18 More Great Dates, Columbia!

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Like basketball? Cheer on the Gamecocks! usc-womens-basketball-team

The University of South Carolina’s women’s basketball team is having another great season (out of 22 games so far they have only lost 2) and could use your support! Get tickets to one of their home games this month and enjoy the night with your sweetie. Ticket info here.

Upcoming home games:

February 16, 2017 at 7pm vs. Vanderbilt
February 26, 2017 vs. Kentucky

The University of South Carolina’s men’s basketball team has had an amazing season so far as well. Did you watch their game this past Tuesday (Feb. 7th) against Alabama? It was an exciting one! They fought hard until the end and went into QUADRUPLE over time, loosing 90 – 86. Purchase tickets for upcoming games here.

Upcoming home games:

February 15, 2017 at 6:30pm vs. Arkansas
February 25, 2017 at 1pm vs. Tennessee
February 28, 2017 at 7pm vs. Mississippi State

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Valentines At Le Cafe Jazz 2017

Bring your heart to Le Cafe Jazz on Sunday February 12th and enjoy an evening of stellar entertainment with Leland Rayner and Friends. You and your special someone will be treated to French Buffet with all the trimmings along with a special dessert and Champagne toast. The wonderful celebration of love begins at 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm. Couples admission: $75 per couple (tables seat four persons) Private tables: $125 per couple. Menu items include: 2 Meats, 1 Seafood, 2 Starches and 3 Vegetable Dishes. Tickets here.

Couples Massage

Ahhhh. Relax together in the seclusion of a couples’ massage.  Listen to soothing spa music, drink in the aroma-therapeutic fragrances and give each other a loving look once in a while! There are a number of spas around Greater Columbia offering couples massages.  Urban Nirvana on Forest Drive and in Lexington offer them, “Performed in a private room with a therapist for each client, couples can share an integrative massage while enjoying each other’s company.”   Hand and Stone also gives couples’ massages, “Kick back and escape with a friend or loved one with our Couple’s Massage. Two people can enjoy their massage experience together, side by side in our couple’s room. A perfect way to enjoy some quality time together. This room is ideally suited for special occasions, such as Anniversaries, Birthdays, and Valentine’s Day.” They have locations in Harbison (near Academy Sports) and in mid-town (near Whole Foods).

CUT!: Costume and the Cinema

This exciting exhibition (runs through Feb. 19th, 2017) includes 43 period costumes from 26 films, depicting five centuries of history, drama, and comedy. An experience like no other awaits visitors as they discover the glamour and artistry of cinematic couture, delight in sumptuous fabrics and unparalleled embroidery, and bask in the allure of famous film stars. The amazing costumes in this exhibition come from a collection of more than 100,000 costumes and accessories made by the renowned British costumer, Cosprop Ltd. More info here.

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Deceased Farms: My Deceased Valentine

“Love can make you weak in the knees and love can make the world seem brighter. But love can also make you do unspeakable things. Love can even bring back the dead. But some things that are dead need to stay dead…” Visit Deceased Farms, located at 382 Olde Farm Road in Lexington February 10 – February 12, 2017 with your valentine if you want to add a little spook to your weekend. $20 per person. Website here. Visit their FB page here!

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Gorgeous Sunset Views!sheraton

There are places all over Columbia that boast gorgeous views, but you can’t beat the one from the Roof Top Lounge! The Roof Top Lounge, above the Sheraton on 1400 Main Street offers breathtaking views of the center of the financial, entertainment and historic district of Columbia, SC. Enjoy sunset views as you sip Roof Top martinis in the lounge.

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Valentine’s Day Cinema!

Harbison Theatre is offering a viewing of Valentine’s Cinema An Affair to Remember on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 7pm. From the deck of an ocean liner to the top of the Empire State Building, this whirlwind dramatic adventure of love found, love lost, and – hopefully – love found again celebrates our fifth-annual Valentine’s Cinema. In an evening perfect for sharing with anyone you love, join us for a dessert and champagne reception in the lobby before setting sail with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. “Anything could happen, don’t you think?” More info here. Tickets are $17.

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Restaurant-hop-around-the-world

chocolate-raspberry-mini-crepe-cakes-4Lovers, it’s time to experience the world via a Columbia international food tour. This is a delicious date that could easily last the entire weekend! Kick off your Friday night at Gervais & Vine, a Spanish-style tapas bar (located in the beautiful Congaree Vista), with culinary influences from all across the Mediterranean. On Saturday morning visit Crepes and Croissants, the most perfect brunch spot (open from 8am – 2pm on Saturdays). Crepes and Croissants offers a wide variety of sweet and savory French crêpes as well as other French specialties for breakfast and lunch. This place will have your taste buds doing back flips.

Moriarty’s Irish Pub, located at 902 Gervais Street, features an extensive Irish whiskey  as well as scotch from all over (representing all regions), 100+ beers from all over the world, 35 wine selections, numerous types of mules (including swedish, mandarin, irish, french etc etc), 25 TVs, a full menu, a pet friendly patio and more! Perfect place to stop in on a Saturday.

Finish out your date day at one of the most romantic restaurants in town – Rosso Trattoria Italia (open 5pm – 9:30pm on Saturday’s). Savor dishes like Shrimp & Polenta (made with sauteed shrimp, house bacon, charred tomatoes, garlic, white-wine herb butter, Congaree Milling Co. Parmesan polenta) or Chicken Parmigiana (made with Coleman farms breaded chicken breast, marinara, fresh mozzarella, Grana Padano, garlic buttered fettuccine).rioz-meat-and-wine-pic

M Kitchen, an Asian fusion restaurant located in Harbison, opens its doors on Sundays at 11:30am which makes it the perfect lunch spot! View their menu here.Their Crab Cakes, Rock Tempura Shrimp or Rose Tuna Tataki are divine, and M Kitchen offers a full bar too.

Lastly, round out your weekend at Rioz Brazilian Steak House and enjoy a delicious authentic Brazilian Churrascaria experience. (hint: save room for this meal…it is very filling!) Click here to see a list of Rioz’s sizzling meats. Can you say AMAZING? Also, be sure to enjoy their After Dinner Martinis like their Milky Way Martini (made with Absolut Vodka, amarula liqueur, Godiva chocolate liqueur, cream) or their Chocolate Covered Strawberry Martini (made with stoli strawberry vodka, Godiva chocolate liqueur, creme de cacao, milk).

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Hangin’ in the Trees

Have you ever stayed in a tree house here in South Carolina? Here are a few that we stumbled upon on Airbnb:

Tree house in the Woods: Located in Bethune, SC (near Camden) this tree house was built from wood milled on site in 1982. It is a 3-story circular house with a center tree to which supporting beams are attached. The original artisan builder filled the house with stained glass windows, stained glass cabinets, and lovely wooden cabinetry. The house is completely private and secluded, but includes wonderful amenities for a peaceful vacation. With two bedrooms; one full bath; one half bath; and a fully stocked kitchen, you can enjoy the woods while having everything you need around you. There are eighteen windows in the upstairs bedroom from which you can see the stars at night. Enjoy the view from the king size bed. There is also a small upper story deck – a great place for reading, having a glass of wine, or listening to tunes which you can play on our old-time record player. They have lots of ‘vinyl’ to choose from! Book here.

Treetop Beech Dreams: Stay in a beautifully designed tree house near Lake Hartwell that graces the branches of an old Beech tree. This tree house is not currently air conditioned, or screened in, so you have the option to upgrade to a room in the house if you prefer. Book here.

