Best of Columbia

Best of Columbia 2013 Nominees

By Free Times
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Voting is now closed. Winners here.

 


2013 Best of Columbia Nominees

2nd Wind Heating and Air
$2.49 Dry Cleaners
@116 Espresso and Wine Bar
@drinkblogrepeat
@rickcaffeinated
@prodigalsam
@tryjen
104.7 WNOK
14 Carrot Whole Foods
2 Fat 2 Fly
2108 State Street
32 Degrees
42 Magnolia
701 Center for
Contemporary Art
90.5 WUSC
93.5 WARQ
96.7 Steve FM
99.3 WXRY
Abberly Village
Academy Sports
Addams Bookstore
Adventure Carolina
ADT
Agape Senior Center
Al-Amir
Alibabas Pipe Emporium
Ally & Eloise Bakeshop
AMC Dutch Square
American Burglar and Fire Alarm
Andrews Auto Service
Andy Spreeuwers - 8 Sins Tattoo
Arabesque
Archer Avenue
Arizona Steakhouse
Art Bar
Artizan
Ashley Furniture
Aspyre at Assembly Station
Baan Sawan
Baldwin Driver Training
Band of Horses (The Township)
Banfield Pet Hospital
Bangkok Restaurant
Bar None
Barking Lot Dog Park at Saluda Shoals
Basil Thai
Beezer’s
Bella-Riley’s Salon and Spa
Ben Hoover (WIS)
Ben Tanner (WIS)
Best Buy
Beth Dickerson - Capelli Studio
Big Al’s Taxi
Bikram Yoga Columbia
Blue Cactus
Blue Fin Seafood Restaurant
Blue Marlin
Blue Moon Landscaping
Blue Ribbon Cab Company
Blue Sky
Bohemian
Bojangles’
Bombay Grill
Bombshell Beauty Studio
Bonefish Grill
Bone-In Artisan BBQ
Bones Rugs and Harmony
Brent Johnson (WTCB106.7)
British Bulldog Pub
Brittons
Broad River Trace
Broadway Bound Musical Theatre Company
Buffalo Wild Wings
Bug Outfitters
Burnette’s Cleaners
Bus System
Café Caturra
Café Strudel
California Dreaming
Camon
Camp Bow Wow
CanalSide Lofts
Can’t Kids
Cantina 76
Capelli Salon
Capital City Cab Company
Capital City Cycles
Capital Club
Capital Hyundai
Capital Karate
CarMax
Carolina Ale House
Carolina Crossfit
Carolina Fine Jewelers
Carolina Wings and Rib House
Carrabba’s
Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Casa Linda
Catch 22
Cellar on Greene
Celtic Works
Center for Dance Education
Checker Yellow Cab
Chick-fil-A
Chili’s
Chipotle
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chris Compton
CiCi’s Pizza
City Art
City of Columbia Dog Park
City Roots
City Yoga
Clark’s Termite and Pest Control
Cline’s Salon Vista
Club EdVenture
Cock ‘n Bull Pub
Cola’s
Coldwell Banker
Colonial Life Arena
Columbia Ballet School
Columbia Children’s Theatre
Columbia City Ballet
Columbia Classical Ballet
Columbia College
Columbia Conservatory of Dance
Columbia Driving School
Columbia Marriott
Columbia Museum of Art
Columbia Tai Chi Center
Columbiana Grande
Columbia’s Greek Festival
Complete Car Care
Concord Park
Congaree National Park
Constan Car Wash
Continued revitalization of Main Street
Conundrum
Cook-Out
Cool Beans
Cool Care Heating and Air
Copper River Grill
Coye Jones - Bella Riley’s Salon
Critter Coiffures
Crust Bakehouse
Cupcake
Cycle Center
D’s Wings Cayce
Danielle Howle
Dano’s
Darci Strickland (WLTX)
Darcy Del Priore - Devine Street Tattoo
Darius Rucker (Tin Roof)
Dawndy Mercer Plank (WIS)
Death of Paris
Delaney’s
Delhi Palace
Deluxe Cab
Dem’s Fine Jewelers

Department of Revenue hacking
Devine Foods
Dick Dyer
Dick’s Sporting Goods
DiPrato’s
DJ Ray’s Karaoke (The Saloon)
Doc’s Barbeque and Southern Buffet
Doctor’s Care
Doctor’s Express
Dog Daze
Don Taylor - Copper Finch Tattoo Company
Downtown Church
Dr. Patrick Daley
Dr. Tom Trinkner
Drip
Dust to Dust Green Burial
Dutch Fork Driving School
Earlewood
Earth Fare
East West Karate
ECPI University
Ed Robinson Laundry and Dry Cleaners
Ed’s Editions
EdVenture
Egg Roll Chen
El Burrito
Electing Mark Sanford to Congress
Elie’s Mediterranean Cusine
Embassy Suites
Emily Douglas Dog Park
Ernest Lee (“The Chicken Man”)
Essex Homes
EXIT Realty
Firehouse Subs
Firestone
fitsnews.com
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
Five Points Animal Clinic
Flying Saucer
Forest Acres
Four Paws Animal Clinic
Frank’s Car Wash
free-times.com
Fuse Massage Therapy
Galeana Chrysler, Jeep, Kia
Gamecock Stop
gamecockcentral.com
gamecocksonline.com
Garnet and Black Traditions
Gene Love Plumbing
Genova Family Karate
Gervais and Vine
Get Your Gear On
Gibson’s on Devine
Goatfeathers
gogamecocks.com
Gold’s Gym
Good Life Café
Gore Salon
Gov. Nikki Haley
Granby and Olympia Mills
Granby Crossing
Granger Owings
Grecian Gardens
Green’s Beverages
Groomingdale’s
Groucho’s
Groucho’s Deli
Gudmundson & Buyck
Gus Sylvan - State Farm
Guy Landscaping
Half Moon Outfitters
Hampton Hill Athletic Club
Hampton Inn Downtown Historic District
Hampton Street Vineyard
Handpicked
Hannah Horne (WIS)
Harbor Inn
Harley Haven
Harper’s
Harvest Hope Food Bank
Hay Hill Services
Heartbreakers
Hemingway’s
Henry’s
Henry’s NE
High Life Smoke Shop
Hilton Columbia Center
Hip-Wa-Zee
Home Advantage Realty
Home Pest Control
Honda Cars of Columbia
Hot Dog Heaven
House of Frames and Painting
Hudson’s Smokehouse
Hunter-Gatherer
If Art
IHOP
Il Giorgione
Immaculate Piercing
Inakaya
Indie Grits Festival
Ironbrew Coffee
Jack’s Custom Cycles
Jadeveon Clowney
Jake’s
James Stark (WLTX)
Jamie Scott Fitness
Jason’s Deli
Jeffers McGill
Jewelry Warehouse
Jim Gainey
Jim Gandy (WLTX)
Jim Hudson Automotive Group
Jimmy John’s
Jimmy Sauls - Allstate
Jimmy’s Mart
Joe Gorchow (WIS)
Joe Pinner
Joe Turkaly
John Farley (WIS)
Jonathan Oh (WOLO)
Jonathon Rush (WCOS 97.5)
Judi Gatson (WIS)
Just the Thing
Kaminer Heating and Cooling
Kay Jewelers
KD’s Treehouse
Keg Cowboy
Kenny Chesney w/ Zac Brown Band (Williams Brice Stadium)
Knotty Headz
Kristian Niemi - Rosso Trattoria Italia
Kyle Smith
Kyle Smith Pottery
Lake Carolina
Lake Murray
Lamb’s Bread Vegan Cafe
Larry Hembree
Larry Lucas - State Farm
Laser Chicken Ultimate Karaoke
Laurel Crest Retirement Center
Lexington Driving Academy
Lexington Dry Cleaning
Lexington Florist
Lexington Medical Center
Lexington Urgent Care
Libby’s
Liberty on the Lake
Liberty Taproom
Lillian McBride
Linda’s Carraoke
Little Pigs
Lizard’s Thicket
Longhorn Steakhouse
Loose Lucy’s
Los Bellos Portales
Loveland Coffee
M Vista
Mac’s on Main
Mad Platter
Mai Thai
Main Moon
Main Street Café
Manifest Discs
Marble Slab Creamery
Marcus Lattimore
Mark Sanford
Marshall Brown
Marty Rae’s
Mast General Store
Matt Lee (WARQ 93.5)
Maurice’s BBQ
Mayor Steve Benjamin
McAlister’s Deli
McAngus Goudelock and Courie
McDonald’s
McDonnell and Associates
McKay Cauthen Settana and Stubley
McKissick Museum
McNair Law Firm
MEDCare Urgent Care
Mediterranean Tea Room
Meetze Plumbing
Mellow Mushroom
Midlands Technical College
Midtown Fellowship
Mike Davis - Terra
Mikel Rumsey - Bombshell Beauty Studio
Mill Creek Pet Food Center
Miss Cocky
Miss Saigon (Town Theater)
Miyabi Japanese Steakhouse
Miyo’s
Modern Exterminating
Moe’s Southwest Grill
Mojitos Tropical Cafe
Monterrey Mexican Restaurant
Morganelli’s
Moseley’s
Motor Supply Co.
Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe
Mr. Tint
Mungo Homes
Musician Supply
Natural Vibrations
Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough
New Brookland Tavern
NewSpring Church
Next to Normal (Trustus)
Nickelodeon
NOMA Dog Park
Non(e)such
Nonnah’s
Nuttall Tire and Battery
Occo Skin Studio
Ole Timey Meat Market
Olive Garden
Oliver Gospel MIssion
Once Upon a Child
Opening of Cross Hill Market
Original Pancake House
Ouch Studio
Outback Steakhouse
Outspokin
Palmetto Health
Palmetto Health Baptist
Palmetto Health Richland
Palmetto Pediatrics
Palmetto Pig
Palmetto Pro Tint
Papa Jazz
Paradise Ice
Pasta Fresca
Pavlov’s
Pawley’s Front Porch
Pawmetto Lifeline
Peak and Fowler
Pearlz Lounge
Pearlz Oyster Bar
Pecknel
Pediatric Associates
Pet Supplies Plus
Pets Inc.
PetSmart
Pinch
Pizza Hut
Platinum Plus
Plaugh House
Pointe West Apartments
Polliwogs
Providence Hospitals
PT’s 1109
Publick House
Publix
Punjabi Dhaba
Pupcakes
Rainy Day Pal Books
Randy Scott
Real Mexico
Red Fraley
Red Lobster
Redbird Studio and Gallery
Regal Sandhill Stadium 16
Reggie Anderson (WLTX)
Revente
Rice Creek Family Dentistry
Richland County election debacle
Richland Library
Rick Henry (WIS)
River Runner
Riverbanks Zoo
Riverwalk Park
Robin Gottlieb - Bombshell Beauty Studio
Rockaway Athletic Club
Roe Young - State Farm
Rosewood
Rosewood Animal Clinic
Rosewood Crawfish Festival
Rosewood Florist
Rosewood Hills
Rosewood Market
Rosso Trattoria Italia
Roundabouts Consignments
Rumsey Construction and Renovation
Rush’s
Russell and Jeffcoat
Ruth’s Chris
S.C. Rep. James E. Smith
SakiTumi
Salsa Cabana
Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina
Salty Nut Cafe
Saluda River Club
Sam’s Fine Wines and Spirits
San Jose
Sandhills Pediatrics
Sandy’s Famous Hot Dogs
Sarah and Susie’s Grooming
Sato Japanese Restaurant
Say Brother
SC State Farmers Market
scenesc.com
Scratch ‘n’ Spin
Sean McGuinness (“That Godzilla Guy”)
Sesquicentennial State Park
Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands
Shandon
Shandon Baptist Church
Shandon Presbyterian
Shandon-Wood Animal Clinic
Shane Anderson -
Animated Canvas
Shannon Purvis Barron - Indigo Rose
Sharky’s
Shaw’s Taxi
Shealy’s BBQ
Sheraton
Sid and Nancy
Signature Transportations
Sims Music
Sistercare
Smashburger
Snappy Car Wash
Social
Soda City Market
Solar Solutions
Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar
Something Special Florist
Songs for a New World (Workshop Theater)
Sonitrol
South Carolina Confederate Relic Room
South Carolina Equality
South Carolina State Fair
South Carolina State Museum
Southern Pottery
Southern Strutt
Southern Vistas
Southlake Cycles
Spa 131
Sparkle Car Wash
Speakeasy
Spice Junction
Sportsman’s Warehouse
Spring Valley Heating and Air
St. Pat’s in Five Points
Star Music
Starbucks
State Street Pub
Steven Diaz
Steve Varholy (WXRY 99.3)
Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community
Strawberry Skys
Strobler
Subway
Summit Cycles
Sun Ming
Sun Spirit Yoga and Wellness
Superior Plumbing and Gas
Sustainable Midlands
Sylvan’s
Taco Bell
Takosushi
Tapp’s Arts Center
Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe
Tea Pot Chinese
Terminix
Terra
Texas Roadhouse
The Backpacker
The Bird Dog
The Blossom Shop
The Book Dispensary
The Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands
The Cigar Box
The Fresh Market
The Friends Club
The Glo Room
The Gourmet Shop
The Jam Room
The Kraken Gastropub
The L Word
The Oak Table
The Pizza Joint
The Southern Strutt
The Tobacco Merchant
The Twitty Triplets (Trustus)
The Vista
The Whig
The Wolfe Company
The Woody
The Wurst Wagon
thestate.com
Thirsty Fellow
Thomas Crouch
Three Rivers Festival
Thunder Tower
Harley-Davidson
Tiffany’s Bakery
Tim Peters -
Motor Supply Co.
Tin Roof
Tio’s
Todd & Moore
Tomato Palms
Tonic Day Spa
Total Wine and More
Town Theatre
Township Auditorium
Trader Joe’s
Transitions homeless center
Travinia’s Italian Kitchen
Tripp’s Fine Cleaners
Tropical Grill
True BBQ
Trustus Theatre
Tsubaki Restaurant Lounge
Tsunami
U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson
Uncle Louie’s
Unforgettable
University of South Carolina
Uptown Gifts
Urban Nirvana
US Lawns
Utopia
Utopia Food and Spirits
Villa Tronco
Village Idiot
Vincent Sheheen
Vino Garage
Vista Commons
Vista Smiles
Vista Studios/Gallery 80808
Von Gaskin (WIS)
WACH (Fox)
Waffle House
Weaver Systems
Weaving the Fate
Wescott Acres
Wet Nose Oasis
Whit-Ash
Whole Foods
Wild Hare
Wild Wing Cafe
Wilde Wood Downs
WIS (NBC)
wistv.com
WLTX (CBS)
wltx.com
WOLO (ABC)
Woodcreek Farms
Workshop Theatre
World of Beer
wxryfm.org
Yamato
Yesterdays
YMCA
Yoga Masala
Yoghut
Yumilicious
Zaxby’s
Zorba’s



Free Times Family Magazine - Calendar

Kid’s Calendar

Bunnicula, Mickey’s Magic Show, Jack and the Giants
By Free Times
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Bunnicula
Columbia Children’s Theatre
3400 Forest Drive, 691-4548
columbiachildrenstheatre.com
Date: Feb. 20-March 1
Cost: TBA

Kind of like Dracula. Except a bunny.

Dinosaurs: A Bite Out of Time
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais St., 898-4946
scmuseum.org
Date: Through Jan. 4
Cost: $13.95 to $19.95 for adults; $11.95 to $17.95 for kids (includes general admission)

Journey back in time to when monsters walked the earth, swam in the seas and soared through the skies.The blockbuster exhibit features robotic dinosaurs and strange creatures from prehistoric times, including the ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex, the massive Stegosaurus, the long-necked Elasmosaurus and the flying Pteranodon.

Disney Live! Presents Mickey’s Magic Show
Colonial Life Arena
801 Lincoln St., 1-855-456-2849
coloniallifearena.com
Date: Feb. 20
Cost: $22 and up

In a captivating combination, master magician Mickey Mouse and the always-dazzling Minnie Mouse join forces with professional illusionist Zach Williams for a magical production on stage. Features grand illusions and favorite Disney characters. Tickets online at LMCtix.com or by phone at 1-855-456-2849.

Gladys’ Gang: Family Tree
Columbia Museum of Art
1515 Main St., 799-2810
columbiamuseum.org
Date: Jan. 7
Cost: Free

Inspired by the exhibition Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera, January’s Gladys’ Gang program is all about family. This educational program includes a theme-based gallery visit, story time and creative studio activity designed for participants ages 2-5 and their adult companions.

Jack and the Giants
Columbia Marionette Theatre
401 Laurel St., 252-7366
cmtpuppet.org
Date: Through Dec. 27
Cost: $5.75

Saturdays. Columbia Marionette Theatre’s fall production is a twist on the classic story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Featuring some of their largest puppets.

Passport to Art: Fabulous 1950s
Columbia Museum of Art
1515 Main St., 799-2810
columbiamuseum.org
Date: Jan. 11
Cost: Free

Create a 1950s-inspired masterpiece like you see in the exhibition Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera. Free drop-in studio program for families.

Santa’s Gingerbread Jamboree
EdVenture Children’s Museum
211 Gervais St., 779-3100
edventure.org
Date: Through Dec. 20
Cost: $18

Holiday event for children featuring photos with Santa, gingerbread cookie decorating, story time with Frosty the Snowman, festive face painting and holiday arts and crafts.

Snowville
EdVenture Children’s Museum
211 Gervais St., 779-3100
edventure.org
Date: Through Feb. 22
Cost: $11.50; $10.50 seniors, military

Snowville is a winter playscape for children and the young at heart. You can climb Mount EdVerest, explore an ice cave or get the chills in a blizzard simulator. Try traveling to the South Pole to learn a little science.

Winter Fest
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais St., 898-4946
scmuseum.org
Date: Through Jan. 3
Cost: General Admission: adults $8.95; seniors $7.95; children 3-12 $6.95; children 2 and younger free

Two weeks of exciting activities and programs. Different activities will take place each day during WinterFest, so visit scmuseum.org for details. WinterFest is included with membership or general admission. Planetarium and 4D shows are an additional price.

Winter Zoo Camp
Riverbanks Zoo
500 Wildlife Parkway, 779-8717
riverbanks.org
Date: Dec. 29
Cost: $150 ($110 members)

Animals may not have jewelry, purses, wallets, cell phones or fancy clothes, but they do have accessories. Discover how smelly tails, big ears, sharp claws and extra-long noses help animals overcome the challenges of life. Campers will get up close to some of the zoo’s most outfitted creatures through storytelling, games, zoo walks, animal encounters and a behind-the-scenes tour.

Free Times Family Magazine - Media

Farmer Jason’s Christmas on the Farm; How to Be a Cloud

Plus: the Winner's Curse; 4 Pics 1 Word; Manga Camera
By Free Times
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Music

Farmer Jason
Christmas On the Farm
Courageous Chicken Entertainment

Jason Ringenberg may be a familiar name to moms and dads of a certain age via his cowpunk alt-country progenitor outfit Jason & the Scorchers, but kids know him as Farmer Jason. Ringenberg’s rural alter ego has become a successful children’s music artist, mixing punk energy and pastoral subject matter in a comedic style.

This holiday album is a fun sleigh ride through some familiar carols framed by Farmer Jason’s own take on Christmas songs. “Santa Drove a Big John Deere” ought to warm any farm kids hearts with its alternate transportation option for the big guy in the red suit, while “All I Want For Christmas (Is a Punk Rock Skunk)” updates his earliest kids’ music hit for the holidays, Ramones references and all.

Cool country crooner Webb Wilder joins the action for a retro rock ‘n’ roll version of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” complete with amusing alternate introductions of all the reindeer, and Ringenberg brings in the family on carols such as “Away in a Manger,” proving he can play it pretty as well as funny.

This record won’t replace the traditional Christmas classics, but if you have Farmer Jason fans in the house, it deserves a place on the holiday playlist. — Kevin Oliver

Kira Willey
How To Be A Cloud: Yoga Songs for Kids Vol. 3
Fireflies Records

Pennsylvanian Kira Willey is the creator of Fireflies Musical Yoga for Kids and a previous Parents Choice award winner; this new album is almost a two-fer as it contains both a full set of sprightly folk-pop tunes and a second bonus section of yoga tracks, making it a great multi-use disc.

Willey’s singing is appropriately bubbly and spirited on tunes such as “Got a Lot of Happy” and “My Favorite Day”, where it’s all about what puts her in a good mood and makes her day. That theme continues throughout — even on the ode-to-growth “Bloom” and the dreamy “How to be a Cloud,” which addresses something that’s surely gone through the mind of more than a few kids looking up at those big puffy white things in the sky.

Willey keeps things fairly simple and avoids the trap of singing about kids rather than to them. “Dancing With My Daddy” and “When You Get Bigger” are topics to which any child can easily relate, the former touching on waiting around for dad and the latter dealing with having the patience to wait until you’re older.

As entertaining as Willey’s performances are here, what’s really useful here are the nine yoga tracks, which take the original songs and add an instructional voice part with child-friendly directions on how to pose, move and think about each song and how they can relate to it through yoga moves.

Yoga can be intimidating as a fitness activity for kids, but Willey proves that it’s at least possible. — Kevin Oliver

Books

Marie Rutkoski
The Winner’s Curse
Farrar Straus Giroux, 368 pages, $17.99)
Ages: 7th grade and up

As the general’s daughter in a vast empire, Kestrel understands what it feels like to be trapped in a life she doesn’t want. When she impulsively buys Arin, a young slave, she begins to understand what it truly means to be free and the price we pay for the secrets we keep. A beautiful blend of fantasy and historical fiction, The Winner’s Curse is brimming with political intrigue, budding romance, and lyrical prose that will leave you breathless. — Brittany Crowley, Richland Library

Apps

4 Pics 1 Word
LOTUM GmbH (Free)
Ages: 12 and up
Devices: IOS 6.1 or later, Android

4 Pics 1 Word is a simple brainteaser game involving images and words. The game presents the player with four related images and a selection of scrambled letters. The player must determine the relationship between the images and unscramble the letters to form a single word describing that relationship. Words become more challenging as the game progresses. This game encourages creativity and is great to play individually or in groups. — Jessica Gemmill, Richland Library

Manga Camera
Supersoftware (Free)
Ages: Tweens and Teens
Devices: iOS and Android

With the Manga Camera app, any portrait can become a black-and-white comics panel. The photography app works like a normal camera, except once the photo is taken, the app converts the image into something that would fit in a graphic novel. There are many image filters to apply, each with its own pattern that fills the background. Change your pictures into something sparkly, explosive or downright strange. — Thomas Maluck, Richland Library

Bites & Sights Visitors Guide

Bites & Sights Columbia SC Visitors Guide Winter 2014-15

By Free Times
Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Free Times Family Magazine - Life

Craig Melvin’s Christmas

Former Columbia TV Reporter Celebrates Parenthood
By Kara Meador
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Craig Melvin, LIndsay Czarniak and their son Del
Craig Melvin and his wife, Lindsay Czarniak, are discovering the most wonderful time of the year is even more wonderful when you’re a new parent.

Melvin and Czarniak — he’s the NBC Today show's national correspondent and an MSNBC anchor, she’s an ESPN Sportscenter anchor — welcomed their first child, Delano Joseph Melvin, or “Del” in March.

Before making it big in broadcasting, Melvin worked in local TV in Columbia. He grew up in the Capital City and is a Wofford graduate.

Free Times caught up with the new parents recently; below is an edited transcript of our interview.

Can you put into words how you felt when your son came into the world?

Craig: No words. You think you’re ready. You read the books and talk to friends, but nothing prepares you for the unspeakable joy we felt when we saw our slimy, screaming son for the first time.

We were overcome with joy, but that quickly gave way to panic when we realized we were now responsible for someone — forever. We were also a bit more anxious than most since we decided to wait to find out whether Del was a boy or girl until his moment of arrival.

Lindsay: We had a deal that Craig was going to reveal the sex of our baby, since he was probably going to have the better vantage point, but he was so overcome with excitement in that moment that he was speechless. Needless to say, he pulled it together and eventually screamed, “It’s a boy!” I remember just feeling this incredible warmth when they put Del on my chest, just overflowing love. I hadn’t felt that kind of emotion since Craig had asked me to marry him.

Do you have any special plans to ring in Del’s first Christmas? As I ask you this, I’m wondering if you or Lindsay have to work? The crazy media is not a field where you are guaranteed holidays off.

Craig: Barring some sort of breaking news, I’m scheduled to be off Christmas Day, although I’ll work a few hours Christmas Eve morning. Lindsay will be off both days. As for special plans, we’re still figuring it out but we’ll likely head to western Pennsylvania where three of Lindsay’s grandparents live. A clan of Columbia Melvins headed up to Connecticut for Thanksgiving, so we’ll spend Christmas with the other side. Accommodating both sides of an extended family is challenging when her grandparents are in Pennsylvania, but her parents are in Virginia, and mine are all in South Carolina. Wacky job schedules don’t help, but so far, we’ve done a solid job of making it work. That being said, if we just put Del on a plane and shipped him to one of the aforementioned spots, they’d be happy as pigs in slop. Our families haven’t hidden the fact Lindsay and I are the undercard and Del is the main event. We’ve made peace with it.

Are there any Melvin/Czarniak Christmas traditions that you both are excited to pass on to Del?

Craig: We’re preparing to head to Maple Row tree farm to cut down the Melvin family Christmas tree. We started that tradition three years ago.

Lindsay: Craig is being humble, but he actually chops it down for us. It’s an awesome family tradition where we hop on a hayride, head out to a field of trees and then spend the better part of two hours searching for the tree that speaks to us.

Craig: Lindsay’s family has several religious traditions which we’ll continue, including a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday,” which we sing to baby Jesus. Yes, seriously.

Do you two have a favorite Christmas special?

Lindsay: For me, it’s got to be Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the claymation special. I have gotten a lot more emotional since having Del but that special always brings a tear to my eye. I can’t wait to watch it with him. That and the Frosty the Snowman special. For Craig, it’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

I also get giddy when I hear the Temptations version of “Silent Night.”

What tops your Christmas list for Del?

Craig: Since he’ll only be 9 months, we’re thinking of getting him a nice empty box. He’s easy.

I have to ask you, Craig: Are you loving the white Christmases up North, or do you miss the milder weather in the Palmetto State?

Craig: I’ve come to loathe Connecticut winters. At first I loved the occasional snow, but it’s different here because there’s rarely that postcard perfect dusting. It’s usually a 6-to-9-inch dumping that makes travel treacherous and threatens to bring down trees onto power lines. It’s not even the snow that I’ve come to dread as much as it is the frigid temps. It’s a different kind of cold in Connecticut and it’s relentless and it hangs over the state from mid-December to mid-February. All of that being said, I really like the place but so miss the weather in South Carolina.

Free Times Family Magazine - Activities

Family in Town? Here’s Where to Take Them

By Anne Postic
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Main Street hosts Soda City Market every Saturday morning. Photo by Thomas Hammond
You can only sit around the fire for so long before everyone starts arguing about politics, the state of the mashed potatoes or who really broke the window during that backyard baseball game 20 years ago. (You know it was you, but we can agree to disagree.) It’s time for a little forced family togetherness, and there are plenty of places around Columbia to get that family time — and hopefully even enjoy it.

Take a Walk

A family walk is the perfect way to recover from the chips you ate while watching the game. And, by the way, who ate all the chips? You, again. Load everyone into the car, including the dog, and drive down to Riverfront Park. Bonus points if you take a picnic, but you’re probably still full from the chips. For more information about tours and parks around nearby rivers, visit riveralliance.org.

History, Science — And a Laser Show

Weed isn’t legal here in South Carolina, but at least you can zone out at the State Museum’s planetarium, which offers history- and science-themed shows as well as two holiday-themed laser-light shows throughout December. There’s even a show set to music by Pink Floyd. So sit back, relax, and enjoy, dude. You know who else loves laser shows? Kids. Visit scmuseum.org/explore/planetarium for details.

What’s More American Than Norman Rockwell?

At the Columbia Museum of Art, the exhibition Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera will appeal to all ages. The show offers a window into Rockwell’s creative process and will provide plenty of opportunities for Aunt Mabel to tell the kids about her childhood. After you see the show, head to the gift shop and drop some cash: An anonymous donor is matching the cost of all purchases in December to benefit the educational mission of the museum. Details at columbiamuseum.org.

Ice Skating! In Columbia!

With ice skating on Boyd Plaza at the Columbia Museum of Art, it’s a great time to show people that Columbia really is cool. That’s especially true on Saturdays at the Soda City Market
(sodacitysc.com), where you can get some holiday shopping done and introduce your out-of-town guests to in-town friends. Hey, your guests might even make plans without you — so you can go home, watch Netflix and enjoy the solitude for a few hours.

Our Awesome Zoo

Riverbanks Zoo (riverbanks.org) is another place that makes Columbia look good. Take a zip line tour over the river, visit the Lights Before Christmas at night, or just go look at a bunch of animals. Send the kids up the ropes course, and the adults get a chance to hang out and talk. Finally.

Yoga Bonding

Book a private yoga class. This is the ultimate family bonding experience. After my mom died, I scheduled one for me and my siblings at City Yoga. Only one of them showed up, and we had a great time mocking the other two behind their backs. You, on the other hand, will probably leave feeling more relaxed and ready to face the next party.

Take a Cooking Class

Charleston Cooks! (charlestoncooks.com), Let’s Cook (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)), and Fleur de Lys (fleurdelyscolumbiasc.com) offer classes in December, some of which involve alcohol. Afterward, you can argue about which dishes to include on your holiday menu. Pro tip: Let someone else win and you won’t have to cook.

Movie Night

Family movie night, or afternoon, is always an option. And the Nickelodeon is cooler than the multiplex. Throughout the month, it’ll be showing regular features at its Main Street location. Stick around for dinner. Main Street is cool now. On Dec. 20, it’ll be showing Elf in the parking lot at Cross Hill Market. Bonus: You don’t have to talk to your family during the movie.

Play Tennis

There are a ton of courts around town, and all you need is a racket. Heathwood Park, Columbia Tennis Center, Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center, Mays Park, and, Columbia’s best kept tennis secret, Hampton Park in Brandon Acres. (Or maybe that would be the new courts at Southeast Park off Garners Ferry Road.) Tennis is second only to bowling as a great social sport.

See a Show

A Christmas Carol at Trustus, Columbia City Ballet’s Nutcracker, and Trinity Cathedral’s Messiah (move fast, this one’s tonight, Dec. 17) are among many great options for the holiday season. These performances will get you all into the spirit, or at least keep you occupied for a few hours.

There has to be something the whole family can agree on, right? Try a few of Columbia’s great options, and your guests will leave wanting to come back for more. See you at Easter!

Four Things Your Sucker Relatives Can Do With Your Kids

Because you deserve a break today:

1. Breakfast with Santa. Victorian Santa will be available for pictures in the Robert Mills Carriage House, where a continental breakfast will be served. Dec. 20, 8 to 11 a.m. historiccolumbia.org.

2. Anything at EdVenture. Kids can visit Snowville whenever the museum is open. On Dec. 20, there are three time slots available for Santa’s Gingerbread Jamboree, featuring photos with Santa, gingerbread cookie decorating, story time with Frosty the Snowman, face painting, holiday arts and crafts …you know, all that stuff kids love. edventure.org.

3. The Polar Express 4D Experience at the State Museum. The show only lasts 15 minutes, but the rest of the museum is there to explore. scmuseum.org.

4. Animal Accessories, a winter day camp for kids ages 5 to 10 at Riverbanks Zoo, will provide you with three much-needed days of relaxation, Dec. 29-31.
riverbanks.org.


The Side Line

The Side Line: USC vs Clemson

Playing Keep Away; Pick Six
By Free Times
Wednesday, November 26, 2014


The Side Line: USC vs South Alabama

By Lisa Willis
Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Holiday Guide

Holiday Guide 2014

By Free Times
Wednesday, November 19, 2014




Holiday Happenings

208th Army Reserve Band Holiday Show
Sat Dec. 20. 8 p.m. Led by Tim Lyden, the 208th Army Band from Concord, North Carolina boost morale with holiday big band and military march classics. Free. Newberry Opera House: 1201 McKibben St. 276-6264, newberryoperahouse.com.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Dec. 11-14. 7 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; 3 p.m. Sunday. In this play, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting some inventively mischievous kids. $15; $10 students, senior and military. Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County’s Wood Auditorium: 810 Lyttleton St. 425-7676, fineartscenter.org.

Breakfast with Santa
Sat Dec. 20. 8-11 a.m. Enjoy a continental breakfast while listening to seasonal music. After your meal, view the decorated halls of the Hampton-Preston Mansion, make a holiday craft to take home and take a picture with a Victorian Santa Claus. Price TBA. Robert Mills Carriage House: 1616 Blanding St. 252-1770 x 2, historiccolumbia.org.

Candlelight Tours and Carriage Rides
Fri Dec. 19. 5:30-9 p.m. Purchase tickets at Robert Mills Carriage House, 1616 Blanding St. historiccolumbia.org.

Candlelight Tour of Homes
Sat Dec. 6. 3-8 p.m. Tour of decorated Kershaw County homes by candlelight. $20; $15 advance. 300-3762, camdenleague.org.

Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade
Sat Dec. 6. 9:45 a.m. 61st annual parade rolls down Gervais Street in downtown Columbia with floats, marching band and live performances. Free. carolinacarillon.com.

Carols Along the Riverwalk
Fri Dec. 5. 6:30-8 p.m. The sounds of Christmas can be heard throughout the Cayce Riverwalk Park where several area church choirs and local musicians will be located within the first half-mile of the park. The Riverwalk will be lighted with luminarias, and hot apple cider will be served free of charge.​ North Avenue Entrance, Cayce Riverwalk Pavilion. 796-902, cityofcayce-sc.gov.

Cayce Historical Museum Annual Holiday Open House​
Sat Dec. 6. 6 p.m. The sights, sounds and tastes of Christmas will abound. Each room of the museum will be decorated with trees and crafts from the 18th century to present. Cayce Historical Museum: 1800 12th St. 739-5385, cityofcayce-sc.gov.

Cayce Tree Lighting
Thu Dec. 4. 6 p.m. includes greetings from city officials, holiday thoughts, musical selections and a visit from Santa. Proceeds from the sale of lights for the tree are used to fund community projects and a scholarship program. Cayce Historical Museum: 1800 12th St. 739-5385, cityofcayce-sc.gov.

Chamber Choir of Kershaw County Christmas Concert
Fri Dec. 5. 7 p.m. For more than 20 years, the Chamber Choir of Kershaw County has showcased its vocal talents during the holiday season for the community. $5. Wood Auditorium: 810 Lyttleton St. 425-7676, fineartscenter.org (date correction to printed copy)

Choir Showcase
Sat Dec. 6. Noon-3 p.m. Local elementary schools will celebrate the season by demonstrating their talent and providing musical entertainment for the community. Free. Robert Mills House: 1616 Blanding St. 252-1770 x 2, historiccolumbia.org.

Christmas at Red Bank
Sun Dec. 7. 6:30 p.m. Features a lineup of local and regional musicians performing traditional and not-so-traditional Christmas songs. Red Bank United Methodist Church: 2909 Old Barnwell Rd. facebook.com/events/1507249389529891.

Christmas with Emile Pandolfi
Fri Dec. 19. 8 p.m. One of today’s finest pianists leads a holiday show. $35. Newberry Opera House: 1201 McKibben St. 276-6264, newberryoperahouse.com.

City of Columbia Art Center Holiday Art Sale
Sat Nov. 22. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Art sale and silent featuring pieces created by local artists. The event also will feature artwork from participants in the Creative Journey Program, Fort Jackson’s Exceptional Family Member Program and the Art Center’s Veterans Art Program. Proceeds will benefit Creative Journey. Earlewood Park Community Center: 1113 Parkside Dr. 545-3093, columbiasc.net.

Columbia Christmas Pageant
Dec. 12-14. For 26 years First Baptist Church has presented the Columbia Christmas Pageant, leaning on a cast and crew of 400 to spin its familiar tale. Free. First Baptist Church: 1306 Hampton St. fbccola.com/christmaspageant.

Crafty Feast
Sun Dec. 14. Noon-6 p.m. Independent, juried craft fair specializing in experimental, nontraditional and unique handmade or repurposed crafts. Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center: 1101 Lincoln St. craftyfeast.com.

A Devine Night Out
Dec. 11. 5-8 p.m. More than 50 stores and restaurants on Devine Street in Columbia will welcome patrons for an evening of shopping, socializing and festive cheer. Free afterparty at Henry’s (2865 Devine St.), featuring live entertainment, food and beverages. Free. devinestreetcolumbiasc.com.

Family Day — Historic Holidays
Sat Dec. 6. 10 a.m.-noon. Explore the 19th-century holiday season through activities and games at the Robert Mills House. Reservations recommended. Free for adults; $6 for non-member children. Robert Mills House: 1616 Blanding St. 252-1770, devinestreetcolumbiasc.com.

Famously Hot New Year
Wed Dec. 31. 6:30 p.m.-1 a.m. The O’Jays, Misterwives and Lefty at the Washout perform at this city-sponsored downtown shindig. Free; VIP $125. devinestreetcolumbiasc.com.

Governor’s Carolighting
Date TBD. Lighting of the State House Christmas tree, choir performances. Free. South Carolina State House. Main and Gervais. 737-0769.

Harborside Festival of Lights at Lake Carolina
Sun Dec. 14. 5-8 p.m. Live music, horse-drawn carriage rides, hay rides, photos with Santa, holiday treats, millions of twinkling lights, over 1,200 luminarias and dozens of decorated trees. Lake Carolina Town Center: 100 Lake Carolina Blvd. 736-5253, lakecarolina.com.

Historic Columbia Candlelight Tours and Carriage Rides
Fri Dec. 19. View the decorated Historic Columbia homes on a guided candlelight tour. $8; $5 kids. Carriage rides through Robert Mills Historic District, $5 per person. Robert Mills House: 1616 Blanding St. 252-1770, historiccolumbia.org.

Holiday Creations
Nov. 17, Dec. 8 and 15. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Create, bake and decorate cookies, breads or other holiday sweets and top it off with creative gift-wrapping. $25. EdVenture Children’s Museum. 211 Gervais St. 779-3100, edventure.org.

Holiday Drop-In at The Balance Institute
Tue Dec. 16. 5:30-7:30 p.m. With hot chocolate, apple cider and cookies. Come see the facilities and meet the practitioners. 1905 Sunset Blvd., West Columbia. 796-4807, thebalanceinstitute.com.

Holiday House Tours
Nov. 21-Jan. 4. The Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion and Mann-Simons Site are all decorated for the season. Shown as part of regular tours. Tours run on the hour Tue-Sat 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sun 1-5 p.m. $8; $5 youth; free for Historic Columbia members. 252-1770 x 2, historiccolumbia.org.

Holiday Motorcycle Toy Run
Sat Dec. 13. 2:30 p.m. Motorcycle enthusiasts and friends converge on Newberry in support of the Newberry Boys Farm and other local children’s charities. Sponsored by Newberry Opera House. boysfarm.org.

Holiday Sales Show
Dec. 5-17. Times vary. Browse through handmade items — jewelry, stained glass, pottery, food items, handcrafted wood items and much more. Free. Douglas-Reed House: 810 Lyttleton St., Camden. (803) 425-7676, fineartscenter.org.

Home for the Holidays Tour
Sun Dec. 7. 2-6 p.m. Tour of uniquely decorated homes in the Shandon and Hollywood-Rose Hill neighborhoods. Proceeds benefit area schools. Ticket information TBA. hollywoodrosehill.org, shandonneighborhood.com.

Home for the Holidays: American Big Band
Tue Dec. 9. 3 and 8 p.m. Eleven-piece big band along with singers and dancers fill the stage with lush arrangements of Christmas favorites. $30. Newberry Opera House: 1201 McKibben St. 276-6264, newberryoperahouse.com.

Jack Frost
Dec. 5-14. Fridays 7 p.m.; Saturdays 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sundays 3 p.m. New holiday adventure premiering at Columbia Children’s Theatre. $10; $8 active military, seniors and groups of 10 or more; all tickets $5 Saturdays at 7 p.m.; no ticket needed for children under three. Columbia Children’s Theatre at Richland Mall: 3400 Forest Dr. columbiachildrenstheatre.com.

Jingle All the Way 5K
Sat Dec. 6. 9:30 a.m. Before you wreck your body with holiday treats, do it some good. Wear your favorite holiday gear to show off some holiday cheer. Dog-friendly. carolinacarillon.com/race.

Lights Before Christmas
Nov. 21-Dec. 30. 6-9 p.m. The zoo will light up each evening with more than one million twinkling lights and countless animated images representing some of Riverbanks’ most lovable residents. 779-8717, riverbanks.org.

Lake Murray Visitor Center Holiday Open House
Dec. 13-14. Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sunday noon-3 p.m. Historic house decorated like it’s Christmas in the 1800s. Local fishing celebrity Anthony Gagliardi will sign autographs on Saturday. Capital City/Lake Murray Country Visitors Center: 2184 North Lake Dr. 781-5940, lakemurraycountry.com.

The Lights of Cayce​
Dec. 4-31. 6 p.m. Visitors can take a ride through the Cayce City Hall complex and enjoy the magic of thousands of twinkling lights. 796-9020, cityofcayce-sc.gov.

Main Street Ice
Nov. 27-Dec. 31. Outdoor ice skating rink on Main Street at Boyd Plaza in front of the Columbia Museum of Art. columbiasc.net.

Main Street Lights
Nov. 21. Newberry tree lighting rings in the holiday season for the city. In front of Community Hall. visitnewberrysc.com.

Merry Mondays and Tasting Tuesdays
Throughout December. Mondays 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesdays 5-8 p.m. Holiday music and tastings of wine and gourmet South Carolina foods. Cotton Mill Exchange at the South Carolina State Museum: 301 Gervais St. 898-4921, scmuseum.org.

The Messiah
Mon Dec. 15. 8 p.m. Handel’s iconic work, performed by the Trinity Episcopal Choir and the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra. $25. Newberry Opera House: 1201 McKibben St. 276-6264, newberryoperahouse.com.

The Nutcracker, Carolina Ballet
Nov. 26-30. 10 a.m. Wednesday; 7:30 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. Sunday. $12.50 on Wednesday; $15.50-$20.50 on Friday; $12.50-$20.50 on Sunday. Township Auditorium: 1703 Taylor St. 576-2350, thetownship.org.

The Nutcracker, Columbia City Ballet
Dec. 13-21. 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $16-$43. Koger Center: 1051 Greene St. 251-2222, columbiacityballet.com.

The Nutcracker, Columbia Classical Ballet
Dec. 5-7. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; school performance Friday at 10 a.m. $6-$33. Koger Center: 1051 Greene St. 251-2222, columbiaclassicalballet.com.

Nutcracker Teas
Dec. 13-14. 1:30 p.m. Children’s event features a sit-down tea, cakes, cookies and appearances by the lead characters from the ballet. $25. 799-7605, columbiacityballet.com.

New Year’s Eve at Noon
Wed Dec. 31. 9 a.m. As the countdown to noon begins, a giant illuminated ball descends, kicking off the biggest midday celebration in town. Free with museum admission. EdVenture Children’s Museum. 211 Gervais St. 779-3100, edventure.org.

NYE Celebration: A Roaring ‘20s Soiree
Wed Dec. 31. 8 p.m. Join the Dick Goodwin Big Band and a host of guest performers to welcome the New Year. Also enjoy fireworks, a small dance floor, hors d’oeuvres, decadent desserts, wine and champagne. $60. Newberry Opera House: 1201 McKibben St. 276-6264, newberryoperahouse.com.

Palmetto Health Foundation Festival of Trees
Nov. 21-23. Auction preview Friday at 6 p.m.; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; noon-4 p.m. Sunday. Features decorated trees, wreaths, stockings and other holiday items that will be up for bid during a weekend-long silent auction. Local choirs, dance groups, visits with Santa, area mascots, as well as educational sessions from Safe Kids Midlands. Proceeds will benefit Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center: 1101 Lincoln St., palmettohealthfoundation.org.

Polar Express 4D Experience
Starts Nov. 8. Times vary. Computer-animated version of the classic children’s book launches into 4-D. South Carolina State Museum: 301 Gervais St. 898-4921, scmuseum.org.

Saint Nicholas Festival
Sat Dec. 6. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Food, crafts, choirs and a visit from the real St. Nicholas. Holy Apostles Orthodox Church: 724 Buff St. stnicholasfestival.org.

Saluda Shoals: Holiday Lights on the River
Nov. 26-31. 6-10 p.m. Light displays, walking trails, carriage rides and marshmallow roasting. $15 per car; additional fees apply for some activities. Saluda Shoals Park: 5605 Bush River Rd. 772-3903, icrc.net/holiday-lights.

Sandlapper Singers — What Shall I Bring
Dec. 11-12. 7:30 p.m. Holiday concert by the Sandlapper Singers includes music that reflects the changes in America’s holiday customs with traditional carols. Thursday at Ashland Road United Methodist Church; Friday at St. Joseph Catholic Church. sandlappersingers.org.

Santa’s Gingerbread Jamboree
Dec. 6-20. Saturdays 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Holiday event for children featuring photos with Santa, gingerbread cookie decorating, story time with Frosty the Snowman, festive face painting and holiday arts and crafts. $18. EdVenture Children’s Museum. 211 Gervais St. 779-3100, edventure.org.

Santa Signing!
Sat Nov. 22. 1-3 p.m. The Gift Shop at Robert Mills: 1616 Blanding St., historiccolumbia.org.

Singing Christmas Tree
Dec. 12-14. 7 p.m. Friday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The 30-foot tree features 55,000 lights and over 150 singers, accompanied by a 30-member orchestra. Shandon Baptist church: 5250 Forest Dr., christmasatshandon.com.

Snowville
Nov. 22-Feb. 22. Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday 12-5 p.m. EdVenture’s seasonal exhibition. Crawl through an ice tunnel, climb a snow-capped mountain, sled down a snowy hill, or visit the Penguin Observation Station. EdVenture Children’s Museum. 211 Gervais St. 779-3100, edventure.org.

South Carolina Philharmonic Holiday Pops
Sun Dec. 14. Sleigh bells and sing-alongs — plus scores from popular holiday movies. $28 (sold out). Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College: 7300 College St. harbisontheatre.org.

South Congaree Christmas Parade
Date TBA. Dunn’s chapel: 140 Chapel Rd., southcongaree.org.

A Starry Night
Sat Dec. 4. 6-8 p.m. Free horse carriage rides, holiday tunes, dance and choral performances, hot chocolate at the Five Points Fountain, pop-up Christmas tree farm and more. fivepointscolumbia.com.

Sustainable Holiday Celebration
Dec. 1. 4:30-8:30 p.m. Sustainable Midlands presents a community holiday party like no other, with food, wine and unique gifts available to purchase. Support local artisans, local food and local businesses. $5 donation. 629-7900, sustainablemidlands.org.

Sweet Seasons
Thu Dec. 4. Community Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Richland Mall parking deck: 3400 Forest Dr. 782-9475, forestacres.net. (date correction to printed copy)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Fri. Nov. 21. 4 and 8 p.m. Trans-Siberian Orchestra performs its rock opera The Christmas Attic live for the first time during this winter tour. $32-$62.50. Colonial Life Arena: 801 Lincoln St. 576-9200, coloniallifearena.com.

War Between the States Lantern Tours​
Sat Dec. 6. 6 p.m. As darkness falls, scenes from the great American war come to life. History and comedy make this event a memorable and popular activity. Cayce Historical Museum: 1800 12th St. 739-5385, cityofcayce-sc.gov.

West Metro Holiday Parade of Lights
Sat Dec. 13. Floats, bands, animals, all lit with Christmas lights. Runs along Highway 1 and 12th Street in West Columbia. 794-6505, westmetroparade.com.

Winter Fest
Dec. 20-Jan. 3. Two-week-long celebration of the winter season. Enjoy activities free with museum admission or Membership. South Carolina State Museum: 301 Gervais St., scmuseum.org.

World Beer Festival
Sat Jan. 17. 12-4 p.m.; 6-10 p.m. Hey, you’ll probably need a drink — or three — after the holidays. $40; $75 VIP. Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center: 1101 Lincoln St., worldbeerfestival.com.

Wynonna & the Big Noise: A Simpler Christmas
Sun Dec. 21. 7 p.m. Country hits and Christmas classics. $100. Newberry Opera House: 1201 McKibben St. 276-6264, worldbeerfestival.com.

Viennese Christmas
Wed Dec. 10. 3 and 8 p.m. The New Sigmund Romberg Orchestra presents its holiday program. $30. Newberry Opera House: 1201 McKibben St. 276-6264, newberryoperahouse.com.

Vista Lights
Nov. 20. 5-9 p.m. Artistic performances, live music and dancing. More than 60 galleries, shops and restaurants will open their doors to showcase their holiday treasures before the Vista’s tree lighting. 1301 Assembly St. 269-5946, vistalightssc.com.

SUV Crashes into Cayce Doughnut Store

By Preach Jacobs
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
I Love Doughnuts: Authorities are investigating an accident in which an SUV crashed into a sign at a doughnut spot in Cayce. We can’t be sure of exactly what happened, but people have been known to do crazy things when the Hot Now sign is on. Our advice: If charges are filed, plead temporary insanity.

Repo Man: A 45-year-old man was arrested for shooting someone he believed was stealing his car. Well, the guy was right about someone taking his car — but wrong about it being theft. The suspect shot a man who actually was repossessing the vehicle on behalf of the girlfriend of the shooter. Believing it to be a robbery, the suspect called the cops. He was later charged with attempted murder. The victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Face Paint and Fruit Juice: Last week, the Crime Blotter reported on a suspect wearing white face paint who committed a robbery on Parklane Road. According to authorities, the suspect was armed with a handgun and stole cash; he also left with some fruit juice — because there’s nothing like some good fruit juice after a robbery, apparently. Cops tracked the suspect to a relative’s home and found the suspect hiding in a closet — as if that wouldn’t be one of the places they’d look.

Manager’s Not Here: A suspect entered a pharmacy in Forest Acres and attempted to rob the joint. The suspect pulled out a gun and demanded money but was told by the employee that they couldn’t get money without a manager. So, the guy just left. If that’s all it takes for a crook to leave empty-handed, this should become protocol for every bank and convenience store. That worker deserves employee-of-the-month status.

Sweatin’ in the Cold: Cops pulled over a car in the Irmo area and found that the driver and passenger were acting pretty frickin’ weird. The officer noticed that the suspects were sweating like crazy and wearing very little clothes in cold weather. Turned out that the geniuses were driving around with a mobile meth lab — sort of like an ice cream truck for addicts. The cops called a hazmat crew to dispose of the stuff properly and the suspects were arrested.

Run the Jewels: Authorities are searching for three suspects accused of using a stolen credit card to charge more than $10,000 in jewelry. The suspects went to several places — including a few department stores and video game joint — before going to a jewelry store in Northeast Columbia. Added note: If you have a credit card with a limit of $10,000 or more, cancel those damn things before you can get yourself a cup of coffee.

Tip of the Week: If you get nabbed for being publicly intoxicated, you might just want to chill out instead of trying to fight back against the cops. A 33-year-old man who walked out in front of traffic in downtown Columbia was arrested after almost being hit by a driver who had a green light. Authorities reported the suspect as being aggressive and really drunk. The suspect’s aggression continued all the way to jail, where he refused to go inside a cell. The suspect even did the whole putting his foot on the cell door routine to avoid going in. Hats off to you, dude: Way to make a bad situation worse.

The Side Line

The Side Line: USC vs Furman

By Free Times
Thursday, October 16, 2014


Free Times Family Magazine

Free Times Family Fall 2014

E-edition
By Free Times
Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Back to Free Times Family homeMidlands magazine for smart families: From STEM to STEAM; Keeping it Normal with Ben Hoover; The Childhood Obesity Disconnect; Grand Parenting; plus activities, books, dvds, music and apps for kids, along with health, life and learning listings for Columbia, SC.

Free Times Family Magazine - Media

Apps for Kids: ABC Actions; Loose Strands; Busy Shapes

By Free Times
Wednesday, October 8, 2014


ABC Actions
Peapod Labs, LLC ($2.99), iPhone and iPad
Ages: Preschoolers

Back to Free Times Family homeA great addition to alphabet apps, ABC Actions features photographs and words in both English and Spanish. There are also extended features like videos and games. Real photographs of children and adults of varying ages, races and cultures are especially appealing. One of the best aspects of this app is physical play. By using an action alphabet, children can hear the word, see an example of the action word and then perform the action themselves. — Heather McCue, Richland Library



Loose Strands
Darned Sock Productions ($4.99), Android and Apple iOS
Ages: Tweens

Part A Series of Unfortunate Events, part Choose Your Own Adventure, Loose Strands is one of the best interactive novel apps that I’ve seen. Roland Bartholomew Dexter the Third is our unwitting hero. Every day for Roland seems the same, but something’s about to change. With your help, Roland’s going to discover the mystery surrounding his parent’s barbershop. This thoughtfully designed app engages readers in the story by making choices for Roland. Available for Apple and Android devices, this app is a worthwhile purchase as it allows for multiple readings with different outcomes. If I still haven’t sold you, try the Unlockable Edition, which gives readers access to the first chapter for free. — Heather McCue, Richland Library



Busy Shapes
Seven Academy ($1.99), iPhone and iPad
Ages: 2-4

Young children gain spatial awareness and problem-solving skills with this super-smart app from Seven Academy. Inspired by Jean Piaget’s cognitive development theory, Busy Shapes allows children to freely explore shapes, textures and relationships between objects. The concept is simple: Kids drag objects across the screen and drop them into the appropriate holes. Once the object has been dropped, a new scene with a new object appears, with each scene growing steadily more challenging as players progress through the app.

