10 Fun and Interactive Activities for Toddlers in Columbia, SC

Columbia, SC, is a vibrant city brimming with activities that cater to the curiosity and energy of toddlers. From interactive museums and lush gardens to thrilling parks and educational experiences, there’s no shortage of fun-filled destinations for young families to explore. This article highlights 10 of the best activities in Columbia that are perfect for toddlers, ensuring that your little ones can learn, play, and grow in the most delightful environments.

Key Takeaways

  • Riverbanks Zoo & Garden offers a chance to see animals up close and enjoy beautiful botanical displays, providing both education and entertainment.
  • EdVenture Children’s Museum is a hub for creative and scientific play, with hands-on art and interactive exhibits tailored for young minds.
  • Frankie’s Fun Park delivers a variety of activities, from go-karts to laser tag, ensuring an adrenaline-packed day for the entire family.
  • The South Carolina State Museum combines learning and fun with a planetarium, historical exhibits, and hands-on science experiences.
  • Outdoor activities abound in Columbia, with options like Saluda Shoals Park for water play and Sesquicentennial State Park for nature exploration.

Explore Nature at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

Encounter Animals Up Close

At Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, you can have an unforgettable experience getting up close and personal with a variety of animals. From majestic lions to playful monkeys, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Take a leisurely stroll through the zoo and marvel at the beauty of nature. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the animal kingdom as you learn about their habitats and behaviors. It’s a wild adventure that the whole family will love!

Enjoy Interactive Exhibits

At EdVenture Children’s Museum, you and your little ones can immerse yourselves in a world of interactive exhibits that are both educational and entertaining. From the moment you step inside, you’ll be greeted by imaginative displays that spark curiosity and creativity. Explore the different galleries and discover a variety of hands-on activities that encourage learning through play. Whether it’s building structures with giant foam blocks or experimenting with water and sand, there’s something for every child to enjoy. Let their imaginations run wild as they engage with the exhibits and learn through exploration.

Take a Stroll through Beautiful Gardens

After exploring the interactive exhibits and encountering animals up close, take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful gardens at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. The gardens offer a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the zoo, with lush greenery and vibrant flowers. Immerse yourself in nature as you admire the colorful blooms and listen to the sounds of birds chirping. It’s a perfect opportunity to relax and connect with the natural world.

Get Creative at EdVenture Children’s Museum

Engage in Hands-on Art Activities

While touring the SCAD Museum of Art’s galleries with a museum educator, you’ll have the opportunity to express your creative ideas at interactive art stations equipped with the necessary materials and guidance to create art inspired by the work seen in the museum. This is a great way to deepen your appreciation for the world of visual expression while learning more about art styles, social significance, and the use of varied materials. It’s also a chance to connect with other homeschooling families who share a passion for art and education. All ages are welcome, and students under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. RSVP or send inquiries to Hannah Thompson at hthompso@scad.edu. This event is free and open to the public. Learn more here.

Discover Science through Play

At EdVenture Children’s Museum, children have the opportunity to learn about science through interactive play. The museum offers a variety of exhibits and activities that engage children’s curiosity and encourage them to explore scientific concepts. Through hands-on experiments and games, children can discover the wonders of physics, chemistry, and biology. They can build structures with blocks, create art with magnets, and even conduct their own mini science experiments. The museum provides a fun and educational environment where children can learn and play at the same time.

Immerse in Imaginative Play Areas

At EdVenture Children’s Museum, you and your toddler can dive into a world of creativity and imagination. The museum is filled with engaging, hands-on exhibits that encourage interactive learning and play. From building structures with blocks to exploring the wonders of science, there’s something for every curious mind. Let your little one’s imagination run wild as they discover new concepts and ideas. With a convenient location in The Market Common, EdVenture is the perfect spot for a day of educational fun for the whole family.

Have a Blast at Frankie’s Fun Park

Ride Exciting Go-Karts

Race your friends and family in Fun Zone’s high-performance Go-Karts, perfect for children and adrenaline junkies alike. Annual pass holders can enjoy unlimited Go-Kart Rides on Fun Zone’s Road Course, Figure 8, and Kiddy Tracks during normal hours of operation. Pass holders also receive one Free Rider Band per day for an accompanying child under 42″ height. All tracks are attended and equipped with advanced safety features.

