While the main event of Thanksgiving Day gathers everyone in one place for a delicious meal, the fact of the matter is that there are many more hours in the day and all those folks gathered around the table will need something to do. Family and friends that travel from near and far will be visiting into the weekend and looking for entertainment. Don’t you worry – one of the things we are most thankful for in this city is the abundance of good times to be had. 

Adventure Seekers

If you're feeding an energetic crew, send them out for some time in the great outdoors before the big meal. Head down to Congaree National Park for a secluded walk among the cypress trees. Want to mix a little city in with your nature? The West Columbia Riverwalk is for you. Stroll along Columbia's rivers and enjoy the occasional break in the trees for a view of downtown Columbia. And for those that believe it isn’t Christmas time until after the turkey is carved, now’s your time to indulge in all that twinkles with the lights in West Columbia. For a city walk, stroll through the Devine Street District to see beautiful historic homes and do a little window shopping.

For a little healthy competition, grab your running shoes and join in on one of the races going on around town. On Thanksgiving Day, the Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands hosts the 15th Annual Turkey Day Run starting at Colonial Life Arena. The Shandon Turkey Trot and Burn 5K takes off at 10 am on Friday morning. Don your best turkey attire and run your heart out. 


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Show Time

We get it, cooking for a crowd is hard work and once the kitchen is cleaned it's your turn to kick back and relax. For movies the whole family can enjoy, Columbiana Regal Movie Theater will be open all weekend long, including Thanksgiving Day. On Friday, listen to the Christmas sounds at Mannheim Steamroller Christmas at the Koger Center. Catch a live show as the Columbia Town Theatre puts on a live adaptation of a beloved classis, A Christmas Story.

Next Holiday, Please!

Do you switch into Christmas mode as soon as the Thanksgiving plates are cleared? No judgement, we are pretty jolly this time of year too. Go ahead and get a jump on your decorating with a trip to a Christmas tree farm. Cedar Ridge Farm in Gilbert is a quick drive from downtown and offers fresh cut trees as early as Thanksgiving Day. 

A favorite for all good boys and girls is the Lights Before Christmas at the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. Enjoy hot chocolate, s'mores and nearly a million twinkling lights as you stroll among the animals. Take those energetic kids through Santa’s Village to see the big man in charge and grab their photo together or tell him what presents they want under the tree.  Want to stay bundled up in your warm car? There's a light show for that too! Holiday Lights on the River shines bright as you drive through Saluda Shoals Park. These light shows aren't open on Thanksgiving Day, but starting Wednesday, November 27, you can enjoy them all season long. Walk off that extra slice of pie at the Fireflies Holiday Lights presented by Segra Park, grab some cocoa and experience the Christmas spirit and fun for the whole family.


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Shop til you Drop

Speaking of Christmas, if you’re trying to get a jump start on those holiday wish lists, you’ll find everything you need at Columbiana Centre or the Village at Sandhill. If you’re looking for a local shopping experience, you’ll have to wait a day or two. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of fun to be had on Small Business Saturday whether you're hitting up Soda City Market or Devine Street for all the local gifts. While you’re there grab one final mimosa to send off your family in style.


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Be sure to check out our calendar of events to make the most of your holiday time in Columbia SC.