It’s summertime! Now what? From baseball to berries, we’ve compiled the ultimate Summer To Do List, helping you overcome boredom this summer — without breaking the bank.
It’s easier to accomplish all the items on your to-do list if you have a full stomach. Whip up your own smoothies with fresh fruit from the State Farmers Market, 1001 Bluff Road. For the adventurous, pick your own strawberries or blueberries without leaving the Midlands. Check out www.pickyourown.org/SC.htm for a list of local farms.
Specials at museums: The Columbia Museum of Art, at Main and Hampton streets, is free on Saturdays; The State Museum, 301 Gervais St., offers $1 admission the first Sunday of each month; and EdVenture Children’s Museum, 211 Gervais St., has Family Night with $1 admission from 5 to 8 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month.
Never miss a local story.
For “reel” fun, head to Finlay Park on Taylor Street. From “Bedtime Stories” to “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” moviegoers will enjoy the free movies in the park. Oh, there’s free popcorn and drinks, too. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs. Movies start at 8 p.m. Fridays June 12 through Aug. 14. Visit www.columbiamovies.org to see what’s playing when.
Playing couch potato? You can check out free DVDs at Richland County Public Library. www.myrcpl.com
From Finlay Park on Taylor Street to the fountain in Five Points at Harden and Greene streets, it’s easy to find free concerts in Columbia. Check the Weekend section in The State each week for details about who is playing where and when.
Beat the heat at your local pool. Richland County Recreation Commission pools at Hopkins Park, 150 Hopkins Road, and Trenholm Park, 3900 Covenant Road, open Saturday. The City of Columbia will open Maxcy Gregg Pool, 1651 Park Circle, Monday and Greenview Pool, 6700 David St., Tuesday.
From reptiles to gorillas, Riverbanks Zoo, 500 Wildlife Parkway, will encourage you to embrace your wild side. If you only go one day of the year, check out Brew at the Zoo on Aug. 1. Regular admission is $7.25-$9.75. www.riverbanks.org
Get up and go! Don’t spend summer lounging in your house. Congaree National Park, 100 National Park Road, Hopkins, has hiking, camping, kayaking, canoeing and more — for free! Visit www.nps.gov/cong for details.
If nature is a no-go, sign up for a program through the Richland County Recreation Commission, www.richlandcountyrecreation.com, or the Lexington County Recreation and Aging Commission, www.lcrac.com. They have offerings ranging from kickball to karate.
Want to go to the lake but don’t have a boat? Unroll your towel at the SCE&G Public Park, which offers a beach and public swimming area at Lake Murray. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the weekends. Where is it? Take either Lake Murray Boulevard or Bush River Road west from Irmo. The park entrance is on the right just after the dam. (803) 217-9221
With two water slides, a lazy river, a splash pool, a kiddie pool and an admission cost of less than $10, Palmetto Falls Water Park at Fort Jackson fits budgets of all sizes. It’s at 3381 Marion Ave., Fort Jackson. (803) 751-4056; www.fortjacksonmwr.com/waterpark
Baseball is the traditional summer pastime. Catch a Columbia Blowfish game at Capital City Stadium, South Assembly Street, on a Wednesday for $1 beer night or a Thirsty Thursday, two-for-$3 beer night. Admission is $4-$7. www.blowfishbaseball.com
— Liz Ruiz