The Best Lake Murray Country Outdoor Recreational Areas

A dose of fresh air can be the best remedy sometimes. The New Year has us spending more time outside, finding ways to stay active and looking for inspiration from nature. Lake Murray Country is packed with great ways to get outside and reconnect. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite destinations to help inspire you for a happier and healthier New Year!

Outdoor Recreation, Recreational Areas, Lake Murray County Parks, South Carolina Parks

Lake Murray Country Outdoor Recreational Areas

Congaree National Park

Lake Murray Country is home to the amazing Congaree National Park, which is the only national park in the state of South Carolina. The park has roughly 3,000 square feet to enjoy and they offer numerous recreations activities – from bird watching to camping.

The park has over 18 miles of hiking trails, which offer scenic views of the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States. You can also canoe or kayak along the waterways to enjoy the various types of wildlife who call the park home.

The Cedar Creek Canoe Trail in Congaree Swamp National Monument is an easy, six-mile journey, that’s perfect for the novice kayaker. Some say that canoe trail could be the finest one in the Midlands, since floating this dark waterway feels like taking a trip back to prehistoric times. Float time, in normal conditions, is three to four hours and it’s always recommended to tell a park ranger that before departing.

Outdoor Recreation, Recreational Areas, Lake Murray County Parks, South Carolina Parks

Wells Japanese Garden

Located in Newberry, the Wells Japanese Garden is a historic landmark. The gorgeous landscape vision was designed by the father-son duo W. Fulmer Wells and Henry B. Wells, Sr. It was crafted with local materials and it’s the perfect spot to slow down and relax.

The garden features a Temple, Torri Gate, Moon Bridge and Tea House. With the hustle and bustle of the nearby capitol city, it’s nice that Lake Murray Country also offers a great spot to meditate and reflect. The Wells Japanese Garden is also a beautiful spot for photography.

Outdoor Recreation, Recreational Areas, Lake Murray County Parks, South Carolina Parks

Dreher Island State Park

Spanning over 348 acres of land, guests can explore 12 miles of Lake Murray shoreline at Dreher Island State Park. While it’s known as one of the best spots for large-mouth bass fishing and hosting national fishing tournaments, it’s also a great spot for water sports.

They offer campsite and overnight lodging at the park villas, if you’re looking for an outdoor adventure getaway. The park has three trails to explore and kids can enjoy several playground areas as well.

Don’t forget to pick up your Ultimate Outsider guide at the park, so you can collect a stamp at each of South Carolina’s 47 state parks. Once achieving Ultimate Outsider victory, and you’ve collected a stamp from every park, you’ll receive a free commemorative t-shirt.

Finlay Park

Located in the heart of Columbia, Finlay Park is a green oasis that offers a spot to refresh within the big city. The 18 acre park offers beautiful views of the city and the perfect spot to plan a picnic. It serves as the site for such events as Columbia Kids Day, Mayfest, The Summer Concert Series, Let’s Share and many more.

You can find 2 playground areas, a man-made lake, waterfalls, a fountain, playing fields, a pergola with swings, and a snack bar that is open in the summer. Finlay park is also known as one of the largest handicap accessible parks in the country.

The paved pathways are perfect for strollers and it’s one of the most photographed spots in the city. Definitely add this spot to your family’s bucket list for a spring day.

Sesquicentennial State Park

Affectionately known as “Sesqui” for short, this park is home to 1,400 acres of pines, camping sites and nature trails. They welcome large family reunions and parties, with various outdoor actives to enjoy: kayak and canoe rentals, fishing, two nature trails and a 6-mile bicycle loop for day-use recreation.

It’s a great spot to get outside with your furry friend (dogs are permitted with a permit) because the park has a 2-acre off-leash fenced area. Sesqui also offers several splash pads for the kids to cool off during the summer months. Bring the RV and the whole family for some fun at this beloved state park.

