Holiday Events

Holiday Events

Saluda Shoals Park

The Polar Express 4-D Experience | Nov 5, 2016 through Jan 1, 2017

You’re invited on an extraordinary 4-D adventure this holiday season at the SC State Museum on The Polar Express! When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. Show Run Time is 15 minutes. More here.

The Star of Bethlehem | Nov 5, 2016 through Jan 1, 2017

This full dome planetarium experience at the SC State Museum takes viewers back in time to Jerusalem and Bethlehem to investigate fascinating ideas about the “Christmas Star.” The show presents historical and scientific facts to unravel this 2,000-year old mystery through a special audiovisual display featuring popular Christmas carols. Run Time is 25 minutes. More here.

Laser Holidays | Nov 5, 2016 through Jan 1, 2017

Visit the SC State Museum for this exciting and unique way to celebrate the season! A display of colorful and dramatic laser lights is choreographed to a mix of holiday music favorites, including “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Deck the Halls,” “White Christmas” and more. Show Run Time is 30 minutes. More here.

AllSouth FCU

Historic Holiday House Tours | Nov 18 – Dec 31

During this special time of year, the Historic Columbia invite families, school groups, tourists and the community to visit their historic properties for guided tours. Their house museums are decorated and offer a glimpse into the lives of three different holiday social scenes set in 19th and early 20th century Columbia. Enjoy the greenery and decorative faux food throughout each house while guides provide stories of holidays past. More here.

Heck the Dolls With Chardonnay | Nov 18 – 20, Dec 9 – 11

Heck the Dolls with Chardonnay is the touching story of Sue, a bored and lonely resident of Aged Oaks Retirement Home. When Sue is visited by Emma, her teen-age granddaughter, Sue takes Emma and the audience on a raucous trip down memory lane as she recalls the holidays of her past. The audience quickly discovers that Sue and her old best friend Becky were the Lucy and Ethel of their days. Sue’s flashbacks, which are reenacted on the stage, remind us that the stresses of the holidays usually result in the best and funniest memories of life.  More at the Chapin Theatre Company website.

Blossom Shop

Main Street ICE | Nov 26 through Jan 18, 2017

Head to Boyd Plaza for Main Street ICE! The City of Columbia’s outdoor ice skating rink, located at the corner of Main and Hampton streets, returns for another year of fun for the whole family. Open from Thanksgiving Day until January 1, 2016. The rink will be closed on Christmas Day and will be open until 12 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. Open Monday – Thursday 4pm – 9pm, Friday 4pm – 10pm, Saturday 10am – 10pm, and Sunday 1pm – 9pm. More here.


North Pole Night Downtown | Dec 9, 16, & 23

Visit downtown Newberry on Fridays in December to experience an evening at the North Pole! Starting at 6pm and lasting until 8pm Santa play in Memorial park in their faux snow machines. The Newberry County Chamber of Commerce office will also be open in Community Hall for Storytime with Mrs. Claus. You won’t want to miss this special Newberry holiday event! Contact the City of Newberry Parks, Recreation, and Tourism office at 803-321-1015 for more information or click here.

Lancaster’s Christmas Events | Dec 10

Don’t miss this Annual Christmas parade that will begin at 6pm in the Cultural Arts District in Historic Downtown Lancaster! Lancaster’s Grand Marshal, Buford Varsity Ladies Softball State Champions, will lead the parade beginning on Main Street, at Springs Street, and continuing through historic downtown, then exiting onto Williams Street. Get your seats early and get ready for some holiday fun! More information on Lancaster events here!Lexington County Recreation

A Christmas Carol: The Musical | Dec 2 – 18

Come to Town Theatre to see this PREMIERE performance of the classic holiday tale. Ebenezer Scrooge is a prosperous curmudgeon who believes personal wealth is far more valuable than the happiness and comfort of others. With an infuriated “Bah! Humbug!” Scrooge summarizes his feelings of Christmas tidings and charitable giving, but he’s forced to face his selfish ways when the ghosts of Christmas reveal his Past, Present and Future. Scrooge recognizes his faults and reconnects with those that mean the most to him. Through the music of Broadway’s Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens, this A Christmas Carol has fantastic new life – just like Scrooge himself! Thursday – Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 3pm. Tickets on sale Nov 25. More here.

