Columbia’s spring bucket list

Strawberry picking at Cottle Farms | Image via @daniswinda

In case you haven’t been outside in a while and missed it, spring has sprung — flowers are blooming + pollen has started coating surfaces in a thin, yellow layer (ew).

To help you take advantage of the warmer weather and brighter days, we’ve compiled a list of events and activities to make the most of the season. 🌼

👟 Activities

See the spring blooms at the Riverbanks Botanical Garden

Fresh flowers are blooming at our local botanical garden. 🌸 Spend your afternoon strolling through 70 acres of gardens featuring over 4,200 species of native and exotic plants. You can gain entry to the gardens by purchasing a general admissions ticket to the Riverbanks Zoo, open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 🦒

Buy fresh produce at Soda City Market

Springtime means fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables on sale. 🥬 Try supporting local farmers this season by picking up your produce on Saturdays at Soda City. Bonus points if you bring your pup or grab lunch from a local food truck. 🐶

Have a picnic at Riverfront Park

Warm spring weather is the perfect excuse to spend your lunch hour outside. ☀️ Pick up takeout or pack a lunch to enjoy at Riverfront Park, then walk it off on the park’s four miles of paved trail. 

 

Hike along the Palmetto Trail

Get your steps in while enjoying some fresh air. 🥾 Currently, there are two passages of the Palmetto Trail in Columbia and several others around the state. When the project is complete, there will be 500 continuous miles of cross-state hiking and bicycle trails to enjoy.

Ride around town on a Blue Bike

Explore Columbia on two wheels. 🚲 Renting a Blue Bike is easy, all you have to do is create an account, pick up a bike at a convenient location, and enjoy the ride. You can end your ride at any time by dropping the bike off at any station nearest to you (it doesn’t have to be where you started).

 

Go to a Fireflies game

In May, the Columbia Fireflies will be kicking off their 120-game schedule. ⚾ Grab a ticket to a home game at Segra Park or travel with the team to other nearby stadiums. Just don’t forget your peanuts and Cracker Jacks. 🥜

Float or kayak down the river

Columbia’s Broad, Saluda + Congaree rivers provide some fun outdoor activities. If you’re in the mood for an adventure, rent a kayak for the afternoon. 🚣 If you’re more of a lounger, fill up a cooler and float down the river in an inner tube.  

Rent a boat for a day on Lake Murray 

Lace up your top siders and hit the lake. Whether you’re riding solo or with a large group, anyone can live the Lake Murray lifestyle for a day with a boat rental. 🚤

Enjoy an outdoor concert at the Columbia Speedway

Get ready to rock in a socially distanced, outdoor seating pod. 🎶 Cola Concerts is offering a lineup of great musicians all season long. 

Eat dinner on a patio

Spring weather is the perfect balance of not too hot and not too cold, a.k.a. the perfect weather to dine al fresco. ☀️ Columbia has several restaurants + bars with outdoor seating for you to choose from.

Grab a scoop of ice cream

This time of year we are screaming for ice cream. Whether you prefer the famous soft serve at Rosewood Dairy Bar or the ice cream sandwiches at The Baked Bear, there is no bad choice when it comes to Columbia’s ice cream shops. 🍦

Hit a golf ball in Williams-Brice

Yep, you read that right. The Top Golf Live tour is coming to Williams-Brice April 8-11 and offering a one-of-a-kind experience for pro and amateur golfers alike. ⛳ Tickets for the experience are available here.

🍓 Berry farms

Cottle Farms, 2533 Trotter Rd.

This family-owned farm will open for u-pick and pre-picked strawberries in mid-April. While appointments to pick strawberries aren’t needed, calling ahead is recommended. 🍓

Berry Hill Farm, 219 Bluefield Rd., Lexington

When the season opens (keep an eye on the “update” page on their website), guests can pick their own blueberries at this Lexington farm. 

🎟️ Spring festivals

Drive Through Fair Food | Tues., April 6-Sun., April 11 | 10 a.m.-8 p.m. | SC State Fairgrounds Gate 6 | Price of purchase | The event was so popular in the fall, it’s coming back for round two. Get a fix of all your favorite fair foods without leaving the comfort of your car. Check out the full menu here. 🍟

3rd Annual Taco & Tequila Crawl | Sat., April 10 | 12-6 p.m. | The Vista | $20+ | Take a stroll through the Vista, stopping along the way to enjoy the best tacos and margaritas the area has to offer. Ticket price includes four tacos and access to drink specials at every stop. 🌮

Rosewood Crawfish Festival | Sat., May 1 | 11 a.m.-7 p.m. | SC State Fairgrounds | $10 | Dig into 10,000 pounds of crawfish and your other Cajun favorites. Bring the kids for a day of live music, arts and crafts, food, and fun for all ages. 🦐

Wine Walk | Sat., May 8 | 6-10 p.m. | Icehouse Amphitheater | $25 | Join the Lexington Beautification Foundation for the 10th Annual Wine Walk on Main. Sample delicious wines, purchase fresh food from vendors, and enjoy live music while supporting the Town of Lexington. 🍷

Drink Pink Rosé Festival | Sun., May 16 | 12-4 p.m. | Hampton-Preston Mansion | $65 | Celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Southeast’s largest rosé festival. Tickets include access to unlimited samples of over 100 Rosé wines, three types of Paella to munch on, cheese tastings + live music. 🥂

Columbia Food and Wine Festival | Thurs., May 20-Sun., May 23 | Times + locations vary by event | Ticket prices vary | A weekend full of foodie and boozy events (view the full schedule here) ending with Sunday’s one-of-a-kind journey through Columbia’s finest plates and pours. 🍽️

Carolina Cup | Sat., May 22 | 1 p.m. | Carolina Cup Racing Association, 200 Knights Hill Rd., Camden | $30+ | Grab your oversized sun hat because we’re off to the races. The Carolina Cup is back for its 86th annual horse race. Doors open at 9 a.m. + the race starts at 1 p.m. 🏇

☕ Food + drinks

Sip on the spring drink menu at Tazza

Tazza’s spring drink menu and it’s serving the fruity and floral handcrafted cocktails of your dreams. 🍸 The new menu has seven drinks to try with ingredients like melon bitters + edible orchids. 🌺

Get caffeinated with a sparkling citrus cold brew at Curiosity Coffee Bar

Step aside pumpkin spice, we’re ready for some springy cold brews. ☕ Curiosity Coffee Bar is adding orange simple syrup + sparkling water to their nitro cold brew for a refreshing caffeine fix. 🍊

 

Cool off with an adult slushie

There is no better way to cool off on a warm spring day than with a frozen drink. 🍹 Many places around town offer these chilly treats + some of our favorites are the Gamechanger at Home Team BBQ, frozé on the Hendrix rooftop, and the frozen moscow mule at River Rat.

Refuel with a lemon meringue cold brew at Blūm

Caffeine and citrus? Don’t mind if we do. Cool off and recharge with this refreshing coffee from Blūm. 🍋