Here we are. It’s the penultimate month of the year and there’s so much to do amidst these shorter fall days. So make the most of the brisk days and chilly nights ahead with festivals, football, fashion and some holiday happenings making an appearance all month long in the heart of SC. 

7th Annual Fall Back Fest on State Street | Nov. 3

Soak up the last bits of evening light, because we’re not going to see the sun past 6 p.m. again for a while. Send it off with a bang at this West Columbia block party featuring performing bands, live chalk artists, food trucks, craft beer and more. 

Coffee Lager Festival at Steel Hands Brewing | Nov. 3 - 5

Everyone’s favorite flagship is in the spotlight for a whole weekend of coffee and beer-focused festivities. Kicking off on Friday, Loveland Coffee will be on site with Nitro Coffee and Iced Pumpkin Spice Oat Milk Lattes on draft. Saturday will feature coffee food and drink specials and Sunday is the big Coffee Lager Brunch and Coffee Market. Plus, this year’s special Coffee Lager holiday variations will be on tap all weekend. Come on out and stay caffeinated, friends!

Murders and Mysteries Walking Tours at Icehouse Amphitheater and Irmo Town Park | Nov. 3 and 17

Before we transition entirely into the winter holidays, let’s have a couple more moments for spooky season. Let the folks from the Lexington County Museum take you on a couple tours featuring the stories of murders, trials, crimes, duels and more, first in Lexington and then again a couple weeks later in Irmo.

Jam Room Music Festival at Main and Hampton Streets | Nov. 4

Catch 10(!) hours of live music across two stages at the bargain price of – completely free! Local and national acts have been confirmed to fill out this year’s lineup, so map out your day or stick around to bounce back and forth between the stages to see them all. Did we mention this is free!? Because that’s just wild.

2023 SC Korean Festival at 1412 Richland Street | Nov. 4

Learn more about Korean culture and the Korean community within Columbia through a full day of dance and musical performances (yes, including K-Pop!), taekwondo presentations, audience participation activities and games, and of course all your favorite Korean cuisine like kimchi, bulgogi, desserts and more. 

Gamecock Football at Williams-Brice Stadium | Nov. 4, 11, 18 and 25

I feel bad for whoever has to pay the power bill at Williams-Brice Stadium, because we have not one, not two, not three, but FOUR home games in November. Get comfy, Gamecock fans, and stick around to see us take on Jacksonville State (the *other* Gamecocks), Vanderbilt (and don’t miss a special edition of Nashville Nights at Steel Hands the night before!), Kentucky and Clemson. And pray we can become bowl-eligible in the process.

Arts & Draughts at Columbia Museum of Art | Nov. 10

This biannual after-hours party at the Columbia Museum of Art never fails to deliver. At this installment, you can expect fashion shows, live styling displays, a Unique Perspective Tour led by Kelvin Davis of Notoriously Dapper and a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community to weave in with the current Lee Alexander McQueen & Ann Ray: Rendez-Vous exhibit. Plus, live screenprinting, a DIY dyeing station, food trucks and a special collaboration beer brewed specifically for this event. You won’t want to miss a minute of it.

Day of the Dead Celebration at Columbia Museum of Art | Nov. 11

Whether you regularly recognize Día de los Muertos or are a first timer to this cultural celebration, you’re welcome to come participate in the Mexican tradition at this event on Boyd Plaza. Featuring a Day of the Dead altar, arts and crafts, live music, folkloric dances, a live painting session and other cultural activities, there’s no shortage of ways in which you’ll be able to honor departed loved ones.

Sergio Hudson: Focused on the Fit at Columbia Museum of Art | Nov. 18 – June 30

Extending our unexpected fashion moment is this exclusive exhibition featuring the sketches and signature garments by SC native and notable fashion designer, Sergio Hudson. It’s so much more than a celebration of a remarkable talent on the rise; it’s a lesson in making your dreams come true.

Bubbie’s Jewish Food Festival at Beth Shalom Synagogue | Nov. 19

Stock up on all your Jewish food favorites like traditional brisket, chicken matzah ball soup, challah, rugelach and so much more to fill your table with for the upcoming holiday season.

Music on Main at Smoked | Nov. 21

Get up close and personal with the South Carolina Philharmonic at this recurring monthly series on the idyllic back patio at Smoked. The price of admission grants you musical enchantment, a nice glass of red or white wine and a buffet of Smoked’s delectable hors d’oeuvres. The stunning night sky full of stars, however? That’s a free bonus.

Holiday Head Start

It’s hard to believe, but the fact remains that the winter holidays are imminent. Start getting in the holly jolly spirit now with various kickoff events, markets, holiday light displays and more happening throughout the month. Start things off district by district, first with Devine Night Out’s evening of deals and extended shopping hours, then with the craft beer, specialty cocktails, performances and tree lighting we look forward to at Vista Lights each year. Witness the lighting of the State Christmas Tree on the grounds of the South Carolina State House during the 57th Annual Governor’s Carolighting. Get a jumpstart on your shopping at the Mistletoe Market at Icehouse Amphitheater or during the first of four weekends of Bierkeller’s Wiehnachtsmarkt. And gaze in wonder at the dazzling displays found at the Fireflies Holiday Lights at Segra Park, Riverbanks Zoo’s rebranded Wild Lights and Holiday Lights on the River at Saluda Shoals Park.