The designers at Seven Academy have created a clean and attractive app with a wonderful array of textures, colors and sounds. The smart functions prevent toddlers from accidentally swiping out of the app and register play patterns to create new challenges based upon the way your child is exploring. With no time limits, no pressure to earn points, easy navigation, and 38 levels, Busy Shapes will engage 2- and 3-year-olds in building motor and problem-solving skills. — Sarah Cameron, Richland Library

Free Times Family Magazine Learning

Learning

By Free Times
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Back to Free Times Family homeSometimes your kids hit it off with their teachers; sometimes they don’t. Every child learns differently and has different interests, whether those are music and art or math, science, architecture or astronomy. And then there are special situations — struggling learners or exemplary learners — where some additional help might be needed outside the classroom. Here are some resources to get you started.


Aim High Education
4561 Hardscrabble Rd., 788-6894
aimhigheducationsc.com

Customized after-school education programs and tutoring.

The Afterschool Zone
theafterschoozoneacademy.com

Offers afterschool pickup from Lexington/Richland 5 and Richland 1 schools. Students engage in physical and educational activities.

Aspire Early Learning Academy
1103 B Ave. (West Columbia), 834-4976
aspireearlylearningacademy.com

Pre-K program using the Creative Curriculum, a nationally approved curriculum based on the ideas of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Be Great Academy
500 Gracern Road, 231-3100
portal.begreatacademy.com

After-school program operated by Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands.

Bright Start
720 Gracern Rd., 929-1112
brightstartsc.com

Provides quality comprehensive services to all individuals with special needs and developmental delays.

Challenger Learning Center
2600A Barhamville Rd., 929-3951
thechallengercenter.net

The Challenger Learning Center of Richland County School District One is an aeronautics- and space-themed learning program designed to provide interactive learning experiences, integrating science, technology, engineering and math curricula with 21st century life skills.

Covenant Christian Academy
3120 Covenant Rd., 787-0225
Infuses a Biblical worldview into academics, athletics and arts.

Discovery Program of South Carolina
8807 Two Notch Rd., 419-0126
discoveryprogramsc.org

Noted as a program of excellence with the National Institute for Learning Development (NILD), the Discovery Program helps those struggling to learn — whether via learning disabilities or other learning disorders — to become independent students.

Glenforest School
glenforest.org

Works with K-12 students who have not thrived in traditional learning environments, including students with dyslexia, attention-deficit disorder or other developmental challenges.

Hammond Plus Programs
854 Galway Lane, 695-8624
hammondschool.org

In addition to being a top college-prep school, Hammond offers a wide array of after-school classes for children and adults.

Head Start
1400 St. Andrews Rd., 898-2550

A comprehensive school readiness program serving kids 0-5 that has a strong focus on ensuring that they start school ready to learn.

Heathwood Hall
3000 S. Beltline Boulevard, 231-7710
heathwood.org

Offers a wide range of summer programs, from outdoors to athletics and academics.

Lango South Carolina
facebook.com/langokidssc

At Lango, your child will learn another language, make developmental strides, explore other cultures. At various Midlands locations.

The Language Buzz
1921 Henderson St., 252-7002
thelanguagebuzz.com

A unique foreign language learning center that promotes the early command of languages through language immersion, contextualized learning, and the learning and acceptance of different cultures.

Mathnasium
mathnasium.com
Offers math help for students from grades 2 through 12.

My Amigos
myamigosbec.org
Language immersion programs for ages 30 months to 5th grade.

Pearson Professional Centers
107 Westpark Blvd., 798-3001
Offers GMAT testing.

Provost Academy South Carolina
400 Arbor Lake Dr., 735-9110
sc.provostacademy

A tuition-free, online-only public high school. Live online classrooms give students the ability to includes the ability to participate in discussions and ask questions.

REACH
reachgroup.org

A support group for Columbia-area home schoolers; provides information and activities, offers information about academic résumés and transcripts.

Richland County First Steps
2008 Marion St., 256-7237
rcfirststeps.org

Works with kids, parents, schools and childcare providers to promote health, literacy and school readiness in young children.

Free Times Family Magazine - Media

Books: Mr. Tiger Goes Wild; i carry your heart with me; Don’t Tell The Girls

By Free Times
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild
Peter Brown
Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, 48 pages, $18

Ages: 3-6

Back to Free Times Family homeFrom top hats to stiff suits, Mr. Tiger is fed up with the constraints of society. Yearning to let loose, he begins a beautifully crafted metamorphosis back to, of all places, the wild. Peter Brown’s thoughtful and relatable storyline — accompanied by engaging illustrations with — captivates readers of all ages, making this the perfect read-aloud book for families. Tigers everywhere will delight in Mr. Tiger’s journey, triumph and ability to effect real change in the world. — Laura Bliss Morris, Richland Library


i carry your heart with me
e.e. cummings (author) and Mati McDonough (illustrator)
Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, 48 pages, $18

Ages: all ages

i carry your heart with me, adapted from e.e. cummings’ 1920 poem of the same name, is a beautiful tribute to the love between a parent and child. With collage art by Mati McDonough, readers are treated to simple, yet detailed illustrations that give new context to cumming’s words. In the first double-page spread, we see a pregnant mother looking blissful, her eyes closed and her hand embracing her unborn child. This image is reflected by a mother bird sitting in a nest with her egg. The illustrations reveal the story of a child, chick and even a baby elephant growing up under the loving gaze of their mothers. Finally, all three are ready to experience life on their own, but it’s clear that their mother’s love is never far away. If you’re tired of clichéd or syrupy-sweet books on this topic, this thoughtful title provides a sophisticated alternative. — Heather McCue, Richland Library

Don’t Tell the Girls: A Family Memoir
Patricia Reilly Giff
Holiday House, 131 pages, $16.95

Ages: 9 and up

In this charming memoir Patricia Riley Giff shares memories of her maternal grandmother and the secrets they shared when she was a child. Nana’s stories about her relatives emigrating from Ireland led Giff to search records at the New York Public Library for more information. Her interest in family stories led her through a genealogical search carried into her adulthood and lead to a trip to her paternal grandfather’s hometown in Ireland. With family photos and copies of documents Giff illustrates the genealogical research process. Her realistic historical novels for children reflect her deep understanding of this time period in American history. This is a vibrant look into family relationships and a basic introduction into genealogy. This is a user-friendly introduction to family history projects. — Becky Dickey, Richland Library Southeast


Rebel Belle
Rachel Hawkins
Putnam Juvenile, 345 pages, $17.99

Ages: 12 and up

When a series of strange events gift homecoming queen Harper Jane Price with amazing new powers, the world as she knows it is turned upside down. At first, she doesn’t quite know what to make of it, then she learns that she’s a Paladin, a sworn protector, whose creation dates back to Charlemagne. As if that’s not complicated enough, she discovers that she is sworn to protect David Stark, her number one childhood nemesis! How will this Southern Belle manage her new super-fighting abilities? With fantastic action sequences, great humor, and familiar references to life in the South both teens and tweens will enjoy this coming of age story with a twist.— Christina Fuller-Gregory, Richland Library


Absolutely Almost
Lisa Graff
Penguin Young Readers Group, 288 pages, $16.99

Ages: 13 and up

Albie lives in a world of almost. He almost gets all his spelling words right. His dad almost remembers to put together that model plane with him. He almost gives correct change to the delivery guy. As if he didn’t have enough problems, he has to start a new school and his best friend’s family is starring in a reality TV show. And then there’s his new babysitter, Calista. Even though he’s old enough to stay by himself, Albie has to admit she’s pretty great. She allows him to stay up a little later, eat doughnuts and see the world in a whole new way. Just when things are looking up, the most popular kid in his class wants to be his friend. Will he give up almost to live in a world of absolutely? Albie’s voice rings true as the narrator and readers will root for him as he navigates disappointed parents, friendships and popularity to find his place in the world. A great read-aloud for families and classrooms. Lisa Graff weaves a true tale that leaves us with an absolutely almost happy ending. — Heather McCue, Richland Library

Free Times Family Magazine - Media

Music & DVD Reviews: Ella Jenkins; I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly; The Boxcar Children

By Kevin Oliver
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ella Jenkins
More Multicultural Songs for Children from Ella Jenkins
Smithsonian Folkways

Back to Free Times Family homeSince 1957, Ella Jenkins has been one of the world’s most beloved children’s musicians, earning the unofficial title “The First Lady of Children’s Music.” With 40 albums since 1957, she’s also among the most prolific — and even at 90, Jenkins is still releasing new music.

Her latest collection is a batch of 20 tunes that travel around the globe in song. Jenkins is aided, as usual, by an endearingly chirpy bunch of children. Some of the tracks are taken from live appearances featuring simply Jenkins and her acoustic guitar with at most a piano for accompaniment.

There are some basic skills songs such as “Count from One to Ten,” which injects several different verses of language number training into its call-and-response sing-along style.

Elsewhere Jenkins takes the listener to Russia, China, Egypt, Germany and Australia, among other locales, with songs that explore cultural differences and traditions.

Listening to Jenkins sing is like having a really nice, multilingual grandmother who knows all the old songs and loves to play them for her kids and their kids. At this point in her career, we’re all Jenkins’ kids anyway.


Thomas Hellman and Emilie Clepper
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
The Secret Mountain

The latest in The Secret Mountain’s excellent series of picture books with accompanying CDs, this collection is centered on the songs of Canadian folk singer Alan Mills, who wrote the familiar title tune in 1952 with Rose Bonne. It has been recorded over the years by everyone from Burl Ives to Cyndi Lauper in versions both serious and silly. Canadian musicians Thomas Hellman and Emilie Clepper take the more playful tack, trading lines atop a jug-band style musical setting complete with jaw harp, banjo and more as the lyrics build inexorably to the finale.

The appeal of this book/CD series is immediately apparent with this opening set of panels, juxtaposing the lyrics with colorful painted images that will delight little eyes as much as little ears will enjoy the music.

Teachers may find some new material for circle time, class time and especially storytime here with “Months of the Year,” “Animal Alphabet Song,” and “123 ABCD,” the latter in a gentle, almost lullaby presentation that makes it perfect for that pre-nap ritual. Parents will enjoy having both a new book of beautiful images and stories and a set of songs to go along with them.


Multiple artists
The Boxcar Children
Phase 4 Films

Gertrude Chandler Warner’s famous Boxcar Children series of children’s books has never received an on-screen treatment, until now. This computer-animated version hews faithfully to the story of the first novel in the series, in which four orphaned children happen upon an abandoned boxcar and live in it while participating in the nearby town’s life. When one of the siblings takes ill they must finally ask for adult help, risking discovery to save one of their own.

The voice cast is first-rate, including Martin Sheen, J.K. Simmons ( Spiderman ), Zach Gordon ( Diary of a Wimpy Kid ), Joey King ( Fargo ), Mackenzie Foy ( Twilight ) and Jadon Sand ( LEGO: The Movie ). The animation, while computer-generated, leans more toward a traditional two-dimensional style than the almost realistic method employed by most recent major children’s movies, giving the proceedings a retro feel befitting the source material.

Free Times Family Magazine Family Finance

My First Smartphone

How Young is Too Young?
By Kevin Oliver
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Back to Free Times Family homeWith the kids back in school and out of the house — and not just for classes, but also for after-school activities, youth groups at church, even part-time jobs in the case of older children — the question arises of whether they need a cell phone of their own, and whether that cell phone needs to be a smartphone.

For the kids, the answer is almost always “Yes.” But for mom and dad it’s not that simple.

Contemplating this question of the right age for a smartphone in my own family with our middle-school age daughters, I took an informal poll of my Facebook friends with kids of their own. The results — from a pool of 40 different respondents — were all over the place, from a low of 4 to a high of 18. The younger extreme was due to a divorced set of parents and the peace of mind for the child to be able to call dad any time; the older examples were typically kids headed off to college and away from home for the first extended period. The unscientific poll yielded a reasonable-sounding average age of 12.

The best way to answer the question, according to Liz Perle of Common Sense Media via PBS.org, is to ask other questions.

How independent are your kids?

Do they need to be in touch for safety reasons, or social ones?

How responsible are they?

Can they be trusted to use the various functions including text and data appropriately?

Last but maybe most important, are you willing to add the expense of a different data plan?

Let’s look at several of the more easily answered questions, starting with how active and independent your kids are.

What concrete reasons are there for your child to need a phone? The reason most often cited in my personal polling was after-school activities. Band, sports, and clubs that keep students on campus long after buses and many teachers are gone make having a secure way to contact mom and dad for a ride home a must. For older kids, a job might come into play.

“When my daughter started babysitting her younger brother and sister for us, we felt better with her having a cell phone of her own, especially since we don’t have a house phone,” says Red Bank mom Heidi Sease. “She has never been paid for babysitting, but she has definitely earned her phone.”

Glenda Snelgrove of Lexington says she reached the point of getting phones for her children when they became busy after school.

“Our children all received a phone once they started with after-school stuff — for the girls, that was high school, for my son in football it was seventh grade,” Snelgrove says.

It wasn’t a perfect solution at first, however.

“My girls both messed up with too much of the texting until I made them pay for the overages,” Snelgrove adds, noting that they quickly fell into less expensive habits.

Of course, it’s possible to buy a cell phone that’s not a smartphone and won’t run up charges for texting and data usage.

For some families, that’s the answer: Your fifth-grader might need a phone to touch base, but not a smartphone on which they can text friends and watch YouTube incessantly.

It’s that responsibility factor that causes the majority of the disparity in what age a child receives their first phone — or their first smartphone — however. Only you can determine when the right time has come, because you know your child best.

“Age matters less than maturity,” says Lydia Porter of Columbia. “When we went on a trip to Washington, D.C., both of my girls received a TracFone and were instructed, ‘If you get separated from the group, call us.’ My 8-year-old could not keep it charged or remember where she put it once they got back from the trip, so I let the account lapse until she was mature enough to handle it. My older daughter was 11 at the time and maintained the phone, the minutes, and used it to check in with me periodically which was useful for our schedules.” Two years later the girls both have phones and are well versed in using them appropriately, she adds.

“I do monitor their use, but in general I forbid less and explain the real danger of certain choices more,” Porter says. “Kids who know make fewer stupid choices.”

Even within the same family, sometimes the choice can be different for each child.

“Our son got his at age 8 due to health issues and fear of him needing help when he was not near us,” says Becky Champoux of West Columbia. “Our daughter is 10, with no phone in her near future because she’s still with us all the time and doesn’t really need it.”

So what’s the magic number? There isn’t one. Knowing your child, their maturity level, and their specific needs, however, will determine the best decision for your family.

Is Your Kid Smart Enough for a Smartphone?

This list of questions from Common Sense Media (commonsensemedia.org) is a good place to start to determine if your child whether they are 8 or 18, is ready for their own phone.

Are your kids pretty independent?

Do your children need to be in touch for safety reasons?

Would having easy access to friends benefit them for social reasons?

Do you think they’ll use a cell phone responsibly – for example, not texting during class or disturbing others with their phone conversations?

Can they adhere to limits you set for minutes talked and apps downloaded?

Will they use the text, photo, and video functions responsibly and not to embarrass or harass others?


Free Times Family Magazine - Calendar

Family Events Calendar: Oct-Dec 2014

By Free Times
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Back to Free Times Family homeOngoing

Jack and the Giants
Columbia Marionette Theatre
cmtpuppet.org

Through Nov. 15. Giants are supposed to be big, mean, and nasty. They eat anyone who crosses their path. But Flinch isn’t like other giants.

Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice
Edventure Children’s Museum
edventure.org

Through Oct. 19. Explore the Cretaceous Period (145 – 65 million years ago), when dinosaurs last lived on earth. Visitors encounter unfamiliar landscapes, touchable dinosaurs and opportunities to investigate clues about what these mysterious creatures left behind.

Dinosaurs: A Bite Out of Time
South Carolina State Museum
scmuseum.org

Through Jan. 4. Ongoing exhibition strives to intrigue kiddies with robotic dinosaurs — as well as other creatures that lived during the same prehistoric time period. $15; $13 seniors: $11 children 3-12. Tickets include general museum admission. Discounts offered for members.

EdVenture Family Night
EdVenture Children’s Museum
edventure.org

Second Tuesdays. $1 museum admission between 5 and 8 p.m.


Gladys’ Gang
Columbia Museum of Art
columbuamuseum.org

Program held first Wednesday of every month. Using the museum’s art as a guide, children and their adult caregivers enjoy story time in the galleries followed by a hands-on art project.

Toddler Tuesdays
EdVenture Children’s Museum
edventure.org

Every Tuesday from 10-11 a.m. for children 12 months to 5 years old. Some activities include arts & crafts, easel painting and playing in the sandbox. Free with paid museum admission or membership.

Parents’ Survival Night
The Little Gym


Fridays. Parents call it a break from the kids. Kids call it a break from their parents. That sounds like a win-win situation.



Passport to Art
Columbia Museum of Art

columbiamuseum.org

Second Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. Free open-studio program for families with activities corresponding with one of the museum’s exhibitions.


October
South Carolina State Fair
South Carolina State Fairgrounds
scstatefair.org

Oct. 8-19. Find your happy — whether it’s looking at the exhibitions, riding the rides or earing the food. Offers discounted family packs.

Boo at the Zoo
Riverbanks Zoo
riverbanks.org

Oct. 17-30. The zoo’s annual Halloween spooktacular offers a trick-or-treat trail, moonlight magic, a spooky safari, a haunted carousel and more. (It’s not that scary. We promise.)

Halloween at the Park
Crooked Creek Park
icrc.net

Oct. 24. Trick-or-treat on an outdoor trail, then enjoy carnival games and prizes, a costume contest and more activities.

The Trial of the Big Bad Wolf
Columbia Children’s Theatre
columbiachildrenstheatre.com

Oct. 24-26. YouTheatre production puts the infamous villain on trial for his crimes.

Spooktacular Night
Columbia Museum of Art
columbiamuseum.org

Oct. 27. As darkness falls, the Museum transforms with ghosts, bats, pumpkins, art stations, sweet treats and more

Halloween Hustle
Saluda Shoals Park
icrc.net

Oct. 30. Dress in your Halloween best for this run held on a fast, fun course that runs through Saluda Shoals Park. The festivities continue after the hustle with a laser light show, DJ and other activities.

November
StoryBook Ball
Edventure Children’s Museum
edventure.org

Nov. 8. Enter a world of kings and queens, pirates, princesses and fabled creatures as EdVenture transforms into a magical kingdom of storybook dreams.

Annie Jr.
Spring Hill High School Theatre
icrc.net

Nov. 15-16. Little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in this kid-targeted production of the perennial favorite.

Guys and Dolls Jr.
Columbia Children’s Theatre
columbiachildrenstheatre.com

Nov. 15-16. YouTheatre production offers a junior version of the famous musical.

Lights Before Christmas
Riverbanks Zoo
riverbanks.org

Nov. 21-Dec.30. The Zoo will light up each evening with more than one million twinkling lights and countless animated images representing some of Riverbanks’ most lovable residents.

Sleigh Bell Stroll
Saluda Shoals Park
icrc.net

Nov. 24. This unique, nighttime event is held amid the festive light displays of Holiday Lights on the River. 3-D glasses included with admission.

Holiday Lights on the River
Saluda Shoals Park
icrc.net

Nov. 26-Dec. 31. The Midlands’ largest drive-through lights show.

December
Jack Frost
Columbia Children’s Theatre
columbiachildrenstheatre.com

Dec. 5-14. Frigid fairy-tale figure gets the theater treatment in this production.

Santa’s Market Craft Show
Seven Oaks Park
icrc.net

Dec. 6. Annual holiday event featuring unique gifts, charming decorations and crafts, including art prints and paintings, hand-made jewelry, ornaments, painted glassware and holiday wreaths and decor.

Candy Cane Hunt
Crooked Creek Park
icrc.net

Dec. 20. Santa and his elves will be hiding candy canes along the disc golf trail for children to find. Bring a basket or bag.

New Year’s Eve at Noon
Edventure Children’s Museum
edventure.org

Dec. 31. Columbia’s only “ball drop” for kids. Doors open at 9 a.m. with activities celebrating New Year’s Eve around the world.

Free Times Family Magazine Health

The Obesity Disconnect

Are You Ignoring a Major Health Risk?
By Laura Haight
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Back to Free Times Family homeWe all know the story about school lunches. Gone are the cheeseburgers, french fries and macaroni and cheese of our youth. They’ve been replaced with baked chicken, broccoli, salads and fruit. Soda machines? No way, grab a juice carton or a bottle of water.

But are these healthy initiatives making a difference? Report after report has blamed school lunches for obesity by citing the higher rates of obesity among students who eat lunch at school compared to those who bring lunch from home. But more recent studies and on-the-ground experience seems to support a different conclusion: a major disconnect between public health policy and what happens when a child goes home.

Dawn MacAdams, lead nurse for the Richland Two School District, quickly ticks off a litany of steps schools are making: healthy lunch and snack choices, physical activity 150 minutes a week and school health grades that go home to parents. Still, she admits to some frustration.

“Unfortunately, we are just continuing to be more obese,” MacAdams says. “Until we can get buy in and lifestyle changes, I don’t see major changes in those trends.”

And that seems to be the problem. There’s a lack of buy-in at home. A recent study published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that — even after a doctor’s diagnosis — parents of obese children failed to see their children’s weight as unhealthy. Although more than 93 percent of parents recognized that their kids were overweight or obese, a full 30 percent didn’t see that as a health problem. And nearly the same percentage described their children’s health as “good” or “excellent.”

According to the study, conducted by researchers from Brown University and the University of Southern California San Diego, the inability to identify obesity as a health problem was accompanied, not surprisingly, by a lack of response. Although subjects were interviewed in a pediatric obesity clinic, 40 percent had made no plans to adapt their child’s diets and 60 percent had no plans to increase their kids’ physical activity.

That lack of concern or urgency about kids’ health is particularly frustrating for the health professionals working in the public school system. With mountains of regulations and requirements, nutritionists, school nurses and dieticians can only watch from the sidelines as kids get heavier and heavier.

Much of the focus in schools involves providing information to parents — and hoping they will act on it.

“We’ve always strived to get information to parents in PTA meetings, newsletters and other methods as we can,” MacAdams says.

Despite educators’ best efforts, the 2012 National Survey of Children’s Health conducted by the Centers for Disease Control reported that 39.2 percent of South Carolina’s children between the ages of 10 and 17 are overweight or obese. The national average is 30.3 percent.

MacAdams says there many factors at work: a culture that views a few extra pounds as evidence of prosperity and health; the number of people living at near- or below-poverty levels who find it’s cheaper to buy a few Happy Meals or Hot Pockets than to shop for healthier alternatives and make meals from scratch; and an educational dissonance that seems supported by the same national survey finding that households where parents had higher education levels also had a higher percentage of kids with a healthy weight.

“We underestimate our children’s weight and we underestimate the impact,” MacAdams says. Studies find obese kids don’t grow out of it — they become obese adults. And the money we saved on Hot Pockets will quickly be spent on the plethora of medical issues facing our kids throughout life.

So much has been publicized about these issues that it is hard to believe we haven’t made more progress.

“Part of our push is to get information out to parents and to give them other choices and alternatives — trying to get both children and adults to make some healthier choices,” MacAdams says. “It is very slow going. It is hard to change habits like that. You have to take each baby step as a success.”

Resources and Tips
South Carolina has launched a statewide action plan with a website that serves as a hub for groups and agencies related to lower obesity rates. scaledown.org

Project FIT (Families Improving Together) is a research trial being conducted at the University of South Carolina. The NIH-funded study focuses on an holistic approach working with African-American families to improve diet and activity levels. fitusc.org/landing/

Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to screen for obesity and other weight problems. However, the Centers for Disease Control cautions that BMI is not a diagnostic tool — to fully determine whether excess fat is a concern, more assessment is needed. You can learn more at the CDC website: goo.gl/J8RQJi.

Get away from the screens. One study found that kids who watched TV or played video games more than two hours a day increased their risk of obesity by 19 percent.

Exercise can be easy. It doesn’t have to involve teams or equipment or taking your kid somewhere. Since overweight kids often have overweight parents, this is something families can do together. Some low-maintenance ideas for getting 60 minutes of some kind of activity each day can be found here:
Weight Control Information Network. This may be the most important — and easiest — lifestyle change to make.


Free Times Family Magazine - Activities

Activities

By Free Times
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Back to Free Times Family homeAll4Fun Party Rental
all4funbouncehouses.com
Rents bounce houses and slides.

Art Smart Academy
732o Broad River Rd., 667-9912
artsmartacademy.com
Walk-in pottery and painting, birthday parties and more.

Asheland Art Camp
Tapp’s Arts Center: 1644 Main St., 738-2770
Offers camps in drawing, painting, printmaking and more.

Bouncerific
921 Longtown Rd., 865-7939
bouncerific.com
No, Bouncerific isn’t a place to send your kid to learn to be a doorman; it’s an indoor party and play center for kids and families. Inflatable bouncers, slides, dress-up, games, more.

Capital Karate
capitalkaratesc.com
Develops character, discipline and focus as well as physical conditioning and skills.

Carolina CrossFit
1804 Blanding St.,
carolinacrossfit.com
Offers kids’ Crossfit classes.

Chuck E. Cheese’s
1775 Burning Tree Dr., 772-0435
chuckecheese.com
The motto of the nationwide family entertainment center chain: Where a kid can be a kid. Often home to birthdays, play groups and school fundraising events, Chuck E. Cheese’s features games, rides, prizes, food and entertainment for all ages.

City of Columbia Parks & Recreation
columbiasc.net/parksandrec
Family-friendly Columbia boasts 52 public parks where your wee ones can run and jump and skip and play, plus a host of community gardens, three swimming pools, one splash pad water park, and a public skate park. The city also offers a host of youth sports and outdoor environmental programs.

Colonial Life Arena
801 Lincoln St.
coloniallifearena.com
When Disney princesses and the Sesame Street gang come to Columbia, this is where they play.

Columbia Arts Academy
787-0931,
columbiaartsacademy.com
The largest music school in the state of South Carolina, the Columbia Arts Academy boasts a large and qualified staff to train your kids in electric and acoustic guitar, voice, piano, bass, drums and year-round rock band classes. Has a Lexington location, too.

Columbia Children’s Theatre
3400 Forest Dr, 691-4548
columbiachildrenstheatre.com
Professional theater company for young audiences and families.

Columbia Marionette Theatre
401 Laurel St., 252-7366
cmtpuppet.org
Founded in 1988 by famed puppeteer Allie Scollon and her son John, the Columbia Marionette Theatre has established itself as a premiere children’s theater in South Carolina. Its mission is to entertain and educate children and adults through the long-standing tradition and artistry of puppetry.

Columbia Museum of Art
1515 Main St., 799-2810
columbiamuseum.org
Offers plenty of fun programming for kids, from Family Fun Days, Passport to Art and Gladys’ Gang to its summer camps and school programs.

Columbia Tai Chi Center
2910 Rosewood Dr., 873-2100
columbiataichicenter.com
Help reduce stress and anxiety and boost energy.

Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum
301 Gervais St., 737-8095
www.crr.sc.gov
For more than a century, the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum has collected and preserved the military history of this state.

Congaree National Park
776-4396, nps.gov/cong
This 22,000-acre park boasts the largest old-growth, floodplain forest on the continent. It’s also an International Biosphere Reserve, a Globally Important Bird Area and a National Natural Landmark. Activities include hiking, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, nature walks and more. Located in Hopkins, 20 miles southeast of Columbia.

Cottle Strawberry Farm
2533 Trotter Rd., 695-1714
cottlestrawberryfarm.com
This 30-plus-year-old strawberry farm tucked in southeast Columbia is open to the public every spring — usually from April through May, and sometimes into June. Mmm … freshly picked strawberries.

CrossFit Vista
1125 Lady St., 600-5134
warriorfitnesssc.com
CrossFit Kids is a strength and conditioning program used by many athletic teams, martial arts schools and P.E. programs. A great way to address childhood inactivity and obesity. Also has a location in Blythewood.

Dreher Island State Recreation Park
3677 State Park Rd., 364-4152,
southcarolinaparks.com
Located 30 miles northwest of Columbia in Prosperity, the Dreher Island recreation area consists of three islands encompassing 12 miles of shoreline on Lake Murray. Especially popular for fishing and boating, Dreher Island also offers lakefront camping, cabin and villa rentals, water skiing and picnicking.

Drew Park Splash Pad
2101 Walker Solomon Way
drewwellnesscenter.com
Sure, there’s a playground, a jogging track and a gazebo, but you’re coming here to get wet in the gigantic spray pad and lighted fountain. (Many of the city’s public parks offer smaller spray pools, too.)

EdVenture Children’s Museum
211 Gervais St., 779-3100
edventure.org
The South’s largest children’s museum, with more than 70,000 square feet of cool stuff to keep the kids occupied.

Frankie’s Fun Park
140 Parkridge Dr., 781-2342
frankiesfunpark.com
This Harbison-area entertainment center packs three go-kart tracks, three 18-hole mini-golf courses, batting cages, bumper boats, an arcade, a 5,000-square foot multi-tiered laser tag arena and a super-tall drop zone that says “In your face, gravity!” into 14 acres filled with fun for all ages. What, do you hate fun or something?

Flying High Academy
flyinghighacademysc.com
Dance, tumbling, gymnastics and cheerleading programs.

Harbison State Forest
896-8890
state.sc.us/forest/refharb.htm
If you didn’t know it was there, you’d never expect to find 2,177 acres of forest along the sprawling mess that is Broad River Road. But there it is — one of the largest public green spaces inside the city limits of a metropolitan area in the eastern United States. Features more than 16 miles of roads and trails (popular for biking) and a canoe landing.

Irmo-Chapin Recreation Commission
icrc.net
The Irmo-Chapin Recreation Commission offers kids sports, programs and activities at Crooked Creek Park, Saluda Shoals Park and Seven Oaks Park.

Laugh N Leap
647-960, laughnleap.com
Need to buy or rent an inflatable bounce house, water slide, dunk tank or obstacle course? Laugh N Leap has you covered.

Lexington County Recreation Commission
lcrac.com
Offers youth sports, programs and activities at parks, playgrounds and activity centers in Lexington County.

Lexington County Soccer Club
lexingtoncountysoccerclub.org
Live in Lexington County? Think your kid’s the next Ronaldo? Sign him or her up with this club team, which offers playing options from recreational to elite traveling squads.

Lexington School of Music
711 E. Main St., 929-7867
lexingtonschoolofmusic.com
Offers flexible schedules for lessons on guitar, voice, bass, piano and more.

Little Gym
2005 N. Beltline Blvd., 738-1115
thelittlegym.com
The Little Gym is an experiential learning and physical development center offering children’s physical activities centered on movement, music and learning.

Little Loggerheads Swim School
littleloggerheads.net
Offers morning, afternoon and evening swim lessons for children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years.

The Mad Platter
3101 Millwood Ave., 771-8080
mymadplatter.com
Art, studies have shown, makes kids smarter. So take your tykes here, a paint-your-own pottery studio, where they can throw clay, paint plates and explore their creative sides.

Mad Science
midlands.madscience.org
Offers a wide variety of fun science programs at birthday parties, summer camps, pre-schools and more.

Monkey Joe’s
171 Newland Rd., 788-1102
monkeyjoes.com/columbia
For kids, Monkey Joe’s offers a place to monkey around, with wall-to-wall inflatable slides, jumps, climbing walls and obstacle courses. And for parents, there’s comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi, concessions and sports on large, flat-screen TVs.

My Gym
110 Forum Dr., 788-1230
my-gym.com
A non-competitive gymnastics and play center keeping children healthy by making fitness fun.

Owens Field Skate Park
Jim Hamilton Blvd.
The 14,500-square-foot custom concrete park, when it opened in 2010, replaced a small skate park many local skaters considered bogus. Ramps, bowls, rails, more.

Palmetto Children’s Music
palmettochildrensmusic.com
Offers Music Together classes, an internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program for infants through 5-year-olds and the grownups who love them.

Palmetto Falls Waterpark
3381 Marion Ave., 751-3475
fortjacksonmwr.com/waterpark/
Tucked just inside of Fort Jackson’s Gate 2 entrance, Palmetto Falls Water Park offers a 10,000-square foot family pool, two water slides, a 600-square foot splashdown pool, a 2,500-square foot kiddie pool, a lazy river stretching 800 feet, and a snack bar. Open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays during the summer.

The Patch
3807 Augusta Hwy., 359-3276
This Gilbert strawberry patch is open for picking during strawberry season, typically April through May.

Patchwork Playhouse
1508 Columbia College Dr.,
333-0372, patchworkplayers-sc.com
A long-running children’s theater featuring child-sized puppets and actors.

Plex Indoor Sports
plexindoorsports.com
There are two locations of this local indoor sports complex franchise: The Sandhills location, by the Village at Sandhill, offers indoor soccer, basketball courts and a skate park; the Irmo location, off the Peak exit on I-26, features an ice rink, an indoor soccer field and a remote-controlled car track. Both locations offer summer camps, birthday party packages, after-school programs and youth sports.

Richland County Recreation Commission
richlandcountyrecreation.com
Offers youth sports, programs and activities at parks, playgrounds and activity centers in Richland County.

Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens
500 Wildlife Parkway
779-8717, riverbanks.org
It’s a natural fact that kids love animals. And Riverbanks Zoo — one of the nation’s finest, according to TripAdvisor — offers plenty of ‘em, from elephants to gorillas to ibexes to an aquarium and reptile complex stocked with fish, frogs, lizards and more. Riverbanks also offers myriad educational programs, day camps, overnight adventures and other fun kids’ events.

Saluda Shoals Park
5605 Bush River Rd., 731-5208
icrc.net
Situated on 270 acres downstream from the Lake Murray Dam, Saluda Shoals features a popular water park, an environmental education center, canoe trips, nature hikes, biking trails, fishing spots, picnic shelters, art exhibits, summer camps, health and wellness programs, meeting facilities and more. Good trout fishing, too, if your wee ones are into that.

Samurai Karate Studio
samuraikaratestudio.net
Offers classes for children and adults, as well as stranger-danger and anti-bully workshops.

Sesquicentennial State Park
9564 Two Notch Rd., 788-2706,
www.southcarolinaparks.com
This 1,419-acre park features a 30-acre lake surrounded by trails, picnic areas and campsites. Also offers boating, fishing, swimming, meeting facilities and trails. Trails include a 6.1-mile mountain bike trail, a 1.9-mile nature trail, and a 3.5-mile walking and jogging trail.

South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais St., 898-4921
scmuseum.org.
The South Carolina State Museum, named one of the top three museums in the Southeast by readers of Southern Living, offers a wide variety of kids programming, such as camp-ins, birthday parties, summer camps and living history re-enactments.

Talbot Swim School
792-7298, talbotswimschool.com.
Before you can run, you gotta walk, right? Well, before you go to the pool, you gotta learn to swim, and Talbot Swim School offers private lessons year-round.

.Topspin Racquet and Swim Club
topspinsc.com
Clay tennis courts in Lexington offering family clinics.

Trenholm Little League
eteamz.com/trenholmbaseball
Fun, intensive baseball league. Parents can choose clinics only or clinics and team play. Fall and spring seasons.

Trustus Theatre
520 Lady St., 254-9732, trustus.org
Offers customized acting classes with individualized instruction.

U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.,
Charlotte, N.C., 704-391-3900,
usnwc.org
OK, so the U.S. National Whitewater Center isn’t in Columbia; it’s a little more than an hour north in Charlotte. But it’s worth the trip up I-77. Offers whitewater rafting and kayaking, flatwater kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, zip lines and more.

YMCA
columbiaymca.org
The YMCA in downtown Columbia was one of the first 50 Ys in the United States. It now has five branches — including locations in Northeast Columbia, Lexington, Irmo and Orangeburg — with which to provide childcare, camps and after-school programs.

Free Times Family Magazine Learning

From STEM to STEAM

Making a Place for Humanity at the Altar of Technology
By Heather Green
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
null
Columbia Museum of Art’s solar exploration station.
Back to Free Times Family homeSince the early 2000s, STEM-focused curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) has been an educational priority as a way of helping the U.S. regain leadership in innovation and technology development. But arts educators’ concerns that the focus left little room for the humanities has given rise to the STEAM movement (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), in which science, technology, engineering and math merge with the arts to create a holistic approach to learning.

Proponents argue that without art and design, technology cannot thrive. STEAM programs are gaining ground and attracting advocates throughout South Carolina and, particularly, in Columbia where several Columbia organizations offer programs.

“Arts education is the foundation of engineering and technology development,” says Kerry Kuhlkin-Hornsby, the director of education at The Columbia Museum of Art. She adds that “creativity and design are essential to the growth of sciences and the disciplines are interrelated.” Like other STEAM advocates, Kuhlkin-Hornsby believes that the loss of arts education would be disastrous.

The museum has partnered with organizations like SCANA and IT-oLogy to provide an integrated approach to educational programs. Using a solar exploration station in its lobby, for example, the museum teaches children about the importance of sustainable and clean energy.

The museum’s Alchemy of Art program emphasizes the development of science and technology over 400 years, allowing attendees to integrate STEAM components into their broader understanding of the world.

Recently, the museum’s education department hosted the virtual STEAM Connectivity Conference for South Carolina educators.

“Teachers came from across the state for hands-on strategies, STEAM talks, and technology tool sharing to learn high impact STEAM resources that they can apply in their schools and classrooms,” the museum reported in a statement.

IT-oLogy — a nonprofit that promotes IT education and professional preparedness — also promotes the interrelatedness of technology and the arts. According to IT-oLogy President Lonnie Emard, using 3-D printers shows teens how art and science complement each other. Emard uses the iPhone as another example where design and technology come together.

Columbia residents Phillip and Renee Washington say that STEAM education and activities important for their children, Josiah, 14, and Micah, 11. Their activities include the USC Science Camp and Technology Enrichment Program, math competitions, art classes, Coding Camp and IT-oLogy classes.

Since so many jobs are geared toward STEAM, the Washingtons believe that education that includes both the arts and the sciences are essential.

“Music and math go hand-in-hand; reading music notes is like fractions — we will always encourage the arts as a part of their education.” Because both children like to draw and build, their parents see them as “natural learners” who like to experiment. Renee identifies both Micah and Josiah as “just the kind of learners we need for successful STEAM work.”

STEAM in South Carolina

When asked the ramifications of a STEM-based educational curriculum, Bruce Halverson, president of the South Carolina Governor’s School of the Arts and Humanities, says that ultimately “arts education has been closely tied to improved academic achievement and social and civic engagement.” He also believes that the arts and humanities drive “curiosity, creativity, and imagination.” If we are to succeed in a global market, Halverson believes that arts are essential, coupled with the sciences, to create a comprehensive approach to education and industry.

The South Carolina Office of Legislative and Public Affairs also states that arts programs are important in producing individuals who are both confident and competitive. “Having a holistic education which emphasizes integration of all disciplines leads students to recognize inherent talents and build upon skills that afford them the opportunity to lead successful lives.”

Becoming Mainstream: Even Elmo Believes in STEAM

STEAM’s roots can be traced back to the Rhode Island School of Design, where its then-president John Maeda first articulated the need to keep the arts top of mind. If art imitates life, then STEAM is definitely going mainstream. Recently during its 43rd Season, Sesame Street added a STEAM-focused segment to Elmo the Musical.

Using singing, dancing and imagination to teach math skills and providing supplemental STEAM materials via its web site, Sesame Street is on board with moving past STEM to incorporate a STEAM-based focus.

“In order for children to explore STEAM, it is important to highlight the underlying scientific process skills; observing and questioning, investigating, analyzing and reporting and reflecting on the ‘big idea’ and help children to find creative solutions to problems,” reads Sesame Street’s description of its STEAM focus.  

Lots of STEM and STEAM in Columbia


Columbia Museum of Art
Camps, exhibits, and school programs
columbiamuseum.org

IT-oLogy
Programs for K-12
it-ology.org/K-12.aspx

Richland Library
STEAM events for teens and children
1431 Assembly St.
richlandlibrary.com  

S2TEAM Centers SC
sccoalition.org/
stem-and-the-arts-steam.html
   
The Science Academy
6-9th grade STEM school
scscienceacademy.org
   
SC STEPS to STEM
University of South Carolina
artsandsciences.sc.edu/stem/

South Carolina Coalition for Science and Mathematics
sccoalition.org/
stem-and-the-arts-steam.html

South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and the Humanities
(Greenville, SC)
scgsah.org/


Free Times Family Magazine - Life

Life

By Free Times
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Back to Free Times Family homeLife is full of tough questions. Is your 4-year-old ready for a sleepover? Should your 12-year-old be on Snapchat? How do you talk to your 16-year-old about sexting? Teach your children well, or so the song says — and here’s how you can help them learn how to live.

ASY Counseling Services
1825 St. Julian Pl., 254-1210
asycounseling.com
Providing quality mental health services to children and families in the Columbia area.

Behavior Consulting Services
3227 Sunset Blvd.
behaviorconsultingservices.com
Serves children with a variety of special needs, including autism spectrum disorders, behavioral difficulties and academic difficulties.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia
bbbs.org
Oldest and largest youth mentoring organization in the United States. Serves children ages 6 through 18.

Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands
bgcmidland.org
Formed in 1959, operates 31 clubs, eight summer camps and a teen center serving youth and families from Fairfield, Lexington and Richland Counties.

Children’s Chance
609 Sims Ave., 254-5996
childrenschance.org
Children’s Chance’s mission is to improve the quality of life of children and families who are dealing with the trauma of pediatric cancer.

Children’s Trust of SC
1634 Main St., 733-5430
scchildren.org
Aims to promote healthy, nurturing relationships between children and adults — because strengthening families is the best way to prevent abuse, neglect and unintentional injuries.

Christian Counseling Center
1500 Lady St., 779-1995
christiancounseling.ws
Offers counseling on a variety of topics; also offers spiritual and religious counseling. Offered by First Presbyterian Church.

Columbia Counseling Center
900 St. Andrews Rd., 731-4708
columbiacounseling.accountsupport.com
A Christian perspective on counseling.

Crossroads Counseling Center
130 Whiteford Way, 808-1800
solutionsforlife.org
Counseling for adults, adolescents, children and marriages.

Family Connection of South Carolina
2712 Middleburg Dr., 252-0914
familyconnectionsc.org
Statewide organization of parents helping parents of children with disabilities, developmental delays, and chronic illnesses.

Family Service Center of South Carolina
2712 Middleburg Dr., 733-5450
fsconline.wordpress.com
A multi-service non-profit agency offering adoption services, consumer credit counseling, child dental clinics, an eye care clinic and more.

Lake Murray Counseling Center
7511 St. Andrews Rd., 781-1003
lakemurraycounseling.com
Offering counseling for children’s and adolescent issues.

Leadership Institute at Columbia College
columbiacollegesc.edu/leadership_inst/
Girls Empowered and LEAD residential programs.

Lexington-Richland Anti-Drug Abuse Council
Lexington County: 1068 S. Lake Dr.,
726-9400
Richland County: 2711 Colonial Dr.,
726-9300
lradac.org
Alcohol and drug abuse authority offering a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment programs, including child and adolescent programs.

Mental Health America of South Carolina
1823 Gadsden St., 779-5363
mha-sc.org
Assists those with mental illnesses and their families through education and advocacy.

NAMI Mid Carolina
1823 Gadsden St., 20-2916
namimidcarolina.org
Local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Palmetto Counseling Associates
1911 Gadsden St., 254-9767
palmettocounseling.com
Holistic approach emphasizes not only psychology, but also social, physical and spiritual well-being.

SC Childcare
scchildcare.org, childcare.sc.gov
Clearinghouse of information on childcare licensing and childhood development programs.

South Carolina Youth Advocate Program
140 Stoneridge Dr., Ste. 350, 779-5500, scyap.com
Nonprofit child-placing agency offering training, support and compensation to qualified families who provide a home to a foster child.

Three Rivers Behavioral Health
West Columbia: 200 Ermine Rd., 791-9918
West Columbia: 2900 Sunset Blvd., 796-9911
threeriversbehavioral.org
Provides comprehensive residential treatment for children and adolescents providing treatment for psychiatric and chemical dependency related illnesses.

University of South Carolina Speech and Hearing Research Center
1601 St. Julian Pl., 77-2614,
sph.sc.edu/shc/
Provides a variety of evaluation and treatment programs for individuals of all ages.

Free Times Family Magazine Health

Health

By Free Times
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Back to Free Times Family homeFor check-ups, vaccines, boosters and general wellness, you need a trusted family practitioner or pediatrician in your life. And there’s a lot more to staying healthy than just having a regular doctor. Here are some resources to get you started.

Ballentine Pediatrics
11134 Broad River Rd., 732-0920
ballentinepediatrics.com
Christian-oriented practice.

Ballentine Family Dentistry
3533 Dreher Shoals Rd., 732-3001

Camden Family Care
1017 Fair St.,424-1260
camdenfamilycare.com

Carolina Children’s Dentistry
7701 Trenholm Rd., 736-6000
carolinachildrensdentistry.com
Serving children from toddlers to age 18.

Carolina Pediatrics
Downtown: 2113 Adams Grove Rd., 256-0531
Irmo: 7033 St. Andrews Rd., 376-2838
carolinapediatrics.co

Carolina Teen Health
carolinateenhealth.org
Questions about sex and STDs answered in a teen-oriented format.

Child Care Services
scchildcare.org
An arm of the Department of Social Services, this childcare.sc.gov is an online hub with information on everything from child-care center licensing to Head Start programs. Also see related site scchildcare.org.

Children’s Dental Groupof South Carolina
7210 K Broad River Rd., Irmo, 781-5141
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Children’s Dental Group of South Carolina is the fastest growing children’s dental office in Columbia, offering oral conscious sedation for a more pleasant dental experience. We gladly accept insurance and Medicaid for ages 1-21.

Chapin Family Practice
1612 Chapin Rd., 345-3414
chapinfamilypractice.com

Children’s Choice Pediatrics
6108 Garners Ferry Rd., 647-1265
childrenschoicepeds.com

Chrysostom Family Dentistry
3308 Platt Springs Rd., 350-9124
drdeno.com

City of Columbia Community Gardens
columbiasc.net/communitygardens
Five-by-12-foot publicly owned plots available for lease to residents and organizations. Cost is $20 per year.

Columbia’s Cooking!
cpcp.sph.sc.edu/cooking, 576-5636
Healthy cooking classes for kids 9 and older and adults.

Colonial Family Practice
3930 Devine St., 256-1511
colonialfamilypractice.com
Part of a Sumter-based practice group.

Creative Cooking
creativecookingsc.com
Classes and camps for children ages 3 to 12.

Eat Smart Move More South Carolina
eatsmartmovemoresc.org
Offers events, live training and web training to assist local organizers in creating, managing and maintaining obesity prevention programs. 

Ellis, Green & Jenkins Pediatric Dentistry
8905 Two Notch Rd., 788-9353
wecaredentalsc.com

Family Medicine Centers of South Carolina
Downtown: 1910 Gregg St., 931-0100
Hardscrabble: 300 Rice Meadow Way, 227-7777
Irmo: 7611 St. Andrews Rd., 724-1100
Lexington: 3630 Sunset Blvd., 239-1600
Northeast: 1721 Horseshoe Dr., 788-7884
Southeast: 813 Leesburg Rd., 783-4433
fmcofsc.com
Private family practice group.

Five Points Pediatric & Walk-in Care
1228 Harden St., 748-7002, ecchc.org
Part of the Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers.

Gee Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1701 St. Julian Place, 254-6763
advanceddentistrycolumbia.com
Super-friendly, family owned practice led by Dr. Nicholas Gee.

Girls on the Run
gotrcolumbia.org
Inspires pre-teen girls to be joyful, healthy and confident through a fun curriculum that creatively integrates running.

Hutchinson Family Dentistry
209 W. Main St., 359-0566
hutchinsonfamilydentistry.com

Kids First Dental
2700 Broad River Rd., 772-4949
kidsfirstdentalsc.com

The Kids Group
206 Medical Cir., 796-9200
thekidsgroup.com

Kool Smiles
5422 Forest Dr., 753-8064
mykoolsmiles.com

Lake Murray Pediatric Dentistry
740 Old Lexington Hwy., 345-2483
lakemurraypediatricdentistry.com

Lakeside Pediatrics
811 W. Main St., Suite 205 (Lexington)
lakesidepediatric.com
Led by Dr. Douglas Luberoff; part of the Lexington Medical Center network.

Lexington Family Practice
lexmednetwork.org
The Lexington Family Practice network is an umbrella group of the Lexington Medical Center.

Lexington Medical Center
lexmed.com
A frequent winner of Best Hospital in Free Times’ Best of Columbia poll.

Dr. Samuel J. Marsh Pediatric Dentistry
2302 Bush River Rd., 798-8675
wemakekidssmile.com

Medcare Urgent Care Center
110 Medical Cir., 509-7316
medcareurgentcare.com

Midlands Orthopedics
1910 Blanding St., 256-4107
midlandsortho.com
Open Saturday mornings, when young athletes often need help.

Moore Orthopaedic Clinic
Columbia: 14 Medical Park, 227-8000
Columbia: 114 Gateway Corp., 227-8000
Lexington: 104 Saluda Pointe Dr., 227-8000
moorecenter.net

Northeast Children’s Dentistry
147 Summit Cir., 865-1421
northeastchildrensdentistry.com

Palmetto Health
palmettohealth.org
A frequent contender for Best Hospital in Free Times’ Best of Columbia poll.

Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital
7 Richland Medical Park Dr.
ch.palmettohealth.org
A state-of-the-art children’s hospital with comfortable family-centered spaces, age-appropriate play areas and therapeutic diversions to help reduce stress and encourage healing.

Palmetto Health Family Medicine Practices
Harbison: 190 Parkridge Dr., 407-3857
Irmo: 190 Parkridge Dr., 749-0693
Lakeview: 1316 N. Lake Dr., 358-1191
Northeast: 115 Blarney Dr., 736-6262
South Hampton: 5900 Garners Ferry Rd., 695-5450
Twelve Mile Creek: 4711 Sunset Blvd., 356-3609
University: 4311 Hardscrabble Rd., 419-6334
palmettohealth.org
Family practice wing of Palmetto Health.

Palmetto Pediatric & Adolescent Clinic
Downtown: 140 Park Central, 779-4001
Harbison: 16 Woodcross Dr., 732-0140
Lexington: 1970 Augusta Hwy., 358-2370
Northeast: 74 Polo Rd., 788-4886
Rice Creek: 300 Rice Meadow Way, 788-6360
palmettopediatric.com
Affiliated with Richland, Baptist, Palmetto Richland Children’s and Lexington Hospitals.

Palmetto Smiles
139 Whiteford Way, 951-9100,
palmetto-smiles.com

Pediatric After Hours Care
114 Gateway Corporate Blvd., 865-4900
Open 6-10 p.m., Mon-Fri; 2-8 p.m., Sat-Sun.

Providence Hospitals
Downtown: 2435 Forest Dr.
Northeast: 120 Gateway Corporate Blvd.
providencehospitals.com
Another of Columbia’s top-flight hospital systems.

Providence Northeast Family
114 Gateway Corporate Blvd., 788-6508
providence-nefc.com

Rice Creek Family Dentistry
101 Rice Bent Way, 788-2676
ricecreekdmd.com

Safe Kids Midlands
7 Richland Medical Park Dr., Suite 7186
safekidsmidlands.org
Dedicated to decreasing the number of injuries to children. Offers information on safe car-seat practices, product recalls, safety with household products and more.

Smile Columbia
690A Columbiana Dr., 781-9090
smilecolumbia.com

South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
teenpregnancysc.org
Provides information and resources for teens, parents, educators and community organizations.

South Carolina Dental Center
2020 Laurel St., 254-4543
southcarolinadentalcenter.com

South Lake Family Dental
1223 S. Lake Dr., 520-5580
southlakedmd.com

Sterling Sharpe Pediatric Center
4605 Monticello Rd., 252-7001
ecchc.org
Part of the Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers.

Teen Talk
palmettohealth.org/teentalk, 296-2273
Offers numerous resources for teens, including Teen Talk newsletter, peer-to-peer discussions and an ask-an-expert program.

USC Family Medicine Center
3209 Colonial Blvd., 434-6113
familymedicine.med.sc.edu
Offers complete care for children and adults with a focus on prevention.

USC Sports Medicine Center
Two Medical Park, Suite 104, 434-6812
uscsportsmedicine.com
Open to athletes at all levels — recreational to high school, college and professional.

Vista Smiles
515 Richland St., 779-9666
vistasmilesofcolumbia.com
Offers full range of family dental services with advancing technology in a welcoming environment.

Wellspring Family Medicine
114 Gateway Corporate Blvd., 865-9655
wellspringfmed.com

Wild Smiles
203 N. Lake Dr., 356-1606, wildsmiles.net

Free Times Family Magazine - Life

Grand Parenting

Raising Kids … Again
By Allison Caldwell
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Charlie Whitehead and Wyatt
Back to Free Times Family homeSituations vary, but grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing social phenomenon.

