“Best of” Summer Activities to Keep Kids Occupied


best of summer

Summertime is full of fun, sun, long afternoons … and lots of free time. After awhile, the kids become antsy (and let’s face it, so can mom). To help ward off summertime boredom, check out our “best of” ideas to keep your children entertained in (and out of) the capital city.

Kid-Friendly Day Trips From Columbia

Two hours to the mountains, two hours to the beach – Columbia’s famous for its easy getaways. But beyond sitting on a beach or climbing a mountain, there’s lots to do within a three hour drive of the capital city. No week-long vacay plans? No problem! Columbia has plenty of day trip options for kids and adults this summer. Here’s some of our favorite quickie road trips sure to make memories – at a distance short enough to keep you sane.

kid friendly day trips
Two hours to the ocean, two hours to the beach – there are lots of kid-friendly day trips from Columbia!

4 Creative Outdoor Activities for Kids of All Ages

We’ve all had those days where they get tired of playing in the backyard or going to the same park. Here are a few tips you can pull out to make things interesting while enjoying nature and the outdoors.

Retrieving “treasures” from the stream with their nets during the Wet and Wonderful activity.

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List 2015 :: Over 100 Thing to Do in Columbia

Columbia has some great things to do with kids this summer {many that are FREE!} but there are also a lot of creative activities you can do close to home. Check out this The Ultimate Summer Bucket List 2015 :: Over 100 Things to Do in Columbia of MORE THAN 100 things to do this summer to keep kids occupied!

Beach with smiling sun
Our summer bucket list provides more than 100 ideas of activities to keep kids occupied! Use it as a starting point and add ideas of your own!

2015 Columbia Mom’s Guide :: Splash Pads, Spray Pools, Mist Pads and Water Parks

The dog days of summer are upon us, and it’s time for those of us with littles to find some zero-depth water play! Enter splash pads, spray pools, mist pads and water parks … an ideal way for non-swimmers to stay cool (and burn off some energy). Peruse this list to find a splash pad, spray pool, mist pad and/or water park near you!

Splash pads and water activities help keep the kids cool and occupied on those hot Carolina summer days!

Columbia “Staycation” Ideas

Who says you have to travel out of town this summer to enjoy something new? There are plenty of kid-friendly things to do and places to visit right here in the capital city! Check out our list of locally fun activities for you and your family!

Staycation in the capital city – sounds good to me!

The Best Free (and Almost Free) Activities For Kids in Columbia

It’s 99 degrees with 99% humidity. Summer’s finally here, and it’s still awesome – those golden weeks before the boredom sets in, before you’re climbing the walls and counting the days til school starts. Keep those golden weeks going with our top ten list of “practically free” things to do during those long summer days.

The Best Free (and Almost Free) Activities for Kids in Columbia
Columbia has TONS of great activities around town! Find out which ones you can enjoy on a budget!

Summer Savings :: $1 Kid-Friendly Movies at Regal Cinemas

If your littles keep an earlier bedtime, or the heat’s making you crazy, Regal Cinema’s Summer Movie Series hosts a family-friendly flick every Tuesday and Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. – for $1. Three cinemas in the area are participating, with each running a different big-budget flick each week.

$1 kid-friendly movies are a perfect activity for the whole family to enjoy … without breaking the bank!

Messy Play for Yucky Days

Summer doesn’t always mean sunny skies. Rainy weather can make for long, hard days. A few basic ingredients and you can keep your little one occupied and provide that all important sensory stimulation we sometimes miss when cooped up indoors.

Sugar, salt, cornstarch, water and water make for a fun activity to keep kids occupied for hours!

10 Gardens to Visit in the Midlands

Did you know Columbia has some of the most beautiful outdoor areas and gardens in the state? Check out these local attractions and treat your children – as well as yourself – to a wonderful time in the great outdoors right here in the Midlands!

Carolina Children’s Garden offers all sorts of “imagination” areas nestled about, many based on books or folklore. Grab your child to hunt for the elusive heffalump, or explore child-sized homesteading in Old McDonald’s farm!

6 Must-See Museums in the Midlands

It’s summer again, which means parks, playgrounds, pools and splash pads. But when the heat is too hot to beat, we suggest heading indoors to check out some local museums. The Midlands has a bounty of history and learning to offer, covering subjects such as aviation, art, dinosaurs, fire trucks and memorabilia, trains and sharks. With more than 40 museums, historic homes and plantations to choose from across Columbia and the surrounding areas, your family won’t be disappointed with the numerous options for beating the heat this summer.

Visit Eddie, the World's Largest Child!
EdVenture is a child’s paradise!

Places to Escape When Cabin Fever Sets In

Kids love to stay busy. But, after a couple days have passed, they’ve played with every toy in the house and you’ve made every craft you (and Pinterest) can think of…it’s time to get out the house! Before you let cabin fever get the best of you (and you think a trip to Wal-Mart with small children in tow actually sounds fun), here are a few ideas places to visit around town.

Find somewhere to go before the “I’m bored” face sets in.

7 Tips for Creating Your Own At-Home Summer Camp

With a little pre-planning, you can keep your kids entertained and in learning mode, and not break the bank to do it. These 7 tips can be easily adjusted for any age group, and there is plenty of room for creativity and flexibility during those long summer months.

7 tips for creating your own at home summer camp
You don’t have to enroll in a local summer camp to keep your kids entertained and learning over the summer!

40 Family-Friendly Things to do in the Midlands

Originally this piece was written for things to do in the Midlands over Spring Break, but the ideas and destinations are just as relevant this summer (just check the links or most current show times were applicable). This list includes 40 family-friendly things to do in the Midlands such as awesome outdoor destinations — like parks and playgrounds — as well as indoor activities to include museums, shows and some of the best places to find a tasty treat!

The Columbia area has so many beautiful destinations the whole family will love!

A Columbia Moms Guide :: Destinations for Kids Under 1

Columbia has a surprising number of options to entertain children who have yet to celebrate their first birthday. Check out some of these spots to get out of the house and introduce your little one to some of the fun spots Columbia has to offer.

Babies love learning to jump at My Gym!
You & your little one can get up close & personal with the giraffes at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden.

Fourteen Mile Creek Trail in Lexington :: Perfect Beginner’s Hike for Kids

This trail in Lexington offers easy walking paths, a creek to splash and wade in, lots of nature to take in and a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Find out what we loved — and didn’t love — about this hike before you plan your visit.

Fourteen mile creek trail in lexington perfect beginners hike
Enjoy nature in your own backyard!

The Do’s and Don’ts for Visiting Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve :: A Local SC Attraction

This Lexington attraction makes several “Top 10 Things to Do in South Carolina List” … find out more about what makes Peachtree Rock Heritage Perserve unique and the do’s and don’ts before planning your trip.

peachtree 3
This awesome waterfall is just one of the fun things to see at Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve in Lexington!

What are your favorite kid-friendly activities in and around Columbia?



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