Outdoor Recreation, Recreational Areas, Lake Murray County Parks, South Carolina Parks
 Photo by Perry Baker

You May Also Like: Lake Murray Country Kid’s Destinations

 

Plan Your 2019 Vacation: How To Start Planning Now

As we enter the New Year, we often look at the calendar as a clean slate. Time to make resolutions- live healthy, attain financial goals, learn something new- time to move our lives forward for the better. One of the most commonly made and often unkept resolutions is to travel.

In fact, while our commitment to our work is commendable, the amount of unused vacation time left on the table each year is unsettling. So unsettling that it’s become a “thing.” According to Project Time Off, about half of American employees leave more than 700 million vacation days unused. In South Carolina, those unused vacation days equate to an estimated billion dollars worth of untapped economic gain!

Tips For Planning Your 2019 Vacation

This year National Plan for Vacation Day is January 29. With that in mind, there’s no better time to start planning your time off than right now. Here’s a short list of things to consider to ensure you make the most of every vacation day you’ve earned:

Consider your families obligations and commitments: coordinating time off can be a challenge but for the physical and emotional well being of your family, it’s worth it.
Set priorities: Concerts, festivals and sporting events make great travel memories but if it causes missing out on a family function, it may cause more angst than fun.
Look at your bucket list: The feeling of checking off a place to visit, event or activity is a huge morale booster and great way to teach kids the importance of dreams and goals.
Set a budget: Not every trip has to be a grand extravaganza. Planning, saving and allocating monies for each trip will allow for better use of funds and more enjoyable travel.
Talk to your boss early: Fear of asking for earned time off should not deter you from using your vacation days. Advance notice allows for planning at work as well as when you return.
Block the time off in advance: Once you’ve got the ball rolling, stick to your plans, keep your dates handy so when things come up you can avoid schedule conflicts.

Taking the time to plan a vacation leads to better use of time off as well as making for happier times and a well-rested return.

Looking for a fun spot for your next vacation? Visit the Jewel of South Carolina – Capital City/Lake Murray Country conveniently located by car or air and the perfect spot to rest, relax and refresh, by yourself, with family or friends and before your next planned excursion! Call or email for a copy of our Visit Magazine.

Holidays in Lake Murray Country: Where to Stay and Celebrate

Whether you’re visiting family in Lake Murray Country or need recommendations for guests who are traveling during the holiday season, there are plenty of hospitality options in the area. The region offers a diverse range, from swanky downtown Columbus hotel brands to quaint Bed and Breakfast spots. Each option offers something unique for the holidays and we’ve got our favorite picks below.

Whether you need a recommendation for guests or you're traveling to Lake Murray Country, here is where to stay during the holiday season.

Holidays in Lake Murray Country: Where To Stay

Aloft Harbison

The Aloft Harbison offers a swanky touch and modern touches to keep visitors comfortable. You can sip a drink, enjoy fast & free WiFi, or pick up a game of pool during your stay. The hotel even has day-to-night lighting and music to switch up the vibe. Their backyard area offers fireside outdoor seating that’s the perfect cozy spot for an evening drink.

You’re minutes away from Lake Murray, Riverbanks Zoo and downtown Columbia. Pets are welcome and rooms are spacious for large families. It’s trendy meets southern at it’s finest.

Aloft Harbison, Holidays in Lake Murray Country

Hilton Columbia Center

The newly renovated Hilton Columbia Center is ready for the holiday season with beautiful decor in the lobby for guests to enjoy. It’s located in the Vista and it’s within walking distance of Columbia’s most popular family attractions.

While they offer complimentary wi-fi and a 24 hour fitness center, it’s great that they have a Ruth Chris Steak House and Bar. They are now accepting reservations for Christmas Eve and New Years Eve dinner.

Wingate Lexington

Enjoy the historic holiday charm of downtown Lexington when you stay at the Wingate Lexington. It’s within walking distance of restaurants and antique shopping. They offer executive suites, a free continental breakfast and evening cocktails. Check out the Christmas events happening at the Lexington County Museum during your stay.

