Holiday happenings, Dec. 18

December 18, 2013 

nut cracker toys


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, through Monday, 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

CARILLON CAROLERS: 1-4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and Sunday; 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 23. Free strolling performances at Columbiana Center, 100 Columbiana Circle.

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

WEDNESDAYS IN ADVENT: 6 p.m. Wednesday 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. $7; active duty military and age 60 and older, $6; ages 6-12, $5; children younger than 6 are free. Special program on Wednesday for students with free admission. (803) 353-0456;

SANTA’S GINGERBREAD JAMBOREE: 9-11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday 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;

ELGIN LIGHTS: Lights, trains and tractor displays, 6-9 p.m. through Dec. 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.

CANDLELIGHT TOURS & CARRIAGE RIDES: 5:30 p.m. Friday 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

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: 8 a.m. Saturday 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. Saturday 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.

WINTERFEST: Saturday through Jan. 4 at the State Museum, 301 Gervais St. Saturday events include holiday crafts and scavenger hunt, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; visit with Santa, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Columbia Marionette Theatre’s “Santa’s Christmas Party,” 2 p.m. Sunday events: holiday crafts and scavenger hunt, 1-5 p.m.; visit with Santa, 1:30-3:30 p.m.; screening of “Ice Age: Mammoth Christmas,” 2 p.m. Monday events: holiday crafts, including pine cone decorating and a scavenger hunt, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; visit with Santa, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Starlab portable planetarium show, “Winter Skies,” 1 p.m.; Polar Express Party at 4 p.m. will include a screening of “The Polar Express,” followed by hot chocolate and cookies. Arrive in your most comfy PJs and settle down to watch the movie with free popcorn. Bring a camera for pictures with a special visitor from the North Pole. Tickets are $7; museum members, $5. Advance ticket purchase is recommended. WinterFest continues Dec. 26 and 27 with more holiday crafts and a scavenger hunt from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Live Science Theatre show with audience participation at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and the King Tut craft table, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Christmas week winds up Dec. 28 with holiday crafts and scavenger hunt, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and a 2 p.m. performance by the Columbia Marionette Theatre’s production of Rockin’ Through the Ages.” Crafts, scavenger hunt and games from 1-4 p.m. Dec. 29. Dec. 30-Jan. 4 sessions will feature crafts and scavenger hunts 10 a.m.-4 p.m. “Art of Shadow Puppetry,” workshop and performance, 11:30 a.m. Dec. 30. The Jan. 2 museum and a movie will be a Civil War movie marathon, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 3 museum and a movie will feature an Egyptian movie marathon to celebrate the exhibition “Tutankhamun: Return of the King.” WinterFest wraps up Jan. 4 with King Tut Day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dress like an Egyptian and receive $1 off general admission. All WinterFest activities are free with general admission or membership, except the Polar Express Party. (803) 898-4999;

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