Holiday happenings, Dec. 23

December 22, 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: 2-5 p.m. Monday. Free strolling performances at Columbiana Center, 100 Columbiana Circle.

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. (803) 353-0456;

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

WINTERFEST: Through Jan. 4 at the State Museum, 301 Gervais St. 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 Thursday and Friday 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 Saturday with holiday crafts and scavenger hunt, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and a 2 p.m. performance by the Columbia Marionette Theatre’s “Rockin’ Through the Ages.” Crafts, scavenger hunt and games from 1-4 p.m. Sunday. 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;

ST. JOHN BAPTIST CHURCH: 16th annual Christmas Eve dinner and worship service, 9 a.m. Tuesday, 3404 W. Beltline Blvd. Free. Contact the church to arrange for transportation. (803) 254-4170

MAIN STREET UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: Christmas Eve service, 4 p.m. Tuesday, 1830 Main St. (803) 779-0610;

NORTHEAST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: Christmas Eve candlelight services, 4 and 6 p.m. Tuesday, 601 Polo Road. (803) 788-5298;

SHANDON PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: Annual Christmas pageant at 4 p.m. Tuesday; “Has He Been Yet?” sermon by Rev. Dr. Victor Wilson at 8 p.m., and “Made Known” sermon by Rev. Dr. Jill Duffield at 11 p.m. Tuesday, 607 Woodrow St. Services will include candlelight communion. (803) 771-4408;

ST. MARTIN’S-IN-THE-FIELDS EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Christmas Eve Holy Communion service, 5 and 10:30 p.m. Tuesday; Christmas Day Holy Communion service, 10 a.m. Wednesday, 5220 Clemson Ave. (803) 787-0392;

McGREGOR PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: Family Christmas Eve worship service, 5 p.m. Tuesday, 6505 St. Andrews Road. (803) 727-4620; (803) 781-6390

GREENLAWN BAPTIST CHURCH: Christmas Eve service, 5 p.m. Tuesday, 6612 Garners Ferry Road. (803) 776-4074

CHRISTMAS EVE FAMILY COMMUNION SERVICE: 5 p.m. Tuesday at Christian Life Church, 2700 Bush River Road. Open communion, childcare available for age 2 and younger.

CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT SERVICE: Candle lighting and communion service, 6 p.m. Tuesday at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1201 Mohawk Drive, West Columbia. (803) 794-7777

CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Join in Anglo-Catholic worship with First Mass of Christmas, 5 p.m., Music for the Nativity, 10:30 p.m., Solemn Mass of Christmas, 11 p.m. Tuesday; Low Mass, 9 a.m. Wednesday, 1512 Blanding St. (803) 779-2960;

BIBLE WAY CHURCH OF ATLAS ROAD: Christmas Eve service, 7 p.m. Tuesday, 2440 Atlas Road. (803) 776-1238;

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