The American Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons (AARP) reports that almost 7.8 million children in the U.S. live in homes where grandparents or other relatives are the householders; more than 2.5 million grandparents are taking on the responsibility for these children. In South Carolina alone, the 2010 Census found more than 140,000 children under age 18 live with grandparents or other relatives.

“Roughly 12 percent of families nationwide are grandparents raising grandkids,” says Maureen Dever-Bumba, associate director for geriatric education at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

Sometimes the reasons for grandparents getting involved are related to poverty and other social issues.

“This concept really started coming out in the ‘90s,” Dever-Bumba says. “The driving forces tended to be issues related to HIV, drugs and other issues tied to poverty. Research showed that grandparents were frequently single, lower income, and had health issues of their own when taking on their grandchildren. Things are a little different now because of the Affordable Care Act. A big focus now is determining the circumstances around how a grandparent came to receive the child.”

“Often it’s a situation with a single mother and no supportive male figure,” says Dever-Bumba. “Teen pregnancy is also a problem. The issues are really pretty common.”

Lexington resident Kim Pendleton can relate. She has temporary custody of her 9-year-old grandson due to a difficult situation at the boy’s home.

“It’s a struggle financially — we currently live on my part-time salary,” Pendleton says. “We get food stamps, which is something I never thought I’d have to do. Another drawback is that I’m 62, and he’s 9.

“There will be some challenges in the future, I know,” Pendleton continues. “The good news is that I have two daughters here to help. Their kids are the same age, so he’s able to spend a lot of time with his cousins. Discipline has changed our relationship a little, but he really seems to appreciate the structure, consistency and knowing what to expect. He doesn’t get that at home. I just want him to do well and be happy. He’s very bright, artistic and an amazing little boy.”

Sometimes grandparents get involved more out of interest and convenience.

That’s closer to the situation with Vicki Whitehead and her 5-year-old grandson. Dad is a musician and mom bartends on the weekends; their late, long hours aren’t ideal for a traditional babysitter. As grandparents, Vicki and her husband have kept their grandson one night a week and every weekend since he was 6 weeks old.

“The scheduling can be a hassle sometimes for adults, but it amazes me how flexible children are,” Whitehead says. “He’s adjusted well to our weekly schedule. His parents are very appreciative. We’re open with each other about his health, discipline issues, whatever comes up. It’s a joy for my husband and me because we get to spend so much quality time with him … I’m enjoying every minute of it.”

Angela “Luvie” Halfacre’s retirement from a 37-year career as a teacher in Lexington One school district isn’t exactly what she thought. She has her hands full with two granddaughters, ages 1 and 3. The girls are cousins, and spend five days a week at “Luvie’s Preschool.”


Gabriella, Angela Halfacre’s granddaughter

“My daughters are also teachers, so I only keep the girls during the school year,” Halfacre says. “I sit in the floor and play with them. We learn about sharing, and saying I’m sorry. We color, sing, read lots of books, do hands-on activities. Our den looks like a day care. I enjoy it not only because they’re my grandchildren, but because I enjoy teaching. The role of disciplinarian might change our relationship a little, but I’m not sure I would be any different as a grandparent if we weren’t in this situation. It can be challenging, but my husband and I absolutely love getting to see them every day, and watching them learn and grow. Not all grandparents are that lucky.”

Resources for Grandparents
A word of advice from Maureen Dever-Bumba, associate director for geriatric education at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine:

“If you’re taking on grandchildren due to crisis, one of the best things you can do is spend time identifying exactly what you need, and all the resources available. No community or state is the same. Federal, state, local; there are all kinds of levels of support. Find out what’s available in your community.”

Here are some places to turn:

USC Center for Child and Family Studies
(CCFS.sc.edu)
Improving the well-being of children, adults and families in South Carolina and the nation.

Midlands Partnership for Community Health’s Parish Nurse Program
(803) 296-5305

American Grandparents Association
(Grandparents.com)
Resources, information, member discounts, incentives and more.

USA.gov
(USA.gov/Topics/Grandparents)
Grandparent programs per state and information about benefits, assistance and more.


Free Times Family Magazine - Activities

Keeping it Normal with Ben Hoover

A Look at Family Life with a Columbia Icon
By Kara Meador
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Rachel and Ben Hoover with children Anderson, 10 and Hollis, 5.
Have you ever looked at celebrity families and thought, “They have it made”?

When you look at a celebrity mom or dad’s lives on television or in magazines, their kids look perfectly coiffed. Their children aren’t throwing Cheerios at their parents, or screaming “I don’t like you!” in public.

The truth is, celebrity families deal with the many of same challenges as we do — only they often experience them under the eye of a microscope.

This month, Free Times Family pulls back the curtain on a local-ebrity and his family to see how they're coping with a challenging period they're going through.

Many of you watched Ben Hoover on the evening news. The popular news anchor recently lost his job. Like many South Carolinians who’ve found themselves out of work, Hoover’s family is learning how to live differently. Ben and his wife Rachel are working to handle all of the big changes that come with being out of work, while trying to maintain some normalcy for their two children 10-year-old Anderson and 5-year-old Hollis.

Kara Gormley Meador: Is it fair to say that you and your family have experienced a little bit of change recently?

Ben Hoover: It’s been a huge summer of change. To be honest with you, I wish we’d get a do-over on this one for our children’s sake.

Are there some good side effects that come from being out of work for a while as it relates to your family?

As anyone who has experienced a job change knows, it’s hard to see the blessings at first but with time comes clarity and faith. And recently I’ve enjoyed moments where I’ve been able to teach our children how to ride their bikes without training wheels. At the end of the day, I know you have to consciously make the choice each day to live in and enjoy the moment. 

Do you find, with the pressures of job transition, that it’s harder to be that good parent you want to be?

I don’t want to sugarcoat it. I’ve talked about some blessings and they are definitely blessings but it has been a process. I think it’s OK to have those difficult days and have them in front of your children. I believe it doesn’t need to be Pleasantville all of the time. They are watching when times are good. They are really watching when times are tougher. My hope is this will in some way give them better coping skills as adults.

How do you and your wife maintain a sense of normalcy for the kids during this time of transition?

I don’t think a whole lot of normalcy applied to their summer experience. They always knew momma and daddy loved them and were working hard to try and figure things out. If I had to choose a “sense of normalcy,” it would be what the circumstances forced them to do: play together. We tend to over schedule their summers with camps, sports, family trips, etc. but this summer, due to our financial situation, we didn’t do that. The end result, I did notice our 10-year-old boy and 5-year-old girl were playing together and — better yet — actually getting along.

What do you lean on in times of trial like this? What gets you through these times?

When my older sister had her first baby, I was in college and produced a video project where I documented what it was like to be a first-time mom. She said to me,“You’ve got to roll with the punches.” I believe especially with young children, you have to provide. You have to keep moving. You have no other choice. More than anything, I’ve noticed this is the first time in my life when I’ve spoken out loud to God. I’ve always talked to Him in my heart and mind but never really out loud. That has calmed my spirit.  

Northeast Columbia

Profile & Demographics

By Free Times
Friday, October 3, 2014





Dr. Megan E. Herbers of Palmetto Regional Emergency Hospital for Animals shakes hands with Elmo, the pet labradoddle of Dr. Chris Hardin, who has owned the clinic since 1999.


Nicole and Colin Humphries circle the rink during a mother-son event at Skateland Fun Center, 800 Brookman Road, just off Two Notch Road a mile north of the Village at Sandhill.


Northeast Columbia

Guide to Northeast Columbia SC E-edition

By Free Times
Thursday, October 2, 2014


Back to Northeast Columbia home

Bites & Sights Visitors Guide

Columbia SC Attractions

What to Do
By Free Times
Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bites & Sights
Where to Eat: Bites
What to Do: Attractions
Where to Drink: Nightlife
Where to Stay: Accommodations
Calendar of Events




Columbia is full of history — and historical attractions. Even the Publix in the Vista carries a whiff of Civil War history, occupying a building that once printed Confederate currency. But it’s not just war sites that you need to see: Statewide, South Carolina has 1,300 sites on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Our attractions aren’t all ancient, either. See, for example, the monument to Hootie & the Blowfish in Five Points — or, more importantly, the recently unveiled civil rights markers along Main Street.

Columbia has an often-overlooked civil rights history that includes three major Supreme Court rulings. The signs commemorate key local events and people, among them Sarah Mae Flemming, a black domestic worker who was accused in 1954 by a bus driver of sitting in the whites-only area; the incident preceded the famous Rosa Parks case and led to a significant court ruling after the NAACP filed a lawsuit on Flemming’s behalf. 

Columbia’s biggest attraction of all is the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, which draws approximately 1 million visitors per year. Opened in 1974, the zoo occupies 170 acres along the Lower Saluda River and houses some 2,000 animals in natural habitat exhibits; 70 of those acres are devoted to Riverbanks Botanical Garden, which features woodlands, gardens, historic ruins, plant collections and a visitor facility. 

Other top destinations in the city include the South Carolina State Museum, EdVenture Children’s Museum, Congaree National Park, the Columbia Museum of Art, Three Rivers Greenway, Colonial Life Arena, the Township Auditorium, the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, the Robert Mills House and more.

Upcoming events at the Colonial Life Arena include Legends of Hip Hop (Oct. 25), Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai (Nov. 5-9) and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Nov. 21). The Township’s lineup includes EDM star Skrillex (Oct. 27), country singer Scotty McCreery (Nov. 21) and blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa (Dec. 5). The Columbia Museum of Art presents little-known photographs by Norman Rockwell in the exhibition Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera (Oct. 17-Jan. 18). The S.C. State Museum recently opened its Windows to New Worlds expansion space, which includes a planetarium, observatory and 4D theater.

For more events, see the calendar or visit free-times.com/events.

Downtown/USC/South Main 

Columbia’s Main Street used to be overlooked as an entertainment district, but things are booming these days. The Hub at Columbia has brought a major influx of young residents to the area. New restaurants such as the Good Life Café, Michael’s, Cantina 76 and The Epicurean by Al-Amir have given Main Street a big daytime boost. The Soda City farmers market is bustling on Saturday mornings. Columbia’s home of independent film, the Nickelodeon Theatre, is on the 1600 block of Main Street. Drip Coffee services downtown dwellers’ caffeine addictions and provides a much-needed meeting spot. The Whig is one of the hippest bars in town. And the Columbia Museum of Art, long the area’s cultural anchor, provides a steady stream of exhibitions and events. Bottom line: Things are happening downtown. 
Just south of the State House is a string of establishments catering largely to university types and state employees. Among the options within a few-block radius: Indian food; coffee; sandwiches; frozen yogurt; hot dogs; ice cream; bagels and locally brewed beers at Hunter-Gatherer.

African-American History Monument
State House grounds 
The backstory of this monument goes back to 1994, when state Sen. John Courson put forward a grand bargain that would link removing the Confederate Flag from the State House dome (but keeping it on State House grounds) with creating an African-American history monument. That initial proposal didn’t pass, but eventually a compromise came together and the monument was dedicated in 2001. A citizens’ committee reviewed proposals from more than 40 artists and selected Colorado artist Ed Dwight from among them. The result is a 12-panel sculpture representing key aspects of the African-American experience. 

Busted Plug Plaza 
1400 Block of Taylor St. 
It’s still on Taylor Street now, but it won’t be for long. Artist Blue Sky’s giant metallic fire hydrant needs a new home, as its former host, AgFirst, has moved to Main Street.

Columbia Museum of Art 
Main and Hampton streets
799-2810, columbiamuseum.org
Exhibitions! Concerts! Beer! The museum’s traveling exhibitions span the full range of art history, while its permanent collection emphasizes European fine and decorative arts. Of course, the art is always a key draw when you’re talking about an art museum, but there are also a ton of other events happening here: the 20-something-oriented Arts & Draughts series, the acclaimed Chamber on Main series, plus lots of lectures, films and more.

Elmwood Cemetery
501 Elmwood Ave.
OK, so maybe hanging out in a cemetery isn’t your idea of fun. But this cemetery is full of history — and Civil War history in particular. Established in 1854, Elmwood Cemetery covers 168 acres and includes an area dedicated to Confederate soldiers. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.

Finlay Park 
930 Laurel St., 545-3100
Truth be told, Finlay Park (opened in 1991) has seen better days. Nonetheless, it can still be a good place for a walk amid the hustle of downtown, and kids love its two play areas. It could also get a boost with the move of the Busted Plug sculpture and an accompanying splash pad. Also hosts occasional concerts and festivals. Located behind the Assembly Street post office. 

Governor’s Mansion 
800 Richland St., 737-1710 
scgovernorsmansion.org
Built in 1855 as a residence for officers of the Arsenal Military Academy, Gen. Sherman’s troops spared the building at the end of the Civil War and it became the official Governor’s Mansion in 1868.

Hampton-Preston Mansion 
1615 Blanding St., 252-7742
historiccolumbia.org 
Built in 1818, the Hampton-Preston Mansion opened for tours in 1970; its rooms reflect the Federal period to the early postbellum years. 

Koger Center 
1051 Greene St., 777-7500
koger.sc.edu 
The Koger Center is operated by USC and has served as Columbia’s primary facility for the performing arts since 1989. Seats just over 2,000. 

Mann-Simons Cottage 
1403 Richland St., 252-7742
historiccolumbia.org 
One of only a few houses in South Carolina owned by free blacks in antebellum days and preserved as a historic house museum. Celia Mann and her descendants owned the house from the mid-19th century until 1970. The house serves as the focal point for the annual Jubilee Festival. 

McMaster Gallery 
1615 Senate St., 777-7480
http://www.cas.sc.edu/art
A small, unassuming gallery tucked away inside USC’s Department of Art, McMaster is nonetheless a gem of the city’s visual arts scene. Features student and faculty exhibitions along with contemporary traveling shows.

McKissick Museum
USC Horseshoe, 777-7251
http://www.cas.sc.edu/mcks
Offers exhibits relating to the cultural, political and natural history of South Carolina and the southeastern United States.

Modjeska Monteith Simkins House
2025 Marion St.
Built between 1890 and 1895, this one-story cottage was the home of Modjeska Simkins, a leader in South Carolina’s civil rights movement and the first woman to serve as state secretary of the state NAACP. At a time when blacks could not stay at city hotels, Simkins’ home offering a gathering space and lodging for many civil rights figures, including Thurgood Marshall.

Nickelodeon Theatre 
1607 Main St., 254-8234
nickelodeon.org
Specializing in foreign and independent films, the Nickelodeon moved into the spot of the former Fox Theatre on Main Street in 2012. Also presents the popular annual Indie Grits Film Festival.

Palmetto Trail
palmettoconservation.org
Conceived in 1994 as a statewide series of linked trails, the Palmetto Trail features 350 miles of completed paths thus far. In the Midlands, the Capital City Passage is an urban section of the trail going from Riverfront Park to Fort Jackson. 

Ponder Art Gallery (Benedict College)
1600 Harden St., 705-4605
benedict.edu
Features works by black artists.

Randolph Cemetery
Elmwood Ave. at I-26
Linkhistoricrandolphcemetery.org
Founded on land purchased from Elmwood Cemetery in 1872, Randolph Cemetery is the first cemetery established specifically for Columbia’s black community. Prior to the cemetery’s founding, blacks were buried along with poor whites near the river in a potter’s field. But in 1871, 19 local black leaders came together to establish a respectable place for burial for blacks; it is named in honor of Senator Benjamin Franklin Randolph.

Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Garden 
I-126 at Greystone Blvd., 779-8717
riverbanks.org
From reptiles to birds and everything in between, Riverbanks Zoo is by far Columbia’s biggest tourism draw. Home to more than 2,000 animals and a 70-acre botanical garden, Riverbanks also sports a 3-D theater, a ropes course and hosts popular annual events such as Boo at the Zoo, Brew at the Zoo and Lights Before Christmas. 

Robert Mills House and Garden 
1616 Blanding St., 252-7742 
historiccolumbia.org
The Robert Mills House is best known for its namesake, who also designed the Washington Monument. Open for tours, it is one of only five National Historic Landmarks in the city. 

South Carolina State House 
Main Street at Gervais Street 
scstatehouse.net
More than 50 years after its original inception in 1851, architect Charles C. Wilson finally completed the building, calling it “one of the most notable buildings of the world.” Others disagreed, with one legislative observer calling the dome “nothing short of a miserable fraud.” Call 734-2430 or visit scstatehouse.net for tour information. 

Seibels House 
1601 Richland St., 252-7742 
historiccolumbia.org
Built in the late 18th century, the Seibels House now serves as the Historic Columbia Foundation office and is a popular spot for weddings. Historic Columbia was chartered in 1961 to prevent the loss of the Robert Mills House and now is involved in many aspects of historic preservation in Columbia.  

Soda City Market
1500 Block of Main Street
sodacitysc.com
Held every Saturday morning, the Soda City market offers sustainably produced meat and produce, as well as fresh bakery items, crafts and other locally produced goods.

Sylvan Building 
1500 Main St. 
Where’s the Sylvan Building? Just look for that old clock at the corner of Main and Hampton streets. Built between 1868 and 1870, The Sylvan Building was the first large building constructed in Columbia after Union soldiers burned the city on Feb. 17, 1865. Now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 

Tapp’s Arts Center
644 Main St., 988-0013
tappsartscenter.com
Tapp’s Arts Center officially opened in 2011 and has become a focal point for Main Street’s move toward cultural relevance. Presents visual arts exhibitions and offers artist studios. Also hosts a range of arts-related events and is available for rentals.

Town Theatre
1012 Sumter St., 799-2510
towntheatre.com
Built in 1924, Town Theatre is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest continuously operating community theater building in the country; presents family-friendly musicals and other productions.

Three Rivers Greenway
riveralliance.org, 765-2200
Designated in 2013 as a National Recreation Trail, the Three Rivers Greenway provides approximately 10 miles of linked river access in Columbia, Cayce and West Columbia. The completed Cayce and West Columbia portions of the Greenway are already popular for walking and running, and the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheatre hosts outdoor concerts and more.

Township Auditorium
1703 Taylor St., thetownship.org
First opened in 1930, the 3,000-plus-seat Township Auditorium has hosted such artists as Elvis Presley, Duke Ellington, Pink Floyd, The Clash and Bob Dylan. Reopened in 2010 after a $12 million facelift, the Township brings everything from R&B, country, rock and EDM acts to wrestling, comedy and dance.

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral & Cemetery
1100 Sumter St.
Originally dedicated in 1814, Trinity Episcopal grew into a new building in 1847, one designed by Edward Brickell White and modeled after York Cathedral in England. Today, it’s one of the nation’s 20 largest Episcopal churches in the country and recently completed a major renovation. Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice James F. Byrnes and six governors are buried in its cemetery.

Tunnelvision
Taylor and Marion streets
Artist Blue Sky’s Busted Plug is moving from this location because its host, AgFirst, is moving its offices. But the Tunnelvision mural will remain as the building is converted into apartments. A 1975 wall mural of a road running through a tunnel, Tunnelvision is an iconic piece of local public art. Don’t drive by this thing when you’re stoned unless you feel like totaling your car. 

USC Horseshoe 
900 Block of Sumter St., 777-8161 
Little do most of the frolicking young college students on the gorgeous USC Horseshoe know — or care, probably — that Robert Mills, the nation’s first federal architect, designed several buildings there, as well as the Maxcy Monument, named for the first president of the college, Jonathan Maxcy. 

Woodrow Wilson Family Home 
1705 Hampton St., 252-7742
woodrowwilsonhome.com
The Wilson family moved to Columbia in 1870, moved into the home in 1872 and left two years later following a dispute over mandatory chapel service between Wilson’s father and the Presbyterian Theological Seminary where he taught. After years of renovations, the home re-opened in February of 2014.

Vista/Riverfront/State Street/Vista West

This converted warehouse district is largely known for its many dining options and art galleries, but it also sports some key attractions such as the Colonial Life Arena, EdVenture Children’s Museum and the South Carolina State Museum, as well as nightclubs, a theater and a grocery store (converted from a former Confederate printing plant). Home to such popular annual events as Vista Lights (a holiday season kick-off party), Artista Vista (a three-day gallery crawl in the spring) and Art Bar Agora, the Vista also has an increasing number of residential options. Every month, the area also holds a Third Thursday art crawl.

Just across the Gervais Street bridge sits an eclectic mix of nightspots, galleries, gift shops and restaurants. With its cheap rent, West Columbia has many of the amenities of its sister city across the river, with fewer hassles.

The Big Apple
1000 Hampton St., 252-7742
historiccolumbia.org
A debate still rages as to whether the phrase “The Big Apple” came to New York City from jazz or from horse racing (a 1930s N.Y.C. sports column was called “Around the Big Apple”). For Columbia’s sake, let’s go with the jazz theory: Once a local synagogue, The Big Apple later was turned into a juke joint where, in 1936, blacks invented a new dance, the Big Apple. Now popular for events and receptions.

Colonial Life Arena
801 Lincoln St.
Charge by phone: 1-877-489-2849
General Info: 576-9200
coloniallifearena.com
The 18,000-seat Colonial Center is the largest arena in South Carolina, hosting major concert and entertainment acts and serving as the home for USC men’s and women’s basketball.

Columbia Marionette Theater
401 Laurel St., 252-7366
cmtpuppet.org
Located near Riverfront Park, the Columbia Marionette Theater was founded in 1988 and presents children’s productions ranging from traditional fairy tales to educational shows. In 2009, founder Allie Scollon received a top national puppetry award.

EdVenture Children’s Museum
211 Gervais St., 779-3100
edventure.org
The South’s largest children’s museum, with more than 70,000 square feet of cool stuff to keep the kids occupied.

Riverfront Park
Laurel at Huger Street, 545-3100
columbiasc.net
Separating the Historic Columbia Canal and the Congaree River, Riverfront Park is a popular jogging and walking trail encompassing 167 acres just west of Huger Street.

South Carolina State Confederate Relic Room & Museum
301 Gervais St., 737-8095
www.crr.sc.gov
The Confederate Relic Room actually has much more than Civil War memorabilia, with artifacts dating from the Revolutionary War to World War II. Located in the former mill that also houses the South Carolina State Museum.

South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais St., 898-4921
southcarolinastatemuseum.org
The State Museum is the talk of the town, having recently opened a major expansion space featuring an observatory, planetarium and 4D theater. Housed in the historic Columbia Mill building (built in 1893), the South Carolina State Museum has permanent and rotating exhibitions covering South Carolina’s cultural history, natural history, science, technology and art. The museum also brings in non-South Carolina-related blockbuster exhibitions.

Three Rivers Greenway
riveralliance.org, 765-2200
The Three Rivers Greenway will eventually provide 12 miles of linked river access to citizens of Columbia, Cayce and West Columbia. The completed portions of the Greenway are already popular for walking and running, and the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheatre hosts outdoor concerts and more.

Trustus Theatre
520 Lady St., 254-9732
trustus.org
Columbia’s only professional theater company is also its leading progressive one, offering contemporary works alongside popular and established plays.

Five Points/Rosewood/Olympia/Southeast

Five Points is a college student’s playground, but it’s also much more. Home to the annual St. Pat’s festival — which draws thousands of music fans and partiers every year — Five Points offers an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and bars where you’ll find everything from coffee, hip clothes, books and records to deli sandwiches, burritos, gelato and more. And with the coveted tree-lined bungalows of Shandon just up the street, Five Points and Devine Street also have options for the post-college crowd, including numerous locally owned clothing stores and other retail spots, as well as several dining options. 

Not far away in Rosewood, you’ll find a burgeoning residential and retail area anchored by Publix and sprinkled with eclectic spots to grab a drink such as the Kraken, Cock ‘N’ Bull Pub and Rockaway Athletic Club. Rosewood has its own signature events, too, among them the Rosewood Crawfish Festival, the Tasty Tomato festival and an annual Mardi Gras festival.

Over in the historic mill village of Olympia, you’ll find a dynamic community space at 701 Whaley — which houses the 701 Center for Contemporary Art and hosts numerous local events — and Carolina Stadium, home of the Gamecock baseball team. 

701 Center for Contemporary Art
701 Whaley St., 779-4571
701cca.org
Opened in the fall of 2008, the 701 Center for Contemporary Art is an integral part of the local arts scene, hosting cutting-edge visual arts exhibitions, artist talks and more. 

Carolina Stadium 
431 Williams St. 
University spokespeople will tell you that USC’s new baseball stadium (which opened in 2009) is located in the Innovista district, but locals know the area as Olympia. Regardless of where you place it, the 9,000-seat baseball stadium is a bang-up place to watch USC’s always-strong team. Has served as a regional NCAA tournament host for five years in a row.

Congaree National Park
nps.gov/cong, 776-4396
No, Congaree National Park is not in Rosewood, but if you head out Rosewood Drive to Bluff Road and keep going for 18 miles, you’re there. This 22,000-acre park boasts the largest old-growth, floodplain forest on the continent. It’s also an International Biosphere Reserve, a Globally Important Bird Area and a National Natural Landmark. Activities include hiking, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, nature walks and more. Located in Hopkins, 18 miles southeast of Columbia (S.C. 48 from Bluff Rd. or exit 5 off I-77).

Five Points Fountain 
Harden Street and Saluda Avenue 
The Five Points Fountain is a nice place to hang out with your coffee or lunch; it’s also ground zero for numerous events, including the Five Points After Five concert series, which presents local and regional bands on an outdoor stage. 

Five Points Retail 
Five Points is for strolling, dining and shopping. Retail options are wide, encompassing everything from unique gifts at Portfolio Art Gallery or Finleaf Gallery to hip clothing at Sid and Nancy and skateboards at BlueTile. When night falls, there are plenty of places to get your groove on, too (see http://www.free-times.com/special_sections/columbia-sc-nightlife). 

Hootie Monument
Remember that band with the song “Hold My Hand” that came out in the mid-’90s and sold an ungodly number of records? Those guys were from Columbia. Head to Santee Avenue, look at the big metal sculpture and read all about the many musical exploits of Hootie & The Blowfish. 

Shops on Devine 
Just up the hill from Five Points on Devine Street are a string of high-quality, locally owned boutiques. From eco-friendly children’s clothes at K.D.’s Treehouse to ultra-cool furniture at Bohemian Home and high-end fashion at Pout and VanJean, Devine Street merchants specialize in some of the most unique and eclectic offerings in the city.

South Carolina Military Museum
1225 Bluff Road, 806-4440
scmilitarymuseum.com
Dedicated to honoring South Carolina’s National Guard and its citizen soldiers throughout history, from the late 17th century to the wars of the 21st century.

Visanska-Starks House
2214 Hampton St.
Featured on HGTV’s If Walls Could Talk in 2008, this historic home was built around 1900 and is located on Hampton Street in Historic Waverly. Barrett Visanska (1849-1932) — a Polish jeweler and founder of the Tree of Life Congregation — bought the house in 1913. John J. Starks, president of Benedict College, bought the house in 1938.

Williams-Brice Stadium
1125 George Rogers Blvd., 777-4271
uscsports.cstv.com
Situated close to both Rosewood and Olympia, Williams-Brice Stadium is party central during football season, with fans spilling into both Five Points and the Vista after games. Since being built in 1934, Williams-Brice has served as the site of lots of drunken football revelry, as well as hosting Pope John Paul II, the Rolling Stones, U2, Kenny Chesney and then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign.

Northeast/Forest Acres/Fort Jackson/Blythewood/Camden

Home to the wonderful Sesquicentennial State Park, the Northeast also sports the 600-acre Sandhill Research and Education Center, the annual Sparkleberry Country Fair, the enormous Village at Sandhill retail complex, the expansive Lake Carolina residential development, several golf courses and farmers markets, and top-notch schools that keep residents coming. 

Cobblestone Park Golf Club
280 University Club Parkway (Blythewood), 714-2620
cobblestoneparkgolfclub.com
A 27-hole golf course formerly known as the University Club. Features panoramic views with rolling hills and beautiful oaks and pines.

Columbia Children’s Theatre
3400 Forest Drive, 691-4548
columbiachildrenstheatre.com
A nonprofit, professional theater offering educational and entertainment opportunities to children and families.

Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County
810 Lyttleton St., Camden, 803-425-7676
fineartscenter.org
Presents community-oriented theater, music, dance and exhibitions, as well as the annual Carolina Downhome Blues Festival. 

Fort Jackson Museum
4442 Jackson Blvd., 751-7419
jackson.armylive.dodlive.mil/post/museum/
Acquires and exhibits Fort Jackson-related artifacts dating to the fort’s founding in 1917.

Golf Club at Crickentree
1084 Langford Rd. (Blythewood), 754-8600
golfclubsc.com
Operated by the Golf Club of South Carolina, Crickentree is a meticulously maintained course along Lake Carolina. Has hosted the U.S. Open qualifying round, the USGA Junior Tournament, Columbia’s City Amateur tournament and numerous tour events.

Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site
historic-camden.net
We’ll spare you the suspense: The Americans got their asses handed to them at the 1780 Battle of Camden. Some 233 years later, though, we’re over it. Hosts a Battle of Camden Remembrance Day each August, Revolutionary War Field Days each November and other events throughout the year.

Sandhills Farmers Market
900 Clemson Road, 788-5700
sandhillsfarmersmarket.com
Open each Tuesday from 2 to 7 p.m. from May 6 through Nov. 25. Farmers from around the region bring fresh local produce, meat, fish, eggs, butter, milk, cheese, honey, plants, flowers, shrubs and baked goods. Across from the Village at Sandhill.

Sandhill Research and Education Center
900 Clemson Road, 788-5700
Agricultural research facility and nature preserve on 600 acres. Wildlife is abundant; guests are advised to stay on designated trails.

S.C. Archives and History Center
8301 Parklane Rd., 896-6100
scdah.sc.gov
Popular for researching family history. With a wealth of local, state and federal documents, the center encourages the general public as well as scholars, students, lawyers and others to make use of its resources, and staffers are on hand to help speed your search. The center also presents exhibitions and public programs, and has a gift shop.

Sesquicentennial State Park
9564 Two Notch Rd., 788-2706
southcarolinaparks.com
This 1,419-acre park features a 30-acre lake surrounded by trails, picnic areas and campsites. Also offers boating, fishing, swimming, meeting facilities and trails. Trails include a 6.1-mile mountain bike trail, a 1.9-mile nature trail, and a 3.5-mile walking and jogging trail. Located 13 miles northeast of Columbia on Two Notch Road.

South Carolina Railroad Museum
110 Industrial Park Rd. (Winnsboro), 803-712-4135
scrm.org
Everybody loves trains, right? Take an hour-long ride, stroll through historic train cars and check out the hats, whistles and other train paraphernalia in the gift shop.

U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Museum
4442 Jackson Blvd., 751-7419
jackson.armylive.dodlive.mil/post/museum
Commemorates Fort Jackson’s prominent role in training American soldiers by acquiring and exhibiting artifacts dating to the fort’s founding in 1917.

Village at Sandhill
481 Town Center Place, 419-0235
villageatsandhill.com
Located off I-20 (Exit 80, Clemson Road), the Village at Sandhill is a testament to the growth of Columbia’s Northeast region. Primarily a massive retail development, the Village at Sandhill also boasts a movie theater, numerous dining options and community events, including outdoor concerts.

The Windermere Club
1101 Longtown Road East,
786-7888, windermereclubsc.com
Designed by Pete Dye, the Windermere course prides itself on having as many truly unique, memorable holes as possible. On this course, that’s 13 out of 18 — and no two holes are remotely alike. A driving range and practice green offer opportunities to sharpen your game before you hit the course.

Lake Murray/Lexington/Harbison/Irmo

For visitors to the area, the key draw in this part of town is Lake Murray, where you’ll find more than 500 miles of shoreline along South Carolina’s largest man-made lake. Lake Murray offers a wide range of seasonal recreation options — including sailing, fishing (especially striped bass), camping and hiking — and a huge Fourth of July fireworks display (held the Saturday before the holiday). Public access is limited to the few parks and marinas scattered around the lake, so keep that in mind as you make your plans. A popular restaurant addition is Liberty on the Lake.

There’s more to the area than the lake, however. Among your options: Saluda Shoals Park, which features a wetlands preserve; Harbison State Forest, a great place to bike; and Seven Oaks Park, with a full-service recreation complex. 

If you’re looking for cultural offerings, among your options are the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra and the Chapin Theatre Company, which has been serving the area for more than 25 years. For Columbians from all areas of town, the sprawling Columbiana Centre Mall and its surrounding big-name retailers make it a necessary stop. Good schools and neighborhoods round out the package for residents.

The Caddy Shak
381 Pilgrim Church Rd., 356-2239
mycaddyshak.com
Driving range and a par-three course at the StoneBridge Golf Club. On 381 Pilgrim Church Road, off Highway 6 near Lake Murray.

Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center
1120 Fort Congaree Trail, 227-3030
cayce.lexingtoncountytennis.com 
A massive and well-kept modern tennis complex hosting tournaments and offering year-round lessons. Also has a gym.

Chapin Theatre Company
PO Box 360, Chapin, 240-8544
chapintheatre.org
What originated informally in the late ‘70s as a few friends staging no-frills plays has become a staple of Lexington County’s cultural life. Shows at Harbison Theatre.

The Club at Rawls Creek
2121 Lake Murray Blvd., 781-0114
golfrawlscreek.com
Built in the 1970s and renovated in 2006 with an ultra-dwarf Bermuda grass called MiniVerde, which makes the greens fast. In addition to the course, there’s the Creekside Bar and Grille and facilities for weddings, parties and events.

Congaree Riverwalk
riveralliance.org, 765-2200
We’re still waiting for Columbia to finish its portion of the Three Rivers Greenway, but most of the Lexington County sections are already done. The completed Cayce and West Columbia portions of the Greenway are popular for walking and running, and the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheatre hosts outdoor concerts and more.

Crooked Creek Park
1098 Old Lexington Highway (Chapin), 345-6181, icrc.net
“Crooked Creek” makes this park sound like it’s a dirt path next to a trickle of water. Actually, it’s got a 53,000-square-foot community center with a full gym and racquetball courts, along with tennis courts, athletics fields, picnic areas and walking trails.

Dreher Island State Recreation Area
3677 State Park Rd., Exit 91 off I-26, 803-364-4152
southcarolinaparks.com
Located 30 miles northwest of Columbia in Prosperity, the Dreher Island recreation area consists of three islands encompassing 12 miles of shoreline on Lake Murray. Especially popular for fishing and boating (Lake Murray is a top destination for striped and largemouth bass), Dreher Island also offers lakefront camping, cabin and villa rentals, water skiing and picnicking. 

First Responders Wall of Remembrance
lexingtonsc.org/attractions
Dedicated in 2008, this memorial to 9/11 was made from steel from Ground Zero in New York City.

Frankie’s Fun Park
140 Parkridge Dr., 781-2342
frankiesfunpark.com
Kids’ stuff? Hardly. This Harbison-area entertainment center packs three go-kart tracks, three 18-hole mini-golf courses, batting cages, bumper boats, an arcade, a 5,000-square foot multi-tiered laser tag arena and an super-tall drop zone that says “In your face, gravity!” into 14 acres filled with fun for all ages. What, do you hate fun or something?

Gibson Pond
241 Gibson Rd., 359-1027
scgreatoutdoors.com
These 15 acres in the Town of Lexington offer walking trails, kayaking, picnic tables and a scenic overlook.

Golden Hills Golf & Country Club
100 Scotland Dr., 957-3355
goldenhillsgolf.com
Located in the Town of Lexington, Golden Hills is an 18-hole championship course designed by golf architect Ron Garl. Considered challenging yet playable for all levels, the course is among the highest-rated in the Midlands.

Harbison State Forest
state.sc.us/forest/refharb.htm
896-8890
If you didn’t know it was there, you’d never expect to find 2,177 acres of forest along the sprawling mess that is Broad River Road. But there it is — one of the largest public green spaces inside the city limits of a metropolitan area in the eastern United States. Features more than 16 miles of roads and trails (popular for biking) and a canoe landing.

Harbison Theatre
7300 College St., Irmo
Info: 407-5003, Tickets: 407-5011
harbisontheatre.org
The 400-seat Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College presents a high-quality and eclectic array of performing arts events that diversify Midlands Tech’s offerings and strengthen its relationship with the local community. Also serves as a rental facility for local arts organizations.

Lake Murray
lakemurraycountry.com
lakemurraycountry.com
Located a few miles northwest of downtown Columbia, Lake Murray is a 50,000-acre lake offering boating, camping and other recreational activities. Lakemurraycountry.com lists public access points, as well as marinas and landing spots. Good striped bass fishing during the season.

Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra
lmso.org
Think there’s no culture when you get outside downtown? Think again. Led by artistic director Einar Anderson, the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra was conceived in 2001 and held its first concert in 2004.

Lexington County Museum
U.S. Highway 378 and Fox St. Lexington, 359-8369
facebook.comlexingtoncountymuseum
Founded in 1970, the museum complex encompasses seven acres and features 36 historic structures focusing on the early history of Lexington County, from 1770 until the Civil War.

Peachtree Rock Nature Preserve
scgreatoutdoors.com/
park-peachtree.html, 254-9046
Sadly, the geological wonder known as Peachtree Rock — a triangular-shaped top-heavy sandstone formation that had stood on its pointed base for millions of years — fell in December of 2013, likely due to rain and years of vandalism. The good news? You can see the formation lying on its side, as well as Little Peachtree Rock and the rest of this beautiful 460-acre preserve, which has the only waterfall in the coastal plain. Located off S.C. 6 in southern Lexington County near Swansea.

Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Garden
riverbanks.org
If you live downtown, you’ll likely enter the zoo from its Greystone Blvd. entrance off I-26. But if you live west of the Congaree River, you can enter from Sunset Boulevard (Highway 378) in West Columbia. This entrance will take you right to the zoo’s beautiful, 70-acre botanical garden.

Saluda Shoals Park
icrc.net, 731-5208,
213-2050 (weekend)
Situated on 270 acres downstream from the Lake Murray Dam, Saluda Shoals features a popular water park, an environmental education center, canoe trips, nature hikes, biking trails, fishing spots, picnic shelters, art exhibits, summer camps, health and wellness programs, meeting facilities and more. Good trout fishing if you like to wade. 

Seven Oaks Park
200 Leisure Lane, 772-3336
icrc.net
Built in 1973 and located in the St. Andrews area, Seven Oaks Park is a full-service recreation complex offering fitness, athletics and cultural arts programs. Features a dance studio, art gallery, picnic areas, tennis courts, walking trails and more.

State Farmers Market
Exit 115 off I-26
scstatefarmersmarket.com
Relocated to Lexington County from Richland in 2010, the South Carolina State Farmers Market has a lot more space than it used to — space for vendors, shoppers and parking. Open Mon-Sat 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sun noon to 6 p.m.

Village Square Theatre
105 Caughman Rd., Lexington, 359-1436, villagesquaretheatre.com
Community theater from the Lexington County Arts Association.




Bites & Sights Visitors Guide

Columbia SC Winter 2014-15 Calendar of Events

By Free Times
Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bites & Sights
Where to Eat: Bites
What to Do: Attractions
Where to Drink: Nightlife
Where to Stay: Accommodations



OK, you’re in town, now where’s the action?

For comprehensive events coverage on a week-to-week basis, pick up a copy of Free Times at one of hundreds of locations throughout the city. But to get you started, we’ve compiled some of the major concerts, exhibitions and other cultural highlights of what’s happening between now and June, when the next Bites & Sights hits the streets. Dates are subject to change. For more information, please contact the specific venue or organization.

For more things to do, go to free-times.com/events.

Museum Exhibitions

Charles Courtney Curran: Seeking the Ideal
Columbia Museum of Art
columbiamuseum.org
Feb. 20-May 17. The first-ever museum retrospective of this American Impressionist painter brings together 58 Curran masterpieces.

Courage: The Vision to End Segregation and the Guts to Fight for It
S.C. State Museum, scmuseum.org
Feb. 28-TBA. Traces the saga of Rev. J.A. DeLaine and the brave citizens of Clarendon County, South Carolina, who brought the first lawsuit challenging racial segregation in public schools.

Finding Freedom’s Home: Archeology at Mitchelville
S.C. State Museum, scmuseum.org
Feb. 14-TBA. Tells the story of life in one of the first self-governing freedmen’s communities in the United States.

Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera
Columbia Museum of Art
columbiamuseum.org
Through Jan. 18. It is little known that Rockwell staged photographs to make his popular covers of the Saturday Evening Post. This landmark exhibition includes 50 photographs that show the careful process Rockwell used to make his art.

Snowville
Edventure Children’s Museum
edventure.org
Through Feb. 22. Winter playscape for children and the young at heart. You can climb Mount EdVerest, explore an ice cave or get the chills in a blizzard simulator. Try traveling to the South Pole to learn a little science.

Traditions, Change and Celebration: Native Artists of the Southeast
McKissick Museum
artsandsciences.sc.edu/mckissickmuseum
Through July 25. Features Native American artists who continue the traditions of their ancestors in a contemporary context.

January

Harlem Globetrotters
Colonial Life Arena
coloniallifearena.com
Jan. 10. World-famous basketball tricksters arrive in Columbia on their 2015 world tour. What do you think — can they best the Generals again?

Main Street Ice
Boyd Plaza, downtown Columbia
Through Jan. 19. Outdoor ice skating on a smallish rink with all of your friends. Who says Columbia can’t enjoy winter?

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events at USC
sc.edu
Jan. 19. The University of South Carolina generally starts its festivities the week before and keeps on going well into the next week with talks, musical presentations, and more.

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
Township Auditorium
thetownship.org
Jan. 17. R&B and soul favorite leads his longstanding band into Columbia, a frequent tour stop for the veteran performer.

Restaurant Week Columbia
restaurantweeksouthcarolina.com
Jan. 8-18. Restaurants offer deals, customers gobble up cheap and delicious eats.

TEDxColumbiaSC
Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College
harbisontheatre.org
Jan. 19. An eclectic variety of experts offer insights on a variety of topics. Let the education begin!
Tommy Ellison’s Legendary Singing Stars Gospel Showcase

Township Auditorium
thetownship.org
Jan. 24. Revered gospel contingent headline a vast lineup including Lee Williams & The Spiritual QC’s, The Mighty Clouds of Joy and The Williams Brothers.

World Beer Festival
Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center
allaboutbeer.com
Jan. 17. Sponsored by All About Beer magazine, the World Beer Festival is one of the premier beer events in the country, hitting several cities with a daunting assortment of hundreds of brews. Try not to leave too wasted, OK? Or if you do, make sure to line up a designated driver.

February

Auntie Karen Legends Of…
Koger Center, auntiekaren.org
Feb. 20. Signature fundraiser concert for The Auntie Karen Foundation. Features soul songstress Chaka Khan.

Benedict College Harambee Festival
Benedict College
benedict.edu
Feb. 28. One of the largest college-sponsored festivals in the country, the Harambee Festival features musical performances amid a slew of other offerings: food, dance, art, educational programs and more. Annual Harambee Festival Community Choir Concert will be held on Mar. 1.

Black History Parade & Festival
MLK Jr. Park
fundsinc1.org
2015 date TBD. A celebration of history, achievement and community.
Disney Live! Mickey’s Magic Show

Colonial Life Arena
coloniallifearena.com
Feb. 20. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and a host of their animated pals team with a world-class illusionist to perform magic from beloved Disney films.

Flashdance the Musical
Koger Center
broadwayincolumbia.com
Feb. 4. Iconic film story of a steel worker who dreams of a life as a dancer comes to life on the stage.

Historic Columbia Palladium Society Chili Cook-Off
Music Farm, historiccolumbia.org
Feb. 21. Features a variety of chili recipes, judging by local celebrities and chefs, live music.

Junior League Clean Sweep
South Carolina State Fairgrounds
jlcolumbia.org
Feb. 7. Held since 1998, this fundraiser is basically a massive yard sale offering up donated items ranging from clothes to furniture. Proceeds support the mission and community projects of the Junior League. Famously hot deals.

Monster Jam
Colonial Life Arena
coloniallifearena.com
Feb. 6-7. Giant trucks named Grave Digger and Aftershock will smash stuff. People will cheer.

Nephew Tommy’s “I Got People Inside My Head” Comedy Tour
Township Auditorium
thetownship.org
Feb. 7. Co-host of The Steve Harvey Morning Show headlines this comedy program at the Township.

Party Animals Mardi Gras Festival
City Roots, mardigrascolumbia.org
Feb. 14. A weird, wild, wacky and wonderful Mardi Gras festival and parade in Rosewood. Lots of food, drink and fun. Proceeds benefit The Animal Mission.

University of South Carolina Band Clinic
Koger Center, koger.sc.edu
Feb. 13-15. Numerous University of South Carolina ensembles — from the USC Wind Ensemble to the USC Left Bank Jazz Band — offer free concerts at the Koger Center.

Zane’s The Other Side of the Pillow
Township Auditorium
thetownship.org
Feb. 13-14. Based on Zane’s novel of the same name, this play concerns a love affair between “a woman who’s had enough and a man who’s had it all.”

March

The Avett Brothers
Township Auditorium
thetownship.org
Mar. 5-7. In one of the new year’s most anticipated bookings, the white-hot North Carolina folk-rock crew will set up shop at the Township for three consecutive nights.

Carolina Cup
Springdale Race Course
carolina-cup.org
March 28. There’s a dress code mandating tweed slacks at the very least, making this event an opportunity to hobnob and imbibe in your Sunday best. Oh yeah, there’s a horse race, too!

John Mellencamp
Township Auditorium
thetownship.org
Mar. 24. Long-running folk-rock journeyman lands in Columbia as part of his Plain Spoken Tour.

Journey, Steve Miller Band
Colonial Life Arena
coloniallifearena.com
Mar. 11. 1970s arena rock lives on.

Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic
South Carolina State Fairgrounds
dnr.sc.gov/psc
March 27-29. Premier hunting and fishing outdoor show. Vendors, samples, demonstrations, more.

Sister Act
Koger Center
broadwayincolumbia.com
Mar. 3-4. Based on the 1992 hit film starring Whoopi Goldberg, this show is sure to boast all the singing nuns you can handle.

St. Pat’s in Five Points
Five Points, stpatscolumbia.com
March 14. There’s a lot more than green beer at this annual street festival. Just ask the more than 30,000 people who attend. Columbia’s biggest party also includes the Get to the Green Race and the St. Pat’s Parade, not to mention a robust schedule of musicians and other performers. And hey, green beer!

Winter Jam 2015
Colonial Life Arena
coloniallifearena.com
Mar. 14. Youth-targeted Christian music tour touches down in Columbia once again. Featured artists include Skillet, Jeremy Camp and Francesca Battistelli.

Bites & Sights Visitors Guide

Columbia SC Nightlife

Where to Drink
By Free Times
Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bites & Sights
Where to Eat: Bites
What to Do: Attractions
Where to Drink: Nightlife
Where to Stay: Accommodations



So you’ve worked your way through all the daytime attractions and restaurants that you can handle — what now?

Drinking, of course. And Columbia’s got you covered in pretty much every regard. Whether it be a laid-back spot to catch the game, a swank watering hole where the bartenders mix up invigorating cocktails, a hip place to dance, or an upscale pub that centers its menu entirely around bacon, this famously hot town counters its climate with a bevy of options to quench your thirst.

And even if you think you know the local scene, keep in mind that things are always changing — clubs open, close, change formats or managers, etc. So it’s a good idea to take a fresh look around every now and then — or just pick up your weekly issue of Free Times — and make sure you haven’t missed out on a new place you might love.

Downtown
Main Street
South Main
USC
North Main


Le Cafe Jazz
930 Laurel St., 400-1879
skpfoundationlecafejazz.webs.com
You want jazz? Stop by this jazz club in Finlay Park. Call ahead for hours.

Cantina 76
1301 Main St., 764-1769
cantina76.com
This downtown joint is abuzz with hot young lawyers and college students who come for the fancy tacos and stay for the excellent margaritas, made in all shapes, flavors and sizes with top-shelf tequilas. Family-friendly, too.

Columbia Soundstage
1800 Blanding St., 397-3895
thecolumbiasoundstage.com
Warehouse-type space near the Township hosts large hip-hop concerts and dance parties.

Hunter-Gatherer
900 Main St., 748-0540
huntergathererbrewery.com
More than the token local microbrew joint, H-G boasts awesome bartenders, scrumptious entrées and an excellent liquor selection.

The Oak Table
1221 Main St., 563-5066
theoaktablesc.com
Come for the modern American cuisine, or just come for the deep bar and fantastic cocktails, including the rye-based Mac-hattan and the gin-based French Shogun.

The Palace II
6820 N. Main St., 708-3474
An upscale R&B club for the “prestigious and elite.”

Sheraton Rooftop Lounge
1400 Main St., 988-1400
Not for the acrophobic, the Sheraton’s hip Rooftop Lounge boasts a classy clientele, fine libations and desserts, plus a beautiful view of the Capital City.

Sheraton Vault Martini Bar
1400 Main St., 988-1400
Nestled within the bank’s original safe, the Vault Martini Bar is a popular hotspot for those who insist upon their martinis stirred, not shaken, and with a twist of sophistication.

Tio’s Mexican Cafe
921-A Sumter St., 252-7229
tiossc.com
Full bar with 35 types of tequila. Mimosas and bellinis on Sundays.

The Vino Garage
2327 Main St., 834-3392
This Earlewood wine and beer shop also hosts a lot of tastings of hard-to-come-by wines and beers.

The Whig
1200 Main St., 931-8852
thewhig.org
The Whig used to be Columbia’s cool-kids-only bar, but its dollar-slice Mondays and cheap-taco Tuesdays have broadened its clientele to Greeks and Main Street urban professionals. Still has that rad jukebox.

Wine Down on Main
1520 Main St. Suite 1B, 673-4810
This small, cozy wine bar is charming and unassuming, offering select beers and complimentary hors d’oeuvres in addition to a large selection of traditional and offbeat wines.

The Vista

Art Bar
1211 Park St., 929-0198
artbarsc.com
Art Bar’s been around for more than 21 years now, but it still hasn’t grown up: It’s still the same eclectic, non-corporate nightspot it’s always been. Cool but never pretentious. Looking for that hot derby girl? She’s probably here.

Blue.
721A Lady St., 251-4447
blueinthevista.org
Blue, a tapas bar and cocktail lounge, features Columbia’s only ice bar and draws in big crowds for its popular ’80s night on Wednesdays. Cozy late-night spot as well.

Carolina Ale House
708 Lady St., 227-7150
carolinaalehouse.com
Southeastern grille-and-grog chain offers good eats, a good beer selection and plenty of televised sports. Features the Vista’s hottest rooftop bar and plenty of fun drink specials.

Flying Saucer
931 Senate St., 933-9997
beerknurd.com
If you love beer, you’ve been to Flying Saucer. (You’re probably already a Beer Knurd, too.) If you love beer but haven’t been to Flying Saucer, you’re missing out on a hundreds-deep beer list stocked with beers you’ve never heard of, and beers you’ve only heard about in legend.

Gervais & Vine
620A Gervais St., 799-8463
gervine.com
Gervais & Vine offers a sophisticated yet approachable atmosphere for its exquisite Southern fusion tapas. Its extensive wine selection separates it from most of Columbia’s metropolitan haunts, and the diversity and daring of the menu make it hard to dislike.

Jillian’s
800 Gervais St., 779-7789
jillianscolumbia.com
Games! TVs! Food! Beer! Housed in the historic Train Depot Building built in 1860, Jillian’s has been serving up entertainment in the heart of the Vista since 1997. Offers an arcade, billiard tables, a ping-pong table, and walls of huge flat-screen televisions, as well as an extensive list of imports, domestics, cocktails and libations. Also presents live music and entertainment.

Kelly’s
1001 Washington St., 254-4464
If this converted fire station reminds you of Five Points, it’s probably because its owners cut their teeth working for places like Group Therapy and Jungle Jim’s. These Gamecock fans host regular acoustic performances in addition to karaoke and open mic contests.

Liberty Tap Room
828 Gervais St., 461-4677
libertytaproom.com
Whether you’re after a nice meal or just a tasty drink, you’ll find much to enjoy here consider the much-acclaimed menu and massive beer list, which offers 75 tap and bottle varieties to choose from.

Music Farm
1022A Senate St., 471-2779
musicfarm.com
Charleston’s famed music venue has opened a sister venue in Columbia, bringing the city a sorely needed large-scale rock club, a potential home for a diverse array of trendy touring acts.

Nonnah’s
930 Gervais St., 779-9599
nonnahs.com
Best known for its desserts, Nonnah’s is a good place to stop for coffee and drinks after dinner or a show.

The Oyster Bar
1123 Park St., 799-4484
oysterbarcolumbia.com
Serves up Gulf oysters, steamed and raw. The dressed-down atmosphere, excellent service and better-than-average beer selection will keep you coming back. Best of all? They shuck, you eat.

Pearlz
936 Gervais St., 661-7741
pearlzoysterbar.com
As an oyster bar, Pearlz specializes in all things bivalve mollusk. But its hip, trendy ambience and signature martinis make it a hotspot for Columbia’s young, urban professional crowd.

