Holiday happenings, Dec. 7

December 7, 2013 

HISTORIC COLUMBIA HOLIDAY HOUSE TOURS: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 5. Houses will be decorated in a variety of holiday decorations and traditions. Guides will provide stories of holidays past and how families decorated and entertained in the early 19th and 20th centuries. $8; youth, $5; HC members, free. Tickets may be purchased from the Gift Shop at Robert Mills, 1616 Blanding St. (803) 252-1770, ext. 23

HOLIDAY LIGHTS ON THE RIVER: 6-10 p.m. through Dec. 31 at Saluda Shoals Park, 5605 Bush River Road. Traditional favorites of the holiday drive-through include the Dazzling Dancing Forest, the Good Sports area, Stars and Stripes, a tribute to the armed forces and the Twelve Days of Christmas in lights. Check out the Wetland Wonderland Walking Trail along the boardwalk with the addition of a laser light show. Nights of Wonder, Dec. 13-23, will feature the Red-Nose Express Hayride, the Saluda Shoals Choo-Choo, Winter Wonder Ride (downhill tubing), craft activity and a visit with Santa. Admission is $15 per car; $25 per 15-passenger van and $40 per bus. (803) 772-3903;

FANTASY OF LIGHTS: Through Dec. 31 at Swan Lake Iris Gardens, 822 W. Liberty St., Sumter. More than a million lights, 150 lighted figures and the Floating Christmas Tree.

COUNTRY CHRISTMAS: Through Dec. 31 at 434 Fairfax Road, 10 miles west of Saluda (off U.S. 178). Free walk-through lights display featuring floats, wood art, miniature Christmas village, hot chocolate and treats. Open 6-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 6-10 p.m. Fridays-Sundays. Santa will visit on Fridays and Saturdays (schedule permitting). Buses welcome; driveway and roadside parking available. Power donations will be accepted. (864) 445-0009

CHRISTMAS ON THE CONGAREE: Lighted trees display, 5-10 p.m. through Dec. 31 at Coble Plaza at Riverfront Park, 211 Gervais St., behind EdVenture Children’s Museum. Free. Sponsored by the Columbia Parks and Recreation Foundation and the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation. (803) 546-1482

WEDNESDAYS IN ADVENT: 6 p.m. Wednesday and Dec. 18 at St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, 5220 Clemson Ave., Forest Acres. Choral Evensong offered by the church choir.

CHRISTMAS AT KENSINGTON MANSION: 9:30, 11 a.m.; 1, 2:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays through Jan. 11 at 4101 McCords Ferry Road, Eastover. Experience the smells and sounds of a 19th century Christmas via guided tours. A Christmas Open House will be held 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, complete with horse-drawn carriages pulling up to the port-cochere, music and refreshments. $7; active duty military and age 60 and older, $6; ages 6-12, $5; children younger than 6 are free. Special programs on Wednesday and Dec. 18 for students, free admission. (803) 353-0456;

BLYTHEWOOD HOLIDAY MARKET: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday at 135-A Blythewood Road (IGA Plaza). Sponsored by Bravo Blythewood and the Blythewood Artists Guild. The Blythewood Lions Club is sponsoring Breakfast with Santa from 8-11 a.m. Saturday.

TRAIN RIDES WITH SANTA: 9:30, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30, 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 14 at the S.C. Railroad Museum, 110 Industrial Park Drive, Winnsboro. Scenic 1-hour ride on the Rockton Rion @ Western. Have your picture taken with Santa Claus; first class seats, $20 for age 3 and older, seating at tables for four and a light snack; coach, $12 for age 12 and older; age 2 and younger, free if seated on an adult ticketholder’s lap. Twilight Santa Express, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14; photos with Santa, hot chcolate and cookies in the dining car, Christmas story in the passenger coach; all tickets $20. (803) 712-4135;

CARILLON CAROLERS: 2-5 p.m. Saturday; 3-6 p.m. Friday; 1-4 p.m. Dec. 14, 18, 19, 20, 22; 2-5 p.m. Dec. 21 and 23. Free strolling performances at Columbiana Center, 100 Columbiana Circle.

