This weekend, try one of our famously hot itineraries for a perfect weekend to celebrate the holidays, have non-stop family fun or learn everything you've ever wanted about the history of SC. Scroll to the bottom for a complete list of everything happening in the New Southern Hot Spot.

the new holiday hot spot

There's no place like Columbia, SC for the holidays! Journey through the Dazzling Dancing Forest at Holiday Lights on the River. It just wouldn't be Christmas without the magical ballet, The Christmas Angel, so sip mint hot chocolate and enjoy your Friday night at the Harbison Theatre. Saturday afternoon, feel the yuletide spirit with one of the most beloved films of all time, It's a Wonderful Life. Don't miss out! Saturday night is your last chance to experience A Christmas CarolTrustus' creative interpretation of the classic play. Ho, Ho, Ho, Santa Claus is coming to town! After a scrumptious Diprato's Sunday brunch, conclude the holly jolly weekend with a second appearance at the Nickelodeon for Miracle on 34th Street.

the new kid-friendly hot spot

You'll be parent of the year after this delightful weekend of family adventure. Spend Thursday night roasting marshmallows at Lights Before Christmas' jingle bell bonfire. Embark on a turbulent trainride to the North Pole with the late Friday afternoon show of The Polar Express 4D Experience. Get plenty of sugar plum-filled dreams before a bright and early Breakfast with Santa and cookie decorating with Frosty the Snowman at Santa's Gingerbread Jamboree. Next, it's tea time with the international dancers of the Nutcracker Ballet and a matinee show of their snow-filled performance.  Finally, dance the night away with Shout, Twist, Marina, and Kiki at the Fresh Beat Band: Greatest Hits Live. Looking for even more family fun? Take a break from wrapping presents on your lazy Sunday to cheer along with Cocky at the Gamecock Men's Basketball Game.

the new historic hot spot

Dating back more than 250 years, South Carolina's capital city is a history buff's paradise. Begin your weekend in 20th century St. Louis with a nostalgic film series. Friday night will be perfect weather for a carriage ride together at Candlelight Tours and Carriage Rides. Exploring these festively decorated homes by candlelight will provide a glimpse into the holiday traditions of Columbians from 1825 to 1900. Then, swing on over to the Big Apple by 7 p.m. for swing dancin' lessons by Historic Columbia. Spend Saturday leisurely meandering through the Columbia Museum of Art and its current spectacular Norman Rockwell exihibit. Sunday, learn about the palmetto state's beauty and history with the Classic Carolina Road Trips book signing at Mast General Store. Want to go even further back in time? Finish the weekend at South Carolina Unearthed, the South Carolina State Museum's natural history exhibit that showcases a variety of ancient beasts that once inhabited our state. 

Check out our daily guide below. For more things to do around Columbia, SC, visit our calendar of events

The Christmas Angel at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College 10 a.m. & 7 p.m.; Adults $15, Children/Seniors $8
Candlelight Tours & Carriage Rides at Robert Mills Carriage House 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.; Free for HC members, $12 adults & $8 youth | Carriage Rides: $5 per person
USC Men's Basketball at Colonial Life Arena 7 p.m.; Lower Level $20, Upper Level $14
Swingin' at the Big Apple 7 p.m. - 11 p.m.; $8

Breakfast with Santa at Robert Mills Carriage House 8 a.m. - 11 a.m.; $12 adults, $4 youth
Santa's Gingerbread Jamboree at EdVenture Children's Museum 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; $18/person, includes general admission to museum and photo with Santa
It's A Wonderful Life at Nickelodeon Theatre noon; $10
Nutcracker Teas at Koger Center for the Arts 1:30 p.m.; $25 per person
Nutcracker at Koger Center for the Arts 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; $42-$15
The Fresh Beat Band: Greatest Hits Live at Township Auditorium 5 p.m.; $29.50 - $39.50
The Christmas Angel at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College 7 p.m.; Adults $15, Children/Seniors $8

Classic Carolina Road Trips from Columbia Book Signing at Mast General Store 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.; free admission
Nutcracker at Koger Center for the Arts 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; $42-$15
Miracle on 34th Street at Nickelodeon Theatre 3 p.m.; $8
USC Men's Basketball at Colonial Life Arena 3:30 p.m.; Lower Level $20, Upper Level $14

A Christmas Carol at Trustus Theatre Friday - Saturday 8 p.m.; Adult $22, Senior $20, Military $20, Student $15
Snowville at EdVenture Children's Museum Thursday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday noon - 5 p.m.; $11.50; Children under one are free
Holiday Lights on the River at Saluda Shoals Park Thursday - Sunday 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.; Cars: $15; 15-Passenger Vans: $25; Buses: $40
Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden Thursday - Sunday 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.; $10 Adults, $8 Children ages 2-12, and children younger than 2 free
Nights of Wonder at Saluda Shoals Park Thursday - Sunday 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.; $1 - $5
Historic Holiday House Tours at The Gift Shop at Robert Mills Thursday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. & Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.; Free for HC members, $8 adults & $5 youth
Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera at Columbia Museum of Art Thursday - Friday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. & Sunday noon - 5 p.m.; $12
South Carolina State Museum has a variety of on-going exhibits Thursday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.; $5 - $7

For more things to do in Columbia, SC browse our calendar of events and listings of attractionsoutdoor things to dorestaurants and more. Book your hotel room and attractions tickets at