Plus, GG Jackson broke an NBA record.
 
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Today’s Forecast

67º | Rainy | 75% chance of rain
Sunrise 7:18 a.m. | Sunset 5:58 p.m.

 
It’s a date 🤝
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Find ways to fall in love around Columbia. | Photo by @brett.cr3
Kids, this is the story of how I met your mother, and it was all thanks to COLAtoday.

Ok, so maybe that’s not exactly how the 2000s sitcom went, but if Ted Mosby had consulted us for date night ideas, we could’ve shaved the show down to two seasons (and saved his kids a lot of time). Regardless of whether you’ve met “the one” or are hoping to impress someone new, we’ve got 25+ local date night ideas that are legen — wait for it — dary.

For the ones who want a night out on the town

Immerse yourselves in the world of local theater events, experiencing the magic of live performances or indie movies. Purchase tickets from Town Theatre, The Nickelodeon Theater, Koger Center for the Arts, and The Township Auditorium.

S.C. State Museum Boeing Observatory

SC State Museum Boeing Observatory | Photo by @rea_mass

Embark on an otherworldly adventure by stargazing as a couple at two local observatories — one at the South Carolina State Museum and the Melton Observatory on the University of South Carolina’s campus.

If the way to their heart is through their stomach

Pro tip: Go to Saluda’s in Five Points (751 Saluda Ave.) It’s on OpenTable’s Top 100 Romantic Restaurants in the US list. Based on over 12 million diner reviews, these restaurants offer cozy atmospheres and delectable cuisine.

Step into a James Beard Nominee + historic wine bar, sipping exquisite wines paired with a selection of fancy cheeses, creating an unforgettable evening at Lula Drake Wine Parlour.

Spice up your date night at a Coa Agaveria y Cocina, savoring unique cocktails and flavorful dishes with Mexican cuisine, or try a new restaurant, Masa, located at 2811A Rosewood Dr., Columbia.

River

Take a stroll with your date along one of Columbia’s rivers. | Photo by @thanamesjames

If you love the great outdoors

Embark on thrilling kayaking tours, paddling together through scenic waterways and discovering Cola’s nature with help from Palmetto Outdoor, Carolina Outdoor Adventures, or follow our guide on how to float down the river.

Take romantic strolls along one of Columbia’s rivers, enjoying the tranquil ambiance and the company of one another.
City Guide presented by AllSouth Federal Credit Union.
 
Asked
 
Have you ever been on a date to one of the ideas we recommended?

A.Yes
B. No
C. No, but I’m interested in trying one
 
 
Events
 
Monday, Feb. 12
Tuesday, Feb. 13
  • Byte-Sized Computer Basics | Tuesday, Feb. 13, Thursday, Feb. 22 | 2-2:45 p.m. | Richland Library North Main, Columbia | Get one-on-one help with your internet, computer, or device questions.
  • For The Girls Columbia Galentine’s at the Robinson Room | Tuesday, Feb. 13 | 6-10 p.m. | Robinson Room, 1614a Main St., Columbia | $65 | Head over to the Robinson Room, where you’ll be greeted along the red carpet and handed long-stem roses as your drink tokens for the night.
  • Smoked Oyster Series | Tuesday, Feb. 13 | 6:30-8 p.m. | Smoked, 1643 Main St., Columbia | $60 | Learn to appreciate oysters like a fine wine by discovering the nuance of flavor by the climate of origin, taste, texture, and salinity.
Wednesday, Feb. 14
Friday, Feb. 16
Saturday, Feb. 17
Click here to have your event featured.
 
 
News Notes
 
Transit
  • SCDOT is implementing an all-way stop at Old Wire Road and US 21 (Charleston Highway) in Lexington County today, ahead of constructing a roundabout for improved safety. Drivers are advised to plan routes and exercise caution as they adjust to the new traffic pattern.
Sports
  • At 19 years and 53 days old, GG Jackson set a new NBA record for the youngest player to score 25+ points off the bench. The previous record was held by Kobe Bryant. Memphis Grizzlies’ GG Jackson agreed to a four-year contract with three guaranteed seasons.
Biz
  • Made with Cola Love will launch a small business incubator program and pop-up shops to empower entrepreneurs and activate vacant spaces in Columbia. The initiative, supported by grants and the City of Columbia, aims to boost economic growth and community vibrancy. (Cola Daily)
Sports
  • Gamecock football’s tight ends coach Justin Stepp is transitioning to Illinois as the new receivers coach. A Pelion native, Stepp triggered a $200,000 buyout due to his departure. (The Post and Courier)
Plan Ahead
  • The Midlands Spring Native Plant Sale is happening Saturday, April 13, at 114 Riverchase Court in Lexington. Explore a variety of SC plants to enhance your garden with beauty and support wildlife. Expect blooming perennials, grasses, and a selection of smaller blooming shrubs and trees.
Festival
  • Cayce’s Soiree on State returns on Saturday, March 23, featuring local artists, vendors, and live music in the River Arts District. The event, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. along State Street, includes a kids’ area, food vendors, and performances by Prettier Than Matt, Mitchell Lee, and Cash Money Experience. Pro tip: Park for free at Brookland-Cayce High School.
Drink
  • While we’re daydreaming about warmer weather (and warm weather beers), we’re appreciating all the seasonal beverages that hit the spot this time of year — like Peak Drift’s Fire Pit Dark Ale and Double International Pale Ale. See current offerings.*
Cause
  • Did you know that one donation has the potential to save up to three lives? Share the love this February when you donate blood at your community blood center, The Blood Connection. Make an appointment online or find a donation center near you.*
Finance
  • Discover a brighter financial future with Money Pickle, your gateway to personalized financial advice. Connect with vetted financial advisors, handpicked to provide fiduciary guidance that directly aligns with your goals for investments, retirement, and beyond. Schedule your complimentary video consultation.*
 
 
Development
 
🏗️ Developing Congaree Pointe
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The red pin on the map is where the announced Bluff/Atlas Road Improvement Project will be developed. | Photo via Google Maps.
The Columbia Empowerment Zone, Inc. (CEZ), along with state, county, and city officials, announced a Bluff/Atlas Road Improvement Project, near Williams-Brice Stadium.

The initiative aims to revitalize a historically neglected corridor, hoping to address residents limited access to fresh food and healthcare.

Development features

  • A marketplace — Market at Congaree Station — nurturing food service and artisan entrepreneurs, alongside a farmers market
  • Event + green spaces
  • Affordable assisted living facilities
  • A federally qualified health center and government services facilities (like sheriff’s substation + magistrate’s office)

Timeline

The Post and Courier reported that construction on the 23-acre project will begin soon and officials anticipate completing construction by late 2025, although the development of the assisted living facilities will likely require additional time.
 
The Buy
 
Beats Studio Buds, because you deserve an earbud upgrade. The Beats buds use active noise canceling technology for an immersive sound experience. Bonus: They’re sweat and water resistant, aka your new best gym buddy.
 
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The Wrap
 
Samantha Robertson in a white shirt and grey vest Today’s edition by:
Sam
From the editor
Plan ahead for the 89th Carolina Cup Races, happening on Saturday, March 30 in Camden. Early Bird General Admission tickets, purchased between now and Thursday, Feb. 15 start at $40.
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