Five Great Dates :: August 2018

Learn to Throw Pottery

The Art Smart Academy in Irmo offers a date night once in a while that allows couples to make beautiful (or functional) art together. The next one is on August 17th and for $55 you can enjoy learning how to use a pottery wheel 4 hands one potand make yourself a little pot or two.  Work as a team as one of you works the wheel and the other adds water and encouragement. This is a fun way to explore an art form together and grow an appreciation for handmade pottery.  Click here to watch a recent couples class on Facebook.  Click here to go to the Art Smart Academy and register. (scroll down to Pottery Wheel Date Night)

Go Bicycling at Saluda Shoals

Men’s and women’s Cruiser bicycles are available for rent at Saluda Shoals Park from 9:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. everyday.  Take a nice day in August (chance of rain is down to 30% come Wednesday!) and head to this gorgeous park Couple on bikes (kiss).jpegalong the eastern side of the Saluda River.  Paved trails lead alongside the river as well as into other scenic areas of the park. Benches to rest and enjoy the peacefulness of this really lovely park.  Bicycle rentals include all necessary equipment.

  • 1-hour rental: $5
  • Half Day (4 hours): $15
  • Full Day (9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.): $25
  • Daily parking fees apply

Click here to learn more!

Stay a Night at Kilburnie: The Inn at Craig Farm

Looking for a romantic getaway that’s nearby? Kilburnie is a most welcoming and relaxing Bed and Breakfast Inn Kilburnie-and-Craig-House-2008-189with the aura of a small boutique hotel and is located just 70 miles from Columbia. Come and experience true hospitality in the quiet and graceful comfort of this beautifully restored antebellum country home near Lancaster, SC.  Kilburnie has all modern amenities one may expect in first class accommodations;

  • Inviting large elegant bedrooms, all with fire side seating
  • Spacious and bright private bathrooms.

  • Latest hydro-therapy whirlpools.

  • Bose Wave Radios in all rooms.

  • High speed wireless internet throughout.

  • Fully vented gas log fireplaces.

Rates from $169 per night. Visit their website here.

Saturday Morning at the State Farmers Market

Start your weekend off enjoying a Breakfast Date at The Market Restaurant, located in a building near the entrance to the Market off US Hwy. 321. French toast with blueberriesEverything on their menu is made from scratch in-house, daily. Take a look at their breakfast menu here.  After your meal, drive back to the open sheds of the SC Farmers Market and admire the truckloads of fresh produce and pick out fruits and veggies that you can use for tonight’s meal! You’ll love talking to the local farmers, learning about different types of produce and how to select the best.

Veuve Clicquot Champagne Dinner | Ruth’s Chris

Tuesday, August 21 | 924-A Senate Street | 803-212-6666

This special dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House will provide guests with a fun opportunity to explore the versatility of champagnes, from the world class champagne house of Veuve Clicquot! Learn the history of Madame Clicquot, the Grande Dame of Champagne Flutes.jpegbubbly, and enjoy a perfectly paired champagne tasting experience alongside a five course culinary journey. Dishes include a variety of exceptional dishes, like Fried Oyster Po’Boy, Sea Bass & Shrimp Stew, Tenderloin Tartar, Petite Filet with Herbed Truffle Crust, and Lemon Curd Napoleon. Make your reservation now and celebrate the best of Veuve Clicquot. More here.

 

Five Great Dates for June 2018

Go Berry Picking!

majk-m-661-unsplashIt’s blueberry season at last, and time to get pickin’! You and your sweet one will love gathering  blueberries at select local U-Pick farms in Columbia, like Southern Blues Blueberry Farm and Double A Farms. As delicious as these indigo-colored gems can be from the store, they’re even better when picked fresh from a local grower! 

If the two of you love being outdoors, check out the SC Dept. of Agriculture’s information site! There you will find lists of agricultural services like where to buy Certified South Carolina Grown, where to Buy Local, State Farmers Markets, and more on their Agritourism Program, which promotes agriculture-based tourism throughout South Carolina. More here.

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Have a Drink, Pet Some Cats

Hanging out at Catitude Cat Cafe is the Purr-fect way for you and your S.O. to spend the day together! Catitude, Columbia’s very first feline cafe, features coffee, wine and beer in addition to some of the cutest fur babies you’ve ever seen – and they’re all available to adopt! You’ll have a great time, and perhaps even be Purr-suaded to take one home with you! More here.

118 State St | 803-638-4669

 

Recharge and Refuel at “The Lube”

Couple in bowling alley holding ball and smilingQuaker Steak & Lube is a motor-themed restaurant that includes everything you need for an enjoyable date – premium eats, including some of the finest wings around, delightful beverages like Leaded Lube-n-ade and Lube-A-Ritas, and plenty of fun and games! Challenge each other to a game of Cosmic Bowling, try out the latest arcade games, or enjoy live entertainment during Happy Hour on the Patio! More here.

