Take the 2012 Columbia SC Holiday Challenge to get in the holiday spirit!
Visiting Columbia SC from out of town this holiday season? Take advantage of special discount hotel rates from our local hotel partners so that you can experience all of Columbia's exciting holiday events. We look forward to seeing you in Columbia, SC!
Read more about the exciting Columbia events in the 2012 Columbia SC Holiday Challenge and get in the Christmas Spirit today!
Holiday House Tours
November 16, 2012 - December 31, 2012
Tues - Sat 10AM - 4PM | Sun 1PM - 5PM | Closed Mondays, Christmas, and New Years
Enjoy the holiday season with guided tours of Historic Columbia Foundation's house museums. The Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion, and Mann-Simons Cottage are all decorated for the season. Guides will provide stories of holidays past in Columbia and discuss how families decorated and entertained during the 19th and early 20th centuries. View a variety of holiday decorations in each house and stunning details of our faux food on display. Learn more at www.historiccolumbia.org.
Lights Before Christmas
November 17, 2012 - December 30, 2012 from 6PM - 9PM
Experience Columbia's longest running holiday tradition. Enjoy nearly 1 million twinkling lights, countless animated images, dazzling music in motion lights, and warm memories around the Jingle Bell Bonfire. Santa will visit every night until December 23rd. Hot cocoa, marshmallows and other festive foods are available for purchase. Call 803-779-8717 for more information!
Holiday Lights on the River
November 21 - December 31, 2012
Holiday Lights on the River is the Midlands Largest Drive-Through Lights Show! Saluda Shoals Park comes alive in a blaze of more than a million sparkling lights. This holiday spectacular features over 400 themed, animated light displays on a two-mile loop of the park. Call 803-772-1228 for more information
2012 Holiday Market
November 29 - December 2, 2012
Visit the Cantey Building at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds to attend the 2012 Holiday Market. Columbia's premier shopping event features over 90 merchants traveling from all over the United States. Admission to the 2012 Holiday Market is $8 for all four days. Children 12 and under are admitted free!
The Lights of Cayce
November 29 - December 31, 2012
Take a ride through the Cayce City Hall complex and enjoy the magic of thousands of twinkling lights, dazzling holiday displays, and music of the season. New displays have been added this year, so come check it out!
2012 Midlands Clay Arts Society Holiday Sale
November 29 - December 2, 2012
Visit Gallery 80808 in Columbia, South Carolina November 29 - December 2, 2012 for the 12th Annual Midlands Clay Arts Society Holiday Sale. The opening reception will be November 29 from 5-8PM. Learn more about the Holiday Sale on the Midlands Clay Arts Society Facebook page.
Ice Skating at Boyd Plaza
Open until January 6, 2013
Mon - Thurs 11AM - 9PM | Fri - Sat 11AM - 10PM | Sun 1PM - 9PM | Closed Christmas Day
Come experience Columbia's cool new ice skating rink! City of Columbia and Magic Ice USA have partnered to bring an outdoor ice skating rink called Main Street Ice to Boyd Plaza. Main Street Ice is located in front of the Columbia Museum of Art, at the corner of Hampton and Main Streets. Call 803-545-3100 for more information.
Open until February 24, 2012
Pack your mittens for a frosty, fun-filled trip to Snowville. EdVenture's most popular seasonal exhibit is back and cooler than ever! Snowy fun awaits in the North Pole. Climb an ice capped mountain, explore an ice cave, or have a snowball fight with a snowman. Play a game of ice hockey, get the chills in the Blizzard Booth, or take a 25 foot long ride down Sled Hill. Call 803-779-3100 for more information.
Carols Along the Cayce Riverwalk
November 30, 2012 at 6PM
The sounds of Christmas can be heard throughout the Cayce Riverwalk Park. Several area church choirs will be located throughout the first half mile of the park. Visitors can wander from choir to choir enjoying holiday musical selections. the Riverwalk will be lighted with luminaries and hot apple cider will be served free of charge.
Breakfast with Santa
December 1, 2012 at 9:00AM
Columbia Children's Theatre and Richland County Recreation Commission present this special holiday treat! Join us at the Richland Mall Food Court for family fun holiday activities, breakfast, and photos with Santa himself! At 10AM, everyone will head upstairs to find seats for the 10:30 performance of the award-winning production The Christmas Doll. Get your Breakfast With Santa tickets today!
Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade
December 1, 2012 at 9:45AM
The 59th Annual Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade will feature dozens of floats, marching bands, drill teams, and live performances. It will begin at Gervais and Bull Streets, proceeding west on Gervais. The parade will pass in front of the State House and continue into the vista to Park Street. Call 803-799-1216 for more information.