Southern Bedding

Christmas Candlelight Tours | Dec 3 & Dec 10

A Southern-style Backcountry Christmas comes to life during Historic Brattonsville’s annual Christmas Candlelight Tours! Through candlelit vignettes, costumed interpreters will recreate Christmas of the backcountry settlers in the 18th and 19th centuries. Learn of Christmas traditions old and new, relax around the campfire and enjoy musical entertainment. Children will enjoy hands-on activities and visits with Father Christmas. Food, hot drinks and baked goods will be available for purchase. Adults $10; Seniors $8; Youth 4-17 $6; 3 and under and Culture & Heritage Museum members free. Event is from 3-9pm.  Info here.


Train Rides with Santa | Dec 3, 10 and 17

Come join the folks at the South Carolina Railroad Museum in Winnsboro for their annual Train Rides with Jolly Old St. Nick! Santa will be happy to take your children’s Christmas wish lists back to the North Pole with him so bring them along!  Saturdays. More info here.

Frankie's Fun Park

Florence Festival of Lights | Dec 9

The third annual Florence Festival of Lights will be held December 9 and 10, and on December 16, 17, and 18 at 5:30pm at Hoffmeyer Place. This premiere light display and holiday event will be fun for the whole family! After you drive through these stunning holiday lights, stroll through Santa’s Village to spread more holiday cheer with a cup of hot chocolate, a visit with Santa himself,  or a balloon animal from Todd’s Twisted Balloons. More here.

Family Medicine Centers

Christmas at the Barn | Dec 9-10

Held at Harmon’s Tree Farm located at 3152 Augusta Highway in Gilbert from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. Features live Christmas music, a nativity, a bonfire, hot chocolate, s’mores, a photo booth and so much more. Admission is free! For additional information call 803.996.8802 or visit website here.

Columbia Christmas Pageant | Dec 9 – 11

Event will take place December 9 at 7pm, December 10 at 2pm and 5pm, and December 11 at 4pm at First Baptist Columbia. Tickets are free, but you need a ticket to enter. More here.

The Singing Christmas Tree | Dec 9 – 11

Shandon Baptist Church will hold this free event. A cast of 400, including a full orchestra, and a 25-foot tree holding 130 singers and over 50,000 lights make for an incredible holiday experience for all ages! December 9 at 7pm, December 10 at 2:30pm and 5:30pm and December 11 at 2:30pm and 5:30pm. All seating is general admission. Free tickets available online beginning November 1 and on Sunday mornings in the Gathering Place at Shandon Baptist Church beginning November 6.  See their Christmas calendar.

Candlelight Tour of Homes

40th Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes | Dec 10

Tour begins at Camden Archives Museum (1314 Broad St.) from 3-8pm

The Camden Junior Welfare League presents the 40th Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes on December 10, 2016. Join us in Historic Camden, SC to take a self-paced tour through some of the city’s oldest homes and Historic sites decorated beautifully for the season. This is a Holiday tradition you don’t want to miss! The event will take place rain or shine. The Tour begins at the Camden Archives Museum which is located at 1314 Broad Street. You may purchase tickets at the museum the day of and/or pick up your Tour booklet. Purchase tickets in advance here!

New this year, we’re celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Tour with a kick-off event the night before, on December 9th! This event will be held at the Kershaw-Cornwallis House with amazing food from Aberdeen Catery, live music from the Reggie Sullivan Band, and a silent auction full of items you don’t want to miss! Come celebrate the 40th Anniversary and the League’s mission to improve the lives of children in Kershaw County!

For more information and to purchase tickets for both events, visit: You do not want to miss this exciting weekend! We look forward to sharing our beautiful city with you!

Great Southern Homes

8th Annual Van Wyck Christmas Parade and Candy Toss | Dec 10

This fun family event will start at 12 noon at the intersection of Steele Hill Road and Old Hickory Road in Van Wyck. Santa will arrive at the Community Center Building for photographs after the parade, where you can also enjoy Van Wyck Express train rides and Wilbur’s Last Ride BBQ. Bring your camera for pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus!

Christmas at the Park | Dec 10

The holidays are a great time for everyone to get together and renew friendships and meet new folks too! This event takes place at Blythewood Park at 126 Boney Road. Food, music, arts and crafts, gifts from the tree and Santa pictures! More here.


Newberry Christmas Tour of Homes | Dec 10

The Newberry County Chamber of Commerce invites you to join them for the annual Christmas Tour of Homes from 4-8pm. Tour several beautiful private homes of Newberry, fully decorated for the holidays! The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church of Newberry will also be on the tour in celebration of the advent season. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Chamber at 803-276-4274.

