Consider This Your Ultimate List of Boredom Busters. From National Parks to Children’s Museums, We’ve Got Something Fun for Everyone to Do in Columbia, SC
Columbia, South Carolina is the state’s capital city. And given its close proximity to one of our nation’s beautiful national parks, it can be quite a popular city for tourists and travelers alike. So if you are planning a visit to Columbia or Congaree National Park and are hoping to find plenty of great activities to enjoy while you visit, then I have just the thing for you today. This article will be a list of all sorts of great attractions and activities you can find in the city. And I’ll be sure to toss you a convenient link anytime you can use our convenient digital GiftYa gift cards at any of the entries on the list.
I find GiftYas to be really convenient anytime I am trying to plan a trip or vacation. The fact that you can allocate some of the money the trip will cost into the form of a digital gift card, just makes the whole budgeting process of planning a vacation a lot easier in my opinion. Plus their all digital format means that you never have to forget about leaving them behind or forgetting them when you are in the rush of packaging and preparing to leave for your trip.
But that’s enough with the introduction, let’s get right to that list of great things to do in Columbia South Carolina that brought you here!
You can grab a digital Riverbanks Zoo & Garden gift card by following this link!
500 Wildlife Pkwy | Columbia | riverbanks.org
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden has been a staple of Columbia South Carolina since it was first established in 1974. And in the decades it has been open, it has grown to have over one million visitors every year. And it’s easy to see how it got so popular. There are over 3,000 varieties of different animals you can see, and over 5,700 different varieties of plants. And they’ve even undergone some recent renovations to improve their aquarium and reptile center.
Overall, I think the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden makes an excellent choice for anybody who wants a day of getting to enjoy some of the earth’s incredible natural flora and fauna. But I think it makes an even better choice for anybody with kids that is looking for something that is both fun and educational. Especially because Riverbanks is making efforts to be transformed into the state’s leading conservation resource. Their mission is to create a meaningful connection with each visitor that will inspire actions that have a long lasting impact on conservation. And it’s never too early to get your kids thinking about the role they can play in helping to cherish and conserve our planet’s natural beauty and resources!
“Field trips, family days, event scheduled, birthday parties, everything! I've not had a bad experience at Riverbanks Zoo!” - Yelp Review
It only takes a few seconds to get a digital GiftYa Riverbanks Zoo & Garden gift card when you use this link!
100 National Park Rd | Hopkins | nps.gov
Congaree National Park is one of our nation’s more recent areas that has been preserved as a national park. It was first made a national park on November 10, 2003, when 22,200 acres (35 square miles) of South Carolina’s natural beauty was deemed worthy of long term preservation. And one of the great things about this park is that it doesn’t get the same amount of extreme foot traffic that parks like Arches and Yellowstone get every year. Instead of battling millions of other visitors every year to see the park, Congaree only attracts a little over 200,000 visitors a year. Which means that even if you go during the peak summer season, you won’t be overwhelmed with crowds on every hiking trail or scenic outlook.
And on top of that, Congaree National Park has no entrance fee. So as long as you aren’t planning to camp there overnight, you can see this national park entirely free of charge. Which makes it one of the best things you can do around Columbia, South Carolina. It’s only about a 25 minute drive from Columbia to the park's entrance. So the largest expense you will have to worry about is the gas money it will take you to drive over there.
Overall the park is going to be a great place to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air. And since there isn’t nearly as much human traffic as you might expect, you can be sure that there will be plenty of song birds in the trees and lots of other wildlife out enjoying their natural habitat. The worst thing you can expect is that because there is so much natural water/swamp land around the park, there are going to be plenty of bugs that might bother you. So just be sure to bring some bug spray and some sunscreen and you’ll be in for a great day at Congaree National Park!
“Beautiful park and swamps. Free to use, the trails are fairly easy and clean. I really enjoyed the part close to the river where I could observed turtles. Do not forget your bugs spray, the swamps attract a lot of mosquitos!” - Yelp Review
Get a quick and convenient South Carolina State Museum gift card by using this link!
301 Gervais St | Columbia | scmuseum.org
South Carolina State Museum features four floors of attractions and exhibits. And they have a little something for everybody. There are rotating and seasonal exhibits, but they also have plenty of permanent exhibits on history, art, natural history, and science and technology. You can explore the history of South Carolina over millions of years. They have displays on dinosaurs, historic fossils, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and African-American history in the state. And there is plenty of authentic South Carolina art spread across all four floors of the museum as well.