Bolt Farm Tree House: an extraordinary tree house hidden in 40 acres of paradise inbolt-farm-tree-house Walhalla, SC! This tree house has an antique hand painted king bed (must see!), fireplace and AC, indoor plumbing, outdoor rope bed, 2-person hammock, outdoor shower, chandeliers, vintage board games, record player, antique furnishings, organic food, Southern hospitality, treetop dining room with ice box, propane grill…and space to breathe! Book here. (This tree house is very popular, so you’ll have to book way in advance)

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Play & Eat!

Do you and your honeybuns love to play games together?  You will be absolutely blown away with Dave and Buster’s  in Columbiana Centre – opening on Monday, February 13th! The Million Dollar Midway (with games valued at $3 million!) offers you games you know and games you don’t!  The Walking Dead, Batman, Star Wars, Guitar Hero, Pac Man (not the original, mind you!) are just a few that will have you playing for hours!  Win amazing prizes too!  They have an entire “prize room” with an incredible array of fun stuff.  They serve adult beverages from a huge bar with a wide selection of beer on tap (including a few local crafts) and a gorgeous cocktail menu! And food? Known for its legendary burgers, Dave & Buster’s offers a gourmet selection of all sorts of appetizers, sandwiches, fresh salads, steaming soups and delicious entrees ranging from ribs to seafood to sandwiches to their wings. Come ready to play and let the games begin! Click here to visit their website.

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SC State Museum Planetarium: Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure — NEW SHOW sea-monsters

This exciting new planetarium experience takes audiences on a remarkable journey into the relatively unexplored world of the “other dinosaurs,” those reptiles that lived beneath the water. Follow a family of Dolichorhynchops, also known informally as “Dollies,” as they traverse ancient waters populated with saber-toothed fish, prehistoric sharks and giant squid. Sea Monsters is narrated by Tony Award-winning actor Liev Schreiber and features an original score by Richard Evans, David Rhodes and Peter Gabriel. Show Run Time: 40 mins. Ticket info here.

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Trivia!

Strengthen your relationship by being a team in all things…including trivia! Here are a few spots around town that are fun to play trivia at:

Moriarty’s Irish Pub: Located at 902 Gervais Street, Moriarty’s has Trivia every Tuesday at 7pm! Enjoy $3 pint night featuring over a dozen craft draft beers! A deal you can’t miss. And guess what? Winner receives $100 CASH PRIZE.

The Casual Pint: Located at 807 Gervais Street, the Casual Pint has Trivia every Wednesday starting at 7pm, plus enjoy $2 chicken tacos!

Cock n’ Bull: Located at 326 S Edisto Ave., Cock n’ Bull has Trivia every Monday at 7pm, featuring $3 pints.

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Happy Couples Garden Together ~ Wingard’s Nursery

Wander through five rooms of garden lifestyle gifts in the Gift Shoppe, enjoy the taste of local farm fresh produce in the Produce Market and take care of your backyard wildlife in their new Wings & Things department ~ all while you enjoy the quiet ambiance of a garden center steeped in history. Be inspired by the lush colors of nature, and find a peaceful spot to enjoy the birds, blossoms, and butterflies. Also, don’t miss their Spring Fling on Saturday, March 11th from 7am – 6pm. If you are there at dawn you can watch the sunrise with them and the first 100 customers to walk through the gates will receive 50% off any ONE regular-priced item on this day only. Click here for more info.

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Visit a Winery! Wine Tasting, Wine making lessons & more.

Visit City Scape Winery, located at 589 Dunklin Bridge Road in Pelzer, South Carolina (about 30 minutes from downtown Greenville) for a wine tasting to remember!

  • Premium Wine Tasting- $12.95
    Most popular! Includes a tasting of 10-12 wines, local cheese plate and souvenir wine glass
  • Regular Wine Tasting – $6.95
    A tasting of 10-12 of our handcrafted wines

Tasting Room Hours:

Thursday: 11am – 6pm
Friday: 11am – 6pm
Saturday: 11am – 6pm
Sunday: 1pm – 5pm

Don’t miss their Valentine’s Chocolate and Wine Pairing Tastings on February 11th and February 12th. This year they are pairing nine of their wines with nine custom made local chocolates. $15 per person. Book here!

U-Vint (Make Wine)? Josh and Deb Jones, owners of City Scape Winery, will pass on their knowledge of making wine to visitors via a process they call U-Vint. This is an opportunity for you to learn the process of making wine by individual, hands-on experience. The process takes 3 or 4 visits over a 4 to 6-week period. You do all the work of starting, racking, stabilizing, and bottling your own wine. And they schedule visits around your schedule. Learn more about U-Vint here.

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Fun with Clothes and Photos

clothes-shopping-together-mdThis is a cheap and really fun date. Head to your shopping center and pick out clothes that you’d like to see your date wear. Get as creative and silly with your choices as you want! Also, don’t forget to snap a picture of them in that Bahamas shirt paired with dress pants for Facebook. Have fun dressing each other up and bring some money with you just in case your lover finds themselves a new style!

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Attend Ruth’s Chris Wine Dinner

Have fun attending Ruth’s Chris Steak House‘s upcoming wine dinner – their Prisoner Wine Dinner – on Thursday, February 23rd at 7pm. $100 per person (plus tax & gratutity)

Known for sourcing varietals from the best vineyards across Napa, Prisoner Wine Company’s wine making team consistently produces unique wine blends that are both prisoner-winescaptivating and approachable.  As part of this special evening, guests will enjoy five wines – The Prisoner, Saldo, Cuttings, Thorn and Blindfold – alongside a beautiful multi-course menu inspired by the flavors California wine country. Call 803.212.6666 to make your reservation! Enjoy their five courses…view them on Foodie News.

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Shop & Stroll at the Soda City Market

Soda City is Columbia’s Main Street market focused on your brain, body and belly! …..and a healthy relationship should definitely focus on improving these three categories right?;) They’re open every Saturday morning 9am – 1pm, year-round, rain or shine! Whether you’re shopping for a one-of-kind gift or picking-up this week’s groceries (to make dinner together!),  you’ll find a refreshing mix of local and regional food and craft vendors.

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Visit the Newberry Opera House!

Enjoy a show with your bae at the Newberry Opera House. Fun times await!

No Sex Please, We’re British: An unassuming couple’s home is suddenly filled with pornographic literature in a farcical misunderstanding. Heavy hors’ douerves included in ticket. Cash bar available. No one age 17 or under admitted. Shows Feb. 10th, 11th, 17th or 18th at 7pm. Buy tickets here.

Dailey & Vincent: The Dailey & Vincent duo has been hailed throughout the music industry as one of the most exciting, reputable and elite Bluegrass bands in America. They have won numerous awards for their uniquely contagious and riveting music, including: three Grammy Award Nominations for the 2014 “Bluegrass Album of the Year;” 14 IBMA Awards (International Bluegrass Music Awards) as three-time “Entertainer of the Year,” three-time “Vocal Group of the Year” and “Album of the Year” and four Dove Awards with three “Bluegrass Album of the Year” awards and “Bluegrass Song of the Year.” Show on February 19, 2017 at 3pm. Buy tickets here.

Puccini’s Turandot: Puccini’s final masterpiece, Turandot is based on the Greek myth “ the riddle of the sphinx.” The story takes place in the ancient “Forbidden City” of Peking. Princess Turandot poses an impossible riddle to any man who wishes to marry her, resulting in many beheadings, to the great horror of all Peking. Finally, a brave Persian Prince solves the riddle and ends this deadly cycle, restoring peace to Peking and winning the heart of Turandot. Show on February 23, 2017 at 7pm.

View ALL of the Newberry Opera House shows here.

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Great Dates Columbia: 21 Ideas!

Liked our last 18 dates – here are 21 more date ideas!

