It’s only January and many of us are already wishing we could go back in time and relive our grade-school winter breaks. If you share this desire then you’re in luck. Columbia has a plethora of activities and eateries that give even the most well-adjusted adults the chance to take a day off from #adulting and be a kid again.
Any true hooky day requires copious amounts of sugar and ice cream, both of which can be found at Steam & Ice on Harbison Boulevard. How good or bad you want to be is up to you, as the menu includes coffee, hot tea, smoothies, lemon coolers, and tea quenchers. But the sweet treat that is dominating this shop’s Instagram account is their milkshake. What makes these shakes so special? Each one comes topped with a homemade cotton candy cloud. As if a strawberry shortcake shake with strawberry ice cream, strawberries, and golden Oreos wasn’t sweet enough. Pull on your spun sugar as you read about Steam & Ice’s mission to support 21st century digital art teaching in the classroom — how sweet is that?
Where to find it: 275 Harbison Blvd., Suite M. 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. www.steamandice.com.
Now that you are sufficiently fueled, drive to Firefly Toys & Games to play off all that energy. But don’t be fooled by its commercial exterior, this isn’t your average gaming store. In addition to being able to shop for your next party game, customers are encouraged to use the store’s open play area as a meet-up spot. Bring your own team, make new friends, or even join a league. Firefly frequently hosts Pokémon, Magic Card, and Pinball tournaments. Oh, did I forget to mention that it also has a video game and pinball arcade? The room even has the first talking pinball machine, Gorgar, which was released in 1979.
Where to find it: 736 Saint Andrews Road . 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m.-midnight Tuesday-Saturday; 1 p.m.-midnight Sunday. www.fireflytoysandgames.com.
Battling a force of evil like Gorgar can make a player work up an appetite. Thankfully, not too far from the realm of Dungeons and Dragons is Steve’s Classic Burgers. Weighing in at a third pound, every ground chuck beef patty is made-to-order. Once cooked, this specialty seasoned burger can be dressed anyway you like with an assortment of condiments from Steve’s fresh toppings station. In addition to being able to have your burger your way, on Fridays customers who buy a burger and large drink get a small order of crinkle fries for free. And on Mondays children 12 and under eat for free — turns out being a kid never tasted good.
Where to find it: 817 Saint Andrews Road. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday. www.stevesclassicburgers.com.
End your big day by catching a movie at Spotlight Cinemas St. Andrews. This theater has stadium seating and its lineup of second-run flicks are priced at $3, with popcorn and drink specials that range from $10 to $15 dollars. Tom Hanks recommended, inner-child approved.
Where to find it: 527 Saint Andrews Road. www.spotlightcinemas.com.