Winter events happening in and around Columbia, SC
By Samantha Robertson, COLAToday
Get your fuzzy socks and hot cocoa ready, Cola. From light displays to holiday performances and festive parties, winter is where the Soda City thrives.
Holiday parties + events
Azalea Coffee Bar’s Holiday Market | Sunday, Dec. 11 | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. | 2700 Devine St., Columbia | Free | Shop a lineup of women-owned businesses and enjoy The Oliver Gospel Roastery’s Toby’s Place coffee (which is a female-produced coffee from Colombia.)
Blythewood Christmas Parade | Sunday, Dec. 11 | 2-5 p.m. | Main Street Blythewood SC, Main St. Blythewood, SC 29016, Blythewood | Free | During the parade, there will also be a Christkindl Market available at Doko Meadows Park.
Blythewood Christmas Tree Lighting | Sunday, Nov. 27 | 5 p.m. | Blythewood | Free | Enjoy some holiday music, performances, and food, and get a chance to meet the Mayor of Blythewood and Santa.
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands Turkey Day 5K | 1K Family Fun Run | Thursday, Nov. 24 | 9-11 a.m. | Colonial Life Arena, 801 Lincoln St, Columbia | $10-$35 | Start your Thanksgiving at Columbia’s 18th Annual Turkey Day 5K + 1K Family Fun Run.
Carols Along the River | Friday, Dec. 2 | 6-8 p.m. | Cayce Riverwalk – N Ave Entrance, 201 N Ave., Cayce | Free | Stroll along the Riverwalk with hot chocolate while listening to holiday music during this local caroling event.
City of West Columbia Tree Lighting Ceremony | Friday, Dec. 2 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | City of West Columbia City Hall, 200 12th St., West Columbia | Free | Let the Christmas fun begin in the City of West Columbia as the Mayor and Council light the City’s Christmas Tree at Town Hall
Christmas Craft Fair – Town of Lexington | Thursday, Dec. 1-Friday, Dec. 2 | 4-8 p.m. | Icehouse Amphitheater Pavilion, Lexington | Free | Visitors can experience fresh produce, unique gifts, local vendors, food, and more.
Holiday Bizarre | Thursday, Dec. 8 | 5-8 p.m. | NoMa Warehouse, 2222 Sumter St, Columbia | Free | Enjoy sips and snacks while you shop and chat with these local makers.
Holiday Planetarium Lighting | Thursday, Dec. 1 | 5-7 p.m. | South Carolina State Museum, 301 Gervais St, Columbia | Museum General Admission for this event is “pay as you may” | This evening will include showings of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4-D, the planetarium experience, Winter Stars Live Sky, and the “lighting” of the planetarium dome as it is transformed into a giant snow globe.
Holiday Market – Junior League of Columbia | Thursday, Dec. 1-Sunday, Dec. 4 | 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. | SC State Fair Grounds, 1200 Rosewood Dr., Columbia | $8 | Thousands of shoppers head to the South Carolina State Fairgrounds to find the perfect gifts from nearly 170 merchants
Homes for the Holidays | Sunday, Dec. 4 | 1-5 p.m. | Hollywood-Rose Hill, 2818 Devine St., Columbia | $30 | Join the Shandon Hollywood-Rose Hill Homes for the Holidays Tour of Homes to kick off your Holiday Season.
Merry Mirci Holiday | Thurs., Dec. 1 | 6-9 p.m. | The Hall at Senate’s End, 320 Senate St., Columbia | $100 | Sample up to 24 different wines from Italy, France, the US, and South America, enjoy delicious food from Dupre’s catering, and listen to holiday sounds.
Photos with Santa at Ho-Ho-Hotel Trundle | Sunday, Nov. 27 | 1-3 p.m. | 1224 Taylor St., Columbia | Columbia | Free | Hotel Trundle will create a whimsical holiday backdrop so that you may take as many photos as your hearts desire.