Amore Under the Stars

Take your date to the SC State Museum on Thursday, Feb. 9th, for a creative and fun evening – a planetarium show just for you, a special tour through the museum’s galleries, a look through the telescope, live music, food, beer and wine!  Get tickets here.

Attend a beer & chocolate pairing!


Craft and Draft
located at 2706 Devine St. is being joined by Tina Miles, owner of Bruges Chocolaterie, on Monday, February 13th for a very special beer and chocolate pairing featuring Brewery 85 and Bruges Chocolaterie chocolates. Tina takes pride in hand-painting chocolates and filling them with fresh ganache and caramels (can you say delicious?), using the freshest, locally produced quality ingredients! They are perfect with great craft beers…  First come – first served!  Beers come on tap about 4pm and the chocolates arrive at 6pm – until they’re gone!

  • 864 Hefeweizen – Salted Caramel- It’s clean like the beer yet rich and loud like the description. Typically wheat beers carry a caramel tone and this will pair well with it.
  • Yeoman’s Brown Ale – Dark Chocolate/ Coffee- This will enhance the coffee tones of your beer
  • Howdy Dunkel German-style Dark Wheat Ale –  Almond Amoretto.  (Almonds and Bananas go great together, lovers!)
  • Runner Chocolate Stout & Rum Runner (Barrel-aged in rum barrels)  – White Chocolate Raspberry as suggested by you

Do you are your sweetie both enjoy attending foodie events together? Click here for more!

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Have some fun at Frankie’s Fun Park!

Do you both crave action? The Dark Ride😄 is now at Frankie’s and awaits you and your date! The best interactive shoot-em-up ride you’ve experienced! Rich multi-sensory adventures with cutting edge graphics and visual FX! Spend your next date at Frankie’s Fun Park in Harbison and whether you’re 17 or 71… you’ll have a ball. Challenge each other on the nicest mini-golf course in the Midlands, chase each other around playing laser tag, or satisfy your need for speed on their go-kart tracks. Frankie’s has the latest and greatest Arcade Games too. Come play the new Lost Land Adventure! Have fun and remember what it was like to be a kid again, together! More info here.

And then my soul saw you and it kind of went, “Oh, there you are. I’ve been looking all over for you.”

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Skate Date

When is the last time you have been roller skating with your bae? Head over to Three Fountains Recreation located at 2724 Emanuel Church Rd. Friday – Sunday and let the good times roll. Nothing like a little spooning on skates, plus it is definitely okay if you fall – it offers a chance for your skating-rink-couple-e1348085877304-300x241partner to grab your hand and help you back up! Re-discover the reason you fell in love with each other, on wheels! Their next late night skating session is Friday, Feb. 10th, 2017 from 7:30pm – 1am and admission is just $10, plus there will be fun games and prizes. More information here.

“You are my today and all of my tomorrows.” – Leo Christopher

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Amazin’ Antiquing

Located in the historic Robert Mills District of Columbia, The Red Lion Antique Mall houses 10,000 square feet of furniture, home decor, unique gifts, collectibles, and so much more! Their beautiful space is home to an ever-revolving supply of new arrivals from antique dealers, so you are sure to find something from another time, that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

“Go for someone who is not only proud to have you, but will take every risk just to keep you.”

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“You are the source of my joy, the center of my world and the whole of my heart.”

Instead of just sending ʺherʺ or ʺhimʺ to the spa alone, why not go hand in hand…Beautiful couple enjoying in the back massage.

and find your inner nirvana at a spa like, Urban Nirvana, together!? Performed in a private room with a therapist for each client, couples can share an integrative massage while enjoying each other’s company. Want a quiet, peaceful place to talk and feel relaxed? Go on your first spa date together and walk away refreshed and rejuvenated in your relationship!

“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you are the world.” 
-Bill Wilson

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Up Up and Away in My Beautiful Balloon919876-001

Take a journey to a totally different world as you float gently across the open sky as if you were a majestic bird! Romance fills the air as the sunrise puts on its spectacular show just for you! Or soak up the sun before it slowly sets into the horizon. Embrace the calming silence of the skies above, occasionally broken by a blast from the burner or a spoken word to spectators below as you gently float by.  Just a 2 hour drive from Columbia, SkyScapes in Anderson will take you on a fabulous date you’ll never forget!  Visit their website here.

“You are the last thought in my mind before I drift off to sleep and the first thought when I wake up each morning.”

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Are Reptiles Sexy?
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If you think so, head on over to the Jamil Temple at 206 Jamil Rd. from Feb 4th- Feb 5th and enjoy this festival, together! Reptile vendors offering reptile pets, supplies, feeders, cages, and more. Educational live-animal seminars & frequent free raffles, too! How often do you spend some time learning about reptiles together and have either of you ever owned one? Learn more about each other at this festival and if she says she doesn’t want to hold a snake…she does NOT want to hold a snake! 😉 Who knows you may leave with your first mutual pet…you never know! Open on Saturday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM & Sunday from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM—check it out!

“Love is not about how many days, weeks or months you’ve been together, it’s all about how much you love each other every day.”

Palmetto Armory Shooting Range

Guys, help your ladies with their aim (or vice versa) by spending an hour or two at Shooting Range KissersPalmetto Armory’s shooting range located at 3760 Fernandina Road in Columbia. Open Monday through Saturday, 10am-8pm, and Sunday 1pm-6pm. The range is 25 yards long with 18 lanes. Range fees are $10 per half hour for the first person, and $8 per half hour for the second person sharing a lane. Once you go over 40 minutes, you’re into unlimited time ($20 for the first person and $15 for the second person).  Bring your own firearm (see their website for regulations) or rent handguns and fully automatics on site along with targets, ammo and other supplies. It’ll be a BLAST! More info here.

 “When I look into your eyes I see the mirror of my soul.”

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Let’s make beautiful pottery together!

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Try The Mad Platter located at  3101 Millwood Avenue because they require no reservations – just show up. There is a $6 studio fee for adults ($4 for kids) and then you can choose your piece – they have over 500 pieces of pottery in stock everyday to choose from. Pieces range in price from $3 to $85, plus they have over 80 colors in stock, bursting glazes, writer bottles, specialty glazes, and so much more! You’ll leave your projects with The Mad Platter for glazing and firing and then your items will be ready for pick up in 4-5 days. 

“You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.” – Barbara De Angelis

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Dance – Enhance the Romance!couple_dancing1

So you find yourselves slightly out of sync or stepping on one another’s feet when the music begins…Capital Ballroom Dance Studio can help! Dancing sparks romance and y’all get to choose the dance you want to learn, so why wait until your wedding or your friends’ wedding to learn how to dance together? The dance floor is waiting for you. Capital Ballroom Dance Studio offers dance lessons for couples and appears to be very flexible and fun! Call 803.799.2080 for details and prices! Learn the art of dancing and enhance your love…who knows it may become one of your favorite things to do together in the evening hours, plus learn a new, fun dance!

Don’t know how to shag? Want to learn how to ballroom dance? Seven Oaks Park is your answer. From January – March enjoy Shag lessons every Wednesday from 7-8pm. And guess what the best part is? Only $52 per couple! Call Seven Oaks Park at 803.772.3336 for more information and to register you and your honey. Seven Oaks Park also offers drop-in ball room dancing lessons for only $5 per person from 3-4 pm on Saturdays, so give them a call at 803.772.3336 for more information.  Or contact So You Want to Dance in West Columbia for lessons!

“God is keeping me alive but you are keeping me in love.”