LEXINGTON CHORAL SOCIETY: “Holiday Lights,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church, 5503 Sunset Blvd., Lexington. Concert will feature sounds of the season accompanied by a string quartet. Special guests will be the Lexington 1 Honors Children’s Choir. $20; age 65 and older, $15; students, $5.

“YES, VIRGINIA — THE MUSICAL”: 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 14; 2:30 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 15; 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday at On Stage Performance Center, 680 Cherokee Lane, West Columbia. Show times at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $16; seniors, students and military, $14; youth, $12. (877) 238-5596;

“A CHRISTMAS CAROL”: Through Dec. 21 at Trustus Theatre, 520 Lady St. Performances of the new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic story will be 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Dec. 14, 21; 3 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 15. $20; students, $15. (803) 254-9732;

SANTA’S MARKET HOLIDAY CRAFT SHOW: 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday at Seven Oaks Park, 200 Leisure Lane. Unique gifts and handmade crafts including (but not limited to) art prints and paintings, jewelry, ornaments, painted glassware, holiday wreaths and decor. Shuttles will be available from overflow parking lots. Free admission.

FAMILY DAY — HISTORIC HOLIDAYS: 10 a.m. Saturday in the decorated Robert Mills House, 1601 Richland St. Learn about the history of several holiday traditions while enjoying holiday crafts and activities as a family. $6 for the first child and $3 for each additional child; HC members, free. (803) 252-1770, ext. 23

CHOIR SHOWCASE & $1 TOURS: Noon Saturday in front of the Robert Mills House, 1601 Richland St. Local elementary schools will provide musical entertainment. Free and open to the public; take advantage of the Holiday House Tours for $1. (803) 252-1770, ext. 23

CAYCE HISTORICAL MUSEUM HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE: 6 p.m. Saturday at 1800 12th St. Each room of the museum will be decorated with trees and crafts from the 18th century to the present. The open house will also feature live entertainment, light refreshments and docents dressed in period attire. As darkness falls, take a War Between the States Lantern Tour. (803) 739-5385

TOWN OF LEXINGTON SNOW “BALL” DANCE: 7 p.m. Saturday in the conference center at the Lexington Municipal Complex, 111 Maiden Lane. $30 per person (limit 200 tickets); includes heavy hors d’oeuvres and libations. Proceeds will benefit the Chris Myers Children’s Place, a Christ Central Ministry, a family campus whose goal is to stabilize the child, stabilize the parent and stabilize and re-connect the family.

BLYTHEWOOD CHRISTMAS PARADE: 3 p.m. Sunday beginning at Blythewood High School on Wilson Boulevard, down Main Street to McNulty Road, left on Boney Road, left on Blythewood Road and then back down Main Street (this is a new route). Dawndy Mercer Plank will emcee a thank you to Grand Marshal Joe Pinner. The parade relies on sponsorships and donations which fund an annual scholarship program for students in the 29016 ZIP code.

LEXINGTON CHRISTMAS PARADE: 3:30 p.m. Sunday on Main Street. Presented by the Town of Lexington and the Lexington Jaycees.

SECOND SUNDAY ROLL: 4 p.m. Sunday, guided bus tour of downtown Columbia will include the Robert Mills Historic District, the State House, Governor’s Mansion, USC’s Horseshoe, historic churches, Historic Columbia house museums, the Vista and the holiday lights. Meet at the Robert Mills gift shop, 1616 Blanding St. $10; Historic Columbia members, $5; walk-ins welcome as space permits. To reserve tickets, call (803) 252-1770, ext. 23 or email

USC CONCERT CHOIR CHRISTMAS CONCERT: 7 p.m. Sundayat Shandon United Methodist Church, 3407 Devine St. Free

CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE: 2-5 p.m. Monday at the Lexington County Museum, 231 Fox St., Lexington. Many of the 30 historic houses on the Museum complex will be decked out for the season and open for tours. Light refreshments, including hot apple cider and gingerbread, will be served and live music will be featured. Free. (803) 359-8369;

SANDHILL HOLIDAY MARKET: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday at the Clemson University Sandhill Research and Education Center, 900 Clemson Road (across from Village at Sandhill). Vendors will offer fresh foods, produce, crafts, jewelry, baked goods and a visit from Santa.

