Spending the holidays in Columbia this year? Check out our roundup of festive events and activities that’ll keep you feeling merry and bright all season long!


The season is all about giving, so cross everyone off your list early while supporting small businesses at Soda City Market and the new Shoppes on Main. (Go ahead and treat yourself to a few unique, handmade items, as well. We won’t tell.) We even made you a handy guide for shopping local products here.




Our lineup of holiday shows is so stellar, it’ll have you saying, “Rockettes who?” Kick back with some popcorn at The Nick for their Holly Jolly Hollywood Series featuring showings of Home Alone, Little Women, Edward Scissorhands, It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street. Delight in the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy as Columbia City Ballet Presents “The Nutcracker.” With snow falling and the comforting smells of cocoa and pine filling the room during The Polar Express 4-D Experience at the South Carolina State Museum, you’ll feel like you’re actually there. Enjoy your favorite seasonal songs at Soulful Sounds of Christmas. Follow the antics of Ralphie and the gang as he strives to get a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas as Broadway in Columbia Presents “A Christmas Story.” Plus, you’ll get a bonus lesson in Italian – Fra-gee-lay! Lastly, settle in at Trustus Theatre for what is sure to be a hilarious production of “A Christmas Miracle at the Richland Fashion Mall”.


Twinkle, Twinkle

Columbia SC is shining bright with dazzling light displays. It won’t be the lions and tigers and bears that will have you saying, “Oh my” at Riverbanks Zoo this season, but nearly a million lights sparkling throughout the zoo at Lights Before Christmas. Pack up the car and head out to Saluda Shoals Park for their magical, drive-through display featuring animations and more at Holiday Lights on the River. 


Lights before Christmas! At the zoo!

A post shared by Emma Jordan (@nadroj_amme) on


Christmas Past

Take a trip through time to see how Columbia citizens celebrated the holidays back in the day. Join Historic Columbia for their Historic Holiday Tours and their special Candlelight Tours & Carriage Rides. 

Christmas light holiday season tours in Columbia, SC



Festive Fun

You’ll be walking in a Winter Wonderland at EdVenture with the return of their annual Gingerbread Jamboree, which includes activities like Saturdays with Santa. Stay frosty with Jingle Days and the Frozen Party at South Carolina State Museum. Glide along the smooth surface of Main Street ICE, the outdoor ice skating rink set up outside the Columbia Museum of Art from Thanksgiving through January. Take your kids for some one-on-one time with the man in red himself at Breakfast with Santa (we know him, we know him!). 


A post shared by SCarolina2017 (@scarolina2017) on



Close the year out early with the kids at EdVenture’s New Year’s Eve at Noon. Later, get gussied up and hit Main Street with your loved ones for food, fireworks and a headlining performance by Elle King at Famously Hot New Year.