Jingle All The Way 5K Run
December 1, 2012 at 9:45AM
Ring in the season with a run through the City Center, the vibrant Vista, and the beautiful University areas of downtown Columbia. At the finish line which is located on the south side of the State House, runners will find an array of refreshments. Water stations will be located along the route. Awards will be presented to the top male and female finishers. Learn more about the Jingle All The Way 5K Run and register today!
Deck The Trail
December 1, 2012 from 5PM - 7PM
A Kickoff Celebration for the Holiday Walking Tour of Lights! Enjoy wonderful holiday music performed by Columbia locals and lots of hot chocolate. Join us at Riverfront Park for this exciting holiday celebration.
Train Rides With Santa
December 1, 8, 15, 2012
Enjoy a train ride with Santa at the South Carolina Railroad Museum. Don't forget to bring your letters for Santa before he heads back to the North Pole! Train trip depart at 9:30AM, 11:30AM, 1:30PM, and 3:30PM. Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for children. Call 803-712-4135 for more information.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
December 6 - 9, 2012
Watch as this beloved holiday classic comes to life before your eyes. A talented cast of students along with local children's choirs will perform A Charlie Brown Christmas. Tickets are $10 for adults and children 3 years old and up. $2 of each ticket will be donated to charities helping children and animals.
Columbia's Christmas Pageant
December 6 - 9, 2012
The Columbia Christmas Pageant features over 250 choir and orchestra members, along with hundreds of children, students, and volunteers of all ages. This year, the Columbia Christmas Pageant will look back on the past 25 years and pull out favorite songs, videos and costumes. This holiday event is FREE but you must have a ticket. Call 803-217-3250 for ticket information.
December 7, 2012 from 6PM - 9PM
Experience the holiday magic at Lake Carolina's 9th Annual Harborside Lights event. See the Village Green and Town Center glow with thousands of twinkling lights and luminaries. Enjoy musical entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rdies, photos with Santa, holiday treats, millions of twinkling lights, over twelve hundred luminaries, and dozens of decorated trees. Free event! Call 803-736-5253 for more information.
Blue Christmas Elvis Special
December 7, 2012 at 7:30PM
Rock n roll your way into the holiday spirit with Workshop Theatre's Blue Christmas Elvis Special. Award-winning Elvis tribute artist Rick Wade returns to Workshop to treat you and your family to a variety of Elvis Christmas classics during this one night only holiday special. Call 803-799-6551 to get your tickets today!
Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And then some!)
December 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, 22, & 23, 2012
Instead of performing Charles Dickens' beloved holiday classic for the umpteenth time, three actors decide to perform every Christmas story ever told. Plus, Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons from ancient times to topical pop-culture, and every carol ever sung. A madcap romp through the holiday season! Call Theatre Rowe Productions at 803-200-2012 for more information.
December 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 2012
Columbia City Ballet's Nutcracker dazzles South Carolina audiences each season. Don't miss this year's extraordinary performance. Make it a holiday family tradition! Purchase The Nutcracker tickets today.
Paint With Santa
December 8, 2012 from 1PM - 7PM
Enjoy a fun day painting pottery with Santa himself! Kids can paint 1 Ball Ornament for FREE if they bring a letter to Santa and 3 non-perishable food items. Learn more about this holiday Paint With Santa event and reserve your table today!
Bah, Humbug - Scrooge's Christmas Musical
December 14 - 16, 2012
Share the magic of this wonderful musical adaptation of everyone's favorite Christmas classic! Bill Francoeur's original music beautifully accompanies this uplifting retelling. Ebenezer sings 'Bah, Humbug', dooming himself to visits from three Christmas spirits. Ebenezer's revelation that 'Life Was Meant to Live' brings a heart-warming conclusion to Dickens' beloved tale. Call 803-799-2510 for tickets.
December 15, 2012 - January 1, 2013
Celebrate the winter season with family activities at the State Museum. This two week long celebration of the winter season features a Family Fiesta, Polar Express Night, scrapbooking for kids, seasonal Star Labs, nature crafts, board games, and several visits from Santa himself. Call 803-898-4952 for more information.
Candlelight Tours and Carriage Rides
December 20 - 21, 2012 from 5:30PM - 8:30PM
Enjoy the decorated halls of the historic Robert Mills House and Hampton Preston Mansion by candlelight on a guided tour. Glimpse into the lives of Columbians in 1860. Musical entertainment, children's activities and interpretation of the houses will reflect the uncertainty of life in the South from the viewpoints of enslaved workers to those of wealthy planters. Before or after your house tour, enjoy carriage rides through the Robert Mills historic district. Call 803-252-1770 ext 24 to make reservations.
Columbia SC Events