The Newberry Manor

Built in 1895, the Newberry Manor is a premiere bed and breakfast located in the heart of Newberry, South Carolina. They offer luxury accommodations and holiday touches throughout the manor. The grand rooms are each decorated with personal touches and offer claw foot tubs. Guests love their southern style breakfast or relaxing on the wrap-around front porch.

It’s perfect for a romantic holiday getaway and the manor is conveniently located to the Newberry Opera House, where you can catch an evening seasonal performance. Downtown Newberry also offers an array of unique dining options.

The Newberry Manor, Holidays in Lake Murray Country

Aloft Downtown Columbia

The newest hip hotel to join the lineup of downtown hospitality includes the Aloft Downtown Columbia, which is located in the always-buzzing Congaree Vista. They offer all of the great amenities that the Aloft hotels are known for: free Wi-fi, their signature bed, Bliss spa products and their XYZ Bar. It’s the perfect location if you want to be in the heart of the city, where all of the action is.

The Wavering Place

Known as an award-winnning event venue, Wavering Place also offers a quaint Bed and Breakfast suite. It has the modern conveniences guests love alongside the natural beauty the property is known for. Experiencing a night in the “Casa Cucina” and enjoying their European continental breakfast will leave you feeling refreshed. It’s the perfect holiday escape if you’re looking for peace and tranquility.

The Wavering Place, Holidays in Lake Murray Country

 

Thankful for our Community

This time of the year brings out the thankfulness in me. Thankful for our Veterans. Thankful for my job, home and schools. Thankful for my family, friend, church and so much more. I do think that I should be more thankful for the community that I live in and the neighboring communities. I do not want to take for granted the places, people and things in my backyard.

In this area, we do not know what is like to not have a Nationally ranked zoo, a one-of-a kind museum or history at our fingertips. We should be thankful for our community surrounded by arts, culture and cuisine that is extraordinary. Luckily right around the corner, I can choose to dine at Private Property, Alodia’s, O’Hara’s Irish Pub, Bodhi Thai, Mediterranean Café or Libby’s. How impressive is the revitalization of downtown of Lexington!

Other possibilities of supporting the arts and having a fun night in our area is attending an event at the Harbison Theatre, the Koger Center, or Town Theatre with dining at The Bistro on the Blvd, 1801 Grill, and Hunter Gather, respectively.

I am hoping to get to Newberry on a Friday in December for North Pole nights. I love the feeling of shopping and eating with snow coming down. Newberry offers fun shopping, a unique tea room experience and cuisine from Figaro’s, The Cabana, The Palms…. the list is endless. Of course, the Newberry Opera House has a lot of Christmas activities/events.

I would love to say that I am thankful for our community year-round and participate in community service activities weekly, but this time of the year, does bring it out.  I encourage everyone to take sometime to volunteer and/or find out what is needed at Oliver Gospel Mission, Mission Lexington and/or Harvest Hope Food Bank. I encourage you to enjoy and be thankful for what is your backyard!

~Vickie Davis

Veteran’s Day in Lake Murray Country: Events To Celebrate The Holiday

As we head into the Holiday Season, and the season of giving thanks, we’re reminded of those who have served our country by celebrating Veteran’s Day. Throughout history, when controversy and conflict arise, many of us tend to rest on our laurels while the strong and the brave step up to their duties.

 

Each year communities all over come to celebrate our Veteran’s with annual Parades, commemoration services and remembrance masses.  One of the best parades takes place in Downtown Columbia, home to the Army’s Fort Jackson. Fort Jackson has been a part of Columbia’s community since it’s opening in 1917. Through the years it has grown to be the largest and most active Initial Entry Training Center conducting fifty-four percent of the Army’s Basic Combat Training,  graduating over 1,200 soldiers weekly.

 

Whether you are planning your weekend to pay respects to a loved one who served or continues to serve, or out of pride for our military brothers and sisters, be sure to check out some of these great military related events, museums and happenings.