Play Miniature Golf

Playing miniature golf is a fun and interactive activity that the whole family can enjoy. Putt your way through exciting obstacles and challenging holes, testing your skills and having a great time. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned golfer, miniature golf offers a unique and entertaining experience. Challenge your friends to see who can get the lowest score or try different techniques to improve your game. It’s a great way to spend quality time together and create lasting memories.

If you’re looking for some tips to improve your miniature golf game, here are a few suggestions:

  • Focus on your aim: Take your time to line up your shot and aim for the hole.
  • Control your swing: Find a comfortable grip and practice your swing to achieve consistent results.
  • Observe the course: Pay attention to the layout of the course and any obstacles that may affect your shot.

Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the experience. So grab your putter and get ready for a round of miniature golf!

Challenge Friends at Laser Tag

Challenge your friends to an exciting game of laser tag at Frankie’s Fun Park. Put on your vest, grab your laser gun, and navigate through the dark maze as you try to tag your opponents. Strategize with your team, hide behind obstacles, and use your quick reflexes to outsmart the other players. Laser tag is a thrilling and interactive activity that will keep you entertained for hours. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, laser tag at Frankie’s Fun Park is a must-try experience.

Tips for a successful laser tag game:

  • Communicate with your team to coordinate your strategies.
  • Use the environment to your advantage by finding good hiding spots.
  • Aim for the sensors on your opponents’ vests to score points.
  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings to avoid getting tagged.

So gather your friends, put on your game face, and get ready for an adrenaline-pumping laser tag battle at Frankie’s Fun Park!

Learn and Play at the South Carolina State Museum

Explore the Universe in the Planetarium

Step into the fascinating world of the planetarium and embark on a journey through the cosmos. Discover the wonders of the universe as you gaze at the stars and learn about distant galaxies. The planetarium offers a unique and immersive experience that will leave you in awe of the vastness of space. Whether you’re a space enthusiast or just curious about the mysteries of the universe, a visit to the planetarium is a must-do activity in Columbia, SC.

Discover South Carolina’s History

While exploring the South Carolina State Museum, visitors can delve into the rich history of the state. From exhibits showcasing the early settlers and Native American tribes to displays highlighting the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, there is something for everyone to learn and appreciate. Interactive exhibits allow children to engage with history in a hands-on way, making it a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

Engage in Hands-on Science Exhibits

The South Carolina State Museum offers a variety of hands-on science exhibits that are perfect for children to learn and explore. With engaging displays and interactive experiences, kids can dive into the world of science and discover new concepts in a fun and exciting way. From exploring the universe in the planetarium to engaging in hands-on experiments, there is something for every curious mind. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn and play at this amazing museum!

Splash Around at Saluda Shoals Park

Cool Off in the Splash Pad

During the hot summer months, the Splash Pad at Saluda Shoals Park is the perfect place for toddlers to cool off and have fun in the water. With its interactive water features and shallow pools, kids of all ages can splash around and stay refreshed. The Splash Pad is a popular spot for families, so it’s a great opportunity for your little ones to make new friends and enjoy some social interaction. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and towels for a full day of water play!

Go Tubing on the Saluda River

Tubing on the Saluda River is a thrilling and refreshing activity for the whole family. Feel the rush as you float down the river, surrounded by beautiful scenery. Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply want to relax, tubing on the Saluda River offers a unique experience. Drift along the gentle currents and enjoy the sunshine on a hot summer day. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water for a fun and safe tubing trip. So grab your tube and get ready for a memorable day on the Saluda River!

Enjoy Picnicking and Playground Areas

The park offers a variety of amenities for families to enjoy, including picnic areas and playgrounds. There is a music park, interactive playground, early childhood playground, school-age playground, picnic area, challenge ropes, ziplining and more, and all of it is free and open to the public. We visit here often throughout the year and always end up spending longer than we had planned. There is just so much to do! It’s a special place that fosters play and inclusion and we’re thrilled to have it so close. Any attraction that encourages play and exercise in children is one I can get behind. While morning jump times are reserved for smaller kiddos, afternoons and special jump nights are perfect for older

Jump and Bounce at Plex HiWire Family Fun & Sports Center

Experience Trampoline Fun

If you’re looking for a place where your kids can jump, bounce, and have a blast, Plex HiWire Family Fun & Sports Center is the perfect destination. With trampolines, ninja warrior courses, and indoor sports games, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether your little ones want to show off their acrobatic skills on the trampolines or challenge themselves on the ninja warrior course, they’ll have a great time at Plex HiWire. It’s a fun and interactive way for kids to stay active and have fun.

