15 Ideas for Making the Most of Spring Break in Columbia


Spring Break is right around the corner! Not planning a big family trip? Try these ideas for things to keep the kiddos entertained and happy during their time off from school. 

10 Things to Do at Home and Around Town

1. Explore a New to You Park

Irmo Community Park is my favorite with its mini playhouse for kids, lake, trails, and playgrounds for almost all ages, but our area has several parks worth visiting. Check out our Guide to Columbia Area Outside Activities for a list of parks, playgrounds, and more! 

2. Go to the Play Area on Bower Parkway

Harbison Blvd can be the worst, but Target is there, so how bad can it be?! Do you know about the cute play area next to British Bulldog Pub on Bower Parkway? Let Target take all of your money and then head to Bower Parkway and grab some ice cream. Hit the play area to slide and run around.

3. Check out The Horseshoe

Visit The Horseshoe on the campus of The University of South Carolina. Bring a blanket and let your little one run loose. Great open space and fantastic people watching. 

4. Visit a Local Museum

South Carolina State Museum has a great play area for little ones downstairs, near the art gallery (The Discovery Room), and, of course, you can spend a whole day exploring the museum. Include a visit to EdVenture next door and soar through the skies in Flight, build something special in the Maker Works, explore Eddie, and more. I plan to visit the Columbia Museum of Art. Did you know they have programs for all ages? Check their calendar to see what might be happening during your Spring Break.  

5. Take a Day Trip

Falls Park on the Reedy in Greenville is my first choice for a day trip. Leave town in the morning and make a day of everything Greenville has to offer, but make sure you spend a large chunk of your time at this park. Beautiful flowers, waterfalls, walking paths, and lots of places to pull out a blanket and relax! Check out our Great Day Trips from Columbia post for more ideas of places to go. 

6. Visit the Public Library

It does not matter what county in the midlands you live in, we all have access to fantastic public libraries! Visit a branch you do not normally go to or just schedule an afternoon to hang out at your local, regular branch. Chances are, there will be awesome programming happening while your child is on Spring Break, so check the library’s calendar for events! Richland Library Calendar/Lexington County Public Library Calendar

7. Grab a Sweet Treat

Who does not love ice cream?! Go to an actual ice cream shop near you (if you have not tried Scoopy Doo Gelato Shop in Five Points, it is a MUST!), or just hit up your favorite fast food place for a cone! You could even set up your own ice cream bar at home after a quick trip to the grocery store for supplies (sprinkles, chocolate syrup, etc.).

8. Plan a Movie Day

Watch an old favorite under a pile of blankets or check out something new! Make popcorn and turn off all the lights to make it extra special. Not sure what to watch? Explore Common Sense Media’s Best Movies lists for recommendations. 

9. Have a YES DAY!

Have you read Yes Day! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal? Basically, it is about a day where whatever the kid asks for, the adult says YES! Pizza for breakfast? Sure. All the cheddar squares you can eat? Of course. It sort of seems like a terrible idea, but set up some ground rules and have fun with a day where you do not have to keep saying, “no” to all the crazy requests! One of our contributors tried it out for herself and shared her experience. She actually learned there was a lot of joy and value in not saying no to certain things. 


It is not often that we allow ourselves or our children to do nothing. Schedule one day during Spring Break to just let the day unfold. Allow your children to be bored and see what happens. Here is a great article about the benefits of letting your child get bored.

Spring Break Camps to Check Out 

Your children do not have school, but you still have to work? No worries! Just because your child is on Spring Break, doesn’t mean you are too. If you need to find somewhere for your kiddo to go for the week, explore these camps!

Columbia Museum of Art Spring Workshop for ages 4-12

This three day workshop is offered Tuesday through Thursday, April 11-13. Ages 4 to 7 explore animals, plants, and habitats through artwork in the CMA galleries, then sketch, print, paint, and sculpt their own nature-inspired works of art. Ages 8 to 12 explore hand-building techniques to create bowls and other clay vessels inspired by pieces found in the CMA galleries. Find out more details and register.

EdVenture Children’s Museum Spring Break Camp for ages 4-10

From EdVenture’s website, “From igniting your culinary curiosities in EdVenture’s Cooking Lab to making a scientific discovery as a Bio-Investigator, to watching your favorite fairy tale characters come to life to teach you the math and science behind the story, there’s endless fun for everyone at Camp EdVenture!” Find out more details and register.

SC State Museum Spring Break Camp for ages 6-11

From solar systems to stars, pirates, robots, conservation, and art, there are different activities each day to keep your child entertained. Find out more details and register.

YMCA of Columbia Spring Break Camp for ages 4-13

From the YMCA website, “your kids will have the opportunity to participate in sports, arts and crafts, swimming, and games to keep them active during the break.” Find out more details and register at a location near you.

Gym Camps

Many local gymnastics and karate studios offer Spring Break Camps for a variety of age groups. Call the one closest to you for more information. 

What are your Spring Break plans?


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Valerie Byrd Fort was born in Florida, but when she was four years old, her family moved to the midlands and never looked back. She is mom to Katy (human) and to Lucky, Mozzy, and Penny (rescue dogs). She is married to Marty Fort, owner of the Lexington School of Music, Columbia Arts Academy, and Irmo Music Academy. She is an Instructor for the School of Library & Information Science at the University of South Carolina, where she teaches Children’s Literature to future classroom teachers and librarians. She is also Coordinator for Cocky's Reading Express, the University of South Carolina's literacy outreach program. Valerie is passionate about books, literacy, libraries, and reading aloud with children of ALL ages. She writes about books and other literacy related topics on her blog, Library Goddess. In her free time, Valerie enjoys reading, Barre3, going to Target and endless scrolling of social media  


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