Events to Celebrate Veteran’s Day in Lake Murray Country

The 282nd Army Band’s Salute to Service

Fort Jackson’s own will perform a somber commemorative concert on Sunday, November 11, beginning  4 pm at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 1100  Sumter Street in Downtown Columbia. The event will begin with  prayers for Veterans, followed by the band performance.  This events is free and open to the community. This year’s observance of Veterans Day marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.

Columbia Chamber Veteran’s Day Parade

The Veterans Day Parade will be held on Monday, November 12.  The parade begins at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Sumter and Laurel streets, and travels southbound on Sumter Street, ending at Pendleton Street near the State House. FREE

South Carolina Military Museum

One of the largest National Guard museums in the country, the SC Military Museum honors and chronicles the South Carolina citizen soldier and this State’s martial tradition from its colonial founding in 1670 to present-day operations. The facility features an impressive collection of artifacts, displays and exhibits, the Museum tells the story of the South Carolina militia, its evolution into the National Guard, and its important role today as a force multiplier for the United States Army and Air Force. 

SC Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum

The third oldest museum in the state, SCCRR focuses on South Carolina’s military history from the Revolutionary War to the present. Discover and explore the state’s military history through informative and award-winning exhibits, featuring many rare and one-of-a-kind artifacts.  The museum’s evolving permanent exhibits and changing exhibit galleries make each visit a new experience!

General Sherman’s March on Columbia

Stop by our Visitor’s Center for a brochure detailing this Self-Guided Walking Tour which will allow you to re-trace Sherman’s path into Columbia, stand where he stood, walk the same streets, see the preserved ruins and visit the structures spared a fiery death. Spend as much time as you’d like visiting 20 different sites, many open to the public. 

Located on Fort Jackson, the following museums require all adult visitors to present a photo ID at the installation gate in order to gain entry. 

U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Museum

Through the Combat Museum’s galleries visitors follow the schedule of basic combat training in 2011, learning along the way how the separate elements of training have evolved since WWI. 

Chaplain Corp Museum

The Chaplain Corp Museum holds an extensive collection of artifacts and archival material used by the  men and women who have aided and served the Army both spiritually and militarily. Exhibits span from the establishment of the Chaplain Corps in 1775 to a piece of the destroyed Pentagon wall from 9/11.

Finance Corps Museum

The Finance Corps Museum holds one of the largest collections of military currency in the world. Significant objects in the collection include Colonial currency from the American Revolution, US Army payroll ledgers from the nineteenth century and military scrip from World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam.

While Veteran’s Day is a great time of year to pay homage to those who have served, our museums provide a learning opportunity year round, consider bringing your family, civic group or classroom to tour any of our Military related museums at any time of the year.

Gagliardi Says Fall is the Right Time for a Lake Murray Big Bass Beatdown

The Capital City/Lake Murray Country region is excited to host the Big Bass Tour tournament this weekend on Lake Murray. The fishing and weather should be excellent!

Lake Murray Fishing, Lake Murray Big Bass

Article By: Pete Robbins

You don’t have to convince Forrest Wood Cup Champion Anthony Gagliardi that fall is a great time to hit Lake Murray. A few years ago, he caught his personal best big bass, a 10-pound fish of a lifetime, while jigging a spoon in 40 feet of water in late October.

That fish was accompanied by a largemouth several pounds larger, “the biggest one I’ve ever seen not in a fish tank,” he said. It’s a pattern he’d normally expect to be a prime method to catch a big one in next weekend’s Big Bass Tour event. “They’re eating white perch that are 4- or 5-inches long. You might catch 20 perch, and then suddenly you’ll hook an 8-pounder.” Normally the spoon might be his primary weapon, but due to the persistent unseasonably warm weather, Gagliardi wouldn’t rely upon it exclusively.