Lancaster Christmas Parade | Dec 10

The City of Lancaster will hold their annual Christmas Parade at 6pm on Main Street, in the Cultural Arts District in Historic
Downtown Lancaster. The Grand Marshal, the Buford Varsity Ladies Softball State Champions, will lead the parade. This year’s theme is “Ugly Christmas Sweater” – you won’t want to miss this holiday tradition!

Homegrown Hospitality

Cayce-West Columbia Holiday Parade of Lights | Dec 10

The Greater Cayce-West Columbia Holiday Parade of Lights is one of the most anticipated holiday parades in the Midlands! Starts at the corner of 12th & Meeting Street in West Columbia, proceeds down 12th Street and ends at City of Cayce Municipal Complex. This beloved night time parade begins at 5:30pm. Come grab yourself a viewing spot early!


Santapalooza | Dec 10

1403 N. Lake Drive Lexington, SC 29072 | (803) 359-9091

Visit Wingard’s Market for Santapalooza from 11am – 1pm, where the kids can meet Mrs. Claus, ride the Santa Train, enjoy hot apple cider and cookies and pick out a fresh North Carolina Fraser Fir Christmas tree! Don’t forget your camera for beautiful family photo ops throughout the Garden Center that you will treasure for years to come. Free admittance. Overflow parking available at Pilgrim Lutheran Church. More here.

Lancaster 2016 Christmas Parade | Dec 10

Beginning at 6pm on Saturday, December 10th in the Cultural Arts District in Historic Downtown Lancaster, you are in for a treat. Lancaster’s Grand Marshal, Buford Varsity Ladies Softball State Champions, will lead the parade beginning on Main Street, at Springs Street, and continuing through historic downtown, then exiting onto Williams Street. Set up on these streets with your chair for a good view.  More here.

The Offering | Dec 10 – Dec 11

This Modern Christmas Experience presented by Worship East will take place December 10 and 11 in Worship East at Riverland Hills Baptist Church. FREE Tickets are required for this event. Tickets will be available online. More here.

Twin Peaks

Holiday Open House | Dec 10 – Dec 11

Lake Murray Country Visitors Center will hosts this Annual Open House on December 10 from 10am-3pm and December 11 from 12-4pm. The theme for the 2016 Holiday Open House is “Past and Presents.” Come enjoy light refreshments and holiday music as we get the Lorick Plantation into the holiday spirit. More here.

The Nutcracker | Dec 10 – Dec 18

at Koger Center for the Arts {1051 Greene St.}
Columbia City Ballet presents Nutcracker, Columbia’s holiday family tradition, has the distinction of being Koger Center’s first Nutcracker production and longest consecutively running annual arts event. With many snow-filled performances, including four matinees, Nutcracker is designed to accommodate the entire family’s holiday schedule. More here.
SC Agritourism

Christmas in Hopelands | Dec 10 – Dec 26

The 25th Annual Christmas in Hopelands is an enchanting walk-through exhibit in Aiken that features over 2 miles of lighted pathways, with over 100,000 twinkling lights and holiday displays. The Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame, Doll House, and Carriage Museum will be open and decorated, refreshments will be served in the Hall of Fame courtyard and outside of the Guest Cottage, you can roast marshmallows, holiday entertainment will be provided by schools, community groups, and church choirs each evening, and on select nights, Santa or Mrs. Claus will be inside The Rye Patch for photos! You must use the shuttle service to the gardens, which runs continuously from 5:45-9pm. For more info call 803-642-7631. Free admission charge. More info here.
City of Aiken

Summerville Christmas Parade | Dec 11

Sponsored by Summerville DREAM, the Annual Christmas Parade starts at 2pm. It is a free, public event that brings the community together to spread Christmas cheer! Community members are encouraged to promote their organization, school or business to help celebrate the holiday. Spread Christmas cheer by dressing in holiday costume, handing out candy, etc. Only participants in the holiday spirit will be allowed to take part in the procession!  More info here.

Blythewood Christmas Parade | Dec 11

This year’s Blythewood Christmas Parade is presented by Blythewood’s Transfiguration Church.  All funds raised will go to the Christian Assistance Bridge in Blythewood, an organization devoted to supporting those in need in the community.  The 21st annual parade will take place December 11 at 3pm. Registration forms for participants, as well as sponsorship forms, may be found on the town’s website. The deadline for parade entries is December 7. More here.

Picket Fence

Christmas Open House | Dec 11

Come experience Christmas traditions of the past as the Lexington County Museum hosts its annual open house from 1-4pm. This event will feature live music, free refreshments, a cooking demonstration, and a blacksmithing demonstration. Many of the museum’s 30 historic structures will be open and will feature period Christmas decorations. More here.

