Rainy days and mondays always get me down.
January 11, 2008 8:00 AM   Subscribe

What are some fun things to do in the Columbia, SC area (especially this weekend)?

My boyfriend will be in my city for the first time starting today, and will be leaving Monday afternoon. Aside from having dinner with my parents tonight, I have two days and nights I feel I need to make an interesting, worthwhile experience for him- except I barely know my home city!

I live in the Irmo area, about 10 minutes from downtown Columbia. Willing to go as far as West Columbia (but probably not Northeast), since I'm pretty much terrified of the interstate.

What's out: anything physical activity intensive (I have pretty chronic back pain from a car accident about a year and a half ago), sports-related things (neither of us is a fan).

The weather this weekend is supposed to be cloudy and rainy, so inside stuff is preferred, even though it's reasonably warm. Thanks in advance, Hive Mind! You always have the best answers. :)
posted by Glitter Ninja to Travel & Transportation around Columbia, SC (12 answers total)
If the weather does cooperate, Riverbanks Zoo is lovely. I also like the State Museum but I am a museum nerd.

I haven't had a long visit to my old hometown in a while, butthose are the first two things that leap to mind.
posted by pointystick at 8:12 AM on January 11, 2008

but those, not butthose, ulp!

Also, thanks to the University's pretty good theatre program, there's actually some not bad community theatre in town. If nothing is on at Longstreet Theatre at USC, maybe try Workshop Theatre - http://www.workshoptheatre.com/info.htm
posted by pointystick at 8:14 AM on January 11, 2008

Response by poster: I should probably mention- we're both huge nerdy nerds (and met on IRC initially, heh), so brains-based activites (like the museum) are always great :)
posted by Glitter Ninja at 8:18 AM on January 11, 2008

Well Irmo is pretty close to Newberry, and (I don't know how big a fan you are of folk music) Doc Watson and David Holt are playing at the Newberry Opera House on Saturday.

The State museum (right before you cross the river on Gervais Street) has a new exhibit: Hollywood Comes to South Carolina: A Century of Filmmaking in the Palmetto State.

There is a free recital at the USC school of music by trumpeter James Ackley and pianist Mark Laughlin on Sunday at 4:30. I got those two from here.

Oh and here is the club calendar for this weekend.
posted by ND¢ at 8:25 AM on January 11, 2008

I'd second the zoo, if the weather clears up (and if walking around the zoo doesn't constitute too much physical activity, of course), and the State museum if not. Another thing that might be nice if the weather clears up is the Congaree National Park, which is a truly lovely, swampy national park with an easy path that runs through it. They even offer free, guided canoe trips on Saturdays and Sundays (again, I'm not sure if that would be too intensive in terms of physical activity, they are pretty laid-back trips). It -is- about 20 miles from downtown Columbia, but there's no interstate travel to get there so I thought I'd mention it just in case it would work for you.

Otherwise, I quite like the Trustus Theatre, a really laid-back and intimate little theatre (the free popcorn and the fact that you can buy wine/beer to enjoy at your seat help a lot, too! =) I can't vouch for the quality of the play they're performing this weekend but it might be fun if you're up for that sort of thing ... The Nick is another good choice if you're into indie films.

Finally, these are listed in ND¢'s calendar but I wanted to call them out specifically, none of them are really 'clubs' so much as bars or pubs that offer live music - The Hunter Gatherer is an awesome brewpub with great beer (try the ESB!) and crazy-tasty food served in a cool, laid-back atmosphere. The Flying Saucer has (IMO) a less cozy atmosphere but offers over 200 beers so if you're into beer you might try that. Finally, Speakeasy offers live jazz in a dark, lovely little bar with plenty of comfy overstuffed couches and a stone fireplace and whatnot - if you go do keep an eye on the price of the beers you order as some of them are rather pricey, but it's still a nice place to end the night (as is PT's Cabaret, if you and your boyfriend are up for a fun drag show, but I'll leave that up to you =)
posted by zeph at 9:07 AM on January 11, 2008

Every Saturday is free is the Columbia Museum of Art.
posted by chiababe at 9:08 AM on January 11, 2008

*at the
posted by chiababe at 9:08 AM on January 11, 2008

I know I'm going to see "What would Jesus Buy?" at the Nickelodeon theatre downtown.
It is by the same guy that hosts 30 days on FX and made "Super Size Me"
Info at nickelodeon.org

Conveniently located across the street from Hunter Gatherer for a pre-show brew, as well.
posted by ijoyner at 10:52 AM on January 11, 2008

If you end up wanting to go to the Northeast, the area has a huge new outdoor shopping center that is beautiful. The Village at Sandhill has great restaurants, a movie theater, and a lot of shopping. Just a thought.
posted by bobber at 11:23 AM on January 11, 2008

Response by poster: Just a note: he's of-age, but I am not. So bars are kind of out.
posted by Glitter Ninja at 5:07 PM on January 11, 2008

If you're into to an "authentic" SC experience you should check out Maurice Bessinger's Piggy Park. It's both celebrated and reviled across the state as a center of racist propaganda.

I mean it's an odd thing to seek out, but as an SC native I find it's important to remind myself just how backwards and awful my home state can be from time to time.
posted by wfrgms at 5:39 PM on January 11, 2008

Just a note: he's of-age, but I am not. So bars are kind of out.
posted by Glitter NinjaPoster at 8:07 PM on January 11

Feh. Get into the Vista Wild Wings before 9ish, have some dinner and wait for the crowd. Unless you look ridiculously underage, they won't card you at the bar.

Ask for Derrick the bartender and have him make you a Jolly Rancher shot. Only his recipe is acceptable.
posted by chiababe at 6:50 PM on January 11, 2008

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