8 activities for seniors in + around Columbia, SC

Senior couple smiling and holding flowers
With help from our readers and the local specialists at Merrill Gardens, we’ve rounded up 8 senior-friendly activities in the Columbia area | Photo via Pexels

Asked: What kinds of senior-friendly activities does Columbia have to offer? 

Answered: With the help of COLAtoday readers and the local senior living specialists at Merrill Gardens, we’ve rounded up 8 options for senior Soda Citizens to learn, explore, and have fun in the Columbia area:

1. SC State Museum

  • Offerings: 70,000+ artifacts in interactive exhibitions celebrating South Carolina’s art, natural history, culture, and science + technology
  • Address: 301 Gervais St.
  • Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 12-5 p.m.
  • Website: http://scmuseum.org/
  • Pricing: $8.95 general admission; $7.95 for seniors

2. Congaree National Park 

3. Shepherd’s Center of Columbia 

  • Offerings: Classes (like yoga, art, writing and Spanish), lunch, guest speakers + more
  • Address: 3401 Trenholm Rd.
  • Hours: Class times vary; office hours are 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Website: https://shepherdscentercolumbia.org/
  • Pricing: Class registration is $35/person, lunch is $9 or BYO

4. Harbison Community Center

  • Offerings: Classes like Sit and Fit Aerobics + Senior Cardio
  • Address: 106 Hillpine Rd.
  • Hours: Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat., 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun., 1-6 p.m. (pool closes at 5 p.m.)
  • Website: http://harbisonhoa.com/community-center/seniors/
  • Pricing: Free for residents, $4/class or $60 per 20 class pass for non-residents 

5. Lexington County Museum

  • Offerings: 36 historic buildings with tours and demonstrations for history buffs, gardeners + arts and crafts enthusiasts
  • Address: 231 Fox St., Lexington
  • Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun., 1-4 p.m.
  • Website: http://lexingtoncountymuseum.org/
  • Pricing: $5 (cash or check only)

6. Richland Library

7. The Lourie Center

  • Offerings: Physical fitness, educational classes + programs, and social activities
  • Address: 1650 Park Circle (Maxcy Gregg Park)
  • Hours: Class times vary
  • Website: https://louriecentersc.com/
  • Pricing: $300/year for full, unlimited membership; see more options here
  • #ProTip: “The Lourie Lectures — high quality, varied selection of topics taught by qualified instructors. Because learning never retires…” -Sandra P.


  • Offerings: Classes for degree + non-degree seekers, plus events + lecture series open to the public
  • Hours: Course + event times vary
  • Website: https://sc.edu/
  • Pricing: Free tuition for seniors
  • #ProTips: Open Book at USC.” – Barbara W + “Walk around the horseshoe and McKissick Museum.” -Nancy O. 

Interested in checking out Merrill Gardens for yourself or a loved one? Call (803) 234-5089 or fill out a contact form to schedule a personal tour. You can also take a virtual tour anytime.  


More reader responses:

  • Columbia Museum of Art
  • Congaree New Horizons Band program
  • UofSC community music program for seniors
  • Shepherd Center of St. Andrews (meets at Ashland United Methodist Church on Ashland Rd.)
  • Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission senior activities
  • Soda City
  • Columbia Fireflies games
  • USC Baseball games
  • Mad Platter
  • Blue Bike SC station in the BullStreet District
  • Riverbanks Zoo
  • The Riverwalk
  • Sesquicentennial State Park