Conquer the Ninja Warrior Course

After conquering the Ninja Warrior Course, you’ll feel like a true champion. Test your strength, agility, and determination as you navigate through challenging obstacles. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting out, the course offers something for everyone. Push yourself to new limits and see how far you can go. It’s an exhilarating experience that will leave you feeling accomplished and ready for more.

Play Indoor Sports Games

At Plex HiWire Family Fun & Sports Center, you can have a blast playing indoor sports games. Whether you’re a basketball enthusiast or a soccer lover, there’s something for everyone. Challenge your friends to a game of basketball and show off your skills on the court. Or, join a soccer match and experience the thrill of scoring a goal. With state-of-the-art facilities and friendly staff, Plex HiWire is the perfect place to get active and have fun.

Discover the Outdoors at Sesquicentennial State Park

Hike Scenic Trails

Hiking scenic trails is a great way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Columbia, SC. Explore the lush forests and discover hidden gems along the way. Take your time to appreciate the sights and sounds of nature as you connect with the outdoors. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there are trails for every skill level. Here are some tips to make the most of your hiking experience:

  • Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers to adapt to changing weather conditions.
  • Carry plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized.
  • Don’t forget to bring a map or use a hiking app to navigate the trails.

Remember, hiking is not just about reaching the destination, but also about enjoying the journey. So, lace up your shoes and get ready to explore the scenic trails of Columbia, SC!

Go Fishing in the Lake

One of the enjoyable activities at Sesquicentennial State Park is fishing in the lake. Fishing provides a great opportunity for toddlers to learn patience and develop their motor skills. They can try their luck at catching fish while enjoying the peaceful surroundings of the park. It’s a wonderful way for them to connect with nature and experience the thrill of reeling in their first catch.

Have a Picnic by the Water

When visiting Sesquicentennial State Park, take some time to have a picnic by the water. The park offers beautiful picnic areas with scenic views of the lake. You can relax and enjoy a delicious meal while surrounded by nature. It’s the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your family and create lasting memories.

Learn and Play at the Richland Library

Attend Storytime Sessions

Storytime sessions at the Richland Library are a great way for toddlers to engage with books and develop a love for reading. These sessions are designed to be interactive and engaging, with librarians leading the group in reading stories, singing songs, and doing fun activities. Children can participate in craft lessons and enjoy performances as well. It’s a wonderful opportunity for toddlers to socialize with other children and develop their language and listening skills. Storytime sessions are free for Richland Library cardholders and are held at various locations. Check the library’s website for the schedule of upcoming sessions.

Engage in Interactive Learning Activities

Engaging in interactive learning activities is a great way for toddlers to explore and learn in a fun and hands-on way. Whether it’s through art, science, or history, these activities provide a unique opportunity for your little ones to expand their knowledge and creativity. At the Richland Library, toddlers can attend storytime sessions where they can listen to engaging stories and participate in interactive learning activities. This not only helps them develop their language and listening skills but also sparks their imagination and love for books. The library also has a dedicated children’s section filled with a wide range of books and resources for toddlers to explore and enjoy.

Explore the Children’s Section

The Richland Library offers a dedicated Children’s Section where young readers can immerse themselves in a world of imagination and learning. With a wide selection of books, interactive learning activities, and engaging storytime sessions, children can explore the joy of reading and discover new worlds. The Children’s Section is a safe and welcoming space for children to develop their literacy skills and foster a love for books. Whether it’s attending storytime sessions, engaging in interactive learning activities, or simply getting lost in a good book, the Children’s Section at the Richland Library is a haven for young minds.

Have Fun at the South Carolina State Fair

Ride Thrilling Carnival Rides

The Pavilion Park at Broadway at the Beach offers a thrilling experience with its roller coaster rides and thrill rides. It also features family entertainment rides and nostalgia rides that have been part of the well-known Pavilion amusement park for years. Located in popular Broadway at the Beach, the park is divided into three areas of attractions: Pavilion Park East, West, and Central. If you have young children, Pavilion Park West is the best choice, as it offers the best kiddie rides and attractions in town. Don’t forget to check out the fantastic restaurants nearby for a complete day of fun!