Pearlz Upstairs
936 Gervais St., 661-7741
pearlzoysterbar.com
Pearlz’ new upstairs lounge is a hotbed for hot local jazz, and, like its downstairs big brother, a hotspot for Columbia’s young, urban professional crowd.

PT’s 1109
1109 Assembly St., 253-8900
You could live your whole life in Columbia and not know this gay bar exists, and, frankly, its regulars probably wouldn’t mind all that much. Conversely, this haunt is a treasure to the folks who frequent it.

SakiTumi
807 Gervais St., 931-0700
sakifresh.com
Sushi, sake and salacious servers ... what else could you want out of an über-hip Vista sushi bar?

Social
918 Gervais St., 603-4313
socialcolumbiasc.com
A hot new Vista night spot, Social gets weird on the weekends, hosting paint parties, ice parties, inflatable wonderland parties, foam parties and all manner of events at which to get turnt — soundtracking it with some nationally respected EDM talents.

Thirsty Fellow
621 Gadsden St., 799-1311
thirstyfellow.com
Launched by Willie Durkin — formerly of Shannon’s, Sneakers and Durkin’s — Thirsty Fellow serves up eclectic, delicious pizzas and offers a full bar.

Tin Roof
1022 Senate St., 771-1558
tinroof.com
Named Best Bar by Free Times readers in the 2014 Best of Columbia poll. Its calling cards: live music, good food and a laid-back atmosphere. Open for lunch, happy hour, dinner and into the night.

Tsunami
700-C Gervais St., 312-9911
tsunamicompany.com
Two chic sushi bars within two blocks of each other in the Vista? Be still our beating hearts! Tsunami’s elegant, contemporary atmosphere and ample seating area complements its extensive sake, wine and beer selection.

Uncle Fester’s
522 Devine St., 748-9897
While most of the Soda City’s bars are closing up shop on Sunday morning, this watering hole between Palmetto Pig and Todd & Moore keeps the party going. Always packed with a diverse clientele.

Uncle Louie’s
1125 Park St., 933-9833
Its no-frills, no-nonsense attitude has endeared this unassuming watering hole to a loyal legion of regulars, but there’s always room for more.

Wet Willie’s
800 Gervais St., 779-5650
wetwillies.com
How can you not love a bar that specializes in grain alcohol slushies? Er, excuse us, daiquiris.

The Wild Hare
902-B Gervais St., 929-0374
wildharesc.com
Three-time winner of the Best Sports Bar in the Best of Columbia poll. Serves up hefty portions of some hefty selections (try the potato cakes!), and earns points for televisions and attractive wait staff. Down-to-earth crowd.

Wild Wing Café
729 Lady St., 252-9464
wildwingcafe.com
Sure, Wild Wing Café has sandwiches, salads and soup, but the obvious draw is their 33 flavors of wings. If you can’t decide on one, get the sampler platter. Also boasts a ton of TVs, a party atmosphere and a steady stream of regional rock bands.

The Woody
808 Lady St., 779-9663
Named after popular Columbia oldies disc jockey Woody Windham, The Woody is a popular Vista spot for shag and salsa dancing, as well as a welcoming spot for partiers who aren’t in their 20s. You have to duck through an alley, but don’t let that ward you off. Offers nightly drink specials.

World of Beer
902F Gervais St., 509-6020
worldofbeer.com
Lagers and porters and stouts (and pales and ales and bocks), oh my! World of Beer offers more than 500 beers, stocking something for aficionados and neophytes alike. Wine and cigars, too, plus live music on the weekends. The suds bring the masses in, but the living-room atmosphere keeps ‘em coming back.

Five Points
Devine Street
Rosewood
Olympia


Bar None
620 Harden St., 254-3354
Open from happy hour until sunrise, Bar None is the last refuge of the late-night lush and the service industry worker. Try the smoked wings, when they’re available.

The Bird Dog
715 Harden St., 799-0611
It’s called The Bird Dog, ostensibly, because hanging on its walls, right next to mounted deer heads, are soft-hued paintings of hunting dogs staring pensively — tentatively, even, waiting for their prey to emerge — into wooded lakes. If that sounds like the setup for a Southern bar, well, it is: Drinks, often cheap and big, are served in Mason jars.

Blazing Copper
812-814 Harden St., 251-4447
blazingcopper.com
Lots of cheap drink specials and occasional live music make this a good bet for the college set.

Breakers
801 Harden St., 771-6360
breakersbarandgrill.com
One of the biggest draws to Dr. Rocco’s was its outdoor patio, which offered an ideal Five Points people-watching spot. Breakers, now in the old Dr. Rocco’s space, keeps the patio, but the inside bar got an upscale makeover.

Cantina 76
2901 Devine St., 708-6004
cantina76.com
This Devine Street joint is abuzz with young women in cocktail dresses, couples on dates who come for the fancy tacos and stay for the excellent margaritas, made in all shapes, flavors and sizes with top-shelf tequilas. Family-friendly, too.

Capital Club
1002 Gervais St., 256-6464
The oldest gay bar in the state is a private club that’s also welcoming to people of other stripes.

Carolina Pour House
800 Harden St., 932-3033
Next to the always overflowing Group Therapy, The Pour House has a good drink selection at prices that won’t send you to the poor house.

CJ’s
749 Saluda Ave., 748-8694
Its retractable exterior wall opens to reveal the Five Points fountain plaza, thus making CJ’s a great spot for taking in this colorful corner of Columbia.

Cock N Bull Pub
326 S. Edisto Ave., 251-4474
As British as you’ll get in Rosewood. Popular and laid-back, this neighborhood favorite has a small but stellar beer menu, and lots of soccer on TV.

Cover 3
711 Harden St., 533-7030
The Cover 3 is a defensive scheme in football with three deep coverage zones covered by two cornerbacks and one safety. It’s also a bar in Five Points in the old Bey’s spot.

Craft and Draft
2706 Devine St., 764-2575
craftanddraftbeer.com
Craft beer is booming, and Craft and Draft is on it. Grab a six-pack, pick up a growler or take a seat at the bar.

Delaney’s
741 Saluda Ave., 779-2345
Delaney’s is as Irish as it comes here in the Bible Belt. Of course it has Guinness, but it also has quite an assortment of classy imports and plenty of good ol’ Irish grub. Wicked friendly staff, live music and a vibrant atmosphere round out the package — but get there early, as it fills up fast, especially on pint nights.

Foxfield Bar & Grille
406 Howard St., 728-0420
Offers a reliable selection of beers and spirits at affordable prices. Sometimes hosts punk and metal shows.

Group Therapy
2107 Greene St., 256-1203
grouptherapybar.com
Columbia’s quintessential college bar, with cheap drinks, loud music and an outdoor oasis to escape the crowd. Group wrote the book on college partying in Columbia.

Henry’s
2865 Devine St., 708-4705
henrysgrillandbar.com
Henry’s champions the traditional neighborhood bar — and, equally importantly, brings terrific bar food. Comfortable and classy.

The Hookah Spot
617 Harden St., 661-8337
hookah-spot.com
Grab a couch, sidle up to a hookah and get your smoke on.

Jake’s
2112 Devine St., 252-5253
jakesofcolumbia.com
The renewed Five Points institution is as friendly as ever, and offers the same variety of televised sports and multiple bar stations. Even better: Jake’s is bringing rock ‘n’ roll back to its hallowed hall.

The Kraken Gastropub
2910 Rosewood Dr., 955-7408
Rosewood’s hip new bar, The Kraken has a great draft beer selection and signature beer-based cocktails along with a swanky menu and cozy-cool vibe.

Lucky’s
2100 Devine St., 929-1118
For the Vista experience in Five Points, Lucky’s is your place — good wine and beer selection and an outdoor patio.

Moosehead Saloon
2020 Devine St., 708-4984
A rock ‘n’ roll country bar. Kind of like Coyote Ugly. A little. Kind of.

Nicky’s Pizza
2123 Greene St., 748-9661
Need a slice to fuel another late night in Five Points? Drop by Nicky’s. Grab a beer while you’re there, too.

Nightcaps
2722 Devine St., 771-6575
An out-of-the-way place with respect to Five Points, Nightcaps has a pool table, a big-screen television, comfy lounge chairs and a good late-night atmosphere. A popular haven for those not ready to let the night end.

Pavlov’s
2000B Greene St.
pavlovsofcolumbia.com
Tucked behind the Salty Nut, Pavlov’s is a long-time stomping ground of college revelers and serves as hallowed ground for many in the fraternity and sorority circles.

Pawleys Front Porch
827 Harden St., 771-8001
pawleysfrontporch.com
Featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Pawley’s is primarily known for its behemoth and fantastic specialty burgers, but it also caters to a late-night crowd on weekends. Especially good for game days, as it shows football games on its huge screen on its even huger deck.

Pinch
640 Harden St., 708-6838
Like Lucky’s next door, Pinch offers Vista atmosphere at Five Points prices. On-tap beers are rotated frequently, and frequently feature high-class offerings.

Publick House
2307 Devine St., 256-2207
Exceptional beer selection, challenging trivia, hip music selection, über-friendly staff, good burgers and the best raw fries around.

Rockaway Athletic Club
2719 Rosewood Dr., 256-1075
Exquisite burgers, low-key atmosphere and a nice, amply stocked bar. Plus, lots of sports on TV and a corner nook with arcade games.

Salty Nut Cafe
2000 Greene St., 256-4611
saltynut.com
Hooray! The Salty Nut, closed for about a year after an arsonist torched it, has re-opened, and reclaimed its rightful place as a favorite Five Points watering hole. Yes, you can still throw peanut shells on the floor.

Sizzle
819 Harden St., 661-9390
sizzlesc.com
Bacon is the name of the game at this new eatery and pub. Menu items include the Bloomin’ Bacon Garlic Bread and the All B and No LT (“1/4 lb. of delicious smoked bacon on Texas toast”). The grill stops sizzling at 10 p.m., but the drinks keep flowing until 2 a.m.

The Southern Belly
1332 Rosewood Dr., 667-9533
southernbellybbq.com
Still-pretty-new Rosewood hangout offers live music and a stocked bar to go with its laid-back feel and slow-cooked ‘cue.

Speakeasy
711 Saluda Ave., 255-0869
Home to live jazz several nights of the week, Delaney’s classy, hip younger sibling also boasts a fine liquor selection, great beers and a top-notch staff, as well as fine cigars and comfy leather couches. Also hosts the Science Café series.

The Thirsty Parrot
734 Harden St., 708-4768
Like Jimmy Buffett? You’ll most likely dig this place, which offers fine burgers and spirits in an easygoing atmosphere.

TLC Sports Bar and Grill
936 S. Stadium Rd., 251-3087
Built to withstand even the toughest of game days, this ultimate Gamecock bar, located within a stone’s throw of Williams-Brice, offers enough food, drink and fun to satisfy even the most orange-blooded Clemson fan.

Utopia
4330 Fort Jackson Blvd., 782-8522
Neighborhood bar offers an off-the-beaten-path spot for catching up with friends and taking in some tunes from its frequent guest singer-songwriters.

Village Idiot
2009 Devine St., 252-8646
villageidiotpizza.com
Columbia’s quintessential college-town pizza joint in a pub atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to enjoy delicious fare, cold beer, wallet-friendly weekly specials and a heaping helping of revelry. Serving New York-style pizza since 1990. Dine in, pick up or delivery, and menu also features salads, sandwiches and wings.

Yesterdays Restaurant and Tavern
2030 Devine St., 799-0196
yesterdayssc.com
A great place for an undergrad to take his or her squeeze out for dinner without maxing out the credit card. Good food, above-average beer and liquor selection. Bar in the back has its own entrance on Devine Street. A veritable Columbia landmark since 1978.

State Street
Vista West
West Columbia
Cayce


@116 Espresso & Wine Bar
116 State St., 791-5663
116state.com
A coffee shop that serves gourmet food and booze? Be still our beating hearts! Dig those specialty cocktails; also serves an extensive assortment of wines. Small, but cozy. A good date spot.

Bogart’s
530 12th St., 791-4617
A friendly Triangle City neighborhood bar. Free pool on Saturdays.

Calloway’s Bar & Grill
2410 Augusta Rd., 926-1199
callowaysbarandgrill.com
Pool tables, big-screen TVs and food: What more do you want from a sports bar?

Conundrum Music Hall
626 Meeting St., 250-1295
conundrum.us
A hub for avant-garde music, offering weird, wild and wonderful avant-jazz, contemporary classical and out-there prog ensembles. Stocks beer and wine, but no liquor.

New Brookland Tavern
122 State St., 791-4413
newbrooklandtavern.com
New Brookland Tavern is Columbia’s most storied rock club, but it’s a damn fine bar, too, offering a fine array of specials and a bar stocked with much more than Pabst Blue Ribbon served up by friendly staff.

Platinum West
1995 Old Dunbar Rd.
theplatinumplus.com
Exactly like Platinum Plus, but in West Columbia (i.e., the ladies have no shirts on.)

Rooster’s Den
1215 Augusta Rd., 794-8200
A members-only bar in Triangle City.

The Skyline Club
100 Lee St., 822-8608
skylinefunclub.com
Where do you go in Columbia if you want to do the Boot-Scootin’ Boogie? This line-dancing bar near the airport, that’s where.

State Street Pub
136 State St., 796-2006
An across-the-bridge institution, State Street Pub wins its crowd with pool, cheap beer, sports and plenty of charm. Loads of beers on tap. You’ll need to be a member, but you should be.

Northeast
Forest Acres
Fort Jackson
Blythewood
Camden


Ale House Lounge
12 Tommy Circle, 771-0161
An off-the-beaten-path hole-in-the-wall not without its charms.

Comedy House
2768 Decker Blvd., 798-9898
comedyhouse.us
Regional and national comedy acts stopping by regularly. Offers a full menu with steak, shrimp, chicken, burgers, sandwiches and appetizers.

Hooters
7711 Two Notch Rd., 419-3456
hooters.com
The same people who justify buying Playboy for the articles probably justify going to Hooters for its food. A guy’s hangout if there ever was one, Hooters is famous for its wings and women — both of which can get pretty hot.

Kwagga
108 Columbia Northeast Dr., 865-2859
A South African sports bar. No. Really.

The Mouse Trap
2711 Middleburg Dr., 799-2120
One of this town’s hidden gems, the bar is located beneath an office building in Middleburg Park. Perhaps its location is why it’s frequented by local celebrities such as former Gamecock football players, but the real draw is its incredible comfort food.

Off the Rail
10327 Two Notch Rd., 708-4817
Nightly shot specials.

The Pizza Joint
3246 Forest Drive, 454-1743
thepizzajoint.net
Come for the pizza, stay for the surprisingly highfalutin beer selection. Hey, your bar options are limited in Forest Acres.

Polliwog’s
10005 Two Notch Rd., 736-5775
polliwogsc.com
This state-of-the-art sports bar offers an attractive selection of viewing and dining possibilities. And if you hate sports, there’s always karaoke.

Salsa Cabana
2005 N. Beltline Blvd., 787-1052
This weekend spot is one of the few places in town where you can go to find authentic salsa music, dancing and flair.

Salud!
1101 Broad St., 425-4850
Taqueria and tequila lounge is the place to catch live jazz in Camden.

Serenity
301 Rice Meadow Way, 736-8228
Serenity now! A country-ish restaurant by day and lounge by night.

Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar
841-4 Sparkleberry Ln., 788-6966
solsticekitchen.com
Named Best Neighborhood Bar in northeast Columbia by readers in the 2013 Best of Columbia poll, and for good reason: It’s a great place to relax with a fancy cocktail.

Taps Pub & Restaurant
104-B Columbia NE Dr., 699-4657
Patriotically themed pub.

Tsubaki
224 10 O’Neil Ct., 736-7474
Love karaoke? You’ll love Tsubaki, where the karaoke is as authentically Japanese as next-door Inakaya’s sushi.

Venue on Broad
1020 Broad St., 713-8333
This laid-back venue is the place to catch live music in Kershaw County, offering everything from singer-songwriters to popular local and regional rock acts.

Wild Wing Café
480 Town Center Place, Ste. 2; 865-3365
wildwingcafe.com
Sure, Wild Wing Café has sandwiches, salads and soup, but the obvious draw is its 33 flavors of wings. If you can’t decide on one, get the sampler platter. Also boasts a ton of TVs, a party atmosphere and a steady stream of regional rock bands.

Harbison
Irmo
Lake Murray
Lexington
St. Andrews


Bentley’s Beach House
1605 N. Lake Dr., 808-7263
A popular stop for Lexington locals located near the Lake Murray Dam. Family-friendly; cheap eats, cheaper drinks.

British Bulldog Pub
1220 E10 Bowers Pkwy., 227-8918
thebritishbulldogpub.com
A British pub in the middle of Irmo’s urban sprawl? Rad. A dinner menu of traditional U.K. cuisine is augmented with specials on Guinness and Irish whiskeys, but the Bulldog doesn’t forget us Yanks, offering basketball (and soccer, too) on big-screen televisions and multiple, cold domestics.

Carolina Ale House
277 Columbiana Dr., 407-6996
carolinaalehouse.com
Southeastern chain grille-and-grog offers good eats, a good beer selection and plenty of televised sports.

Carolina Wings & Rib House
105 Northpoint Dr., 356-6244
carolinawings.com
What can we say about this Columbia institution? They carry a good selection of bottled beers, and the assortment of buffalo wing flavors is enticing, too.

Copper River Grill
1230 B8 Bower Parkway, 749-4647
copperrivergrill.com
Copper River Grill is a destination drinking spot for the entire Irmo/St. Andrews area. A super-large bar area means you’ll always have someplace to sit, but it still gets crowded the later the night progresses.

Corner Pocket
489 Piney Grove Rd., 731-0403
Karaoke, cover bands and lots of pool. (Hence Corner Pocket. Get it?) Wannabe pool sharks are welcome — but be ready to meet your match.

Finz Seafood House
211 Chapin Rd., 941-7148
Nothing fishy about this cozy Chapin watering hole, which often books singer-songwriters and small cover bands.

Goodfellas Grill & Bar
7608 U.S. 378., 951-4663
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to hang out at a laid-back bar in Lexington.

Hemingway’s
7467 St. Andrews Rd., 749-6020
hemingwaysmusicpub.com
A neighborhood institution in Irmo for years, Hemingway’s has been the watering hole of choice there for several reasons. Not content to do just one thing well, Hemingway’s is a sports bar, a great restaurant and a nice little music club all rolled into one. Papa would approve.

Hooters
5195 Fernandina Rd., 407-9464
hooters.com
The same people who justify buying Playboy for the articles probably justify going to Hooters for its food. A guy’s hangout if there ever was one, Hooters is famous for its wings and women — both of which can get pretty hot.

Keg Cowboy
108 E. Main St., 937-2337
kegcowboy.com
A retail store, yes, but one with its own craft beer tavern — with some seriously adventurous stuff — and its own outdoor garden. Lovely.

Liberty on the Lake
1602 Marina Rd., 667-9715
Yo dog, we heard you love Liberty Tap Room so we put a Liberty on the lake so you can Liberty at the Lake. Offers all the accoutrements of Liberty’s downtown drinkery with the added scenery of Lake Murray. Forty-eight beers on tap. Forty-eight!

Main Street Café
131 E. Main St., 808-5886
This little Greek restaurant is tucked into a storefront space on Main Street in downtown Lexington. With happy hour specials and live local music several nights a week, it’s a great way for Lexington residents to enjoy dinner and some entertainment without having to travel into Columbia.

McCary’s Sports Bar
851 Bush River Rd., 551-5680
Typically places high in the annual Best of Columbia poll, and for good reason: Good selection, good atmosphere.

Platinum Plus
362 Jacob Rd., 731-0555
Good (or bad): The girls at Platinum Plus take their clothes off. Better (or worse): Platinum Plus serves booze.

Rusty Anchor
1925 Johnson Marina Rd., 749-1555
rustyanchorrestaurant.com
Sliding glass doors opened most of the year offer a great view of Lake Murray. And live entertainment on The Quarterdeck outside jazzes up the summer months.

Schooners
6226 Bush River Rd., 661-6138
schoonersbarandgrill.com
On the eastern shores of Lake Murray by the confluence of Bush River Road, North Lake Drive and Lake Murray Boulevard, Schooners is a simple unassuming bar and grill, offering daily specials, cheap wings, televisions and live music.

Skores
2700 Broad River Rd., 751-2500
Restaurant in St. Andrews centered around sports on TV, yummy bar food and cold beers.

Tipsy Toad Tavern
103 Beaufort St., 932-4470
A godsend to the culturally deprived lake area, the Tipsy Toad features a good beer selection and Vista-style atmosphere.

Tsunami
1290 Bower Pkwy., 407-3873
tsunamicompany.com
Like its sister Vista location, Tsunami’s elegant, contemporary atmosphere and ample seating area complement its extensive sake, wine and beer selection.

The Wild Hare
5122 Bush River Rd., 213-1300
wildharesc.com
A sports bar with plenty of TVs, pool tables and dartboards, this location also offers an outdoor bar area with a sand volleyball court. Named Best Sports Bar in the Best of Columbia poll for three years running.

Wild Wing Café
1150 Bower Pkwy., 749-9464
wildwingcafe.com
Sure, Wild Wing Café has sandwiches, salads and soup, but the obvious draw is its 33 flavors of wings. If you can’t decide on one, get the sampler platter. Also boasts a ton of TVs, a party atmosphere and a steady stream of regional rock bands.

Wings ‘n’ Ale
154 Ellis Ave., 359-4475
Specializing in wings, beer and pool, Wings ‘n’ Ale has an ample supply of all three. If you’re looking for a place where the odds of getting a table are better than making a masse shot, this is it. Classic and modern rock flows as freely as the brew. Not your khaki and button-down crowd.

Northeast Columbia

Welcome to the Midlands from U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson

By Free Times
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Back to Northeast Columbia homeDear Friend,

The Midlands of South Carolina is a fulfilling place to call home! We have an ideal climate — meteorologically the weather is temperate and the people are warm-hearted. Whether you are new to our area or just moving within the Palmetto State, I would like to extend a warm welcome to you and your family. I am glad you have chosen to be part of South Carolina’s Second Congressional District , which runs along I-20 and the suburbs of Columbia to the Georgia-bordering city of North Augusta. I am here to serve and represent you.

Since being elected to Congress in 2001, constituent service has and remains my top priority. Whether I am in Washington voting for limited government involvement in our day-to-day lives or meeting with citizens around the district, I strive to always be accessible to you. I want to take this opportunity to make you aware of the variety of services our offices can provide you:

  • Assist with federal agencies, including Social Security and Veterans’ Affairs Provide assistance to obtain passports, visas and other documents.

  • Support nominations to U.S. military academies.

  • Provide information about Congressional internship and page programs.

  • Offer tour information for your family’s upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.

  • Assist with obtaining a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol.

  • Provide information on legislative issues before Congress including taxes, national defense and small business.


  • Three different offices are open and ready to help you and your family. The Washington, D.C. office focuses on legislation and national politics. Two local South Carolina offices, one in the Midlands and another in Aiken and Barnwell, are available to help with casework and problems that families have with federal agencies. For a more detailed review of our services, including important phone numbers as well as a constantly updated summary of my legislative activities in Congress, please visit my website at joewilson.house.gov. Here you can send an email, sign up for my monthly newsletter and inform me of issues important to you. I look forward to hearing from you and responding to your questions, concerns or suggestions.

    It is an honor to represent the people of South Carolina’s Second Congressional District. Welcome to your new home and please do not hesitate to reach out to the office if you or someone you know is in need of assistance.

    Sincerely,

    Joe Wilson
    U.S. Representative

    U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson:
    1700 Sunset Blvd., (US 378), Ste. 1
    West Columbia, SC 29169
    803-939-0041; fax: 803-939-0078

    2229 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
    Washington, DC 20515-4002
    202-225-2452; fax: 202-225-2455
    Link

    University Parkway, Ste. 1600
    Aiken, SC 29801
    803-642-6416; fax: 803-642-6418
    Toll-free: 1-888-381-1442


    Northeast Columbia

    Northeast Marketplace Directory

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Find it on the map
    Click map for zoomable version



    Back to Northeast Columbia homeCLOTHING

    Daff-A-Deals New & Fine Consigned Children’s and Maternity
    10171 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-865-7640

    Once Upon a Child
    10136 Two Notch Rd., 107-A, Columbia, 803-788-4320

    DENTISTS

    Farrow Road Dental Group
    9020 Farrow Rd., Columbia, 803-419-5002

    Drs. Ellis, Green & Jenkins Pediatric Dentistry
    8905 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-788-9593

    SmileCare
    9353 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-788-5360

    FOOD AND DRINK

    Albert’s Deli
    7358 Parklane Rd., Columbia, 803-736-2639

    7) Henry’s Restaurant and Bar
    111 Sparkleberry Crossing, Columbia, 803-563-5674

    8) Julep’s Bistro
    120 Sparkleberry Crossing, Columbia, 803-419-7200

    FLOORING/HOME FURNISHINGS

    Abbey Carpet Flooring & Design Center
    8102 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-699-8000

    FITNESS

    CrossFit
    4507 Hard Scrabble Rd., Blythewood, 803-600-5134

    CrossFit
    938 Broad. St., Lugoff/Camden, 803-600-5134

    Planet Fitness
    9714 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-764-2703

    FUN
    Country Adventures
    Blythewood, SC 29016, 803-754-4724
    Private farm birthday party includes pony rides, hayride and petting farm. Fun for kids; stress-free for mom!

    Skateland Family Fun Center
    800 Bookman Rd., Pontiac, 736-0606

    FURNITURE/ MATTRESSES

    Newman’s Furniture
    2931 Highway 1 South, Elgin, 803-865-9881

    GOLF CARTS

    Ricochet Custom Golf Carts
    10601 Two Notch Rd., Pontiac, 803-445-1843

    HOME IMPROVEMENT/REMODELING

    Columbia Shelving & Mirror
    1211 Oakcrest Dr., Columbia, 803-227-466

    INSURANCE

    Nationwide Clark Farley Agency
    8313 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-788-4211

    JEWELRY

    Roof Jewelers
    6829 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-788-2644

    MEDICAL

    Doctors Care
    10040 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-788-1153

    Doctors Care
    4621 Hard Scrabble Rd., Columbia, 803-736-8955

    Doctors Care
    1060 Highway 1 South, Lugoff, 803-438-9759

    Medical Park Pediatrics
    120 Highland Center, Columbia, 803-788-0577

    PRESCHOOLS

    Intelligence Refined Academy
    9354 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-865-6945

    Spring Valley Early Learning Academy
    9161 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-736-1501

    REAL ESTATE AND HOME BUILDERS

    Coldwell Banker United, Realtors
    566 Spears Creek Rd., Elgin, 803-788-2811

    Executive Construction
    112 Club View Dr.,Elgin, 803-748-1234

    Executive Construction
    231 Strathmore Dr., Columbia, 803-748-1234

    VISION

    Apex EyeCare
    7499 Parklane Rd., Suite 160, Columbia, 803-741-7177


    Dr. Michael McClay and his wife, Cheryl McClay (center), with their staff at Apex EyeCare, 7499 Parkland Road. The optometry practice offers comprehensive eye examinations and specialty care.

    VETERINARIAN

    Palmetto Regional Emergency Hospital for Animals
    10298 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-788-7387





    Northeast Columbia

    Neighborhoods of the Northeast

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Back to Northeast Columbia homeNortheast Columbia offers a wide range of housing options to suit various lifestyles and price ranges.

    Planned communities and large developments began springing up in the 1980s, with the pace accelerating in the 1990s. Although construction slowed during the national recession that began in 2007-2008, the neighborhoods of the Northeast have remained popular and growth continues. Some of the communities are gated.

    Many residents of the Northeast commute to other parts of Columbia and sometimes even farther west into Lexington County. Thousands of military personnel and civilians make the short daily trip to Fort Jackson, which is within the Columbia city limits. Travel time to downtown is typically 20 to 30 minutes (considerably shorter than some of the commuting times from the suburbs to the west of the city).

    Following are some of the popular neighborhoods:

    Lake Carolina is a planned community with more than 30 neighborhoods. Prices range from the low $100s up to seven figures. There are waterfront homes, apartments, schools, nature trails and a town center.


    Lake Carolina

    Cobblestone Park in Blythewood is one of the Northeast’s premier neighborhoods. The gated community is home to the championship-quality semi-private Cobblestone Park Golf Club.


    Cobblestone Park

    Spring Valley was the first gated neighborhood in Northeast Columbia. It has more than 1,000 homes, along with the Spring Valley Country Club.


    Coldwell Banker United, Realtors serves Richland and Kershaw counties from its Northeast office at 566 Spears Creek Church Road.

    The Summit was developed in the 1980s. Homes ranging in price from the low $100s to $300s.

    WildeWood is a prestigious community with homes on wooded lots around WildeWood Country Club.


    Belleclave is in the same area as WildeWood and features large custom-built brick homes.

    Ashley Ridge was established in the mid-1990s. It has brick homes that range from the low $100s to the mid $200s.


    Executive Construction owners Eddie and Shanna Yandle have been building homes in the Greater Columbia and Lexington areas for 25 years.

    Woodcreek Farms is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the county with homes starting around the $300s and running into the millions. It has a mix of gated and ungated developments, many near its highly regarded golf course.

    Northeast Columbia

    Northeast Columbia Restaurants

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    What the symbols mean:
    ¢ Avg. entrée less than $10
    $ Avg. entrée $10-15
    $$ Avg. entrée more than $15







    Back to Northeast Columbia homeAlbert’s Deli
    7358 Parklane Rd., 736-2639
    You can order from the menu or have them build a sandwich to your taste. Hot entrees some nights. Full-service catering available. ¢.


    Albert’s Deli at 7358 Parklane Road offers a full range of deli sandwiches plus salads (that’s Albert’s Special Salad in the photo) and gyros, plus full-service catering services. They have hot dinners on certain nights with offerings like lasagna, Mediterranean and Southwestern fare.

    Arirang
    1943 Decker Blvd., 790-5506
    You’ll feel right at home in this Korean restaurant, where the staff will take charge as if they were your own mom. Serves up such delights as pork belly grilled right at your table, plus Korean classics and banchan — and cold beer, of course. ¢-$.

    Beef O’Brady’s
    4561 Hard Scrabble Rd., 699-9687
    From the Philly cheesesteak to the roast beef garlic melt to the corned beef Reuben and a full line of deluxe burgers, you won’t be hurting for red meat options here. There are wings too, and wraps featuring shrimp and chicken, but “beef” is in the name for a reason. Served in a family friendly setting peppered with sports memorabilia and TVs. ¢.

    Big-T Bar-B-Que
    1061 Sparkleberry Ln., 788-4295
    Big T’s turns out some of the best barbecue in town. Pit-cooked pulled pork is the standout, served with hot or mild, slightly sweet mustard-based sauce. The sides are first-rate. Friendly people, generous portions. Top it all off with some homemade chocolate cake. ¢

    Blue Fin
    461-4 Town Center Place
    865-7346
    Seafood restaurant and bar. Dine indoors or out in the center of the Village at Sandhill. $-$$.

    Bobby’s House of Pizza & Subs
    2112 Clemson Rd., 699-3311
    Bobby’s attracts a loyal following with a more extensive menu than most neighborhood pizza joints, including pizzas with gourmet toppings and several Greek offerings. The bruschetta and garlic-and-oil glazed calzones are standouts. All menu items can be ordered for takeout. ¢-$.

    Bruster’s Real Ice Cream
    202 Grace’s Way, 419-8889
    A popular Pennsylvania-based chain that makes all its ice cream locally in-store. Popular flavors include Chocolate Raspberry Truffle and Peanut Cookie Dough ice cream. Offers waffle cones, sundaes, cakes and pies, shakes, smoothies and more. ¢.

    Buffalo Wild Wings
    10056 Two Notch Rd., 865-5222
    You’ll see the commercials. You know what to do: Watch sports. Eat wings. Drink beer. ¢-$.

    Calypso Caribbean Grill
    4760 Hard Scrabble Rd., 865-4111
    Fresh, fast-casual Caribbean food, including roti (wraps), jerk chicken, salads and more. ¢.

    Carolina Wings & Rib House
    240 Blythewood Rd., 714-0181
    The restaurant delivers what its name promises — succulent baby back ribs and great wings, served with a wide variety of sauce options. Portions are generous and can be washed down with one of the many different beers offered. The Northeast location has a nice deck out back. ¢-$.

    Carrabba’s
    200 Grace’s Way, 865-5688
    Offers quality Italian dishes including chicken, veal, pasta, seafood and pizza that’s wood-fired in a brick oven. Plenty of salads, desserts and more to tempt the appetite. $.

    Chen’s
    9810 Two Notch Rd., 699-6080
    9003 Two Notch Rd., 788-2848
    This is a Chinese restaurant that serves traditional combination platters and wing specials. Its vegetable menu includes tofu substitutes and comes with a large serving of white rice. ¢

    Crossings Deli
    8604 Farrow Rd., Ste. F, 736-4446
    Railroad-themed deli serves up the classics —Reubens, pimento cheese sandwiches, meatball subs, tuna melts and homemade soups — to legions of office-dwelling BlueCross and Carolina Research Park employees. Try adding grilled chicken to the deliciously feta-laden Greek Delight pita. $.

    Fazoli’s
    7621 Two Notch Rd., 865-8322
    Fast, casual Italian food in a family-friendly setting. ¢.

    Firehouse Subs
    10136 Two Notch Rd., 419-8161
    Fire station-themed deli featuring enticing hot and cold selections and combos. Soups, salads and a children’s menu are also available. ¢.

    Five Guys Burgers and Fries
    460-2 Town Center Pl., 788-6200
    Made with fresh-ground beef, offered with a dozen different toppings and with the perfect amount of grease moistening the bun, these are what burgers in heaven must taste like. The fresh-cut fries are great, too. Grab a handful of napkins and enjoy. ¢.

    Harbor Inn
    7375 Two Notch Rd., 462-3498
    Your favorite seafood platters come fried or broiled, with familiar sides like hush puppies and slaw. The Land and Sea special pairs crab legs with a ribeye, and the Specialty of the House mixes fried flounder, deviled crab, shrimp, oysters and stuffed clams. Lunch and express menus available. ¢.

    Henry’s
    111 Sparkleberry Crossing, Ste. 1,
    563-5674
    A comfortable, classy neighborhood bar with delicious burgers, fried pickles and tons of drink specials. Try the Big T burger: a huge, juicy double cheeseburger between two grilled cheese sandwiches. The Sunday brunch rocks. ¢-$.


    Henry’s Restaurant & Bar is at 111 Sparkleberry Crossing at Clemson Road and Sparkleberry Lane. It features burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads and appetizers, plus it has a kid’s menu. Henry’s has another location at 2865 Devine St.

    Hola Mexico
    9009 Two Notch Rd., 834-3014
    Classic Mexican-American restaurant combination plates and favorites, from flautas to chilaquiles to enchiladas and more. $.

    Hooters
    7711 Two Notch Rd., 419-3456
    Home of the Hooters Girls ... you didn’t really think “Hooters” was referring to owls, did you? Beyond the buxom servers, Hooters is mostly known for its wings; the menu also includes sandwiches, hamburgers and seafood. ¢-$.

    Inakaya Japanese Restaurant
    224 O’Neil Ct., 699-2626
    Elegant seating where outstanding sushi, sashimi and other Japanese cuisine take center stage. Popular with families and large groups for their spectacular Inakaya Boat Specials. Good variety and value. $.

    JP’s 4 Corners Signature Southwest
    150 Forum Dr., 865-1001
    A new restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Arizona in the Village at Sandhill. “4 Corners” refers to the spot where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet in the Southwest. The menu includes a wide variety of dishes with a hickory-grilled flavor. $.

    Jersey Mike’s
    136-3 Forum Dr., 865-8004
    This sub shop sailed in from the Jersey Shore, where the chain started in 1956. It offers the usual cold sub choices plus hot options like the Meatball & Cheese, the Philly cheesesteak and the Bar-B-Que Beef Sub. ¢

    Jin’s Hibachi & Chinese
    4435 Hard Scrabble Rd., 788-3339
    Serving Hibachi lunch and dinners, Jin’s also features a full Chinese menu with everything you’d expect, including specialties and combinations. ¢-$

    Julep’s Bistro
    120 Sparkleberry Crossing Dr.,
    419-7200
    Swanky but chill bar and bistro, with a diverse menu featuring seafood, pizzas, small plates and steaks. Live entertainment some evenings. Try the Mint Julep pizza. $.


    Julep’s Bistro (formerly Mint Julep) is at 120 Sparkleberry Crossing Drive off Clemson Road. The menu offers salads, appetizers, seafood, steaks, chicken and pizza. They also do catering. There’s usually live music beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.

    Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles
    110 Columbia NE Dr., 834-7948
    Chicken and waffles! And not just any old iteration of this soul food classic — Kiki’s offers a red velvet waffle if you’re feeling fancy. Also try the shrimp and grits. ¢

    Korea Garden
    2318 Decker Blvd., 760-3888
    Traditional Korean foods, from spicy stews to bi bim bap, from the owners of the former DJ House. Beer and wine available. $

    La Isla Bonita
    1701 Percival Rd., 596-6244
    Quaint restaurant that serves traditional Puerto-Rican cuisine. Dishes include Mofongo, Cuban sandwiches, empanadas and a pastry of the day.

    Little Pigs
    4927 Alpine Rd., 788-8238
    Amazing spread of lunch buffet offerings including yams, corn, baked beans, fried okra, onion rings, hush puppies, green beans and more. The three varieties of barbecue are nothing to sneeze at, either. Just stellar local barbecue beloved by regulars. ¢.

    Lizard’s Thicket
    10170 Two Notch Rd., 419-5662
    7620 Two Notch Rd., 788-3088
    711-1 University Village Dr., 451-8400
    Meat loaf, fried chicken, mac and cheese, fried okra. Good lord, what more could you want? A true local institution that thrives on the meat-and-veggies formula. This is what Southern cooking is all about. ¢.

    Marble Slab Creamery
    471-C Town Center Pl., 419-8300
    Founded in Houston, more than 250 Marble Slab Creamery locations dot North America. Ice cream is made on site daily, with flavors ranging from Vanilla Cinnamon to Dark Chocolate with Butterfinger. Servers mix ice cream with candy, nuts or other assorted toppings on a frozen marble slab. ¢.

    Marco’s Pizza
    4561 Hard Scrabble Rd., 419-3700
    10254 Two Notch Rd., 764-7227
    Chain pizza joint serves up, well, pizza — but also wings, salads and meatballs, as well as CinnaSquares and CheezyBread. Delivery available to some areas. ¢-$.

    Maurice’s Piggie Park
    9563 Two Notch Rd., 462-0882
    252 O’Neil Ct., 865-0608
    This Midlands barbecue institution pit-cooks its juicy pork, ribs, beef and chicken over hickory coals, and its Carolina Gold mustard-based sauce is legendary. The controversial Maurice Bessinger no longer runs the chain — the younger generation has taken it over, eschewing controversy and Confederate flags alike. ¢.

    McAlister’s Deli
    119 Sparkleberry Ln., 788-7600
    Specializing in gigantic spuds, signature gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts and sweet tea. ¢.

    Miyo’s
    715 Fashion Dr., Ste. 1, 788-8878
    Winner of many Free Times Best of Columbia awards for its Shanghai and Szechwan cuisine. Features both traditional and innovative dishes served in a comfortable, elegant atmosphere. Also features a sushi bar. ¢-$$.

    Moe’s Southwest Grill
    470-1 Town Center Pl., 788-6639
    With customizable menu options, eccentric style and unbeatable food, Moe’s adds some zest to the Tex-Mex cuisine. Cool menu names, fun atmosphere, kid-friendly. ¢.

    Montego Bay Caribbean Restaurant
    7314 Parklane Rd., 708-8481
    Just look for the big sign that says “MoBay.” If you’re craving jerk chicken, this is the place for you — but there are plenty of other Jamaican favorites as well. $

    Outback Steakhouse
    7611 Two Notch Rd., 788-9800
    Popular Australian-themed steakhouse chain featuring Blooming Onion appetizers and all manner of salads, steak and chicken dishes. $.

    Panera Bread
    931-6 Promenade Pl., 865-8640
    Panera’s cornerstone is freshly made, all-natural artisan breads. Serves a variety of sandwiches and soups offerings in a comfortable, high-tech atmosphere. ¢.

    Peanut Man
    471-11 Town Center Pl., 419-0705
    If you love boiled peanuts, you’ll know that The Peanut Man’s groundnuts are the real deal. Add to that an array of sweet treats — candy apples, chocolate-covered pretzels, popcorn — and you’ll see why this Sandhill sweet shop was successful enough for its owners to open a new Vista location. ¢


    Want to know more about restaurants and nightlife in the greater Columbia area?

    1) Read Free Times each week.

    2) Pick up a copy of the quarterly Free Times Bites & Sights magazine.

    3) Subscribe to the free weekly FT Nibbles & Sips email newsletter at free-times.com.


    Pho Viet
    2300 Decker Blvd., 699-5959
    Though it specializes in pho — the fragrant Vietnamese beef soup served with assorted beef cuts, fresh herbs, bean sprouts and other accompaniments — Pho Viet also serves spring rolls, chicken and seafood soups, rice bowls and noodle bowls topped with such Vietnamese favorites as grilled pork and shrimp. Jelly pearl drinks, soft drinks, tea and Vietnamese coffee comprise the beverage menu. ¢.

    Polliwog’s
    10005 Two Notch Rd., 736-5775
    You’ll find familiar choices at this state-of-the-art sports bar, including burgers and sandwiches, chicken fingers, wraps, appetizers, salads and wings — all presented with a green, local focus. ¢-$.

    Quaker Steak and Lube
    941 Spears Creek Ct., 563-5501
    Twenty kinds of wings?! Yes, indeed. And if you’re not in the mood for poultry, the menu is packed with ribs, sandwiches, salads, soups, steaks and more. $.

    Red Bowl Asian Bistro
    481-11 Town Center Pl., 462-9991
    Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. House specialties include spicy orange peel chicken, seafood double pan and spicy Thai green curry chicken. Full sushi bar and gluten-free menu available on request. $.

    Rush’s
    10016 Two Notch Rd., 699-1376
    2500 Decker Blvd., 736-0101
    A locally owned chain serving better fast food than you’ll find anywhere else for the price. Great burger baskets, hot dogs, shakes, etc. Why give your money to conglomerates when there are locals ready to beat their prices, quality and service? ¢.

    San Jose Mexican Restaurant
    4525 Hard Scrabble Rd., 865-0717
    801 Sparkleberry Ln., 419-8862
    Offers a vast array of combination and specialty platters. Happy Hour and lunch specials also available. ¢.

    Schiano’s
    10120 Two Notch Rd., 788-7808
    Serving specialty pizzas for meat, veggie, pepperoni and sausage lovers and more. Calzones and stromboli round out the menu alongside sandwich selections and traditional Italian dishes like mussels marinara and eggplant parmigiana. ¢-$.

    Serenity Restaurant & Lounge
    301 Rice Meadow Way, 736-8228
    If you find yourself up north — like, north of Killian Road — check out Serenity, which serves robust meals and a daily meat-and-three-style special. ¢.

    Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar
    841-4 Sparkleberry Ln., 788-6966
    From the people who bring you Mr. Friendly’s and Cellar on Greene, Solstice presents an upscale dining experience with such dishes as seared diver scallops, beef tartare, in-house brined pork chops, South Carolina seafood and hand-cut steaks. Extensive wine list and elegant, yet cozy, atmosphere. $-$$.

    Stonefire American Grill
    566 Spears Creek Church Rd., 419-2332
    Upscale American classics — steakhouse-style burgers, prime rib, roasted chicken, grilled salmon and even a classic New England lobster roll — are joined by Southern favorites like fried green tomatoes and Lowcountry crab cakes. $-$$.

    Sumo
    151 Clemson Rd., 788-2300
    All the classic Japanese steakhouse trappings: big grills, chefs with big knives and a sense of showmanship, and a range of lunch and dinner stir-fry combinations that include steak, seafood and more. Kids’ menu, too. $$.

    Sweet, A Cupcake Company
    480-6 Town Center Pl., 728-0657
    Cupcakes! Coffee! Seriously, why aren’t you already in the car on the way to this place? ¢.

    Tap’s Pub
    104-B Columbia NE Dr., 699-4657
    This patriotically themed pub offers entrees like Italian chicken giambotta or Appian Way porkchops in addition to pasta dishes, sandwiches, salads, soups, wings and appetizers. ¢.

    Texas Roadhouse
    8304 Two Notch Rd., 788-5384
    High-energy, casual Southwest-themed restaurant featuring hand-cut steaks, award-winning ribs and several made-from-scratch items such as salad dressings, bread, croutons, mashed potatoes and gravy. $.

    Tiffany Bakery and Eatery
    8502 Two Notch Rd., 736-2253
    Bread, cakes, pastries, quiches, soups, salads and chicken, all made fresh daily. One house specialty is the Spring Valley chicken salad, with white raisins, pecans and honey mustard dressing. ¢.

    Tokyo Grill
    111 Sparkleberry Crossing Dr.,
    788-7288
    Hibachi grill serving up quick entrees in varieties of shrimp, steak and chicken combinations. Also serves sushi, wraps, salads and soups. ¢-$.

    Travinia Italian Kitchen
    101-A Sparkleberry Crossing
    419-9313
    A fine dining Italian eatery with a bit of Southern spice to give the menu a unique flair. Crab cakes are big and fluffy, entrees are excellent across the board and soups are particularly good. $-$$.

    Tsubaki
    224 O’Neil Ct., 736-7474
    Lively location features Columbia’s most authentic Japanese karaoke bar as well as several yummy entrees to put you in the singing spirit, drawing on French and Japanese favorites along with traditional bar food. Also serves sushi from Inakaya Restaurant, housed next door. ¢.

    Very’s
    6729 Two Notch Rd., 788-6254
    Delicious Philly cheesesteaks, plus old-school Northeastern cuisine from Italian subs and lasagnas to pizzas. ¢-$.

    Which Wich?
    494-1 Town Center Pl., 227-2782
    As the name implies, this place is all about the sandwich, with more than 50 from which to choose. Categories are simple: turkey, chicken, ham and pork, beef, vegetarian, Italian, “classics” and even seafood. Also serves breakfast sandwiches, “kidswiches” and cookies, shakes and malts. ¢.

    Wild Wing Café
    780 Town Center Pl., 865-3365
    First opened in Hilton Head, Wild Wing has become a national chain on the strength of its 30-plus wing flavors like Jalapeño Cheddar and Old Yeller. The overwhelming menu also offers appetizers like its Hot Shots in addition to soups, salads, wraps, ribs, skewers, sandwiches and a variety of platters. ¢.

    Northeast Columbia

    Sesquicentennial State Park

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Photo by Perry Baker/S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
    Back to Northeast Columbia homeIt’s easy to miss the entry road to Sesquicentennial State Park on Two Notch Road — but if you do miss the park, you’ll regret it.

    “Sesqui,” as it is known locally, is a treasure. The park is 1,419 acres of pine and hardwoods, meadows, creeks and lake — a place of fun and solitude only 15 minutes from the busy pace of downtown Columbia.

    Whether you visit for a day or camp overnight, whether you come alone or bring friends and family, Sesqui is a place of relaxation and quiet pleasure.

    The park provides kayak, canoe and paddleboat rentals; fishing; two nature trails; and a 6-mile bicycle loop for day-use recreation. A playground, picnic tables and pavilions are near the shore of the 30-acre lake in the center of the park. There is a retreat center complete with a kitchen and overnight, dormitory-style accommodations, and there are individual camping sites.

    Sesquicentennial State Park
    9564 Two Notch Rd., 803-788-2706
    southcarolinaparks.com/sesqui
    Open daily 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
    Admission: adults $2; S.C. seniors $1.25, kids 15 and under free.

    Sesquicentennial State Park was developed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a jobs program created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression. Some of the buildings constructed by the Corps are still in use in the park. The white stones that mark the park entrance were also the work of the CCC.

    The word sesquicentennial means 150, and the park is named for the 150th birthday of the City of Columbia in 1936.

    The park is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but its hours are extended during Daylight Saving Time.

    The price of admission is a bargain at $2 for adults and $1.25 for South Carolina seniors. Children 15 and younger enter for free.

    You can bring the pets too. They are allowed in most outdoor areas, although they need to be on a leash no longer than six feet.


    Photo by Perry Baker/S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

    For more fun for Fido, there is a two-acre fenced dog park for off-leash exercise. There’s a separate fenced area available for smaller dogs too. Permits are $4 per day or $25 for the year (pro-rated). For using the dog park, you’ll need to show records proving your pet is spayed or neutered, plus current vaccination records for rabies, parvo and kennel cough. And believe it or not, they’ll take a photo of your dog for the records. Office hours are 11 a.m. to noon and 4-5 p.m. daily.

    The park offers a wide range of programs during the year. You can take a hike with a park ranger, go on an “owl prowl,” participate in a family fishing clinic, attend movie night or go on nature walks.

    The park entrance is at 9564 Two Notch Road. Phone: 803-788-2706.

    For more information, visit southcarolinaparks.com/sesqui.

    Northeast Columbia

    Health

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Back to Northeast Columbia homePalmetto Health (palmettohealth.org) is the largest health care provider in the Midlands. The 1,138-bed system includes five hospitals locally: Palmetto Health Richland, Palmetto Health Baptist, Children’s Hospital and the Heart Hospital in Columbia and the newly opened Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge in the Irmo-Harbison area. Main number: 803-296-CARE (2273).


    Doctors Care has three offices serving Northeast Columbia: 10040 Two Notch Road, 4621 Hard Scrabble Road and 1060 Highway 1 South, Lugoff. The offices are open late and on weekends providing family care and urgent care services.

    Providence Hospital (Link) at 2435 Forest Drive was founded by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Augustine in 1938. It is particularly known for its cardiovascular and orthopedic services. A branch in the Northeast at 120 Gateway Corporate Blvd. was formerly known as Providence Hospital Northeast but now is the Providence Orthopedic Hospital, a 74-bed specialty hospital. Main number: 803-256-5300.

    KershawHealth (kershawhealth.org) at 1315 Roberts St. in Camden provides a broad range of health, wellness and medical services at locations all across the Kershaw County area.

    Lexington Medical Center (lexmed.com) is headquartered in Lexington County west of Columbia. The main campus is at 2720 sunset Blvd., West Columbia. Main number: 803-791-2000.


    Dr. Susan Claytor-Caldwell and Dr. Randy Colby with patients Madeleine Dhara, Brock Jackson and London Clow at Medical Park Pediatrics, 120 Highland Center Drive, Suite 100, at the intersection of Farrow and Hard Scrabble roads. They offer services from newborn to college-age. Photo by Austin Price


    Dr. Robert H. Ellis Jr. checks patient Airiana Andersen under the spotlight at Drs. Ellis, Green & Jenkins, Pediatric Dentistry, 8905 Two Notch Road. The practice has been at the location for more than 25 years. Dr. Ellis’ daughter, Dr. Amy Green, and son, Dr. Robert H. Ellis III, are also dentists in the practice, along with family friend, Dr. John Jenkins.


    Dr. Andrew G. Gambrell owns Farrow Road Dental Group, 9020 Farrow Road. It is a full-service practice with general dentistry, restorative work and cosmetic dentistry, including the Invisalign product that is used in place of traditional wire braces.


    Dr. James Swick II and staff member Pam Stiver review a patient file at SmileCare, 9353 Two Notch Road. In addition to general dentistry, SmileCare services include root canal therapy, orthodontics and dental implants.


    Northeast Columbia

    Fun & Fitness

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Back to Northeast Columbia homeThere’s plenty to do in the Northeast. Here is a sampling.

    Sesquicentennial State Park, 9564 Two Notch Road. One of the best family friendly bargains around.

    Movies. Regal Sandhill Cinema 16 is at 450 Town Center Place in the Village at Sandhill. IMAX and RPX. 803-736-1896.

    Sandhill Farmer’s Market. Open each Tuesday 2-7 from May through November at the Clemson University Sandhill Research and Education Center, 900 Clemson Road across from the Village at Sandhill. You’ll find fresh local produce, meat, fish, eggs, baked goods, plants, flowers and more. The market often features live music and demonstrations.

    What's going on in Columbia?
    Find out by signing up for email newsletters from Free Times.
    Sparkleberry Country Fair. It’s held each spring at the Clemson University Sandhill Research and Education Center, 900 Clemson Road across from the Village at Sandhill. A bargain at $5 per car load, and all the proceeds go to local schools in the form of scholarships and grants. Rides, games, demonstrations and displays.

    Fourth of July fireworks. The Village at Sandhill puts on a show each year, preceded by music and family activities during the day.

    Hiking. Good bets are Sesquicentennial State Park and the nature trails in the Clemson University Sandhill Research and Education Center, 900 Clemson Road. The Spring Valley Rotary Club is involved in a project to map and sign the trails.

    Roller skating. Skateland at 800 Brookman Road, Pontiac. Rental skates. Birthday parties too.

    CrossFit, 4507 Hardscrabble Road. CrossFit is a general strength and conditioning program. Guidance on proper nutrition is part of the service offered. Specialized training is also available.


    CrossFit Blythewood, 4507 Hard Scrabble Road offers individual conditioning and training as well as nutrition information and specialized instruction. Also serving the Northeast at 938 Broad St., Lugoff/Camden.

