Stay-at-Home Summer Bucket List

Every summer, I usually pack up my family and head to California for a couple of weeks. We spend time with relatives, go swimming, barbecue, and enjoy the beautiful Bay Area weather. This year, however, is quite different, and it seems like we’ll continue sheltering in place for a little while longer.

If you’re like us, you’ve been home for the last few months due to COVID-19. When I say we’ve been home, I literally mean we haven’t gone anywhere! My husband works from home and he only leaves to get groceries or run important errands. I’m a stay-at-home mom and I’ve been in the house with our daughters, ages three and five, since the pandemic was declared.

No shopping trips, no drive-thrus, no hair appointments, no play dates. Nothing!

I know that staying home for another couple of months doesn’t sound very appealing, but this is the best way we know how to keep our family and community safe and healthy. Although most businesses and public areas are now open, the data from the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) show that positive cases of COVID-19 are still on the rise.

We’re in uncharted territory these days and it’s hard to know the right thing to do. With all of the mixed messages I’m getting, I personally feel more comfortable erring on the side of caution. There is no place that we urgently need to visit, and I would hate to put my family or anyone else at unnecessary risk.

As much as I’d love to venture out into the world, we’ve decided to make the most of our family time with a Stay-at-Home Summer Bucket List! My kids actually helped me create this list and are so excited to check every activity off. Despite the unusual circumstances we’re under, these ideas are fun, simple ways to create special memories together!

Click here or click on the image below to print this list out for your family!

What are your plans this summer?

Things to Do in Columbia With Kids | July 2020

Events and happenings around Columbia look different than they used to. While many places aren’t offering in-person get togethers, they are offering virtual activities to keep kids entertained and learning. 

So grab your planner, bookmark this page, and start making plans… there’s truly something for everyone and all comfort levels. We’ll continue to update this page as we find out more about what’s happening around town.

If you know of any fun family activities or Columbia events we have missed, please let us know in the comments or feel free to add it here.

Don’t forget to check out our Resources Page for all our local guides – parks & playgrounds, COVID-19 resources for families, summer reading programs, kids eat free, photographers, preschools, local shopping, and more!

Featured Sponsor :: Summit Adventure Park

Our brand new indoor park includes jumping activities such as Olympic trampolines, two basketball hoops, a designated toddler area for children, wipe out, ultimate dodgeball, a giant airbag, ninja course and of course, a bunch of interconnected trampolines to experience adventure on every visit. We aren’t just a trampoline park, we’re an adventure park!

