If you could use one more dose of holiday cheer, there are still a few chances left to enjoy the sights and sounds of the season before the lights stop twinkling and the bells stop ringing.
Riverbanks Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas display continues even after Christmas, through Dec. 30. From 5-9 p.m. each night, nearly one million lights create a spectacular scene throughout the zoo, with music and snow-making machines to add to the winter landscape. You can also stop by the bonfire to toast marshmallows or enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 2-12. Zoo members get one free visit each year.
The lights are also still twinkling at Saluda Shoals’ Holiday Lights on the River, where you can stay warm and cozy inside your car as you drive through a two-mile display of more than 400 animated light features. If you need to stretch your legs, you can park your car and take a stroll along the boardwalk to enjoy the Wetland Wonderland Walking Trail, with a laser light show and a “Deck the Doors” holiday door display along the way. The light show is open through Dec. 31 from 6-10 p.m. Admission is $15 per car, $25 per 15-passenger van, and $4 per bus.
The S.C. State Museum offers guests a unique holiday experience in its new planetarium and 4-D theater. The 15-minute “Polar Express 4-D Experience” is an overview of the well-known story in which a skeptical boy takes a journey to the North Pole that restores his belief. Showtimes on Sunday are at 12:30, 1:30, 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. Shows on Monday through Saturday begin every hour starting at 10:30 a.m. with the last showing at 4:30 p.m. The final shows on Jan. 4 are scheduled for 12:30, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 3:30, 4:00, and 4:30 p.m.
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In the planetarium, catch “Star of Bethlehem,” a historical and scientific examination of the Christmas Star, the Christmas Story and our current calendar. Showtimes on Sunday are at 1 and 3 p.m.
Bridget Winston, Special to The State