | $7+
Bounce out all that energy at this indoor trampoline park featuring high-flying trampolines, courses, and competitions. Kids will remember performing aerial acrobatics.
The Final Door, 930 Knox Abbott Dr. | $27+
Work together to find a solution to immersive escape games, many of which are designed for families with children. Kids will remember solving the puzzle before you do.