There are 8 outstanding Christmas light displays around the Columbia SC area… each will make you tingle with delight!
Holiday Lights on the River :: Saluda Shoals Park
November 21, 2018 – December 31, 2018 (except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve & Christmas nights)
Experience the magic as Saluda Shoals Park comes alive in a blaze of more than a million sparkling lights. Take a ride in your vehicle through colorful lights and see more than 400 animated light displays of all shapes and sizes! Additionally, fun-filled family activities include riding the Saluda Shoals Park train, sliding on the Winter Wonder Ride Tube Slide, strolling the Wetland Trail and enjoying a laser light show, craft workshop, Santa’s Claus’et Gift Shop, roasting marshmallows and photos and visiting with Santa (Santa is present from Dec. 14 – Dec. 23 only). More at ICRC.net.
Lights Before Christmas :: Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
November 17, 2018 – December 30, 2018
Experience Columbia’s longest-running holiday tradition, when the Zoo is sparkling brightly with nearly 1 million twinkling lights! Walk by countless lighted scenes, Holly Jolly Christmas Parade, huge trees with animated lights that tell stories, Jingle Bell Bonfire, visits with Santa each evening. More at riverbanks.org
30th Annual Downtown Tree Lighting in Aiken SC
November 30 at 6pm
There will be music, refreshments, and a countdown to the lighting of the tree, as well as a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Held on Newberry Street in downtown Aiken. More at VisitAikenSC.org
Lights of Cayce
December 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018
Visitors can take a ride through the Cayce City Hall complex and enjoy the magic of large lighted holiday displays including thousands of twinkling lights and music of the season. Details at CayceSC.gov.
A Very Berry Christmas :: Newberry
November 16, 2018 – January 1, 2019
Main Street is lined with banners and bells, lighted garland and bows, lighted holiday scenes, and a Community Christmas Tree, covered in thousands of colorful bulbs, strung with garland, and surrounded by large hand-painted boxed gifts. Attend on one of their North Pole Nights for faux snow, pics with Santa and stories with Mrs. Claus. (Fridays November 30 – December 21, 2018) NewberryChristmas.com
Come downtown to experience luminaries lining the streets of downtown Aiken, as shops stay open late and offer holiday treats, drinks, and music for a festive evening out. This is a free event. Held in downtown Aiken – Laurens St. VisitAikenSC.com
Elgin Lights :: Elgin
December 15, 2018 – December 24, 2018
The Towns Family of Elgin invites the community to see its labor of love as it displays dozens of antique tractors, miniature trains and memorabilia with thousands of lights! A heartwarming highlight of your holiday season! Free Admission, donations accepted. ElginLights.com
Fantasy of Lights :: Swan Lake & Gardens, Sumter
December 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018
Swan Lake & Gardens come alive with a display of twinkling holiday imagery created by more than one million lights. The floating Christmas tree has been is an annual favorite for over 35 years, along with Santa, angels and other characters of song and story. Opening ceremony on Dec 1st at 6 p.m. Light display open nightly through December 31. Sunday-Thursday from dusk until 9 p.m., Friday-Saturday until 10 p.m. Drive-thru or park, walk and take photos! The employees of the City of Sumter are behind the creativity and magnificent display now known as South Carolina’s largest FREE Christmas light display! More at SumterSC.gov.
Children’s Garden Christmas :: Edisto Memorial Gardens, Orangeburg
November 19, 2018 – January 1, 2019
The Children’s Garden Christmas is a drive through light display that runs a one-half mile trail through the Edisto Memorial Gardens, featuring 28 animated displays, 20 still displays and 111 lighted cherry trees. The Kids Walk is an interactive walk through 19 animated displays and 10 still displays. Displays range in sizes from 6 feet tall to 20 feet tall. The Gardens are illuminated seven days a week for everyone to enjoy free of charge. orangeburg.sc.us
Christmas in Hopelands :: Hopelands Gardens, Aiken
December 15, 2018 – December 23, 2018
This enchanting walk-through exhibit features over two miles of lighted pathways and illuminated displays. Over 100,000 twinkling lights in the peaceful setting of Hopelands Gardens are a must-see during the holiday season. The Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame, The Dollhouse, Rye Patch, and new this year, the Rye Patch Stables will be open and decorated for visitors to enjoy. There is no cost to enter the event or to utilize the shuttle service. All guests should use the shuttle service to the gardens available each night. Shuttles run continuously from Citizens Park, located at 1060 Banks Mill Road, from 5:45pm – 8:45 pm. More at VisitAikenSC.com.