2245 Charleston Highway, Cayce, SC 29033

July Family Events

Jul
1
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
1
Porkchop Productions Presents Goldilocks
Tune in to Richland Library’s facebook page at 10:30 a.m. for this Summer Learning Challenge adventure. Ever wonder what happened to Goldilocks after she left the home of the three bears? We did! Meet Sandra Imogene Locks (Goldilocks ...
Jul
1
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
2
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
2
Kid Flight – Sandhills Hiwire
Have an energetic little one, or want to schedule a super fun playdate? Children 6 years old and younger are welcome every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am-11am with no big kids around!  One unpaid chaperone per paying child is permitted...
Jul
2
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
2
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
2
Movie Night – The Secret Life of Pets
Join us for another outdoor movie night featuring The Secret Life of Pets! As always, we will have great food and drink specials for you! Reserve a spot on this Facebook Event Page!- EACH SPOT EQUALS 1 TABLE RESERVATION FOR 6 PEOPLE.
Jul
3
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
3
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
3
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
3
July 4th Symphonic Salute – SC Philharmonic Brass Quintet
Celebrate Independence Day with a patriotic concert featuring a brass quintet made of members of the SC Philharmonic. Some of the songs selected include – Washington Post, America the Beautiful, Liberty Bell, Star Spangled Banner, Little Brown Jug,...
Jul
3
Movie Night – The Sandlot
Join us for another outdoor movie night featuring The Sandlot as we prepare to celebrate Independence Day Weekend! As always, we will have great food and drink specials for you! Reserve a spot on this Facebook Event Page!- EACH SPOT EQUALS 1 TABLE RE...
Jul
3
Town of Lexington Independence Day Celebration
Join the Town of Lexington for an Independence Day Celebration fireworks display. Fireworks will be fired from behind Town Hall on South Church St. and can be viewed from Main St. Areas of viewing include Main St restaurants, Lexington Square Park, L...
Jul
4
A Parade to Celebrate the 4th in Moss Creek
Saturday July 4th, parade at 9 a.m. and another light parade at 8:30 p.m., so early birds and night owls can see it! Meet at water tower, Springwater Road, at entrance of Moss Creek at 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m .if you want to be in the parade. We will hav...
Jul
4
Kid Flight – Sandhills Hiwire
Have an energetic little one, or want to schedule a super fun playdate? Children 6 years old and younger are welcome every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am-11am with no big kids around!  One unpaid chaperone per paying child is permitted...
Jul
4
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
4
Backyard Saturday – Thank a Bee Day!
Join us at our Leo’s Landing Playground for a new year of Backyard Saturdays. Through play, families can experience nature at Saluda Shoals Park. Each program will celebrate a nature awareness day through fun activities to do, cool biofacts to inve...
Jul
4
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
4
Community Celebration – July 4, 2020
FREE EVENT! The whole community is invited to join Dutch Fork Church in celebrating our country’s freedom on the night of Independence Day 2020! This event will include… -Hot dogs, Hamburgers, Chips, & Sodas -Fireworks -Inflatables NO...
Jul
4
columbiasc.citymomsblog.com
Newberry County Sheriff’s Department: Fireworks
From Sheriff Foster: We will not be able to gather on the campus or use and facilities, but you will be able to enjoy them from adjoining areas with permission of the property owner. Like everyone else, we are running behind on our fundraising for th...
Jul
4
Lake Murray Fireworks Celebration 2020
Location: They will launch from Spence and Dreher Islands. They are best viewable by boat or on Dreher Island (gates at Dreher Island close at 8 p.m.). At this time, the Lexington Parksite at the Lake Murray Dam is not open. Cost: Dreh...
Jul
5
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
5
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
6
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
6
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
6
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
7
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
7
Kid Flight – Sandhills Hiwire
Have an energetic little one, or want to schedule a super fun playdate? Children 6 years old and younger are welcome every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am-11am with no big kids around!  One unpaid chaperone per paying child is permitted...
Jul
7
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
7
Blythewood Bookworms
Join us bi-weekly for a virtual book club for ages 9 to 12.  A link will be sent to the e-mail address associated with your library card one day prior to the event. Online event. Registration required. 
Jul
7
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
8
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
8
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
8
Gustafer Yellowgold – At Home Concert
Tune in to Richland Library’s facebook page at 10:30 a.m. for this Summer Learning Challenge performance. Enjoy an intimate performance of music and animation with two-time Grammy nominated songwriter, illustrator Morgan Tay...
Jul
8
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
9
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
9
Kid Flight – Sandhills Hiwire
Have an energetic little one, or want to schedule a super fun playdate? Children 6 years old and younger are welcome every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am-11am with no big kids around!  One unpaid chaperone per paying child is permitted...
Jul
9
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
9
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
10
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
10
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
10
“How to draw Gustafer Yellowgold” Art Show
Grab your art supplies and draw along with Morgan Taylor, Grammy-nominated illustrator, songwriter and creator of Gustafer Yellowgold.  Tune in to Richland Library’s facebook page at 10:30 a.m. for this Summer Learning Chall...
Jul
10
Virtual Family Fun Night: Magic Purple Circle Goes to the Museum
The CMA teams up with Darion McCloud and the NiA Company for the (online) return of Family Fun Night! Enjoy the premiere of “Magic Purple Circle Goes to the Museum” to see characters Purpley and Purplier take their first trip to an art museum, wh...
Jul
10
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
10
Family Move Night
Join us for a fun family movie night on our front lawn! Bring your own chairs or blankets. Water and snacks will be provided! The movie will start at 8:30 pm so please arrive by 8:15 pm to get seated.
Jul
11
Kid Flight – Sandhills Hiwire
Have an energetic little one, or want to schedule a super fun playdate? Children 6 years old and younger are welcome every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am-11am with no big kids around!  One unpaid chaperone per paying child is permitted...
Jul
11
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
11
Richland Library Family Storytime Online
We’re taking storytime on the road! Tune in to Richland Library’s Facebook page at 10:30 a.m. every Saturday morning as we share books and build early literacy skills with fun for the whole family.
Jul
11
Virtual RPG For Teens: Crash Pandas
Have you always wanted to try a tabletop role-playing game, but social distancing is in the way? We’re going to play the one-page RPG “Crash Pandas” together, in which players assume the roles of a group of street-racing raccoons. All t...
Jul
11
Drive-In Movie Series – The Lion King
Join us at Saluda Shoals Park East for a drive-in movie night featuring the Lion King (2019). We’ll have vendors and food truck from 6:30-8:30pm. Leo’s Landing Playground will be open until 8:00pm. Movie will start at night fall (around 8:45p...
Jul
11
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
11
Virtual RPG For Teens: Crash Pandas
Have you always wanted to try a tabletop role-playing game, but social distancing is in the way? We’re going to play the one-page RPG “Crash Pandas” together, in which players assume the roles of a group of street-racing raccoons. All t...
Jul
12
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
12
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
13
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
13
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
13
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
14
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
14
Kid Flight – Sandhills Hiwire
Have an energetic little one, or want to schedule a super fun playdate? Children 6 years old and younger are welcome every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am-11am with no big kids around!  One unpaid chaperone per paying child is permitted...
Jul
14
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
14
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
15
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
15
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
15
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
16
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
16
Kid Flight – Sandhills Hiwire
Have an energetic little one, or want to schedule a super fun playdate? Children 6 years old and younger are welcome every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am-11am with no big kids around!  One unpaid chaperone per paying child is permitted...
Jul
16
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
16
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
17
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
17
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
17
Tween Reading & Writing Club: Let’s Talk Race Edition
Hey Parents! Ready to engage with your Tween? Join Richland Library’s Let’s Talk Race team for a special edition of the Tween Reading & Writing Club (TR&WC), which will run from Friday, June 26th to Friday, ...
Jul
17
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
18
Kid Flight – Sandhills Hiwire
Have an energetic little one, or want to schedule a super fun playdate? Children 6 years old and younger are welcome every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am-11am with no big kids around!  One unpaid chaperone per paying child is permitted...
Jul
18
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
18
Richland Library Family Storytime Online
We’re taking storytime on the road! Tune in to Richland Library’s Facebook page at 10:30 a.m. every Saturday morning as we share books and build early literacy skills with fun for the whole family.
Jul
18
Summer Movie Series – Toy Story 4
Join us for a free movie night at Melvin park featuring Toy Story 4. Vendors and food truck from 6:30-8:30pm. Splash Pad will be open until 8:00pm. Movie will start at night fall (around 8:45pm). Egg Hunt at 8:00 p.m. $2 per child, registration start...
Jul
18
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
19
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
19
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
20
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
20
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
20
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
21
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
21
Kid Flight – Sandhills Hiwire
Have an energetic little one, or want to schedule a super fun playdate? Children 6 years old and younger are welcome every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am-11am with no big kids around!  One unpaid chaperone per paying child is permitted...
Jul
21
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
21
5 Kids Books to Celebrate Pride Month
Blythewood Bookworms
Enjoy reading and participating in book inspired activities! Join us bi-weekly for a virtual book club for ages 9 to 12.  A link will be sent to the e-mail address associated with your library card one day prior to the event. Registration requir...
Jul
21
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
22
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
22
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
22
Porkchop Productions: Goldilocks
Ever wonder what happened to Goldilocks after she left the home of the three bears? Well, we did. Meet Sandra Imogene Locks, Goldilocks for short — a little girl with a big attitude who keeps getting herself into trouble. Will her reign of terror c...
Jul
22
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
23
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
23
Kid Flight – Sandhills Hiwire
Have an energetic little one, or want to schedule a super fun playdate? Children 6 years old and younger are welcome every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am-11am with no big kids around!  One unpaid chaperone per paying child is permitted...
Jul
23
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
23
Bilingual Family Storytime / Hora de Cuentos Bilingüe
Enjoy storytime in English and Spanish! / ¡Disfruta de la Hora de Cuentos en inglés y español! Tune in to Richland Library’s Facebook page at 10:30 a.m. as we share books and build early literacy skills in two langua...
Jul
23
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...
Jul
24
Today’s Play Online With EdVenture
EdVenture Children’s Museum is offering daily at-home educational programming that parents and caregivers can do with their children through their website. “Today’s Play” offers video content and downloadable activities meant t...
Jul
24
Explore Riverbanks Zoo From Home
Join Riverbanks Zoo live on Facebook each weekday at 10 a.m. (or check out the video afterwards on their website). Enjoy live features, inside peeks, too-cute-to-handles and an activity to do at home! Find out more
Jul
24
Virtual Bedtime Story With Columbia Children’s Theatre
The mission of Columbia Children‘s Theatre is to create experiences that encourage children to change their world through the transformative power of live theatre. Join different teaching artists eve...

 

How a Puppy Picture Cured Our Pandemic Boredom

He’s so bored. My teenager.

It’s not a phrase we use in our family. And it’s not exactly what he said to me this afternoon, but it’s what I heard. “Can we go somewhere?” is actually what he said.

It was 2 p.m. on a Thursday. It was 90 degrees. We don’t have a pool. We have no family in town and we are social distancing. I’m up for just about anything.

“Where?” I asked him.

“I don’t know.”

And that’s when I just about lost it inside.

Maybe you’ve been there. You hold your expression, willing it not to change from calm, helpful inquiry. You bite at your upper lip. You are conscious of your eyebrows wanting to pull tight to frame a glare. All the things you’re already responsible for, and now this fourteen year old wants you to solve this problem, too? You have no idea where he might want to go.

“I guess just ride to the dam,” he finally answers. 