Love Feast: Choir & Orchestra | Dec 11

A Christmas celebration rich in Christian community Shandon United Methodist Church, filled with beautiful music by the Chancel Choir and orchestra, with sharing of bread, coffee and warm fellowship. More here.

Bill's Pickin Parlor

Summerville’s December Third Thursday | Dec 15

In Historic Downtown Summerville from 5pm – 8pm enjoy seeing Summerville all dressed up for the Holidays! Have you ever heard Storyteller Tim Lowry’s A Christmas Carol?  If not, you’re missing a very special holiday delight. Tickets will be on sale soon for this one of a kind walking tour that will be held on December 15th. More here.

A Night Out at Trenholm | Dec 16

Catch the holiday spirit and enjoy a festive night out at Trenholm Plaza from 5pm – 7pm. Enjoy hot chocolate, coffee, treats, discounts + promotions, plus carriage rides, carolers & more. Rosso Trattoria will be out front, so be sure to sample some of their delicious house-made tiramisu, plus they will have an amazing assortment of wines to purchase at great prices. It’s sure to be a wonderful night!

Ethan Allen

Candlelight Tours & Carriage Rides | Dec 16 historic-columbia-carraige-ride

Take a tour of the decorated, candlelit halls of Historic Columbia’s historic houses – the Robert Mills House and the Hampton-Preston Mansion. Before or after your house tour, enjoy a carriage ride through the Robert Mills historic district. Carriage rides run from 5:30pm until 8:30pm and the house tours start at 6:00pm! *Carriage Rides are considered an ‘add-on’ to the Candlelight Tours, so guests need to purchase the Candlelight Tour in order to book a Carriage Ride. Purchase Candlelight Tour ticket(s) here!! More here.

Grill Marks

Santa’s Christmas Party | Dec 17

During this performance by the Columbia Marionette Theatre, Santa’s head elf decides to throw Santa a rockin’ holiday surprise party in celebration of the season, but Santa is on vacation and is nowhere to be found! Will he make it back in time to enjoy his own festivities? With dancing snowmen, figure skating, and Jack Frost’s own puppet show-within-a-puppet-show, this fun-filled performance will put audiences of all ages in the holiday spirit! At the Columbia Marionette Theatre at 11am.  More here.

Candy Cane Hunt | Dec 17

Held at Crooked Creek Park from 3:30pm – 4:3pm for ages 2 – 8. Cost is $2 per child. Join us on the CCP Disc Golf Trail for a one-of-a-kind candy cane adventure! Santa and his elves will be hiding candy canes along the trail at Crooked Creek Park. Children should bring a basket or bag for their candy canes. There will also be prize candy canes hidden along the trail. Donate a new unwrapped toy and you’ll get to decorate a festive cupcake! More here.

2nd Annual Night Before Christmas | Dec 17

Ynotu2, a nonprofit that provides job and life skill development for disadvantaged job seekers, early childhood intervention and community outreach is organizing this holiday event. To be held at EdVenture Children’s Museum from 6 – 9pm for undeserved youth in the Columbia area. This event is NOT open to the public, as registration of your children is required, as they need to calculate the number of toys and food needed. Register here! Enjoy a seasonal atmosphere, vendors who will provide you with resources on programs, story time (celebrity guests will read a portion of the classic book “Twas the night before Christmas”, toy giveaway (while supplies last), educational challenge sessions, and Santa’s Workshop (Arts and Crafts for Kids) presented by Richland County Library. More here.

SC Farmers Market

“Love is Born” | Dec 17 & Dec 18

This Living Nativity narrated drama (no speaking parts) will be held at Living Springs Lutheran Church (4224 Hard Scrabble Rd.) on Saturday and Sunday, December 17 & 18, at 7:00pm. It’s free and for the entire family! Pause from a hectic holiday pace to witness a 30-minute Living Enactment Of God’s Gift Of Love For You…the Birth Of Jesus! Bring A Lawn Chair…hot drinks provided! More here.

Holiday Memorial Service | Dec 18

This Christmas event will take place at Riverland Hills Baptist Church at 5:00 p.m. in the Worship Center. More here.

Wreaths Across America | Dec 17

Fort Jackson, along with many others across the United States, will be honoring the lives of those who served our country at over 1,100 locations. Two locations in the Columbia area will be participating in the national event, both the Fort Jackson National Cemetery and the Tree Site at Strom Thurmond Building for Survivor Outreach Services. More here.

