Online Guide for Families in Columbia, South Carolina
Finlay Park, Columbia SC Columbia4Kids Online Family Guide



Columbia4Kids Newsletter 

Issue 009 | November 2004 

Welcome back!  Other projects have kept us from getting the C4K newsletter out for some time, but we are back on track and committed to bringing you an informative newsletter every month!

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, see the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page.  We do not share your email address with anyone. 

New Design

This newsletter is a preview of the new look coming for C4K!  Brighter and more colorful, we are in the process of reorganizing the information to bring you even more info on movies, books, local restaurants, and more! 

New Columbia SC Family Forum

Come check out our new Columbia SC Family forum.  It's been upgraded and redesigned to make using it even easier. If you were a member of the old forum, you'll need to create a new login as we couldn't transfer the old memberships over. 

Come talk about what's going on in Columbia or just chit chat with other parents in Columbia.

New Columbia SC Directory

If you've got a website, list it for free in our Columbia SC directory! All we ask for is a link back from your website in exchange. 

We are trying to build the most comprehensive web directory for Columbia- from businesses to personal pages.  Come join us! 

You must be a member of the forum to add a link to the web directory.

Let's get on to the fun stuff!   -Scottie Claiborne, Editor

Mom I'm Bored!

The holidays are fast approaching, whether you're prepared or not!  It's time to start Christmas shopping (if you haven't already) and you need to know what your little angels have their hearts set on seeing under the Christmas tree.

For a fun afternoon diversion, pull out the paper, crayons, colored pencils, stickers, glitter, and any other art supplies you have on hand.  It's time to write a letter to Santa!

We all know Santa has TONS of kids to satisfy this season, so you need to make sure your letters stand out in the crowd!  Kids can decorate their letters with minimum supervision, spending and hour or two getting creative.  Give them Christmas cookie cutters; they can trace the simple shapes then color them in. Foil star stickers from any office supply store make a festive accent with a minimum of mess. Santa loves decorative Christmas letters!

Kids don't have the Sears Christmas Catalog like we used to, but you can gather up all the sale flyers from Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us to help them decide what they "must have" this season.  It's a good idea to know NOW what you need to track down this year, before the day-after-Thanksgiving rush is upon us!

Kid Craft of the Month: Turkey Place Markers

Your kids can have fun while helping you with the Thanksgiving table décor.  These markers will welcome your guests to the table! They are easy for kids to put together and make great holiday favors, perfect for holding notes, recipe cards, or a favorite photo. Click here to follow the steps to this 2 to 3 hour project. 

The Brightest Time of the Year!

We will be showcasing the best and brightest lights in town on the Holidays section of the web site. There's nothing as fun (or as inexpensive!) as enjoying the season by driving around and enjoying the light displays

You can submit a picture or the address of any location that has really put in extra effort to dazzle the neighbors this season.  That house may be yours! 

There are so many beautiful displays this time of year; we just want to recognize the residents who really take the time and effort to show off their creativity and holiday spirit while giving you some spots to add to your map for an enjoyable holiday drive with the family.

Click here to view or submit a location to the Columbia SC Holiday Light Displays

Need A Babysitter?

With the holidays approaching, you probably have office parties and other gatherings you would like to attend but you can’t; you don’t have babysitter. Whether you're planning a night out on the town or just looking to run some errands, use our babysitting forum to connect with babysitters in the Columbia area.

You can submit your information under “Babysitter Wanted” specifying your requirements in a sitter (age, credentials, etc..) or browse through the “Babysitter Available” list to see if you find the sitter you’re looking for. Once you find a suitable candidate, we suggest that you arrange a meeting in a public place to get to know each other a little better!

If you want to earn some holiday cash (or have a teenager who does) consider listing yourself as an available sitter. (Sitters must be at least 13 years old.)>

It’s easy and it’s a free service from See the Columbia SC Babysitters here.

Business Spotlight: The Puppet Playhouse


The Puppet Playhouse, located on 206 N. Church Street in Lexington, has been a source of creative amusement for young children around the Midlands since June 2001. Cheryl Goss, owner of the playhouse, offers wholesome fun for children and parents.

“We mix entertainment, education, energy and excitement to all of our programs,” says Cheryl.

So how did Cheryl decide to start a puppet playhouse? "After working in our church for years in the children's ministries and having a love for puppets, The Puppet Playhouse just seemed the perfect choice for me," says Cheryl. "My husband and I both worked at a large computer engineering corporation. After 23 years of employment, we were faced with our company closing their Columbia division.  We had to examine ourselves as well as lean on God to determine what our next steps would be.  We decided to invest in ourselves.”

Cheryl is grateful that before restarting his career, her husband as well as her two sons helped her start a dream come to true. “We have expanded to be able to hire part time people to allow my husband to focus on his career,” Cheryl says. “Without his sacrifice, I would not have been able to accomplish this goal.”

