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Santa is busy this time of year but here’s where you can find him

Santa Claus stands outside with his bag of presents over his shoulder, looking up up at the falling snow, excited for winter and playfully trying to catch snowflakes with his outstretched hand.
Santa Claus stands outside with his bag of presents over his shoulder, looking up up at the falling snow, excited for winter and playfully trying to catch snowflakes with his outstretched hand. Getty Images

Everyone knows that Santa Claus is very busy this time of year and he puts in appearances all over Columbia.

He’s always been quite popular during the holidays, which is why St. Nick appears at many of Historic Columbia’s holiday events.

“His attire, physical appearance, and role in the celebration of Christmas has changed over time,” says James Quint, Historic Columbia’s director of education. “Attending Historic Columbia’s programs is a great opportunity to learn more about Santa’s past.”

At Historic Columbia’s Santa Signing, kids explore gift giving and how this has changed over time.

“By putting a fun twist on his checklist, children can partake in several activities that include picking sprigs of holly from our holly bushes,” Quint says.

At Breakfast with Santa, families eat breakfast and pose for photos with Santa before going to the Hampton-Preston Mansion and reading a Christmas favorite that first appeared in the 1820s.

Of course most folks also want their (or their children’s) photos taken with Santa. He never seems to mind. Here are some places where you’ll find Santa this holiday season:

Lights Before Christmas: Through Dec. 23, 6 p.m. Riverbanks Zoo, 500 Wildlife Parkway.

Columbiana Centre: Through Dec. 24. 100 Columbiana Circle. Go to www.columbianacentre.com for reservations and hours.

Santa’s Gingerbread Jamboree: 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Every weekend through Dec. 24. Edventure Children’s Museum, 211 Gervais St.

Dutch Square Mall: Saturdays and Sundays until Dec. 15, daily after that. Dutch Square Mall, 421 Bush River Road.

Train Rides with Santa: Dec. 1 (10 a.m., 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m.), Dec. 8 (Noon, 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m.) Dec. 15 (Noon, 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m.). 110 Industrial Park Road, Winnsboro.

Sundaes with Santa and Junior League Holiday Market: Noon-4 p.m. Dec. 2. Cantey and Goodman buildings at South Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1200 Rosewood Drive.

S.C. State Museum: Dec. 20-23. South Carolina State Museum, 301 Gervais St.

Story Time with Santa: 10-11:30 a.m., noon-1:30 p.m. Dec. 1. Seven Oaks Park, 200 Leisure Lane, Irmo.

Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade: 9:45 a.m. Dec. 1. The parade begins at Gervais and Bull streets and proceeds west on Gervais. It will pass in front of the State House, and continue into the Vista.

Lake Murray Visitor Center Holiday Open House: 10 a.m.- noon, Dec. 8. The Historic Lorick Plantation House (Lake Murray Visitor Center)

Lunch With Santa: 10a.m.-noon, Dec. 5. Bluff Road Park, 148 Carswell Drive. Register by Nov. 30 at richlandrec.com.

Breakfast With Santa: 9 a.m.-noon, Dec. 1. St. Andrews Park, 920 Beatty Road. Register by Nov. 26 at richlandrec.com.

Santa at Holiday Lights on the River: Dec. 14-23. Saluda Shoals Park, 6071 St. Andrews Road.

Historic Columbia Breakfast with Santa: 8-11 a.m. Dec. 15. Robert Mills Carriage House, 1616 Blanding St. Tickets available at www.historiccolumbia.org.

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