What are you doing for the holidays in Columbia? Are you looking for holiday events and things to do, places to shop, or maybe a place to visit with Santa? How about a parade, cookie decorating class, or Christmas light show? You’ve found the Kidding Around Holiday Guide to Columbia and it is packed with holiday fun and Christmas things to do around Columbia.
Holiday Events and Things to Do Around Columbia
We have a huge event guide for the holidays around Columbia and it’s full of family-friendly things to do over the Christmas and Holiday Season including parades, tree-lightings, craft events, and more. There’s no reason to be bored this time of year!
Visit one of the locally owned coffee shops in Columbia for delicious coffee and holiday treats. There’s nothing cozier as the weather cools down than the perfect cup of coffee and peppermint treat, or maybe a gingerbread muffin. Yum.
Visit Santa! Places to See Santa Around Columbia, SC
Whether you’re looking for a place to get a photo with Santa or just a place to wave at the jolly man in red, this is the list for you! We have a bit of an elf connection and know Santa’s appearance schedule in Columbia.
Where to See Christmas Lights Displays in Columbia
Driving through elaborate displays of holiday lights is a time-honored family tradition for celebrating the season. Columbia has some amazing drive-thru light displays, plus some cool walk-through displays and even some free options. Holiday lights don’t get much better than this.
Where do you get your family’s Christmas Tree? Not sure? Wondering where you can go to cut-your-own tree or visit with Santa? Maybe you’re looking for a place to just quickly pick out a wreath and skip the crowds? Either way, you’ll want to check out our Columbia, SC Christmas Tree Farms and Lots list.
Free Things to Do at Christmas Time in Columbia
It’s here! Columbia’s list of totally free things to do at Christmas time in Columbia, SC. We have 20+ ideas for completely free, family holiday fun in Columbia. Then, we threw in a few cheap options under $5 per person. To top it all off we added a couple of totally free holiday things to do in nearby cities so you can head out on a whole day trip full of free fun!
Restaurants Open for Christmas in Columbia, SC
What restaurants are open on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve in Columbia, SC? This list has 17 Restaurants open Christmas in Columbia, SC. They are serving meals this holiday season with both dine-in and take-out options. We have everything from steakhouse restaurants open on Christmas to great places to grab a festive dessert. Eat well this holiday season!
Looking for the perfect gift? Your gift list is long and time is short. We have some great ideas for everyone on your list. From places to shop local, to the gifts teens want this year, and what to get your child’s teacher, this gift guide has it all. Happy shopping!
Shopping Local in Columbia, SC
Don’t you just love finding the perfect gift? Shopping local is a great opportunity to find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts they will love.
Are you shopping for a teen this year? If you’re struggling to find quality gifts for the teen in your life, you’re not alone. Teens are not easy to buy for. Too old for toys. Those electronics on the wish list are way too expensive, and that funky pair of socks just doesn’t seem like quite enough.
So, we consulted some local teens to gather some ideas. Check out our teen gift list for quality gifts teens will love.
Practical Gifts for Kids
When you just can’t load your house up with any more legos, stuffed animals, or toy cars, but still want to get the kids something they’ll love, try thesefun but practical gifts for kids.
Board Games for Every Age
Board games make an awesome family night, are great for quality time with the kids, and are an amazing no-screen alternative. They deliver brain-building strategy, opportunities for teamwork, and light-hearted fun with the kids. Check out our list of great board games for the whole family.
Teacher Gifts: Dos and Don’ts
What will you give your child’s teacher this year? Those “Number 1 Teacher” mugs and notebooks don’t seem like they’ll cut it this year, but what do you get that they’ll love and is also in your budget? We asked some teachers and came up with some great ideas, plus a few Dos and Don’ts for giving teacher gifts.
Are you looking for places to see Santa in Columbia, SC this holiday season? Wondering where to see Santa near you? Santa is visiting lots of places around Columbia in 2022. His elves at the North Pole are sending us his appearance list as dates are announced, so bookmark this page and check back regularly. We’ll be updating almost as fast as those elves.
This list will include all kinds of events with Santa on the guest list. Check back soon for more 2022 events!
Santa Brunches and Cookies with Santa
Parades where Santa is expected to make an appearance
Tree Lightings hosted by Santa in Columbia
Places to get a picture with Santa
Places to visit with Santa near Columbia, SC
Holiday markets with Santa
Santa’s visit schedule with stops in Columbia, Lexington, West Columbia, and more across the South Carolina Midlands.
Where can I take pictures with Santa in Columbia SC?
Ready for photos with Santa? If you’re looking for a place to visit Santa and get some pictures with the big man in red, this is the list you’re looking for. Find places to get professional photos with Santa in the Columbia area here.