High on love? Go Sky-Diving!come-fly-with-us-at-skydive-taft-550x366

Are you and your sweetheart adrenaline junkies? Fall for each other all over again at Skydive Columbia! With professional instructors to walk you both through this exhilarating adventure, they will be with you the entire skydive and parachute drop back down. The jump would include approximately 60 seconds of free fall from 10,000 to 14,000 feet above South Carolina, followed by a canopy ride that lasts anywhere from 7 to 9 minutes. You can also request to steer the parachute! Love is brave + daring, so what about that skydiving date?

“Walk with me through life…and I’ll have everything I’ll need for the journey.”

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Gorgeous Sunset Views!sheraton

There are places all over Columbia that boast gorgeous views, but you can’t beat the one from the Roof Top Lounge! The Roof Top Lounge, above the Sheraton on 1400 Main Street offers breathtaking views of the center of the financial, entertainment and historic district of Columbia, SC. Enjoy sunset views as you sip Roof Top martinis in the lounge.

“I may not be your first date, kiss or love…but I want to be your last everything.”

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Run for Love

Race for the Place 5k :: Saturday, February 18, 2017 behind St. Joseph Catholic Churchrunning

The race begins at 8AM and the course is flat and fast through Shandon. Costs $30. Kids’ Fun Run begins at 9AM and costs $12. 5k participants receive a race T-shirt and finish line refreshments. Register here.

Lexington’s Race Against Hunger :: Saturday, February 25, 2017 at Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church

5k Fitness Run/Walk  costs $15. The 10k run costs $30. Lastly, the 1 Mile Fun Run  costs $15. Register here.

 “The best feeling is when you look at him…and he is already staring.”

Fresh Air at the Sesqui Trails

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Feeling like you need to get back to the basics with your honey and re-connect? Fresh air, open spaces, hiking or biking at Sesquicentennial State Park could be such a fun date for the couple that loves adventuring together! Pick a nice day, pack a picnic lunch (suggestion: grab one from Little Pigs Barbecue on Alpine Road nearby – open Weds – Sun) and enjoy a morning or afternoon in the great outdoors. Pets are even allowed in most outdoor areas provided they are kept on a leash not longer than six feet, so bring your four legged friend with you too!

Sesquicentennial State Park is located 3 miles northeast of downtown Columbia and offers 1419 acres of fun. With all of the trails open, enjoy a leisurely hand-holding stroll on one of their hiking trails, like Sandhills Hiking Trail that is 2 miles in length and circles 30-acre Centennial Lake. Boardwalks keep your tootsies dry when trails cross over wet areas. Jackson Creek Nature Trail is a short loop trail (just under a half mile) that offers interpretive signage so you can have an educational walk if you get tired of talking about how much you love each other. And you two aren’t the only lovebirds in the forest! They also have a 6.1 mile long mountain bike trail that is sure to have you both breaking a sweat. Bring a pair of binoculars to do some bird watching if you plan on hiking. Listen for the whirring and drilling of pileated woodpeckers and the sweet little calls and chips of songbirds. After your walk, head back to the picnic area near the lake for a relaxing lunch under the pines. Picnic tables and shelters available. Admission is $2 per adult. Visit the Sesquicentennial State Park website for more information and enjoy this date!

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever.” -Alfred Lord Tennyson

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Fish and a Kiss

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Dating is all about spending time together and staying focused on each other. Working as a team – baiting hooks, casting your lines and sharing the excitement of reeling them in – can make for a great date. No matter how many fish you catch, you’ll be catching kisses for sure! We know lots of places you can go to fish, but here’s a favorite: Dreher Island State Park, located on Lake Murray outside Chapin, is home to largemouth bass, stripers, catfish, bream, crappie and yellow perch. You can fish from the shoreline or use one of their 3 boat ramps to launch your vessel.  You’ll need SC Fishing Licenses {SC residents can buy 14-day freshwater licenses for just $5: Info here}. Don’t have your own tackle? No problem.The park offers a Tackle Loan Program with their tackle shop onsite at their little campground store. Pack a picnic lunch to share at a table overlooking the sparkling lake. For information on the park, visit Dreher Island State Park online. Admission is $2 per adult.

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“It is because of you, my angel, that I now understand all of those quotes about love.”

Pitch a Love Tent

It’s time you two connect with your wild side! Reserve a camping spot for the weekend Camping Coupleand set up camp together, as a team. Enjoy campfires, s’mores, lots of stars, warm snuggles and wonderful fireside conversations! Our favorite places within an hour of Columbia:
Aiken State Park  The Edisto River, the longest free-flowing blackwater stream in North America, flows through the park. Cool, refreshing, unprocessed water can be yours from the three artesian wells inside the park. Campsites are on packed sand with water and electrical hookups. Details here.

Lake Wateree State Park The park provides access to 13,800-acre Lake Wateree. The lake is popular for fishing, boating and other water-related activities.  Each site is paved and has individual water and electrical hookups, and picnic table. The campground is convenient to restroom facilities with hot showers. 15 sites are waterfront. Details here.

Dreher Island State Park The park provides access to Lake Murray. The lake is popular for swimming, fishing, boating and other water-related activities. They have 97 paved sites which may be used by both RVs and tents, while 15 sites are for tent campers only. Each site has water and electrical hook-ups and a picnic table. All sites are convenient to hot showers and restrooms. Details here.

Congaree National Park For more experienced campers. Longleaf Campground is a 14-site, primitive campground with porta-johns, fire rings with grills, and picnic tables. Bluff Campground is a 6-site primitive campground, accessible by hiking in. Sites have fire rings and picnic tables. Additionally, you may camp in the wilderness by hiking or paddling in. Wilderness camping is primitive with no facilities. No fires but backpacking stoves or contained cooking units are permitted. Keep your eyes and ears open to see and hear wild pigs and pileated woodpeckers. More info here.

“In this crazy world, full of change and chaos, there is one thing of which I am certain, one thing which does not change: my love for you.”

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Monster Jam

Monster Jam ~ Colonial Life Arena

Do you and your partner get revved up when you hear engines roaring and dirt flying high? Does metal grinding against metal, squeals from shrieking monster cars and trucks and general mayhem float your boat?  Head to the Colonial Life Arena on Friday or Saturday, February 10th and 11th, for Monster Jam! You’ll be entertained by the likes of the Carolina Crusher, War Wizard, Stinger, Fullboar and Master of Disaster! Go here for ticket information!

“I meant it when I said I didn’t believe in love at first sight. It takes time to really, truly fall for someone. Yet I believe in a moment. A moment when you glimpse the truth within someone, and they glimpse the truth within you. In that moment, you don’t belong to yourself any longer, not completely. Part of you belongs to him; part of him belongs to you. After that, you can’t take it back, no matter how much you want to, no matter how hard you try.” – Claudia Gray, A Thousand Pieces of You

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Theatre Time!

Theatre is alive and well in Greater Columbia.  Local theatre companies deliver outstanding performances and it’s nice to sit side by side and be thoroughly entertained, plus you can hold hands the whole time too. Whether your preference is a musical, comedy or drama, there’s a good chance you’ll find it being performed somewhere in town. Some favorites:

Town Theatre is offering  You Can’t Take It With You from Jan. 20 – Feb. 5, Million Dollar Quartet from March 3 – March 19, 2017.

Chapin Theatre Company is performing Messiah on the Frigidaire  from Jan. 27 – 29 and Feb 2-5, 2017. The small town of Elroy, South Carolina is thrust into the evangelical spotlight when what seems to be the image of Jesus appears on a refrigerator in a trailer park . More info here.

Giddy on Up!

YMCA – Lexington, located at 401 YMCA Road, offers weekend trail rides. Enjoy a one-hour guided trail at a walking pace throughout their 160 acre property. No experience is needed; our trained staff will match each horse to individual riders. This is a great activity for groups of children and adults to enjoy.