2154 South Beltline Blvd. | 803-908-4905

Art for Sweethearts

Occupation of artistPainting With A Twist periodically offers Couples’ Art classes, where you and your Boo will have a great time creating, as you discover your inner artists! Adults aged 21 and up can make a reservation for one of their classes, bring their favorite beverage to sip, and paint along with an art instructor who will guide you through the project step-by-step. By the end of the evening, you’ll each have your own piece of artwork to take home as a souvenir of your great date! More here.

275 Harbison Blvd., Suite R | 803-661-9711

Witness a Natural Phenomenon Together!

jan-niclas-aberle-415878-unsplashIt’s Purple Martin season at Lake Murray! Let Zach Steinhauser, Wildlife Specialist at Wingard’s Market, take you out on Lake Murray to view these fascinating birds. From late June to late August, hundreds of thousands of these small birds make their way to roost on Bomb Island. Enjoy a relaxing cruise and see them up close!

Wingard’s Purple Martin Pontoon Boat Tours | Tour Dates: June 18 through August 31, 2018 | Jake’s Landing, 220 Jakes Landing Rd, Lexington | 803-359-9091

More information here.

More Great Dates!


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Roam the Grounds at Old McCaskill’s Farm

Take a trip to Old McCaskill’s and see firsthand what life is like on the farm! Take in the fresh air, visit with the goats, cows, horse, pigs, chickens and dogs that call this place home, then get her a gift from the Farm Store! If you go on a Friday, the two of you can enjoy Lunch on the Farm, a delicious, homemade, farm-to-table meal that starts at 11:30am. More here.

 

Make Some Memories on Lake Murray!

Take your special someone for a tour on the Spirit of Lake Murray, and let Cupid be your Couple on romantic date at sea restaurantCaptain! Lake Murray’s only dinner cruise yacht includes an on-board bar, climate-controlled cabins, outdoor observation decks, and large windows offering panoramic views of the sparkling waters. Book here.



Change neon sign.jpgMaking a Difference…Together

Volunteering together and making a difference in our community can be a memorable experience that you’ll both feel great about! Here are some ways to help: Serve hungry people at Harvest Hope Food Bank’s Emergency Food Pantries; volunteer to help run the concession stand at Colonial Life Arena during the USC Gamecocks Basketball Season; give your time at a local animal shelter, like PETSinc in West Columbia, and help with everything from walking dogs, to keeping the grounds beautiful, to socializing the cats and dogs in the shelter. More here.

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Strolling arm in arm with your beloved on a beautiful day…the Midlands are full of scenic trails and beautiful parks in which to do just that. The Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park is a favorite path for casual walks, with its easy, paved trail and views of the river’s natural beauty, and benches to stop and take it all in. Saluda Shoals Park, on the Saluda River, provides a relaxing set of paved and unpaved walkways through wooded areas, for a more remote feeling. In downtown Lexington, Virginia Hylton Park provides a shady walking path with charming covered gazebos, picnic tables, koi pond, and flower gardens.


Go on a picnic!

Pack a blanket and commune with nature at one of these great picnic spots: Sesquicentennial State Park, known to locals as “Sesqui,” is a natural getaway amongst pine trees and nature trails. The park features several hiking trails and a lake that’s the perfect backdrop for outdoor dining, as well as picnic shelters. Dreher Island State Park is home to a variety of wildlife and wildflowers around Lake Murray. The park is made up of three islands linked to the mainland. Picnic tables and shelters are available. Community Park of Irmo: Home of the famous Okra Strut Festival, this park features an amphitheater, picnic shelters with BBQ grills, walking trails and more. The park’s tall trees provide lots of shade, and make for a comfortable picnicking area.


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Pearlz Upstairz Lounge, located in the beautiful Congaree Vista, is a unique space that features live jazz and blues music from local and regional artists. Jazz bar serves popular hand crafted cocktails at its full service bar, and offers a carefully selected beer list. CMA Jazz on Main is a popular music program that offers a series of great jazz performances under the artistic direction of band leader Noel Freidline. Tickets are required. Since 2009, Chayz Lounge has hosted jazz and blues performers in a warm, relaxed atmosphere, at Nonnah’s in the Vista. You can even indulge in Nonnah’s delicious desserts before, during or after the show! Reservations are recommended.