Totally free, visit with Santa on November 27th, 2022 1 pm to 3 pm at Hotel Trundle. You’ll get 10 minutes with Santa to take as many photos as you’d like, plus enjoy hot cocoa, games, and other holiday fun while you’re there. The event is first come, first served, so plan to arrive early! FREE admission. Photos With Santa at Ho-Ho-Hotel Trundle
Free Photos with Santa at Cabela’s
Head up to the road to Greenville or Fort Mill, SC to Cabela’s. Visit with Santa and get a totally FREE photo with Santa at Cabela’s. The photo is a professional, quality printed 4×6 photo. There are additional free activities, a letterbox to mail your list to Santa, and you can enjoy the wildlife and aquarium displays throughout the store. Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops Free Photos with Santa at Santa’s Wonderland
Events with Santa in and near Columbia, SC
Ready to bring the kids to see the red-suited jolly man and his elves? Here’s where you can see Santa Claus in Columbia, SC in 2022!
Santa’s elves promised to update us as they added new appearances to Santa’s schedule. So, bookmark our list and check back soon.
Track Santa on Christmas Eve
Didn’t see Santa yet this year? Don’t worry! There are a couple of ways for you to track him on his Christmas Eve journey.
NORAD Tracks Santa
In 1955 a young man accidentally called the Continental Air Defense Command asking if they had seen Santa flying through the sky. While the child had meant to call a Santa Hotline, the person who answered the phone that Christmas Eve just happened to be the Commander in Chief, Colonel Harry Shoup. He instructed his team to keep looking for Santa on the radar screens and ever since NORAD has been tracking Santa annually. The NORAD Santa Tracker 2022 Website is online.
To track Santa on Christmas eve night, join the team at NORAD, and you will be able to watch them track “Big Red 1” in real-time as he makes his way across the world.
I Heart Radio’s North Pole Radio
The I Heart Radio streaming service has a station dedicated to all things Christmas, It includes 24/7 Christmas music, plus Santa will be checking in with listeners on Christmas Eve with updates!
After Christmas! Winter Break and New Year’s
Once Santa has returned to the North Pole, how will you fill the rest of the holiday season? We have some ideas, of course!
Time to celebrate the start of 2023! How will you celebrate with your family in Columbia this year? We have 7 family-friendly celebrations for New Year’s in Columbia, plus a few more ways you can ring in the New Year!
More Holiday Fun Around Columbia, SC
Don’t Miss Christmas in Columbia, SC: Find Your (2022) Fa La La!
Find Great Gifts for Everyone On Your List: Columbia, SC
19+ Places to See Santa in Columbia, SC (2022)
20+ Jolly Places for Christmas Lights In Columbia, SC (2022)
71+ Christmas Events & Activities in Columbia, SC: Fire Up Your HO HO HO!
Enjoy Holiday Lights on the River (2022) in Columbia, SC
Are you searching for holiday light shows and displays in and around Columbia, SC? Wondering “where can I see Christmas lights near me?” or “Where to see Christmas lights in Columbia, SC?” Maybe you’re even looking to start a new tradition of spending unique quality time and holiday spirit with your loved ones this season. 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!
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!
Where to see Christmas Lights: 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.
We brought the famous Kidding Around Holiday Lights Driving Tour to Columbia! We have two 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!
2022 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!
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 24 through December 31, 2022 Time: 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm Cost: $25 per car; $50 for passenger vans 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. When: December 3 through December 26, 2022; CLOSED on Christmas Day Time: Sunday – Thursday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm Friday and Saturday from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm Cost: $15/car when purchased before December 4th $20/car when purchased on or after December 4th Address: 1200 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, SC Carolina Lights
Columbia Christmas Lights You Can Walk-Thru
Lights Before Christmas: Riverbanks Zoo
About: Find the magic of Christmas right here at our local zoo! There will be several animated displays and beautiful lights all around. You will also have the opportunity to get pictures taken with Santa, enjoy a crafting workshop, use large fire pits to roast s’mores, and more! Keep in mind that because this event occurs in the evenings, the chance of seeing zoo animals is low. When: Select evenings from November 19 through December 30, 2022 Time: 5 pm to 9 pm Cost: $12 children, $15 adults Address: 500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia, SC
About: The Fireflies Holiday Lights is a brand new tradition here in Columbia, SC, and is all the rave this 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! When: Through December 31st, 2022 Time: Sunday – Thursday from 6 pm to 9 pm, Friday & Saturday from 6 pm to 10 pm Cost: $9-$16 per person, depending on the day you go, age 2 and under is free Address: Segra Park, 1640 Freed Street, Columbia
About: Stroll through the light path in the woods, enjoy live music and shows, and visit with Santa. There will also be fair-style games, concessions available, 10-minute escape rooms, and more. When: December 16th through December 23rd, 2022. Time: 6 pm to 9 pm, (10 pm on Friday and Saturday) Cost: Free admission- lights and shows are free, and concessions and specific activities can be purchased. Address: 2076 Highway Church Road, Elgin, SC
About: See the lights at Saluda Shoals but rather than driving, tonight you can walk through them. The 2 miles of lights making up Holiday Lights on the River make a fun, family evening walk. When: November 22, 2022 Time: 6 pm to 8 pm Cost: $5 per person Address: 6071 St. Andrews Road, Columbia
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 20, 2022 through January 1, 2023 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 Children’s Garden Christmas and Kid’s Walk
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, 2022 *Santa’s Village is open December 2nd, December 3rd, December 9th, and December 10th 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 – 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 21 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 11 through December 31, 2022 Time: 5:30 pm until 10:00 pm Cost: “regular nights” – $15 in advance, $20 at gate; “peak nights” – $25 in advance, $30 at gate Address: 871 Riverland Drive, Charleston, SC
About: For the 13th 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. When: November 25 through December 30, 2022 – CLOSED ON Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm Cost: $5/car Address: 1 Riverwood Drive, Moncks Corner, SC
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,725 Formby Drive, Columbia in the Spring Valley Subdivision. Synchronized display, tune to 88.7.