Ages: 8 and up
Weight Limit: 180lbs
Registration: Reservations can be made Monday – Friday at 803.359.3376 ext. 17.

Cost:
Members: $15
Non-members: $25

Couple with horses

Haven Hill Farms, located on 54 acres of rolling hills, offers horseback rides on Saturdays (occasionally on Sundays!) – perfect for a couple looking for a new way to enjoy the outdoors. Whether you are an experienced rider looking for a challenge, or just want to go for a casual stroll, they have a horse that can provide you with a ride to remember. Haven Hill Farms is located in Batesburg-Leesville, SC {I-20, Exit 39}. Click here for details or call Marlene at 803.920.9575 for more information.

Restoration Ranch in Ridgeway, SC offers a trail ride for $70 a person. Click here for more info and pictures.  Take your cowboy/cowgirl horseback riding and truly celebrate the day upon these gorgeous animals! Be sure to call Lugene at 803.600.4143 for more information and to put it on the calendar.

Dance the Night Awaysalsa

Love to swing your partner, round and round? Want to dance the night away? Here are some of Columbia’s most popular dance floors:

The Woody in the Vista! Come join us the first Thursday of every month for Shag Lessons with John Roberts and Hanna Turk. Doors open at 6pm and lessons start at 7pm for beginner and/or intermediate. Fridays & Saturdays they simply have some of the best dance parties in town! Surprise your sweetie with shag lessons from The Woody!

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The Art Bar

The Skyline Club is a country music club in West Columbia by the airport that has the largest dance floor in the state and features live music every Saturday night! Don’t judge a book by its cover…humble on the outside but inside it’s nice!

The Art Bar, located at 1211 Park Street, is a club with live music & an artsy vibe with a fun dance floor, lounge, full bar, and karaoke. View their list of February events here (and check out their live music schedule)! Open 5pm – 2am Monday – Friday, 8pm – 2am Saturday – Sunday.

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.
-Ray Croft

When it gets dark, feed your need for adventure!camp0

The Congaree National Park is open 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, so why not find yourself in the woods…in the dark, with your lover! Romantic, eh? The park’s trails are always open, so take a night hike/walk with your sweetie under the gorgeous Carolina sky and listen to the sounds of the forest together, as you try to identify all of the different critters you hear. Congaree National Park has over 25 miles of hiking trails and 2.4 miles of boardwalk, so take your time and enjoy one another’s company in the dark on a boardwalk (or trail)! If your lover isn’t a fan of the woods…or the dark, simply hold their hand a little tighter. Want to enjoy back country camping for free? Click here!

Valentine’s Day Dining

Ruth's Chris Steak House

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

924-A Senate Street, Hilton Hotel | 803.212.6666 

Hours: 11am-10:00pm (Open Fri-Sat until 11:00pmruths-chris-dinner-dish1

Looking for a fabulous dining experience in an elegant atmosphere? Ruth’s Chris is THE place to impress your sweetie this Valentine’s Day! Treat yourself to a USDA Prime New York Strip or their signature filet. Known for hospitality and quality, make your reservation today.  803-212-6666.

Heralded as the area’s top steakhouse, Ruth’s Chris offers a variety of delicious steak options, from an 8 oz. petite filet to a 40 oz. porterhouse for two, all served sizzling with a touch of butter. Pair one of these cuts with their new Chilled Seafood Tower appetizer and then indulge in the seductive Chocolate Sin Cake for dessert. Looking for lighter fare? You won’t be disappointed. Try the Harvest Salad, unique with roasted corn and dried cherries followed by the pan roasted Chilean Sea Bass with citrus-coconut butter and a sweet potato and pineapple hash. Complete your dining experience with a vintage-inspired cocktail, a craft beer selection or a glass of wine from their award winning list.  View menu here and enjoy your romantic lunch or dinner out with your honey.

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Rioz: Valentine’s Extended Weekend Celebration

410 Columbiana Dr, Columbia, SC 29212 | 803.708.3151rioz-salad-bar
Take your taste buds on a trip to Brazil this Valentine’s Day weekend! Share an authentic Brazilian Churrascaria dining adventure – based in the flavorful tradition of the Brazilian Gauchos –  with your love at Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse. The unlimited table side service of hand-cut meats and Rioz’ gigantic salad bar provide an unforgettable experience that neither of you will soon forget. From Saturday, Feb. 11th – Tuesday, Feb. 14th enjoy their dinner feast for $37.50, which for these four nights includes a glass of champagne & a complimentary dessert. Enjoy!
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936 Gervais St. | 803.661.7741 

Remember Casanova, the famous 18th-century lover?  It is said that he ate 50 oysters each morning for breakfast to increase his sexual stamina. Too bad that Pearlz isn’t open for breakfast.  BUT… they are open for Valentine’s Day! Turn to Pearlz Oyster Bar for fish, oysters, shrimp and other fresh offerings from the sea. Their menu features a Select Fresh Catch, prepared to your liking with a variety of glazes and sauces and Low country dishes as well. Climb the steps to enjoy live jazz at Pearlz Upstairz Lounge after 7:00pm from Thursday-Saturday if you find yourself there this weekend. Click here to view menu. Click here to view Happy Hour menu.

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Grill Marks

711 Gervais St. | 803.661.8932 grill-marks-burger-with-cheese-and-bacon

On a budget this V-Day? Enjoy a Grill Marks 3-way appetizer (choice of 3 starters), 2 Grill Marks Burgers (choice of lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle – additional toppings are extra), and 1 “Love Boat” (scoop of their house-made ice cream with strawberry and truffle sauce topped with a chocolate covered strawberry) for just $25!  A special meal that will show how thoughtful and financially prudent you are!

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Rosso Trattoria Italia sc-swordfish-city-roots-tuscan-kale-turnips-watermelon-radish-marcona-almonds-salsa-verde

4840 Forest Drive | 803.787.3949

Experience the casual delight of Italian trattoria dining this Valentine’s Day at Rosso. Enjoy locally farmed produce, succulent artisan meats and handmade pastas all hand-prepared over an open top wood-fired grill or in the searing heat of a wood-burning oven. This Valentine’s Rosso will be offering a special, hand crafted menu (see below!) Monday, February 13th and Tuesday, February 14th! Enjoy a three course dinner including a glass of Prosecco for just $110.00 per couple (plus tax and gratuity). Filet Mignon additional $10.00 pp. Here’s the menu:

Starter Course: select one item p.p.
 
Pickled Shrimp with Scallop Mousse
 
Burrata Cheese with with Marinated Olives and Grilled Bread
 
Prosciutto di Parma with Honey Comb, Apples and Parmesan
 
House – Made Italian Wedding Soup
 
Local Bibb Pear Salad 
(vanilla poached pear, figs, roasted cashews, aged cheddar, champagne vinaigrette dressing)
 
Caesar Salad with House – Made Croutons
 
Main Course: select one item p.p.
 
C.A.B. Center Cut Filet Mignon: Add $10.
roasted cippolini, onions, charred broccolini, crispy potatoes, salsa verde
 
Lobster Ravioli
Safron cream sauce, chives
 
Pan Roasted Duck Breast
polenta, grilled Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, cherry mostarda
 
Wood Grilled Salmon
beluga lentils, preserve lemon, frisee, baby carrots, smoked tomato vinaigrette
 
Veal Marsala over Cappelini
mushrooms, pancetta, marsala wine sauce
 
Seasonal Risotto with Fresh Shrimp
 
Shrimp and Feta Cheese Pizza with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
 
Dessert: choose one item p.p.
 