And I’m going to confess to you that we’ve now driven over that Lake Murray Dam more times during this pandemic than we have his entire fourteen year life prior combined. Sometimes we’ll park and walk a bit, but I know that’s not in the plans for today. It’s too hot. 

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I could plan a lake beach afternoon, throw on our swimsuits underneath our clothes, grab a few towels…to that I’ll say you do not have a fourteen year old boy who just asked to go somewhere.

We get in the car and I notice that he is wearing shoes, so there is a possibility of this trip actually leading to something. But he has his phone so he’s mostly going to disappear into it.

And sure enough, not far out of the neighborhood he tells me to look at this Instagram post. It was a picture of a puppy. A very adorable puppy. 

(Don’t worry. We were at a red light when I looked.)

I recognize the account. It’s from a school friend who lives close by and I remember that I asked the mom at end of school pick-up if they were willing to include us in their social distancing pod, and she’d seemed agreeable.

“CALL HIM!”

My boy seems confused. “Now?”

“Yes!” I declare. “Call him now and ask him if we can come see that puppy.”

The friend answers. I holler into the blue tooth speaker and we get the OK to drop by. I pull into a parking lot and sit a few minutes so we don’t arrive too soon. I don’t want them to think that we called from their driveway.

Mom and friend and brother are waiting for us, their garage door up. We fumble between mask or no mask and are soon invited inside. It is lovely. I get to touch a real live baby dog. I call him baby dog because puppy doesn’t do my joy justice. All the pandemic moments these past months that I’ve thought, if only I could have a baby to take care of for a few hours. A baby dog is almost as good.

And then, there is the fact that another adult (besides my husband) is sitting there talking to me, too, and listening to me. I hardly notice that our boys are sitting close and conversing.

Y’all, after about fifteen minutes, she utters the most gracious words that have ever come from another mother’s mouth (you know, except for offering me her puppy). HE CAN STAY AWHILE.

I look at our boys and both of them seem eager. And while there were so many things I could’ve still conversed with that other mother about, I was out of there. Driving home I realized that this euphoria I felt was not because I was free of my child for a few hours. This euphoria was because my baby was happy. 

And you know what? Those two boys might have been a little bored by the time I returned, but boredom had never been the real problem. The problem was loneliness. It’s so much worse. It took a puppy pic for me to figure it out.

Is your boy lonely this pandemic season?

You could get a puppy. Or, you could invite yourself over. 

What are you doing to keep friendship alive during social distancing?

Leaving Home

As I type this I really should be packing, or logging into accounts and changing my address. Maybe securing power at our new house, or a million other little details that need to be ironed out. 

The moving truck will be here in just a few short days, and I’m sitting here in silence with my coffee and reflecting. The sitter has the kids at the park and I’m soaking in these last hours of memories. 

I wonder who else brought their babies home here, made memories here, celebrated anniversaries and holidays here…

This old ranch house was built in 1958, and she had her fair share of problems through the years. I confess I complained A LOT when the roof leaked, or the plumbing needed to be fixed for the 1,243rd time. Or the time we had to put several piers under the foundation as the fireplace began to crumble away. My husband and I got into more than a couple of what we like to call, “heated fellowship” moments when I flew off the handle about our home and all its flaws. 

I guess in those moments I forgot about the heart of this home and all it saw us through.  I suppose through renovations, repairs, and contractors I had forgotten all it’s meant to me.

We started our marriage here, we brought two of our three babies home here, formed deep, deep friendships that will last a lifetime here. We made memories on summer afternoons as the children jumped and splashed in the pool over and over again. I wonder how far down the road you could hear the squeals of delight and innocent laughter?

Afternoons that turned into evenings where we would fire up the grill; that satisfying smell of charcoal permeating the patio as we would gather with friends and enjoy a beautiful Carolina sunset on Deerfield Drive. Experiencing so much laughter with our neighbors (who have become our family and best friends), crying with them, praying with them, and raising our children together.

This house was here in the valleys, too. It was part of the angst in my season of waiting for my babies as we struggled with infertility, and when we experienced loss and disappointments, disagreements, changes in jobs, and all the ear infections.

We grew here, we celebrated here, came home from vacations here, and loved deeply here. 

In Miranda Lambert’s song, The House That Built Me, she describes the house she grew up in and the impact it had on who she was. 

“I thought if I could touch this place or feel it, this brokenness inside me my start healing.

Out here it’s like I’m someone else,

I thought that maybe I could find myself

If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave.

Won’t take nothing but a memory 

From the house that built me.”

I didn’t spend my childhood on Deerfield Drive, but in so many ways this house did build me, and for that, I’m forever grateful. 

On Friday we will pull out of our driveway here for the last time. Then, another family will pull in, and I know this house will mean as much to them as it has to us. 

Can you relate? What does your home mean to you?

Please Remove Your Shoes :: An Allergy Story

It is my belief that South Carolina is the allergy capital of the world. No, I do not have scientific evidence of this. I do, however, know that I did not have an issue with allergies until I moved away and then came back. Now, I must take allergy medicine year-round.

We are now rounding out the first allergy season (fall begins the second for us) with the all too familiar yellow film of pollen that coats our cars and walkways. While it’s not as bad as it was in early spring, it’s still out there.

So when you visit our home, please remove your shoes.

My daughter was diagnosed with asthma and allergies at a very young age. Once she turned four, she began seeing an allergist. For about three years, she suffered from asthma and allergy symptoms at least two weeks of every month. Many recommendations were made of what we should do around the house to help alleviate her symptoms.

Among those were:

• Remove ALL carpet from your house
• Take off clothes that have been worn outside once you are home
• Use allergen reducing bedding
• Keep doors to closets closed
• Don’t burn candles or incense
• Wash linen (including curtains) at least once a week in hot water
• Use air purifiers

In addition to those things, I ask those visiting us at home to please remove your shoes when you come into our home. I don’t do this because I want to make your visit difficult. I ask you this because my child is allergic to pollen, grass, and many other things that are walked on and that can be transported by way of shoes.

In an effort to keep our sinuses and lungs clear, I have a sign at the door that says, “Please Remove Your Shoes.” I feel like because this is my house and I’m asking, it shouldn’t be a big deal. Just take off your shoes. I even provide a little basket of clean slippers that you can wear if the wood floor is too cold for you.

I am a single parent, working full time. Sometimes I barely have time to eat dinner. I don’t want to have to clean the floors every time someone visits. Please remove your shoes.

I am not a doctor, nor do I have a medical background. But, if you believe you or your children are suffering from seasonal or environmental allergies, please consult your healthcare professional. More information, visit the Asthma and Allergies Foundation website.

How does your family combat seasonal allergies? 

Timmerman Trail in Cayce :: A Great Local Hike For Kids

The Columbia area has a surprising number of trails and outdoor walkways to explore if you know where to look. Friends of ours mentioned the Timmerman Trail, and we had so much fun the first time we visited, we decided to do it again.

How to Find Timmerman Trail

In Cayce, off the 12th street extension, right near the Dominion Energy headquarters, is the trailhead for the Timmerman Trail. If you take interstate 77 to exit 2, which is SC 35, you are almost there. The second stoplight (the first is SaxeGotha Dr) is SCANA parkway. That’s the light you want to turn left at, and you should see a sign for the Timmerman Trail. There is ample parking, and a good bit of grass to play in off to the side.

