The temperature is dropping, which means fall is in the air and more outdoor activities for families to enjoy! Here is a list of fun, family fall activities in and around Columbia.
Festivals and Fairs
Chapin Labor Day Festival – 8/26- 9/04 – The annual Labor Day festival includes Taste of Chapin – a Restaurant Week featuring special deal and menu items from Chapin eateries such as Chophouse of Chapin, Bart’s Crazy Good Coffee, Bakon, Catch 22, The Coffee Shelf, Doza Rizen Café and Lazy Creek Taphouse. On Saturday, September 2, the Justin Pepper 5K Walk, Run, Ruck begins on that morning at 7 a.m. Later that evening, Latin Night offers authentic Venezuelan food from Arepa Chef, a food drive benefiting Chapin We Care Center, salsa dancing and Latin music from 7 -10 p.m. on Beaufort Street. On Sunday evening, enjoy the “Boots on Beaufort” Concert featuring local musicians starting at 7 p.m. featuring openers Johnny Meetze and Griffin Schelble as well as Spare Parts! Bring your lawn chairs, but no coolers are allowed. The Labor Day Parade begins at 9:30 am on Monday morning with the Classic Car Show in the Mt. Horeb parking lot. There will be vendors with a children’s play area and bounce houses. The Chapin Library Book Sale will be at the Town hall during the festival and the American Legion Post 193 is hosting a train museum during the festival at their building on Lexington Avenue. The festival will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Columbia’s Greek Festival – 9/14-9/17 – Take the chance to learn more about Greek culture, do some shopping, and try out the amazing food offered at a long-time Columbia favorite! Definitely try a Baklava Ice Cream Sundae!
Clinton Sease Farm Corn Maze – 9/22-11/5 – The Corn Maze and playground at Clinton Sease Farms are open starting September 22. Friday evening hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday hours are 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Admission includes all mazes, playground activities, obstacle course and unlimited wagon rides. General admission is $18 at the door and $16 online for ages 3+. Children ages 2 and under are free. Food trucks and refreshments are also available.
Irmo Okra Strut – 9/29-9/30 – This free festival has been a favorite and is celebrating it’s 49th year. The festival is open to the public and starts on Friday evening with music. festival will have performers on Friday evening with The L.A. Maybe and the Terence Young Music Project until 11 pm,=. Saturday evening, The Reggie Sullivan Band gets the music started and the Spin Doctors will rock until 10 p.m.
Eudora Farms Fall Festival – 9/29 – 11/5 – This family friendly festival is fun for all ages! Come out and take a stroll through the hay bale maze, hand feed beautiful parakeets, play in a large sandbox filled with corn, purchase a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, feed the animals in the petting zoo, and more! Be sure to stand on the sidelines and cheer for your favorite pig as you watch the hilarious pig races! The festival runs Friday’s – Sunday’s. Keep an eye on the Eudora Farms Facebook page for pricing and more information.
Rosewood Art and Music Festival – 10/7 – The Rosewood Art & Music Festival is a non-profit, one-day, free admittance, outdoor festival where thousands of visitors descend into the Rosewood Neighborhood to enjoy multiple stages of live entertainment, visual arts, poets, music, and more to celebrate southern arts and culture. The festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
South Carolina State Fair – 10/11-10/22 – The always popular SC State Fair is a blast for the entire family! Make sure not to miss this one. Did you know that The South Carolina State Fair is a local, self-sustaining, non-profit organization. Since 1997, the fair has donated over $4 million in scholarships for SC students.
Boo at the Zoo – 10/20-10/30 – Dress up the kids (and yourself) and enjoy trick-or-treating, dancing, a ride on the Haunted Carousel (additional charge) and Spooky Spots and Stripes Railroad (additional charge) and other howling Halloween fun at Riverbanks Zoo. Boo at the Zoo is from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Tickets are available on the zoo’s website and are $12 for Riverbanks members and $15 for general public. Children younger than 2 are free. Please bring your own trick-or-treat bags. Full-face masked are not permitted as costumes worn by adults.
Korean Festival – 11/4 – The Korean Community Presbyterian Church hosts this festival that started in 2005 with all proceeds being donated to local charities. Held outside the church on Richland Street, the purpose of the Korean Festival is to share, promote and raise the awareness of the beauty and diversity of Korean culture. The Festival features dance and music performances, from centuries past to modern K-Pop. There are also wonderful cultural exhibits and children’s games and of course, incredible Korean cuisine. Korean favorites like kimchi, kimbap, and bulgogi are available as well as Korean ice cream and desserts! Come learn about the Korean community in Columbia and about Korean culture. All of the proceeds from the festival are donated to local charities! Festival attendees can also purchase tickets to enjoy various Korean foods served at festival tents.
Soda City Market – Every Saturday, rain or shine. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Grab some coffee on Main Street in downtown Columbia while you shop for art, crafts, or fruits and vegetables from local farmers. Enjoy food from multiple local vendors and food trucks. There is always great music and some fun for the kids.
Blythewood Farmers Market – Every Wednesday 4:00-7:00 p.m., April – November. The Blythewood Farmers market features SC Certified vendors selling fresh vegetables, baked goods, organic grits, local honey, jams and jellies, Blythewood-raised meats, fresh eggs, fresh-caught seafood, and artisan crafts! The market is in Doko Meadows Park.
The Market – The Market at Richland Library (Main) brings farmers, bakers, artists, creators and local authors all in one place! Come shop your community to get fresh produce, meet your new favorite author or pick out an interesting piece of art.The Market at Richland Library is a local, producer-only market, held weekly on Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. April through October.
Lake Carolina Farmers Market – The Lake Carolina Farmers Market is held in the Town Center at 5 Lake Carolina Way every Thursday from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. The farmers market offers farm fresh produce, food trucks and kids activities each week.
Get Out and Move
Walk for Life and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon + 5K – 10/14 – Thousands of walkers and runners have been helping Prisma Health Midlands Foundation kick breast cancer to the curb for 33 years! The impact of Walk for Life and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon + 5K has been incredible with more than $11.6 million raised in support of Prisma Health Breast Center in Columbia, S.C. After having hybrid and virtual events the last three years, our focus is to be back fully in person this year. We will come together again on Oct. 14, 2023 at Segra Park in Columbia, S.C. to celebrate survivors and to lift up others who are in the fight against breast cancer right now. Register now to walk or run in person with us on Oct. 14. The Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon will also be back in person this year! The 5K walk and run, as well as the half marathon routes, will all end in Segra Park’s ballpark. New this year: There’s something for kids of all ages! Register your child for the 800-meter fun run race. To learn more about this race, visit: StrictlyRunning.com.
Family Connection Columbia Buddy Walk – 10/29 –Family Connection of South Carolina will host its Annual Columbia Buddy Walk during National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. This event is held at Saluda Shoals Park from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Columbia Buddy Walk helps fund programs through Family Connection. This is a day to celebrate the abilities of those with Down syndrome, promoting acceptance and inclusion. As more people are introduced to and interact with individuals with Down syndrome, barriers fall, prejudices diminish and doors open.
YMCA Pumpkin Run 5K – 10/21 – This run is held at the NorthWest Columbia YMCA in Irmo. Starting at 8 a.m., the Pumpkin run features both a 5K Run/Walk and 1 miler. Proceeds benefit the Y’s Annual Campaign. The campaign provides financial assistance to those in our community who need the Y’s life-changing programs and services. The Y’s community support addresses many issues such as school readiness, chronic diseases and youth feeding programs. Dress up in your favorite Halloween costume for a chance to win prizes! Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. You must be registered in the race to win!