25 Fun Things to Do in Columbia, SC: Outdoor and Indoor Activities

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Looking for things to do in Columbia SC? This travel guide is your ticket to unlocking fun activities and attractions in this lively southern gem.

Located in the central part of South Carolina, Columbia is the capital and largest city in the state.

From its historic downtown district adorned with beautiful architecture to its lush parks and green spaces, the city offers a unique blend of urban amenities and natural charm.

It is home to numerous museums, art galleries, theaters, and boutique shops showcasing the history and culture of the region.

Whether you’re a local looking for new things to explore or a tourist who’s looking forward to visiting, there will always be something exciting for you to do here.

For the ultimate SC getaway, check out our South Carolina bucket list.

Traveling on a budget and want to visit other cities in the state?

Check out our guides to free stuff to do in Charleston or in Myrtle Beach.

Fun Things to Do in Columbia South Carolina

Palmetto Falls Water Park

Take a trip to Palmetto Falls Water Park (6511 Marion Ave) as it is the perfect place to beat the heat and enjoy a fun-filled day with family and friends.

Palmetto Falls Water Park is a fun spot offering a range of activities in Columbia, with thrilling slides, a relaxing lazy river, and engaging play areas.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a fun-filled day with loved ones, this water park promises a memorable and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages.

South Carolina State Fair

If you happen to visit during the fair season (usually in October), The South Carolina State Fair (1200 Rosewood Dr), offers a wide range of attractions, games, and delicious fair food that kids will love.

At the fair, children can explore a world of excitement and wonder.

From exhilarating rides that twist, spin, and soar through the air to thrilling games where they can test their skills and win prizes — there’s never a dull moment.

Indulge in classic favorites like cotton candy, funnel cakes, corn dogs, and fried Oreos, as well as unique culinary creations that cater to every taste bud.

From sweet to savory, the fair offers a wide variety of fun eats for everyone.

River Rat Brewery

River Rat Brewery (1231 Shop Rd) is a popular destination for beer lovers in Columbia, South Carolina.

River Rat Brewery often hosts events, such as live music performances, trivia nights, and food truck gatherings, adding to the overall fun and vibrant atmosphere.

With a welcoming atmosphere, knowledgeable staff, and regular events, River Rat Brewery is a must-visit spot for a fun time in Columbia.

Close-up of four small beers as a sampler

Flying Biscuit Cafe – Five Points

Flying Biscuit Cafe – Five Points (936 Harden St) is a popular breakfast and brunch spot known for its Southern-inspired dishes and welcoming atmosphere.

The menu offers a range of classic breakfast options and unique creations like “Love Cakes” (sweet potato pancakes) and “Chicken Biscuit Benedict” (fried chicken and biscuits).

Vegetarian and vegan options are also available.

If you’re exploring places to visit in Columbia, the Flying Biscuit Cafe should definitely be on your list!

Bang Back Pinball Lounge

If you want fun for all ages, visit Bang Back Pinball Lounge (741 Saluda Ave).

Bang Back Pinball Lounge is a lively destination that offers a unique and exciting gaming experience.

Dedicated to the classic game of pinball, the lounge features a carefully curated collection of machines for players of all skill levels.

Colonial Life Arena

Colonial Life Arena (801 Lincoln St) is a premier entertainment venue that offers a wide range of fun activities in Columbia, South Carolina.

This is the largest arena in the state and hosts thrilling sporting events, as well as captivating concerts featuring renowned artists from various genres.

Columbia Museum of Art

Visit the Columbia Museum of Art (1515 Main St).

Immerse yourself in the world of art at the Columbia Museum of Art which is recognized as one of the premier places to visit in Columbia.

The museum often hosts special exhibitions and events, so be sure to check their schedule

South Carolina State Museum

South Carolina State Museum (301 Gervais St) features a planetarium, 4D theater, and a variety of exhibits that cater to different interests.

Kids can learn about South Carolina’s history, natural habitats, and outer space.

It’s a great spot to go to on a rainy day in Columbia!

River Walk

The River Walk is a picturesque and scenic pathway that winds along the banks of the Congaree River. 

Spanning approximately 3 miles, this charming trail offers breathtaking views of the river, lush greenery, and wildlife. 

It’s a popular destination for walkers, joggers, and nature enthusiasts looking to immerse themselves in the tranquil beauty of the outdoors in the middle of the city.

EdVenture Children’s Museum

Bring the kids to EdVenture Children’s Museum (211 Gervais St) for an interactive museum that’s definitely among the top fun things to do in Columbia, South Carolina — especially for families with kiddos.

Children can immerse themselves in the world of science by experimenting with various scientific phenomena, the human body, or exploring the power of electricity through interactive displays.


Escapology (935 Gervais St Suite C) is a thrilling escape room experience that challenges your problem-solving skills and teamwork.

Amongst the more exciting activities in Columbia, Escapology offers a variety of themed escape rooms, each with its own unique storyline and set of challenges.

Whether you’re unraveling a mystery, escaping a prison, or embarking on a treasure hunt, the immersive environments and clever puzzles will keep you engaged and entertained.