Indulge in Delicious Fair Food

When visiting the South Carolina State Fair, make sure to treat yourself to the mouthwatering fair food options available. From classic favorites like corn dogs and funnel cakes to unique creations like deep-fried mac and cheese balls and ravioli, there’s something to satisfy every craving. Don’t miss out on trying the delicious hot chocolate from Agape Chocolates, including their dark chocolate hot cocoa made with almond milk. And if you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to sample some of the homemade chocolate bars with fun flavors. With so many tasty treats to choose from, the fair food at the South Carolina State Fair is a must-try experience.

Enjoy Live Entertainment

After exploring all the thrilling rides and indulging in delicious fair food, make sure to check out the live entertainment at the South Carolina State Fair. From local bands to talented performers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Grab a seat, relax, and be entertained by the lively music and captivating performances. It’s the perfect way to end a fun-filled day at the fair.

Don’t forget to bring a folding chair and hang out for a while. Activities are free, but you must register to participate. Register for free here.

Play and Learn at the Columbia Children’s Theatre

Watch Engaging Children’s Performances

At the Columbia Children’s Theatre, your little ones can experience the magic of live performances. Immerse them in a world of storytelling and imagination as they watch engaging children’s performances. From classic tales to original productions, there’s always something exciting happening on stage. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

Here are some upcoming performances at the Columbia Children’s Theatre:

July 10thThe Little Mermaid
July 17thPeter Pan
July 24thAlice in Wonderland

Tip: Make sure to check the theatre’s website for ticket information and showtimes.

Participate in Drama Workshops

The Columbia Children’s Theatre offers drama workshops for children who are interested in exploring the world of musical theatre. These workshops are specifically designed for middle schoolers and provide an opportunity to dive into the world of acting, singing, and dancing. Students will have the chance to enhance their confidence, develop performance skills, and learn vocal techniques. The workshops culminate in a full weekend of performances, allowing students to showcase their talents. No prior experience is required to participate in these engaging and educational workshops.

Experience the Magic of Theatre

The Columbia Children’s Theatre offers a truly magical experience for young audiences. With engaging children’s performances, drama workshops, and the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of theatre, children can explore their creativity and develop a love for the performing arts. Whether they are watching a captivating play or participating in interactive workshops, the Columbia Children’s Theatre provides a fun and educational environment for children to discover the magic of theatre.

In Conclusion

Columbia, SC offers a wide range of fun and interactive activities for toddlers. From exploring the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden to solving puzzles at The Final Door Escape Room, there is something for every little adventurer. Other exciting options include visiting the Nickelodeon Theatre for a movie experience or playing pinball at Bang Back Pinball Lounge. Additionally, Flight Adventure Park in Irmo provides a thrilling outdoor playground. With so many options, parents and caregivers can create memorable experiences for their toddlers in Columbia, SC.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best activities for toddlers in Columbia, SC?

Some of the best activities for toddlers in Columbia, SC include exploring nature at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, getting creative at EdVenture Children’s Museum, having a blast at Frankie’s Fun Park, learning and playing at the South Carolina State Museum, splashing around at Saluda Shoals Park, jumping and bouncing at Plex HiWire Family Fun & Sports Center, discovering the outdoors at Sesquicentennial State Park, and having fun at the South Carolina State Fair and Columbia Children’s Theatre.

What can toddlers do at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden?

Toddlers can encounter animals up close, enjoy interactive exhibits, and take a stroll through beautiful gardens at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

What activities are available at EdVenture Children’s Museum for toddlers?

Toddlers can engage in hands-on art activities, discover science through play, and immerse in imaginative play areas at EdVenture Children’s Museum.

What attractions are there at Frankie’s Fun Park for toddlers?

At Frankie’s Fun Park, toddlers can ride exciting go-karts, play miniature golf, and challenge friends at laser tag.

What can toddlers learn and play at the South Carolina State Museum?

Toddlers can explore the universe in the planetarium, discover South Carolina’s history, and engage in hands-on science exhibits at the South Carolina State Museum.

What activities are available for toddlers at Saluda Shoals Park?

At Saluda Shoals Park, toddlers can cool off in the splash pad, go tubing on the Saluda River, and enjoy picnicking and playground areas.

What fun activities can toddlers enjoy at Plex HiWire Family Fun & Sports Center?

Toddlers can experience trampoline fun, conquer the Ninja Warrior course, and play indoor sports games at Plex HiWire Family Fun & Sports Center.

What can toddlers do at Sesquicentennial State Park?

Toddlers can hike scenic trails, go fishing in the lake, and have a picnic by the water at Sesquicentennial State Park.

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