Columbia’s fall bucket list

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Find the perfect pumpkin at the State Farmers Market | Photo via @c_tina221

 Tomorrow is the first official day of the fall season— and to help you take full advantage of the festive season, we’ve compiled our Columbia fall bucket list, complete with 40+ events and activities to try. 🍁 

Feeling festive yet? Let’s get started. 

👟 Activities 

Buy fresh, fall produce from the South Carolina State Farmers Market 

Celebrate fall harvest season with fresh produce, specialty products and artisan items. Throughout the month of October, the market will feature fall flowers, pumpkins fall decor + many more fall goodies. 

Enjoy a fun-filled day at the South Carolina State Fair

Celebrate the fairs return to in-person activities from Tues., Oct. 13-Wed., Oct. 24. Enjoy the traditional fair foods, rides, animals + more. 

See the scarecrows at the Robert Mills House gardens

For the entire month on October, scarecrows will be taking over the gardens + the exhibit is free to the public. Bring the kids to see handcrafted scarecrows made by Cola artists, families, businesses and classrooms. 

Go to a Gamecock Football game 

Regardless of the outcome of the game, you’ll be winning if you prepare with our gameday guide.

Take pictures of fall foliage around town

Bring on all the fall feels. We put together a guide to help you navigate the best fall foliage around the Midlands. Don’t forget to cue your sweater weather playlist. 

Take a stroll through the Shandon neighborhood

Word on the street is that Shandon goes all out on Halloween decorations. Sounds like the perfect spot for an afternoon walk with a warm beverage in hand.

Watch the colors change on Edisto Avenue 

Just across the street from Shandon lies Edisto Avenue, where the Ginkgo trees turn yellow once autumn hits. 

Plan a weekend getaway

If you’re looking to watch the leaves change and be one with nature, check out our guide to Airbnbs within a couple of hours from downtown. 

🎟️ Fall events

Oktober Fest | Fri., Sept. 24 | 6-9 p.m. | Segra Park | $40+ | Sample beers, seltzers + ciders along with limited concessions.  

Steel Hands Oktoberfest | Fri., Oct. 1 | 12-11 p.m. | Steel Hands Brewing | Free | Enjoy German beer + food, along with live music and competitions. 

Savage Craft Oktoberfest | Sat., Oct. 2 | 1-10 p.m. | Savage Craft Ale Works | Free | Celebrate the debut of their Fall beer line-up. 

2021 Fall Plant and Flower Festival | Fri., Oct. 8-Sun., Oct. 10 | Times vary | SC State Farmers Market | Free | Shop seasonal plants, flowers, decor + more. 

Fall Craft and Vendor Fair | Sat., Oct. 9 | 9 a.m.-2 p.m. | Brookland Baptist Church, 1066 Sunset Blvd, West Columbia | Free | Explore vendors and try out one of the “Make + Take” craft stations. 

Grand Opening Harvest Festival | Sat., Oct. 9 | 11 a.m.-6 p.m. | THE FARM 1780 | $5+ | This event will feature a full line-up of seasonal events, including pumpkin painting, yard games, chef demos + more. 

Columbia Craft Oktoberfest | Sat., Oct. 9 | 12 p.m. | Columbia Craft | Free | There will be 3 new beer drops, themed merch, German food + polka music. 

2021 Pumpkin Run and Fun Walk | Sat., Oct. 16 | 7 a.m. | NorthWest Family YMCA, 1501 Kennerly Rd., Irmo | $10+ | Wear your favorite costume to be entered into the costume contest.  

Trunk or Treat | Fri., Oct. 22 | 5:30-7 p.m. | Robert Mills House | Free | Bring the kids to go trunk to trunk to collect candy or register to decorate your own vehicle.

Boo at the Zoo | Fri., Oct. 20 – Fri., Oct. 30 | Riverbanks Zoo and Garden | $12+ |

Dress up in your best costumes and explore the zoo after hours for a family fun trick or treating event. 

Halloween Bash Costume Party | Fri., Oct. 29 | 7:30 p.m. | 701 Whaley | $800 | Pricing includes 1 table for up to 8 people and ticket proceeds go to the Palmetto Foundation for Prevention and Recovery.

🍎 Farms + orchards

Clinton Sease Farm | Dates differ by activity | 382 Olde Farm Rd., Lexington

In addition to their pumpkin patch, Clinton Sease Farm also has a corn maze, hayrides + a cozy campfire with options to cook s’mores and hotdogs.

Windy Hill Orchard and Cider Mill | Fri., Sept. 10 – Sun., Dec. 19 | York, SC

Home of everything apples, this U-pick apple orchard is a quick hour and 35 minutes up the road. Open until Christmas, they recommend coming on a weekday or waiting until November. Oh, and grab a fresh apple cider doughnut for us while you’re there.

McLeod Farms | Sat., Oct. 2 – Sun., Nov. 6 | Mcbee, SC

This 13-acre pumpkin patch is worth the drive with 14 varieties of U-pick pumpkins to choose from and a corn maze.