City Art

City Art (1224 Lincoln St) is a premier art gallery that showcases a diverse range of contemporary artworks.

At City Art, you can immerse yourself in a curated collection of thought-provoking paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media pieces by local and regional artists.

The Senate

The Senate (1022 Senate St) is a premier entertainment venue that promises an unforgettable experience.

As one of the top fun places in Columbia, it offers a dynamic lineup of events and performances for music and comedy lovers alike.

Tin Roof

Tin Roof (1022 Senate St) is a popular live music venue and bar that offers a vibrant and energetic atmosphere.

Tin Roof is known for its live performances by local and touring bands, creating a dynamic and entertaining experience for visitors.

The Grand on Main

The Grand on Main (1621 Main St) is a vibrant and popular venue offering a unique combination of dining, entertainment, and nightlife.

Situated in the heart of Columbia, it provides a lively atmosphere and a range of experiences for visitors.

At The Grand on Main, you can indulge in a delectable dining experience with a diverse menu featuring a fusion of flavors.

From savory dishes to innovative cocktails, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

The venue also hosts live music performances, comedy shows, and themed parties.

Go enjoy an exciting night out — it’s a great addition to your list of things to do in Columbia, SC!

The Columbia Marionette Theatre

The Columbia Marionette Theatre (401 Laurel St) specializes in marionette puppet shows that are entertaining for both kids and adults.

Check it out for something unique and enjoyable!

South Carolina State House

When touring the South Carolina State House (1100 Gervais St), you’ll be immersed in history as you explore the majestic building and its beautiful grounds.

Inside, you’ll find impressive architecture, stunning artwork, and exhibits that showcase the state’s rich heritage and political significance.

View of South Carolina State House at night in Columbia, South Carolina.

Finlay Park

One of the most visited parks in Columbia, Finlay Park (9930 Laurel St) is a fantastic place to have fun outdoors.

It features large green spaces, a refreshing fountain, and a beautiful lake.

You can take a peaceful walk around the park’s walking trails, have a picnic under the trees, or relax on benches and enjoy the views around.

The lake at Finlay Park


Hendrix (1649 Main St) is a top-rated restaurant that offers an exceptional dining experience.

With its modern ambiance and a menu featuring a fusion of flavors, it’s a must-visit spot in Columbia, South Carolina.

Enjoy a diverse selection of dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients, complemented by a variety of wines, craft cocktails, and artisanal spirits.

The attentive staff ensures a memorable dining experience.

Sesquicentennial State Park

Take in the scenery at Sesquicentennial State Park (9564 Two Notch Rd).

Spread across 1,400 acres, Sesquicentennial State Park is known for its stunning scenery and peaceful atmosphere.

The park features a beautiful lake where you can go fishing or paddle around in a kayak or canoe, and there are hiking trails, a splash pad, playgrounds, and picnic areas.

Camping enthusiasts can take advantage of the park’s campground, too!

Sesquicentennial State Park provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing visitors to reconnect with nature.

Flight Adventure Park Sandhill

Discover a world of fun and excitement at Flight Adventure Park Sandhill (741 Fashion Dr.), Columbia’s leading indoor trampoline park in Columbia, SC.

Bounce to your heart’s content on the wall-to-wall trampolines.

You can also engage in friendly competition with laser tag or lace up your skates and groove to your favorite tunes at the roller rink!

Frankie’s Fun Park

Spend the day at Frankie’s Fun Park (140 Parkridge Dr), a popular attraction for locals and visitors alike.

From thrilling go-kart races to engaging mini-golf courses, Frankie’s Fun Park has something for everyone.

Take a spin on the go-kart tracks, challenge your friends to a game of mini-golf, or cool off with a thrilling ride on the bumper boats.

The park also features an extensive arcade with a variety of games and prizes.

This family entertainment center offers a wide range of activities, making it one of the must-visit Columbia attractions.

Columbiana Centre

Looking for more stuff to do in Columbia?

For those seeking to shop during their visit, Columbiana Centre (100 Columbiana Cir) is a large shopping mall that features a variety of retail stores, including major brands, fashion boutiques, and specialty shops.

Saluda Shoals Park

When it comes to things to see in Columbia, Saluda Shoals Park (5605 Bush River Rd) is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and families seeking outdoor fun.

Children can cool off and have a blast at the splash pad, where they can run through fountains and water features.

For those who prefer a more relaxed outing, Saluda Shoals Park offers well-equipped picnic areas where you can enjoy a leisurely meal amidst the natural beauty of the park.

Gather with family and friends, savor a picnic lunch, and take in the peaceful ambiance.

You can also rent kayaks or canoes to explore the Saluda River.

Mercer House Estate Winery

Mercer House Estate Winery (397 Walter Rawl Rd) offers a delightful experience for wine enthusiasts and visitors alike.

Mercer House Estate Winery is one of the most charming places to visit in Columbia and offers a delightful escape where you can indulge in exquisite wines and immerse yourself in the beauty of their vineyard.

Final Thoughts

Did you enjoy our list of fun things to do in Columbia SC?

Feel free to leave your comments below and share your favorites or any additional recommendations- we’d love to hear them!

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