20+ Jolly Places for Christmas Lights In Columbia, SC (2023)

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Are you searching for holiday light shows and Christmas lights in Columbia, SC? Wondering “where can I see Christmas lights near me?” or “Where to see Christmas lights in Columbia, SC?” Take a break from the holiday shopping and catch a holiday light show! There’s nothing more full of holiday cheer than elaborate displays of lights. So, we have put together a comprehensive list of the best Christmas lights near Columbia, SC!

All the lights. Right here. Sort our list with the anchor links below and prepare to get all “fa la la la” with holiday spirit.

Where to see Christmas Lights: Columbia, SC

Our list includes drive-thru holiday lights, walk-through Christmas lights displays, and neighborhoods and private homes with amazing light displays.

Several of these displays offer more than just beautiful twinkling lights. You might also have the chance to take pictures with Santa, enjoy delicious seasonal treats, or even park and explore some displays and activities on foot! 

Holiday Lights on the River with Golly

The Top Drive-Thru Christmas Lights: Columbia, SC 

Holiday Lights on the River: Saluda Shoals

About: With more than 3 miles of lights and fascinating displays, Holiday Lights on the River is sure to be a magical treat! Along with lights, you can also enjoy s’mores, hot chocolate, a gift shop, letters to Santa, and more! Santa will make his appearance at the light show on November 25th through November 27th, December 2nd, December 3rd, and December 9th through December 23rd, 2022.
Check out our review of Holiday Lights on the River.
When: Every evening from November 23 through December 31, 2023
Time: 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Cost: $25 per car; $50 for 12-15 passenger vans; $75 for Bus (16+ Passengers) 
Address: 6071 St. Andrews Road, Columbia, SC
Holiday Lights on the River

Carolina Lights: South Carolina State Fairgrounds 

About: Ring in the holiday season by going to the drive-thru light display at the SC fairgrounds! Here you will see more than 100 individual light displays that are synced to festive songs on 88.9 FM radio station. Chocolate chip cookies and milk will be available for purchase about halfway through the drive. Want to go through more than once? When exiting, you can request a re-entry pass and go back for a second look. Re-entry passes are only good for the same day and end 15 minutes before closing each night. 

Carolina Lights at the SC State Fairgrounds

Here’s our Kidding Around Review of Carolina Lights.

When: December 8 through December 24, 2023
Time: Sunday, Tuesday – Thursday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm 
Closed Mondays
Cost: $15/car when purchased before December 7th 
$20/car when purchased on or after December 8th
Address: Entry at Gate 6 of fairgrounds, 901 George Rogers Boulevard
Carolina Lights

Columbia Christmas Lights You Can Walk-Thru 

Wild Lights: Riverbanks Zoo

About: Find the magic of Christmas right here at our local zoo! There will be nearly 60 handcrafted, nature-inspired lanterns all around. There will be fun photo opportunities throughout as well as interactive activities, a nightly snowfall and visit with Santa (through December 23). Keep in mind that because this event occurs in the evenings, the chance of seeing zoo animals is low. Ticket price varies, please see calendar for Value and Standard ticket pricing date/time. Members must still reserve tickets in advance, available select nights only.
When: Select evenings from November 17, 2023 through January 14, 2024.
Time: 5 pm to 9 pm
Cost: $14.99-$19.99 children, $19.99-$24.99 adults
Address: 500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia, SC 

Check out our Kidding Around Review of Wild Lights.

Wild Lights at Riverbanks

Fireflies Holiday Lights

About: The Fireflies Holiday Lights is returning for the second year here in Columbia, SC, and is all the rave this year, boasting an even bigger and brighter experience than last year! The Segra Park baseball stadium, home of the Fireflies, is decked out in tons of twinkling lights and interactive displays, there are several “stations” for families to stop and enjoy seasonal treats and kid-friendly crafts, and even booths for holiday shopping! They will also have Richardson Tree Farm on site November 16th – December 17th with trees ready for purchase (pull up after your visit to pick up tree).
When: November 16th through December 31st, 2023
Time:  Nightly from 6 pm to 9 pm, last entry at 8:45 pm except they will be Closed 11/20, 11/27 and Thanksgiving Day (11/23) and Christmas Day (12/25) 
Cost: $10 per person for November
$12 per person for December, age 2 and under is free
Address: Segra Park, 1640 Freed Street, Columbia

Here’s our Kidding Around Review of Fireflies Holiday Lights

Lights at Segra Park
Lights at Segra Park

Sleigh Bell Trot: November 20, 2023

About: See the lights at Saluda Shoals while running this four-mile nighttime run! Awards will be given to 1st-3rd place runners in multiple age categories and all registrants receive a t-shirt, refreshments and finishers medal. T-shirt can only be guaranteed for early bird registrants so be sure to register by 11/10. The event is rain or shine with a non-refundable registration and dogs are not allowed at the Sleigh Bell Trot.
When: November 20, 2023
Time: Trot: 7 pm to 9 pm, Check-in: 5 pm- 6:50 pm
Cost: $30 – $40 per person
Address: 6071 St. Andrews Road, Columbia

