Can you believe there’s only one month left of this decade? At Palmetto Smiles, we have had an amazing year seeing all of your smiling faces! We are so excited the most wonderful time of the year is finally here. We’re ready to ring in the new year (and new decade) in style with all the fun, festive events in Lexington and Columbia.
As your Lexington and Columbia family dentists, our holiday wish this year is to see the families in our community soaking up all of the joy this season has to offer : Christmas light displays, holiday parades, tree lighting ceremonies and so much more. Need help deciding which family friendly holiday events to attend in the area? Here’s a round-up of all the best holiday activities for families in Lexington and Columbia.
1. Visit Riverbanks Zoo & Garden “Lights Before Christmas” Show
Select nights in November and December @ 5-9pm
This holiday season, Riverbanks Zoo & Garden transforms into everyone’s favorite Christmas light extravaganza. Nearly one million lights will light up the zoo, creating a winter wonderland you and your kids will love. Visit the animated story tree, get your picture taken with Santa and enjoy s’mores with hot cocoa around the Jingle Bell Bonfire. Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for kids under 12. As the longest running holiday event in Columbia, the “Lights Before Christmas” display is something you won’t want to miss.
2. See the Holiday Lights on the River
November 21st to December 31st @ 6-10pm
For a magical lights display you’ll be talking about all year, head to Saluda Shoals Park any night right up to New Year’s Eve (except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). It’s the Midlands’ largest drive-through light show with over a million lights and 400 displays. Take a hayride, watch the laser show, roast marshmallows and get a photo with Santa. Admission is $20 per car and additional fees apply for add-on activities. The light show at Saluda Shoals Park is one of our favorite things to do during the holidays in Columbia and Palmetto Smiles is proud to sponsor this fantastic event.
3. See the Lexington Christmas Parade
Sunday December 8th @ 3pm
It’s a Christmas tradition you won’t want to miss! Join the Town of Lexington and the Lexington Jaycees for the annual Christmas Parade down Main Street! Get in the Christmas Spirit by watching an array of parade floats make their way through downtown! You just might catch our very own Dr. Nieders parading through the streets!
4. Shop the Christmas Craft Fair at the Icehouse Amphitheater
Thursday, December 5th @ 4pm
Still haven’t finished your holiday shopping? On December 5th, head to the Icehouse Amphitheater for the annual Christmas Craft Fair. You’ll find everything you need for a picture perfect holiday — from fresh produce for big family dinners to gifts for everyone on your list — with live music by Prettier Than Matt playing in the background. Bring your friends, family or kids and make a day of it. The fair is a must-do holiday activity in Lexington this year.
5. Kick Off the Holiday Season at Snowball Festival
December 5th to December 8th
The holiday season in Lexington wouldn’t be complete without the annual Snowball Festival. This four day event kicks off with the Christmas Craft Fair at the Icehouse Amphitheater (see Number 4 on this list!) and continues on with a tree lighting ceremony, festive movies, a holiday parade and more. On Friday, December 6th, enjoy hot chocolate, s’mores and live entertainment as Santa lights the tree. The next day, bring the kids for a viewing of everyone’s favorite holiday flick, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Then cap it all off with the holiday parade down Main Street. It’s a full weekend of festive fun in Lexington.
6. Enjoy the Christmas Wonderland Holiday Spectacular at Koger Center
December 17th to December 18th @ 7:30pm
If you want to escape the cold this holiday season, step inside the Koger Center for a holiday spectacular fit for the whole family. Think glittering costumes, enchanting music and dazzling chorus line as Santa and his helpers dance the night away for your entertainment. The Christmas Wonderland Holiday Spectacular is the perfect holiday activity in Columbia to help get you into the festive spirit.
7. Tour the Historic Holiday Houses
November 22nd to January 5th
This holiday season, experience festive cheer and past traditions like never before at Robert Mills House and Hampton-Preston Mansion. In a guided tour, you’ll hear stories of holidays past in Columbia and discover the beauty of these 19th and 20th century homes. You’ll also get a taste of how homes were decorated during the holidays in Victorian times, before Christmas trees became popular. Admission is $15 and includes a tour of both houses. Tour times vary so check the website above before you go.
8. Catch a Candlelight Tour and Carriage Ride
Saturday, December 14th @ 5:30-9pm
Robert Mills House and Hampton-Preston Mansion are also home to an annual Columbia holiday activity: candlelight tours and carriage rides. You’ll be guided through a special candlelit tour of the homes, with an option to take a carriage ride through the Robert Mills Historic District before or after. There will be live music, children’s activities, hot chocolate, holiday vendors and more. Space is limited for the carriage rides so sign up today to reserve your spot for this cherished Columbia holiday event.
9. Visit a Christmas Tree Farm
Website | Facebook
It wouldn’t be the holidays without a trip to one of South Carolina’s many Christmas tree farms! Nothing beats the festive smell of a fresh-cut Christmas tree, so grab the kids and take part in a time-honored holiday tradition. Not sure where to look? The South Carolina Christmas Tree Association has made it easy as (pumpkin) pie to find a local farm near you. Just use the handy “Find a Farm” tool on their website and you’ll be sipping eggnog and decorating your tree in no time.
10. Attend Winter Wonderland at Second Wave Coffee and Books
November 29th to December 31st
Snow pit, s’mores, Santa’s helpers, oh my! What does Second Wave’s Winter Wonderland not have? Grab your favorite winter warmer (made by friendly barista elves) and watch the kiddos play in the snow. Keep an eye on the weather before you go, though; the festivities are put on hold if it rains. Winter Wonderland is open daily until December 31st. Admission is $5 for the snow pit and free for everything else. It’s everyone’s favorite winter event in Lexington, promising loads of fun for the whole family.