    Planet Fitness at 9714 Two Notch Road at Polo Road. Fitness and exercise equipment plus hydromassage, massage chairs and tanning. Open from 5 a.m. Monday through 9 p.m. Friday, then weekends from 7 to 7.


    Planet Fitness, 9714 Two Notch Road at Polo Road, is open from 5 a.m. Monday through the week to 9 p.m. Friday, then 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

    Gold’s Gym, 226 Forum Drive in the Village at Sandhill. Fitness and exercise equipment, plus a lap pool and two racquetball courts. Another Gold’s Gym is at 450 Killian Road.

    YMCA. The Jeep Rogers Family YMCA at Lake Carolina, 900 Lake Carolina Drive. The full range of individual and family activities and programs you would expect from a YMCA.

    Rice Music House in the Village at Sandhill hosts a free concert series.

    Katie & Irwin Kahn Jewish Community Center, 306 Flora Drive, offers comprehensive programs (social, recreational, athletic, educational and cultural) based on Jewish values, tradition, heritage and culture.


    Ricochet Custom Golf Carts at 10601 Two Notch Road (just north of the Village at Sandhill) customizes, sells, rents and services carts for all uses. Brynn and Milee, pets of owners Stephen and Debbie Rioux, seem doggone happy with this one.

    Looking for more things to do in Columbia SC?
    Visit free-times.com/events.
    Golf courses. They are in abundant supply. If you know someone who is a member, there are private clubs like Columbia Country Club, Windermere, WildeWood and Woodcreek Farms. One of the best courses open to the public is Cobblestone Park Golf Club in Blythewood, formerly known as the University Club — home course for the University of South Carolina teams. Cobblestone offers daily fee-based play as well as memberships.



    Northeast Columbia

    Shopping

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Once Upon a Child, 10136 Two Notch Road, next to the Kroger supermarket, defines itself as the nation’s largest buyer and seller of brand-name new and gently used children’s clothing, toys, books, equipment and furniture.
    Back to Northeast Columbia homeCommercial and housing development are relatively new in Northeast Columbia. While the roots of the town of Blythewood go back to the first half of the 19th century, most of the remainder of the Northeast was primarily farms and scrub well into the second half of the 20th century.

    Without a true town center for the Northeast, much of the commercial development moved north from Columbia along Two Notch Road into the Sandhills and eventually Elgin in Kershaw County.

    Two Notch is the name of the local portion of the historic U.S. Route 1 that runs 2,369 miles from the Canadian border in Maine to Key West, Florida. Where the name “Two Notch Road” originated is a matter of some speculation, but the generally accepted theory is that the road in Colonial times was marked on trees and posts with two notches or blazes.

    Today, Two Notch Road is lined with commercial and retail establishments.


    Abbey Carpet & Interiors, 8102 Two Notch Road, sells flooring of all kinds: carpet, hardwood, laminate, vinyl and tile, plus rugs in traditional Oriental and contemporary design.

    Many of the larger chain stores are in malls or large strip centers.


    Daff-A-Deals, 10171 Two Notch Road, specializes in fine consignment clothing in mint condition for children and maternity wear, plus gift items, paintings and furniture pieces. Here Lyn Robinson, mother of shop owner Kahl Sanders, is surrounded by some of the featured items.

    The Village at Sandhill at Two Notch Road and Clemson Road is a planned community with upscale stores, restaurants, movie theaters and luxury condos and apartments, all surrounding the picturesque Town Center. The stores are a mix of large retailers (including Belk, JC Penney, Rooms To Go and Academy Sports) and specialty stores (such as Books-A-Million, Victoria’s Secret and Panera Bread).

    Target, Kohl’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bed Bath and Beyond, Hobby Lobby, Lowe’s and PetSmart are among the stores along Two Notch Road in strip centers.

    Columbia Place at 7201 Two Notch Road is anchored by Macy’s and Sears stores.

    But small locally-owned businesses thrive in the Two Notch area, too.

    Roof Jewelers is a third-generation family business that moved from downtown Columbia to 6829 Two Notch Road three decades ago.


    Roof Jewelers, 6829 Two Notch Road, is a third-generation family business serving Columbia since 1943. It has been at this location for 30 years.

    Another locally owned business has stretched out to Two Notch Road — but from the north instead of the south. Newman Furniture was founded in 1948 in Camden (Kershaw County) but now also has a store at 2931 Two Notch Road/Route 1 just south of Elgin.

    Newman’s Furniture, 2931 Route 1 (the continuation of Two Notch Road), just south of Elgin, has been a family-owned business since 1948. In addition to mattresses and a full range of furniture, the store is known for its large selection of recliners and reclining sofas.

    Commercial development continues west from Two Notch on Clemson Road. As it heads generally toward Blythewood, Clemson turns into Killian Road. The area along Killian Road near the intersection with Interstate 77 has become the home for several major auto dealers, including Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Buick, Hyundai, Acura and Volkswagen.

    Columbia Shelving & Mirror, 1211 Oakcrest Drive, offers products that include shower enclosures and doors, blinds, shutters, roof gutters, garage doors, mirrors and custom shelving and closets.


    Northeast Columbia

    Libraries

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Back to Northeast Columbia homeRichland Library Blythewood
    218 McNulty Rd., 691-9806
    Mon-Thu 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri-Sat 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

    Richland Library Northeast
    7490 Parklane Rd., 736-6575
    Mon-Thu 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

    Richland Library Sandhills
    1 Summit Pkwy. at Clemson Rd.
    803-699-9230
    Mon-Thu 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

    All three branches are part of the Richland County library system. The main branch is located at the corner of Assembly and Hampton streets in downtown Columbia. Main branch hours are Mon-Thu 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri-Sat 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun 2-6 p.m. A public referendum in November 2013 provided funding for a multi-year upgrade of the system, including an expanded Sandhills branch. Books, audio and other material can be reserved online and be delivered to any branch. The main branch also has a business and job center. More information is available at richlandlibrary.com.

    Northeast Columbia

    Education

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Spring Valley High School is one of five high schools in the Richland Two district.
    Public Schools: Richland Two School District

    Northeast Columbia is primarily covered by the Richland Two School District. It was formed in 1926 when Dentsville School opened with a principal, five teachers, five classrooms and an auditorium.

    Today, Richland School District Two has “more than 27,000 students enrolled, with 60-plus native languages spoken and 66 countries represented,” according to Theresa Riley Stephens, public information officer.

    Richland Two has 19 elementary schools, seven middle schools, five high schools, five magnet centers, two district-wide child development centers and two alternative schools. Buses travel 12,509 miles per day, and more than 21,000 meals are served daily, Stephens says.

    “The focus of the district has always been on quality education,” Stephens says. “In 1991, Richland Two introduced its first magnet, The Learning Collaborative (TLC), a program for motivated and high-achieving students at Dent Middle School. Over the course of the past 20 years, the magnet offerings have grown to 37 unique and dynamic programs aimed at engaging all types of learners.”

    Richland District Two claims 678 National Board Certified teachers — which puts the district first in the state and twelfth nationally, Stephens says.
    The district superintendent is Dr. Debbie Hamm.

    More information on the district: Link.

    Private Schools

    St. John Neumann Elementary School
    (Catholic)
    Grades: NS-6
    721 Polo Rd., 788-1367
    Link


    Spring Valley Early Learning Academy, 9161 Two Notch Road, now has a baby unit in addition to its preschool programs.

    Cardinal Newman High School
    (Catholic)
    Grades 7-12
    4701 Forest Dr., 782-2814
    Link

    Other educational programs

    Intelligence Refined Academy
    A new preschool program for ages 6 months through 5 years.
    9354 Two Notch Rd., 865-6945
    Link

    Spring Valley Early Leaning Academy
    Preschool program
    9161 Two Notch Rd., 736-1501

    Northeast Columbia

    Welcome to Northeast Columbia

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Back to Northeast Columbia homeIt wasn’t many years ago that the area known today as Northeast Columbia was sparsely populated and home to scattered farms and scrubland.

    Today it is a vibrant part of South Carolina’s Midlands with commercial businesses of all sorts and enormously varied housing options spread over dozens of developments.

    The Northeast is a bedroom community to some extent, with many residents commuting to jobs in the center of Columbia or at Fort Jackson. But the dramatic expansion of the retail base in recent years and the growth of health care and other industries has created job opportunities on the more local level as well.

    This guide to Northeast Columbia is aimed primarily at new residents of the area, but it could also open the eyes of longer-term residents to the many changes that have taken place over the years.

    On the cover of this magazine it says “Free Times” Guide to Northeast Columbia. If you aren’t familiar with Free Times … well, you’re missing a lot.

    What's going on in Columbia?
    Find out by signing up for email newsletters from Free Times.
    Free Times is a free weekly newspaper (some prefer to call it a magazine) that since 1987 has been covering local news, politics, arts, culture, entertainment, restaurants, community events and lifestyle in Columbia and the surrounding areas of Richland and Lexington counties. It also offers daily news updates, event information and much more at free-times.com.

    This is the first edition of the Free Times Guide to Northeast Columbia. Whether you are a newcomer to the area or a longer-time resident, we hope you will find this publication interesting and helpful. We welcome your feedback.

    Charlie Nutt
    Owner and Publisher
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Northeast Columbia

    Where to Find It

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Find it on the map
    Click map for zoomable version



    Back to Northeast Columbia homeCLOTHING

    1) Daff-A-Deals New & Fine Consigned Children’s and Maternity
    10171 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-865-7640

    2) Once Upon a Child
    10136 Two Notch Rd., 107-A, Columbia, 803-788-4320

    DENTISTS

    3) Farrow Road Dental Group
    9020 Farrow Rd., Columbia, 803-419-5002

    4) Drs. Ellis, Green & Jenkins Pediatric Dentistry
    8905 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-788-9593

    5) SmileCare
    9353 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-788-5360

    FOOD AND DRINK

    6) Albert’s Deli
    7358 Parklane Rd., Columbia, 803-736-2639

    7) Henry’s Restaurant and Bar
    111 Sparkleberry Crossing, Columbia, 803-563-5674

    8) Julep’s Bistro
    120 Sparkleberry Crossing, Columbia, 803-419-7200

    FLOORING/HOME FURNISHINGS

    9) Abbey Carpet Flooring & Design Center
    8102 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-699-8000

    FITNESS

    10) CrossFit
    4507 Hard Scrabble Rd., Blythewood, 803-600-5134

    11) CrossFit
    938 Broad. St., Lugoff/Camden, 803-600-5134

    12) Planet Fitness
    9714 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-764-2703

    FUN

    13) Skateland Family Fun Center
    800 Bookman Rd., Pontiac, 736-0606

    FURNITURE/ MATTRESSES

    14) Newman’s Furniture
    2931 Highway 1 South, Elgin, 803-865-9881

    GOLF CARTS

    15) Ricochet Custom Golf Carts
    10601 Two Notch Rd., Pontiac, 803-445-1843

    HOME IMPROVEMENT/REMODELING

    16) Columbia Shelving & Mirror
    1211 Oakcrest Dr., Columbia, 803-227-466

    INSURANCE

    17) Nationwide Clark Farley Agency
    8313 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-788-4211

    JEWELRY

    18) Roof Jewelers
    6829 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-788-2644

    MEDICAL

    19) Doctors Care
    10040 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-788-1153

    20) Doctors Care
    4621 Hard Scrabble Rd., Columbia, 803-736-8955

    21) Doctors Care
    1060 Highway 1 South, Lugoff, 803-438-9759

    22) Medical Park Pediatrics
    120 Highland Center, Columbia, 803-788-0577

    PRESCHOOLS

    23) Intelligence Refined Academy
    9354 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-865-6945

    24) Spring Valley Early Learning Academy
    9161 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-736-1501

    REAL ESTATE AND HOME BUILDERS

    25) Coldwell Banker United, Realtors
    566 Spears Creek Rd., Elgin, 803-788-2811

    26) Executive Construction
    112 Club View Dr.,Elgin, 803-748-1234

    27) Executive Construction
    231 Strathmore Dr., Columbia, 803-748-1234

    VISION

    28) Apex EyeCare
    7499 Parklane Rd., Suite 160, Columbia, 803-741-7177

    VETERINARIAN

    29) Palmetto Regional Emergency Hospital for Animals
    10298 Two Notch Rd., Columbia, 803-788-7387






    Northeast Columbia

    Motor Vehicles

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Back to Northeast Columbia homeVehicle Registration: You have 45 days to apply after moving to the state. You must first pay the vehicle property tax. See “Taxes” section on this page.

    Driver’s Licenses: You can drive on a license from another state for up to 90 days. When moving within the state, you have 10 days to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    Department of Motor Vehicle Offices:

    Open Mon-Tue-Thu-Fri
    8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wed 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Blythewood:
    10311 Wilson Blvd., 896-9983

    Columbia:
    228-A O’Neil Ct., 419-9403

    Instructions, forms and fee schedules are at scdmvonline.com/DMVNew.

    Northeast Columbia

    Voting

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    There are three ways to register to vote:

    • Online: Link.

    • In Person: Board of Voter Registration, 2020 Hampton St. Columbia, SC 29202. 576-2240.

    • Or download a registration form at Link. Click on Government, then How to Vote.) Send it by mail, fax or email.

    Northeast Columbia

    Local Government

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Back to Northeast Columbia homeRichland County Government

    Portions of the region known as Northeast Columbia are within the Columbia city limits or the town limits of Blythewood, but the majority is an unincorporated area of Richland County.

    Don’t let the ZIP codes fool you. The Town of Blythewood, for example, covers approximately 10 square miles, but the postal code covers an additional 70 square miles surrounding the town. Portions of the City of Columbia in the Northeast have a ZIP code that identifies the area as Elgin, Kershaw County.

    Richland County Council is an 11-member body elected to oversee the operations of the county government. Members of the council for 2014 are:

    District 1: Bill Malinowski

    District 2: Joyce Dickerson (vice chair)

    District 3: Damon Jeter

    District 4: Paul Livingston

    District 5: Seth Rose

    District 6: L. Gregory Pearce Jr.

    District 7: Torrey Rush

    District 8: Jim Manning

    District 9: Julie-Ann Dixon

    District 10: Kelvin Washington

    District 11: Norman Jackson (chair)

    The boundary lines of the districts can be confusing. The best way to determine which district a particular address is located is to go to the county’s website at Link, use the pull-down menu for Government and click on County Council. There is a “Find My District” button on the right-hand side.

    Richland County Council generally meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. The meetings, which are open to the public, are held at on the second floor of the Richland County Administration Building at 2020 Hampton St., Columbia. 

    Taxes
    Richland County Treasurer’s Office oversees county taxes.

    Treasurer: David A. Adams

    2020 Hampton St. at Harden St.

    Office Hours:
    8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Telephone: 803-576-2250
    Fax: 803-576-2269
    E-Mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Property Taxes
    Go to Link and click on Property Value and Tax Estimates to determine the information for a particular piece of property.


    Clark Farley Insurance Agency, 8313 Two Notch Road, has been in the Northeast since Clark Farley founded the organization in 1975. The agency now has more than 11,000 customers and has offices in Camden, Lugoff, Florence and Sumter.

    Law Enforcement
    Richland County Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement services throughout the county with more than 700 uniformed officers operating from several substations.

    Sheriff Leon Lott
    5622 Two Notch Road
    803-576-3000
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Columbia City Government
    Columbia has a mayor-council form of government, with an elected mayor, two at-large members and four members representing individual districts. The mayor casts one of the seven votes on the City Council. City Manager Teresa Wilson is appointed by the Council and is the chief administrative officer.

    The members for 2014 are:

    Mayor Steve Benjamin

    At-large: Tameika Isaac Devine and Cameron Runyon

    District 1: Sam Davis

    District 2: Brian DeQuincey Newman

    District 3: Moe Baddourah

    District 4: Leona Plaugh

    Sam Davis and Leona Plaugh are the two members of City Council whose districts include some portions of the Northeast. Maps showing the districts are on the city’s website.

    Work sessions of the City Council are at 2 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month at City Hall at the corner of Main and Laurel streets. The main Council meetings are at 6 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays at City Hall.

    The main number for city government is 803-545-3000. The official city website is Link.

    Town of Blythewood Government
    The town is governed by a mayor and four members of the Town Council. The town administrator is Gary Parker. Those serving on Council in 2014 are:

    Mayor J. Michael Ross

    Council members Edward Baughman, Robert Massa (mayor pro tem), Robert Mangone and Tom Utroska.

    Northeast Columbia

    Federal & State Representatives

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Back to Northeast Columbia home

    U.S. Senate


    Sen. Lindsey O. Graham
    Washington office:
    290 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
    202-224-5972
    lgraham.senate.gov

    Local office:
    508 Hampton St., #202, Columbia, SC 29201
    803-933-0112

    Sen. Timothy E. “Tim” Scott
    Washington office:
    167 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
    202-224-6121
    scott.senate.gov

    Local office: 1301 Gervais St., Suite 825, Columbia, SC 29201
    803-771-6112


    House of Representatives


    District 2 – Rep. Joe Wilson
    Washington Office: 2229 Rayburn House
    Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
    202-225-2452

    Local Office: 1700 Sunset Blvd. (US 378)
    Suite 1, West Columbia, SC 29169
    803-939-0041
    joewilson.house.gov

    District 5 – Rep. Mick Mulvaney
    Washington Office: 1207 Longworth
    House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
    20515, 202-225-5501

    Local Office: 110 Railroad Ave.,
    Gaffney, SC 29340, 864-206-6004
    http://mulvaney.house.gov


    South Carolina Officials


    Gov. Nikki Haley
    Office of the Governor
    1205 Pendleton St., Columbia, SC 29201
    803-734-2100
    http://governor.sc.gov

    Attorney General Alan Wilson
    P.O. Box 11549, Columbia, SC 29211
    803-734-3970
    scag.gov

    Superintendent of Education Mike Zais
    1429 Senate St., Columbia, SC 29201
    803-734-8500
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Treasurer Curtis M. Loftis Jr.
    P.O. Box 11778, Columbia, SC 29211
    803-734-2101
    http://treasurer.sc.gov

    General Assembly

    The state legislature consists of the Senate with 46 members and the House of Representatives with 124 members. To find names and contact information for your legislators, visit scstatehouse.gov and at the bottom of the page click on “Find Your Legislators.” From there you will find a link with contact information.

    Northeast Columbia

    Clemson Sandhill Research and Education Center

    By Salley McAden McInerney
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Back to Northeast Columbia homeWhen you ponder the impact of the Clemson Sandhill Research and Education Center on Clemson Road, consider the peach.

    Each and every juicy orb that gets devoured around the globe can be traced back to the center where nematode-resistant guardian root stock was developed.

    “Every peach in the world is going to have genetic material from Sandhill peaches,” says the center’s director, Mac Horton. “The area was purchased [by Clemson University] from local farmers in 1922 and set up as a peach research center. The first building was built in 1928. In the early days, the focus was on peach agriculture. It was like a big peach orchard out here.”

    Horton says the center stopped growing peaches “about 1970.” It has since researched vegetables and other truck crops including watermelons, cabbages and tomatoes. In the early 1990s, the center focused its research on ornamental horticulture. “Everything from grass to flowers,” Horton says.

    In 2000, the center’s mission was once again changed.

    “Our primary focus is to work with the rural community and economic development,” Horton says. “We help communities find resources to do what they want to do, like revitalizing a downtown area.”

    The center is home to various programs including leadership development, agribusiness development, entrepreneurship and strategic planning. And of course, people can bring their gardening and soil questions to Clemson’s Cooperative Extension agents who work at the center.

    But perhaps the most compelling fact about the center is that it is a 600-acre tract of fields, long-leaf pine forests and lakes sandwiched between the suburban and commercial sprawl of the Northeast area.

    “We’re a 600-acre jewel of natural environment sitting in the midst of all this development,” Horton says.

    “Every kind of wildlife that we have in South Carolina, we have here. Bobcats, skunks, raccoons, possums. All the venomous snakes. Timbers. Rattlers. Cottonmouths. We have coyotes. We have alligators in all three of our lakes. We have red-tail hawks. Nesting ospreys. Mississippi kites. The occasional bald eagle. We have an endangered species of tree — the Eastern white cedar. We have found two species of plants that have never before been reported in South Carolina.”

    And while Horton emphasizes that the area is “not a park and is not designed to be one,” he also says Sandhills is the only one of Clemson’s five research and education centers around the state that is accessible to the public.

    Walking is a popular activity at Sandhill and the Spring Valley Rotary Club has initiated a three-year project to make the area more user-friendly, including mapping and marking the walking trails that traverse the area.

    “We wanted to do something that would really help the community and have a long-lasting effect,” says Jed Shropshire, a Rotary Club member and leader of the project.

    “Since February, [the club] has placed two large informational signs in kiosks, one at the Clemson Road entrance of the property and one at the lake behind the Lake House,” Shropshire says. “A third, similar sign was placed at the Children’s Garden. These three signs have a large image of the property showing hiking/educational/exercise trails, roads, lakes, landmarks, buildings, etc. We also placed two large educational signs on plants and animals that are indigenous to the property. In addition, we have marked over six miles of trails with 15 informational and directional signs to help hikers and pleasure walkers.”

    “Our goal in Phase Two,” Shropshire says, “is to develop a multi-terraced amphitheater below the Children’s Garden and overlooking the main lake at the center.”


    Jed Shropshire (shown here with his golden retriever Guinness) coordinated the first phase of a three-year project by the Spring Valley Rotary Club to provide signs like this to enhance the visitor experience at Clemson University’s Sandhill Research and Education Center at Clemson and Two Notch roads.

    Stan Perry, director of special projects at the center, says on any given day you’ll find people walking, running, bicycling, walking their dogs, flying kites, Frisbees and radio-controlled airplanes.

    He is quick to emphasize that dogs should be kept on leashes due to all three lakes at the center being home to alligators. And swimming is not allowed. Signs posted at the lakes send a clear message: “NO SWIMMING — DON’T FEED ALLIGATORS.”

    “A dog looks like a hotdog on a stick to an alligator,” Horton says.

    Perry noted that there are lots of organized activities at the center. The Sandhill Farmers Market is open to the public Tuesday afternoons, beginning at 2 p.m., from May through November.

    Anglers can purchase memberships to the Sandhill Fish Club to fish the lakes at the center, though no more memberships are being accepted this year. The 2015 fishing season opens next March and applications will be available online in February.

    School children visit the center to see crops and other aspects of agriculture during October. The popular Haunt — including a corn maze and hayrides — will be held Oct. 23 through Oct. 25 and Oct. 30 through Nov. 1. And on the last Saturday of April, the annual Sparkleberry Country Fair, celebrating the history and culture of the Richland Northeast area, is held to raise scholarship and grant funds for schools in the area.

    The center is open from dawn to dusk. The front gate, located across from the Village at Sandhill, normally closes at 6 p.m.

    In 2001, after 400 acres of the center’s property was sold for development of the Village at Sandhills, Horton says Clemson University and the center made a commitment to the Richland Northeast community called the Sandhill Covenant.

    In part, it reads, “that we are stewards of nature’s blessings entrusted to us at this place” and that “the natural, physical and cultural histories of Sandhill are worthy of our protection as trustees in order for us to embrace the future.”

    Northeast Columbia

    History of Richland Northeast and Blythewood

    By Salley McAden McInerney
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Back to Northeast Columbia homeIf you’re digging into the history of the Richland Northeast area, you’ll hit sand. And lots of it.

    In 1791, President George Washington made a trip through the South. In late May of that year, he was in South Carolina, where he travelled through the northeastern section of what is now Richland County.

    The father of our country was not impressed.

    In the History of Richland County, author Edwin L. Green quotes from the president’s diary. Washington wrote that he and his entourage “made an early start” on May 24, had breakfast “at an indifferent house twenty-two miles from town, and reached Camden about two o’clock … The road from Columbia to Camden, excepting a mile or two at each place, goes over the most miserable pine barren I ever saw, being quite a white sand and very hilly.”

    Wade Dorsey, an archivist with the S.C. Department of Archives and History, says the road “from Columbia to Camden” Washington referred to was “through what is now the Fort Jackson area or the modern Two Notch Road.”

    Either way, think sand.

    Many millions of years ago, what’s now considered Richland Northeast — bound on the south by I-20, on the west by I-77 and on the north and east by the Richland County line — was a place of beach dunes separating foothills to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.

    Today, what’s left of those dunes can be found in the area’s geographical name — the Sandhills — and in the fine, white sand, which in some pockets of Richland Northeast reaches 300 or more feet deep into the earth.

    Reminders of that sand can also be found in the area’s prolific growth over the past decades.

    “When I grew up out here,” says former Richland County Councilman John Monroe Sr., “land was cheap. It was $50 to $100 an acre. It was cheaper out here than in Lower Richland. The land out there was farmland. [The soil] was richer, so it was six or seven times more expensive. Out here, well, a rabbit would have to pack a lunch to cross this land it was so poor.”

    Monroe says early settlers in the area had to “scratch out a living” in the nutrient-needy soil. Consequently, not many people put down roots in the area.

    But rich, nurturing dirt was of no concern to developers who, in the late 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, began snapping up generous tracts of cheap land for construction of sprawling subdivisions like Spring Valley, WildeWood, Woodcreek and the like.

    “When developers did Spring Valley,” Monroe says, “people thought it was crazy. The place was in the middle of nowhere. I mean, nobody lived out here.”

    But now, they do.

    According to Andy Simmons at the Central Midlands Council of Governments, there has been a population “explosion” in the area.

    Data from his office and the U.S. Census shows that in 1970, 7,646 people lived in the area. This year, that number is 107,598 and is projected to be 116,791 in 2019.


    The cemetery at the Sandy Level Baptist Church in Blythewood has graves of residents born in the first half of the 1800s.

    Blythewood — Created by a Rail Line

    Prior to the explosive growth, Monroe says “just poor, poor people lived out here. Country people, working people. Shoot, growing up, I didn’t go into Columbia but about twice a year. My family grew cotton and corn. Most of our livelihood came from the farm. We had cows, hogs, and chickens.”

    Monroe says there’s no formal history of the area, mostly just folks’ memories.

    “I remember electricity coming to our house in 1947. It lit up the house one night and scared me to death.”

    Highway U.S. 1 — also known as Two Notch Road — was a two-lane thoroughfare which served Northeasterners like 1-95 does today. “The Yankees,” Monroe says, “would come and go. In the summertime, they’d be going north and in the fall they’d be going south.”

    More formal history can be found in the upper reaches of Richland Northeast, in the small, incorporated town of Blythewood.

    “A Time Line of Blythewood,” produced by local attorney and Blythewood Historical Society board member Bob Wood, says that in the 1850s, the area was “home to scattered plantations, farms, and forests of longleaf pines … Cotton, lumber, tar pitch, mineral spirits and turpentine were major products.”

    The loosely knit area became more centralized when, in late 1852, a railroad was completed from Columbia to Charlotte, N.C. A water tank was erected in the sleepy burg of Blythewood — then known as Doko — to supply water to the trains’ steam engines.

    “Blythewood is here because of the railroad,” says Jim McLean, a longtime resident.

    “In the days of poor roads and horse and ox-drawn vehicles, the railroad was the lifeline of this village,” according to the Blythewood Scrapbook, compiled by the Blythewood Garden Club. “Cotton and other produce from the local farms and plantations were shipped from the depot … Of course, there had been settlers in the area for many years before the railroad came, but it is safe to assume that it was the depot and turn-out (side track for loading and unloading) which gave impetus to the development of the little town.”

    The Blythewood depot opened in 1870. “Every afternoon between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., the mail was dropped at the station,” the Scrapbook says. “The townspeople would come down to meet the train and socialize, whether they expected mail or not. Later the railway operated a passenger train, making a run to Columbia in the morning and returning to Blythewood in the evening … Although once the town epicenter, the train service was discontinued, the depot fell into disuse and was demolished on June 30, 1968.”

    The railroad is now part of the Norfolk Southern railway system. It parallels Highway 21. Trains make daily runs, both north- and south-bound, through the original center of town, but they do not stop there.

    “Blythewood is still a rural place,” says Frankie McLean, president of the Blythewood Historical Society, “but we do have a town core.”

    For instance, Blythewood Town Hall is located near the center of town in the historic Hoffman House, built in 1855. There are several more historical homes and churches throughout the Blythewood area, and while other important structures have been lost, the town has since created an ordinance to protect historical places.

    Post-War Growth

    “The business climate improved with the advent of World War II and afterwards,” the Blythewood Scrapbook says. “This growth continued in Columbia and the surrounding areas into the ‘60s and ‘70s. There were those who looked toward Blythewood as a good place to buy land on which to build a home that would offer plenty of acreage, privacy and peace.”

    The Scrapbook also credits Blythewood’s growth to access to I-77, in 1979, making the 12- to 15-mile commute to Columbia “more attractive.”

    In a book called Columbia & Richland County, copyrighted in 1993 and written by John Hammond Moore, the author expounds upon that same interstate and what he called “Richland’s northeastern quadrant.”

    And, like President Washington, Moore didn’t seem impressed.

    “There, lured by the accessibility promised by two interstates (20 and 77), real estate moguls have sliced the sand hills and the first ripples of the Piedmont into ‘mini’ farms and housing lots. This is a region where, unlike the dogwood and the honeysuckle, signs bearing the words ‘For Sale – Residential Sites’ bloom year-round.”

    Many of the people buying those “residential sites,” Monroe says, have come from “places where they’ve been all jammed up. This is a lot less congested than Boston and those areas. They call their commutes a piece of cake, coming from where they were.”

    Monroe, whose family has lived in the Northeast Richland area for almost 150 years, says he remembers when “it was all rural. I remember when there were no services, no nothing out here. But now we’ve got everything. As long as growth is orderly, and all the roads and infrastructure are put in, we’re going to be all right.”

    Free Times Home

    Free Times Home 2014

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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    Northeast Columbia

    Welcome to Richland County from Norman Jackson

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Back to Northeast Columbia homeNortheast Richland County is perfectly nestled in the suburbia boundaries of our greater Midlands community. The progressively thriving cornerstone offers an array of award-winning neighborhoods and schools, and an atmosphere that fosters the true essence of home. We are elated to see the public-private partnership between our civic and business organizations and the continued economic development that is taking place. Northeast Richland County exemplifies the uniquely rural, uniquely urban charm of our great region.

    Norman Jackson
    Chairman,
    Richland County Council

    Richland County District 11
    265 King Charles Rd.,
    P.O. Box 90617
    Columbia, SC 29209
    803-223-4974
    Send Mail
    Link


    Northeast Columbia

    Welcome to Blythewood from J. Michael Ross, Mayor of Blythewood

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Back to Northeast Columbia homeWelcome to Blythewood! Blythewood is a historic Southern town steeped in tradition, family values and hard work. We celebrate community with numerous town events each year in the areas of education, the arts, sports, family and community.

    The Blythewood area is home to several excellent, award-winning schools in the Richland School District Two area with five elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools. Blythewood is the home of the University of South Carolina equestrian team, winner of the national championship title in 2014. Our Bravo Blythewood and Blythewood Art Center support our artists, writers and musicians with a beautiful gallery, classes and workshops and numerous events throughout the year, including J. Gordon Coogler Poetry Festival Week honoring our historic Blythewood poet.

    We have a beautiful, state-of-the-art events center, Doko Manor, which offers a great venue for family, business and cultural events. The amphitheatre and park surrounding Doko Manor has been the meeting place for many community events such as our annual Fourth of July party, Beach Bash and Jazz in the Meadow.

    The Greater Blythewood Chamber of Commerce hosts many business leaders to share their expertise with our community and supports graduating high school students with scholarships for college. Blythewood After 5 also brings business and community members together to network.

    Our Historic Society is equally busy presenting the history of the area and sharing historical information with students and families in our area. The Rotary Club and Lion’s Club are two very supportive clubs bringing support in many areas to the citizens of Blythewood.

    Blythewood is the home of many historic churches attended by generations of Blythewood families, as well home to our favorite stores and family restaurants.

    Located along I-77 just 15 miles north of Columbia and about an hour south of Charlotte, Blythewood has always been attractive to families searching for the virtues of small town living. Our town celebrates community diversity and the unique contributions each of us can make. We have a big vision by anyone’s standards, with a detailed comprehensive, 10-year plan to get us there.

    We welcome you to discover Blythewood and enjoy our warm friendly attitude toward life and each other. To learn more about Blythewood, visit Link or like us on Facebook, Blythewood Town Hall-Official Site.

    J. Michael Ross
    Mayor of Blythewood

    Town of Blythewood
    171 Langford Rd.,
    Blythewood, SC 29016
    803-754-0501
    Link


    Northeast Columbia

    The Heart of a New South: A Message from Mayor Steve Benjamin

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Mayor Steve Benjamin
    Back to Northeast Columbia homeGreetings,

    Columbia is many things. We are the largest city in South Carolina and our state capital. We’re home to over 130,000 citizens and a metro workforce of over 375,000. We’re home to Riverbanks Zoo, the South Carolina State Museum, a number of diverse colleges and universities including our state’s flagship University of South Carolina, and the largest U.S. Army training base in the world Fort Jackson.

    Here we have all the benefits of a true 21st-century city. We have a thriving arts and cultural community. We have a growing economy and beautiful historic neighborhoods. We have three rivers running right through our bustling downtown and right beside the largest children’s museum in the Southeast. But, most importantly, we have heart.

    Here in Columbia we still slow down for funerals and gentlemen still open doors for ladies. We get to know our neighbors, we say hello when we pass on the sidewalk and we come together to make important decisions because here it doesn’t matter where you’re from or who your parents were. We are one city. We are one people. We are one Columbia.

    This is a great city because, while we have all the energy and activity you’d expect for a modern capital city, we still remember the two most important words in the English language are “thank you.”

    So, as Mayor of Columbia, it is my great pleasure not just to welcome you to our fair city, but to also say thank you. Thank you for being a part of this wonderful community, this family and for helping make Columbia a city of heart and the heart of a new South.

    Welcome to Columbia and please don’t hesitate to contact our office if there is anything we can do to serve you.

    Sincerely,

    Stephen K. Benjamin
    Mayor of Columbia

    City of Columbia
    1737 Main St., P.O. Box 147
    Columbia, SC 29217
    803-545-3075
    columbiasc.net


    The Side Line

    The Side Line: USC vs Missouri

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, September 24, 2014


    Bites & Sights Visitors Guide

    Bites & Sights Columbia SC Visitors Guide Fall 2014

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, September 24, 2014



    Bites & Sights
    Where to Eat: Bites
    What to Do: Attractions
    Where to Drink: Nightlife
    Where to Stay: Accommodations



    The Side Line

    The Side Line: USC vs Georgia

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, September 10, 2014


    The Side Line

    The Side Line: USC vs East Carolina

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, September 3, 2014


    Read Digging For the Bright Side In Thursday Night Gamecock Loss

    The Side Line

    The Side Line: USC vs Texas A&M

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, August 27, 2014


    Read: Digging For the Bright Side In Thursday Night Gamecock Loss

    College Survival Guide

    Free Times College Guide 2014

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Welcome to Columbia, South Carolina, home to the University of South Carolina as well as numerous smaller schools — Midlands Tech, Benedict College, Columbia College, Allen University, Columbia International and more.

    We’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the city and some of the challenges of college. How do you stay safe without denying yourself the pleasures of Five Points and Vista nightlife? How do you decide where to live, eat and play? We’ve also given you some general pointers on making it through college — financial tips, dealing with drugs and alcohol and more.




    Best of Columbia

    Best of Columbia 2014 Index: Music and Nightlife

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, August 20, 2014
  • Food & Dining
  • Music & Nightlife
  • Local Media
  • Arts & Culture
  • Goods & Services
  • Politics & City Life
  • Local Media
  • Cover Story
  • Writers' Picks
  • Best of Columbia Party



  • Free Times' readers voted for their 2014 music and nightlife favorites.

    Best Concert
    Darius Rucker Colonial Life Arena
    Runner-up: John Legend (Township Auditorium)

    Best Music Venue
    Colonial Life Arena
    Runner-up: Township Auditorium

    Best Blues or Jazz Club
    Speakeasy
    Runner-up: Hunter-Gatherer

    Best Karaoke
    Linda’s Carraoke (Art Bar)
    Runner-up: Kelly’s Deli and Pub

    Best Local Band
    Weaving the Fate
    Runner-up: Prettier Than Matt

    Best Local Solo Artist
    Danielle Howle
    Runner-up: Jessica Skinner

    Best CD Store
    Papa Jazz
    Runner-up: Manifest Discs

    Best Store for Vinyl
    Papa Jazz
    Runner-up: Manifest Discs

    Best Musical Instrument Store
    Sims Music
    Runner-up: Pecknel

    Best Recording Studio
    The Jam Room
    Runner-up: Strawberry Skys

    Best New Bar or Club
    Bourbon
    Runner-up: Tilted Kilt

    Best Bar or Club
    Tin Roof
    Runner-up: Art Bar

    Best Bartender
    James Pickle (Uncle Louie’s, Ruth’s Chris, British Bulldog Pub)
    Runner-up: Will Green (The Whig)

    Best Bar to Go to With Only $10 in Your Pocket
    The Whig
    Runner-up: Uncle Louie’s

    Best Place to Pick Up Guys
    Tin Roof
    Runner-up: Art Bar

    Best Place to Pick Up Girls
    Tin Roof
    Runner-up: Social Bar and Lounge

    Best Bathroom Wall Wisdom
    Art Bar
    Runner-up: New Brookland Tavern

    Best Bar Trivia
    Flying Saucer
    Runner-up: Village Idiot

    Best Bar Service
    Speakeasy
    Runner-up: World of Beer

    Best College Bar
    Jake’s
    Runner-up: Group Therapy

    Best Dance Club
    The Woody
    Runner-up: Social Bar and Lounge

    Best Neighborhood Bar: Downtown/The Vista
    Thirsty Fellow
    Runner-up: Tin Roof

    Best Neighborhood Bar: Five Points
    Jake’s
    Runner-up: Delaney’s

    Best Neighborhood Bar: Shandon/Rosewood/Forest Acres
    Rockaway Athletic Club
    Runner-up: Henry’s

    Best Neighborhood Bar: Harbison/Irmo
    The British Bulldog Pub
    Runner-up: Carolina Ale House

    Best Neighborhood Bar: West Columbia/Cayce
    New Brookland Tavern
    Runner-up: @116 Espresso and Wine Bar

    Best Neighborhood Bar: Lexington
    Old Mill Brewpub
    Runner-up: Mellow Mushroom

    Best Neighborhood Bar: Northeast
    Polliwogs
    Runner-up: Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar.

    Best Outdoor Deck
    Liberty on the Lake
    Runner-up: Jake’s

    Best People-Watching Bar
    Art Bar
    Runner-up: The Woody

    Best Gay Bar
    Art Bar
    Runner-up: PT’s 1109

    Best Adult Entertainment Venue
    Platinum Plus
    Runner-up: Platinum West

    Best Sports Bar
    Carolina Ale House
    Runner-up: The British Bulldog Pub

    Best Happy Hour
    Pearlz Oyster Bar
    Runner-up: Cantina 76

    Best Beer Selection
    World of Beer
    Runner-up: Flying Saucer

    Best Craft Beer Selection
    World of Beer
    Runner-up: Flying Saucer

    Best Local Brewery
    River Rat Brewery
    Runner-up: Conquest Brewing

    Best Local Brewpub
    Hunter-Gather
    Runner-up: Old Mill Brewpub

    Best Margarita
    Cantina 76
    Runner-up: San Jose

    Best Specialty Drink
    Motor Supply Co. Bistro
    Runner-up: Bourbon


    Best of Columbia

    Best of Columbia 2014 Index (Including Video)

    By Free Times Readers
    Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    This year’s Best of Columbia issue marks the 25th anniversary of the annual readers’ poll, first launched by Free Times in 1989.

    And make no mistake: Best of Columbia is a readers’ poll — we aren’t handing out awards to whoever spent the most money on advertising, nor are the writers and editors of Free Times deciding who gets the nod in any given category. The winners presented here are your choices. So, whether you’re thrilled or disappointed with the results, just know that the verdict reflects the will of the people.

    Below you'll find a complete list of 2014 winners. We also encourage you to check out our full editorial coverage of the winners and our writers' picks.

    Food & Dining
    Music & Nightlife
    Local Media
    Arts & Culture
    Goods & Services
    Politics & City Life
    Local Media


    Best of Columbia Cover Story
    Free Times Writers' Picks Free Times Best of Columbia Yacht Rock Party photo gallery




    Best of Columbia 2014 Index: Goods and Services

    By Free Times
    Tuesday, August 19, 2014
  • Food & Dining
  • Music & Nightlife
  • Local Media
  • Arts & Culture
  • Goods & Services
  • Politics & City Life
  • Local Media
  • Cover Story
  • Writers' Picks
  • Best of Columbia Party




  • Free Times' readers voted for their 2014 favorites in goods and services.

    Best New Car Dealership
    Jim Hudson Automotive Group
    Runner-up: Dick Dyer

    Best Used Car Dealership
    CarMax
    Runner-up: Jim Hudson Automotive Group

    Best Motorcycle Store
    Harley Haven
    Runner-up: Thunder Tower Harley-Davidson

    Best ATV Store
    Columbia Powersports
    Runner-up: Carolina Honda

    Best Scooter Store
    Hawg Scooters
    Runner-up: Carolina Honda Powerhouse

    Best Auto Repair
    Nuttall Tire and Battery
    Runner-up: Complete Car Care

    Best Oil Change
    Jiffy Lube
    Runner-up: Firestone

    Best Car Wash
    Frank’s Car Wash
    Runner-up: Constan Car Wash

    Best Automotive Customization Shop
    D&D Cycles
    Runner-up: Golden Motors

    Best Tire Dealer
    Frank’s Discount Tire
    Runner-up: Nuttall Tire and Battery

    Best Driving School
    ABC Driver Training
    Runner-up: Baldwin Driver Training

    Best Window Tinting
    Mr. Tint
    Runner-up: Palmetto Pro Tint

    Best Hair Salon
    Bombshell Beauty Studio
    Runner-up: Shear Xpectations

    Best Hair Stylist
    Robin Gottlieb (Bombshell Beauty Studio)
    Runner-up: Mark Ziegler (Five Points Salon)

    Best Day Spa
    Urban Nirvana
    Runner-up: Occo Skin Studio

    Best Massage Therapist
    Vicky Harriman
    Shaun Phillips (Palmetto Sports Massage)

    Best Esthetician
    Mandy Applegate (Urban Nirvana)
    Runner-up: Lindy Helms (Occo Skin Studio)

    Best Makeup Artist
    Mikel Rumsey (Bombshell Beauty Studio)
    Runner-up: Chelsea Winford (Occo Skin Studio)

    Best Yoga Studio
    City Yoga
    Runner-up: Bikram Yoga Columbia

    Best Tattoo Artist
    Shannon Purvis Barron (Indigo Rose Tattoo)
    Runner-up: Shane Anderson (Animated Canvas)

    Best Tattoo Studio
    Devine Street Tattoo
    Runner-up: Indigo Rose Tattoo

    Best Piercing Studio
    Immaculate Piercing
    Runner-up: Knotty Headz

    Best Furniture Store
    Whit-Ash Furnishings Inc.
    Runner-up: Ashley Furniture

    Best Outdoor Furniture Store
    Carolina Pottery
    Runner-up: Lowe’s

    Best Pet Supply Store
    PetSmart
    Runner-up: Pet Supplies Plus

    Best Kennel or Pet Boarding Facility
    Pawmetto Lifeline
    Runner-up: Camp Bow Wow, Wescott Acres (TIE)

    Best Pet Groomer
    Mill Creek Pet Food Center
    Runner-up: Groomingdale’s

    Best Veterinarian Clinic
    Shandon-Wood Animal Clinic
    Runner-up: Four Paws Animal Clinic

    Best Dog Park
    Barking Lot Dog Park at Saluda Shoals
    Runner-up: City of Columbia Dog Park

    Best Hospital
    Lexington Medical Center
    Runner-up: Palmetto Health Richland

    Best Urgent Care
    Lexington Medical Center Urgent Care
    Runner-up: Doctor’s Care

    Best Pediatric Care
    Palmetto Pediatrics
    Runner-up: Sandhills Pediatrics

    Best Dentist
    Palmetto Smiles
    Runner-up: Dr. Adam Brantley (Devine Dentistry)

    Best Eye Doctor or Group
    Columbia Eye Clinic
    Runner-up: Sansbury Eye Center

    Best Place to Work
    University of South Carolina
    Runner-up: Palmetto Health

    Best After School Program
    The Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands
    Runner-up: YMCA

    Best Place for Music Lessons
    Columbia Arts Academy
    Runner-up: Freeway Music

    Best Martial Arts School
    Columbia Martial Arts and Fitness
    Runner-up: Capital Karate

    Best Contemporary House of Worship
    NewSpring Church
    Runner-up: Shandon Baptist Church

    Best Continuing Education Institution
    University of South Carolina
    Runner-up: Midlands Technical College

    Best Local Insurance Agent
    Aaron Shealy (Allstate)
    Runner-up: Larry Lucas (State Farm)

    Best Auto Insurance Company
    State Farm
    Runner-up: USAA

    Best Law Firm
    Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough
    Runner-up: McNair Law Firm

    Best Bank
    Wells Fargo
    Runner-up: Bank of America

    Best Credit Union
    Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union
    Runner-up: SC State Credit Union

    Best Gun Shop
    Palmetto State Armory
    Runner-up: Shooter’s Choice

    Best Shooting Range
    Palmetto State Armory
    Runner-up: Shooter’s Choice

    Best Appliance Store
    Lowe’s
    Runner-up: Jeffers-McGill

    Best Heating and Air
    2nd Wind Heating and Air
    Runner-up: Kaminer Heating and Cooling

    Best Plumbing Repair
    Meetze Plumbing
    Runner-up: Gene Love Plumbing

    Best Landscaping Company
    Blue Moon Landscaping
    Runner-Up: Palmetto Pride Landscaping

    Best Roll-Off Disposal
    Waste Management Services
    Runner-up: Big Red Box

    Best Mobile Storage
    PODS
    Runner-up: Big Red Box

    Best Real Estate Agency
    Russell and Jeffcoat
    Runner-up: Coldwell Banker

    Best Home Builder
    Mungo Homes
    Runner-up: Essex Homes

    Best Hotel
    Hilton Columbia Center (The Vista)
    Runner-up: Embassy Suites

    Best Local Clothing Store
    Sid and Nancy
    Runner-up: Granger Owings

    Best Alternative Clothing
    Loose Lucy’s
    Runner-up: Sid and Nancy

    Best Children’s Clothing
    Once Upon a Child
    Runner-up: Little Lambs and Ivy

    Best Women’s Clothing
    Belk
    Runner-up: Bohemian

    Best Men’s Clothing
    Granger Owings
    Runner-up: Jos. A. Bank

    Best Jewelry Store
    Handpicked
    Runner-up: Jewelry Warehouse

    Best Culinary Store
    The Gourmet Shop
    Runner-up: Williams-Sonoma

    Best Smoke Shop
    Natural Vibrations
    Runner-up: High Life Smoke Shop

    Best Cigar Shop
    The Cigar Box
    Runner-up: Tobacco Merchant

    Best Vaping Store
    High Life Smoke Shop
    Runner-up: Planet Vapor

    Best Gift Shop
    Handpicked
    Runner-up: Just the Thing

    Best Hand-Crafted Gift Shop
    One-Eared Cow Glass
    Runner-up: Artizan

    Best Wine and Paint Studio
    Grapes and Gallery
    Runner-up: Studio Cellar

    Best Antique Store
    Old Mill Antique Mall
    Runner-up: City Market Antiques

    Best Thrift Store
    Goodwill
    Runner-up: His House

    Best Hardware Store
    Lowe’s
    Runner-up: Ace Hardware

    Best Pottery Studio
    Mad Platter
    Runner-up: Southern Pottery

    Best Florist
    The Blossom Shop
    Runner-up: Rosewood Florist

    Best Bakery
    Publix
    Runner-up: Tiffany’s Bakery

    Best Place for Fresh Meat and Seafood
    Ole Timey Meat Market
    Runner-up: The Fresh Market

    Best Natural Food Store
    Trader Joe’s
    Runner-up: Whole Foods

    Best Nutritional Supplement Store
    Rosewood Market
    Runner-up: GNC

    Best Beer and Liquor Store
    Green’s Beverages
    Runner-up: Morganelli’s

    Best Place to Buy New Comic Books
    Heroes & Dragons
    Runner-up: Silver City Comics

    Best Place to Buy Used Comic Books
    Heroes and Dragons
    Runner-up: 2nd & Charles

    Best Place for Fresh Produce
    Soda City Market
    Runner-up: Publix

    Best Wine Store
    Total Wine and More
    Runner-up: Green’s Beverages

    Best Store for Used Books
    The Book Dispensary
    Runner-up: 2nd & Charles

    Best Dry Cleaner
    Tripp’s Fine Cleaners
    Runner-up: Lexington Dry Cleaning

    Best Pest Control
    Terminix
    Runner-up: Home Pest Control

    Best Alarm/Security Company
    ADT
    Runner-up: Tripp’s Lock and Key

    Best Gamecock Store
    Garnet and Black Traditions
    Runner-up: Addams Bookstore

    Best Cycle Shop
    Outspokin’
    Runner-up: Cycle Center

    Best Cab Service
    Checker Yellow Cab
    Runner-up: Capital City Cab Company

    Best Limousine Service
    5 Star Limo
    Runner-up: First Class Limo, VIP Limo Service (TIE)

    Best Outdoors/Camping Gear Store
    Half-Moon Outfitters
    Runner-up: The Backpacker

    Best River Outfitter
    Half-Moon Outfitters
    Runner-up: Adventure Carolina

    Best Marina
    Lake Murray Marina
    Runner-up: Lighthouse Marina

    Best Sporting Goods Store
    Academy Sports
    Runner-up: Dick’s Sporting Goods

    Best Fitness Club
    Gold’s Gym
    Runner-up: Planet Fitness

    Best of Columbia

    Best of Columbia 2014 Index: Food and Dining

    By Free Times
    Tuesday, August 19, 2014
  • Food & Dining
  • Music & Nightlife
  • Local Media
  • Arts & Culture
  • Goods & Services
  • Politics & City Life
  • Local Media
  • Cover Story
  • Writers' Picks
  • Best of Columbia Party



  • Free Times' readers voted for their 2014 food and dining favorites.

    Best New Restaurant
    Bourbon
    Runner-up: Cantina 76 on Main

    Best Restaurant
    Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Café
    Runner-up: Motor Supply Co. Bistro

    Best Restaurant: Northeast
    Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar
    Runner-up: Travinia’s Italian Kitchen

    Best Restaurant: Lexington
    Hudson’s Smokehouse
    Runner-up: Mellow Mushroom

    Best Restaurant: Irmo
    Liberty on the Lake
    Runner-up: The British Bulldog Pub

    Best Restaurant: West Columbia/Cayce
    Café Strudel
    Runner-up: D’s Wings (Cayce)

    Best Chef
    Mike Davis — Terra
    Runner-up: Kristian Niemi – Bourbon, Rosso

    Best Place for a First Date
    Gervais & Vine
    Runner-up: Hunter-Gatherer

    Best Late Night Food
    Waffle House
    Runner-up: Cook-Out

    Best Place to Dine Outdoors
    Liberty on the Lake
    Runner-up: Pawleys Front Porch

    Best Takeout Food
    Rush’s
    Runner-up: Cook-Out

    Best Bang for the Buck
    Cook-Out
    Runner-up: Moe’s Southwest Grill

    Best National Chain Restaurant
    Chick-fil-A
    Runner-up: Chipotle Mexican Grill

    Best Fast Food Chain
    Chick-fil-A
    Runner-up: Rush’s

    Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant
    Chick-fil-A
    Runner-up: CiCi’s Pizza

    Best Place for a Business Breakfast
    Café Strudel
    Runner-up: Lizard’s Thicket

    Best Place for a Business Lunch
    Blue Marlin
    Runner-up: DiPrato’s

    Best Wine List
    Gervais & Vine
    Runner-up: Cellar on Greene

    Best Coffee
    Drip
    Runner-up: Starbucks

    Best Barista
    Rachel Allen — Drip
    Runner-up: Jessica Ochoa — The Wired Goat

    Best Sweet Tea
    Bojangles’
    Runner-up: Chick-fil-A

    Best Breakfast
    Café Strudel
    Runner-up: Original Pancake House

    Best Brunch
    Café Strudel
    Runner-up: DiPrato’s

    Best Deli/Sub/Sandwich Shop
    Groucho’s
    Runner-up: Firehouse Subs

    Best Vegetarian Menu
    Rosewood Market Deli
    Runner-up: Good Life Café

    Best Barbecue
    Hudson’s Smokehouse
    Runner-up: Shealy’s BBQ

    Best Burrito
    Moe’s Southwest Grill
    Runner-up: Chipotle

    Best Pizza
    Mellow Mushroom
    Runner-up: Marco’s Pizza

    Best Wings
    D’s Wings (Cayce)
    Runner-up: Publick House

    Best Ribs
    Hudson’s Smokehouse
    Runner-up: Little Pigs Barbecue

    Best Hot Dog
    Sandy’s Famous Hot Dogs
    Runner-up: Rush’s

    Best Hamburger
    Five Guys Burgers and Fries
    Runner-up: Pawleys Front Porch

    Best French Fries
    Five Guys Burgers and Fries
    Runner-up: McDonald’s

    Best Salad
    California Dreaming
    Runner-up: Copper River Grill

    Best Steak
    Ruth’s Chris
    Runner-up: Longhorn Steakhouse

    Best Taco
    Cantina 76
    Runner-up: San Jose

    Best Asian Restaurant
    Miyo’s
    Runner-up: M Vista

    Best Mexican Restaurant
    Cantina 76
    Runner-up: San Jose

    Best Chinese Restaurant
    Miyo’s
    Runner-up: Eggroll Station

    Best Greek Restaurant
    Zorba’s
    Runner-up: Grecian Gardens

    Best Japanese Restaurant
    Miyabi Japanese Steakhouse
    Runner-up: Inakaya

    Best Italian Restaurant
    Villa Tronco
    Runner-up: Carrabba’s, Pasta Fresca (TIE)

    Best Southern Restaurant
    Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Café
    Runner-up: Lizard’s Thicket

    Best Indian Restaurant
    Bombay Grill and Delhi Palace (TIE)
    Runner-up: Spice Junction

    Best Cajun Restaurant
    Bourbon
    Runner-up: Bojangles’

    Best Thai Restaurant
    Mai Thai
    Runner-up: Basil Thai Cuisine

    Best Cuban/Caribbean Restaurant
    Mojito’s Tropical Cafe
    Runner-up: Taste of Jamaica

    Best Middle Eastern Restaurant
    Al-Amir
    Runner-up: Mediterranean Tea Room

    Best Sushi
    Inakaya
    Runner-up: Miyo’s

    Best Seafood Restaurant
    Blue Marlin
    Runner-up: Bonefish Grill

    Best Dessert
    Nonnah’s
    Runner-up: Cupcake

    Best Frozen Yogurt
    Yoghut
    Runner-up: TCBY

    Best Ice Cream
    Marble Slab Creamery
    Runner-up: Cold Stone Creamery

    Best Mobile Food
    Pawleys Front Porch
    Runner-up: 2 Fat 2 Fly

    Best Service
    Chick-fil-A
    Runner-up: Terra

    Best of Columbia 2014 Index: Arts and Culture

    By Free Times
    Tuesday, August 19, 2014
  • Food & Dining
  • Music & Nightlife
  • Local Media
  • Arts & Culture
  • Goods & Services
  • Politics & City Life
  • Local Media
  • Cover Story
  • Writers' Picks
  • Best of Columbia Party



  • Free Times readers' voted for their 2014 favorites in arts and culture.

