The Carolina Carillon Parade | Gervais Street
A parade of Holiday floats will make its way westward down Gervais Street to officially kick off the Holiday season in Columbia. Keep an eye out for our famously hot float! (Make sure to take advantage of the hot deal Columbia Regional Visitors Center is offering to those at the parade!)
December 1 | 9:45 AM
South Carolina State House Tours
The South Carolina State House is now open for free guided tours on the first Saturday of each month. Tour the beautifully decorated State House and get the inside scoop on the history of one of South Carolina's most historic and iconic sites. Read more on our South Carolina State House Tours blog.
December 1 | Tours on the half hour of each hour, 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
"The Christmas Doll" | Columbia Children's Theatre
Set in 1840's London, Lucy and Glory Wolcott escape their orphanage to the city streets, where they find a discarded doll by the river that Glory believes is her long lost doll, Morning Glory. Teaming up with the beggar boy Nick, Morning Glory leads the three on a journey that will change their lives forever, for Morning Glory is no ordinary doll.
Through December 2 | Various Times
Deck the Trail | Riverfront ParkKickoff to the Holiday Walking Tour of Lights and enjoy holiday music, hot chocolate and stroll along the Columbia Canal decorated for the season.
December 1 | 5:00 - 5:00 PM
Town of Lexington Snowball Festival
December 1 - 2 | Various Times for activities
The Nutcracker by Columbia Classical Ballet | Koger Center for the Arts
The holiday season would not be complete without Columbia Classical Ballets' version of the Nutcracker performed by to Tchaikovsky's memorable score. Purchase tickets online or at the Koger Center box office.
Through December 2 | Various Times
University of South Carolina Christmas Choir Concert | Shandon United Methodist Church
USC's premier choral ensemble presents their annual Christmas Concert. The Concert Choir, directed by Dr. Larry Wyatt, continues a much loved holiday tradition. The concert program includes a variety of sacred works and Christmas songs from early and Baroque works to works by contemporary composers of the 21st century and best-loved Christmas carols.
December 2 | 6:00 PM
West Metro Hoilday Parade of Lights
Begins at 5:30 pm at the corner of Hwy. 1 & 12th Street in West Columbia and proceeds down 12th Street ending in front of the Cayce Municipal Complex. Crowds have been estimated over 20,000 so come grab yourself a viewing spot early! Bleacher seating available in front of the chamber office.
December 2 | 5:30 pm
December 2 | 5:30 pm
Governor's Carolighting | South Carolina State House
The Carolighting is the official state kickoff to the Holiday season. The tree lighting and holiday ceremony will take place on the State House's front lawn.
December 3 | 6:00 PM
Mingle and Jingle on Main | Main Street
Come out to Main Street to enjoy a Holiday-themed First Thursday streetfest. Do some holiday shopping at the many art galleries, enjoy Main Street Ice on Boyd Plaza, grab some free hot chocolate outside of the Columbia Museum of Art and much more.
December 6 | 6:00 - 9:00 PM
9th Annual Lake Carolina Harborside Lights | Lake Carolina
Lights, music, Santa, carriages rides, a 5K race and a fun run. Lake Carolina's annual Harborside Lights has it all for your family to enjoy this holiday season.
December 7 | 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Columbia City Ballet's The Nutcracker | Koger Center for the ArtsColumbia City ballet presents a seasonal favorite -- The Nutcracker.
December 8 - 16 | Various Times
Lexington County Museum Christmas Open House | Lexington County Museum
Come experience Christmas traditions of the past at the Lexington County Museum as it hosts its Annual Christmas Open House on December 9 from 2 pm to 5 pm. Many of the 30 historic houses on the Museum complex will be open and will feature period Christmas decorations. The event is free to the public. Light refreshments, including hot apple cider and gingerbread, will be served and live music will be featured.
December 9 | 2:00 - 5:00 PM
Bah, Humbug! Scrooge's Christmas Musical | Town Theatre
Town Theatre's Youth on Stage presents this holiday favorite. Come share the magic of this wonderful musical adaptation. Ebenezer sings, dooming himself to visits form three Christmas spirits. Bill Francoeur's original music beautifully accompanies this uplifting retelling.
December 14 - 16 | Various Times
Train Rides with Santa | SC Railroad Museum
Visit the SC Railroad Museum for a train ride with Santa! Don't forget to bring your letters to hand-deliver.