The other trailhead starts just east of the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center at the 12,000 Year History Trailhead where street parking and Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center parking are free. The address for the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center is 1120 Fort Congaree Trail, Cayce, SC 29033.

What You Can Expect

This trail is great – the loop we do takes about two hours at my kids’ paces and is about 3.5 miles. It’s paved concrete or boardwalk all the way so it’s very stroller friendly. There’s an awesome bridge, lots of nature and water to look at, and best of all, it wears my kids OUT.  (My kids are 6, 4, and almost 3.)

My 6-year-old could have, and has, walked the whole way. So can my 4-year-old, but the morning we went they were low on fuel, and did chill in the stroller. My youngest walked maybe half the way, and fell asleep on my back in a carrier on the loop back to the parking lot. If they hadn’t all woken up super early, they probably all would have easily walked the whole trail.

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Who needs a double stroller? Both my 6 and 4 year old were a bit tired towards the end.

Do’s and Don’ts for the Timmerman Trail

DO take water and snacks – you’ll be out awhile and kids will be hungry and thirsty.

DON’T forget to use the bathroom before you leave the house. There are no restrooms available. Plenty of trees . . . but no bathrooms.

DON’T let really young children bring bikes and scooters. While it is paved and designated as a bicycle path, there are parts with long, curvy hills, which are a real challenge going both up and down on wheels. You, the parent, will likely end up lugging equipment up and down the hills, and who wants to do that? You know your child’s skill level and ability best, so judge accordingly. 

DO take your camera, or phone with a camera. Even in the middle of winter, with nothing in bloom, there are some really beautiful natural elements. The picture below is of the Congaree Creek.

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One of the wonderful views off the trail. One good thing about all the rain we’ve experienced recently is there is plenty of water to look at!

DON’T be afraid to bring your dog. We saw quite a few leashed, friendly canines on the trail.

DO take your time and explore. There’s a lot to see and so many learning opportunities. My 4-year-old swears she saw an alligator. Or maybe a crocodile. Really it was just dead log in the water, but still – it’s a place ripe for the imagination!

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Yes, alligators are a possibility!

Overall, it’s a great place to get out and experience the outdoors. If you’re looking for a new experience to add to your list, I’d definitely recommend checking out Timmerman Trail. It provides lots of fun, exploration, and alleviates the “I’m bored!” that can often fill your home when your kids are wanting something different than a traditional day at the homestead.

If you’ve visited Timmerman Trail, what would you add to the list?

Because We Could All Use A Little Bit Of Nostalgia

I tend to be a very nostalgic person. It makes me so happy to sit and reminisce over old family photos, videos, my college yearbook, and to talk about old times with friends and family. 

I’ve noticed that this tendency in me has increased since having children. I absolutely love sharing things from my childhood years with my boys. And what’s even better, is that they enjoy it as well. Makes my heart smile. 

One area in which this happens a lot is television shows and movies. I know that may seem silly, but it’s true. Since we’ve been in quarantine, we’ve been letting our boys watch a movie before bed almost every night. They’ve also been getting some extra TV time as well. So I’ve decided to take advantage of this time and show my boys the beloved television shows and movies from the 1980s and early 1990s. 

When I look at the television programming and movies that are out for kids today, sometimes it makes me sad. I feel like a lot of it is just not as good as the programming I had growing up. There are so many shows out now that do NOT have any good lessons to them, or teach our children right from wrong (I mean, even He-Man always had a lesson at the end of each episode, teaching our children the right way to act).

In fact, I’ve seen quite the opposite. I mean, I’ve had to stop a show before and tell my kids that what they just saw on the TV is not acceptable behavior. Kids lying, stealing, sneaking out of the house, being downright rude and mean to friends and their parents, all with no punishment or consequences. And, don’t even get me started on the violence. 

Television and movies in the 80s and 90s was just different. So much different! And I’m not worried my kids are going to pick up bad habits from watching any of those shows and movies. That’s why I’ve been more than happy to bask in the nostalgia and share my love of those classics. 

And you know what I’ve discovered along the way? My children LOVE my old 80s and 90s favorites. My husband and I have even showed them some older family black and white movies, and they have loved those as well. 

If you’re a fan of 80s and 90s television as well, here is a great way to get started on your own nostalgic journey with your children.

Disney + Is Your Best Friend

I have been pleasantly surprised to discover the sheer volume and diversity of what is on Disney +. So many of my old favorites are there! I mean, you have access to pretty much anything Disney you could possibly want. From vintage Mickey Mouse to current Marvel movies, and everything in between. (The lists below are just some of our favorites. Not an extensive list by any means.)

As far as television shows go, some I’ve shared with my boys are: 

Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, Duck Tales, Tale Spin, X-Men, Darkwing Duck, The New Adventures of Winnie-The-Pooh, and EVERY Mickey Mouse cartoon ever created. 

In regards to movies, here are some of our family favorites:

The Parent Trap (1961 & 1998 versions), The Shaggy Dog and The Shaggy DA, Escape to Witch Mountain and Return From Witch Mountain (1970’s), Flight of the Navigator, The Love Bug (and it’s sequels), The Absent Minded Professor, Willow, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Freaky Friday (1976), Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

When we got our Amazon Fire TV Stick, it opened up a world of entertainment. My kids hardly know what to do with so many options. What’s great about the Fire Stick is that you get access to a TON of TV and movie apps – not just for public access and cable channels, but many others I had never even heard of before. And, you don’t have to have Amazon Prime to use it. However, if you have Prime, your viewing options will be greater. 

One of my boys favorite apps on the Fire Stick is called Tubi. They have a bunch of shows and movies from the 80s and 90s we all watch together. Some of them are Alf, GI Joe, Inspector Gadget, Thundercats, and Scooby Doo. So much fun!

Check Websites of Major Networks

One thing I’ve noticed from scrolling through network websites is they offer more shows on their site and apps than just what is currently airing. Many of them offer “classic” television shows and movies as well. 

For example, on NBC’s website (and in their app) you can find Saved By The Bell (my personal favorite), Punky Brewster (what 80s girl didn’t love that show?!), Charles in Charge, and Knight Rider

CBS All Access is one you have to pay for, but they also offer a variety of shows. Some of them are 90210, The Brady Bunch, Heathcliff, Family Ties, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, and Danger Mouse. Now, while you do have to pay for this streaming service, you can also get a one month free trial. And, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…they don’t like it when you want to cancel your free trial. They want you to stay in hopes that you’ll eventually purchase the service. So, when you go to cancel your free trial, you will very likely receive a second month for free. It happened to me. 

Local TV Channels

Believe it or not, there are some local television channels that offer classic TV shows. In fact, MeTV is a channel solely dedicated to classic shows. We love it and watch this station quite frequently. Here you can find shows like Leave it To Beaver, The Flinstones, Saved By The Bell, Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, Webster, and Different Strokes.