Sing Along Messiah

Sing-Along Messiah | Dec 19

Visit Washington Street United Methodist Church at 7pm on Monday, December 19th for a joyous night of worship, instrumental music, and singing. Messiah, by G.F. Handel, is perhaps the best known and most popular oratorio ever written. Sing-Along Messiah was founded in 2002, on the principle that everyone in the metropolitan Columbia area, and anyone willing to travel to Columbia, should have the opportunity to sing some part of Messiah at least once a year. No Christmas season is ever truly complete without it, as the event is compromised of a 20-member professional orchestra, a core choir to lead the singing of the choruses and a professional conductor. One component that makes Sing-Along Messiah unique and gives it its identity is that the 600+ people who attend the event are invited to join in the singing! It is the only annual sing-along presentation of Messiah in South Carolina and is presented to the public without an admission charge, so don’t miss it! More here.

Christmas Party at The Woody | Dec 23

Eat, drink and be merry at the Naughty or Nice Christmas Party at The Woody in the Vista! Dress in your seasonal best, put on your dancing shoes and come let loose before settling down with your family and in-laws this Christmas.

Christmas Eve Service with Lord’s Supper | Dec 24

Service will take place at First Baptist Irmo from 4:30 – 5:30pm in the Church Sanctuary. 

Children’s Christmas Eve Service | Dec 24

Service will take place at 5 pm in the Worship Center at Riverland Hills Baptist Church. Come celebrate Christmas with your entire family as the Sixth Grade Crossover Ministry presents “The Christmas Story.” You will want to make this a family tradition as you help your children understand the real meaning of Christmas. Service is appropriate for children of all ages. More here.

Summerville Dream

Christmas Eve | Dec 24

Join your friends at Shandon United Methodist Church, 3407 Devine Street, for worship services that will truly bring your spirit aligned with the Reason for the Season!


2:00 p.m., Sanctuary


5:00 p.m., Sanctuary


7:00 p.m., Dunn-Smith Ministry Center


9:00 p.m., Sanctuary. Inspiring services filled with beautiful greenery, wonderful music, glowing candlelight and warm fellowship.

WOW! New Year’s Eve Carnival | Dec 31

Bring the kiddies to this family-friendly event with games, entertainment, food vendors and more.  Held from 6pm – 10pm at Main and Hampton Sts. in downtown Columbia.

Laurel Crest

New Year’s Eve Masquerade Party | Dec 31

Make your way to The Woody in the Vista’s New Year’s Eve Fest! Featuring a champagne toast at midnight and party favors, including a mask, and The Woody Ball Drop with cash at midnight! Call 803.309.1283 or 803.309.2941 to get your tickets.

Essex Homes

New Year’s Evening with the Newberry Opera House| Dec 31

Starting at 8pm, celebrate the going of the old and the coming of the new with food, dancing and fireworks! Newberry natives Reggie Deas and Deas Guyz return to play your favorite rhythm and beach hits of yesterday and today. Get a taste of Newberry in one night with food from local restaurants. Food and beverage are included. More here.

New Year’s Eve Dance Party at the Pickin’ Parlor | Dec 31

Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor located at 710 Meeting Street in West Columbia is the perfect place to ring in the New Year! Doors open at 7pm, catered dinner will be served.  Bob Strickland & Freestyle (with guest performers) will begin playing at 8pm, and the dance party will begin! $25 per person.  Website here. Call them at 803.796.6477 with any questions.

Twisted Spur Brewing

New Year’s Eve at Noon | Dec 31

EdVenture Children’s Museum’s doors open at 9am with activities celebrating New Year’s Eve around the world! As the countdown to noon begins, a giant illuminated ball descends and lands at the foot of EDDIE, kicking off the biggest mid-day celebration in town! Join them for a juicebox toast at noon. Free with membership or regular admission. Event lasts until 1pm. Website here.

Famously Hot New Year | Dec 31

Ring in 2017 on Main Street at South Carolina’s largest New Year’s Eve party! Join thousands of people in downtown Columbia for this free party and enjoy live entertainment until after midnight, free parking in downtown city garages, artists, clowns, jugglers and other buskers, free WiFi, food court and “Comfort Zone,” featuring food trucks and vendors, beer, wine and champagne and seating, special COMET services and park-and-ride locations, Budweiser alert cab, midnight countdown, the largest NYE fireworks display in the two Carolinas and much more! Kids will love the City of Columbia’s NYE Carnival for kids with rides, games and face painters, and the Main Street Ice Skating Rink on Boyd Plaza, in front of the Columbia Museum of Art. More info here.

Beef Jerky Outlet

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