This year’s event will be held almost exactly a month later in the calendar than the past three Big Bass Tour tournaments on Lake Murray, which all took place in late September. They’ve all been marked by huge numbers of fish weighed in, with it typically requiring a bass in the 7-pound class to take home top honors. In 2015, the overall winner brought a 7.23-pound brute to the scales, while a year later 6.97 claimed the top prize. Last year, two anglers eclipsed the 7-pound mark, with Ron Wood’s 7.50 beauty falling just a bit short of Preston Rickard’s 7.79 pound largemouth, the single largest fish weighed in during BBT competition on Murray. Gagliardi thinks there is a substantial chance that top mark will be broken this time around because conditions are so good.

“Fishing should be excellent because of the winter drawdown,” he explained. “The water’s been moving and there is current, so they should be schooling on main lake points.” That’s a bite that’s typically better in September, though, at least for bigger fish. He’d start with a topwater like a pencil popper if the fish are feeding on the lake’s prolific blueback herring, but if they got pressured or were chasing small shad instead, he’d downsize to a smaller walking bait. A Black Flagg Slikk Shadd soft plastic swimbait would also be on the deck of his boat.

It has never taken less than 5.40 pounds to squeak into the top 10 overall, so small fish need not apply for the overall leaderboard, but with a bit of planning and some attention to the live leaderboard, it is proven that a bass in the 2-pound class is likely to take home hourly money. That makes the schooling bite a good option for many, because It can certainly produce hourly winners, and might even produce a seven-plus.

Another way to catch a big loner this time of year is to beat the banks with a swimbait like a Live Target herring or bluegill imitator, as well as a buzzbait. The fish will cling to the bank for a while, but as the water level drops it may take them with it. That’ll position them on brush in front of the deeper docks, where Gagliardi likes to use a 3/8 or ½ ounce Buckeye Jig to extract them.

“If they’re keying on bluegill, I like a green pumpkin jig,” he explained, both in brush and when skipping it under docks. “But the crawfish here are unusually dark and have a lot of red in them, so I often use black and red. Black and blue can also be good, but I don’t use it as much.” Because the crawfish are also “gigantic,” he’ll pair his jig with a matching oversized plastic craw, like a Black Flagg W Craw.

One more oddball bite is to fish the offshore grass, which grows out to 12 or 14 feet. It’s “stringy and brittle and not easily fishable,” he explained, but as the water is drawn down the fish may pull out into it and be easy pickings while much of the rest of the field chases schoolers. No matter which pattern or patterns anglers choose to pursue, the entire lake should be in play, and with the fish putting on a heavy feed bag there will no doubt be lines at the scales and heavy competition for top honors.

The Spirit Of The South: Visiting Lake Murray Country

Nowadays, it’s hard to find a region that captures the classic feelings of the South. While visiting Lake Murray Country, I felt an overwhelming since of passion from everyone I met. I talked to business owners who grew up in the area then never left and parents who raise in their kids in Lake Murray Country. From the charming town of Newberry to the Millennial vibes in Columbia that blend with historic landmarks, it’s a great destination to visit.

No matter what time of the year you’re visiting, there is always an event. While the hustle and bustle of the capitol city attracts tourists weekly, I prefer the hidden pockets of solitude you can find on the lake or at the park. There is something for everyone. The area is conveniently located off Interstates I-77, I-20, I-26 which makes it central for many travelers.

Coming from an Atlanta-based girl who loves Southern travel, here are my must do picks of Lake Murray Country.

 

Must do destinations while visiting Lake Murray Country, South Carolina. From outdoor adventures to foodie tours, there is something for everyone. #LakeMurrayCountry #VisitLakeMurray #SouthCarolina

Related Post: Lake Murray Country Halloween Events

Must Do Destinations While Visiting Lake Murray Country

Conagree National Park

Whether you want to enjoy the pristine natural beauty of this park on foot or boat, they’ve got you covered. Conagree National Park is the perfect destination for an outdoor adventure. They offer hiking, kayaking, fishing and camping. It’s the state’s only national park. The marshlands are a beautiful backdrop to a camping getaway.