You Can Find Pretty Much Anything on YouTube

There are so many options on YouTube, it’s ridiculous. If you look hard enough, you can find full episodes of some of your favorite shows. Even those old 80s Nickelodeon shows like Today’s Special, Eureka’s Castle, and You Can’t Do That On Television. You can also find old favorites like Jem and the Holograms, He-Man, She-Ra, Transformers, Care Bears, and more.

You’re waiting for me to say Netflix, aren’t you?

Here’s the thing about Netflix…they change content so often that even if you do happen to find an older show, it won’t be there for long. At one point, Netflix had a slew of 80s shows all at once. There was Jem, He-Man, She-Ra, and even GI Joe. But all of them were gone the next month. 

The other thing about Netflix is that they make their own shows. So while you might find She-Ra, Pound Puppies, The Care Bears, and Sabrina The Teenage Witch, they are all updated versions. And, in my opinion, not as good as the originals. This 80s and 90s girl will always prefer the original versions over the remakes! 

Now, if you’re looking more for movies than television shows, Netflix does offer a lot in that department. For example, all of the Back To The Future movies are there, and family favorite E.T. 

So there you have it! My guide to finding your inner 80s and 90s child, and sharing that with your kids. I hope you enjoy sharing these favorites with your family as much as I do with mine! 

What is something you get nostalgic about? Share in the comments!

One Mom’s Guide to Surviving a Lice Infestation

I am sharing my family’s first experience with lice as we remember it in the hopes that it finds someone who needs comfort.

It began as a sneak attack…

About a month ago my daughter had trouble sleeping. Assuming it was a nightmare, my husband reluctantly crawled into her bed to settle her back down, as I was already dealing with our teething baby. The next morning I took both kids strawberry picking as our springtime ritual. My daughter seemed distracted. That’s when I noticed (dun, dun, dun) the itch.

Having been taken completely by surprise, I then met my enemy through the lush forest.

Seeing a small, nearly translucent-gray bug trying to live on my children made me both disgusted and furious. My husband and I had been lucky to survive our own childhood without facing lice, but that streak had ended.

I rushed us all home, while my husband went to buy an over the counter lice treatment kit. I refused to let the kids back in the house until the shampoo was in place. So they played with chalk on the driveway while I proceeded to go mad wondering how this happened in the first place. 

The deception…how could they get lice during self-isolation?

We had been in self-isolation for four weeks due to the pandemic. They had not seen any kids or adults outside of our home for any reason. We had been careful not to even take them to the grocery store or gas station. Strawberry picking, with many extreme social distancing measures in place, was to be our first and only reprieve into the world. Moreover, my husband and I still miraculously did not have any signs of lice, even after we both slept in their beds the night before. So I asked again, how?

Everything I read said lice comes as a transfer from human to human. They can NOT fly or jump from head to head. A “louse” cannot survive without human blood for more than 24 hours. My kids, and a few more throughout South Carolina I later found out, were to be the exception.

We still don’t know for sure how they could have contracted it – albeit an extremely rare scenario. So while there were no embarrassing phone calls to other parents, there was a deeper feeling of isolation and initial defeat that set in for my family.

I spent hours in reconnaissance studying my enemy. 

Other than a particularly cringe-worthy episode of The Office, I had no understanding of lice. So, I set to doing some research.

Here are some of my biggest take-aways:
  • Lice actually prefer clean heads to dirty ones because their nits (or eggs) can attach to the hair better. The tiny white ovals use a sticky substance to attach to the hair shaft. The difference between this and dandruff flakes is that the dandruff flakes will move when shaken.
  • Lice are not attracted to pets. The blood they need to thrive must be human blood.
  • Lice can be found on other surfaces in the house, such as pillow case or car seat, but it is very unlikely. Sanitizing all those items is important, but if you experience a re-infestation it is more likely the cause of missing even one egg in the hair.
  • There is a real thing called “Super Lice.” It is a type of lice that has grown resistant to many chemical treatments meant to kill lice – usually by suffocation. That is why the suggested best practice by NPA (National Pediculosis Association) is to comb hair thoroughly with a specialized lice comb to remove nits, rather then using chemicals.
  • Even if you do not see or feel lice, treat yourself and any other person in the house hold to lessen the chance of infestation.
  • Continue to treat again within seven to ten days, as that is how long it takes for eggs to hatch. The larger the infestation, the more times you may need treatment. This is not a one-and-done experience. Prepare yourself to deal with this for weeks.
  • Do NOT wait to treat. While lice do not carry disease, the excessive itching can likely cause a skin rash or infection. This can even eventually lead to some hair loss with the irritation with the scalp continues. Lice will not go away on their own.
  • Kids are generally less freaked out if you explain the scientific truth to them. As an adult obsessed with cleanliness, I often underestimate a child’s fascination with bugs.

    Human head lice being studied over the last two centuries. Photo credit: headlice.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planning a strategic offense

There are several options for treatment. The first is home treatment. Obtain a nit comb meant for removal of both the adult louse and the nits before hatching. If you do use a shampoo treatment, remember it will not kill the nits (a.k.a the eggs) so you will need to comb as a vital part of treatment.

There are also professionals who can do a home treatment, which often includes help with de-lousing items around the home as well.

Lastly, there are lice treatment salons or clinics that will handle the treatment for you entirely. These may be expensive options, but they do often offer guarantees that if re-infestation occurs, they will treat again at no cost. You can search for one, but please note there is not a location in Columbia and you may need to drive up to 50 miles.

Lice does not need to be a shameful experience. The louse is just struggling to survive and raise its own kids. It happens. When it does, know there are tools to fight back. You are not a lesser mother. You are a warrior. You can claim victory!

Have you battled lice in your family? Share your story with us.

The Three-Ingredient Pie Recipe That Will Change Your Life

My husband and I were sitting in our dining room eating the sweetest watermelon we’ve had all season. While doing so, we got into a discussion about following your own path and knowing when it’s time change direction. And then it happened. 

What happened?

My husband asked me for advice!

Not that he doesn’t often seek my advice or that he doesn’t often heed my advice…but this felt different. I don’t know how or what was so different about it, just that it was going to mean more to him than all the other times he’d come to pick my brain.

Ladies, you know that part of you that just knows stuff? Not because you read it or heard it or someone showed it to you. No. You just know what you know. It was with that knowledge that I gave my husband this piece of advice, and I promise you his shoulders dropped like all the weight he was carrying slipped away. I told him about the H-H-I Pie.

I would be a horrible person if I didn’t break this recipe down for you guys and I am not a horrible person. So here it goes.

Instructions

The first ingredient is honesty.

This ingredient is going to be the most difficult one to find, but don’t give up. It does exist and even more importantly, it exists within you. Most people believe themselves to be honest, trustworthy people. We dismiss those few times we smudge the truth or leave parts out as little-white-lies.

But a lie is always a lie no matter what color we assign to it or how big or small. Also, we forgive the lies we tell ourselves and others when we endeavor to spare their feelings or make them feel better. If you are not being honest, then you are not being authentic or, in other words, there is no validity to what you think, say, or do. Honesty is the first ingredient in this H-H-I Pie because it requires the most sacrifice and is the most difficult ingredient to incorporate into the mix.