Eudora Farms | Fall activities through Sat., Oct. 31 | Salley, SC

Home to 200 exotic animals, we might be just as excited as the kids. On top of the drive-through safari, Eudora Farms offers a petting zoo, pumpkin patch, hay maze + wagon rides.

👻 Haunted houses

Deceased Farm | Fri., Sept. 17 – Sun., Oct. 31 | 382 Olde Farm Rd., Lexington | $22+ at the door (cash only) | Take a self-guided haunt through 6 terrifying buildings, 3 outdoor zones and creepy corn fields. Also, check out the Dead and Breakfast + spooky escape rooms.

The Dark Castle | Fri., Sept. 24 – Sat., Nov. 6 | 2076 Highway Church Rd., Elgin | $22+ | Take a walk down the Dark Knight’s Terror Trail, step into the Dungeon of Darkness or enter the Zombie Zone to clear zombies out of the woods with a laser gun.  

☕ Food + drinks

Apple Cinnamon Whiskey Sour at Market on Main 

You can’t go wrong with Makers Mark, fresh apples + cinnamon. 

Caramel Apple Butter Macchiato at Blūm Coffee

This apple-flavored coffee is topped with a salted caramel drizzle + will make you feel like you’re walking through an orchard. 

Caramel Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew at the Hideout in WeCo

This coffee is topped off with almond make to make for the perfect seasonal drink. 

Chai Tea Cake at Kaminsky’s 

~Chai~ this classic fall drink in cake-form. 

Death by Fluffer (12.5% ABV) at Columbia Craft 

An imperial stout with notes of marshmallow, peanut butter and chocolate— need we say more?

Housemade Pumpkin Bread at Loveland Coffee 

Enjoy a class fall favorite with cream cheese icing. 

Festive Baby Cakes at Ally & Eloise Bakeshop

These mini cakes are decorated with festive frosting to satisfy your taste for fall. 

French Onion Soup at Za’s on Devine 

This cheesy goodness is back just in time for cooler weather + will only be available for a limited time. 

Oktoberfest beer (5.1% ABV) at Steel Hands 

The ​​Marzen style lager is pouring in the taproom and is also available in 6-packs. 

Pumpkin Ale (6.5% ABV) at Savage Craft Ale Works 

All of the deliciousness of a piece of pumpkin pie, but in beer form.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins at Blue Flour Bakery

A favorite bakery item with a fall spin.

Pumpkin Spice whipped cream at Curiosity Coffee Bar 

Top off your drink or eat it with a spoon— we won’t judge. 

Schnitzel at Terra

Crispy panko-crusted pork with red pepper + ‘Nduja coulis, fresh chayote squash, crunchy toasted hazelnuts, and savory beech mushrooms.

The Finish Line at Azalea Coffee 

Get excited about fall with this hot espresso drink that has homemade pumpkin spice syrup, white chocolate sauce, steamed milk + pumpkin pie spice. 

White Girl Wasted Pumpkin Stout at Angry Fish 

This drinkable fall favorite will return in October. 

Explore more of this season’s fall-themed beer releases from Bierkeller, Hazelwood + River Rat here. If 1 of these don’t float your fall drink boat, check out our brewery guide.  

💸 The Buy

Caramel Apple Kit from Gourmet Shop

Just add apples for the perfect sweet treat. 

Fall scented candles from Seminole Candle Company 

Smell all the favorites, including Autumn Harvest, Fresh Pine + Spiced Sugar Plum. Cozy Cashmere is the newest fragrance and will give you all the sweater weather vibes.
Pro tip — if you can’t decide which to try, they offer a bundle option with 1 free candle with the purchase of 6. 

DIY your own fall signs and decor at AR Workshop Columbia or AR Workshop Lexington

Sign up for a class or pick up a DIY to-go kit from either location to put your own personal touch on your next piece of fall-themed decor. Pro tip — the to-go kits make great, socially distanced activities with friends.

Old + new fall decor from Re-Invintage

Pumpkins, paintings + pottery, oh my. 

🚘 Fall road trips

Charleston | ~2 hours from Columbia 

There’s a variety of activities to do in Charleston in the fall but some of our favorites have to be visiting Boone Hall Plantation + taking ghost tours through the city. Make sure to say hey to our CHStoday team while you visit. 

Beaufort | ~2 hours and 15 min. from Columbia 

This charming and historic town has stunning views of marshes, rivers and moss-hung oaks. 

Asheville, NC | ~2 hours and 30 min. from Columbia

If you’ve been yearning for some mountain time this fall, a day trip to Asheville is the trip for you. Check out AVLtoday’s recommendations for 48 hours in Asheville to start planning your trip.

Blue Ridge Parkway | ~3 hours from Columbia

Whether you want to hike, bike or drive, the parkway runs for 469 miles and offers unbeatable views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, especially in the fall.

Looking for more destinations that are an easy drive away? Here’s our road trip guide.