December 1, 8 & 15 | 9:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM & 3:30 PM
Lights On the River | Saluda Shoals Park
Bring the whole family to Saluda Shoals for a drive through a holiday light display in the park. The park transforms to a holiday wonderland with animated light displays and the Dazzling Dancing Forest, a synchronized lighted tree display. Other events: Nights of Wonder December 14 - 23.
Through December 30 | 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Historic Holiday House Tours | Historic Columbia Foundation
Historic homes are decorated for the Holidays! Tour the Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion and Mann-Simons Cottage for a glimpse into holidays past and learn how Columbia families decorated and entertained during the holidays. Other events: Candlelight Tours and Carriage Rides December 20 - 21 and Breakfast with Victorian Santa December 22.
Through December 30 | Various Times
Lights Before Christmas | Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
Experience the Zoo in a whole new way - under nearly one million twinkling holiday lights. Roast marshmallows, visit Santa and stroll through the animal exhibits.
Through December 30 | 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Main Street Ice | Boyd Plaza
A 'surprisingly cool' treat hit Main Street -- an ice rink! Read our Main Street Ice blog for more information.
Through January 6 | Various Times
Winter Fest | South Carolina State Museum
The South Carolina State Museum's holiday tradition offers a chance to escape the holiday hustle with a variety of holiday-oriented family activities. Highlights of Winter Fest include special movie screenings, musical performances, seasonal Star Labs, holiday crafts, and, of course several visits from "the right jolly old elf" himself.
December 15 - January 1 | Various Times
"A Christmas Carol" | Newberry Opera House
The classic Christmas tale brought to the Newberry Opera House.
December 18 | 3:00 & 8:00 pm
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party | World of Beer
Let the judging begin! To see who has the "ugliest" Christmas sweater, of course. Join your friends in the Vista and wear your worst Holiday sweater for a chance to win prizes.
December 19 | 9 pm - 12 am
Silver Bells, Golden Harps, Brass Magic | Young Sandlapper Singers
The Harbison Theatre hosts the Sandlapper Singers for an evening of sounds that bring us the magic of the holiday season!
December 20 | 7:00 PM
Polar Express Night | South Carolina State Museum
Bring the kids and arrive in your most comfy p.j.'s to watch the modern classic "The Polar Express" with free popcorn (drinks and other snacks available for purchase) then relax in the Vista Room with hot chocolate and cookies. Bring your camera-a visitor from the North Pole will be on hand for snapshots!
December 21 | 4:00 - 7:00 PM
Cayce Neighborhood Tree Lighting
Cayce neighborhoods join together to create a stunning Christmas light display. Drive through "Christmas in Cayce" to get a true southern feel of holiday flair. Also, drop by Cayce City Hall for the Lights of Cayce.
Through December 31 | 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM
The Lights of Cayce
Bring your family to experience a winter wonderland that would get Mr. Scrooge himself into the Christmas spirit. Prepare to be enchanted by the sparkle of the season! Beginning December 1st through the end of the year, visitors to Cayce City Hall can enjoy the magic of thousands of twinkling lights and dazzling holiday displays. Each year's display unveils a number of new sculptures and stunning displays.
Through December 31 | 6:00 - 12:00 AM
Christmas at Kensington Mansion | Kensington Mansion
Kensington Mansion is decorated for the Holidays! Learn how rural South Carolinians celebrated the holidays with elaborate natural, homemade and store-bought decorations, special foods and family gatherings.
Through January 12 | 9:30 am, 11 am, 1 pm and 2:30 pm
Snowville | Edventure Children's Museum
Every day is a snow day at EdVenture this winter. Snowville is back and this seasonal exhibit lets Children crawl through an ice tunnel, climb a snow-capped mountain and sled down a snowy hill. Find out more on Discover South Carolina's Insiders Travel Blog.
Through February 22 | Various Times
Famously Hot New Year | Main Street
Ring in the new year on South Carolina's Main Street. With headliners The Wallflowers, plus main stage acts Biz Markie, Atlantic Starr, Terrence Young and the Reggie Sullivan band, it will be a 'famously hot' night of New Year's Eve fun. Purchase tickets online and book your hotel packages early. Browse our calendar of events for more New Year's Eve events.
|The inside of the South Carolina State House.|
Free tours of the South Carolina State House, festively decorated for the holidays! The first tour begins at 9:30am and occur hourly on the half hour throughout the day. The last tour will begin at 3:30pm and the State House will close at 4:30pm. Read our blog about State House tours for more information.
What's your favorite holiday event in Columbia, SC? Leave us a comment below with your pick or if we missed anything important. Keep up with other things to do in Columbia on our calendar of events or through Facebook and Twitter.