The second ingredient is humility.

Too many people get this word confused with humiliation. When in fact, the word is more closely associated with vulnerability and gratitude. No one ever wants to be humiliated because we all know how that feels. Humility is almost as rare as honesty because it requires a person to come to the realization that they are not as important as they think they are in the grand scheme of things.

It’s hard because we want to believe we’re the most important particle floating in the universe. Guess what? We are not.

However, when we practice humility, we give ourselves permission to be thankful for all the little moments that create the lives we live. Being humble gives us the courage to be vulnerable in the face of social media perfection and the hypocrisy of excellence that doesn’t exist anywhere. It’s important to be grateful for all that you are and all that you’re not. To appreciate that you are one small part of an entire system and that you are more or less important than anything else.

The third and final ingredient in this life-changing pie is intention.

Intention is not so hard to come by. In fact, it’s the most abundant ingredient in this recipe. We all have intentions. We may not always voice them or write them down, but we all have them. And what’s that proverb? The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

It’s not the good intentions that lead a person to hell, it’s lack of attention on the road that lands them there. Intention setting is about being present. When we set our intentions, we are committing to bringing about a specific outcome. For this to work, we have to be present in daily life. I can’t worry about tomorrow or cry about yesterday if I’m focused on my right now. Setting my intention requires that I keep my attention or focus on what I want to happen until it is achieved.

This is why intention is the last ingredient in this H-H-I pie. How can one set intentions and change their life if they haven’t first learned to be completely honest with themselves and others? If their word, actions, and thoughts have not been validated as a result of their commitment to honest living? Once a person is living honestly, it isn’t difficult to be humble. To recognize one’s own smallness in the system, yet not diminish one’s own sense of self-worth. It is that humble vulnerability that will allow them to practice gratitude and prepare themselves to bring about the changes they want to see in their life.

I love sharing this recipe because it doesn’t cost a thing to make it, no special pans or baking dishes, and ladies…it won’t add one pound to the scale after eating your fill.

Are you ready to get started with your Honesty-Humility-Intention Pie?

2020 Guide to 4th of July Fireworks & Celebrations Around Columbia

July 4th Symphonic Salute – SC Philharmonic Brass Quintet

Date: Friday, July 3, 2020

Time: 7 – 9 p.m. The concert will begin at 8 p.m.

Location: Saluda Shoals Park, 5605 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC 29212

Cost: Concert is free with park admission (car or minivan/$5; 12+ passenger van/$7; Bus/$11)

Details: Celebrate Independence Day with a patriotic concert featuring a brass quintet made of members of the SC Philharmonic. Some of the songs selected include – Washington Post, America the Beautiful, Liberty Bell, Star Spangled Banner, Little Brown Jug, Songs of the Armed Forces, Take me Out, And more! Bring a picnic blanket or chair. Dupre’s Food Truck will be selling food. Beverages, beer and wine will be available for purchase. Music will begin at 8:00 p.m. All Ages. No fireworks.


Town of Lexington Independence Day Celebration

Date: Friday, July 3, 2020

Time: 9 – 10 p.m. 

Location: Behind Town Hall on Church Street

Cost: Free

Details: Join the Town of Lexington for an Independence Day Celebration fireworks display. Fireworks will be fired from behind Town Hall on South Church St. and can be viewed from Main St. Areas of viewing include Main St restaurants, Lexington Square Park, Lexington Veterans Monument, and any public parking lot in the Downtown Area.


Salute From the Shore 2020

Date: Saturday, July 4, 2020

Time: 1 – 2 p.m.

Location: Virtual (follow the event page for details)

Cost: Free

Details: Salute from the Shore is a unique opportunity for individuals, families, and friends to salute our armed forces while celebrating Independence Day on South Carolina beaches. We are organizing a military flyover that will stretch the entire length of South Carolina’s coast to include military planes and vintage aircrafts.

Make your July 4th plans now along the beautiful beaches of South Carolina. Find your American flags and plan your most patriotic red, white, and blue outfits for an afternoon on the beach. You’ll be able to catch and salute our flyover from Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head!


33rd Annual Carolina Celebration of Liberty

Date: Saturday, July 4 and Sunday, July 5, 2020

Time: Saturday, July 4 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 5 at 8 p.m. 

Location: This year you will not be able to attend the Celebration of Liberty in person. Instead they will be producing a special edition that will be broadcast and LIVE streamed during the 4th of July weekend.

  • Broadcasted on SCETV & SC Channel (July 4, 7:00 p.m.)
  • LIVE Streamed on their website and Facebook (July 5, 8:00 p.m.)

Cost: Free

Details: The Carolina Celebration of Liberty is the longest running event of its kind in our state. It has been seen in person by well over 100,000 people and on television by untold thousands. From parades to indoor fireworks, the celebration is a flag waving patriotic extravaganza that recognizes and honors those who have fought to preserve our freedom as well as those who are presently serving. With the Sanctuary Choir and Orchestra from First Baptist, the 282nd Army Victory Band, and a cast of hundreds you will thrill at the sights and sounds of America as we celebrate our freedom, our founding, and our future! Don’t miss South Carolina’s premiere patriotic event!

Blowfish Baseball & Fireworks Show

Date: Saturday, July 4, 2020

Time: 7:05 p.m.; gates open at 6 p.m. 

Location: Lexington County Baseball Stadium, 474 Ball Park Road, Lexington, SC 29072

Cost: $6 – $9

Details: Celebrate the 4th of July with the Blowfish! Independence Day Concert in the Sky Fireworks Show! Game against the Savannah Bananas.


Newberry County Sheriff’s Department: Fireworks

Date: Saturday, July 4, 2020

Time: 9 p.m.

Location: Newberry High School, 3113 Main Street, Newberry 29108

Cost: Free

Details: From Sheriff Foster: We will not be able to gather on the campus or use and facilities, but you will be able to enjoy them from adjoining areas with permission of the property owner. Like everyone else, we are running behind on our fundraising for this and the show may be somewhat abbreviated, but the show will go on around 9:00 p.m. WKDK 1240 has agreed to provide music for the show on all their platforms. If you would like to donate to make the show greater you can send your donation, no matter the size, to NCLEOA, PO Box 247, Newberry, SC 29108.


Lake Murray Fireworks Celebration 2020

Date: Saturday, July 4, 2020

Time: approximately 9:15 – 9:35 p.m. 

Location: They will launch from Spence and Dreher Islands. They are best viewable by boat or on Dreher Island (gates at Dreher Island close at 8 p.m.). At this time, the Lexington Parksite at the Lake Murray Dam is not open.

Cost: Dreher Island State Park – $3 adults; $1.50 SC seniors; $1 children age 6-15; age 5 & younger free

Details: Tune into WCOS 97.5 to hear the synchronized music show.


Know of an event you didn’t see on the list? Share with us below!

What to Expect From Your COVID-19 Test

At some point or another, it’s likely that most of us will eventually get tested for COVID-19. This is our “new normal,” so you might as well know what to expect so you don’t have to worry unnecessarily.