    Best Annual Event or Festival
    South Carolina State Fair

    Best Art Gallery
    701 Center for Contemporary Art
    Runner-up: City Art

    Best Local or Regional Museum
    South Carolina State Museum
    Runner-up: Columbia Museum of Art

    Best Dance Company
    Columbia City Ballet
    Runner-up: Southern Strutt

    Best Dance Studio or School
    Columbia Ballet School
    Runner-up: Columbia Conservatory of Dance

    Best Visual Artist
    Blue Sky
    Runner-up: Sean McGuinness (“That Godzilla Guy”)

    Best Local Theater Company
    Trustus Theatre
    Runner-up: Town Theatre

    Best Local Theater Production
    Les Miserables (Town Theatre)
    Runner-up: Shrek the Musical (Town Theatre)

    Best Movie Theater
    Columbiana Grande
    Runner-up: Nickelodeon


    Best of Columbia

    Best of Columbia 2014 Index: Politics and City Life

    By Free Times
    Tuesday, August 19, 2014
  • Food & Dining
  • Music & Nightlife
  • Local Media
  • Arts & Culture
  • Goods & Services
  • Politics & City Life
  • Local Media
  • Cover Story
  • Writers' Picks
  • Best of Columbia Party



  • Free Times' readers voted for their 2014 favorites in politics and city life.

    Biggest Improvement in Columbia This Year
    Continued revitalization of Main Street
    Runner-up: Opening of local craft breweries

    Best Use of Public Funds
    Road repairs and improvements
    Runner-up: The Riverwalk

    Biggest Waste of Public Funds
    Gov. Nikki Haley
    Runner-up: Baseball stadium project

    Best Local Politician
    U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson
    Runner-up: Mayor Steve Benjamin

    Best Activist Group or Effort
    PETS Inc.
    Runner-up: Pawmetto Lifeline

    Biggest Local Hero
    Marcus Lattimore
    Runner-up: Connor Shaw

    Biggest Local Zero
    Gov. Nikki Haley
    Runner-up: Lillian McBride

    Best Charity
    Harvest Hope Food Bank
    Runner-up: PETS Inc.

    Best Green Business or Initiative
    Soda City Market
    Runner-up: City Roots

    Biggest “Our Dumb State” Moment
    Passing a law to allow concealed weapons in bars and restaurants
    Runner-up: Airing of Bravo’s Southern Charm reality show

    Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners
    Riverbanks Zoo
    Runner-up: The Vista

    Best Neighborhood
    Shandon
    Runner-up: Forest Acres

    Best New Home Community
    Saluda River Club
    Runner-up: Lake Carolina

    Best Apartment Complex
    CanalSide Lofts
    Runner-up: 42 Magnolia

    Best Retirement Community
    Agapé Senior
    Runner-up: Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community

    Best Off Campus Student Housing
    Olympia and Granby Mills
    Runner-up: The Woodlands


    Best of Columbia

    Best of Columbia 2014 Index: Local Media

    By Free Times
    Tuesday, August 19, 2014
  • Food & Dining
  • Music & Nightlife
  • Local Media
  • Arts & Culture
  • Goods & Services
  • Politics & City Life
  • Local Media
  • Cover Story
  • Writers' Picks
  • Best of Columbia Party


  • Free Times' readers voted for their 2014 favorites in local media.

    Best Local TV News
    WIS (NBC)
    Runner-up: WLTX (CBS)

    Best Anchorperson
    Judi Gatson (WIS)
    Runner-up: Dawndy Mercer Plank

    Best Weatherperson
    Ben Tanner (WIS)
    Runner-up: Jim Gandy (WLTX)

    Best Sportscaster
    Rick Henry (WIS)
    Runner-up: Reggie Anderson (WLTX)

    Best Local Website: News
    free-times.com
    Runner-up: wistv.com

    Best Local Website: Sports
    wistv.com
    Runner-up: gamecocksonline.com

    Best Local Website: Music and Entertainment
    free-times.com
    Runner-up: thestate.com

    Best Radio Station
    96.7 Steve FM
    Runner-up: 104.7 WNOK

    Best Local Radio Personality
    Jonathon Rush (WCOS 97.5)
    Runner-up: Brent Johnson (WTCB 106.7)

    Best Local Tweeter
    @theshoptart (The Shop Tart)
    Runner-up: @drinkblogrepeat (Nick McCormac)

    Biggest Media Hog
    Gov. Nikki Haley
    Runner-up: Mayor Steve Benjamin


    Get Ahead

    Get Ahead: Guide to Career Advancement Fall 2014

    How to Choose an Online Degree or Certificate Program; Middle-Skills Jobs
    By Free Times
    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

     

  • Some Top Job Prospects Require More Than High School, Less Than College
  • How to Choose an Online Degree Program
  • More Get Ahead
  •  



    Get Ahead

    Some Top Job Prospects Require More Than High School, Less Than College

    There’s Money in the Middle
    By Rodney Welch
    Wednesday, August 6, 2014
    When it comes to employment, people usually think that more education means more opportunity. It’s not necessarily untrue, but it obscures an important fact: In today’s economy, the great demand isn’t at the top. It’s in the middle, where there are more jobs than there are people to fill them.

    Welcome to what economists now call the middle skills jobs gap, where there’s a dire need for people to fill jobs that require workers with more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree.

    Some 69 million people work in middle-skills jobs, representing about 48 percent of the U.S. labor force. That about squares with South Carolina, where middle-skills jobs account for half of all jobs, according to figures from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

    And yet, as baby boomers retire, the middle is also shrinking. According to the Harvard Business Review, “as many as 25 million, or 47 percent, of all new job openings from 2010 to 2020 will fall into the middle-skills range.”

    In other words, there’s a great demand for people to fill solid, reliable and well-paying jobs that only require a high-school degree and some additional training of one to two years.

    At Midlands Tech, a one-year certificate program runs an average cost of $5,000 for tuition and books; the cost is about $7,500 for a year and a half diploma program, and about $10,000 for a two-year associate’s degree. Scholarship assistance may be available through either a federal Pell grant (about $5,500 a year) — depending on need — or S.C. Lottery Tuition Assistance ($2,000), which is available to most applicants.
     
    Hot Fields: Health Care, Advanced Manufacturing, IT and Energy
    Midlands Technical College President Sonny White says there are as many as 12,000 jobs in the Midlands in four cluster areas of health care, advanced manufacturing, information technology and energy.

    The boom in middle-skills jobs is reflective of what has long been an economic reality: a four-year college degree no longer guarantees a job. That’s part of the reason, White says, why 80 percent of his students start at age 25 or older. They’ve either gone to college and quit — or stuck it out and found their diploma just didn’t have that much purchasing power in the modern job market.

    Among the top middle-skills jobs in the Midlands, White cites the boom in information technology jobs, particularly ones necessary to Columbia’s booming insurance industry.

    A job as a web developer, network analyst or network administrator requires a two-year associate’s degree, and generally pays between $35,000 and $100,000 annually.
    “The job prospects are outstanding in our area,” White says.

    There are also nuclear operators, which also requires an associate’s degree; from there, you can become a licensed operator, which could eventually lead a $100,000 annual salary.

    Another highly specific job: reliability automation technician. These workers are trained in controlling robotic operations and are in high demand by the highly automated tire industry.

    “These automation technicians go through our electronics engineering technologies program,” White says. “When they finish that, they just have wonderful job opportunities. The job market there is probably four times the number we can produce.”
     
    More Middle-Skills Jobs
    Following are some other examples of top middle-skills jobs across a broad spectrum, drawn from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce’s latest list of Higher Wage Jobs with Good Opportunities in South Carolina Not Requiring a Bachelor’s or Advanced Degree.

    Each job is listed with the average annual salary — but keep in mind that in many of these jobs wages can be much greater depending on experience and training.
     
    Automotive Service Technician ($35,740)
    Modern mechanics don’t just get their hands dirty; they also have to understand the intricate computer systems of modern vehicles. Training is available for either a one-year certificate or a two-year associate degree, with annual wages following accordingly. Given Columbia’s enormous array of car dealerships, it’s no surprise that some 2,500 auto mechanics stay employed.
     
    Welder ($36,240)
    Here’s a perfect example where more an individual salary can go up way more than the average. Get employed at a nuclear plant, take some advanced training over a few years, and your salary could go up to as much as $150,000.
     
    CNC Operator ($37,760)
    CNC stands for computer numerical control. These industrial positions are so vital to new industries that Midlands Tech recently opened a new Engineering Technology and Sciences building just to keep up with the demand.
     
    Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers ($39,230)
    A solid job, but also very physically demanding: An average day might well involve moving heavy equipment or crawling under houses — especially in the middle of the summer, when people are calling to say their central AC unit has gone kaput. Both certificate and two-year degree training is available. The average salary range, depending on training and experience, is between $35,000 and $100,000.
     
    Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks ($33,660)
    With a two-year associate degree, graduates can start as a bookkeeper, or work in the accounting department of corporations, nonprofits or in government.
     
    Nurse
    Becoming a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse ($38,680) requires a one-year certificate; becoming a registered nurse ($59,670) requires graduation from a state-approved nursing program.
     
    Dental Assistant or Hygienist
    Similarly, requirements for becoming a dental assistant ($34,480), who assists the dentist, include a year-and-a-half for a diploma; a dental hygienist ($55,070) — who cleans teeth — requires a two-year program.
     
    Paralegal ($41,010)
    Training is available for both a certificate and an associate degree, and more training generally leads to better jobs. The pay range is from $35,000 to $75,000.

    In general, the jobs and fields listed above offer strong prospects in the years to come. But the economy is always changing, and there can be significant differences between what’s available locally and what’s available regionally or nationally. Before committing to a program, be sure to research the local job market and talk to people in the field you’re considering.

    Get Ahead

    How to Choose an Online Degree Program

    Doing Your Research is Key to Success
    By Katie Alice Walker
    Wednesday, August 6, 2014
    Is there anything you can’t do online these days?

    Going back to school to advance your career or finish a degree once meant taking classes at night or rearranging your work schedule to suit your course schedule. For busy adults with families and other responsibilities, that model often just isn’t ideal.

    The past decade has brought amazing changes, with numerous institutions — including traditional four-year colleges and universities — offering more courses online than ever. In fact, many institutions now offer entire certificate and degree programs online.

    But with so many choices for learning available, how do you know if the degree you’ll walk away with is legit? Read on to learn what you need to know before you sign up for online courses.

    How do I know if the institution is reputable?
    When you’re deciding to work on a degree online, you’ll need to determine if the school is accredited. There are several accrediting organizations that conduct reviews and site visits to scope out student support services, curricula and the school’s facilities. But, be careful: Even some of those organizations aren’t legit. With a little research, you can find a list of credible governing bodies.

    The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (chea.org) and the U.S. Department of Education (ope.ed.gov/accreditation) recognize all legitimate accrediting agencies, so check for their stamp of approval. You’ll find a great list of legitimate accrediting organizations at chea.org.

    The regional accrediting organization for the Southeast is the South Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (sacscoc.org).

    You’ll want an accredited school not only because of its educational quality, but also to ensure that other accredited universities will accept your transfer credits, should you need to go that route, and to help facilitate government-backed loans.

    Is it safe to earn an entire degree online?
    If you’re thinking of furthering your education to advance your career, what potential employers will think of your degree or certificate is what matters, right?
    Do a little research and see what employers in your field are saying. While it’s safe to say that earning entire degrees online is becoming more common and accepted in the workplace, it’s also true that in many quarters online degrees are still seen as less valuable than those from traditional institutions. Many employers will look more favorably on a candidate with a traditional degree augmented by online professional training than on a candidate with only online higher education.

    In addition to making sure the online university is accredited by a legitimate accrediting agency, you’ll also want to make sure that online learning is right for you. Is face-to-face interaction best for your learning style? Even if you can work at your own pace effectively, you’ll want to feel comfortable that any questions you have while working on an online degree will be answered quickly, in real-time, if possible.

    The most accepted scenario in the world of online learning is attending a traditional college or university that also offers online courses for busy professionals. Fortunately, the University of South Carolina, Clemson University and many other schools and technical colleges in our area offer online courses and have solid reputations. A mix of online coursework and actually attending classes might be an option to consider.

    Is your learning style suited for online coursework?
    Here’s the deal: Taking courses online or in person requires a financial commitment and a significant time commitment. It will pay off to acknowledge how you learn best before you decide to take courses online, which may mean working independently or at your own pace.

    Contrary to what you might think, a 2010 U.S. Department of Education study (“Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning”) found that students taking online courses performed modestly better, on average, than those taking the same course through only traditional face-to-face instruction; students in courses blending online and face-to-face elements had the best outcomes. If courses are employing video, instant messaging with instructors and collaboration tools for interacting with other students, you have a better chance of effectively learning online.

    How much should an online course cost?
    At first thought, it seems like an online course would cost less than the same class held in a classroom. But that’s not always the case. Because costs of learning online can vary greatly, it’s best to understand what you’re looking for in a course fee.

    First, understand the college’s cost per credit hour. Keep in mind that there are often differences for in-state and out-of-state tuition. Next, understand that there will probably be other fees tacked on. Many online programs use standard online-learning software, so technology fees will almost always play into your tuition bill — as can assessment fees, graduation fees and other associated costs. Some online programs even require some in-person attendance, and you’ll want to account for potential travel fees, as well.

    Legitimate online degree programs should allow you to pay by the course, rather than pay for the entire program up front. If you get into an online learning situation and discover it’s not for you, you shouldn’t have a huge financial commitment to bear without finishing your degree.

    At the end of the day, choosing online coursework or even an entire degree program involves not only credibility, but also availability. If the degree you’re hoping to earn is specialized and a brick-and-mortar university nearby doesn’t offer the program, the capability to earn the degree online could mean great things for your career.
    Whether or not you choose online education, the world of online learning is evolving rapidly — and doing your research ahead of time could make or break your success.

    Free Times Family Magazine Learning

    Windows to New Worlds

    17-Year, $23 Million Museum Project Offers Universe of Exploration for S.C. Students
    By Kara Meador
    Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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    After 17 years of planning, fundraising, designing and building, the South Carolina State Museum’s new Windows To New Worlds project officially opens on Aug. 16. It includes a planetarium, 4D theater, observatory and an exciting and collaborative approach to education that can reach every school and give every student a chance to reach for the stars. We were there the day a critical piece — an antique telescope that has been retrofitted with digital capabilities — was moved into place. Here’s a look behind the curtain.

    sc state museum
    This 1926 refracting telescope is with more than $2.3 million. Photo by Sean Rayford

    Through the Looking Glass


    The South Carolina State Museum has housed historic artifacts since opening in 1988, but on this day in June the museum is making history in South Carolina.

    The museum’s $23 million Windows To New Worlds renovation project —17 years in the making — is coming to fruition, but not before a handful of people complete a tedious task.

    On the fourth floor of the museum, a forklift gingerly elevates a 1926 refracting Alvan Clark telescope 15 feet in the air. While the vintage telescope dangles from two heavy canvas straps, a handler on a step ladder works to attach the telescope to a gigantic base called a pier with a series of large gears that resemble sun dials. The telescope is worth more than $2.3 million dollars.

    No pressure.

    “It’s a lot of mass and it’s a lot of moving mass, so there’s a little bit of nervousness, but we have a pro with us today,” says Tom Falvey, the museum’s director of education.

    Three massive legs support the telescope to make sure the device doesn’t shake or lose alignment. Museumgoers will get their first glimpse of the gigantic tripod three stories below when they enter the first-floor lobby. Each leg of the tripod is 42 feet tall and weighs more than 11,000 pounds.

    It’s hot. The only moving air wisps through plastic sheets blocking a large opening in a fourth-floor wall. A glimpse outside reveals a viewing terrace that will make for some fantastic star gazing. It also offers a great view of the city.

    Back inside, men guide the pieces of the telescope together underneath another obvious new addition to the museum. A 5,000-pound observatory dome was hoisted on top of the State museum in April, altering the shape of the museum and the Columbia skyline.

    With prior experience planning and building a $22 million theme park in Michigan and 20 years at Six Flags Astroworld in Texas, State Museum Executive Director William Calloway has never shied away from mammoth undertakings, but even he is awed by scope of this project.

    “It looks great on paper, but until you see it get built, you really don’t understand the size and the scale of it,” Calloway says. “Even though I’ve done this for a long time, I was surprised at how big it is. How impressive it is, what a ‘wow’ factor it has.”

    It takes more than an hour, but the telescope is eventually safe and secure. Staff members are overcome with emotion. Some tears are shed as they see the last major piece of the puzzle needed to make the renovation project click into place.

    In addition to the refracting telescope, museumgoers will be able to view an antique telescope collection donated by a local amateur astronomer named Robert Ariail. The oldest telescope in the collection dates back to 1730.


    Artist's rendering

    Opening New Vistas in Education


    South Carolina Nobel Prize-winning physicist Charles Townes, who led the groundwork for development of the laser, actually worked on the very same refracting telescope that’s being housed at the museum when he was a professor at Columbia University in New York City in the late 1940s. The university donated the vintage instrument to the State Museum.

    “Imagine looking through the same telescope that Charles Townes looked through during his days at Columbia,” Tom Falvey, director of education, says. The museum is modernizing the instrument with gears, computers and digital eyepieces, so any kid in the state can actually log on to a computer and direct the telescope to a specific location and see the images.

    The fully digitized telescope will play a central role in the museum’s new distance learning and onsite STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives. 

    “It will be the first time that remote access of a telescope will be provided free-of-charge to classrooms across an entire state,” says Anna Kate Twitty, public relations manager.

    Falvey and Executive Director William Calloway are both excited about the prospects.

    “For a kid to know that he or she is controlling the instrument and seeing the images and then talking live to an astronomer — I mean, that’s really special,” Falvey says.

    Calloway sees a big boost in accessibility.

    “A lot of kids, schools and families around the state can’t afford to come to Columbia,” he says. “This is a way that we can reach out to those kids.”

    In addition to providing a hands-on approach to getting South Carolina students more interested in science and technology, workforce development was also a big consideration when developing the educational aspects of the renovation project.


    Photo by Sean Rayford

    Fueling Imagination


    If you park in the front lot at the State Museum, it looks as if the moon has been captured and placed in a enormous crystal box. The large sphere is the planetarium. The sight is captivating in itself, but it’s hard to get a feel as to how big the attraction is until you enter.

    When you do, you are engulfed by a 55-foot dome-shaped screen; the theatre seats 145 people.

    Imagine looking at the night sky when Sherman marched on Columbia in February of 1865: With the planetarium’s state-of-the-art software, State Museum officials can recreate sky and star positions up to 1 million years into the past or the future.

    “It will be a great way for educators to tie in history with astronomy and science,” Public Relations Director Anna Kate Twitty says.

    The museum’s partnership with NASA will allow students and visitors to see real-time spacecraft launches and interact with astronauts on the International Space Station.

    But the planetarium is more than just an odyssey into space; the museum also plans to offer out-of-this-word laser light shows where people can rock out to music from bands like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.

    Boeing and NASA are both major contributors to the observatory. Boeing is a major South Carolina employer and NASA’s administrator Charles Bolden is a Columbia native.


    Artist's rendering

    4D Theater: Can You Feel It?



    Museum Director William Calloway says he’s excited to see the reactions when people first experience 4D.

    What’s 4D?

    Anna Kate Twitty, public relations director, explains: “It combines a film experience with real-life sensations.”

    Imagine a 3D movie tornado, but instead of just seeing it, you can feel the wind or the raindrops. Condensed versions of popular flicks like The Polar Express and Ice Age will be shown. This is the only permanent 4D theater in the state.

    When you combine all of the elements of the renovation project under one roof, Twitty says the museum will make history again.

    “It will be the first of its kind in the U.S. to have an on-site and online observatory and classroom, a digital planetarium and theater, a 4D multi-sensory theater and an outdoor viewing terrace all in one place.”


    What a Place for a Party


    The museum is counting on rental space to be a major revenue generator, too.

    The Planetarium Lobby, newly created meeting rooms and even the fourth floor Observatory and Terrace will be available for small dinners and receptions. The Cotton Mill Exchange museum store will be expanded.


    Storytellers of South Carolina


    Windows To New Worlds is slated to open to the public Saturday, Aug. 16. The museum staff expect to have more than 100,000 students visit the museum in the 2014-15 school year — an increase of 35 percent. School groups are admitted free.

    There’s a lot of work that needs to be done before then, but nobody said adding a new chapter to South Carolina’s history would be easy.

    An army of workers in hard hats and neon vests has stripped the old Cotton Mill building that houses the State Museum, uncovering original brick walls and hardwood floors dating back to the original 1893 building.

    The Windows to New Worlds Project marries the old with the new, creating a storyline.

    “The State Museum is current, it’s competitive, it’s unique, but it’s also history,” says museum Executive Director William Calloway. “We still are the storytellers of South Carolina, so this helps us tell our story in a different way. Through our films in the theaters, through our new exhibits, we can weave a wonderful story.”

    For information on admission, hours of operation, exhibits and more, visit scmuseum.org.

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    Free Times Family Magazine - Media

    Apps for Kids

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, July 30, 2014


    Endless Numbers
    Originator Inc. ($4.99), Android and iOS
    Ages: 3-5

    The adorable monsters of Endless Alphabet return in this fun early math skills app. Ride along on the ferris wheel as the monsters guide you through numbers, counting and simple addition. Tapping the numbered cars on the wheel leads children through activities that teach number recognition, basic addition and counting by twos, fours, fives, etc. The activities are highly intuitive and don’t pressure users to come up with correct answers, so children are able to navigate the app easily and at their own pace. Each number is made engaging with a combination of fun voices and fantastic artwork. Silly animations that link with each number, like the six-armed monster doing a wiggly disco dance, are sure to provide plenty of giggles. — Sarah Cameron, Richland Library




    Reading Rainbow
    RRKidz Inc., Free to try, $9.99 monthly subscription, iOS and Kindle (expansion to Android planned)
    Ages: 3-9

    Want to introduce the world of Reading Rainbow to your own kids? Hosted by LeVar Burton, this app received Common Sense Media’s 2014 ON for Learning Award. Children can choose books based on their interests and can travel to faraway lands via video field trips. There’s also a parental dashboard where parents can track their child’s reading progress. While you can try this app for free, there is a subscription cost for unlimited access: $9.99 per month or $29.99 for six months. Books and videos are added weekly and there are hundreds of books just waiting to be explored. — Heather Green, Richland Library




    Sparklefish
    Whosagoodboy Partners (Free), iOS and Nook tablet
    Ages: all

    Sparklefish is mad libs with a twist: say a noun, verb or adjective into your device and the app records your additions, inserts them into a pre-recorded narrative, and plays back the recording complete with participants’ contributions! Both educational and hilarious, this game can be played as a group or solo. — Jessica Gemmill,
    Richland Library

    Free Times Family Magazine - Media

    Books: Number One Sam; The Lost Boy; Wolf Children

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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    Number One Sam
    Greg Pizzoli
    Disney/Hyperion Books, 36 pages, $16.99
    Ages: Pre-school

    Retro-inspired illustrations and a great story make this title a winner. Sam is No. 1 at everything when it comes to racing. So on the day of the big race, no one is more surprised than Sam when he loses. Pizzoli does a beautiful job exploring what it feels like to lose and the pressure to win. Readers also get a chance to see Sam discover what’s more important than winning. A great book to share, this title might strike an extra chord with children focused on perfection or winning. — Heather McCue, Richland Library



    The Lost Boy
    Greg Ruth
    Scholastic/Graphix, 189 pages, $24.99
    Ages: Tweens

    When I saw this new graphic novel appear on our shelves, I had to take it home. I finished it in one sitting because I couldn’t wait to solve the mystery of Walter Pidgin, the lost boy. The story actually begins years later with Nate discovering Walter’s tape recorder under the floorboards of his new house. As Nate listens to Walter’s story, a world beyond the one that he knows is revealed — a world where insects ride dogs, dolls come to life and a growing evil resides. It soon becomes clear that Nate and his neighbor, Tabitha, must discover what happened to Walter and save the world as they know it. Tweens and teens are sure to devour this gripping graphic novel. The only problem is that it will leave you wanting to know what happens to Nate, Tabitha and the rest of their new friends. — Heather McCue, Richland Library



    Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki
    Mamoru Hosoda and Yuu (illustrator)
    Yen Press, 528 pages, $26
    Ages: 13 and up

    This graphic novel, an adaptation of the animé film Wolf Children, tells the tale of Hana, a young woman in college who falls for a man who is secretly a werewolf. They marry and have children, but soon into their happy union, the father is killed in an accident, leaving Hana to raise two werewolf children without a clue as to what they need. The story switches between the perspectives of Hana and her children, showing how growing pains for one family member affect the others. This is ultimately a sweet story that encourages family ties while acknowledging the gulf, whether natural or supernatural, that separates generations. — Thomas Maluck, Richland Library



    These Broken Stars
    Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
    Disney/Hyperion, 384 pages, $17.99
    Ages: 13 and up

    After their luxury space ship falls from hyperspace, two survivors find themselves stranded on a deserted planet. Lilac and Tarver share their story of survival, hope, and love through alternating chapters as they navigate the empty terrain and uncover the eerie mystery that lies beneath the planet’s surface. Fast paced and beautifully written, These Broken Stars will leave you eager for more. — Brittany Crowley, Richland Library

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    Free Times Family Magazine - Media

    Music & DVD Reviews: Raffi; Secret Agent 23 Skidoo; Wild Kratts

    By Kevin Oliver
    Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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    Raffi
    Love Bug
    Rounder Records

    Several generations of children have grown up with the artist known as Raffi. From my experience as a young parent myself, I saw his “Baby Beluga” permanently imprinted in my family’s brains. He has been active and popular as a children’s musician for nearly four decades. Love Bug is his first album of original material in more than 10 years, but he’s hardly forgotten how to entertain and enthrall his tiny listeners.

    Raffi is totally focused on his target audience, children. Like Captain Kangaroo or Mr. Rogers, that means he’ll probably not appeal that much to mom and dad. But the kids will be fascinated and fully engaged from the moment he starts singing. Raffi’s songs are rendered in a gentle acoustic folk style that’s melodic but not overpowering for little ears; he sounds like a big kid himself most of the time.

    With 16 new songs here, there is something for everyone to enjoy, from the ‘do what your parents tell you’ tune “Mama Loves It,” which makes a great clean-up-time song, to the mellow reggae groove of “Cool Down Reggae,” a perfect one to put on when it’s time to wind down and relax.

    Raffi’s place as a perennial children’s favorite is secure, and this collection will serve to introduce his music to yet another new generation of young listeners.



    Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
    The Perfect Quirk
    Underground Playground Records

    Too many children’s music albums tend to be music about kids instead of for them, but North Carolina hip-hop children’s musician Secret Agent 23 Skidoo understands how to make music that’s inclusive and appealing to children without talking over their heads.

    His musical vehicle of choice is a blend of hip-hop and funk that allows for call-and-response vocals with a batch of kids — among them his daughter, dubbed MC Fireworks. Those additions come out most prominently on “3 Pointed Back,” an indictment of the popular kid activity of pointing at others with your finger (“Every time you do that you have three pointed back”). It is set to a scratch track and trap drums straight out of a Jurassic 5 album. Other guests include Craig Griffith from The Verve Pipe, who adds blues harmonica to the classic child fantasy of “PJ’s All Day,” and Recess Monkey’s Jack Forman as a vintage boxing announcer on the story-rap “Pillowfight Pillowfort.”

    Skidoo’s hip-hop is unusual for ‘kid-hop’ in that it doesn’t sound forced or fake; he leans old school (think Sugarhill Gang or Kool Moe Dee) and throws in some rhythmic variety in the form of polka, reggae and Motown-style tunes that will have kids and parents bobbing their heads to the beats.


    Wild Kratts
    Tiny Trouble
    DVD, PBS Kids

    With STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects being the buzzword for primary educators these days, a series like PBS’ The Wild Kratts is a great way for kids to be exposed to science, biology and more in an entertaining format. The series follows Martin and Chris Kratt, scientists who are a combination of Marlin Perkins of Wild Kingdom and “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, but they have an advantage neither of those TV stars could have imagined — their Creature Power Suits allow them to get up close and personal with their animal friends.

    There’s a bumbling bad guy to provide conflict and storylines in which the Kratts use their suits to help save the animals from various fates. Some “hey, watch this” moments from the Kratts provide comic relief, but underneath everything are strong lessons about how animals use science in their own natural lives. This short DVD collects two episodes of the series for about an hour’s worth of educational entertainment.

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    Free Times Family Magazine Family Finance

    The Balancing Act Between Retirement and College

    Walking the Responsibility Tightrope
    By Heather Green
    Wednesday, July 30, 2014
    Is forfeiting a sustainable retirement worth saving our children from student loan debt?
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    Being a parent means putting your kids first. Right? This can certainly be said for the many Americans who are sacrificing their own retirement in order to fund their kid’s higher education. Is forfeiting a sustainable retirement worth saving our children from student loan debt? Is it possible to have both?

    According to the Social Security Administration, most Americans believe that winning the lottery is the best retirement savings strategy. With college costs rising 40 percent since 2004, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, a class in financial literacy might be a better investment. That’s especially true when we consider a 2014 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute that found 43 percent of Americans believe that they will not have enough money to comfortably retire.

    Ellan Jenkinson understands these challenges first hand. She and her husband have three children ranging from 2 to 17, with their eldest, Lily, going off to college in the fall. They admit that they are not as financially prepared as they had hoped.

    “Honestly, we haven’t been able to save much at all for any of our kids’ college since we’re still paying off our own student loans,” Jenkinson says. Money has been the deciding factor when looking at higher education options.

    The Jenkinsons are definitely not alone. Anita McCray says she was not able to put large amounts of money away for her two boys because of mortgages and debt. On the up side, she and her husband are trying to build up their retirement savings. Her eldest son recently graduated from the University of South Carolina, where in-state tuition tops $10,000, and McCray admits that the reason he went there was because he received a substantial scholarship.

    Lily’s picks were also based on finances and scholarships. Spending her junior and senior years at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities gave her an edge since the staff places emphasis on finding grants and scholarships. Lily says she never thought about saving money for college until her senior year but plans on saving some of the money she’s earning this summer for college expenses.

    How far in advance should parents save for both college and retirement? Katherine Stewart, a financial services specialist for Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union, advises that it is never too early to begin saving.

    “Whether it’s for retirement, college, or just a rainy day fund, beginning to save early allows you to benefit from compound earnings,” she says.

    Georgia Coleman is doing just that. She and her husband started a Future Scholars 529 plan, a state-sponsored investment where savings grow tax-free and are limited to education expenses, around their son’s first Christmas. Like the Jenkinsons, Coleman is paying off her own student loans so there is not much money in her son’s Future Scholar account yet.

    “Right now, we feel it is wiser for us to concentrate on saving for retirement and paying off debt,” she says.

    Jenkinson and McCray also share this savings strategy. When asked if any of them had ever thought about cashing out 401ks or retirement accounts to pay for college, all three families said no.

    “Never — you can borrow money to attend school, but you cannot borrow money to live on in retirement,” McCray says.

    Stewart advises against digging into retirement accounts to pay for college. Fees and penalties are expensive and there are smarter alternatives such as financial aid, scholarships, grants, and loans.

    To many of us, sustainable retirement seems like a dream — something that we have all heard about, seen others’ achieve, but do not think is realistically possible. Due to increases in life expectancy, not only are we living longer, but our retirement age is increasing. The Social Security Administration suggests that Social Security only replaces 40 percent of your average income and retirees will need 70 percent or more of pre-retirement earnings for retirement.

    So how do we achieve a balance? While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, Stewart says retirement should take priority over college savings and recommends speaking with a financial adviser about options.

    “There’s something to be said for making your own way in the world,” Coleman says. “I think my husband and I value what we have more because we put ourselves through school and worked for every bit of it. As far as retirement, it is like putting your own oxygen mask on before your child’s.”


    Is Traditional College Right for Everyone?


    In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics reported 15.7 million students attending four-year institutions and 13.8 million
    in two-year colleges.

    Before you make life-changing decisions about financing college, make sure you consider whether it’s the right option.

    Advantages of two-year schools
  • Less expensive

  • Industry-focused

  • Enter workforce earlier

  • Specialized, hands-on training

  • Flexible for nontraditional students

  • Can be a springboard to a four-year school


  • Advantages of four-year schools
  • Higher median earnings

  • Increased lifetime earning potential

  • Increased job opportunities

  • Increased exposure to life experiences


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    Free Times Family Magazine - Life

    Fostering a Sense of Wonder

    Whether It’s Staring into Space or Playing in the Dirt, Kids Need Creative Space
    By Kara Meador
    Wednesday, July 30, 2014
    Back to Free Times Family home

    Looking up at the stars from the rocky terrain outside her Western New York home fascinated a young Cass Runyon.

    “I was always curious about why the stars are there,” recalls Runyon, now a college professor and director of the South Carolina Space Consortium. “How did the moon form? Is it the same as the Earth?”

    She can trace her love of science to a camping trip with her family where she listened to the Apollo moon landing on the radio.

    “I couldn’t see it on TV, but I could visualize what they were describing,” she says. “Hearing Neil Armstrong saying he’d taken his first steps. I was bitten after that.”

    Inspiration. Where does it come from? How do kids decide what they want to be when they grow up?

    “Kids get inspired by so many things,” says Bridget Miller, an assistant professor of early childhood science education at the University of South Carolina.

    “I’m watching a little boy and a little girl digging in the dirt right now,” she says.

    It’s a common scene, but Miller sees more. She says that when you watch kids play, you see their creative juices flowing; you see how they think creatively and gain confidence.

    Then, adults step in.

    Parents, teachers and coaches want to help, but sometimes wind up doing more harm than good. As adults, we want to make sure kids do it right, do it better, win.

    Let’s face it: As parents, we don’t want to see our children fail. That’s when we start failing our children, according to the experts.

    “That’s one of the most difficult things to teach my students,” Miller says. “They want to step in and help the children out — and I say let the children draw their own conclusions. More often when a child is left to finish a project, it is a better design or more efficient than when an adult finishes it for them.”

    Exposure is Key
    Runyon and Miller agree that somewhere around middle school, a child’s inherent creative instincts start to wane. It’s the time when science and math can take a backseat to socialization. Runyon says it’s also the time where standardized testing becomes a big deal to teachers, parents and kids who are trying to make the grade.

    “The way our educational system is set up can restrict a child’s ability to be creative,” she notes.

    Poverty also plays a role in how kids are inspired. Kids whose families don’t have a lot of resources often lack the ability to expose their children to opportunities. Some kids simply don’t know that certain paths exist.

    Runyon is working with Tom Falvey, education director at the South Carolina State Museum, in an effort to expose kids from all walks of life to science and technology through the museum’s newly created Windows to New Worlds project. Windows to New Worlds, slated to open to the public Aug. 16, includes distance-learning opportunities. Kids who live in rural communities will be able to dial into the State Museum’s new telescope through special software and a computer. Some students will even be able to talk with astronauts working on the International Space Station.

    Columbia has a number of inspirational natives that kids can look up to, Falvey says. “We have Nobel Prize winners right here in Columbia [Kary B. Mullis – 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry] and we have folks like astronaut and NASA administrator Charles Bolden [a Columbia native] — great heroes who do great things. So it’s not out of anyone’s reach and I think that there’s an opportunity to come and see something magical. I know it’s inspired a lot of people in the past and that’s what our goal is.”

    Runyon recalls visiting with students in South Carolina’s poor, rural schools known as the “Corridor of Shame.”

    “I tell them to keep the dream alive,” she says. “It’s an old cliché, but it’s so true. I tell kids to find their dream and keep it alive. Don’t give up on yourself.“

    What Can You Do?
    How can you foster your kid’s creative juices and help shape him or her into a person who loves to learn?

    Miller says let kids be kids. It’s OK to let your little Spidey wear his costume grocery shopping, or to let your princess make mud pies. Experts advise encouraging kids to create in their own way and if they fail (gasp), chalk that up as a valuable learning experience, too.

    Oh, and if you work in an interesting field, look for opportunities to share your experiences in area preschools and local school districts. You never know who you may end up inspiring.

    Back to Free Times Family home

    Free Times Family Magazine Health

    The Great Vaccination Debate

    Public Health Officials Urge Compliance, But Some Parents Disagree
    By Elizabeth Catanese
    Wednesday, July 30, 2014
    Back to Free Times Family home

    Summer’s almost over: Time to tear your house apart looking for your kids’ shot records to assure the school that, yes, little Jimmy has the required immunizations. It’s a basic public health measure — one which, while a general pain in the ass (or arm or leg), keeps all of us safe from polio, measles and diphtheria, and nine other diseases that terrified and afflicted our grandparents.

    Or not.

    While South Carolina currently requires immunization against 10 diseases (12 for day care), nearly 12,000 students were unvaccinated or had no proof of vaccination in the past school year. This doesn’t even count homeschooolers whose parents choose not to vaccinate — which studies suggest happens at a much higher rate than it does in the general population. And the trend is growing: Since 2009, the number of unvaccinated children in South Carolina public schools has increased by 50 percent.

    It’s not like these diseases exist only in the dim past: Once near-eradicated, many communicable diseases are on the upswing.

    In 1999, South Carolina saw only 26 cases of pertussis (whooping cough) but last year, there were 486 — some from an outbreak at Clemson Elementary School.

    Measles, once nearly eradicated, is making a comeback. The Centers for Disease Control reported that through May, there have been 288 cases in the U.S. A 2013 measles outbreak in North Carolina led to 23 confirmed infections, along with 115 quarantine orders. South Carolina has had no cases in recent years, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. But the agency reports that in outbreaks around the U.S., “about 87 percent of the unvaccinated cases were found to have a personal-belief exemption to vaccinations.”

    Knowing all this, who would deny their children protection?

    Jennifer Reinhardt, a Columbia mother of two, speaks for many in the anti-vaccination movement when she says, “I don’t believe they’re effective and I’m alarmingly against the ingredients.”

    Like many, she says most measles and pertussis cases occur among the vaccinated — a point the CDC refutes — and says that “every disease out there is less scary than the vaccine for it.”

    The idea of her children contracting pertussis is scary, she says, but she’s not as concerned about the measles: “There was an episode of The Brady Bunch where they all had measles.”

    Like other vaccine-refusing parents, she believes in strengthening the immune system naturally: eating organic, unprocessed foods, staying active, and using alternative medicines when necessary. She doesn’t worry about unvaccinated children attending public school, though she is choosing to homeschool.

    Laura Stuck also refuses vaccinations for her 22-month-old daughter.

    “The fear of side effects outweighs my fear of her catching the disease for a majority of them,” she says. She keeps her daughter healthy by staying home with her and limiting contact with people she calls “high-risk” like child care workers, medical professionals and frequent travelers.

    “The most high-risk exposure she gets is the mall play area once a month or less, which is cleaned twice a day,” Stuck says. And like many vaccine refusers, she doesn’t feel that pharmaceutical companies are honest about shots’ side effects: “I think they definitely don’t tell the public the entire truth.”
    Big Pharma hiding the truth about vaccines? Local medical professionals don’t buy it.

    Dr. Elizabeth Boggs, obstetrician and mother to a 1-year-old boy, says she vaccinates her son because “the science behind it is sound, and I believe that I am an important part of public health.”

    Jim Beasley, public information director for DHEC, agrees: “By vaccinating themselves and their children, they are doing everything they can to keep their family and communities healthy.”

    Vaccine refusal, Boggs says, “creates a gap in public health… the fewer vaccinated people, the easier it is for vaccine-preventable diseases to spread.”

    Another local mother of two, Claire Houle, points to other reasons to vaccinate. During a polio outbreak in the 1940s, she says, “my father was sent away for the summer to keep him from possible infection. He told me about waiting on the train platform alone, traveling by himself, but more afraid of polio than of being alone.”

    Despite this, Houle believes that unvaccinated children should still be allowed in public school, because “inclusion is an important part of public ed.”
    Dr. Boggs agrees — and despite her disagreement with vaccine deniers, she believes they have a right to public education.

    Regardless of your stance on vaccination — or unvaccinated children in public schools — you’ve still got to produce some documentation before the school year starts. For most parents, that means calling the doctor’s office to get shot records.

    Of the state’s 742,325 students enrolled in K-12 public schools last year, 5,900 did not have complete evidence of vaccination, 1,487 children were medically exempted and 4,761 kids received a religious exemption. Religious or medical exemption forms can only be obtained at a public health office.
    The state might let your kid avoid shots. But no way can they skip the paperwork.


    Facts about communicable diseases


    Vaccines required for students: 9 (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, chicken pox). Daycare attendance requires an additional two vaccines (Haemophilus influenze type B and pneumococcal).

    SC Pertussis Cases in 2013: 210, 127 in children under 18
    SC Influenza Cases, 2013: 923, 240 in children under 18
    SC Chicken Pox Cases, 2013: 186, 135 in children under 18

    Back to Free Times Family home


    Free Times Family Magazine - Activities

    Shaking Up School Fundraising

    Does the Old Model of School Fundraising Still Work?
    By Anne Postic
    Wednesday, July 30, 2014
    Many parents, rather than work the complicated equation, just write a check.
    Back to Free Times Family home

    How are your math skills? Decent? You probably have a teacher to thank, but teachers are not given nearly enough money to stock their classrooms, nor do many schools have enough funds to upgrade technology, buy sports uniforms or purchase supplies. How can they make up the difference? We need a formula for neighborhood fundraising.

    Here goes:

    x (Pitch Quality) + y (How Well I Know the Kid’s Parents) + (How Many Times My Kids Have Sold to Them) — 2 (How Many Times the Parents Pretended Not to Be Home When My Kids Knocked) + 4 (How Underfunded the School Is) + (Cash on Hand — How Much I Need for Coffee or Whatever) — (The Age of the Kid, Since the Older the Kid, the Easier They Will Take Rejection) — .5 (How Unhealthy the Thing Is) + 0 (How Much I actually Need or Want the Thing) ÷ How Many Kids Will Be Knocking = z

    Z = how much you should spend, and x and y are on a scale of one to 10. Confused?

    You should be, because the formula is needlessly complicated — just like school fundraising.

    Be harsh when figuring x and y, because they play a major part in how much you have to fork over. A cute kid can’t always work a sales pitch, and one invitation last year for porch beers does not a best friend make. Ask yourself the hard questions: How would this kid do in a Disney audition? Would her parents bring a casserole if my dog died? And do not fail to compute the last value — how much you need and want the thing — then multiply it by zero, because that’s exactly how much this element factors into your decision. See? Easy!

    Many parents, rather than work the complicated equation, just write a check. Or sell the stuff themselves, leaning on grandparents, who are easily charmed, and office mates who have hit them up on behalf of their own underfunded offspring.

    There’s another applicable formula. It’s simple, and it applies to most door-to-door selling fundraisers:

    x ÷ 2 = y, where x = the cost of the damn thing to you, and y = the money the school actually gets for each item.

    That’s without factoring in the volunteer hours by willing parents, and the hours the kids spend peddling their wares. Would you rather pay $20 and get nothing, or $40 for eight chocolate bars that leave a film on the roof of your mouth that you have to brush twice to remove?

    Motivating kids is daunting. Only a few crave new educational materials and, let’s be honest, most of them are selfish little pills who take everything for granted. They sell for the limo ride, the pizza party or the BMX bike.

    My own kid, or so I thought, was motivated by something better.

    “Mom!” he announced. “I’m going to sell a TON of cookies! I can win beets!”

    I was impressed. The fundraising horror stories were lies. His school worked with local farmers to provide something useful and healthy to the most motivated sellers, and they had gotten them excited about beets. I love beets, so I was more than willing to help.

    Alas, the beets in question were not edible roots, but fancy headphones, produced by Dr. Dre. My son did not win Beats, though he did get to go for pizza in a limo.

    Prizes can be a powerful motivator, but what about the kids who don’t have as much access to suckers? Not every child has grandparents who can afford overpriced goods, or parents who can make up the difference. Some children don’t live in neighborhoods where going door to door is safe. Not every student will feel like he or she did their part, and the prizes go to a select few.

    There are also prizes for group efforts in the classroom. Elise Carson Mullins chaired fundraising for two schools. While there were kids whose parents didn’t allow them to participate, Mullins says, “I imagine those kids got pressure in their classroom from friends and maybe teachers.”
    Should a 7-year-old be made to feel bad for not participating? No, but it happens.

    While sales-based fundraisers succeeded, Mullins noted that reaching out to business partners in the community netted a lot of money for a lot less work. One successful fundraiser came about when a bank donated $3,000 to print school T-shirts, which the school then sold for $10 apiece.

    Next time your kid comes home with an order sheet, be brave. Say no. Just don’t be surprised when you get the phone call from an enthusiastic parent asking you to join the PTO and offer some suggestions of your own.


    New Ideas: Fundraising Without Child Labor


  • Community business partners

  • Sales of school spirit items

  • A coffee and doughnut kiosk at the school drop-off line. Guaranteed cash.

  • Box tops, y’all

  • Auctions of donated items, including artistic collaborations from each class, sure to end in a bidding war

  • Straight up cold calling parents and begging

  • An old-school bake sale, with cookies and coffee after drop-off. The parents even get to socialize for a few minutes.

  • Exploit alumni. Know of a graduate in a popular local band? Ask them to play a show to raise money for their alma mater.


  • Back to Free Times Family home

    Free Times Family Magazine

    Free Times Family Back to School 2014

    By Free Times
    Tuesday, July 29, 2014


    Menu Guide

    Menu Guide Summer 2014

    By Free Times
    Monday, July 28, 2014


    Landing Page

    Forrest Wood Cup Best Fish Tale Contest

    By Free Times
    Monday, July 7, 2014
    Free Times is offering readers the chance to win:

    a limited-edition Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Tour diecast boat valued at $200,
    one-year FLW membership,
    a kid's rod and reel combo,
    assorted baits,
    Plano tackle bag and
    6 V.I.P. seats at the Forrest Wood Cup weigh-ins.


    Submit your best "fish tale" for your chance to win!

    Email your story to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Type "Fish Tale" in the subject line.



    Fishing League Worldwide's Forrest Wood Cup will be held Aug. 14-17 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center and the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina.


    Bites & Sights Visitors Guide

    Bites & Sights Columbia SC Visitors Guide Summer 2014

    By Free Times
    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    Ah, Famously Hot Columbia. During the summer, you might find yourself wanting to stay inside where it’s cool — and the city offers many nicely air-conditioned bars and fine restaurants. Want to soak in some sun instead? Grab some ice cream or frozen yogurt (see page 18 for Dessert listings) and check out the Three Rivers Greenway, where breezes off the river will cool you off a bit.

    To cool off, you might also want to check out one of the city’s two breweries (see page 13) — soon to become three breweries when Swamp Cabbage Brewing opens this summer. Longtime Columbia brewpub Hunter-Gatherer, too, has announced it’s building a full-scale brewery following a recent change to state law that removes some of the barriers for craft brewers.

    Summer also brings the Tasty Tomato Festival, held Saturday, July 19, this year at City Roots urban farm; visit tastytomatofestival.com for more information.

    And of course, the region is dotted with farmers markets offering local produce, meats and cheeses, flowers, crafts and homemade items; check out
    free-times.com for market listings.



    Best of Columbia

    Vote for Best of Columbia 2014

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    The polls are now closed. Look for winners on August 13!



