10 More Great Dates!

See a Classic Musical! “Cabaret” at Koger Center for the Arts
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
The two of you will love hearing memorable songs and watching the cast perform this Tony-winning dramatic musical, set in Berlin in the 1930s. Cabaret is a classic production that any fan of musical theatre is sure to love! The story revolves around the Kit Kat Klub and its Emcee, Sally Bowles. It’s all about following your heart while the world loses its way. More here.


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.
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downloadCalling all Married Couples – Win Big at “Bob Eubanks and The Not So Newlywed Game”!
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Eubanks, the charismatic host of the classic Newlywed Game show, takes to the stage at the Sumter Opera House to share stories and award great grand prizes! Eight married couples will be chosen at random from the audience to play in “The Not So Newlywed Game”, answer funny questions and test how well they know each other! Tickets 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. It’s the perfect place for couples to enjoy a spring night out on the lake, great food and live music! Valentine’s Day Cruise is sold out but there are still tickets available for the Sweetheart’s Dinner Cruise on Saturday, Feb. 16th! Addtional upcoming cruises include a St. Pat’s Sunset Dulcimer Dinner Cruise (March 16), where you’ll enjoy a classic Irish meal during sunset and music from “The Dulcimer Guy”! Sightseeing Saturday (March 24) is a lunch cruise with a full, fresh meal provided as you see all the beautiful sights that Lake Murray has to offer. The Easter Sunday Brunch cruise (April 1) is a great way to spend Easter Sunday, and features a full brunch menu. When you’re done cruising, you can enjoy live music on Lake Murray Deli’s Covered Lakeside Patio, during the Sunday Brunch & Concert Series along the water’s edge. The Easter Sunset Dinner (April 1) gives you a great way to spend quality time this Easter with your one and only, sailing against a perfect natural backdrop for photos and fellowship, and featuring a full dinner. Book here.


Bring your Beloved for a Bite with the Blowfish!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

You and your baseball-loving partner will have a blast at this special Valentine’s Day Lunch with the Lexington County Blowfish Baseball players! From 12 – 1pm, enjoy a complimentary lunch and for dessert, sample the ballpark’s newest item for 2018 – Dippin’ Dots! Lunch will be held at The Stadium Club, in the Lexington County Baseball Stadium. To RSVP, call Blowfish on Main at 803-254-3474.More here.

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Go Wild Together! Free Fridays at Riverbanks

Romance at Riverbanks! Strolling hand in hand, you’ll both marvel at this home to more than 2,000 animals, and at the lush, scenic botanical gardens. Make a day of it! Go on a Friday during the month of February, and receive free admission to the park!* More here.

*(For residents of Richland and Lexington counties. Valid driver’s license, property tax statement or vehicle registration as proof of residency required).

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.

Quiet WalksCouple walking across lawn.jpg

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.

Discover Jazz TogetherSax Player

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.

Valentine’s Dining

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

924-A Senate Street, at the Hilton Hotel | 803-212-6666


Impress your one and only this Valentine’s Day with dinner for two at Ruth’s Chris! Your sweetie will love the romantic setting, as well as Ruth’s newest menu, which features exciting, seasonally inspired dishes like Acorn Squash Bisque, Barbecued Shrimp & Grits and Seared Ahi Tuna in addition to Ruth’s classic dishes and sizzling steaks. Your choice of appetizer, entree and side, with a featured dessert all starts at only $44.95. Pair the perfect bottle of wine with your meal and you’re set for an unforgettable dining experience! More here.

Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse

Sunday, Feb. 11 – Wednesday, Feb. 14 | 410 Columbiana Drive | 803-708-3151

Rioz Cola Valentines Day
Take your date AND your taste buds on a trip to Brazil! Rioz’ Gauchos will bring an unending assortment of hand-cut meats to your table, as you help yourself to the best salad bar in town! Make a reservation NOW for their Valentine’s Extended Weekend Celebration, where from Sunday – Wednesday, your dinner feast is only $29.95, and includes a glass of champagne to toast your love! More here.

Pearlz Oyster Bar

936 Gervais Street | 803-661-7741

Heart shape shrimpsWhat could be better than Pearlz for a special occasion? Pearlz’ menu features an incredible mix of local seafood, Lowcountry recipes and regional favorites. Their a raw bar offers a variety of oysters and fresh seasonal shellfish, so you’re sure to find something you love! You’ll have a blast dining in the restaurant’s eclectic, lively atmosphere while enjoying hand-crafted cocktails and choice brews from their full service bar. More here.