The Puppet Playhouse targeted to children ages 2 to 9 years old but even one year olds can enjoy the shows.  They also have a great time with older children and teens teaching them about puppets, according to Cheryl.

Staff members include Heather and Jessie, who are 17 years old and are home schooled. “They are not only flexible with their time, but are able to earn a work/study credit for school,” explains Cheryl. “They are both incredible workers and also great puppeteers.”

If you haven’t taken your children to the Puppet Playhouse, this coming holiday season will be a great time to go!

The Puppet Playhouse focuses on the true meaning of Christmas.  The puppet show "An Animals Account" is the telling of the first Christmas through the eyes of the animals.  It will feature sheep, a donkey, three camels and even a few surprises. There will be one General Admission Show of "An Animals Account" on Monday, Dec. 20th with shows at 10am and noon.  The cost is $3.00 per child.

There will also be a "Celebrate Winter" General Admission shows on Monday, Dec. 27th and Monday, January 17th.

It is also worth noting that the Puppet Playhouse is very active in the community.

“Our company has always made ourselves available to charitable organizations for puppet shows,” Cheryl says. “We have made a commitment to being available once a month for organizations who could not otherwise have a puppet show for their children. We have traveled to children's homes, nursing homes as well as hosted parties for inner city children.  I always try to support our local schools with items for silent auctions, ads in yearbooks and when appropriate, we donate puppet shows. The Puppet Playhouse also contributes to Child Evangelism Fellowship as well as our local church.”

The Puppet Playhouse is available for church groups, play groups, preschools, etc. for field trips or traveling shows all year but we especially love the idea of having a Christmas party and puppet show at the Puppet Playhouse.

If you would like to visit the Puppet Playhouse or book a party, call 356-1662 or visit the web site

Recipe of the Month – Something about Stuffing!

Whether you cook inside or outside of the bird, stuffing is a side dish that your guest will always look for at Thanksgiving. There are many variations to a “stuffing” recipe, however we have chosen this one to be an all-time favorite! Click to find one of 18 great Stuffing recipes from spicy Mushroom Sausage Stuffing to a savory New England Stuffing.

If you have a recipe you’d like to share with our subscribers, send it us via email at

Featured Columbia Events in November

Festival of Trees

20 November 2004
Come see beautiful trees and wreaths at the SC State Musuem created to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Palmetto Health Richland Hospital. Don't miss the Mascot Parade! Fun for all ages

The Colonial Cup

21 November 2004
'Where champions are crowned'! Celebrate fall with a wonderful day of steeplechase horseracing in the country at 200 Knights Hill Road in Camden, SC. Also enjoy Jack Russell Terrier races, The Post and Paddock Shops, The Ultimate Chef Challenge, petting zoo, pony rides, and horse and mule demonstrations.

Time of Giving

21 November 2004
Columbia Place is hosting their 3rd annual Time of Giving event. With a $5 donation to a participating charity, shoppers will enjoy exclusive shopping hours on November 21, while giving to a favorite local organization. Wristbands for admission into the Time of Giving are available at Customer Service, located on the lower level near Center Court, or through participating charities. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a paid adult. All proceeds from wristband sales will benefit a local charity.

The Nutcracker

26 November 2004
Don't miss the Carolina Ballet as they present this holiday classic on Thanksgiving Weekend. This family tradition features full orchestra and chorus under the baton of Maestro Eric Chu. With international guest artists and award winning members of the Company, Carolina Ballet's production is a glittering, enchanting extravaganza with a cast of over 250.

Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks

26 November 2004
It's a whimsical festival of lights at everyone's favorite place, the Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden.

2004 Swamp Fest

27 November 2004
Enjoy a day of natural beauty and tranquility! Come see all of the wonders along the Congaree River at the 2nd Annual Congaree Swamp Fest. In addition to enjoying the natural beauty of the Congaree National Park, there will be delicious food, arts and crafts, entertainment, and lots of activities for children and adults. There will be FREE hot dogs and hay rides for children attending the festival.


Wrap Up

Columbia4Kids has been online for 2.5 years now, since May of 2002. Time flies!

What started out as a personal project has grown into much more, and I want to thank everyone who takes the time to e-mail us with your questions, comments, and thank you's.

We have renewed our commitment to make C4K the best online community for families in Columbia, and I invite you to come back and visit the site if it's been a while. We are adding more information every day. The forum is really growing into a fun hangout for moms!

You probably won't see big changes throughout the site until after the holidays are over, but we have some great new features coming. Please feel free to let us know what YOU'D like to see on C4K- we are here for you!

See ya next month! - Scottie.

If you have an article idea or would like to contribute an article to the C4K newsletter, write to use at