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 133 Autumn Oaks Lane, Lexington
Gallery Cliffs Drive
Gallery Cliffs Drive, Chapin Exceptionally large static display
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.
Check out some 2022 photos of the Nesbitt home display. We are loving the new igloo and aliens! Thanks to Tonya Nesbitt for sharing these photos with us!
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.
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
Books for reading Christmas stories as a family
Homework – if you’ve got older kids
PATIENCE…remember Santa is still making his naughty and nice list!
Where is your family’s favorite place to see Christmas lights around Columbia, SC?
What is there to do in Columbia this holiday season? Where are the holiday events near me? If you’re looking for Christmas events in Columbia, SC, and holiday season activities, you have come to the right place. We’ll be updating this huge list all season long with holiday parades, seasonal live entertainment, theater, live music, crafts, Santa, tree lightings, light displays, Christmas carols, and lots more! Get ready for Christmas Day and celebrate the season with all of these fun, festive holiday events!
So, get that hot cocoa ready and cue up that holiday playlist. Bookmark this list and check back often so you don’t miss out on any of the festive fun this season in the Midlands.
Our guide is broken down into a few categories of holiday favorites, plus a huge, all-inclusive list of holiday events that you can scroll through by date. Use the table of contents below to help you navigate.
Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoohas dates starting November 19th through December 30th, 2022. Walk through one million lights, see Santa, ride the Gingerbread Express and the Candy Cane carousel, and lots more! Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for kids ages 2 to 12. Members will get one free visit, but guest passes will not be accepted.
Fireflies Holiday Lights at Segra Park, runs November 19th through December 31st, 2022. Check out the newest light display in Columbia!
So many holiday shows and concerts to choose from! Columbia is fortunate to have the Kroger Center with a wide variety of shows for Christmas ranging from the traditional ballet The Nutcracker to holiday concerts, and more!
If you’re looking for the big man in red, you’ll want to pop over to our exclusive Santa page. The elves gave us the inside scoop on all of Santa’s visits around Columbia, and we’re passing them on to you. So, go visit Santa in Columbia, SC!
Christmas and Holiday Parades Around Columbia
Is there anything better than a Christmas parade when it comes to free, festive fun? Grab some hot chocolate, pack up some Christmas cookies, bring the kids, and enjoy some holiday season fun!
Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade
The 2022 Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade in Downtown Columbia, SC will be held on December 3rd, 2022. The parade begins at the intersection of Sumter Street and Laurel Street at 9:45 am. The parade route ends at Senate Street.
Time to celebrate the start of 2023! How will you celebrate with your family in Columbia this year? We have 7 family-friendly celebrations for New Year’s in Columbia, plus a few more ways you can ring in the New Year!
Looking for an amazing drive-thru light display? Holiday Lights on the River in Columbia, SC may be just what you are looking for. This display features millions of lights along the 3-mile route, with themed sections of the display, lots of animation and family activities like a winter tube slide, hayride and Santa! Here’s everything you need to know about Holiday Lights on the River in Columbia, SC.
Are you looking for free things to do this holiday season in Columbia, SC? The holidays may drain your pockets when it comes to gift-buying and hosting parties, but these free events, parades, and tree-lighting ceremonies will help you feel a little more jolly, merry, and bright! There is also the added bonus of your kid getting to see Santa around town. Check out our list of the best free events in the Columbia area to get the holiday season started.
November 20, 2022, @ 1 pm 532 Congaree Avenue, Columbia
There will be photos with Santa by the fountain from 1 pm to 3 pm, holiday music, from 3:30 pm to 5 pm, and the Holiday Lighting of the Fountain from 5 pm to 5:30 pm. The event will also have giveaways, Santas Elves will be attending, and lots of cookies and cocoa!