There is a 55 foot planetarium dome for any of you who are interested in learning about space and the night sky. This 145-seat dome theater provides an immersive experience for both journeys through the reaches of space, as well as Imax movies. And that is in addition to their 4D theater where they feature various educational films and even some modern movies. Their state of the art 3-D visual experience is enhanced with environmental experiences like blasts of air and vibrating seats that will immerse you deeper into the film than any other theater experience you have had in the past.
“This museum is amazing! I was surprised by the variety of displays. It is well lit and very clean. I would highly recommend this museum and would plan an entire day to visit.” - Yelp Review
You can grab one of GiftYas convenient digital South Carolina State Museum gift card anytime by just clicking the link!
1101 Gervais St | Columbia | southcarolinaparks.com
One of the fun things about Columbia is that it is actually the capital of South Carolina. So if you are hoping to soak up some of the area’s history and culture, you would be remiss not to stop in at the South Carolina State House for at least part of your visit. There’s a nearby farmers market right outside the building that you can enjoy, but the real treat is going to be once you are inside the building.
The building (which is conveniently located in downtown Columbia) contains the Governor’s Office as well as both houses of the state’s legislature. And the nice thing is that there are completely free guided tours, and self guided tours offered everyday Monday through Friday. There are plenty of monuments and statues around the building that you can spend the day admiring and enjoying.
“What an incredible experience. I would definitely recommend coming through to visit the statehouse if you're in the Columbia area at some point. I did a self guided tour on a Saturday morning. The state house building itself was beautiful. There are some outdated monuments. But the African American monument was pretty incredible, I would definitely check that out.” - Yelp Review
211 Gervais St | Columbia | edventure.org
EdVenture Children’s Museum has a mission to inspire children and young people about the joy of learning by allowing them to engage with activities that are both fun and educational. They believe that playing is a central ingredient in how children learn and grow. And by giving them a place to play in a structured environment they believe they can help children develop their imagination, their social skills, their imagination, their ability to clearly communicate, their ability to cooperate with others, as well as stimulate their creativity, reasoning, and memory.
So if you are a parent who is hoping to find something that is both education as well as fun when you are in Columbia then you aren’t going to be able to go wrong with a stop at Edventure’s Children's Museum. They aim to create lifelong learners by giving children a chance to learn in both a constructive and entertaining way.
“Amazing children's museum. I would recommend it most for ages 4-7 years old. Lots of hands science exhibits. The most memorable exhibit is the 3 story climber that doubles as a gigantic sculpture of a boy. Walk through the heart, the ear, and many other parts of the human body. Very fun day for my little one.” - Yelp Review
You can get an AMC Theater gift card for this location or any other of their locations around the country
122 Afton Ct | Columbia | amctheatres.com
Listen, I know that not everything you want to do during your time in Columbia has to be entirely focused on education and learning. So if you are looking for just a nice relaxing way to spend an afternoon, then be sure to check out the local movie theater. I can’t guarantee you’ll love every movie they are showing, but they will have all the latest hits and biggest blockbusters so I’m sure you’ll be able to find a movie that appeals to you and your group.
“I love this place. Hands-down is the best movie theater for the price. Heated seats, and free refills on your drinks!” - Yelp Review
Get a digital AMC theaters gift card for any location in just seconds when you use the link!
Grab yourself a convenient digital Bowlero gift card from GiftYa in just seconds!
900 Axtell Dr | Cayce | bowlero.com
Bowlero is another great location in the area where you can enjoy a nice indoor afternoon. They have over 24 bowling lanes, a full arcade, a sports bar, and a lounge area. So if you are hoping to just have a nice relaxed afternoon and throw some bowling balls and maybe play some video games, then this is going to be a great spot for you in Columbia!
“I love this place and the people. Service is always great and just such a good time. It's my favorite bowling alley and will continue to come.” - Yelp Review
It only takes a moment to grab a convenient digital Bowlero gift card!
And that concludes my list of some of the great things there are to do around Columbia, South Carolina. I hope something on this list stood out to you at least a little bit. But if you are wondering where all the great restaurants and bars in the area are, don’t worry. I didn’t forget about them. You can actually find a whole list of the great restaurants in the area right here to help you thoroughly enjoy your time in South Carolina's capital city!