Visiting Lake Murray Country, Lake Murray, Conagree National Park, South Carolina Travel, Family Travel

Two Gals and a Fork Food Tours

One of the trendiest ways to see the city of Columbia also involves some delicious eats! You’ll be in great company as the owners, Gloria and Janet of Two Gals and a Fork Food Tours, show you the hottest food trends coming from the kitchens of swanky eateries. You’ll log some miles and leave with a full belly. Check their calendar for the latest tours.

Historic Columbia Houses

Venture into the past at a Historic Columbia House Tour. See what life was like for families that helped shape Columbia into the city it is today. The Hampton-Preston Mansion just celebrated it’s 200th anniversary and underwent a holistic rehabilitation. It features an updated interpretation, new exhibits, hands-on interactive elements, expanded public gardens, a new exterior paint scheme and further improvements to the site’s structure and grounds.

Visiting Lake Murray Country, Lake Murray, Conagree National Park, South Carolina Travel, Family Travel

Newberry Opera House

World class shows visit weekly at the historic Newberry Opera House, making it one of my favorite must do destinations. Each season boasts an impressive line up that ranges from modern dance to musical theater and contemporary jazz. Enjoy dinner on the square at Figaro the Dining Room, then catch an evening show at the opera house.

Lake Murray

Boating Magazine named Lake Murray one of the top 10 places to boat and live. Hike along the shore, celebrate Independence Day on the water or start your morning with fishing at sunrise. The lake is known as the “Jewel of South Carolina” and it’s home to the Purple Martin Phenomenon – where it’s estimated more than one million birds roost on Lunch Island in the lake. Bird watchers can enjoy them from the end of June to the beginning of August.

Visiting Lake Murray Country, Lake Murray, Conagree National Park, South Carolina Travel, Family Travel

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

One of the most educational and fun spots for families is the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. This nationally recognized zoo houses more than 2,000 animals in natural habitat exhibits. Guests can learn about conservation, take part in feedings or visit during one of their seasonal events. Feeling adventurous? Ride the zip line canopy tour is the best view while visiting Lake Murray Country.

Visiting Lake Murray Country, Lake Murray, Conagree National Park, South Carolina Travel, Family Travel

Carter and Holmes Orchid Farm

Tour 18 greenhouses and enjoy 93,000 sq. ft. of tropical beauty in one of the largest orchid nurseries in the world. While the majority of the Carter and Holmes Orchid Farm business is online, guests can still purchase orchids on property and speak with a specialist about caring for your new orchid. It’s a hidden gem of Newberry and an oasis for gardeners to enjoy while visiting Lake Murray Country.

Visiting Lake Murray Country, Lake Murray, Conagree National Park, South Carolina Travel, Family Travel

Spotted Salamander Cafe

This popular lunch spot serves innovative Southern cuisine with a “Deviled Egg of The Day” on the menu. Select from fresh salads, mouthwatering burgers, deli sandwiches and homemade desserts. Everything is made from scratch and uses the highest quality local ingredients. The Spotted Salamander Cafe is the perfect lunch spot for a girl’s date.

Visiting Lake Murray Country, Lake Murray, Conagree National Park, South Carolina Travel, Family Travel

 

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The Halloween Season in Lake Murray Country

As the summer weather finally fades away, the crisp fall weather encourages us to head outside a bit more. With some of the best weather, we invite you to soak up some family time and celebrate the new season.

In Lake Murray Country, there is never a shortage of Halloween activities. From haunted houses to festivals and tours, there is something for everyone. Boo at the Zoo, a popular Halloween destination for families, resides in Columbia, as does one of the more frightful events: the Elmwood Cemetery Tours. If celebrating the season is more your style, there is something for everyone at Scarecrows in the Gardens.

The perfect activity for your Halloween season can be found many times over in Lake Murray Country.