November 27, 2022, 1 pm to 3 pm 1224 Taylor Street, Columbia
Totally free, visit Santa at Hotel Trundle. You’ll get 10 minutes with Santa to take as many photos as you’d like, plus enjoy hot cocoa, games, and other holiday fun while you’re there. The event is first come, first served, so plan to arrive early! FREE admission. Photos With Santa at Ho-Ho-Hotel Trundle
December 1, 2022, 6 pm to 8 pm 1800 12th Street, Cayce (Cayce City Hall)
A drive-thru event with thousands of lights, animated displays, musical performances, and a visit from Santa! You are invited to bring nonperishable food items to donate to the “Cayce Cares” food drive in co-op with The Women’s Club of Cayce.
December 3, 2022, 6 pm to 9 pm 1800 12th Street, Cayce (Cayce City Hall)
This annual event features live entertainment, refreshments, and an all-around essence of the Christmas spirit. There will be docents dressed in 18th-century period attire while the Hall will showcase decorated trees and historical crafts.
Experience historic Christmas decor, with period decorations and demonstrations. There will be light refreshments that are historically accurate to the 19th century, such as hot cider and gingerbread. There will be blacksmithing on-site, cooking demonstrations, and more!
Head downtown for the 69th annual Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade to enjoy the state-broadcasted parade! There will be marching bands, local churches, drill teams, and decorated floats before Santa Claus comes to town! The parade will start at the intersection of Sumter Street and Laurel Street and will head toward the USC Horseshoe and Senate Street.
This wildly popular parade features ANYTHING, as long as it’s covered in lights! The parade starts at 5:30 sharp at the front of the Cayce Municipal Complex and will travel down 12th Street until ending at Highway 1 and 12th Street in West Columbia. Crowds are large, so arrive early and plan ahead!
November 17, 2022, @ 6 pm 807 Gervais Street, Columbia
Along with the tree lighting at the corner of Gervais and Lincoln Street, over 60 galleries, restaurants, and local shops will be open and in the holiday spirit! There will be live entertainment and performances at the River Runner Outdoor Center, live music, and a toy drive for Toys for Tots. The event starts around 6 pm, with the tree lighting ceremony at 7 pm.
December 2, 2022, 6 pm to 8 pm 201 North Avenue Entrance of the Cayce Riverwalk
Holiday music will fill the air as you walk through the trees. This “reverse caroling” event will feature local musicians and church choirs that will be at various points throughout the half-mile walk. There will be a free trolley from Brookland Cayce High School.
Select Saturdays and Sundays from November 27th through December 24th, 2022 All Regal Cinema Locations
Enjoy these classic holiday films at your local Regal Cinemas for only $5! November 27, 2022- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation December 3rd & 4th, 2022- The Grinch December 10th & 11th, 2022- Elf December 17th & 18th, 2022- Polar Express December 24th- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
November 22, 2022, from 6 pm to 8 pm Saluda Shoals Park East 6071 St Andrews Road, Columbia
For $5 per person, you can explore the park on a 2-mile nighttime walk as it is decorated in festive light displays along the river. You can register for the event. Children 2 and under are free.
Totally Free Christmas Activities Worth the Drive
Day trips are sweeter when they are filled with free things to do. If the free Christmas events and things to do we already listed aren’t enough for you, try one of these awesome, and totally free, holiday events within just an hour or two of Columbia.
See Santa at Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops. You’ll leave with a totally free 4×6 professional quality photo and some fun treats, plus enjoy some activities while you’re there! Head up to Greenville, SC for the nearest Cabela’s.
Greenville’s Festival of Trees is a not-to-miss Upstate event. Visit beautifully decorated trees throughout Downtown Greenville hotel lobbies, especially the Hyatt on Main Street. It’s totally free.
Watch Free Holiday Movies at NCG Cinemas. The nearest NCG Cinema is in Spartanburg, SC. So, if you’re heading up to the Upstate for one of the previously mentioned events, catch a movie while you’re there!
The “how early is too early?” Christmas season debate is on. Decorations are going up all around the Upstate. Do you think November decorations are too ambitious? How about Christmas music? What album is Alexa playing on repeat at your house? Here’s Kidding Around Contributor, Taryn, with her take on the early start to the holiday season.
Ready to shop from small businesses and vendors this holiday season in Columbia? If you’re looking for opportunities to shop local, nothing beats a vendor fair or holiday market full of handmade gifts, crafts, and tasty treats. They are the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list, plus, you know you’ll be supporting local people and your local economy with your holiday purchases.
With that in mind, we made this list of local holiday shopping events in Columbia, SC. We will be updating throughout the 2022 holiday season as more fabulous local shopping events are announced.