I recently received a COVID-19 test, and here’s how it all went down:

Step 1 – make an appointment:

At MOST (not all) COVID testing sites, you will need to make an appointment beforehand online. Testing is generally free of charge, and it’s easy to find openings because of ramped-up testing protocols. 

Step 2 – go to the testing site and bring your photo ID:

I went to a drive-through testing site, and it was organized like a well-oiled machine. I was greeted at the gate by soldiers who confirmed that I had an appointment, and then I was directed to park in a nearby tent. I put on my mask, showed my ID through the closed window, and answered a few questions by rolling my window down just a crack. They then directed me to drive to the testing tent. Everyone was wearing full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) gear, and everyone I spoke with was friendly and courteous. 

Step 3 – take your test!

At the testing tent, more helpful medical professionals in full PPE requested to see my ID one more time, and then handed me the test kit through a slit in the car window. Most drive-through testing sites require you to self-administer your test. But don’t worry! A medical professional is right there with you and will give you detailed, step-by-step instructions the whole way through to ensure no mistakes are made. This is where I get nervous, because I’ve seen the internet. The internet told me that COVID tests involve shoving a cotton swab into your actual brain cavity. This is NOT ACCURATE.

I was instructed to put the swab far up my nostril, roughly until my eyes started to water. Approximately one inch. I rotated the swab twice and left it in for 15 seconds, and then repeated the process in the other nostril. Is it comfortable? No. Is it painful? NO! In my opinion, getting a throat swab to test for Strep is FAR worse. It’s no big deal and is NOTHING to be afraid of! Once I was done, I put the swab in the labeled test tube and handed it to the medical professional. 

Step 4 – you’re done!

That’s it! My appointment was at 9:40 a.m., and I was driving away less than 10 minutes later. The entire process was quick, easy, and handled with the utmost professionalism. I was very impressed. So if/when you need to get tested for COVID-19, don’t worry! You’ll do great! 

Have you had a COVID-19 test? What was your experience like? 

A Father’s Love :: What It Really Means From a New Dad’s Perspective

My husband and I will celebrate our second wedding anniversary this month. We have been together just over three years. Our son will be one in July. Needless to say, we are learning something new about each other everyday!

And through the swiftness and the magic of it all, I have continued to fall further in love with this man, who now is the father of my child. He is a great husband, and was a great boyfriend (for the five months he held that title!) but he is an absolutely INCREDIBLE father.

I could not have imagined he would be so connected, involved, and supportive, but he is. He knows when mama just need five minutes alone, when my son is ready for a nap, where all of the baby’s clothes and diapers belong, and he even makes homemade applesauce!

I am so thankful to have him in my life! So as we prepare to celebrate his first Father’s Day, I felt it only appropriate to ask HIM what he has learned since becoming a dad, and what fatherhood really means.

Here it is mamas: a humble perspective from my best friend, husband and first time dad.

  • The love a father feels for his child is a different type of love to be discovered. You will know the feeling the first second you meet your little one. It’s a love you have never experienced before and cannot be imagined.
  • Going in blind is a good thing; it gives you the ability to live the experience. You don’t need to know everything to expect or how to put the baby swing together. Take all the time you need to buckle the baby in for the first time…it’s the only first time you get.
  • Dads want to be involved too! The more daddy is involved and interacting, the stronger the family bond will become. Give him a responsibility that makes him feel needed. Your husband may not know how to ask for this, may not even know he wants it, or may be concerned he will “break the baby.” Give him the confidence he needs and he will do just fine.
  • You will look at the mother of your child in a completely different way than you ever have. A husband loves his wife, but after watching her with your child, it is a new found love, respect and adoration.
  • There will be an increased level of self-respect by becoming a father. Coming home from work everyday now has a bigger purpose.
  • Watching a bond between mother and son is something unique that can never be matched, even by his daddy.
  • Mom needs time alone, away — even if it is just for an afternoon. It is imperative for your relationship with each other, and the relationship between mom and baby.
  • Becoming a father will make you appreciate the meaning and brevity of life. You become a better employee and a nicer person. The big stuff suddenly becomes the small stuff. And you stop sweating the small stuff.
  • Now you make the rules! You get to be the father, look forward to the experiences with your children in the future, continue traditions and create new ones!
  • Father’s Day is a special because it gives us time to appreciate one another, recognize the growth within ourselves and our son, and celebrate the memories made that past year.
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Take the time to take it all in. They grow up so fast.

It is the little things in life that make the big things so special. Each day we survive parenthood, we grow stronger as a couple and a family. I wish all the new fathers and seasoned veterans a Happy Father’s Day…and to my love, a special first one… nother first to add to the list.

What would the dad in your life add to the list?

DIY Father’s Day Card for Toddlers

I grew up in a very crafty house. One of the things we always had in our home was block stamps. Apparently, I’ve been stamping since I was 9 months old. So naturally, I would pass that on to my son, as I’ve kept up the craft.

My mom is a demonstrator for Stampin Up, which is a company that manufactures a variety of stamp sets, printed paper, ink pads, punches, ribbons and all kinds of embellishments. Their products are also perfect for scrapbooking! BUT, what we typically use them for, is creating unique and one of a kind cards.

If you own even a few stamp sets, inks and card stock – you can create some fabulous cards, year round. Since my son is now two years old, this Father’s Day I decided to let him help with the card and get my husband a real present he can actually use.

These DIY toddler made cards are also great for birthday parties! I don’t know about you, but we’ve already been to two birthdays this summer alone, and I think this makes the gift giving process super special for the kids. He had so much fun making this card, and gets to practice instruction while exploring his creative side.

What you’ll need:

  • Card stock & Envelope
  • Ink Pads
  • Stamps
  • Washi Tape
  • Punches

DIY Father’s Day Card for Toddlers | Columbia SC Moms Blog

I went ahead and set up the area for toddler use ahead of time. Tear some strips of washi tape so there are set amounts, easily available. Get the stamps ready and ink pad open for quick stamping.

scrapbook | Columbia SC Moms Blog

Let the fun begin!

DIY Card for Toddlers | Columbia SC Moms Blog

He had more fun playing with this hammer stamp than actually using it… but oh, well. That’s what you get when you craft with toddlers. Just go with it.

hammer stamp | Columbia SC Moms Blog

And here is the final product! This is all done, 100% by my son. He just used the washi tape, stamps and ink with card stock and also designed the envelope. You could also punch out some fun shapes to add to your card, but I just used a big punch for the “Father’s Day” greeting, as my son was pretty much over it after this point.

DIY Father’s Day Card for Toddlers | Columbia SC Moms Blog

And here is my version of the card. I usually always make at least one handmade card for every occasion, sometimes more to save for future events. This stamp set is actually super cute because it can be used for men, but it’s cute enough for toddler/boys too. 

tool card | Columbia SC Moms Blog

DIY Father’s Day Card for Toddlers | Columbia SC Moms Blog

Hope you enjoyed my quick and easy DIY that can include your toddler, and still be unique and special for the man in your life!

2020 Summer Bucket List :: Social Distancing Style

Summer plans are definitely looking different this year. While places are starting to open back up slowly, depending on your comfort level, you may or may not want your family to venture out too far. So, to keep you occupied and the days fun, here is a list of 20 socially distanced summer activities to cross off your bucket list.