Celebrate fall fun in Lake Murray Country, South Carolina. From pumpkin patches to frightening fun, there is something for everyone. #LakeMurrayCountry #SouthCarolina #FamilyTravel

Events to Celebrate Fall & Halloween in Lake Murray Country

The Clinton Sease Farm Corn Maze

If you have a family fall bucket list, you’ve got to include the Clinton Sease Farm Corn Maze. Experience the corn maze as a family, pick your pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, take a hay ride and then stay for a nighttime s’more around the bonfire. They offer all of the fall classics that you can’t miss. The corn maze season starts September 21st.

Boo at the Zoo at the Riverbanks Zoo

Let your little ones trick-or-treat through the zoo, go on a spooky safari and dance the night away at Mummy’s Eeky Freaky Dance Party. Kids will love all of the festive fun while attending Boo at the Zoo. Costumes are encouraged and there’s fun for the whole family. Boo at the Zoo tickets go on sale September 1st and the events take place October 19 – 30th.

©SouthernHookPhotography

Halloween Hoopla at EdVenture Children’s Museum

Have a safe and stress free Halloween night at Halloween Hoopla at EdVenture Children’s Museum. The event goes from 5pm – 8pm and it’s free for kids under the age of 12 (everyone else is $5). Surprises await trick or treaters behind more than 10 doors at EdVenture. Halloween Hoopla features a slime machine, pumpkin smashing, a costume contest for the grown-ups and of course scary amounts of candy.

Deceased Farm Haunted Attraction

Take a self-guided to experience the haunts of six buildings at the Deceased Farm Haunted Attraction. Try to make it out alive as you navigate 3D effects, a dark and desolate farm and two acres of dark cornfields. This one isn’t for the faint of heart and not recommended for children under the age of 12.

Haunted History Halloween Program at the Lexington County Museum

Let history come to life and learn about some of the more spooky and bizarre history of Lexington County. Guests take a guided tour of the museum and watch skits that portray each story. It’s a family friendly event offered October 18 & 19th, at the Lexington County Museum, at select times.

Abba The Concert

Come in costume and watch Abba in Concert at the Newberry Opera House. It’s the perfect way to dance, sing, and have the time of your life on Halloween night.

Scarecrows in the Gardens Exhibit

This free exhibit, presented by Historic Columbia, will feature handcrafted scarecrows made by local families, business, organizations and classrooms. On a stroll through the gardens this fall, you’ll see dozens of ghoulish, historic and colorful scarecrows. The exhibit runs throughout the month of October.

Columbia City Ballet Presents “Dracula: Ballet With A Bite”

The Halloween cult classic comes to life on stage with the beauty and grace that can only be found at the ballet. Based on the novel by Bram Stoker, we see Count Dracula continue his seductive reign of terror with his Brides of Darkness in Transylvania. Dracula: Ballet With A Bite performances run October 27 – 27th.

Newberry Oktoberfest

Nothing is better than celebrating fall with a cold brew and a bratwurst at the Newberry Oktoberfest. The October 6th event celebrates German heritage with authentic cuisine, Biergartens, music, arts and crafts. There are free activities offered for the kids and the event is family-friendly.

Spirits Alive! Tours

Grab your flashlights and join Historic Columbia and Elmwood Cemetery staff for guided tours presenting some of Columbia’s eerie and peculiar past by the light of the moon. Different than the regular monthly tours, Spirits Alive! Cemetery Tours feature costumed tour guides, snacks and other Halloween-related activities. Spirits Alive! takes place Oct 11th.

“Halloween At Hogwarts” With The S.C. Philharmonic

Fans of the books and films will love to see the Koger Center for the Arts transformed into the wondrous world of Harry Potter. The October 28th performance features music composed by John Williams for the Harry Potter films. For this special occasion, the lobby of the Koger Center will be as bustling as Diagon Alley.

Pumpkin Run 5k Costume Contest

Dress the whole family in their Halloween costume and log some miles this fall. The YMCA of Columbia is hosting their annual Pumpkin Run 5k Costume Contest on October 27th. Participants can either run or walk the 5k or 1-mile distance.

What events do you have planned for your family for fall? Comment and add to the list!