    And the nominees are ...
    @116 Espresso and Wine Bar
    @drinkblogrepeat (Nick McCormac)
    @sammyrhodes (Sammy Rhodes)
    @theshoptart (The Shop Tart)
    @yesevamoore (Eva Moore)
    @yungsandcassy (Bakari Lebby)
    104.7 WNOK
    14 Carrot Whole Foods
    2 Chix Pickin
    2 Fat 2 Fly
    2nd & Charles
    2nd Wind Heating and Air
    32 Degrees
    42 Magnolia
    5 Star Limo
    701 Center for Contemporary Art
    76 and Sunny
    8 Sins Tattoo
    90.5 WUSC
    911 Driver Training
    92.1 WWNU
    93.5 WARQ
    94.3 WWNQ
    96.7 Steve FM
    99.3 WXRY
    Aaron Shealy (Allstate)
    Abberly Village
    ABC Driver Training
    Academy Sports
    Ace Hardware
    Addams Bookstore
    ADT
    Advanced Disposal
    Adventure Carolina
    Aero Plumbing
    Agape Medical Mart
    Agape Senior
    Al-Amir
    Alan Boyle (Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar)
    Alibabas Pipe Emporium
    Allsouth Federal
    Credit Union
    Allstate
    Ally & Eloise Bakeshop
    Alodia’s Cucina Italiana
    Amber Willoughby (Carmen! Carmen!)
    AMC Dutch Square
    American Florist
    Amos Lee (Township Auditorium)
    Andrew Touzel (Fuse Massage)
    Andrews Auto Service
    Andy Spreeuwers (8 Sins Tattoo)
    Andy’s Deli
    Animated Canvas Custom Tattoo
    Antai Gourmet Asian
    Arabesque
    Archer Avenue
    Ard’s Container Service
    Art Bar
    Artizan
    Ashley Chessick (Irmo Hair Studio)
    Ashley Furniture
    Aspyre
    Assembly Street Renovations
    Atlas Road Crew
    Baan Sawan
    Baldwin Driver Training
    Banfield Pet Hospital
    Bank of America
    Bar None
    Barking Lot Dog Park
    at Saluda Shoals
    Baseball stadium project
    Basil Thai Cuisine
    Baskin Robbins
    BB&T
    Beach Loveland (Loveland Coffee)
    Beezer’s
    Belk
    Ben Hoover (WIS)
    Ben Tanner (WIS)
    Best Buy
    Beth Dickerson (Capelli Studio)
    Big Red Box
    Bikram Yoga Columbia
    Birdhouse Rooms and Gardens
    Blazing Copper
    Blue Cactus
    Blue Fin Seafood Restaurant
    Blue Marlin
    Blue Moon Landscaping
    Blue Ribbon
    Cab Company
    Blue Sky
    Blue Tapas Bar and Cocktail Lounge
    BlueCross BlueShield
    BodySmith Fitness
    Bohemian
    Bojangles’
    Bollin Ligon
    Bombay Grill
    Bombshell Beauty Studio
    Bonefish Grill
    Bone-In Artisan BBQ
    Bourbon
    Brent Johnson (WTCB 106.7)
    Brent Lundy
    British Bulldog Pub
    Brittons
    Buffalo Wild Wings
    Bull Street Project
    Burger Tavern 77
    Café Caturra
    Café Strudel
    California Dreaming
    Calypso
    Caribbean Grill
    Camon
    Camp Bow Wow
    CanalSide Lofts
    Cantina 76
    Cantina 76 on Main
    Capelli Salon
    Capitol City
    Cab Company
    Capital City Cycles
    Capital Club
    Capital Karate
    Capitol Places
    CarMax
    Carmen! Carmen!
    Carolina Ale House
    Carolina Crossfit
    Carolina Fine Jewelry
    Carolina Honda Powerhouse
    Carolina Pottery
    Carolina Wings and Rib House
    Carrabba’s Italian Grill
    Casa Linda
    Cassell Brothers Heating and Cooling
    Caughman’s Meat’n Place
    Cellar on Greene
    CFS Offroad
    Charleston Cooks
    Checker Yellow Cab
    Chelsea Winford (Occo Skin Studio)
    Chick-fil-A
    Chipotle Mexican Grill
    Chris Metcalfe (World of Beer)
    CiCi’s Pizza
    Cigars LTD
    City Art
    City Councilman Cameron Runyan
    City of Columbia
    Dog Park
    City Market Antiques
    City Roots
    City Yoga
    Clark’s Termite and Pest Control
    Cline’s Salon Vista
    Cock ‘n Bull Pub
    coladaily.com
    Cola’s
    Cold Stone Creamery
    Coldwell Banker
    Colonial Life Arena
    Columbia Arts Academy
    Columbia Ballet School
    Columbia Children’s Theatre
    Columbia City Ballet
    Columbia Classical Ballet
    Columbia College
    Columbia Conservatory of Dance
    Columbia Eye Clinic
    Columbia Marriott
    Columbia Martial Arts and Fitness
    Columbia Museum of Art
    Columbia Powersports
    Columbiana Grande
    Columbia’s Greek Festival
    Complete Car Care
    Concord Park
    Congaree Riverkeeper
    Congaree State Bank
    Connor Shaw
    Conquest Brewing
    Constan Car Wash
    Conundrum
    Music Hall
    Cook-Out
    Cool Beans
    Copper Beach
    Copper Penny
    Copper River Grill
    Corey Miller (WACH)
    Cosmic Ray’s
    Cottontown
    Cover 3
    Coye Jones (Bella Riley’s Salon)
    Cracker Barrel
    Crust Bakehouse
    Cupcake
    Cycle Center
    D&D Cycles
    Dance Dept.
    Danielle Howle
    Dano’s Pizza
    Darci Strickland (WLTX)
    Darius Rucker (Colonial Life Arena)
    Dave Grillo (Cantina 76)
    David Adedokun
    Dawn Staley
    Dawndy Mercer Plank (WIS)
    Defender Shooting Sports
    Delaney’s
    Delhi Palace
    Delucca’s
    Devine Eyes
    Devine Foods
    Devine Street Tattoo
    Dick Dyer
    Dick Smith Group
    Dick’s Sporting Goods
    DiPrato’s
    Discount Tire
    DJ Ray’s Karaoke
    Doctor’s Care
    Dog Daze
    Don Taylor (Red Lantern Tattoo)
    Dr. Adam Brantley (Devine Dentistry)
    Dr. Crosby Livingston
    Dr. Thomas Hoffman (Hoffman and Strauss)
    Drip
    D’s Wings
    Earlewood
    Earth Fare
    Ed Robinson Laundry and Dry Cleaning
    Ed’s Editions
    Eddie Kane (Copper Finch Tattoo Company)
    Edna’s
    EdVenture
    EF Martin Mechanical
    Egg Roll Chen
    Egg Roll Station
    El Burrito
    El Poblano
    Elgin Veterinarian Hospital
    Elie’s Mediterranean Cusine
    Elite Vapors
    Embassy Suites
    Emily Douglas
    Dog Park
    Enterprise Car Sales
    ERA WIlder
    Eric’s San Jose
    Essex Homes
    Express Oil Change
    Eye on Gervais
    Famously Hot
    New Year’s Eve
    Firehouse Subs
    Firestone
    First Citizens
    First Community Bank
    First Class Limo
    Five Guys Burgers and Fries
    Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche (Trustus Theatre)
    Five Points Animal Clinic
    Flying Saucer
    Forest Acres
    Four Paws Animal Clinic
    Frank’s Car Wash
    Frank’s Discount Tire
    Freeway Music
    free-times.com
    gamecockcentral.com
    gamecocksonline.com
    Garden Bistro
    Garner’s Natural Life
    Garnet and Black Traditions
    Gene Love Plumbing
    Genova Family Karate
    Gervais and Vine
    Get Your Gear On
    GNC
    Goatfeathers
    gogamecocks.com
    Gold’s Gym
    Golden Chopstix
    Golden Motors
    Good Life Café
    Goodwill
    Goodyear
    Gov. Nikki Haley
    Granger Owings
    Grapes and Gallery
    Grecian Gardens
    Green Earth Services
    Green’s Beverages
    Gregory Garrett (formerly of 7 Doors Salon)
    Groomingdale’s
    Groucho’s Deli
    Group Therapy
    Half Moon Outfitters
    Hampton Street Vineyard
    Handpicked
    Harbor Inn
    Harley Haven
    Harvest Hope Food Bank
    Hawg Scooters
    Heathwood
    Hemingway’s
    Henry’s
    Henry’s NE
    Herndon Chevrolet
    Heros and Dragons
    HH Gregg
    High Life Smoke Shop
    Hilton Columbia Center
    Hip-Wa-Zee
    His House
    Home Depot
    Home Pest Control
    Hot Dog Heaven
    Hudson’s Smokehouse
    Hunter-Gatherer
    if ART
    IHOP
    Il Giorgione
    Immaculate Piercing
    Inakaya
    Indie Grits Festival
    Indigo Rose Tattoo
    Irmo Tire and Auto
    Ivy House
    Antiques Mall
    J. Gumbo’s
    J. Spencer Shull (Jellykoe)
    Jack Oliver Pool, Spa and Patio
    Jade Moon
    Jake’s
    James Pickle (British Bulldog Pub, Ruth’s Chris, Uncle Louie’s)
    James Stark (WLTX)
    Jason’s Deli
    Jeffers-McGiIll
    Jennifer Brown (Bliss Massage Studio)
    Jersey Mike’s
    Jessica Ocha (The Wired Goat)
    Jessica Skinner
    Jewelry Warehouse
    Jiffy Lube
    Jim Gandy (WLTX)
    Jim Hudson Automotive Group
    Jimmy John’s
    Jimmy’s Mart
    Jocelyn Locascio (Occo Skin Studio)
    Joe Gorchow (WIS)
    Joe Pinner
    Joe Turkaly
    John Farley (WIS)
    John Legend (Township Auditorium)
    Jonathon Rush (WCOS 97.5/ WVOC 100.1)
    Jos. A. Bank
    Josh Roberts and the Hinges
    Josh Streetman (Motor Supply Co.)
    Judi Gatson (WIS)
    Just the Thing
    Kaminer Heating and Cooling
    KC’s Hot Dogs
    KD’s Treehouse
    Keep the Midlands Beautiful
    Keg Cowboy
    Keller Williams
    Kelly Nash (WCOS 97.5/WVOC 100.1)
    Kelly’s Deli and Pub
    Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles
    Kleen Kare Cleaners
    Knotty Headz
    KORE Sport Cycles
    Kristian Niemi (Bourbon)
    Kyle Smith Pottery
    Lake Carolina
    Lake Murray
    Lake Murray Driving Academy
    Lake Murray Marina
    Lake Murray Treasures
    Lamb’s Bread Vegan Cafe
    Larry Hembree
    Larry Lucas (State Farm)
    Le Peep
    Len Kiese (WIS)
    Leon Lott
    Les Miserables (Town Theatre)
    Lexington Driving Academy
    Lexington Dry Cleaning
    Lexington Firearms
    Lexington Medical Center
    Lexington Medical Center Urgent Care
    Libby’s of Lexington
    Liberty on the Lake
    Lighthouse Marina
    Lillian McBride
    Linda’s Carraoke (Art Bar)
    Lindy Helms (Occo Skin Studio)
    Little Lambs and Ivy
    Little Pigs
    Lizard’s Thicket
    Longhorn Steakhouse
    Loose Lucy’s
    Los Bellos Portales
    Loveland Coffee
    Lowes
    Lucky’s Burger Shack
    Luke Bryan (Tin Roof)
    M Vista
    Mad Platter
    Maduro Room
    Mai Thai
    Main Moon
    Main Street Café
    Mandy Applegate (Urban Nirvana)
    Manifest Discs
    Marble Slab Creamery
    Marco’s Pizza
    Marcus Lattimore
    Mark Ziegler (Five Points Salon)
    Marshall Brown
    Marty Rae’s
    Mary & Martha
    Mary King (WIS)
    Mast General Store
    Maurice’s Piggie Park
    Mayor Steve Benjamin
    McAlister’s Deli
    McDonald’s
    McDonnell and Associates
    McKay, Cauthen, Settana & Stubley
    McKissick Museum
    McNair Law Firm
    MEDCare Urgent Care
    Mediterranean Tea Room
    Meetze Plumbing
    Mellow Mushroom
    Menchie’s
    Michelle Schreiner (Drip)
    Midlands Honda
    Midlands Technical College
    Midtown Fellowship
    Mike Davis (Terra)
    Mikel Rumsey (Bombshell Beauty Studio)
    Mill Creek Pet Food Center
    Miss Cocky
    Miyabi Japanese Steakhouse
    Miyo’s
    Mobile Attic
    Moe’s Southwest Grill
    Mojito’s Tropical Cafe
    Monterrey Mexican Restaurant
    Morgan Faulkenberry (State Farm)
    Morganelli’s
    Motor Supply Co.
    Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Café
    Mr. Tint
    Mungo Homes
    Musician Supply
    Nationwide
    Natural Vibrations
    NBSC
    Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough
    Nest
    New Brookland Tavern
    NewSpring Church
    Nickelodeon
    Nicky’s Pizzeria
    Nifty Gifty
    Nightcaps
    NOMA Dog Park
    Nonnah’s
    Nutrition Warehouse
    Nuttall Tire and Battery
    Occo Skin Studio
    Of Montreal (Columbia Museum of Art)
    Olando “Opie” Patterson (Goatfeathers)
    Old Mill Antique Mall
    Old Mill Brewpub
    Ole Timey Meat Market
    Olive Garden
    Olympia and Granby Mills
    Once Upon a Child
    One-Eared Cow Glass
    Opening of local craft breweries
    Original Pancake House
    Ouch! Piercings and Tattoos
    Outback Steakhouse
    Outspokin’
    Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union
    Palmetto Health
    Palmetto Health Baptist
    Palmetto Health Richland
    Palmetto Pediatrics
    Palmetto Pig
    Palmetto Pride Landscaping
    Palmetto Pro Tint
    Palmetto Smiles
    Palmetto State Armory
    Palmetto Thrift
    Pam’s Front Porch
    Papa Jazz
    Paradise Ice
    Pascon Roll Off Container Service
    Pasta Fresca
    Pavlov’s
    Pawleys Front Porch
    Pawleys Front Porch Truck
    Pawmetto Lifeline
    Pearlz Lounge
    Pearlz Oyster Bar
    Pecknel
    Pediatric Associates
    Pet Supplies Plus
    PETS Inc.
    PetSmart
    Pinch
    Pink Lotus Yoga Center
    Pita Pit
    Pitas
    Pizza Man
    Planet Fitness
    Planet Vapor
    Platinum Plus
    Platinum West
    Plaugh House
    PODS
    Pointe West Apartments
    Polliwogs
    Pope-Davis Tire and Auto
    Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen
    Portfolio Art Gallery
    Preppy Puppies
    Prettier than Matt
    Providence Hospital
    PT’s 1109
    Publick House
    Publix
    Punk Monkey Comics
    Pure Barre
    Quaker Steak and Lube
    Queens of the Stone Age (Township Auditorium)
    Rachel Allen (Drip)
    Ragtime (Trustus Theatre)
    Real Mexico
    Red Bowl Asian Bistro
    Red Door Tavern
    Red Lantern Tattoo
    Redbird Studio and Gallery
    Refusing Medicaid expansion
    Regal Sandhill Stadium 16
    Reggie Anderson (WLTX)
    Revente
    Rick Henry (WIS)
    Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse
    River Rat Brewery
    River Runner
    Riverbanks Zoo
    Riverwalk Park
    Robbie Mundo (British Bulldog Pub)
    Robin Gottlieb (Bombshell Beauty Studio)
    Rockaway Athletic Club
    Roe Young (State Farm)
    Rosewood
    Rosewood Crawfish Festival
    Rosewood Florist
    Rosewood Market
    Rosewood Market Deli
    Rosso Trattoria Italia
    Roundabouts
    Row Gallery
    Ruby Tuesday
    Rumsey Construction and Renovation
    Rush’s
    Russell and Jeffcoat
    Rusty Anchor
    Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
    Ryan Ditman (@116 Espresso and Wine Bar)
    S.C. Rep. James E. Smith
    SAFE Federal
    Credit Union
    SakiTumi
    Saluda River Club
    Sam’s Fine Wines and Spirits
    San Jose
    Sandhills Pediatrics
    Sandy’s Famous Hot Dogs
    Sansbury Eye Center
    Sarah and Susie’s Grooming
    SC Medical Store
    SC State Credit Union
    scenesc.com
    Scratch ‘n’ Spin
    Sean McGuinness (“That Godzilla Guy”)
    Security Pro
    Sesquicentennial
    State Park
    Seven Senses
    Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands
    Shalimar Curry House
    Shandon
    Shandon Baptist Church
    Shandon Presbyterian
    Shandon-Wood Animal Clinic
    Shane Anderson (Animated Canvas)
    Shannon Purvis Barron (Indigo Rose Tattoo)
    Sharky’s
    Shaun Phillips (Palmetto Sports Massage)
    Shaw’s Taxi
    Shealy’s BBQ
    Shear Xpectations
    Sheraton
    Shooter’s Choice
    Shrek the Musical (Town Theatre)
    Sid and Nancy
    Signature Transportation
    Silver City Comics
    Silver Spoon Bake Shop
    Sims Music
    Sistercare
    Smashburger
    Social Bar and Lounge
    Soda City Farmer’s Market
    Solar Solutions
    Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar
    Something Special Florist
    South Carolina Equality
    South Carolina
    State Fair
    South Carolina State Museum
    Southern Children
    Southern Pottery
    Southern Pride Plumbing
    Southern Strutt
    Southern Vistas
    Garden Center
    Sparkle Car Wash
    Speakeasy
    Spectacle Tinting
    Spice Junction
    Sportsman’s Warehouse
    St. Pat’s in Five Points
    Stagbriar
    Star Music
    Starbucks
    State Farm
    State Street Pub
    Steve Spurrier
    Steve Varholy (WXRY 99.3)
    Still Hope Episcopal Retirement Community
    Strawberry Skys
    Strobler
    Studio Cellar
    Summit Cycles
    Sun Ming
    Sunset Car Wash
    Sustainable Midlands
    Sweet Frog
    Sylvan’s
    Taco Bell
    Takosushi
    Tapp’s Arts Center
    Taste of Jamaica
    TCBY
    TD Bank
    Terminix
    Terra
    Texas Roadhouse
    Thailand Restaurant
    The Backpacker
    The Blossom Shop
    The Book Dispensary
    The Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands
    The Cigar Box
    The Flight Deck Restaurant
    The Fresh Market
    The Friends Club
    The Glo Room
    The Gourmet Shop
    The Heritage at Lowman
    The Jam Room
    The Kingsman
    The Kraken Gastropub
    The Mamas and the Tapas
    The Oak Table
    The Pizza Joint
    The Pour House
    The Reggae Grill
    The Restoration
    The Southern Belly
    The Southern Strutt
    The Vista
    The Vitamin Shoppe
    The Whig
    The Wired Goat
    The Woodlands
    The Woody
    The Wurst Wagen
    thestate.com
    Thirsty Fellow
    Thomas Crouch
    Thomas Ravenel
    Thrift Avenue
    Thunder Tower
    Harley-Davidson
    Tiffany’s Bakery
    Tilted Kilt
    Tim Miller (WIS)
    Tin Roof
    Tio’s
    Tobacco Merchant
    Todd & Moore
    Total Wine and More
    Town Theatre
    Township Auditorium
    Trader Joe’s
    Travinia’s Italian Kitchen
    Travis Rayle (Rosso Trattoria Italia)
    Tripp’s Fine Cleaners
    Tripp’s Lock and Key
    Tropic Aire
    True BBQ
    Trustus Theatre
    Tsubaki Restaurant Lounge
    Tsunami
    Tyler Ryan
    U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson
    Unbound
    Uncle Louie’s
    Unitarian Universalist
    University of South Carolina
    Unwine
    Uptown Gifts
    Urban Nirvana
    US Lawns
    USAA
    Vaping Zone
    Vector Security
    Vibrations
    Vicky Harriman (Carmen! Carmen!)
    Villa Tronco
    Village Idiot
    Vino Garage
    VIP Limo Service
    Vista Studios/Gallery 80808
    WACH (Fox)
    Waffle House
    Waste Management Services
    Weaving the Fate
    Well Pets
    Wells Fargo
    Wescott Acres
    Wet Nose Oasis
    Wheel Source
    Whit-Ash
    Whole Foods
    Wild Hare
    Wild Wing Café
    Wildewood Downs
    Will Green (The Whig)
    Williams-Sonoma
    Wine Down
    Wings and Ale
    WIS (NBC)
    wistv.com
    WLTX (CBS)
    wltx.com
    WOLO (ABC)
    Woodcreek Farms
    Workshop Theatre
    World of Beer
    Yamato
    Yesterdays
    YMCA
    Yoga Masala
    Yoghut
    You, Me, and Us
    Young’s True Value Hardware
    Zaxby’s
    Zorba’s


    Landing Page

    Finlay Park Summer Concert Series

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014


    Get Ahead

    Get Ahead: Guide to Career Advancement Summer 2014

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014


    Best of Columbia

    Best of Columbia 2014 Nominees

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    It's time to vote for Best of Columbia 2014!




    @116 Espresso and Wine Bar
    @drinkblogrepeat (Nick McCormac)
    @sammyrhodes (Sammy Rhodes)
    @theshoptart (The Shop Tart)
    @yesevamoore (Eva Moore)
    @yungsandcassy (Bakari Lebby)
    104.7 WNOK
    14 Carrot Whole Foods
    2 Chix Pickin
    2 Fat 2 Fly
    2nd & Charles
    2nd Wind Heating and Air
    32 Degrees
    42 Magnolia
    5 Star Limo
    701 Center for Contemporary Art
    76 and Sunny
    8 Sins Tattoo
    90.5 WUSC
    911 Driver Training
    92.1 WWNU
    93.5 WARQ
    94.3 WWNQ
    96.7 Steve FM
    99.3 WXRY
    Aaron Shealy (Allstate)
    Abberly Village
    ABC Driver Training
    Academy Sports
    Ace Hardware
    Addams Bookstore
    ADT
    Advanced Disposal
    Adventure Carolina
    Aero Plumbing
    Agape Medical Mart
    Agape Senior
    Al-Amir
    Alan Boyle - Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar
    Alibabas Pipe Emporium
    Allsouth Federal Credit Union
    Allstate
    Ally & Eloise Bakeshop
    Alodia’s Cucina Italiana
    Amber Willoughby (Carmen! Carmen!)
    AMC Dutch Square
    American Florist
    Amos Lee (Township Auditorium)
    Andrew Touzel (Fuse Massage)
    Andrews Auto Service
    Andy Spreeuwers (8 Sins Tattoo)
    Andy’s Deli
    Animated Canvas
    Antai
    Arabesque
    Archer Avenue
    Ard’s Container Service
    Art Bar
    Artizan
    Ashley Chessick (Irmo Hair Studio)
    Ashley Furniture
    Aspyre
    Assembly Street Renovations
    Atlas Road Crew
    Baan Sawan
    Baldwin Driver Training
    Banfield Pet Hospital
    Bank of America
    Bar None
    Barking Lot Dog Park
    at Saluda Shoals
    Baseball stadium project
    Basil Thai Cuisine
    Baskin Robbins
    BB&T
    Beach Loveland (Loveland Coffee)
    Beezer’s
    Belk
    Ben Hoover (WIS)
    Ben Tanner (WIS)
    Best Buy
    Beth Dickerson (Capelli Studio)
    Big Red Box
    Bikram Yoga Columbia
    Birdhouse Rooms and Gardens
    Blazing Copper
    Blue Cactus
    Blue Fin Seafood Restaurant
    Blue Marlin
    Blue Moon Landscaping
    Blue Ribbon Cab Company
    Blue Sky
    Blue Tapas Bar and Cocktail Lounge
    BlueCross BlueShield
    BodySmith Fitness
    Bohemian
    Bojangles’
    Bollin Ligon
    Bombay Grill
    Bombshell Beauty Studio
    Bonefish Grill
    Bone-In Artisan BBQ
    Bourbon
    Brent Johnson (WTCB 106.7)
    Brent Lundy
    British Bulldog Pub
    Brittons
    Buffalo Wild Wings
    Bull Street Project
    Burger Tavern 77
    Café Caturra
    Café Strudel
    California Dreaming
    Calypso Caribbean Grill
    Camon
    Camp Bow Wow
    CanalSide Lofts
    Cantina 76
    Cantina 76 on Main
    Capelli Salon
    Capitol City Cab Company
    Capital City Cycles
    Capital Club
    Capital Karate
    Capitol Places
    CarMax
    Carmen! Carmen!
    Carolina Ale House
    Carolina Crossfit
    Carolina Fine Jewelry
    Carolina Honda Powerhouse
    Carolina Pottery
    Carolina Wings and Rib House
    Carrabba’s Italian Grill
    Casa Linda
    Cassell Brothers
    Heating and Cooling
    Caughman’s Meat’n Place
    Cellar on Greene
    CFS Offroad
    Charleston Cooks
    Checker Yellow Cab
    Chelsea Winford (Occo Skin Studio)
    Chick-fil-A
    Chipotle Mexican Grill
    Chris Metcalfe (World of Beer)
    CiCi’s Pizza
    Cigars LTD
    City Art
    City Councilman Cameron Runyan
    City of Columbia
    Dog Park
    City Market Antiques
    City Roots
    City Yoga
    Clark’s Termite and Pest Control
    Cline’s Salon Vista
    Cock ‘n Bull Pub
    coladaily.com
    Cola’s
    Cold Stone Creamery
    Coldwell Banker
    Colonial Life Arena
    Columbia Arts Academy
    Columbia Ballet School
    Columbia Children’s Theatre
    Columbia City Ballet
    Columbia Classical Ballet
    Columbia College
    Columbia Conservatory of Dance
    Columbia Eye Clinic
    Columbia Marriott
    Columbia Martial Arts and Fitness
    Columbia Museum of Art
    Columbia Powersports
    Columbiana Grande
    Columbia’s Greek Festival
    Complete Car Care
    Concord Park
    Congaree Riverkeeper
    Congaree State Bank
    Connor Shaw
    Conquest
    Constan Car Wash
    Conundrum Music Hall
    Cook-Out
    Cool Beans
    Copper Beach
    Copper Penny
    Copper River Grill
    Corey Miller (WACH)
    Cosmic Ray’s
    Cottontown
    Cover 3
    Coye Jones (Bella Riley’s Salon)
    Cracker Barrel
    Crust Bakehouse
    Cupcake
    Cycle Center
    D&D Cycles
    Dance Dept.
    Danielle Howle
    Dano’s
    Darci Strickland (WLTX)
    Darius Rucker (Colonial Life Arena)
    Dave Grillo (Cantina 76)
    David Adedokun
    Dawn Staley
    Dawndy Mercer Plank (WIS)
    Defender Shooting Sports
    Delaney’s
    Delhi Palace
    Delucca’s
    Devine Eyes
    Devine Foods
    Devine Street Tattoo
    Dick Dyer
    Dick Smith Group
    Dick’s Sporting Goods
    DiPrato’s
    Discount Tire
    DJ Ray’s Karaoke
    Doctor’s Care
    Dog Daze
    Don Taylor (Red Lantern Tattoo)
    Dr. Adam Brantley (Devine Dentistry)
    Dr. Crosby Livingston
    Dr. Thomas Hoffman (Hoffman and Strauss)
    Drip
    D’s Wings
    Earlewood
    Earth Fare
    Ed Robinson Laundry and Dry Cleaning
    Ed’s Editions
    Eddie Kane (Copper Finch Tattoo Company)
    Edna’s
    EdVenture
    EF Martin Mechanical
    Egg Roll Chen
    Egg Roll Station
    El Burrito
    El Poblano
    Elgin Veterinarian Hospital
    Elie’s Mediterranean Cusine
    Elite Vapors
    Embassy Suites
    Emily Douglas Dog Park
    Enterprise Car Sales
    ERA WIlder
    Eric’s San Jose
    Essex Homes
    Express Oil Change
    Eye on Gervais
    Famously Hot New Year’s Eve
    Firehouse Subs
    Firestone
    First Citizens
    First Community Bank
    First Class Limo
    Five Guys Burgers and Fries
    Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche (Trustus Theatre)
    Five Points Animal Clinic
    Flying Saucer
    Forest Acres
    Four Paws Animal Clinic
    Frank’s Car Wash
    Frank’s Discount Tire
    Freeway Music
    free-times.com
    gamecockcentral.com
    gamecocksonline.com
    Garden Bistro
    Garner’s Natural Life
    Garnet and Black Traditions
    Gene Love Plumbing
    Genova Family Karate
    Gervais and Vine
    Get Your Gear On
    GNC
    Goatfeathers
    gogamecocks.com
    Gold’s Gym
    Golden Chopstix
    Golden Motors
    Good Life Café
    Goodwill
    Goodyear
    Gov. Nikki Haley
    Granger Owings
    Grapes and Gallery
    Grecian Gardens
    Green Earth Services
    Green’s Beverages
    Gregory Garrett (7 Doors Salon)
    Groomingdale’s
    Groucho’s Deli
    Group Therapy
    Half Moon Outfitters
    Hampton Street Vineyard
    Handpicked
    Harbor Inn
    Harley Haven
    Harvest Hope Food Bank
    Hawg Scooters
    Heathwood
    Hemingway’s
    Henry’s
    Henry’s NE
    Herndon Chevrolet
    Heros and Dragons
    HH Gregg
    High Life Smoke Shop
    Hilton Columbia Center (The Vista)
    Hip-Wa-Zee
    His House
    Home Depot
    Home Pest Control
    Hot Dog Heaven
    Hudson’s Smokehouse
    Hunter-Gatherer
    if ART
    IHOP
    Il Giorgione
    Immaculate Piercing
    Inakaya
    Indie Grits Festival
    Indigo Rose Tattoo
    Irmo Tire and Auto
    Ivy House Antiques Mall
    J. Gumbo’s
    J. Spencer Shull (Jellykoe)
    Jack Oliver Pool,
    Spa and Patio
    Jade Moon
    Jake’s
    James Pickle (British Bulldog Pub, Ruth's Chris, Uncle Louie's)
    James Stark (WLTX)
    Jason’s Deli
    Jeffers-McGiIll
    Jennifer Brown (Bliss Massage Studio)
    Jersey Mike’s
    Jessica Ocha
    (The Wired Goat)
    Jessica Skinner
    Jewelry Warehouse
    Jiffy Lube
    Jim Gandy (WLTX)
    Jim Hudson Automotive Group
    Jimmy John’s
    Jimmy’s Mart
    Jocelyn Locascio
    (Occo Skin Studio)
    Joe Gorchow (WIS)
    Joe Pinner
    Joe Turkaly
    John Farley (WIS)
    John Legend (Township Auditorium)
    Jonathon Rush
    (WCOS 97.5)
    Jos. A. Bank
    Josh Roberts and the Hinges
    Josh Streetman (Motor Supply Co.)
    Judi Gatson (WIS)
    Just the Thing
    Kaminer Heating and Cooling
    KC’s Hot Dogs
    KD’s Treehouse
    Keep the Midlands Beautiful
    Keg Cowboy
    Keller Williams
    Kelly Nash (WVOC 100.1)
    Kelly’s Deli and Pub
    Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles
    Kleen Kare Cleaners
    Knotty Headz
    KORE Sport Cycles
    Kristian Niemi - Bourbon
    Kyle Smith Pottery
    Lake Carolina
    Lake Murray
    Lake Murray Driving Academy
    Lake Murray Marina
    Lake Murray Treasures
    Lamb’s Bread Vegan Cafe
    Larry Hembree
    Larry Lucas (State Farm)
    Le Peep
    Len Kiese (WIS)
    Leon Lott
    Les Miserables (Town Theatre)
    Lexington Driving Academy
    Lexington Dry Cleaning
    Lexington Firearms
    Lexington Medical Center
    Lexington Medical Center Urgent Care
    Libby’s of Lexington
    Liberty on the Lake
    Lighthouse Marina
    Lillian McBride
    Linda’s Carraoke (Art Bar)
    Lindy Helms (Occo Skin Studio)
    Little Lambs and Ivy
    Little Pigs
    Lizard’s Thicket
    Longhorn Steakhouse
    Loose Lucy’s
    Los Bellos Portales
    Loveland Coffee
    Lowes
    Lucky’s Burger Shack
    Luke Bryan (Tin Roof)
    M Vista
    Mad Platter
    Maduro Room
    Mai Thai
    Main Moon
    Main Street Café
    Mandy Applegate (Urban Nirvana)
    Manifest Discs
    Marble Slab Creamery
    Marco’s Pizza
    Marcus Lattimore
    Mark Ziegler (Five Points Salon)
    Marshall Brown
    Marty Rae’s
    Mary & Martha
    Mary King (WIS)
    Mast General Store
    Maurice’s Piggie Park
    Mayor Steve Benjamin
    McAlister’s Deli
    McDonald’s
    McDonnell and Associates
    McKay, Cauthen, Settana & Stubley
    McKissick Museum
    McNair Law Firm
    MEDCare Urgent Care
    Mediterranean Tea Room
    Meetze Plumbing
    Mellow Mushroom
    Menchie’s
    Michelle Schreiner (Drip)
    Midlands Honda
    Midlands Technical College
    Midtown Fellowship
    Mike Davis (Terra)
    Mikel Rumsey (Bombshell Beauty Studio)
    Mill Creek Pet Food Center
    Miss Cocky
    Miyabi Japanese Steakhouse
    Miyo’s
    Mobile Attic
    Moe’s Southwest Grill
    Mojito’s Tropical Cafe
    Monterrey Mexican Restaurant
    Morgan Faulkenberry (State Farm)
    Morganelli’s
    Motor Supply Co.
    Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Café
    Mr. Tint
    Mungo Homes
    Musician Supply
    Nationwide
    Natural Vibrations
    NBSC
    Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough
    Nest
    New Brookland Tavern
    NewSpring Church
    Nickelodeon
    Nicky’s Pizzeria
    Nifty Gifty
    Nightcaps
    NOMA Dog Park
    Nonnah’s
    Nutrition Warehouse
    Nuttall Tire and Battery
    Oak Table
    Occo Skin Studio
    Of Montreal (Columbia Museum of Art)
    Olando (Opie) Patterson (Goatfeathers)
    Old Mill Antique Mall
    Old Mill Brewpub
    Ole Timey Meat Market
    Olive Garden
    Olympia and Granby Mills
    Once Upon a Child
    One-Earned Cow Glass
    Opening of local craft breweries
    Original Pancake House
    Ouch! Piercings and Tattoos
    Outback Steakhouse
    Outspokin
    Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union
    Palmetto Health
    Palmetto Health Baptist
    Palmetto Health Richland
    Palmetto Pediatrics
    Palmetto Pig
    Palmetto Pride Landscaping
    Palmetto Pro Tint
    Palmetto Smiles
    Palmetto State Armory
    Palmetto Thrift
    Pam’s Front Porch
    Papa Jazz
    Paradise Ice
    Pascon Roll Off
    Container Service
    Pasta Fresca
    Pavlov’s
    Pawleys Front Porch
    Pawleys Front Porch Truck
    Pawmetto Lifeline
    Pearlz Lounge
    Pearlz Oyster Bar
    Pecknel
    Pediatric Associates
    Pet Supplies Plus
    PETS Inc.
    PetSmart
    Pinch
    Pink Lotus Yoga Center
    Pita Pit
    Pitas
    Pizza Man
    Planet Fitness
    Planet Vapor
    Platinum Plus
    Platinum West
    Plaugh House
    PODS
    Pointe West Apartments
    Polliwogs
    Pope-Davis Tire and Auto
    Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
    Portfolio Art Gallery
    Preppy Puppies
    Prettier than Matt
    Providence Hospitals
    PT’s 1109
    Publick House
    Publix
    Punk Monkey Comics
    Pure Barre
    Quaker Steak and Lube
    Queens of the Stone Age (Township Auditorium)
    Rachel Allen (Drip)
    Ragtime (Trustus Theatre)
    Real Mexico
    Red Bowl Asian Bistro
    Red Door Tavern
    Red Lantern Tattoo
    Redbird Studio and Gallery
    Refusing Medicaid expansion
    Regal Sandhill Stadium 16
    Reggie Anderson (WLTX)
    Revente
    Rick Henry (WIS)
    Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse
    River Rat
    River Runner
    Riverbanks Zoo
    Riverwalk Park
    Robbie Mundo (British Bulldog Pub)
    Robin Gottlieb (Bombshell Beauty Studio)
    Rockaway Athletic Club
    Roe Young (State Farm)
    Rosewood
    Rosewood Crawfish Festival
    Rosewood Florist
    Rosewood Market
    Rosewood Market Deli
    Rosso Trattoria Italia
    Roundabouts
    Row Gallery
    Ruby Tuesday
    Rumsey Construction and Renovation
    Rush’s
    Russell and Jeffcoat
    Rusty Anchor
    Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
    Ryan Ditman
    (@116 Espresso
    and Wine Bar)
    S.C. Rep. James E. Smith
    SAFE Federal
    Credit Union
    SakiTumi
    Saluda River Club
    Sam’s Fine Wines and Spirits
    San Jose
    Sandhills Pediatrics
    Sandy’s Famous
    Hot Dogs
    Sansbury Eye Center
    Sarah and Susie’s Grooming
    SC Medical Store
    SC State Credit Union
    scenesc.com
    Scratch ‘n’ Spin
    Sean McGuinness (“That Godzilla Guy”)
    Security Pro
    Sesquicentennial
    State Park
    Seven Senses
    Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands
    Shalimar Curry House
    Shandon
    Shandon Baptist Church
    Shandon Presbyterian
    Shandon-Wood Animal Clinic
    Shane Anderson (Animated Canvas)
    Shannon Purvis Barron (Indigo Rose Tattoo)
    Sharky’s
    Shaun Phillips (Palmetto Sports Massage)
    Shaw’s Taxi
    Shealy’s BBQ
    Shear Xpectations
    Sheraton
    Shooter’s Choice
    Shrek the Musical (Town Theatre)
    Sid and Nancy
    Signature Transportation
    Silver City Comics
    Silver Spoon Bake Shop
    Sims Music
    Sistercare
    Smashburger
    Social Bar and Lounge
    Soda City Farmer’s Market
    Solar Solutions
    Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar
    Something Special Florist
    South Carolina Equality
    South Carolina State Fair
    South Carolina State Museum
    Southern Children
    Southern Pottery
    Southern Pride Plumbing
    Southern Strutt
    Southern Vistas
    Garden Center
    Sparkle Car Wash
    Speakeasy
    Spectacle Tinting
    Spice Junction
    Sportsman’s Warehouse
    St. Pat’s in Five Points
    Stagbriar
    Star Music
    Starbucks
    State Farm
    State Street Pub
    Steve Spurrier
    Steve Varholy (WXRY 99.3)
    Still Hope Episcopal Retirement Community
    Strawberry Skys
    Strobler
    Studio Cellar
    Summit Cycles
    Sun Ming
    Sunset Car Wash
    Sustainable Midlands
    Sweet Frog
    Sylvan’s
    Taco Bell
    Takosushi
    Tapp’s Arts Center
    Taste of Jamaica
    TCBY
    TD Bank
    Terminix
    Terra
    Texas Roadhouse
    Thailand Restaurant
    The Backpacker
    The Blossom Shop
    The Book Dispensary
    The Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands
    The Cigar Box
    The Flight Deck Restaurant
    The Fresh Market
    The Friends Club
    The Glo Room
    The Gourmet Shop
    The Heritage at Lowman
    The Jam Room
    The Kingsman
    The Kraken Gastropub
    The Mamas and the Tapas
    The Oak Table
    The Pizza Joint
    The Pour House
    The Reggae Grill
    The Restoration
    The Southern Belly
    The Southern Strutt
    The Vista
    The Vitamin Shoppe
    The Whig
    The Wired Goat
    The Woodlands
    The Woody
    The Wurst Wagen
    thestate.com
    Thirsty Fellow
    Thomas Crouch
    Thomas Ravenel
    Thrift Avenue
    Thunder Tower
    Harley-Davidson
    Tiffany’s Bakery
    Tilted Kilt
    Tim Miller (WIS)
    Tin Roof
    Tio’s
    Tobacco Merchant
    Todd & Moore
    Total Wine and More
    Town Theatre
    Township Auditorium
    Trader Joe’s
    Travinia’s Italian Kitchen
    Travis Rayle (Rosso Trattoria Italia)
    Tripp’s Fine Cleaners
    Tripp’s Lock and Key
    Tropic Aire
    True BBQ
    Trustus Theatre
    Tsubaki Restaurant Lounge
    Tsunami
    Tyler Ryan
    U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson
    Unbound
    Uncle Louie’s
    Unitarian Universalist
    University of South Carolina
    Unwine
    Uptown Gifts
    Urban Nirvana
    US Lawns
    USAA
    Vaping Zone
    Vector Security
    Vibrations
    Vicky Harriman (Carmen! Carmen!)
    Villa Tronco
    Village Idiot
    Vino Garage
    VIP Limo Service
    Vista Studios/Gallery 80808
    WACH (Fox)
    Waffle House
    Waste Management Services
    Weaving the Fate
    Well Pets
    Wells Fargo
    Wescott Acres
    Wet Nose Oasis
    Wheel Source
    Whit-Ash
    Whole Foods
    Wild Hare
    Wild Wing Café
    Wildewood Downs
    Will Green (The Whig)
    Williams-Sonoma
    Wine Down
    Wings and Ale
    WIS (NBC)
    wistv.com
    WLTX (CBS)
    wltx.com
    WOLO (ABC)
    Woodcreek Farms
    Workshop Theatre
    World of Beer
    Yamato
    Yesterdays
    YMCA
    Yoga Masala
    Yoghut
    You, Me, and Us
    Young’s True Value Hardware
    Zaxby’s
    Zorba’s



    Free Times Family Magazine - Media

    All the World’s a Stage

    Renowned Children’s Author-Illustrator Set for Columbia Exhibition
    By Heather Green
    Thursday, May 29, 2014
    Soda City is teeming with creative juices these days. Whether you’re checking out our local museums, taking the family to a ballet or simply strolling down Main Street, Columbia’s art scene is on the upswing for both adult and youth audiences. So it should be no surprise that Richland Library and the Columbia Museum of Art are teaming up to bring Anita Lobel, one of the most talented and beloved children’s authors and illustrators, to Columbia. (Full disclosure: I work at the Wheatley branch of the Richland Library.)

    When one thinks of the legendary author-artist, beautifully illustrated picture books filled with rich colors and traditional stories instantly come to mind. Since 1965, Lobel has authored and illustrated more than 50 children’s books. Her memoir, No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War, was a finalist for the National Book Award and On Market Street is a Caldecott Medal honor book, which she created with her late husband, Arnold.

    Born in Cracow, Poland, in 1934, Lobel survived a Nazi concentration camp and moved to New York with her parents in 1952. A true artist, Lobel also has experience in theater and textile design. Although her amazing and sometimes difficult past is reflected in her work, Lobel prefers to tell stories that are pleasant and spiritual for the reader. She chooses not to ruminate on her survival but to highlight her celebrated art and stories.

    She is no stranger to Columbia, having previously visited Richland Library and participated in the Annual Augusta Baker’s Dozen Storytelling event hosted by Richland Library and the University of South Carolina.

    Lobel has befriended many area librarians, including Leslie Tetreault, manager of the Richland Library Children’s Room.

    “Ms. Lobel’s books are part of the canon of the most important, highest quality books for children," Tetreault says. “Her picture books are wonderful for sharing with young children.”

    The exhibit will be in the Gallery at Main, on the Garden level of the Main Library and in the Education Gallery at the museum.

    It contains more than 70 pieces of art and 30 books from throughout Lobel’s career. Roughly two-thirds of the art will be in Richland Library’s downstairs gallery with the rest on display at the museum. There will be a joint Scavenger Hunt/Gallery Guide for the entire exhibit that will lead visitors from one location to the other.
    The exhibit, on loan from the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Texas, runs through Aug. 17.

    There are also two opportunities to meet and connect with Lobel. A book signing and reception will be held in the main library’s Bostick Auditorium on June 20 at 6:30 p.m. On June 21, Lobel will discuss her work at a gallery talk beginning at 1 p.m. at the Richland Library and moving to the Columbia Museum of Art at 2:15. A book signing will follow.


    A Lobel sampler


    Artwork from these works will be on display during the show. This is a good selection of books to give you a taste of Anita Lobel’s work before exploring the full exhibit.

    Hello, Day!
    Anita Lobel
    Greenwillow Books, 40 pages, $16.99
    Ages: Pre-K

    Illustrated with pencil, watercolors, and other media, Hello, Day is a colorful work of art introducing animal sounds. It begins with a rooster who welcomes us at sunrise with a “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” and ends with an owl just getting ready to begin his night as the moon rises. A beautiful book that’s entertaining for any listener or reader — a wonderful read-aloud.

    Nini Here and There
    Anita Lobel
    Greenwillow Books, 32 Pages, $16.99
    Ages: 3-7

    Lobel’s cat, Nini, makes a special appearance in Nini Here and There. Seeing her owner packing for a trip, Nini knows something’s up and feels anxious about the possibilities. Once she’s zipped into her carrier, she’s on her way from New York to Vermont for a summer vacation. During Nini’s catnap, she dreams of floating on a cloud and riding an elephant. All anxiety is gone when she arrives at her destination with her owner, her food, and a nice window sill for Nini to watch the day. It’s not her home but at least she’s not alone.

    On Market Street</strong>
    Arnold Lobel (author) and Anita Lobel (illustrator)
    Greenwillow Books, 40 pages, $16.99
    Ages: 4-8

    Inspired by the 1977 Children’s Book Week poster designed by Lobel herself, On Market Street is a unique, and beautifully illustrated take on the alphabet. When you’re on Market Street there are so many delights, it’s hard for little ones to decide what to buy. Beginning with apples and ending with zippers (my personal favorite), each purchase is beautifully adorned on the shopkeepers themselves. A Caldecott Medal honor book. — Heather Green, Richland Library



    Free Times Family Magazine - Life

    Why Can’t We Be Friends?

    Six Situations and How to Handle Them with Your Child-Free Friends
    By Anne Postic
    Thursday, May 29, 2014
    Illustrations by Jason Crosby
    “Why can’t we be friends?
    Why can’t we be friends?
    I seen you ‘round for a long long time
    I really ‘membered you when you drink my wine”



    Sing it with me. Whether you are a parent or enthusiastically child-free, you may have found yourself humming this tune and thinking of a friend on the other side of the fence. Why can’t we be friends? Funny you should ask. The reality is a stark contrast to what we read in magazines and online: We can be friends. And I have the social life to prove it.

    Friends don’t change, but their lives and schedules do. Want to keep your crew? Learn how to navigate the changes. Here are a few situations you may have encountered, and how to handle them without losing
    a friend.


    The Situation: My friends invited us to an afternoon picnic, and we were sure our kids were included. When we got there, they seemed surprised to see us all.

    Handled: First of all, avoid this one in the future by asking if kids are included. Never assume. If you don’t want to make your host feel uncomfortable by asking, try this. “We’d love to come, but we aren’t ready for a sitter to keep little Joe. Please keep us on your list for next time!” This response allows your friend to accept your regrets graciously, but it also opens the door to, “Oh! Please bring him. We’d love to mop up little Joe’s drool!”


    The Situation: Our friends invited us over, and asked us to bring the rug rats, but their house isn’t child friendly at all. They didn’t have a single outlet cover and there were lamps on all the tables!

    Handled: Accept that your children are your responsibility, and that your friends had good intentions. They wanted to see you, but childproofing a house just isn’t on their radar — nor should it be. There may be some places that aren’t a lot of fun for you with your toddler and that’s just fine. One surefire way to make people think you are a good parent and your child is an angel is to make sure is to make sure your adorable monster’s behavior doesn’t affect them. Screaming child? Slip outside. In fact, learn to anticipate the whininess and go home before it happens. Keep an eye on your progeny and don’t let them break anything. Too many breakables? Make plans elsewhere with your friend or get a sitter.




    The Situation: I used to love going out to eat with friends, but our toddler won’t allow me to eat or talk to them. She demands all of our attention.

    Handled: Invite your friend over for a glass of wine or three after your children are asleep. There are times in every child’s life when they aren’t meant for restaurants. If you can’t afford a sitter or don’t have a good one, get take out and eat at home. You know how people say television isn’t a babysitter? Lies. Pull out the DVD collection or get on Netflix — in limited amounts.

    The real problem is when you start using mind-numbing media as a teacher. Walt Disney makes an excellent, inexpensive babysitter, as long as you are a room or two away, so you won’t have to listen. Speaking of babysitters, use them. Yes, they are expensive and yes, it can be hard to let go, but that “me time” thing is no joke.


    The Situation: My friend stopped calling me once I became a parent. I feel really hurt.

    Handled: Call your friend, and make sure you have time to spend with her that isn’t all about you and your brood. It’s normal to want to be friends with other parents when you become one. After all, we look to our friends for sympathy, advice and commiseration, not to mention company for our children. But when your kid gets a little older, you are going to miss your friends. There will come a time when you want to talk about anything but kids. If you must talk about your baby, make sure the story is funny, not too gross, and in no way implies that parenthood is the only true way to nirvana. Yes, parenthood is magical. Duh. But you must know happily fulfilled people who are child-free.


    The Situation: I’ve been staying home with our children or have been limiting my hours at work. I feel out of the loop and, frankly, a little stupid when I try to keep up the pace in a conversation with my child-free pals. What happened to me?

    Handled: You are already winning, because you’ve noticed the difference. You aren’t stupid. (Well, unless you were already stupid before you had children, because that sticks.) You may be a little tired, and not at the top of your conversational game. Remember that people love listeners, too, and keeping up with what’s going on in your field — or your friend’s — can’t hurt. You may think you never want to work again. You may change your mind, so keep your options open. And read a book every now and then. Too tired to talk? Ask questions about your friend’s life. You can’t go wrong.


    The Situation: I just had a baby. I post pictures and updates, but no more than one a day or so. My friend posts daily rants on her own page about how she hates seeing pictures of people’s gross kids all over Facebook and Instagram. Is she talking to me?

    Handled: Ask her if she knows how to unfollow or hide people from her feed and if she understands that social media is optional. Kidding. Don’t go there. Just hide her from your feed and forget about it. This isn’t about you.



    There are times when parenting is all-consuming, and it’s hard to think about anything else. Baby care takes up all your time, toddlers sap your energy, grade schoolers need rides everywhere — and teenagers will steal your soul, if you aren’t careful. It may be a cliché, but you do need time for yourself. Making and keeping child-free friends is worth the effort, because if you don’t, one day, you’ll really miss them.

    That fence between parents and the child-free? There’s no reason on earth not to make it a gate. But you may want to add a child-proof latch so your little one doesn’t trample your friend’s herb garden and pull on her dog’s tail.


    Tips for Child-Free Friends of Breeders


    • Let them talk about their kids. Try to be amused. But don’t suffer in silence if they go on too long. A well-placed “Did you see Eva’s latest blog about City Council in Free Times? Crazy stuff!” can steer the conversation in a more interesting direction.

    • Offer to meet them in child-friendly places, like for coffee in the park. Or be the friend who asks, “What time do the kids usually go to sleep? Can I come over and pop some popcorn while you put them to bed and we can chat after?” Most parents love that friend.

    • If you truly can’t stand kids, don’t force yourself to be around them. Your feelings will show and the parents may be hurt.

    • If you do invite kids to your place, consider getting a couple of Wiggles DVDs from the library and pick up some washable markers and construction paper, just in case.

    • If your friend with children is truly insufferable, like the type who berates you for not childproofing your home, she may just be a jerk. Chances are she wasn’t that great as a friend before, was she? Some friendships aren’t meant to be.

    • Try to keep in touch. One day, your friend will get back to normal and you’ll want to be there!

    Free Times Family Magazine - Media

    Music & DVD Reviews: Okee Dokee Brothers, Django Jones

    By Kevin Oliver
    Thursday, May 29, 2014
    Through The Woods
    The Okee Dokee Brothers
    CD and DVD boxed set
    Okee Dokee Music

    Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing are a pair of GenXers who play guitar and banjo and make fun songs for kids in the folk tradition, so taking a stroll through the music of the mountains in the Eastern U.S. is a natural fit. Guests such as musician David Holt of Asheville, N.C., Hubby Jenkins of the band The Carolina Chocolate Drops, and venerable kiddie folkies Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer all make appearances on the album tracks, which are mostly new compositions inspired by traditional mountain music.

    Even without the accompanying DVD, the music alone is worth the walk through the gentle breezy style of Mailander and Lansing. From the easy gait of the title tune through the up-tempo dance of “Jamboree” and the inadvertent music theory lesson of “Out of Tune,” the message here is one of fun and feeling free to enjoy the great outdoors.

    Various instruments and percussion pieces make themselves known throughout, from the unusual ‘bones’ Hubby Jenkins plays in the traditional “Big Rock Candy Mountain” to the washboard, banjo and fiddle. Other traditional elements are incorporated as well, such as setting “Hillbilly Willy” to the tune of “Old Dan Tucker,” making the whole affair seem like a month-long family hootenanny.

    The DVD component is what sets this apart from just another kid’s music album featuring vintage music instruments and favorite songs, as Lansing and Mailander set off on a trek along the Appalachian Trail, stopping along the way to learn about mountain music and play a few tunes with those they come across. There is a five-minute segment with Holt, who shows off such unusual instruments as the mouth bow and the bones, demonstrating each briefly. A visit with the Wright Family shows off a group of talented kids the same age as the video’s target audience playing a pretty slick “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” And a session on a Virginia porch with banjo player Elizabeth LaPrelle yields several humorous ad-libbed musical moments.

    Many of the album songs are included in the DVD footage, either as set music video style pieces or in passing during their travels and visits to others. The “Jamboree” footage in the Floyd County General Store is especially fun, and the segment on songwriting with Mailander and Lansing offering up intentionally bad song ideas to each other is hilarious and instructive at the same time, showing kids it’s OK to fail repeatedly and that often a good idea can come out of those failures.

    It’s that kind of subtle lesson that the Okee Dokee Brothers are best at — playing music and having fun, while still making a point about friendship, feeling free to go adventuring, stopping to enjoy the wildlife (including a visit with some adorable wild ponies), and being playful with each other while going on an adventure that will serve to inspire families to try their own.

    D is for Django
    Django Jones
    Deputy Jones Records

    When an indie-rock band decides to start making music for kids, it isn’t always the natural progression many of them might think. Just because you are starting to have kids of your own doesn’t mean your music will translate to the kinder-core set. Former members of the band Girlyman took that plunge after disbanding their adult efforts and Django Jones is the result.

    “P-O-P” is an effective, upbeat dance-along with actual Jiffy Pop percussion that’ll have kids bouncing around like popcorn, but much of the band’s lyrical content may be too dense and complicated for the littlest ears. Their lack of simplicity is an asset in the instrumental side, however, with layered arrangements filling up the group’s sprightly pop sound nicely. Gypsy jazz fans might be disappointed to know that the “Django” referenced in the band name and album title is a pet chihuahua, not the legendary guitarist, by the way.

    Put this one on in the car or during those ‘get the sillies out’ moments when all the kids want to do is flail around and have fun, but don’t expect them to sit down and listen intently for too many minutes at a time otherwise.

    Free Times Family Magazine Family Finance

    Ready, Set, Spend!

    Seven Steps to Financial Literacy for Kids
    By Kevin Oliver
    Thursday, May 29, 2014
    Your children don’t have any money that you haven’t given them, unless they are old enough to babysit, mow yards or get a summer job. Still, they end up with cash from birthdays, Christmas gifts or an allowance. Teaching them what to do with their money is an essential step in their development — and doing it now can help them avoid pitfalls and problems later in life.

    Start Early

    It’s never too early to start incorporating money management into a child’s day, and even very young children can learn the basics.

    “The sooner these concepts are taught, the better,” says Anna Burns, coordinator of legislative and public affairs at the South Carolina Department of Education. “Children in grades K-2 can be taught some of the basic concepts in financial literacy such as taking responsibility for personal financial decisions and considering the alternatives and consequences of financial decisions.”

    You can teach monetary concepts through board games such as Life or Monopoly. Also, you can reinforce both math and financial skills by using coins for counting games. To teach your child about saving, consider opening a savings account in the child’s name or giving them a piggy bank in the shape of their favorite animated character.

    Repeat Often

    Take every opportunity that presents itself to reinforce monetary lessons. A trip to the store can become a teachable moment as you compare prices, quantities, and stick to a predetermined budget for spending. If you want to keep a child busy for an hour and get them to really think about what they’re spending, give them a few dollars and set them loose in the dollar store. They’ll study every item and make their own decisions about what to spend the money on, never realizing they’ve just learned a lesson on making financial choices.