Sleigh Bell Trot

Sleigh Bell Stroll: November 21, 2023

About: The Sleigh Bell Stroll also leads guests through the Holiday Lights on the River display by foot, but this a family fun walk rather than a timed race! The stroll is only 2 miles long and concessions from Tin Can Kettle Corn will be available for purchase. Pre-registration is required for this event and must be complete by 11/20/23. There will be bus transportation back to the parking lot available and please do not bring dogs to this event.
When: November 21, 2023
Time: 6 pm – 8 pm
Cost: $7/person ages 3+
$2/child ages 2 and under
Address: 6071 St. Andrews Road, Saluda Shoals Park (Park at East Entrance)
Sleigh Bell Stroll

FREE Christmas Light Displays Around Columbia, SC 

Children’s Garden Christmas and Kids’ Walk: Edisto Memorial Gardens 

About: Drive-thru the beautiful Edisto Memorial Gardens as they transform into a spectacular holiday light show. There will be an opportunity to park and stroll through the “Kid’s Walk” which includes interactive light displays such as Twelve Days of Christmas, moving animals, and more! 
When: November 19, 2023 through January 1, 2024
Time: Drive-thru open from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm; “Kid’s Walk” open from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm
Cost: FREE
Address: 200 Riverside Drive, Orangeburg, SC
Edisto Memorial Gardens

Fantasy of Lights: Swan Lake Gardens

About: South Carolina’s LARGEST free Christmas light display is back for another year! Drive through this winter wonderland to see more than 1 million twinkling lights. You can also make a quick stop at “Santa’s Village” where kiddos can write letters to and take photos with Santa and enjoy sweet treats. 
When: December 1 through December 31, 2023
*Santa’s Village is open December 2nd, December 8th, December 9th, December 15th and December 16th from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm
Time: Sunday – Thursday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm 
Cost: FREE
Address: 822 West Liberty Street, Sumter, SC 
Fantasy of Lights

Drive-Thru Christmas Lights From Further Away 

Maybe you’re looking to take a quick family trip this winter. If that’s you, there are two fantastic drive-thru light shows in the Charleston, SC area that would make for the perfect weekend getaway. Create a new family tradition, use this as part of your children’s Christmas present, or even just go to see something exciting and new!

Here are two great options for drive-thru light shows that are around 2 hours from Columbia. 

Holiday Festival of Lights in Charleston, SC

Holiday Festival of Lights – James Island County Park 

About: This is an incredible holiday festival that you won’t want to miss out on! With so much holiday magic and festive activities, you and your family are sure to make memories that will last a lifetime. Here, you can drive-thru the lights as many times as you’d like! Along with the thousands of fantastic light displays to drive through, there is also a chance to park and get out of your car to enjoy more Christmas magic on foot. 
Between November 10 through December 23, your children will have the chance to meet Santa! You will also find rock wall climbing, holiday artwork, a carousel, a “reindeer workshop”, delicious holiday treats, and more! 
Check out our Kidding Around Review of Holiday Festival of Lights.
When: November 10 through December 31, 2023
Time: 5:30 pm until 10:00 pm 
Cost: “Green Nights” – Lighter Traffic & Crowds – $15 Online, $20 at gate
“Yellow Nights” – Moderate Traffic & Crowds – $25 Online, $30 at gate
“Red Nights” – Heavy Traffic & Crowds – $30 Online, $40 at gate
See Calendar for details.
Address: 871 Riverland Drive, Charleston, SC  

Holiday Festival of Lights

Holiday Festival of Lights
Holiday Festival of Lights

Want more lights? Head to the Upstate!
Here’s where to see Christmas Lights near Greenville, SC.

Celebrate the Season – Santee Cooper

About: For the 14th consecutive year, Celebrate the Season is back! Bundle up in the car with your loved ones and drive-thru this great holiday light display. You will see thousands of beautiful lights and interactive displays all along the route. Holiday In The Park is included with paid admission to the Holiday Lights Driving Tour and includes free visits with Santa, food, crafts and holiday activities. Holiday In The Park is open Dec. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
When: November 24 through December 30, 2023 – CLOSED ON Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Cost: $10/vehicle (Cash Only)
Address: 1 Riverwood Drive, Moncks Corner, SC 

Celebrate the Season

Columbia Homes, Neighborhoods, and More with Great Christmas Lights: Free Holiday Lights to Enjoy

Private homes with huge holiday light displays

Check out beautiful displays throughout the Columbia and Midlands community! Remember that these are private homes and are the result of a lot of hard work and expense. Please don’t enter the property unless invited to walk through. Do not block roads.

Remember that these displays are often dependent on the weather. Many cannot operate in the rain or on wet ground.

