Columbia’s fall bucket list

SC State Farmers Market
Pumpkins at the SC State Farmers Market | Photo via @cynthia.paige.elders

It’s finally fall — and to help you take full advantage of the festive season, we’ve compiled our Columbia fall bucket list, complete with 30+ events and activities to try. 🍁

👟 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. 

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 Shandon

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.

🍎 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 | Thurs., Oct. 8 – Sun., Dec. 20 | 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. 3 – Sun., Nov. 8 | 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.

🎟️ Fall events

Oztober | Thurs., Oct. 1 – Sat., Oct. 31 | SC State Museum | $8.95+ 

Wizard of Oz-themed activities and shows will take place throughout the month of October, including 4-D showings of the movie + a Halloween-themed planetarium experience.

South Carolina State Fair | Tues., Oct. 20 – Wed., Oct. 21 | SC State Fairgrounds | Free

Check out our guide to navigating this year’s drive-thru edition of the state fair. Fair food will be available Oct. 20-24. 

Boo at the Zoo | Fri., Oct. 23 – Fri., Oct. 30 | Riverbanks Zoo and Garden | $11+ 

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

“Mask”erade Ball | Sat., Oct. 31 | Main Course | $10

Join Main Course for a night of dancing, music, contests + more. Tickets include entry and spooky bites to eat.

☕ Food + drinks

Pumpkin spiced Gamechanger at Home Team BBQ

If you love the original Gamechanger, this one’s for you. The seasonal pumpkin option features Cannon Disterllery’s chai vodka + lots of pumpkin flavor. 

Pumpkin cheesecake ice cream from Sweet Cream Co. 

A delicious fall flavor that allows us to cool off from warmer fall days – need we say more?

Fall popcorn from Cromer’s

With apple pie, pumpkin spice + halloween boo corn, there’s a fall flavor for every popcorn lover. 

Pumpkin Spiced Rawnola from Tasty as Fit 

Oats, dates, maple syrup, coconut, pumpkin spice + more all blended into a flavorful and healthy mix. Perfect for breakfast or a snack + available for curbside pickup. 

Maple habanero latte from Blūm Coffee

Add a little heat to your morning pick-me-up with a fall flavor that will also keep you warm.

Pumpkin spice White Russian from The Grand

This twist on a classic cocktail makes for the perfect dessert drink if you ask us.

Turkey taco from Cantina 76

Available each year during the week of Thanksgiving, this taco brings all your favorite Thanksgiving leftover flavors into one yummy bite.

Fall sugar cookies from Blue Flour Bakery

Whether you’re looking for a gift for a friend or you want to indulge yourself, these perfectly decorated cookies will do the trick.

Seasonal, local brews

Sip, sip hooray. Your taste buds will thank you after checking out our fall brewery guide

💸 TheBuy

Fall signs and decor from 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. #ProTip – the to-go kits make great, socially distanced activities with friends.

An Autumn Harvest candle from Seminole Candle Company

This hand poured candle is perfect for anyone who enjoys a little spice. For those who prefer a sweeter scent, the Empire Apple candle will remind you of the orchard.

👻 Haunted houses

Deceased Farm | Fri., Sept. 18 – Sat., Oct. 31 | 382 Olde Farm Rd., Lexington | $18+ at the door (cash only)

Take a self-guided haunt through six terrifying buildings, three outdoor zones and creepy corn fields. Dead and Breakfast is also now open + new this year.

The Dark Castle | Fri., Sept. 26 – Sun., Nov. 1 | 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. 

🚘 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 just been named the no. 2 “Summertime Small Towns That Are Even Better In The Fall” by Southern Living magazine. The relaxed 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 trp 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.