Santa’s Pub at Publico Five Points is back! | Tuesday, Nov.16-Saturday, Dec. 31 | 11 a.m.-11 p.m. | Publico Kitchen and Tap, 2013 Greene St., Columbia | Free | Publico turns into Santa’s Pub and will have everything Christmas with floor-to-ceiling decor, twinkling lights, and a Christmas tree.
Santa Saturday at the State Museum | Saturday, Dec. 3, Saturday, Dec. 10, Saturday, Dec. 17 | 11 a.m.-3 p.m. | South Carolina State Museum, 301 Gervais St, Columbia | $6.95+ | Santa will be at the museum to meet with guests and members so you can take holiday photos.
Snowball Festival Carnival & Movie – Town of Lexington | Saturday, Dec. 3 | 1-9 p.m. | Icehouse Amphitheater, 107 West Main St., Lexington | This event features face painting, balloon artists, letters to Santa, rides, and a showing of the movie “Elf” beginning at 6 p.m.
Snowball Parade – Town of Lexington | Sunday, Dec. 4 | 2 p.m. | Lexington | Free | Get in the holiday spirit by watching an array of parade floats make their way downtown.
Sweet Seasons | Tuesday, Nov. 29 | 5-8 p.m. | Lowes Foods, 4711 Forest Dr., Columbia | Free | Enjoy live music, food + drinks, free entertainment for the kids like face painting, balloon artists, an appearance from Santa, and more at this annual tree lighting.
Town of Lexington Christmas Carolighting Ceremony | Friday, Dec. 2 | 6:30-8 p.m. | Icehouse Amphitheater, 107 West Main St., Lexington | Free | Join the Town of Lexington as they sing Christmas carols, light the tree, and take pictures with Santa at Icehouse Amphitheater.
We Care Christmas Drive | Friday, Nov. 25-Saturday, Dec. 31 | 7 a.m.-10 p.m. | Chophouse of Chapin or Bakon Southern Eatery, 105 Ellett Rd, Chapin | Free | Bring in items to donate all month long and receive 10% Off Any Entrée at Bakon.
Weekend Holiday Market at NoMa Warehouse | Friday, Dec. 16-Sunday, Dec. 18 | 6-9 p.m. | NoMa Warehouse, 2222 Sumter St, Columbia | Free | Explore a three-day holiday market full of Columbia’s best local vendors, delicious food, hot chocolate, spirits, live music and entertainment, and all of the holiday cheer you can imagine.
A Christmas Carol | Saturday, Dec. 3 | 2 p.m. | Harbison Theatre, 7300 College St., Irmo | $15 | “A Christmas Carol” is the perfect holiday offering to warm even the Scroogiest of hearts.
A Christmas Story: The Musical Arrives at Town Theatre | Thursday, Dec. 1-Sunday, Dec. 18 | 7:30 p.m. | Town Theatre , 1012 Sumter St. , Columbia | $15-$25 | Capturing all the funny and heartwarming moments from the original holiday film, Town Theatre triple dog dares you to see this nostalgic show or you’ll be left saying, “Ohhhh fuuudge.”
Ann Brodie’s Carolina Ballet – The Nutcracker | Wednesday, Nov. 23, Friday, Nov. 25, Sunday, Nov. 27 | 10 a.m. | The Township Auditorium, 1703 Taylor St, Columbia | $14.50 | Enjoy the seasonal ballet show to usher in the winter + holiday season.
Baby Shark Live!: The Christmas Show | Tuesday, Dec. 13 | 6 p.m. | The Township Auditorium, 1703 Taylor St, Columbia | $25-$65 | Splash along with Baby Shark and Pinkfong as they journey into the sea for the Holidays to sing and dance through some of your favorite songs.
Mannheim Steamroller | Friday, Nov. 25 | 7:30 p.m. | Koger Center for the Arts, 1051 Greene St, Columbia | $45-$65 | Experience the music that has become the hallmark of the holidays and a tradition for multi-generational families..
