COLUMBIA, S.C. — March is here and the madness has arrived in Columbia. 

At Colonial Life Arena, and all over the city, people are preparing for the energy and excitement, but this isn’t the only cool spot in the area. From enjoying nature and wildlife to visiting Lake Murray, there’s lots happening in and around the city. 

Here are a couple of fun things to do: 

Riverfront Park:

If you want to take a break from the hoops happening downtown, head on over and enjoy spring fever at Columbia's Riverfront Park on the historic Columbia Canal.

With entrances off of Huger and Laurel street, guests can enjoy themselves in winding water ways and miles of trail at the park, which is open from 6 a.m to 9 p.m. each day.

"It’s a good place to relax. A lot of people are just taking it easy enjoying our chairs and hammocks,: says John McKenzie, lead ranger at the Riverwalk. "There’s a great trail that takes you along the Columbia Canal and the Broad River, and also there’s plenty of wildlife to observe, too."

South Carolina State Museum:

Another must-see spot here in Columbia is the South Carolina State Museum, located right around the corner from Colonial Life Arena. 

Here, guests can step back into history or learn fun facts about their favorite super heroes. Founded in 1988, the State Museum is the primary storyteller of the history of South Carolina. The museum’s collection contains four floors, a digital dome planetarium and more than 70,000 artifacts as it takes you back in time. A new, interactive exhibition called Hall of Heroes invites you to discover your own superpowers while exploring the history and science behind America’s superhero obsession. 

"This traveling exhibit is one of our largest exhibits and probably one of our more interactive exhibits," says Jared Glover, public relations manager at the museum. "You walk in and you see what it takes to be a super hero and how they got started and how heroes have transitioned from the days of Dick Tracy on radio to television and comics."

EdVenture Children’s Museum:

Just right across the parking lot is EdVenture Children’s Museum, where families can experience the joy of learning at the 92,000 square foot interactive, hands-on experience, complete with story time and over 300 exhibits for kids 12 and under.

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden:

A trip to Columbia is never complete without visiting the Riverbank Zoo and Garden. It’s a nationally acclaimed park that’s been open for nearly 45 years, and has delighted hundreds of thousands of guest. 

With over 200 animals representing 350 species from around the world, Riverbanks Zoo is one of the most visited zoos in the southeastern region.

From special animal activities to tons of themes, the whole park and its furry friends are also getting in on the basketball action. If you’re going to a game, all you have to do is stop by and show your tickets to get a discount.

Congaree National Park:

Just 20 minutes away from the zoo sits Congaree National Park, where waters from the Congaree and Wateree rivers sweep through the floodplain, carrying nutrients and sediments that nourish and rejuvenate this ecosystem and support the growth of national and state champion trees.

Lake Murray:

Lake Murray is a massive body of water covering 650 miles. At its widest point, it’s 41 miles long and 14 miles wide. With boating and fishing galore, it’s a perfect place to enjoy fun in the sun.

From experiencing wildlife to enjoying the lake, there’s a lot of things to see and do in our area, and WLTX hopes you enjoy everything that 'Soda City' has to offer.

Have questions? Visit Experience Columbia for answers to all your questions and more.