SANDLAPPER SINGERS’ “O HOLY NIGHT”: 7:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 3600 Devine St.; 7:30 p.m. Friday at Seven Oaks Presbyterian Church, 530 St. Andrews Road. Holiday program will reflect the diversity of cultural heritage as it is reflected in the seasonal music of our citizens. Highlights will include the Young Sandlapper Singers, with string quartet and harp. Tickets are $5-$15 and a reception will follow.

COLUMBIA CHRISTMAS PAGEANT: 7 p.m. Friday, 2 and 5 p.m. Dec. 14 and 4 p.m. Dec. 15. at First Baptist Church, Columbia, 1306 Hampton St. A cast of 400 children and adults, including the First Baptist 200-voice choir and full orchestra will feature popular Christmas favorites, drama, dancing, elaborate costuming and sets, indoor snow, angels and a celebration of the birth of Christ with religious music. Free parking, ushers will assist any handicapped or disabled person and there will be a special section for the deaf and hearing impaired. Free, but you must have a ticket to enter. Call (803) 217-3250 for ticket information or visit

“DISNEY’S CINDERELLA KIDS”: 3 p.m. Dec. 14, 15 at Town Theatre, 1012 Sumter St. Dec. 14 performance will feature a performance by the Greater Columbia Children’s Choir; Town Theatre’s musical theatre dancers will present the Proud Townie Christmas Spectacular on Dec. 15. $10 (includes free pictures with Santa). (803) 799-2510;

SANTA’S GINGERBREAD JAMBOREE: 9-11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 21 at EdVenture Children’s Museum, 211 Gervais St. Event for children will feature photos with Santa, gingerbread cookie decorating, story time with Frosty the Snowman, face painting, holiday arts and crafts and the museum’s Snowville exhibit. Pre-registration is required. Tickets are $18; EdVenture membership discount is available at registration. Tickets include general admission to EdVenture. (803) 779-3100;

SANTA’S HOTLINE: Let jolly old Saint Nick personally call your little ones ages 3-8 the week of Dec. 16-21. Registration forms are available at Crooked Creek Park, 1098 Old Lexington Highway, Chapin. Forms must be returned by Dec. 15; local calls only.

ELGIN LIGHTS: Lights, trains and tractor displays, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 15-24 at 2433 Charlie Horse Circle, Elgin. More than 35,000 lights, three buildings of toys, antiques, model trains, tractors, motorcycles, hayrides, choirs. Free, but all donations will benefit Camp Kemo in memory of Cole Sawyer.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: 8 a.m. Dec. 21 at the Robert Mills Carriage House, 1616 Blanding St. Continental breakfast with seasonal music, followed by a tour through the Hampton-Preston Mansion, see a Victorian Christmas tree and make a holiday craft. Don’t forget to get a picture with Historic Columbia’s Victorian Santa Claus. Admission is $12; ages 4-12, $3; age 3 and younger, free. HC member adults, $10; HC member youth, $2. (803) 252-1770, ext. 23

CANDY CANE HUNT: 3:30-4 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Crooked Creek Park Disc Golf Trail. Santa and his elves will be hiding candy canes along the trail for kids ages 2-8 to find. Children should bring a basket or bag to hold the canes. Prize candy canes will be hidden along the trail as well; $2. Crooked Creek Park is at 1098 Old Lexington Highway, Chapin.

WINTER FEST: Dec. 21-23, 26-31 and Jan. 1-4 at the State Museum, 301 Gervais St. Holiday celebration will feature a Polar Express party, daily movie screenings, snow Day crafts and snacks, musical performances, Star Lab planetarium shows, seasonal and nature crafts and more. Included with museum general admission or membership (with the exception of the Polar Express party). (803) 898-4921

CANDLELIGHT TOURS & CARRIAGE RIDES: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 30 at the Historic Columbia houses. Guided candlelight tours, musical entertainment and children’s activities. House tours are $8; $5 for youth, free for HC members. Carriage rides through the Robert Mills historic district are $5 per person. (803) 252-1770, ext. 23

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