Thursday, December 18 - Wednesday, December 24, 2014 Nights of Wonder | Holiday Lights on the River Now through December 23, 2014 Part of Saluda Sh

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Thursday, December 18 - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

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Nights of Wonder | Holiday Lights on the River

Now through December 23, 2014
Part of Saluda Shoals' Holiday Lights on the River, Nights of Wonder is twelve fun-filled evenings of family activities including the Red-Nose Express Hayride, the Saluda Shoals Choo-Choo, and Santa's Claus'et Gift Shop. There are marshmallows to roast, crafts to make, concessions to nibble and a Santa to visit! So walk or ride through the Holiday Lights with your family and enjoy all of the wonders you'll behold! More information is available here.

Holiday Lights - United We Stand

Holiday Lights on the River

Now - December 31, 2014 6pm-10pm
The Midlands Largest Drive-Through Light Show!

EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC! After 6pm each evening, Saluda Shoals Park comes alive in a blaze of more than a million sparkling lights. Holiday Lights on the River features over 400 themed, animated light displays on a two-mile loop of the Park!
Wetland Wonderland Walking Trail, Laser Light Show, Santa's Claus'et Gift Shop open Thursdays-Sundays! More info here.
Saluda Shoals Park, 5605 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC

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Christmas in Hopelands

December 18 - 23, 26 & 27 | 6pm - 9:30pm
Your holiday fantasy land awaits you at Hopelands Gardens. Experience over 100,000 twinkling holiday lights as you stroll through 1.5 miles of lighted pathways inside the gardens. This spectacular walk-through exhibit is over 1.5 miles of Christmas cheer! There will be fun holiday activities available for kids and families including concerts, outdoor movies, and free cookies, hot chocolate and apple cider. More information is available on

Meet Me in St. Louis | POV Film Series

Thursday, December 18, 2014 | 7pm
Meet Me In St. Louis (1944) is a delightful, classic, nostalgic, poignant, and romanticized musical film - and one of the greatest musicals ever made. It tells the story of a turn-of-the-century family in suburban, midwestern St. Louis of 1903, who live in a stylish Edwardian home at 5135 Kensington Avenue. Visit the town's website for more info.

Third Thursday Vista Nights

Thursday, December 18, 2014 | 5-8pm
The Vista Guild organizes this event to offer later shopping hours at our most popular galleries and retailers on Thursday evenings, which are already bustling with diners and hotel guests in the neighborhood’s restaurants and bars. More information here!

Annual Bad Santa Party | Tin Roof

Thursday, December 18, 2014 | 9pm
Celebrate this Season the Right Way! Cocktails, Tunes, and Tacky Sweaters. Charles Riley and Friends will be rocking the mic! More information here.

Shaun Jones | Comedy House

December 18 - 21, 2014
Shaun Jones is a true comedian! One of the hottest comics on the comedy scene right now. Traveling worldwide making people laugh, he shows that funny is funny. Whether you're a Company CEO or the guy on fries at your local fast food restaurant, you will see that everyone will be well entertained. More information here!

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The Christmas Angel

December 19 - 20, 2014
Fresh and exciting, “The Christmas Angel” (c) is sure to take your breath away. Balletomanes and the general public alike are mesmerized by the originality of this magical story as well as the quality and beauty of dance represented by Celestial Stars, a local company directed by Gabrielle Celeste. Mrs. Celeste wrote and choreographed “The Christmas Angel”, which debuted in December 2001. It is a story of a Princess whose soul is devoured by jealousy and through the pure love of the Christmas Angel, she is forgiven and redeemed. Click here for tickets and more information.

Nickelodeon Theatre's Holiday Programming Series

December 19 - 24, 2014
Special Holiday Programming from the Nick! Die Hard, It's A Wonderful Life, and Home Alone will be screened. More information is available here!

Nick Jr.'s The Fresh Beat Band | Live in Concert

December 20, 2014 | 4pm
The Fresh Beats are Shout, Twist, Marina, and Kiki, described as four best friends in a band who go to music school and graduate together as musicians who are determined to follow their dreams. More information is available at their website!

Family Expos and Kids Festival

Saturday, December 20, 2014 | 10am - 3pm
South Carolina Family Expos in partnership with the Midlands Kids' Directory will proudly host the Midlands Winter Family Expo for local parents, expectant mothers, children, and caregivers. It's an Expo, Bazaar, and Kids Festival rolled into one! Expo goers can visit booths featuring local businesses sharing their products and services. Their sponsors and exhibitors are oriented to supporting families, community, learning, and fun! Click here for info.

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South Carolina BLUE Day | EdVenture

Saturday, December 20, 2014 | All Day
Admission to EdVenture in Columbia will be free to the public on Saturday, Dec. 20, courtesy of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina as a gift to the state! Besides enjoying free entry to the museum, guests will be able to visit the two South Carolina BLUE mobile units for education and purchasing opportunities. More information here.