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10 Fresh Dating Ideas in Columbia SC

 Zapp RideShare

zEnjoy a beautiful Capital City day aboard a scooter! Stop by any of the 30 Zapp RideShare pick up and drop off locations for a fun adventure around downtown Columbia. You and your love can ride alongside each other through Main Street, Five Points, and the University of South Carolina campus. Just download the Zapp app onto your smartphone, stop by any of the bright green flags to pick up your electric cycle, and start the fun! More here.

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Beltline Lanes and Gaming

bbbbbWith 16 separate bowling lanes, Beltline Lanes and Gaming is a clean and modern place to spend a date night out. Along with bowling, you and your sweetie can enjoy their game room filled with virtual reality simulators, arcade games, and an open bar. Beltline Lanes is only $4.50 per game after 5:00pm and on weekends, so this date night won’t break the bank. More here.

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SC Pedal Parlor

scpppppWant to get creative for your next couples night out? Grab a group of friends and your significant other and pedal your way through a Columbia bar crawl. The South Carolina Pedal Parlor is a fully man-powered bike with room for up to 16 of your closest friends to stop and enjoy drinks at 5 of Columbia’s top rated bars. Get fun exercise while enjoying friends and refreshing drinks. More here.

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The Final Door Escape Room

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Are you and your love interested in something more than romance on your next date night? Maybe a suspenseful game to test your survival skills? The Final Door Escape Room, just across the Blossom Street bridge in Cayce, offers three unique rooms to satisfy your thriller crave to escape from vampires, kidnappers, and killers— all made up and for fun, of course! Snatch up an adventurous couple of friends and make it a double date, most rooms can hold a maximum of 4 players. More here.

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Scuba Diving

nik-macmillan-397515On a warm spring or summer day, hop in the water and learn how to scuba dive with someone you love. Choose to start out in a pool or a larger body of water to experience swimming like a marine animal. Discover Columbia Scuba provides its swimmers with the knowledge of how to breathe underwater with their top of the line scuba gear. This is definitely a fun and one-of-a-kind date with your sweetheart. More here.

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Sunset Sailing

patrick-konig-459367Are you and your sweetie celebrating something significant this spring or summer? Maybe it’s time to splurge a little on a date? Grab a bottle of wine, some snacks, and head out on a 2-hour sunset cruise. Leaving out of the Southshore Marina, expect to enjoy a relaxing cruise on Lake Murray starting 2 hours before sunset and arriving back 30 minutes afterwards. Your captain will take care of all the driving so you and your loved one can relish in the beautiful sights and sounds of Lake Murray. More here.

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Riverbanks Zoo Zipline

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Hang out in the trees over hundreds of animals. Zip the Zoo and ZOOm the River provide its adventurous gliders with 7 treetop zips, a wobbly bridge, climb your way through 2 cargo nets, and finish your ride with a 1,000-foot glide over the Saluda River. You and your loved one can enjoy the fun sounds of the zoo animals and the beautiful views along the river. After your zip lining tour walk around the zoo attractions, admission is included in your ticket! More here.

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Bird Watching

SparrowThe sounds of nature have a miraculous way of relaxing us, so this time relax in nature with the person you love. Every 2nd Sunday of January, February, and March a naturalist from the Audubon Society will take you on a free stroll through the Congaree National Park to seek out the sights and sounds of local birds. Each hike is around an hour and a half but the views you will see last much longer than that! Grab your sweetheart’s hand and open your eyes to the lovely birds and nature along the Congaree National Park. More here.

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Go Fish at Lake Wateree

Fishing

Get out and enjoy the great outdoors with your S.O.! A memorable day of freshwater fishing at beautiful Lake Wateree is a great way to have fun in the sun, whether you’re an experienced angler or a rookie. A valid SC fishing license is required, but that’s all – through the SC Dept. of Natural Resources’ Tackle Loaner Program, you’ll have access to you everything you need to catch yourselves a romantic dinner for two! More here.

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Artillery Tavern Weekend: History in Camden

Ladies – having a tough time getting your beloved out of the house? Take him to Artillery Red Coats.jpgTavern Weekend in the scenic city of Camden, happening Friday, Feb. 23 – Saturday, Feb. 24! This explosive celebration of American history will feature two days of fun activities and hands-on experiences, including 18th century firearm drills, and the unveiling and firing of a Revolutionary War-era Grasshopper cannon! An adult “Artillery Tavern Night” will be held at McCaa’s Tavern on Friday, where you’ll enjoy food, drinks and music amongst the beautiful rooms and grounds of this centuries-old home. More here.

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More Great Dates, Columbia!

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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).

 

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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 9 – February 17, 2018 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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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.

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)

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 17th from 8:30am – 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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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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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

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!

“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

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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!

 

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

Volunteer Vibes

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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.

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“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”

 

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.”

 

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.