Coppa Spagnola
vanilla and Amarena cherry gelato swirled together with real Amarena Cherries
 
Chocolate Salted Caramel Souffle
 
House – Made Chocolate Pasta with Nutella
mascarpone, raspberries, pistachio crumbles
House – Made Tiramisu

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Swamp Cabbage Brewery: Valentine at the Brewery

Tuesday, February 14 | at Swamp Cabbage Brewery {921 Brookwood Dr.} | 5:30pm – 8pm | $30 per person (drinks not included) | 803.252.0250

Brunch at the Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company is back, Foodies! Kick-off event is February 14th, featuring these five delicious courses:

First course: Smoked Gouda and Bacon Scone “in Love” with Homemade Sausage Gravy, Collard Greens and Fried Egg Julienne (Vegetarian option: Smoked Gouda Scone, White Gravy, Collard Greens and Fried Egg Julienne)

Second course“Duo” of Quiches: Spinach and Feta Cheese Quiche AND Leek and Sundried Tomato Quiche, Petite Salad Vinaigrette Crab Cake.jpg

Third course“Couple” of Cakes: Shrimp Cake and Crab Cake, Old Bay Tomato Aioli, Belgian Waffle Finger, Lemony Celeriac Garnish

Fourth course: Fresh Ground Coffee rubbed Beef Tender and MadagascarVanilla Cream Sauce “on a Date”, Sautéed Baby Carrots and Barley Pilaf (Vegetarian option: same with homemade vegetarian patty)

Dessert course: Dark Belgian Chocolate “Cupid” Pie with Strawberry Coulis

solstice-skillet-baked-kentucky-with-roasted-turkey-breast-gruyere-cheese-mornay-applewood-bacon-etcCellar on Greene, Mr. Friendly’s, & Solstice Kitchen

All three restaurants – Cellar on Greene, Mr. Friendly’s & Solstice Kitchen – will offer savory deals for you and your hot date to enjoy! Stop in anytime Monday, Feb. 13th – Wednesday, Feb. 15th to celebrate with a special menu and tons of great wine features! Stay tuned for menu details, Foodies! Visit Cellar on Greene’s website here. Visit Mr. Friendly’s website here. Visit Solstice Kitchen’s website here.

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Gervais and Vine Entree SpreadGervais & Vine

620-A Gervais Street | 803.799.8463 

Valentine’s Day 2017 is almost here and Gervais & Vine is ready to serve you. They will be open Tuesday, February 14th from 4pm – 10pm to delight your taste buds with their special “Sweetheart” menu. Delight your budget they will have extraordinary wine specials. Menu coming soon. For more information, see their Facebook page.

Tombo Grille Tombo Grille

4517 Forest Dr, Columbia, SC 29206 | 803.782.9665 

Want to enjoy a special Valentine’s Day menu with delectable foods? Known for their creative comfort food, Tombo Grille is a hidden gem in the heart of Forest Acres.  They have a disposition that’s hard to find anywhere else, blending sophisticated style and culinary expertise with a cozy, relaxed atmosphere. Want to avoid traffic downtown and unwind this Valentine’s Day? Their menu has your favorite meals crafted with a twist and made with ingredients that are fresh and regionally-grown. This Valentine’s enjoy all that Tombo Grille has to offer – great service, excellent food, and a cozy, relaxed atmosphere, Foodies.  If you want to celebrate a few days early (or late!), Thursday is a perfect date night with their 3 Course Dinner for two people for $49.  You’ll love it!  See the details on their website here.

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Crepes et Croissants crepes-croissants

1465 Sumter St. | 803.462.4779

This French inspired eatery is open for Valentine’s day from 6:00pm – 9:00pm with a unique 3 course menu for just $35.00 (+tax) per person. Reservation only, email or call.

Liberty on the LakeLiberty on the Lake

1602 Marina Road, Irmo, SC 29063 | 803.667.9715

Love is on the menu at Liberty on the Lake in Irmo. Call and make reservations today if you want to watch the sunset over Lake Murray as you dine with your sweetheart. Enjoy their three course Valentine’s Day Menu for $26.95 per person. See full menu below and let your taste buds enjoy the vacation.  See ad below!

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Twisted Spur Brewing

705 Gervais St. | 803.764.0203 

Enjoy a FOUR course dinner for two, 3 roses and a vase, and a bottle of champagne for just lamb-kofta$149.95. They know not everyone will be able to celebrate on Valentine’s Day, so they will be running this special offer from Friday, February 10th – Tuesday, February 14th. An RSVP is required to take advantage of this amazing offer. Here’s the menu::

First Course:

-Chef’s selection sampler of a dozen oysters (raw or steamed). Served on the half shell with cocktail, horseradish, and mignonette

Second Course:

-Twisted Wedge (Artisan romaine, house made bleu cheese dressing, cherry tomatoes, and crispy applewood smoked lardons, drizzled with balsamic reduction)

OR

-Caesar (fresh romaine, tossed in our house made creamy caesar dressing, topped with sourdough croutons and shared Asiago)

Third Course (choose 1):

-14 oz. Angus Porterhouse, 7 oz. Chilean Seabass, or 2 Quail stuffed with mushrooms and wild rice

All served with Au Gratain potatoes, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, and a 4 oz. Lobster tail

Fourth Course:

Sorbet Duo or Truffle Trio

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East Bay Deli

1426 Main St. | 803.814.2277 east-bay-deli-feb-2017-pic

Enjoy a large FREE cupcake on 2/14/17 at East Bay Deli when you purchase two sandwiches and two fountain drinks at regular price. No substitutions allowed and this offer may not be combined with other offers. Available for dine-in guests only, which is perfect because this would be the perfect lunch spot. Open 7am – 9pm on Valentine’s Day!

Liberty Tap Room

828 Gervais St. | 803.461.4667 Liberty Taproom

Liberty Tap Room offers an upscale casual dining experience with an emphasis on southern specialties and comfort foods. Located in Columbia’s beautiful Congaree Vista district, Liberty Tap Room serves, delicious, traditional American cuisine with a twist. This Valentine’s Weekend hang out downtown at Liberty if you are looking for convenience and a fun liberty-themed atmosphere, as they’ve achieved an impressive reputation for their dishes. Enjoy the below FOUR COURSE Valentine’s Day Menu (available February 10th – February 14th) for just $69.95 per couple.
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Solstice Kitchen Solstice Kitchen

841 Sparkleberry Ln #4, Columbia | 803.788.6966 

Every meal is special at Solstice Kitchen in Northeast Columbia!  The chef is pulling out all the stops to offer an amazing menu for you and your hot date Monday, Feb. 13th – Wednesday, Feb. 15th. Get your reservation now by calling 803.788.6966 (credit card required) or visit them on www.opentable.com.

1465 Sumter St. | 803.462.4779
Start your Valentine’s Day off with a visit to an authentic Parisian cafe! Crêpes & Croissants is a French restaurant and bakery located in the heart of downtown. They will host a special three-course Valentine’s Day dinner from 6-9pm on Tuesday, February 14, 2017. Cost is $35 per person, and reservations are required. Call them or check their Facebook page for more information.
930 Gervais Street | 803.550.9979
Enjoy pairing good drinks with your favorite desserts this Valentine’s Day. The Toll House pie is a favorite, with warm, gooey chocolate-chip cookie goodness in a flaky pie shell! With great portions, the red velvet cake, bourbon pecan pie and bananas foster are other popular choices. You’ll be impressed by their selection of coffee, teas, liquor, beer and specialty dessert drinks. They are also one of the only area spots to serve wine on tap. Enjoy your delectable dining experience at Kaminsky’s and fall more in love with your sweetie and the desserts you try! Click here to view their menu.
807 Gervais St. | 803.931.0700 
SakiTumi, located in Columbia’s historic sakitumi-sushi2Dupree Building, is a fusion-style restaurant offering flavorful food in a casual, upbeat atmosphere — perfect for romancing. A favorite of young, hip locals, SakiTumi has an innovative menu with a mix of exotic international flavors and traditional dishes. Their menu is half fresh sushi and half tasty grill – something for everyone! Enjoy dinner, wine & champagne specials this Valentine’s Day.