Lisznyai House

Lisznyai House, 725 Formby Drive, Columbia in the Spring Valley Subdivision. Synchronized display, tune to 88.7 and enjoy the lights from your car or you are welcome to walk the lighted paths!
Hours: 5:30-10:30 pm nightly Thanksgiving through December 31st. Please use the North Springs Road or Two Notch Road entrances (Flora Drive gate is closed).

Yinzer Yuletide

Yinzer Yuletide, 137 Timber Knoll Drive, Irmo Lights started December 3rd! Hours are 7 to 10 pm on weekdays and 7 to 11 pm on weekends.

McFarland Lights

McFarland Lights 133 Autumn Oaks Lane, Lexington

Gallery Cliffs Drive

Gallery Cliffs Drive, Chapin Exceptionally large static display

Nesbitt House

740 Martin Smith Road, Gilbert SC 29054
This display gets bigger and bigger every year. View the lights from 5:30 pm to 9 pm nightly. If the gates are open, visitors are welcome to pull into the driveway and view the display from their cars. Please stay inside your vehicle. There is a parking area where vehicles can turn around to exit.

Visitors are also welcome to park along the road and view the display from the fence. Please do not walk inside the fence.

Light igloo Nesbitt Christmas lights in Columbia
Photo credit: Tonya Nesbitt

Home in Lexington

497 Sandy Point Road, Lexington, SC
Large static display with the nativity, inflatable Rudolph characters, large tree, and more!

Lexington Home With Singing Light Bulbs

318 Shetland Lane, Lexington 29073
One reader reports singing light bulbs and a dancing tree at this house. Tune your radio to 89.1.

Multiple Homes in Irmo

Waterford Neighborhood in Irmo, SC. Turn left after the pool. Tune in to 92.7 to watch this synchronized display.

Danger Zone House in Irmo (Woomer Family Christmas)

6 Marway Court, Irmo, SC 29063, These lights are rocking out to Top Gun, Danger Zone, plus a few holiday tunes.

Check them out on You Tube at Woomer Family Light Show.

Johnstone Lights in Blythewood

419 Mt Valley Road, Blythewood, This is the 10th year for these lights. The show runs from 5:30 to 10 pm nightly through New Year’s Eve. Donations are being collected for Make a Wish if guests would like to donate.

Loaded with Decorations in Pineridge, SC

Corner Dogwood Road & Fish Hatchery Road, this yard is full of decorations including a very large inflatable Santa.

Home in Camden

1678 Brewer Spring Road, Camden
This home is a little farther from Columbia than the others, but it has roughly 22,000 lights and a huge display including reindeer and even a Minnie mouse.

Is your home totally decked out with lights? Want us to add your home to our list? Complete this form and attach a picture of your lights! Holiday Lights Form

Neighborhoods With Christmas Lights to Drive Through

Spring Valley Subdivision, 100 Spring Valley Road, Columbia
Lake Carolina, North East Columbia
Long Creek Plantation, Blythewood

Help us out! Do you have a favorite neighborhood with amazing Christmas lights that you like to visit? Let us know in the comments!

Downtown Columbia Christmas Lights

Head to Downtown Columbia for festive holiday displays and lights, especially around the Captial Building to Blanding Street.

Tips for Drive-Thru Christmas Lights: Stay Jolly, Be Prepared!

Drive-thru light displays are a VERY popular seasonal event each and every year. Something about the twinkling, colorful lights, festive music, and seasonal treats get everyone into the holiday spirit – It’s all just part of the magic of Christmas! We do want to warn you, however, that because these events are so popular, you might find yourself waiting in lines longer than what you were hoping for. Here are our best tips for being prepared and keeping everyone jolly while you wait: 

  • Extra snacks and drinks – or maybe even pack an easy dinner and eat together while in line
  • Tablets/IPads
  • Books for reading Christmas stories as a family 
  • Fidget toys
  • Homework – if you’ve got older kids 
  • PATIENCE…remember Santa is still making his naughty and nice list! 

All the Lights! Christmas Lights in Columbia, SC

Holiday Lights Driving Routes for Columbia: 2023 Routes are here!

Christmas lights driving tour Columbia, SC

We brought the famous Kidding Around Holiday Lights Driving Tour to Columbia!

We have driving routes linking some of the best-decorated homes with awesome synchronized lights set to music, huge static displays of lights, inflatables, and more! These are the Christmas homes you don’t want to miss!

2023 Holiday Light Displays: Do you want your light display included in our list? Fill out our Holiday Light Display form and be sure to include a photo of your display!

Where is your family’s favorite place to see Christmas lights around Columbia, SC?

Holiday border

Kayla Simmons
About the Author
Kayla grew up right outside of Charleston, SC and is a proud graduate of the University of South Carolina. She has lived in Columbia for a combination of 5 years. Kayla has a background working with special needs children, but now enjoys nothing more than being a stay-at-home mom of two. She enjoys keeping her kids busy by finding unique play spaces and events, involving them in hands-on activities and watching them learn about the world through play. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercise and spending quality time with her family and friends.

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