    “Parents should talk to children about the various ways to earn, save and spend money,” Burns says. “Opportunity cost, what one will lose or gain by making a choice about what to buy or not, can be part of a conversation with small children.”

    Set Limits

    As soon as your child begins to accumulate funds of their own, they’ll naturally want to spend the money. That’s OK, but make sure to have them set aside a portion of everything they receive. A savings account will keep the funds far enough away to avoid impulse purchases and offer an opportunity to explain compound interest as the child sees the bank statements each month.

    Set Goals

    What’s the use of saving if you have no idea what you want to use the money for, and if you get everything you want right away, why save? These are questions that can be answered by helping your child set goals for their spending and saving. Do they really want an expensive gadget or toy? Show them the cost, then work to see how long they’ll need to stockpile their allowance or other income to make the purchase.

    Let Them Splurge

    It seems to contradict the above sentiment, but if you don’t let your child spend frivolously on occasion, when they get out on their own they’ll take all that pent-up want and do it anyway, with more significant consequences. Once they’ve saved a bit, blowing a few of those dollars on the latest video game or some candy is OK; the aftermath can teach kids about buyer’s remorse and remind them that saving for something that they really need is much more rewarding and lasting.

    Set Them Up to Succeed

    Credit cards are the biggest financial danger lurking in most teenagers’ futures, with many receiving their first plastic when they head off to college. Interest rates, making payments over time, and not spending more than you can pay back quickly are all good lessons for children to learn prior to that first card in their name.

    “The decision to provide children with credit cards should be based on their demonstrated understanding of the appropriate use of credit, interest rates and debt,” Burns says. “In the end, it is a family decision if the child is a minor or a personal decision if the student is old enough.” A prepaid Visa or Mastercard is a good, safe way to start that process. If they get a checking account the difference between a debit card and a credit card is another aspect of card use to cover.

    Set the Example

    Kids do what they see you doing. If your financial house is not in order — you make impulse purchases regularly, you have no savings account, and you budget week-to-week — it may be hard to get your children to understand concepts such as saving and frugal spending. The same lessons apply no matter what your age, so make sure you can lead by example when it comes to your money and your children will follow in your financial footsteps.



    Free Times Family Magazine - Calendar

    Kids Calendar: June-July-August 2014

    By Free Times
    Thursday, May 29, 2014

    Ongoing


    Blooming Butterflies
    EdVenture Children’s Museum

    edventure.org

    May 4-Oct. 6. A 2,500-square-foot enclosed habitat designed to showcase the lifespan of over 20 species of butterflies.

    Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice
    edventure.org
    June 7-Sept. 14. View landscapes from the Cretaceous Period and touchable dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes. Children can wear insect costumes while buzzing through volcanoes and swamps, learning about different ecosystems along the way.

    EdVenture Family Night

    EdVenture Children’s Museum
    edventure.org

    Second Tuesdays. $1 museum admission between 5 and 8 p.m.


    Gladys’ Gang
    Columbia Museum of Art
    columbiamuseum.org
    Free monthly program includes story time and creative studio activity.

    Lowes Build and Grow
    lowesbuildandgrow.com
    June 14 – Aug. 23. Begins at 10 a.m. on select Saturdays. Children build small toys from their favorite movies using provided material. First clinic features Toothless from How to Train your Dragon. Call a nearby location for details.

    Parents’ Survival Night

    The Little Gym

    Select Fridays and Saturdays. Parents call it a break from the kids. Kids call it a break from their parents. That sounds like a win-win situation.

    Passport to Art
    Columbia Museum of Art

    columbiamuseum.org

    Second Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. Free open-studio program for families with activities corresponding with one of the museum’s exhibitions.

    Toddler Tuesdays
    EdVenture Children’s Museum
    edventure.org
    Every Tuesday from 10 to 11 a.m. for children 12 months to 5 years old. Some activities include arts & crafts, easel painting and playing in the sandbox. Free with admission or membership.

    June


    Beauty and the Beast Jr.
    Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College
    icrc.net

    June 1. Children showcase classic Disney story in Midlands Technical College’s Harbison Theatre.

    Storytime: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    Barnes & Noble (Midtown at Forest Acres)
    June 4. Celebrate the caterpillar’s 45th birthday with coloring and other hands-on activities. For ages 4 and up.

    Build a Riding Lawn Mower Workshop
    Home Depot

    workshops.homedepot.com
    June 7. Free, hands-on workshop for children aged 5 through 12 at which they build a pint-sized riding mower. Participants receive certificate of achievement, workshop apron and commemorative pin. Call store for details.

    Gladys’ Gang: Let the Fur Fly
    Columbia Museum of Art
    columbiamuseum.org
    June 4. Want your child to be the next Picasso? This class will teach them basic art terms like color, line, shape and texture. Free monthly program includes story time and creative studio activity.

    Puss in Boots
    Columbia Marionette Theater
    cmtpuppet.org
    June 7-Aug. 30. Columbia’s favorite child-focused puppeteers take on the tale of the feline with the famous footwear.
    Passport to Art: Stripes, Spots, and Scales

    Columbia Museum of Art
    columbiamuseum.org
    June 8. Afternoon where families view painting by Shelley Reed, while creating their own patterned animal portrait. Noon to 3 p.m. Family tour of museum also available at 1 p.m.

    Columbia Mini Maker Faire
    EdVenture Children’s Museum
    makerfairecolumbiasc.com
    June 14. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., crafters, engineers and artists of all ages will convene to show off their skills. And to mess with cool toys, of course. Explore your inner inventor.

    The Commedia Snow White
    Columbia Children’s Theatre
    columbiachildrenstheatre.com
    June 13-22. The Spaghetti and Meatball Players are back for a fifth hilarious summer! Join Pantalone, Arlequino, Rosetta, Columbina and Punchin as take a bite out of the classic tale of forbidden fruit.

    July


    Build a Bug House Workshop

    Home Depot

    workshops.homedepot.com
    July 5. Free, hands-on workshop for children aged 5 to 12. Call a nearby location for details.

    Family Fishing Clinics
    dnr.sc.gov/aquaticed/fishingclinic
    July 12, July 13, July 19. Learn the basics of fishing from S.C. Dept. of Natural Resources volunteers. Knot tying, lure selection and casting techniques will be covered. Participation is open to children ages 4 and above.

    Gladys’ Gang: Red, White, Blue and You
    Columbia Museum of Art
    columbiamuseum.org
    July 9. Teaches children basic art terms (line, shape, etc.) with an emphasis on color and pattern usage in museum pieces. Free monthly program includes story time and creative studio activity.

    Kids Fun Night: Skyhawks Carnival
    Hammond School
    hammondschool.org
    July 12. Hammond School mini-carnival from 6 to 10 p.m. where children can make their own tie-dye shirts and masks. Includes a magic show and balloon animals. Register in advance online.

    Passport to Art: Patriotic Portraits
    Columbia Museum of Art
    columbiamuseum.org
    July 13. Make a self-portrait using patriotic colors. Noon to 3 p.m. Family tour of museum also available at 1 p.m.

    Kids Fun Night
    Hi-Wire Trampoline Park
    hammondschool.org
    July 25. Off-site trampoline field trip. Dinner provided by Hammond School prior to departing from campus. Register in advance online.

    August


    Gladys Gang: Alphabet Animals
    Columbia Museum of Art
    columbiamuseum.org
    Aug. 6. Kids will get inspiration from picture book author Anita Lobel’s exhibition, All the World’s a Stage, then head back to the studios to create part of their own picture book.

    Passport to Art: Go Team!
    Columbia Museum of Art
    columbiamuseum.org
    Aug. 10. Inspired by the exhibit Cheer for the Home Team. Boost your team spirit and create your own masterpiece using team colors.

    Jubilee Festival of Heritage
    Mann-Simons Cottage
    historiccolumbia.org
    Aug. 23. Features hands-on demonstrations from skilled artists and craftsmen and vendors with African-influenced and traditional merchandise. Music ranges from African drumming to R&B, jazz and gospel.

    Free Times Family Magazine Learning

    So, Your Child Bombed Out of School?

    Schools, Corporate Centers and Private Tutors Offer Parents a Range of Options
    By Elizabeth Catanese
    Thursday, May 29, 2014
    By Elizabeth Catanese

    School’s out, and Junior’s grades weren’t exactly top of his class — or even in the middle. Actually, the words “below grade level” have been bandied about. Maybe your daughter’s A’s aren’t straight enough, Junior’s C’s are the gentleman’s variety and you fear they’ll both end up under the Gervais Street Bridge some day, begging for change from Vista shoppers.

    Marginal grades are no joke — and Junior’s not alone. In 2013, the National Education Association found that only 35 percent of South Carolina fourth-graders are proficient in math and 28 percent in reading — and those numbers drop by several points for eighth-graders. Almost a full quarter (23.5 percent) of the state’s high school students fail to graduate on time. So Junior’s need for remediation is nothing unusual. But if you want to shore up his knowledge over the summer or get him a jump on next year’s, where do you turn?

    All local districts offer options for high schoolers to make up one or two course credits. Richland One maintains face-to-face instruction at C.A. Johnson, while other districts have credit recovery programs that take place online (though attendance at a brick-and-mortar site is still sometimes required). In most cases, students need to have legitimately failed a course to enroll. Your best bet: Call your school’s guidance department, ask some questions and expect to fork over $100 to $125 per credit.

    If your child isn’t actually failing, but still needs a summer pick-me-up, you have other options, including Sylvan Learning Center, Kumon and Mathnasium. Most work like this: Students are tested and evaluated, and there is a discussion of their grades, their needs and your goals. This culminates with a detailed learning plan tailored to fill the gaps in your child’s knowledge, according to the specifically designed curriculum and teaching method unique to that center. It’s worth your time to browse their teaching philosophies before you shell out the cash.

    And shell out you will. Sylvan’s testing alone costs $199, with sessions at $47.99 each — and they usually recommend two a week. (And don’t expect that your child will learn algebra in two weeks if he didn’t learn it over the course of a year.) But don’t despair — there’s financing available. You’re paying for what are usually certified teachers who have proven success and a familiarity with Common Core standards. And it all comes with a 3-1 student-teacher ratio, which would be unheard of in a public school classroom.

    “We don’t want [the students] back,” says local Sylvan representative Tricia Wade. “We love them, but we want to help them become independent workers and thinkers.”

    Sylvan demands heavy parental involvement, with a touch-base meeting for every 12 hours of tutoring and daily homework.

    Mathnasium works much the same way. Like Sylvan, introductory testing identifies gaps in a child’s knowledge; Mathnasium’s testing is both written and oral. A learning plan is developed, with students doing worksheets that build to mastery. With a 4-1 student-teacher ratio, the tutor can, as local franchise owner Jason Elliston says, “step back” and “not hover.”

    “We make math make sense,” he says, with Mathnasium methods focusing on “number sense” rather than letter grades and rote memorization. “Just like a gymnasium works out the body, we want to work out the mind.” But he’s honest: depending on the gaps in your child’s knowledge, he may not be able to bring him to grade level over one summer. “If his gaps are too far back, we may not get there,” he says. And this isn’t a nickel-and-dime operation. Rates are monthly, rather than per session, with drop-ins welcome.

    As the center expands, Elliston and his wife, April, plan to hire more teachers and enlarge their course offering, which now runs from second grade to Algebra II.

    Another option is to bypass the world of binders, standardized testing and learning prescriptions with a private tutor. A tutor offers one-on-one instruction where and when Junior needs it. You can hover or stand back. And unlike a corporate center, a private tutor can tailor lessons. Local mom Janet Walkup prefers using a private tutor for her son because of flexibility and cost — significantly less than a corporate center’s, without the tacked-on testing fees.

    So where do you find someone who is (a) qualified, and (b) not a convicted felon/serial killer? Ask Junior’s teachers, his guidance office and his buddies’ parents for tutors who pass muster. Email local university departments, but be wary: Graduate degrees don’t magically confer teaching skills.

    When it comes to finding tutors online, Eduboard.com and Wyzant.com are reputable sites, and there are many others, also; just make sure to do your homework. Check references to rule out unqualified pretenders, look for specialists (writing tutors rather than writing-and-10-other-subject tutors), and negotiate expectations beforehand. Make sure their teaching style meshes with your kid’s learning preferences.
    Expect to pay anywhere from $25 per hour on up for quality help.

    Whatever you choose, public school teachers, corporate learning center representatives and private tutors all cite hard work as the determining factor in any child’s success. If your child wants to get into Princeton or just avoid a life of vagrancy and crime, the first lesson to learn is: Yes, you can, if you put in the effort.

    Free Times Family Magazine Health

    What You (And Your Kids) Need to Know About Guns

    Even If You Don’t Have Guns, Your Kid’s Friends Might
    By Free Times
    Thursday, May 29, 2014
    By Jenny Munro

    Kids see guns everywhere.

    They see them on television where gun deaths are commonplace, in electronic games where characters repeatedly die violent deaths, in their home or at friends’ houses. Government statistics show nearly half of all homes have guns.

    With that kind of exposure, gun-safety experts say even children from homes without guns need to learn about safety. Even if you don’t have a gun, chances are your kids’ next play date could be in a home where guns are present.

    Geri Allison of Columbia says she does not want her kids around weapons but wants them to know enough to be safe.

    “I just want them to know not to touch a gun and not to stay around other kids if they have guns,” she says. “Kids seldom mean to hurt someone with a loaded gun, but you never know what will happen.”

    Kelly Powers, a gun-owning father of two, said he expects about 60 percent of the homes around his have guns. His son, 10, already uses firearms; his daughter, 6, is not much interested in them.

    The most important lesson of gun safety for his children: “The first thing I do is I practice gun safety. I set the example myself,” Powers says.

    “I do keep my guns locked up,” he says. The only exception is an unloaded handgun he has for home protection. That gun is never in his house if he’s not there, but his children also know not to touch it without him.

    Powers’ son’s first gun was a BB gun — and it came with plenty of instruction on how to hold it, shoot it and never to point it at anything he didn’t plan to hit. The boy now has firearms of his own, which are kept locked up except when in use.

    Paul Payne, a Columbia father of a 6-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter, says, “My son’s had a BB gun for about a year. I started out with a BB gun as a kid.” The boy was taught not to point the gun at anything he doesn’t plan to shoot and to put the gun down while climbing over a fence. He uses the BB gun only when Payne is supervising.

    “I think it’s so much better to teach a child about guns,” he says, adding that he’s allowed the boy to sit in his lap and pull the trigger on “a real gun.” Because his son has been around guns, “he doesn’t think it’s anything special.”

    Payne said his son once found his unloaded handgun in his car’s glove box and reported that there was a real gun in the car. After removing the pistol, Payne now keeps his handguns with his hunting guns in a locked gun cabinet.

    Parents may not know whether their child’s friends have unsupervised access to guns and experts say they need to check that out.

    Powers and Payne both said they understand if any parents of their children’s friends ask if their firearms are secured safely. No parent should mind unless they do not secure their firearms safely.

    Although gun injuries among children are hard to track, a Yale University study released in January and published in the Journal of Pediatrics reported 20 children a day are victims of shootings.
    Twenty-nine percent of those shootings are accidents and 75 percent of injuries in those accidents were sustained by children under 10.

    About 89 percent of unintentional shooting deaths of children occur in the home when a child finds a gun and begins playing with it, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

    Basic rules of safety should be taught to all children regardless of whether parents plan to teach them to use a gun eventually. The first and most important lesson is that a gun is not a toy: It is designed to hurt or kill. Powers says when his son shot his first deer they discussed how guns would do the same thing to people.

    “Educate them,” Powers says of children whose parents don’t own guns. Kids may be exposed to guns away from home so they need to know the safety rules. “All you can do is educate them.
    There’s nothing else to do,” he says.

    But that instruction may not be enough.

    In a 2001 study, published in Pediatrics, researchers watched through a one-way mirror as 64 boys between 8 and 12 explored a room in which an inoperative .38-caliber handgun was hidden in a drawer inside a cabinet.

    During the 15-minute scenario, 48 found the gun. Although more than 90 percent said they’d had some instruction in gun safety, two-thirds of those who found the gun handled it and one-third of those who found it pulled the trigger. Only one child went to tell an adult about the gun — and the others teased him about it.


    Rules for Kids and Parents


    According to a Yale University research study, more than 1,600 children under 10 are injured or killed each year in the U.S. in an accident involving a gun. Whether you have a gun or not, teaching kids gun safety is critical. Parents also have a responsibility to keep guns safely secured. For both parents and children, these rules, according to KidSafe, should be unbreakable.

    For Kids

    • If you find a gun, stop.

    • Don’t touch the gun at all.

    • Leave the area. That will keep you safe if someone picks it up.

    • Tell a responsible adult — your parent, another relative, a teacher, a neighbor.

    • If a friend wants to show you the gun, say “no” and leave right away if you are close to home. Or call your parent for a ride and talk about what happened as soon as you’re picked up.

    • If someone at your school threatens you or talks about bringing a gun to school, tell an adult like a teacher, a guidance counselor or the principal as soon as possible. Also, tell your mom or dad.


    For Parents

    • Store guns in a locked location, unloaded and out of reach and sight of children.

    • Store ammunition in a separate locked location.

    • Keep the keys and combinations hidden.

    • Ensure all guns are equipped with effective, child-resistant gun locks.

    • If a visitor has a gun in a backpack, briefcase, handbag or an unlocked car, provide them with a locked place to hold it while they are in your home.

    • Talk to your kids and their caregivers.


    Free Times Family Magazine - Activities

    Smart Apps for Smart Moms

    10 Apps to Help You Keep Life on Track
    By Amanda Ladymon
    Thursday, May 29, 2014
    Armed with an endless to-do list, moms are always on the go.

    You would probably call me “old school”: I have two paper calendars where I jot down schedules and accomplished tasks in the kitchen, along with a spiral day planner, and tons of Post-it notes with to-do’s scattered around the house.

    Sometimes, it has proven less than efficient, as wayward scraps of paper disappear. And communicating and scheduling for other family members continues to grow more complicated. With a new wave of tech-savvy apps readily available — and free in many cases — I started looking for a more streamlined approach.

    My first search led me to Cozi, an all-inclusive tool for family life and planning for both computer and mobile devices. The Cozi dashboard lets you manage multiple calendars, keep task and shopping lists, and get quick tips on a variety of topics like green living, travel planning and nutrition. Signing up was easy and quick. The web page layout and accessibility is very user-friendly and, in a way, fun — even for the less tech-savvy. This app works on both your home computer and mobile device, syncs up with multiple family users, and is the highest rated “all-inclusive” family app.

    If you have more specific interests or needs, here are 10 free apps to help you keep your family healthy, happy and on time.

    Financial Tracking

    Mint
    mint.com
    You link Mint (created by financial services company Intuit) to your bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, and insurance companies. Mint pulls in all your transactions and offers methods to categorize your spending and track financial goals. The Wall Street Journal calls it “the best online tool for personal finance.” Available for home computers and all mobile devices at mint.com.

    Child Tracking

    GPS Tracking Pro
    gps-tracking.android.informer.com
    With over 5 million downloads and a 4.5-star rating, this Android app makes locating loved ones via cell phone easy. Using a GPS map, each family member has a user icon — it’s easy and free. Android only. Search child-tracking app in Google Play on your mobile.

    Medical

    WebMD Baby
    webmd.com
    I’ve used this app for researching ailments of my daughter, who is under 2. Both the website (webmd.com/baby) and the app have the same information. Mobile app available for Android and iOS.

    iTriage Mobile Health
    itriagehealth.com
    iTriage is a mobile database that allows you to check symptoms and gather information about potential illnesses or conditions. Also offers one-click access to urgent care centers and free clinics, as well as one-touch dialing for emergency situations. You can take iTriage further by creating an online account, linking your medical information as well as your providers so everything you need as reference is always in your pocket. Free for iPhone, iPad and Android.

    I’m Expecting
    healthymagination.com
    This is my second pregnancy and second app I have used. I enjoy getting the weekly updates on development stages and upcoming doctor visits. You can also track and record symptoms, weight gain, belly bump pics and more. Available for Android and iOS.

    Shopping

    ShopSavvy
    shopsavvy.com
    This highly regarded app helps you shop and price compare with barcode scanning system to help you decide if you want to purchase locally or online. Caters to users as a personalized shopping experience. Available for home computers, Android and iOS.

    Grocery IQ
    groceryiq.com
    Similar to Shop Savvy, but meant just for grocery shopping — make your list, organize items by aisle in your favorite store, barcode scan, price compare and more. Available for home computer, Android and iOS.

    Miscellaneous

    Google Calendar
    google.com/calendar
    If you want the easiest way to keep an online calendar that can be privately shared with anyone of your choosing, this is it. Available for home computer, Android and iOS.

    Mom Maps
    mommaps.com
    Need to find a fun, kid-friendly activity or place to go? This is the app for you. Use anywhere using a GPS or navigation-based system. Available for Android and iOS.

    Pandora
    pandora.com
    Love it. Use it daily. This streaming, personalized online radio app offers child-protected stations, including Disney Movie songs, classical music, and much more. Use it on your home computer or any mobile device.

    Free Times Family Magazine

    Free Times Parent June-July 2014

    By Free Times
    Thursday, May 29, 2014


    Free Times Family Magazine Listings

    Health Listings

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, May 28, 2014
    For check-ups, vaccines, boosters and general wellness, you need a trusted family practitioner or pediatrician in your life. And there’s a lot more to staying healthy than just having a regular doctor. Here are some resources to get you started.

    Advanced Dentistry Columbia
    1701 St. Julian Place, 254-6763
    www.advanceddentistrycolumbia.com
    Super-friendly, family owned practice led by Dr. Nicholas Gee.

    Ballentine Pediatrics
    11134 Broad River Rd., 732-0920
    www.ballentinepediatrics.com
    Christian-oriented practice.

    Ballentine Family Dentistry
    3533 Dreher Shoals Rd., 732-3001

    Camden Family Care
    1017 Fair St.,424-1260
    www.camdenfamilycare.com

    Carolina Children’s Dentistry
    7701 Trenholm Rd., 736-6000
    www.carolinachildrensdentistry.com
    Serving children from toddlers to age 18.

    Carolina Pediatrics
    Downtown: 2113 Adams Grove Rd.,
    256-0531
    Irmo: 7033 St. Andrews Rd., 376-2838
    www.carolinapediatrics.com

    Carolina Teen Health
    carolinateenhealth.org
    Questions about sex and STDs answered in a teen-oriented format.

    Child Care Services
    www.scchildcare.org
    An arm of the Department of Social Services, this childcare.sc.gov is an online hub with information on everything from child-care center licensing to Head Start programs. Also see related site scchildcare.org.

    Children’s Dental Groupof South Carolina
    7210 K Broad River Rd., Irmo, 781-5141
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Children’s Dental Group of South Carolina is the fastest growing children’s dental office in Columbia, offering oral conscious sedation for a more pleasant dental experience. We gladly accept insurance and Medicaid for ages 1-21.

    Chapin Family Practice
    1612 Chapin Rd., 345-3414
    www.chapinfamilypractice.com

    Children’s Choice Pediatrics
    6108 Garners Ferry Rd., 647-1265
    www.childrenschoicepeds.com

    Chrysostom Family Dentistry
    3308 Platt Springs Rd., 350-9124
    drdeno.com

    City of Columbia Community Gardens
    www.columbiasc.net/communitygardens
    Five-by-12-foot publicly owned plots available for lease to residents and organizations. Cost is $20 per year.

    Columbia’s Cooking!
    www.cpcp.sph.sc.edu/cooking, 576-5636
    Healthy cooking classes for kids 9 and older and adults.

    Colonial Family Practice
    3930 Devine St., 256-1511
    www.colonialfamilypractice.com
    Part of a Sumter-based practice group.

    Creative Cooking
    creativecookingsc.com
    Classes and camps for children ages 3 to 12.

    Eat Smart Move More South Carolina
    www.eatsmartmovemoresc.org
    Offers events, live training and web training to assist local organizers in creating, managing and maintaining obesity prevention programs. 

    Ellis, Green & Jenkins Pediatric Dentistry
    8905 Two Notch Rd., 788-9353
    www.wecaredentalsc.com

    Family Medicine Centers of South Carolina
    Downtown: 1910 Gregg St., 931-0100
    Hardscrabble: 300 Rice Meadow Way, 227-7777
    Irmo: 7611 St. Andrews Rd., 724-1100
    Lexington: 3630 Sunset Blvd., 239-1600
    Northeast: 1721 Horseshoe Dr., 788-7884
    Southeast: 813 Leesburg Rd., 783-4433
    www.fmcofsc.com
    Private family practice group.

    Five Points Pediatric & Walk-in Care
    1228 Harden St., 748-7002, www.ecchc.org
    Part of the Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers.

    Girls on the Run
    www.gotrcolumbia.org
    Inspires pre-teen girls to be joyful, healthy and confident through a fun curriculum that creatively integrates running.

    Hutchinson Family Dentistry
    209 W. Main St., 359-0566
    www.hutchinsonfamilydentistry.com

    Kids First Dental
    2700 Broad River Rd., 772-4949
    www.kidsfirstdentalsc.com

    The Kids Group
    206 Medical Cir., 796-9200
    www.thekidsgroup.com

    Kool Smiles
    5422 Forest Dr., 753-8064
    www.mykoolsmiles.com

    Lake Murray Pediatric Dentistry
    740 Old Lexington Hwy., 345-2483
    www.lakemurraypediatricdentistry.com

    Lakeside Pediatrics
    811 W. Main St., Suite 205 (Lexington)
    www.lakesidepediatric.com
    Led by Dr. Douglas Luberoff; part of the Lexington Medical Center network.

    Lexington Family Practice
    www.lexmednetwork.org
    The Lexington Family Practice network is an umbrella group of the Lexington Medical Center.

    Lexington Medical Center
    www.lexmed.com
    A frequent winner of Best Hospital in Free Times’ Best of Columbia poll.

    Dr. Samuel J. Marsh Pediatric Dentistry
    2302 Bush River Rd., 798-8675
    www.wemakekidssmile.com

    Medcare Urgent Care Center
    110 Medical Cir., 509-7316
    medcareurgentcare.com

    Midlands Orthopedics
    1910 Blanding St., 256-4107
    www.midlandsortho.com

    Moore Orthopaedic Clinic
    Columbia: 14 Medical Park, 227-8000
    Columbia: 114 Gateway Corp., 227-8000
    Lexington: 104 Saluda Pointe Dr., 227-8000
    www.moorecenter.net

    Northeast Children’s Dentistry
    147 Summit Cir., 865-1421
    www.northeastchildrensdentistry.com

    Palmetto Health
    www.palmettohealth.org
    A frequent contender for Best Hospital in Free Times’ Best of Columbia poll.

    Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital
    7 Richland Medical Park Dr.
    www.ch.palmettohealth.org
    A state-of-the-art children’s hospital with comfortable family-centered spaces, age-appropriate play areas and therapeutic diversions to help reduce stress and encourage healing.

    Palmetto Health Family Medicine Practices
    Harbison: 190 Parkridge Dr., 407-3857
    Irmo: 190 Parkridge Dr., 749-0693
    Lakeview: 1316 N. Lake Dr., 358-1191
    Northeast: 115 Blarney Dr., 736-6262
    South Hampton: 5900 Garners Ferry Rd., 695-5450
    Twelve Mile Creek: 4711 Sunset Blvd., 356-3609
    University: 4311 Hardscrabble Rd., 419-6334
    www.palmettohealth.org
    Family practice wing of Palmetto Health.

    Palmetto Pediatric & Adolescent Clinic
    Downtown: 140 Park Central, 779-4001
    Harbison: 16 Woodcross Dr., 732-0140
    Lexington: 1970 Augusta Hwy., 358-2370
    Northeast: 74 Polo Rd., 788-4886
    Rice Creek: 300 Rice Meadow Way, 788-6360
    www.palmettopediatric.com
    Affiliated with Richland, Baptist, Palmetto Richland Children’s and Lexington Hospitals.

    Palmetto Smiles
    139 Whiteford Way, 951-9100,
    www.palmetto-smiles.com

    Pediatric After Hours Care
    114 Gateway Corporate Blvd., 865-4900
    Open 6-10 p.m., Mon-Fri; 2-8 p.m., Sat-Sun.

    Providence Hospitals
    Downtown: 2435 Forest Dr.
    Northeast: 120 Gateway Corporate Blvd.
    www.providencehospitals.com
    Another of Columbia’s top-flight hospital systems.

    Providence Northeast Family
    114 Gateway Corporate Blvd., 788-6508
    www.providence-nefc.com

    Rice Creek Family Dentistry
    101 Rice Bent Way, 788-2676
    www.ricecreekdmd.com

    Safe Kids Midlands
    7 Richland Medical Park Dr., Suite 7186
    www.safekidsmidlands.org
    Dedicated to decreasing the number of injuries to children. Offers information on safe car-seat practices, product recalls, safety with household products and more.

    Smile Columbia
    690A Columbiana Dr., 781-9090
    www.smilecolumbia.com

    South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
    www.teenpregnancysc.org
    Provides information and resources for teens, parents, educators and community organizations.

    South Carolina Dental Center
    2020 Laurel St., 254-4543
    www.southcarolinadentalcenter.com

    South Lake Family Dental
    1223 S. Lake Dr., 520-5580
    www.southlakedmd.com

    Sterling Sharpe Pediatric Center
    4605 Monticello Rd., 252-7001
    www.ecchc.org
    Part of the Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers.

    Teen Talk
    www.palmettohealth.org/teentalk, 296-2273
    Offers numerous resources for teens, including Teen Talk newsletter, peer-to-peer discussions and an ask-an-expert program.

    USC Family Medicine Center
    3209 Colonial Blvd., 434-6113
    www.familymedicine.med.sc.edu
    Offers complete care for children and adults with a focus on prevention.

    USC Sports Medicine Center
    Two Medical Park, Suite 104, 434-6812
    www.uscsportsmedicine.com
    Open to athletes at all levels — recreational to high school, college and professional.

    Vista Smiles
    515 Richland St., 779-9666
    www.vistasmilesofcolumbia.com
    Offers full range of family dental services with advancing technology in a welcoming environment.

    Wellspring Family Medicine
    114 Gateway Corporate Blvd., 865-9655
    www.wellspringfmed.com

    Wild Smiles
    203 N. Lake Dr., 356-1606
    www.wildsmiles.net

    Free Times Family Magazine Listings

    Activities Listings

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, May 28, 2014
    With the myriad options for children’s programming on television these days, it’s tempting to plop your kid down in front of the flat-screen to keep him or her occupied. But kids like to be active, and we know you dig that whole quality-time shebang. So we have put together a select list of places where you and junior can play … and play together.

    All4Fun Party Rental
    all4funbouncehouses.com
    Rents bounce houses and slides.

    Art Smart Academy
    7320 Broad River Rd., 667-9912
    artsmartacademy.com
    Walk-in pottery and painting, birthday parties and more.

    Asheland Art Camp
    Tapp’s Arts Center: 1644 Main St., 738-2770
    Offers camps in drawing, painting, printmaking and more.

    Bouncerific
    921 Longtown Rd., 865-7939
    bouncerific.com
    No, Bouncerific isn’t a place to send your kid to learn to be a doorman; it’s an indoor party and play center for kids and families. Inflatable bouncers, slides, dress-up, games, more.

    Capital Karate
    capitalkaratesc.com
    Develops character, discipline and focus as well as physical conditioning and skills.

    Carolina CrossFit
    1804 Blanding St.
    carolinacrossfit.com
    Offers kids’ Crossfit classes.

    Chuck E. Cheese’s
    1775 Burning Tree Dr., 772-0435
    chuckecheese.com
    The motto of the nationwide family entertainment center chain: Where a kid can be a kid. Often home to birthdays, play groups and school fundraising events, Chuck E. Cheese’s features games, rides, prizes, food and entertainment for all ages.

    City of Columbia Parks & Recreation
    columbiasc.net/parksandrec
    Family-friendly Columbia boasts 52 public parks where your wee ones can run and jump and skip and play, plus a host of community gardens, three swimming pools, one splash pad water park, and a public skate park. The city also offers a host of youth sports and outdoor environmental programs.

    Colonial Life Arena
    801 Lincoln St.
    coloniallifearena.com
    When Disney princesses and the Sesame Street gang come to Columbia, this is where they play.

    Columbia Arts Academy
    787-0931
    columbiaartsacademy.com
    The largest music school in the state of South Carolina, the Columbia Arts Academy boasts a large and qualified staff to train your kids in electric and acoustic guitar, voice, piano, bass, drums and year-round rock band classes.

    Columbia Blowfish
    254-3474
    blowfishbaseball.com
    Take ‘em out to the ballgame: During the summer months, Capital City Stadium hosts the Columbia Blowfish, which play in the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate wood-bat summer league. And, yes: They sell peanuts and Crackerjack.

    Columbia Children’s Theatre
    3400 Forest Dr, 691-4548
    columbiachildrenstheatre.com
    Professional theater company for young audiences and families.

    Columbia Marionette Theatre
    401 Laurel St., 252-7366
    cmtpuppet.org
    Founded in 1988 by famed puppeteer Allie Scollon and her son John, the Columbia Marionette Theatre has established itself as a premiere children’s theater in South Carolina. Its mission is to entertain and educate children and adults through the long-standing tradition and artistry of puppetry.

    Columbia Museum of Art
    1515 Main St., 799-2810
    columbiamuseum.org
    Offers plenty of fun programming for kids, from its Passport to Art semi-monthly open studio program to its weekly Wee Wednesday art exploration sessions to its summer camps and school programs.

    Confederate Relic Room
    and Military Museum
    301 Gervais St., 737-8095
    www.crr.sc.gov
    For more than a century, the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum’s has collected and preserved the military history of this state.

    Congaree National Park
    776-4396
    http://www.nps.gov/cong
    This 22,000-acre park boasts the largest old-growth, floodplain forest on the continent. It’s also an International Biosphere Reserve, a Globally Important Bird Area and a National Natural Landmark. Activities include hiking, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, nature walks and more. Located in Hopkins, 20 miles southeast of Columbia.

    Cottle Strawberry Farm
    2533 Trotter Rd., 695-1714
    cottlestrawberryfarm.com
    This 30-plus-year-old strawberry farm tucked in southeast Columbia is open to the public every spring — usually from April through May, and sometimes into June. Mmm … freshly picked strawberries.

    CrossFit Vista
    1125 Lady St., 600-5134
    warriorfitnesssc.com
    CrossFit Kids is a strength and conditioning program used by many athletic teams, martial arts schools and P.E. programs. A great way to address childhood inactivity and obesity. Also has a location in Blythewood.

    Dreher Island State Recreation Park
    3677 State Park Rd., 364-4152,
    southcarolinaparks.com
    Located 30 miles northwest of Columbia in Prosperity, the Dreher Island recreation area consists of three islands encompassing 12 miles of shoreline on Lake Murray. Especially popular for fishing and boating, Dreher Island also offers lakefront camping, cabin and villa rentals, water skiing and picnicking.

    Drew Park Splash Pad
    2101 Walker Solomon Way
    drewwellnesscenter.com
    Sure, there’s a playground, a jogging track and a gazebo, but you’re coming here to get wet in the gigantic spray pad and lighted fountain. (Many of the city’s public parks offer smaller spray pools, too.)

    EdVenture Children’s Museum
    211 Gervais St., 779-3100
    edventure.org
    The South’s largest children’s museum, with more than 70,000 square feet of cool stuff to keep the kids occupied.

    Flying High Academy
    flyinghighacademysc.com
    Dance, tumbling, gymnastics and cheerleading programs.

    Frankie’s Fun Park
    140 Parkridge Dr., 781-2342
    frankiesfunpark.com
    This Harbison-area entertainment center packs three go-kart tracks, three 18-hole mini-golf courses, batting cages, bumper boats, an arcade, a 5,000-square foot multi-tiered laser tag arena and a super-tall drop zone that says “In your face, gravity!” into 14 acres filled with fun for all ages. What, do you hate fun or something?

    Freeway Music Lessons Studio
    790-9933
    freewaymusic.net
    Teams with top teachers throughout the state to create fun and customized lessons for students. Teaches guitar, bass, strings, woodwinds, trumpet, trombone, drums, piano, voice, ukulele, mandolin, as well as preschool and rock band classes.

    Harbison State Forest
    896-8890
    www.state.sc.us/forest/refharb.htm
    If you didn’t know it was there, you’d never expect to find 2,177 acres of forest along the sprawling mess that is Broad River Road. But there it is — one of the largest public green spaces inside the city limits of a metropolitan area in the eastern United States. Features more than 16 miles of roads and trails (popular for biking) and a canoe landing.

    Irmo-Chapin Recreation Commission
    icrc.net
    The Irmo-Chapin Recreation Commission offers kids sports, programs and activities at Crooked Creek Park, Saluda Shoals Park and Seven Oaks Park.

    Laugh N Leap
    3125 Bluff Road, 647-9601
    laughnleap.com
    Need to buy or rent an inflatable bounce house, water slide, dunk tank or obstacle course? Laugh N Leap has you covered.

    Lexington County Recreation Commission
    lcrac.com
    Offers youth sports, programs and activities at parks, playgrounds and activity centers in Lexington County.

    Lexington County Soccer Club
    lexingtoncountysoccerclub.org
    Live in Lexington Country? Think your kid’s the next Ronaldo? Sign him or her up with this club team, which offers playing options from recreational to elite traveling squads.

    Lexington School of Music
    711 E. Main St., 929-7867
    lexingtonschoolofmusic.com
    Offers flexible schedules for lessons on guitar, voice, bass, piano and more.

    Little Gym
    2005 N. Beltline Blvd., 738-1115
    thelittlegym.com
    The Little Gym is an experiential learning and physical development center offering children’s physical activities centered on movement, music and learning.

    Little Loggerheads Swim School
    littleloggerheads.net
    Offers morning, afternoon and evening swim lessons for children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years.

    The Mad Platter
    3101 Millwood Ave., 771-8080
    mymadplatter.com
    Art, studies have shown, makes kids smarter. So take your tykes here, a paint-your-own pottery studio, where they can throw clay, paint plates and explore their creative sides.

    Mad Science
    midlands.madscience.org
    Offers a wide variety of fun science programs at birthday parties, summer camps, pre-schools and more.

    Monkey Joe’s
    171 Newland Rd., 788-1102
    monkeyjoes.com/columbia
    For kids, Monkey Joe’s offers a place to monkey around, with wall-to-wall inflatable slides, jumps, climbing walls and obstacle courses. And for parents, there’s comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi, concessions and sports on large, flat-screen TVs.

    My Gym
    110 Forum Dr., 788-1230
    my-gym.com
    A non-competitive gymnastics and play center keeping children healthy by making fitness fun.

    Owens Field Skate Park
    Jim Hamilton Blvd.
    The 14,500-square-foot custom concrete park, when it opened in 2010, replaced a small skate park many local skaters considered bogus. Ramps, bowls, rails, more.

    Palmetto Children’s Music
    palmettochildrensmusic.com
    Offers Music Together classes — Music Together is an internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program for infants through five-year-olds and the grownups who love them.

    Palmetto Falls Waterpark
    3381 Marion Ave., 751-3475
    fortjacksonmwr.com/waterpark/
    Tucked just inside of Fort Jackson’s Gate 2 entrance, Palmetto Falls Water Park offers a 10,000-square foot family pool, two water slides, a 600-square foot splashdown pool, a 2,500-square foot kiddie pool, a lazy river stretching 800 feet, and a snack bar. Open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays during the summer.

    The Patch
    3807 Augusta Hwy., 359-3276
    This Gilbert strawberry patch is open for picking during strawberry season, typically April through May.

    Patchwork Playhouse
    1508 Columbia College Dr., 333-0372
    patchworkplayers-sc.com
    A long-running children’s theater featuring child-sized puppets and actors.

    Plex Indoor Sports
    plexindoorsports.com
    There are two locations of this local indoor sports complex franchise: The Sandhills location, by the Village at Sandhill, offers indoor soccer, basketball courts and a skate park; the Irmo location, off the Peak exit on I-26, features a ice rink, an indoor soccer field and an remote-controlled car track. Both locations offer summer camps, birthday party packages, after-school programs and youth sports.

    Richland County Recreation Commission
    richlandcountyrecreation.com
    Offers youth sports, programs and activities at parks, playgrounds and activity centers in Richland County.

    Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens
    500 Wildlife Parkway, 779-8717
    riverbanks.org
    It’s a natural fact that kids love animals. And Riverbanks Zoo — one of the nation’s finest, according to TripAdvisor — offers plenty of ‘em, from elephants to gorillas to ibexes to an aquarium and reptile complex stocked with fish, frogs, lizards are more. Riverbanks also offers myriad educational programs, day camps, overnight adventures and other fun kids’ events.

    Saluda Shoals Park
    5605 Bush River Rd., 731-5208
    icrc.net
    Situated on 270 acres downstream from the Lake Murray Dam, Saluda Shoals features a popular water park, an environmental education center, canoe trips, nature hikes, biking trails, fishing spots, picnic shelters, art exhibits, summer camps, health and wellness programs, meeting facilities and more. Good trout fishing, too, if your wee ones are into that.

    Samurai Karate Studio
    samuraikaratestudio.net
    Offers classes for children and adults, as well as conducting stranger-danger and anti-bully workshops.

    Sesquicentennial State Park
    9564 Two Notch Rd., 788-2706,
    southcarolinaparks.com
    This 1,419-acre park features a 30-acre lake surrounded by trails, picnic areas and campsites. Also offers boating, fishing, swimming, meeting facilities and trails. Trails include a 6.1-mile mountain bike trail, a 1.9-mile nature trail, and a 3.5-mile walking and jogging trail.

    South Carolina State Museum
    301 Gervais St., 898-4921
    scmuseum.org
    The South Carolina State Museum, named one of the top three museums in the Southeast by readers of Southern Living, offers a wide variety of kids programming, such as camp-ins, birthday parties, summer camps and living history re-enactments.

    Talbot Swim School
    792-7298
    talbotswimschool.com
    Before you can run, you gotta walk, right? Well, before you go to the pool, you gotta learn to swim, and Talbot Swim School offers private lessons year-round.

    Topspin Racquet and Swim Club
    topspinsc.com
    Clay tennis courts in Lexington offering family clinics.

    Trenholm Little League
    eteamz.com/trenholmbaseball
    Fun, intensive baseball league. Parents can choose clinics only or clinics and team play. Fall and spring seasons.

    Trustus Theatre
    520 Lady St., 254-9732
    trustus.org
    Offers customized acting classes with individualized instruction.

    U.S. National Whitewater Center
    5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy., 
    Charlotte, N.C., 704-391-3900
    usnwc.org
    OK, so the U.S. National Whitewater Center isn’t in Columbia; it’s a little more than an hour north in Charlotte. But it’s worth the trip up I-77: An official Olympic Training Site for whitewater slalom racing, the nonprofit U.S. National Whitewater Center is a huge outdoor adventure and environmental education center dedicated to promoting healthy and active lifestyles and developing environmental stewardship. Offers whitewater rafting and kayaking, flatwater kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, zip lines and more.

    YMCA
    columbiaymca.org
    The YMCA in downtown Columbia was one of the first 50 Ys in the United States. It now has five branches — including locations in Northeast Columbia, Lexington, Irmo and Orangeburg —with which to provide childcare, camps and after-school programs.

    Free Times Family Magazine Listings

    Learning Listings

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, May 28, 2014
    Sometimes your kids hit it off with their teachers; sometimes they don’t. Every child learns differently and has different interests, whether those are music and art or math, science, architecture or astronomy. And then there are special situations — struggling learners or exemplary learners — where some additional help might be needed outside the classroom. Here are some resources to get you started.

    Aim High Education
    4561 Hardscrabble Rd., 788-6894
    www.aimhigheducationsc.com
    Customized after-school education programs and tutoring.

    The Afterschool Zone
    www.theafterschoozoneacademy.com
    Offers afterschool pickup from Lexington/Richland 5 and Richland 1 schools. Students engage in physical and educational activities.

    Aspire Early Learning Academy
    1103 B Ave. (West Columbia), 834-4976
    www.aspireearlylearningacademy.com
    Pre-K program using the Creative Curriculum, a nationally approved curriculum based on the ideas of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

    Be Great Academy
    500 Gracern Road, 231-3100
    www.portal.begreatacademy.com
    After-school program operated by Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands.

    Bright Start
    720 Gracern Rd., 929-1112
    www.brightstartsc.com
    Provides quality comprehensive services to all individuals with special needs and developmental delays.

    Challenger Learning Center
    2600A Barhamville Rd., 929-3951
    www.thechallengercenter.net
    The Challenger Learning Center of Richland County School District One is an aeronautics- and space-themed learning program designed to provide interactive learning experiences, integrating science, technology, engineering and math curricula with 21st century life skills.

    Covenant Christian Academy
    3120 Covenant Rd., 787-0225
    Infuses a Biblical worldview into academics, athletics and arts.

    Discovery Program of South Carolina
    8807 Two Notch Rd., 419-0126
    www.discoveryprogramsc.org
    Noted as a program of excellence with the National Institute for Learning Development (NILD), the Discovery Program helps those struggling to learn — whether via learning disabilities or other learning disorders — to become independent students.

    Glenforest School
    www.glenforest.org
    Works with K-12 students who have not thrived in traditional learning environments, including students with dyslexia, attention-deficit disorder or other developmental challenges.

    Hammond Plus Programs
    854 Galway Lane, 695-8624
    www.hammondschool.org
    In addition to being a top college-prep school, Hammond offers a wide array of after-school classes for children and adults.

    Head Start
    1400 St. Andrews Rd., 898-2550
    A comprehensive school readiness program serving kids 0-5 that has a strong focus on ensuring that they start school ready to learn.

    Heathwood Hall
    3000 S. Beltline Boulevard, 231-7710
    heathwood.org
    Offers a wide range of summer programs, from outdoors to athletics and academics.

    Lango South Carolina
    www.facebook.com/langokidssc
    At Lango, your child will learn another language, make developmental strides, explore other cultures. At various Midlands locations.

    The Language Buzz
    1921 Henderson St., 252-7002
    www.thelanguagebuzz.com
    A unique foreign language learning center that promotes the early command of languages through language immersion, contextualized learning, and the learning and acceptance of different cultures.

    Mathnasium
    www.mathnasium.com
    Offers math help for students from grades 2 through 12.

    My Amigos
    www.myamigosbec.org
    Language immersion programs for ages 30 months to 5th grade.

    Pearson Professional Centers
    107 Westpark Blvd., 798-3001
    Offers GMAT testing.

    Provost Academy South Carolina
    400 Arbor Lake Dr., 735-9110
    www.sc.provostacademy
    A tuition-free, online-only public high school. Live online classrooms give students the ability to includes the ability to participate in discussions and ask questions.

    REACH
    www.reachgroup.org
    A support group for Columbia-area home schoolers; provides information and activities, offers information about academic résumés and transcripts.

    Richland County First Steps
    2008 Marion St., 256-7237
    www.rcfirststeps.org
    Works with kids, parents, schools and childcare providers to promote health, literacy and school readiness in young children.

    Free Times Family Magazine Listings

    Life Listings

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, May 28, 2014
    Life is full of tough questions. Is your 4-year-old ready for a sleepover? Should your 12-year-old be on Snapchat? How do you talk to your 16-year-old about sexting? Teach your children well, or so the song says — and here’s how you can help them learn how to live.

    ASY Counseling Services
    1825 St. Julian Pl., 254-1210
    asycounseling.com
    Providing quality mental health services to children and families in the Columbia area.

    Behavior Consulting Services
    3227 Sunset Blvd.
    behaviorconsultingservices.com
    Serves children with a variety of special needs, including autism spectrum disorders, behavioral difficulties and academic difficulties.

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia
    bbbs.org
    Oldest and largest youth mentoring organization in the United States. Serves children ages 6 through 18.

    Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands
    bgcmidland.org
    Formed in 1959, operates 31 clubs, eight summer camps and a teen center serving youth and families from Fairfield, Lexington and Richland Counties.

    Children’s Chance
    609 Sims Ave., 254-5996
    childrenschance.org
    Children’s Chance’s mission is to improve the quality of life of children and families who are dealing with the trauma of pediatric cancer.

    Children’s Trust of SC
    1634 Main St., 733-5430
    scchildren.org
    Aims to promote healthy, nurturing relationships between children and adults — because strengthening families is the best way to prevent abuse, neglect and unintentional injuries.

    Christian Counseling Center
    1500 Lady St., 779-1995
    christiancounseling.ws
    Offers counseling on a variety of topics; also offers spiritual and religious counseling. Offered by First Presbyterian Church.

    Columbia Counseling Center
    900 St. Andrews Rd., 731-4708
    columbiacounseling.accountsupport.com
    A Christian perspective on counseling.

    Crossroads
    Counseling Center
    130 Whiteford Way, 808-1800
    solutionsforlife.org
    Counseling for adults, adolescents, children and marriages.

    Family Connection of South Carolina
    2712 Middleburg Dr., 252-0914
    familyconnectionsc.org
    Statewide organization of parents helping parents of children with disabilities, developmental delays, and chronic illnesses.

    Family Service Center of South Carolina
    2712 Middleburg Dr., 733-5450
    fsconline.wordpress.com
    A multi-service non-profit agency offering adoption services, consumer credit counseling, child dental clinics, an eye care clinic and more.

    Lake Murray Counseling Center
    7511 St. Andrews Rd., 781-1003
    lakemurraycounseling.com
    Offering counseling for children’s and adolescent issues.

    Leadership Institute at Columbia College
    columbiacollegesc.edu/leadership_inst/
    Girls Empowered and LEAD residential programs.

    Lexington-Richland Anti-Drug Abuse Council
    Lexington County: 1068 S. Lake Dr., 726-9400
    Richland County: 2711 Colonial Dr., 726-9300
    lradac.org
    Alcohol and drug abuse authority offering a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment programs, including child and adolescent programs.

    Mental Health America of South Carolina
    1823 Gadsden St., 779-5363
    mha-sc.org
    Assists those with mental illnesses and their families through education and advocacy.

    NAMI Mid Carolina
    1823 Gadsden St., 20-2916
    namimidcarolina.org
    Local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

    Palmetto Counseling Associates
    1911 Gadsden St., 254-9767
    palmettocounseling.com
    Holistic approach emphasizes not only psychology, but also social, physical and spiritual well-being.

    SC Childcare
    scchildcare.org, childcare.sc.gov
    Clearinghouse of information on childcare licensing and childhood development programs.

    South Carolina Youth Advocate Program
    140 Stoneridge Dr., Ste. 350, 779-5500
    scyap.com
    Nonprofit child-placing agency offering training, support and compensation to qualified families who provide a home to a foster child.

    Three Rivers Behavioral Health
    West Columbia: 200 Ermine Rd., 791-9918
    West Columbia: 2900 Sunset Blvd., 796-9911
    threeriversbehavioral.org
    Provides comprehensive residential treatment for children and adolescents providing treatment for psychiatric and chemical dependency related illnesses.

    University of South Carolina Speech and Hearing Research Center
    1601 St. Julian Pl., 77-2614,
    sph.sc.edu/shc/
    Provides a variety of evaluation and treatment programs for individuals of all ages.

    Best of Columbia

    Vote for Us! Best of Columbia 2014 Campaign Materials

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

    It's time to campaign for Best of Columbia!


    Voting: June 11-27

    Winners announced:
    August 13 issue


    Promote your business and campaign to win! Being nominated for Best of Columbia offers you an unique marketing opportunity to promote your business and attracts more business. Free Times encourages nominees to get most of the campaign time by using these free, ready-to go marketing resources. Below are logos for your use.

    Vote for Us! logos
    to use on your web pages and print materials during the voting period of June 11-27

    Link to: http://www.free-times.com/special_sections/bestofcolumbia



    FACEBOOK COVER:




    WEB:




    Vote Best of 160 gold
    Vote Best of 160 purple

    PRINT:
    Vote Best of Columbia purple 500px
    Vote Best of Columbia gold 500px

    FILL-IN-THE-BLANK (with your category):
    Vote for Us Blank purple
    Vote for Us Blank gold







    Landing Page

    Tour of Homes 2014 Plan of the Week

    By Free Times
    Wednesday, May 21, 2014
    For a copy of the 2014 plan book featuring 44 homes, contact the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia
    columbiabuilders.com
    (803) 256-6238 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)



    Landing Page

    Tour of Homes 2014: Post the Most and Win!

    $50 Gift Certificates to Mr. Friendly's, The Mediterranean Café and Stone Fire American Grill
    By Free Times
    Wednesday, April 30, 2014


    Like the Tour of Homes on Facebook to get updates on the event in your newsfeed and to be able to tag the event in our Post the Most photo contest.

    1) Like the Tour of Homes on Facebook.

    2) Take pictures of homes in the TOUR OF HOMES. Try to get the TOUR sign with house number in each shot, if possible.

    3) Post your pictures to Facebook and tag the TOUR OF HOMES in each picture.


    Each photo posted and tagged is an entry in drawing held that day.

    Contest days are May 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 and a winner will be drawn each day.

    Daily prize is a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant: Mr. Friendly's, The Mediterranean Cafe and Stone Fire American Grill.

    See Official Rules.


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