Great Dates Columbia: 18 Ideas!

“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” – George Sand

The Final Door ~ Solve the Mystery Together

Do you and your love bunny like a challenge? the-final-door-treasureHave you ever been locked in a room together and have had to figure a way out?  The Final Door is Greater Columbia’s premier escape room game! Spend an intense 60 minutes working together to solve puzzles, find clues and ultimately escape!  A great way to learn a lot about your date when he/she is under pressure!  Call (803) 602-2433 or click here!

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Karaoke KrazeKaraoke couple

Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new and fun together as a couple! Tsubaki Restaurant Karaoke Lounge and Bar is located at 224 O’Neil Court, Columbia and is Columbia’s first dedicated Karaoke bar with late night Japanese cuisine and an original menu, plus it’s the perfect place to hit some notes. You don’t have to be a proclaimed singer to go and enjoy karaoke with your sweetie – just go and have fun. Drinks, food, and singing! What more could one want for date night? Shy about singing in front of others? Call 803.736.7474 to make a reservation for one of their private Karaoke rooms, small, medium, and large, each holding up to 8 / 12 / 20 people respectively.  Each room is rented out by the hour and is great for couples looking to have a fun time. Their songs range from Oldies to New, and in different languages including English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Tagalog, and a little Vietnamese! Here are a few suggested romantic tunes for your Karaoke date: Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (Elton John); For Once in My Life (Stevie Wonder); He’s So Fine (The Chiffons)!

Go Geocaching.go-geocaching

This creative little treasure hunt is sure to impress your date as you hunt the Greater Columbia area for tiny treasures that have had their coordinates published online. Be sure to bring a flashlight if you plan on geocaching in the dark (so much fun!) and your phone with a GPS system. Click here for more information. There are 2976 geocaches near West Columbia – the hunt is on.

“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” – Audrey Hepburn

southern-bedding

When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

Walk Shelter Dogs

Have a soft spot for our furry friends? Why not do some good for homeless critters at area pet shelters? Many shelters need help with exercising animals or helping animals get used to a leash. Dogs need brushing, sunshine and attention.  Many shelter animals need to get used to socializing while they await permanent homes.  What a great way to spend some quality time getting to know each other!  Here are a few places to contact:

The Animal Mission: more here

Animal Protection League of SC: info

Pets Inc: click

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Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. – Lao Tzu

Bowl Em Over!

Cosmic Bowling at Royal Z

Do you want to surprise your cutie-pie with a groovy date? Take them bowling…in the dark, with disco balls and music! Pull an all nighter and bowl from 9:30 PM – 1:00 AM Friday or Saturday at Anchor Lanes (unlimited number of games for just $15.95 per person. Northeast Columbia’s Royal Z’s Moonlight Glow Bowling is your Cosmic Bowling experience in Columbia.  Laser Lights, Disco Lights, Black Lights, and Runway Lights. Haze machines pumping out fog. LOUD heart pounding music. Bowling lanes even glow in the dark during our Glow Bowling Events!

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. – Ann Landers

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“If my life was a ship, you would be the anchor that holds me in place and the sails which take me on a beautiful journey. I love you.”

Open Mic Night

Head out to a local coffee shop and attend an open mike night – Drip, Art Bar, and Ms. Scotto’s are some of the ones that open their stage for amateurs. This is a great way to discover new music you both love or for either of you to showcase your talents! With your beau right beside you, you can’t mess up!

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“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.” – Bruce Lee

Walk Through History Historic Columbia's Tours

Take a tour of one or more of Historic Columbia’s 4 historic houses! Visualize you’re both in the 19th century in this blast from the past. House tours, Garden tours,  or group tours – they have it all. Or on the second Sunday of each month, join in for a guided walking tour of a different neighborhood in Columbia. Visit the Historic Columbia Foundation’s website here for more information and enjoy your walk into the past.
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“I love you like a fat kid loves cake.” – Scott Adams

Explore Columbia

Explore Columbia together like it’s your first time ever seeing the city! Visit all of the landmarks, parks, and touristy places you’ve never had the chance to see since you – you know – live here. Some great places to start off at are the State House, Busted Plug Plaza, the Riverwalk, and Finlay Park.

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“Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. Deal with it.” – George Carlin

Columbia Brew Bus ~ Spirits + Wine Tour

You and your honey-bun will have an absolute ball when you take yourselves for a ride on the Columbia Brew Bus! Already taken the breweries tour?  Here’s their newest offering – columbia-brew-bus1the Wine + Spirits tour lets its guests learn about wine and liquor making in the downtown Columbia vicinity.  You’ll stop in at Copper Horse Distilling, Crouch Distilling and The Vino Garage.  You’ll sample 3 liquors at each distillery and 4 wines at The Vino Garage.  Tours with master distillers and Q&A sessions.  Every other Saturday from 2:30pm – 6pm.  Reservations:(757) 871-8150. More info here.

“Love thy neighbor — and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier.” – Mae West

Poodle Skirts & Pony Tails

Poodle Skirt

Put your date into the “way-back machine”…like back to the 1950s! Have your own dress-up party (poodle skirt and pony tail for her and button-down and Brylcreem for him – “a little dab’ll do ya”). Then head to Denny’s Diner on Harbison Boulevard for burgers and a shake to share (2 straws). After Denny’s, drive to Scratch n’ Spins Records located in the heart of West Columbia. Find great prices on used CDs, VHS tapes, cassettes, laserdiscs, 12ʺ singles, 45s, and LPs. Pick out a few oldies together. Want to go even farther back…like the 1920s? Visit the Empire Supper Club in your proper attire and enjoy their entertainment. Click here to view their weekly entertainment schedule from jazz music to special foods served on “Foreign Fridays.” Have fun doing something different – you don’t have to wait for a costume party to dress up!

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“I love you no matter what you do, but do you have to do so much of it?” – Jean Illsley Clarke

Free Concerts

USC Performing at Koger

What is better than a romantic date centered around a musical performance that is FREE? Not much. We in Columbia are so fortunate to have the USC School of Music with local and guest talent performing in its lovely recital hall and the elegant Koger Center… take advantage of this and plan to attend. This weekend brings these FREE concerts: Feb. 11th –Palmetto Concert Band,Blythewood High School Wind Symphony  Feb. 12th – Clinic Bands. More info here!

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“Reasons to date me: I laugh at my own jokes so you don’t have to.” – Amit Verma

Volunteer Vibes

Cute kid

There are so many places in and around Columbia where your time serving would not go to waste and where you could deepen your love for one another as you selflessly serve, alongside your best friend. Enjoy helping the Nehemiah Project volunteers put on events for the less fortunate, or have fun working together as dinner cooks at the Columbia Family Shelter once a week, or assist in inspecting, sorting, and boxing the donated food that comes in through community food drives at either Harvest Hope Food Bank or Sharing God’s Love. There are so many opportunities, so simply enjoy learning more of their heart and be blessed as you work together as a team to make this city and surrounding areas a better one, with a much brighter future.

