FRIDAY, Nov. 27
Chill out at the Columbia Children's Theatre's production of "Frosty," which opens at the theater's new space above the food court at Midtown at Forest Acres (formerly Richland Fashion Mall).
Actually, though, this musical won't cool you down; it will warm your heart. Follow as Samantha, Sidney, James and Worm try to win the school's science fair by bringing Frosty back to life. That's where the magical adventure begins.
The production runs through Dec. 6. Showtimes: 7 tonight and Dec. 4; 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 5; and 3 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 6. Midtown at Forest Acres is at 3400 Forest Drive. $6; www.columbiachildrenstheatre.com or (803) 691-4548
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, Nov. 27 and 28
Carolina Ballet will kick off the seasonal performances of The Nutcracker tonight and Sunday at the Koger Center. The company has traditionally performed the ballet at The Township, but the venue is under construction.
Carolina Ballet's production features Joulia Moisseeva and Serguei Chrytokov. The ballet will be accompanied by the Columbia Music Festival Orchestra conducted by Eric Qi-Yan, the Greater Columbia Children's Choir and the Greater Concert Choir of Kershaw County.
Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. tonight and 3 p.m. Sunday. The Koger Center is at 1051 Greene St. $10 to $25; (803) 251-2222
FRIDAY through SUNDAY, Nov. 27-29
The Columbia Gem and Mineral Society will hold its 42nd annual Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show today through Sunday at the S.C. State Museum.
More than 20 vendors will be on hand selling jewelry, beads, loose stones, fossils, minerals, gold, silver and tools. Club members will exhibit their rock collections.
The show is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is at 301 Gervais St. $5 to $7
What's the best and most fun way to get your Christmas tree? By going to Crafts in the Pines, the three-day arts and crafts funfest at Brown's Christmas Tree Farm.
There will be plenty for the kids to do, but the best part will be picking out a tree. You choose and Brown's does the cutting, shaking and tying to the roof. You'll have to do the decorating.
Brown's is at 430 Pat Road, Lexington. (803) 755-9676
SATURDAY, Nov. 28
You can't learn how a basketball bounces like it does by watching players run up and down the court. But at EdVenture Children's Museum, you can get a basketball education. "Play It!" Saturdays, a monthly series, allows visitors to participate in "everyone plays" activities and compete in friendly games. This weekend the game is basketball. EdVenture is at 211 Gervais St. (803) 779-3100 or www.edventure.org
SUNDAY, Nov. 29
Governor's All Star Chorus and Carolighting will be held at 6 p.m. on the State House steps. It's a family affair, and since you probably have family in town, here's something a family can do.
MONDAY, Nov. 30
Join Sustainable Midlands, a new coalition of environmental groups, at 701 Whaley for a holiday celebration.
Sample local foods, wines from Cellar on the Greene, and enter a door prize for sustainable products. You can also buy ornaments made from recycled and natural products.
The free event is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday. 701 Whaley is in the Olympia neighborhood in Columbia.
TUESDAY, Dec. 1
Want to hear Christmas music that might actually tingle with spirit? Go see "Jingle All the Way," the S.C. Philharmonic's collaboration with Bela Fleck, a band that fuses jazz, bluegrass and other genres. Bela Fleck will play a set of Christmas tunes and then will be joined by the orchestra. The show is at 8 p.m. at the Koger Center, 1051 Greene St. $40 to $70. After the concert, there's an after-party with the band. Only 100 $50 tickets will be sold; www.SCPhilharmonic.com or (803) 251-2222
Read about Bela Fleck's Christmas music in Sunday Life & Style.
THURSDAY, Dec. 3
The Midlands Clay Arts Society will host its annual show and sale beginning at noon at Vista Studios/Gallery 80808. There's an opening reception at 5 p.m. What you'll find: hand-crafted pottery, tile, sculpture and other ceramic work. The sale runs through Dec. 5.
Vista Studios/Gallery 80808 is at 808 Lady St. (803) 252-6134
The Lights Before Christmas are turned on for viewing at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. For the 22nd year, families can enjoy what has become a holiday tradition in town. You'll be able to sip hot chocolate and roast marshmallows and, of course, Santa will be there to hear your wishes.
New this year: Holiday Card Walk, which features larger-than-life holiday cards created by local schools; and a candy cane garden, where eight towering candy canes will come to life.
Guests will be able to walk through the zoo and marvel at nearly 1 million lights and many hand-crafted and animated images. They can also sing along at the Music in Motion Lights Spectacular in front of the giraffe exhibit.
The Lights will be on from 6 to 9 p.m. through Jan. 3, with closings on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.
The zoo is at 500 Wildlife Parkway. $6 to $8; (803) 779.8717 or www.riverbanks.org
- Otis R. Taylor Jr.
Also: Holiday Lights on the River, through Dec. 31, Saluda Shoals Park, (803) 772-1228.
Snowville, EdVenture Children's Museum, through Feb. 28. (803) 779-3100
"Snow White," 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturdays, through Dec. 19, Columbia Marionette Theatre, (803) 252-7366
Junior League Holiday Market, Wednesday through Saturday, State Fairgrounds, (803) 252-4552