X Tour LIVE! feat. Chris Brown

Saturday, December 20, 2014
Chris Brown is an American recording artist, dancer, and actor who taught himself to sing and dance at a young age and was involved in his church choir and several local talent shows. Having signed with Jive Records in 2004, Brown released his self-titled debut studio album the following year. His latest single, Loyal has been a huge hit this year. More information available here.

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Santa's Gingerbread Jamboree | EdVenture

December 20, 2014
Santa is coming! EdVenture invites all families to enjoy this holiday event for children featuring photos with Santa, gingerbread cookie decorating, story time with Frosty the Snowman, festive face painting and holiday arts and crafts.
Spend a full day of winter fun together as you visit Santa Claus, his elves and Frosty before heading upstairs to the North and South Pole to play in our seasonal exhibit, Snowville. Pre-registration is required. More information available here!

208th Army Reserve Band Holiday Show

Saturday, December 20, 2014
Lead by Tim Lyden, the 208th from Concord, North Carolina strive to boost morale with this holiday big band and military march classics. More information is available here.

Holiday Films on the Green

Saturday, December 20, 2014
Cross Hill Market is screening Elf at 6:30pm on the green between Festivity and Bail Thai! Bring a blanket and come out for the fun! More information and tickets are available here.

Nutcracker Teas

Saturday, December 20, 2014 | 1:30 PM
Mark your calendars now for our magical Columbia City Ballet Teas held before our Nutcracker performances, the perfect way to introduce your child to ballet! Click for more info.

WinterFest | SC State Museum

December 20, 2014 - January 3, 2015
Columbia Marionette Theatre holiday puppetry performances, visits with Santa the week before Christmas, Winter Crafts and Activities for fun, hands-on winter crafts and activities for the kiddies while they are out of school for Winter Break! More information about what is going on during WinterFest is on the SC State Museum website.

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Your go-to source for everything good, fun and happy for the holidays!

Merry Christmas, Columbia!

Columbia's #1 Source for the Holidays!

New Features!

Restaurants Open Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
You don't have to do all the work - take a break and let someone else provide the hospitality! Here's a list of folks willing to help you out.

Holiday Markets NEW! Updated! Great places to support local artists and crafters and buy unique handmade gifts for your friends and family! Click here.

Christ-Centered Christmas: NEW! Updated! Lots of events that will touch your heart. Area churches put love and hard work into presenting Live Nativity programs, Christmas Cantatas, Love Feasts, Handel's Messiah, and many more. Click here!

Holiday Events
NEW! Updated! Folks keep making suggestions of additions to our list, and we keep adding them! There is no way anyone cannot find at least a few fun things to do on this lengthy but fun list! Click.

Santa's Stops: Are your kiddos excited about meeting Old St. Nick himself? Here's a list of his scheduled appearances at our malls and shopping centers.

Holiday Lights
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... especially at Saluda Shoals Park, Riverbanks Zoo, Swan Lake in Sumter! A big list for the light-lovers! Click

Cut Your Own Tree: Species that grow and their characteristics + where to cut one down.

Christmas Concerts: Do you hear what I hear?

Awesome Decorating Ideas | Holiday Workshops


December Foodie News

New Bars and Restaurants! Yard Birds, Hickory Tavern and Rocket Man!
Cooking Classes and Workshops | Learn to temper chocolate, decorate holiday cookies and make a cupcake tree.
New Beer Releases from Old Mill Brewpub, River Rat Brewery and Conquest Brewing Co.


Liberty on the Lake Live music every Saturday and Sunday afternoons, 3pm - 7pm!

River Rat Brewery Located off Shop Rd.

Old Mill Brewpub Located in the Old Mill in Lexington
Every Wednesday "Team Bingo" | 7pm-9pm
Every Thursday Red Fraley | 7pm-10pm
Friday December 19th Chuck & Brad | 8pm-11pm
Saturday December 20th Jeff Liberty | 8pm-11pm

Pearlz Upstairz Above Pearlz Restaurant on Gervais St. Very cool, intimate club.

Tsubaki. Columbia's Only True Karaoke Bar, next to Inakaya on Oneil Court in NE Columbia. Come make your own music! [Specials include $10 buckets of domestic beer, daily specials. Private Karaoke Rooms (for you and your pals to belt those tunes out) available! Open Tuesday - Sunday at 6pm! 224 Oneil Court. (803) 736-7474

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Saturday, December 20, 2014 | Autocorrect / Moxie Friend / Tribe One & Mikal kHill / the good witch


New Year's Eve at Noon Celebration! | EdVenture

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 | 10am - 2pm
Get ready for Columbia’s only BALL DROP for kids! Doors open at 9am with activities celebrating New Year’s Eve (kid style)! As the countdown to noon begins, a giant illuminated ball descends and lands at the foot of EDDIE, kicking off the biggest mid-day celebration in town! Live performances by Lunch Money! Confetti galore! Free with museum admission or membership. More information here.

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