Laurel Crest Ad

“My philosophy of dating is to just fart right away.” – Jenny McCarthy

A Perfect Sunset

Sunset on Lake

Central South Carolina in known for its beautiful sunrises and sunsets, but how often do you and your love take the time to admire one? The Lake Murray Dam features a great paved path to walk and the perfect place to watch the sun sink below the horizon at sunset –  admire the gorgeous pinks, yellows, peaches and tangerines of the sky reflecting in the sparkling lake waters. Perfect time to do a little dreaming together too. Or grab a bite to eat at Liberty on the Lake as the sun sinks and glimmers along the waters of Lake Murray.

“I don’t need to add sugar in my coffee because your kisses are all the sweetness I need in my life. xoxo”

newstart-discoverromance2016

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. – Mother Teresa

Garden of Delight

Riverbanks Botanical Garden has flowers throughout, but in the winter the majority of their color comes from thousands of different pansies and winter vegetables like mustards, cabbages, and kales. Almost every garden space in the Botanical Garden has something blooming right now. The Winter zoogardenGarden and Midnight Garden also boast the sweet fragrance of winter honeysuckle. Edgeworthia, the Paper Bush,  has white and yellow blooms that smell amazingly sweet in the Hot Border and Midnight Garden. The main annual bed plantings boast a stark contrast between white pansies and dark purple kales.  Right outside the Visitors Center, there is a plethora of Hellebores, or Lenten Roses, blooming in shades of white, pink and purple.  While the Botanical Garden is still a few weeks off from their bulbs beginning to bloom, there is plenty to see throughout the Garden. During this time, there are many plants with very interesting shapes and textures that are more visible during this slower time of growth.

The South Carolina Botanical Garden at Clemson University is another great place to explore natural gardens, nature trails and natural landscapes and streams. With over 295 acres, the Garden is home to a 70-acre Arboretum, butterfly garden, wildflower meadow and many other specialty gardens. Over 300 varieties of camellias, hollies, hydrangeas, magnolias and native plants can be found in the Garden as well. Open every day, dusk to dawn. Free of charge.

“There are only two times that I want to be with you – Now and Forever.”

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Let Your Love Take Flight!helicopter-austin-tour

Helicopters Above Columbia offers tours that range anywhere from 15 minutes up to 2 full hours! You and your love have the option of either flying above the city of Columbia, or flying off to see a nearby city or other area.  To get information on the current helicopter tours available, visit website.  West Columbia Helicopter Services offers tours and rides just for you and your sweetheart! Offering a wide variety of helicopter tours in South Carolina, see the Palmetto State beautifully from a completely new angle! Tours show you the best South Carolina sightseeing locations from above, over breathtaking South Carolina state parks and tourist attractions! Pilots are experienced helicopter tour guides who fly in safe, modern helicopters and staff is knowledgeable and helpful. Visit their website here.

“I asked for a tulip, I got a garden, I asked for a drop, I got the sea, I asked for love and you were sent to me!”

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Nice Day? Discover Outside Art!tunnelvision-jpg-2mb

Columbia has a large number of interesting outdoor art pieces, and wouldn’t it be fun to ride around and see them on a nice day?  Get out of the car, take selfies in front of each and you’ll have memories to cherish!

1. Tunnel Vision by Blue Sky: Don’t try and drive through it! Amazingly realistic tunnel entrance painted on the backside of an office building.  1550 Marion St. on the rear of the building facing Taylor St.

2. Busted Plug by Blue Sky: At almost 40 feet tall and five tons, this awesome structure pays homage to Blue Sky’s father who was a firefighter.  Right now it is located at 1400 Taylor St., but plans are in the works to move it to another location.

3. Hootie and the Blowfish Monument: an abstract metal sculpture that almost forms a gazebo.  Musical staffs rise from the cement, and curve about, reminding one of how music flows through the air.  A huge guitar pick is imbedded in the sidewalk with the various achievements of the hometown band emblazoned thereon. Santee Ave. at Harden St.

4. Neverbust Chain by Blue Sky: Look up! A huge 25 foot chain links buildings in downtown Columbia. 1500 Main St.

5. Apollo Cascade: The brick-paved Boyd Plaza in front of the Columbia Museum of Art includes outdoor sculpture by works by Henry Moore and Robert Carroll’s fountain sculpture Apollo Cascade. 1515 Main St.

6. Sculpture on the South Carolina State House grounds: Besides being in one of the prettiest gardens in the city, the State House grounds is home to the African American History Monument by Ed Dwight, the Strom Thurmond statue, the equestrian statue of General Wade Hampton, a bronze life-size statue of George Washington and a beautiful bronze palmetto tree. 1100 Gervais St.

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“My life’s biggest security is not just in loving you, but in knowing that you will always be there to love me back no matter what. I love you baby.”

Stay-cation Baby!champagne-chocolate

For the ultimate romantic “getaway” weekend, check in at any of Columbia’s fabulous hotels and enjoy luxurious amenities tailored just for you and your sweetheart. Sometimes a stay-cation is just what you need.

The Inn at USC offers a stay for one or two nights in one of their opulent guestrooms or spacious suites, where upon arrival, you may find a chilled bottle of Champagne, chocolate covered strawberries or hot bubble bath. Your romantic getaway will include pillow-top bedding, free wireless high-speed Internet access and premium cable TV…also every morning,  go down to the Palmetto Room for a complimentary made-to-order breakfast.

The Hilton City Center offers an Enchanted Evening Package for the perfect getaway for two. Call today and reserve a customized package, tailored to you and your love’s wishes. For more info, visit their website.
Treat your loved one to an evening of luxury and romance at the Columbia Marriott!  Enjoy a night to remember with unparalleled service and elegant surroundings, that feature deluxe guestrooms and superior guest service, champagne, chocolates and breakfast for two. Staybridge Suites Columbia offers a Romantic Escape Package perfect for anniversaries, honeymoons, or just a special occasion! Upon arrival a bottle of chilled champagne and gourmet chocolates will await you in one of their luxurious suites. The friendly staff will assist you in making reservations for a romantic dinner for two at one of the many local restaurants in the nearby historic downtown Columbia area. Look forward to a full hot complimentary breakfast buffet in the morning, complete with Wolfgang Puck coffee!

The Hampton Inn Historic District Hotel on Gervais Street offers spacious rooms, rose petal baths, mouth-watering chocolates including gourmet chocolate-covered strawberries, and a bottle of sparkling champagne. And if that’s not enough, you and your lover can enjoy a waterfall Jacuzzi surrounded by romantic mood lighting! Deluxe breakfast available in the lobby the next morning.

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Double Date Game Night!games

Call over your friends and make it a double date night! Whip out your favorite board games and let the fun begin! Classics like Monopoly, Clue and Scrabble will get you started, and for close contact gaming, try Twister, where the challenge is to put your hands and feet at different places on the mat without falling over. The last player standing wins! Want to play some new, fun games? Try the board game Ticket to Ride (I’ve found that the Europe version is better than the original because the Europe version has train stations included & has incentives to collect wild cards, plus the cities are trickier to pronounce in this version and you really learn the geography of other countries better!) or if you want a group game in which everyone is working on the same team try Pandemic. Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out in this Pandemic Game. Board games, card games, or movement games like Twister are all fun, so invite your friends over and have fun!

“The English dictionary is incomplete because it doesn’t have a word which can describe how much I love you.”

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Cuteness at Crepes and Croissants

Head to Crepes and Croissants on Sumter Street and snuggle up at a table with your honey, a fresh pastry and your favorite latte. They serve Starbuck’s Frappuccino Mocha or Vanilla and they have lots of dessert crepes, as well as a variety of coffee treats. It is time to get cozy. This would be such a fun breakfast date! Opens at 7AM Mon – Fri, 8AM on Saturday, and 10AM on Sunday.