1. Visit Riverbanks Zoo (IRL or virtually)

Riverbanks Zoo currently requires timed tickets that you reserve in advance for entry. The zoo is staggering arrival times by the half hour and limited tickets are available to promote social distancing.

Face masks are encouraged for visitors, but not required. Zoo staff are required to wear masks in the park. The zoo has also installed additional hand washing stations and hand sanitizer dispensers.

At this time, certain exhibits and dining areas are closed off to the public. Zoo animals seem to miss human interaction as well, as they are out and about more. You can also visit the Botanic Gardens and Waterfall Junction. Check HERE for a list of their current social distance restrictions. 

Riverbanks is also continuing to do online learning as well. Join them each week live at 10 a.m. EST on their Riverbanks Facebook page or catch a recorded segment on the Riverbanks homepage and discover new ways to Zoo and Garden. 

2. Take a Trip

As things are starting to open back up, take a socially distanced trip to the beach or somewhere local where you can drive. Or take a hike at a local park to enjoy nature away from others. Check out new breweries and restaurants that have outdoor patios and seating.

3. Try a Cooking Class

During quarantine, I’ve been watching a lot of The Kitchen on Food Network channel. I’ve made my share of banana bread (with plenty still in the freezer). The kids have asked to cook more too.

There are lots of resources to take a cooking class (some are even free!). Delish has a live Instagram every week at 1 p.m. EST with cook-along videos for you and your little ones. The videos are also saved on their IGTV in case that time doesn’t work for you. 

4. Watch a Movie With Your Friends and Family 

Check out a new movie in an old way. Drive-ins are a great way to socially distance! The Big Mo in Monetta offers double features every weekend March through November. Movie sound comes through your car radio. The first feature on each screen starts at about dark. New FAQs regarding their policies can be found on their website. 

Or, stay at home and watch movies with friends through Netflix Party. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows.

5. Do an Art Project 

Mo Willems, author of Knuffle Bunny shared his knowledge of doodles and illustrations in  LUNCHDOODLES. You can find the entire series here.

You can also get DIY-to-Go kits from AR Workshop for adults and kids. They also have kids’ Summer ARt kits available online that you can pick up at your local workshop’s doorstep and craft at home! Shipment to your doorstep is also available at participating locations. This ARt Box subscription gives you three projects over the months of June, July and August. All materials and instructions included and are easy and fun for kids seven and older.

6. Learn a New TikTok Dance 

It seems like my tweens are all over TikTok these days learning new dances. I think one of their optional end of the year arts assignments for school was a TikTok video. For fun, they will teach me a dance or two and we will make a video. Even if you don’t post it, it’s something fun to do and laugh with them about! 

7. Cool Down 

How about a Frozen Two party (if you’ve seen it so many times as I have) where you sing-along to the songs? Need another way to cool down? Try making your own ice cream at home. Here’s an easy ice cream recipe. 

8. Pick Some Fruit

Another outdoor, socially distanced activity is going to your local farm and picking fruit. There are several strawberry picking places around Columbia, as well as blueberries and more! Just be sure to check before going to ensure there is still stock. 

9. Have a Picnic

Pack your favorite foods and enjoy a picnic. Whether it’s around town, in your backyard or even indoors at your house, the kids always seem to love a good floor picnic. The latest trends are fun charcuterie boards where you can add various cheeses and meats for a traditional board, or change it up with various desserts and sweet snacks to enjoy after dinner. 

10. Go Camping

Take the picnic one step further and have a night out camping. Mix up the usual scenery that night and sleep in a tent in your backyard or at a local open campground. All South Carolina State parks are currently open, practicing social distancing measures, and most of them offer fantastic campgrounds. Be sure to check out our articles 8 Tips for Camping Small Children – and Actually Enjoying it as well as The Must Read Survival Guide for Camping With an Infant before heading out. 

11. Start a New Hobby

Now is a great time to start a new hobby! I’ve been taking scraps from vegetables like green onions and celery, and placing them in water to grow and eventually transfer to soil. I’ve also started my own mini-garden in the backyard, as I know many others have. 

If gardening isn’t your thing, then find something that is. I’ve had a lettering book that’s been sitting on my shelf for a while that I kept putting off because I didn’t have the time. Or, use that sewing machine that’s been sitting around and learn how to make masks to donate to various organizations in need. 

12. Start a Family Book Club

This one stems from a book club I was invited to by a friend where parents and kids read the same book and discuss it monthly. Whether it’s Harry Potter or more complex books to discuss harder topics with kids, it’s a great way to have these talks with your children and gives them a chance to ask questions. 

13. Host a Bake-off

One of my kids’ favorite shoes is Nailed It! So why not have a bake-off with your family and see who can best recreate a cake you found in a magazine? Or, just pick a category like cookies or brownies and have everyone use their creative skills to see who is the most creative or best decorator in your home. 

14. Re-Do a Room in Your House

A lot of people are taking their extra time at home to paint rooms in their house, re-decorate or feng shui their living space. Have the kids pick a new color for their room just to mix things up since we’ve been stuck at home a lot lately. 

15. Scrapbook to Remember Summer 2020

This will definitely be a summer to remember! You can find various COVID-19 worksheets and time capsule pages online where your kids can fill out various prompts about this unique time in our lives. Take magazines around the house and create some scrapbook pages to commemorate this time – the good and the bad. 

16. Move Your Body

Don’t forget to move this summer! Whether you take a walk around the neighborhood, run a virtual race, participate in a Zoom exercise class or just dance with your kids in your living room, make time to move your body!

17. Go on a Scavenger Hunt

This is an activity that can be done inside (on a rainy day) or outside, depending on the items listed on your scavenger hunt. This activity can also be modified to various age levels. Younger kids can participate in a scavenger hunt where they find something that begins with a certain letter. Older kids can participate in hunts where they have to solve riddles. 

18. Relax Around a Fire Pit 

Another easy fun family activity that you can do in your backyard this summer is to have an outdoor fire and make some s’mores. Mmmmm…

19. Do Something by a River

Take a kayak trip on one of our local rivers with Carolina Outdoor Adventures. All of the kayak trips focus on the history in and around the area. The staff will also point out any wildlife that you come across and features of the area. Per their website, “All our equipment in disinfected between uses and we practice social distancing as best we can in our activities.”

Another fun activity is to walk by the river. Check out the Columbia Riverwalk. As noted on their website, please follow outdoor recreation social distancing guidelines and trail etiquette. Be respectful of others, and call ahead if there’s uncertainty regarding the trail being open (contact information can be found on each trail page).

20. Pizza Night

Have a pizza night at home and make your own pizzas with the kids. Let everyone choose their toppings and make their own personalized pizza for a fun family night in.

Just a few items to cross off your bucket list this summer to keep the kids (and yourself) entertained. 

What’s on YOUR bucket list this summer?

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In + Around Columbia

Things to Do in Columbia With Kids | July 2020

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Events and happenings around Columbia look different than they used to. While many places aren’t offering in-person get togethers, they are offering virtual activities...

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