Whether you’re new to South Carolina or have spent your entire life here, you know we count the minutes until spring arrives. The second the temperature drops below 70 degrees in October, we’re ready for our “warm” weather back (just not the pollen).
Now that spring is back, we are all past ready to get outside and enjoy it — before the humidity and triple digit temperatures make their return. Here are some great ways to make the most of spring with family and friends!
Go to a drive-in . . . and bring a homemade snack
I don’t know if you are aware, but the Monetta Drive-In, also known as The Big Mo, is open for the season. It is just as fun as you would think it would be. And as outings go, it is pretty fantastic for the whole family. It’s not far out of the Columbia area and absolutely worth the drive.
There are a large variety of films offered so be sure to check the website and keep up on their Facebook page to see what is playing. Why not take it one step further and make some treats of your own to bring along? These Honey Oat Protein Bites are perfect for traveling and won’t make a mess in the car! Now that berries are more readily available, you could fill up a thermos with this Strawberry Milk! These No-Cook Dinners pack well, and if you need something to keep you awake for the drive home, this DIY Cold Brew Coffee hits the spot!
Visit a state park . . . and plan a camping trip
Spring is a wonderful time of year to make the rounds to local state parks. Plants and trees are starting to bud, the bugs are at a minimum, and the humidity is at least somewhat tolerable. Perfect time to venture out on a hike, long walk, or bike ride. Check the South Carolina State Park website for details, as well as our favorite kid-friendly hiking spots. While you are there, why not look into a camping trip?! With inexpensive fees and a plethora of locations, you won’t have to travel far to sleep under the stars. Dust off your tent or borrow equipment from a friend and head to the outdoors!
Check out a playground around town. . . and discover something new in the Midlands!
Pack some snacks and head to one of the many great area playgrounds for a few hours with the kids! We have some really great ones in the Midlands! But don’t just go to your familiar playground close to you, make plans to visit a new one. Did you know there are more than 25 different playgrounds in the area? Discover something new! You might just find a new favorite.
Purge your closets . . . and make room for something new!
With all of the hype right now about the popularity of simple living and minimalistic lifestyles, the idea of purging your closet could turn into pages and pages of advice and planning. However, you don’t need to start a huge project to pull this off. Merely a quick reassessment of your belongings.
I donate clothes (mine or my children’s) several times a year, or pass down another round of clothes from my oldest daughter to my youngest. We also do the same with toys once or twice a year, and it’s a great way to get my kids involved in giving back.
Kids can help with their own closets so be sure to get them involved!
Grab an ice cream cone . . . and then make your own!
There is never a bad time of year for ice cream, so take advantage of off season prices and hit up any of these great ice cream places in the area! More of a do-it-yourself kind of family? Try this easy No-Churn Ice Cream recipe, and then pin it so you can use it all summer long!
Check out a farmer’s market . . . and get inspired to plant a garden
Here in Columbia, we are doing pretty well when it comes to local markets and farm-to-table options. Check out our list of farmers markets in the area and add to your bounty.
While you and your family are doing some weekly fruit and veggie shopping, why not pick up a few plants for your own garden as well? Whether you have a plot of land you need to seed or just a small deck that will hold a few pots of container gardens, there are plenty of ways to harness that inspiration into your own green experiment! Whether it is a potted blueberry bush on your deck or the sudden inspiration to build a coop and raise backyard chickens, the farmer’s market can help point you in the right direction!
Go mini golfing . . . then find a fun game to play at home
This is a PERFECT outing during the spring while the weather is mild. It is fun and silly and involves the whole family.
On that note, why not also try and find a new activity to play at home? Do a quick internet search and see what else you can do as a family that is best played outside. Of course cornhole is a classic option and we love playing every chance we get with our kids and friends. Rollers is a game that looks like a TON of fun, and of course there are lawn darts, bocce ball, and horseshoes as well. Badminton is much less involved and easier to set up, but a sure fire way to enjoy yourself! Exploding Kittens is also a blast! Not for the lawn, but definitely deck, porch, patio, or veranda friendly!
Go on a picnic . . . and let your kids pick the menu and pack the basket
Eating outside is just more fun. Given the fantastic weather here in South Carolina for the majority of the year, there are plenty of opportunities to make it happen. Lack of bugs and less oppressive heat make the spring prime time to find a picnic bench or a place to spread a blanket. Whether you are packing a fancy basket with homemade snacks or stacking take out containers in a plastic bag, fresh air makes everything taste better. Give your kids the opportunity to plan what to eat and the freedom to (safely) show off some cooking skills! Need some ideas on what to pack? Try these ideas form our Family Picnic Memorial Day post!
Build a bird feeder . . . then see what other kind of wildlife you can attract
Bees and butterflies are always looking for certain flowers and gardens for food. An extra pot or two on the patio with a few specific types of plants can make a big difference in your area. As for the bird feeder, check out these ideas from Crafty Morning. Check Pinterest or ask around for options that use recycled resources whenever possible.
Check out the spring list at your local library . . . and start an adult or child book club
Many of the local libraries have sections updated seasonally, and right now you can find book relating to all-things-spring!
Want to take it further? Ever been part of a book club? There is never a bad time to join one and you can get your kids involved too! Once they hit the age of eight or nine and start delving into chapter books, they can discuss as well! Let the kids choose their own books to read and discuss and watch their love of reading grow! The great thing about book clubs is that they can be anything you want them to be so get creative and hit your local library!
Facebook is a great way to keep up with the latest library news but, definitely check out the direct websites! Here is the link for the main Richland County site, Lexington County Public Library branches, and the locations of Calhoun County branches.
Host a BBQ. . . and finish it off with a bonfire
My entire family absolutely loves hosting cookouts with family and friends. We’ll take the opportunity all year long, but spring is definitely our favorite time to get outside and cook for everyone. Afterwards it’s still cool enough for bonfires, fire pits, and s’mores!