Nova Ballet Theatre presents The Christmas Angel | Friday, Dec. 16-Sunday, Dec. 18 | 11 a.m. | $7+ | Harbison Theatre, 7300 College St., Irmo | In its 22nd year of production, this original ballet will take you and your family on a holiday journey.
The Nutcracker | Wednesday, Nov. 23-Sunday, Nov. 27 | Times vary | The Township Auditorium, 1703 Taylor St, Columbia | $16.50+ | Enjoy the seasonal ballet show to usher in the winter + holiday season.
The Nutcracker w/ Columbia City Ballet | Saturday, Dec. 10, Saturday, Dec. 17 | 3 p.m. | Koger Center for the Arts, 1051 Greene St, Columbia | The Nutcracker, Columbia’s holiday family tradition, has the distinction of being Koger Center for the Arts’ first Nutcracker production and longest consecutively running annual arts event.
Santa’s Swingin’ Christmas Party | Saturday, Dec. 10 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | Columbia Marionette Theatre, 401 Laurel St, Columbia | Join Tinkle and Winkle, two of Santa’s elves, as they plan a party at the North Pole while he is delivering presents around the world.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 4D debut | Tuesday, Nov. 22-Sunday, Jan. 1 | South Carolina State Museum, 301 Gervais St, Columbia | $11.95-$13.95 | The classic animation shines in an all-new, immersive 4-D Experience® (think: chilling air blasts, snow + more) at the South Carolina State Museum for the holidays.*
Carolina Lights | Saturday, Dec. 3-Monday, Dec. 26, closed Christmas Day | 6-10 p.m. | South Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1200 Rosewood Dr. | $20+ | The drive-through light experience will feature more than 100 individual LED light displays through the SC Fairgrounds.
Christmas in Cayce Drive Thru | Thursday, Dec. 1 | 6-8 p.m. | Cayce City Hall, 1800 12th St. , Cayce | Free | Experience thousands of lights, local music performances, and a visit from Santa, all from the warmth of your car.
Fireflies Holiday Lights | Thursday, Dec. 1-Sat, Dec. 31 | 6-9 p.m. | Segra Park, 1640 Freed St., Columbia | $9-$13 | See over one million lights, experience themed areas, holiday shopping, and great food, and see Santa at Segra Park at night.
Holiday Lights on the River | Wednesday, Nov. 23-Saturday, Dec. 31 | 6-10 p.m. | Saluda Shoals Park, 6071 St. Andrews Rd. | $25+ | Journey through more than three miles of lights featuring colorful, animated light displays of all shapes and sizes
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden – Lights Before Christmas | Thursday, Dec. 1-Friday, Dec. 30 | 5-9 p.m. | Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, 500 Wildlife Pkwy, Columbia | $12+ | Take your photo with Santa, roast marshmallows at the Jingle Bell Bonfire, and be sure to wear your hat — it snows nightly at Riverbanks during the Lights Before Christmas.
New Years Eve Celebration at The Grand | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 7 p.m. | The Grand, 1621 Main St., Columbia | $200+ | Join The Grand for a New Year’s Eve bash featuring grand drinks and food, bowling, a DJ, and a countdown to the ball drop.
New Year’s Eve 2023 | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 7 p.m. | Tin Roof, 1022 Senate St, Columbia | $20+ | Join in on the New Year’s fun with this block party featuring two stages, live music, three bars, a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, a balloon drop at The Senate, and a confetti cannon at Tin Roof.
New Year’s Eve Party Thru The Decades | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m. | Chayz Lounge, 607 Meeting St., West, Columbia | $85 | The Tre’King Band will have you up and grooving to the hottest hits from the 70s, 80s, and 90s till the ball drops.
Red Carpet NYE 2023 Sponsored by Moet | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m.-1 a.m. | Smoked on Main, 1643 Main St., Columbia | $125 | Ring in the new year at Smoked on Main Street and enjoy food, drinks, a photo booth, a DJ, and a band.