Liberty Tap Room Vista

828 Gervais Street | 803-461-4677

(200) Liberty Tap Room Vista Valentine's Day Dinner (1)

Liberty Tap Room has got your Valentine’s Day plans covered! Make a reservation now for the two of you to attend their 3-course Valentine’s Day Dinner, and enjoy a special menu of exquisite meal choices like Lobster Alfredo or Dry Rubbed NY Strip, complete with decadent desserts and a complimentary champagne toast! More here.

Liberty at the Lake

1602 Marina Road, Suite D | 803-667-9715

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Love is on the menu at Liberty! There’s no better way to celebrate this Valentine’s Day than with a wonderful meal in a romantic setting, looking out on the sparkling waters of Lake Murray. You’re sure to enjoy Liberty’s special Valentine’s Day menu selections, or choose items from their regular menu and pair with one of Liberty’s wines, craft beers or some sangria! More here.

East Bay Deli

Two locations: 1426 Main Street | 108 Sunset Court


Sweets, for your sweetheart! Take your Valentine out to East Bay Deli on Valentine’s Day and get a FREE slice of your cake of choice with the purchase of two sandwiches and two fountain drinks! This New York-style deli with a southern flair offers traditional deli favorites as well as a variety of salads, healthy sandwiches and wraps. They always have an amazing assortment of gourmet cakes, like Mile-High Chocolate, Mile-High Carrot, “Carnegie Deli” Cheesecakes, and more, with slices big enough to share! Dine In ONLY. More here.

Main Street Public House

1556 Main Street | 803-834-3409

Main St Public House graphic

For a Valentine’s Dinner that’s a little more casual, but still out of the ordinary, try Main Romantic Couple.jpegStreet Public House! Make selections from among the menu’s “refined casual” items, or get premium, NY-style pizza made in the restaurant’s custom brick oven. This is NOT your standard bar fare! With favorites like Shrimp and Grits or a Bacon and Brie Burger, MSPH’s cozy decor and rustic bar, you can have a romantic and delicious dinner for two, without all of the fuss. More here.

Macarons for the One You Love!

Crepes and Croissants, 1465 Sumter St. | 803-462-4779


This Valentine’s Day, there’s no better way to say “Je t’aime” than with some sweet French macarons! A macaron is a delicious, meringue-based cookie-type confection. They are hugely popular in France, and becoming pretty ubiquitous here in the States, as well. They make a beautiful gift, and they’re available here in Columbia, at Crêpes et Croissants on Sumter Street! Owner and Master Crêpe Maker, Laurent, keeps them stocked in his store for all occasions, in 8 flavors: Red Velvet, Chocolate/Orange, Salted Caramel, Pistachio, Raspberry, Coffee, Vanilla and Lemon. More here.

Good Life Cafe

1614 Main Street | 803-726-2310

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Treat your sweetie to a unique, romantic dining experience at Good Life Cafe! Couples Dinner for Valentine’s Day will feature a choice of two salads, two entrees and two desserts, as well as a glass of wine, for only $34.95 per person! Dishes will feature truly innovative vegan fare, like Eggplant Bacon, Porcini and Gluten-Free Breadcrumb-Encrusted Seared Tofu, fresh made Pesto Ravioli, with desserts like Chocolate and Cherry Grenache Raw Cheesecake and Classic Vegan Strawberry Shortcake. Yum! More here.

Valentine’s at the Brewery | Swamp Cabbage

Wednesday, February 14 | 2 Seatings: 5:30 & 8PM

clem-onojeghuo-207467Make a reservation to join Swamp Cabbage Brewery this Valentine’s Day – that special someone in your life will be glad you did! During Swamp Cabbage’s “Valentine’s at the Brewery” event, you’ll enjoy four exceptional dinner courses, dessert, and optional special beer pairings. The menu for the evening includes many unique and mouthwatering dishes that you won’t find anywhere else! Reservations are required by Friday, Feb. 9, so don’t delay! Get tickets here.

Kaminsky’s Dessert Cafe

930 Gervais Street | 803-550-9979

Kaminsky's cappuccino floatsTake your guy or girl to Kaminsky’s, where they’ll fall in love with the sweet selection of  delectable desserts, heaping milkshakes, specialty coffees and dessert cocktails! Kaminsky’s cozy atmosphere is the perfect setting for a couple to enjoy Kaminsky’s house-made treats, prepared throughout the day by amazing pastry chefs. Choose from award-winning signature desserts that include Mountain of Chocolate Cake, Tollhouse Pie, Bourbon Pecan Pie and New York Cheesecake, among others. A full beer, wine and liquor selection is also available. More here.


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.



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.


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.


Rioz Cola Valentines Day

The Final Door Escape Room


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.


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.


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.


Riverbanks Zoo Zipline


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.


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.


Go Fish at Lake Wateree


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.




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.

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!


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


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


“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.

“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.


“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!


“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”


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!”


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.”


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.