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The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Fun in Columbia, SC – 2017 Edition

Deck the halls, find your ugly Christmas sweater, and listen to your favorite holiday tunes. The holiday season is here and it’s time to celebrate!

As we go into the season where we spend time with family and friends here at Solomon Law Group, we know how easy it can be to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of December. Make time to enjoy this month because there’s so much fun to be had in Columbia, South Carolina.

We’ve taken the time to share some of our favorite dining options, holiday events and festivities, local gift stores, and Christmas tree farms here in the city. Enjoy our guide below, and if you have anything you’d like to add, get in touch with us!

Upcoming Holiday Events and Shows in Columbia, SC

Columbia offers so many holiday events and shows to enjoy this holiday season. Check out our list so you can find the best events to attend.

  • Governor’s Carolighting. On November 27th, you can get a headstart on finding yuletide cheer by being there for the lighting of the State’s Christmas tree. Artists from across South Carolina will be performing, there will be a seasonal message from the Governor, and the kids will be able to take pictures with Santa.
  • Lights Before Christmas. Running from November 18 – December 30, you can be a part of the 30 year tradition of seeing beautiful lights displays, the Christmas Parade, drinking some hot chocolate, and seeing Santa.
  • Holiday Lights. The Midlands drive-through lights show celebrates the season with a spectacular display at Saluda Shoals Park. The event starts on November 22 continues throughout December 31.
  • Main Street ICE. One of the best holiday activities is going ice skating. You can visit the City of Columbia’s outdoor ice skating rink from November 23 – January 15.
  • A Starry Night. Five Points goes all out to kick off the holiday season on December 1. Come see the decorations, listen to holiday music, and watch performances from choral and dance groups. There will be plenty of activities for children that makes this event fun for the whole family.
  • The 64th Annual Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade. On Saturday, December 2, you can see the Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade. It’s considered the official South Carolina holiday parade.
  • Nicholas Festival. Another event is happening on December 2. The St. Nicholas Festival features vendors, plenty of cookies, coffee, and St. Nicholas himself. There will also be crafts and a choir performance.
  • Home for the Holidays Tour of Homes. On Sunday December 3 from 1-5pm, the Shandon Hollywood-Rose Hill Homes celebrates the holiday season with a tour of decorated homes. You’ll visit two historic Columbia neighborhoods, seeing all sizes of houses. The proceeds benefit local schools.
  • Greater Cayce-West Columbia Holiday Parade of Lights. This holiday parade is on December 9 at the Cayce Municipal Complex.
  • The Singing Christmas Tree. The Columbia holiday tradition continues December 8-10. See the 30-foot Christmas tree that holds a choir of over 100 people. The evening will be full of singing, dancing, and fun.
  • The Columbia Christmas Pageant. The Christmas Pageant is December 8-10, and has beautiful Christmas lights, music, and a show with over hundreds of people working to celebrate the holidays.
  • Candlelight Tours & Carriage Riders. On December 15, you can visit the Robert Mills House and the Hampton-Preston Mansion and see all the beautiful Christmas decorations with music and children’s activities. You can also go on a carriage ride through the historic district.
  • Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical. See the classic holiday story on stage from December 1-17 at the Columbia Stage Society’s Town Theatre.

Find the Perfect Christmas Presents in Columbia

Gift-giving is a cornerstone of the holiday season, and sometimes this can be tricky. But don’t worry. Columbia has amazing stores where you’ll find great gifts for everyone.

  • The Crescent Olive. Have a friend who loves to cook? Get them a bottle of oil or vinegar from The Crescent Olive. They aim to have the freshest olive oil and properly aged balsamic vinegar to provide the best flavor possible.
  • non(e)such. This store has the family tradition of three generations of women running it. They sell elegant home décor, jewelry, tabletop wares, and more.
  • They’ve been selling fine clothing for the past 7 decades. You can even design a custom piece with the help of an employee for a truly unique gift.
  • Bohemian Home. This eclectic store will have something for that one person who you don’t know what to get for the holidays. Bohemian Home has wall art, cool gadgets, home and office accessories, clocks, and cool furniture.
  • HandPicked. Your one stop shop for the best jewelry, apparel, and accessories. There’s even a monogram option to personalize the gift.
  • Little Lambs & Ivy. Have a friend or family member who has a baby? Little Lambs & Ivy sells children’s clothing, baby blankets, and bibs. Their clothing is cute and comfortable.

Check Out Our Favorite Holiday Bars and Restaurants in Columbia, SC

Whether you’ve been shopping all day and need to relax or you want to kick off a December weekend, Columbia has plenty of local bars and restaurants that will start your weekend on a high note.

  • River Rat Brewery. Founded in 2013, the River Rat Brewery makes craft beers and seasonal beers. Taste their Winter Warmer Ale this holiday season. They offer tours and have plenty of merch.
  • Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company. Offering ales of every color and ABV, any type of beer lover will find something at this brewery. Check out their events for Friday Night Trivia or Sunday Brunch.
  • Copper Horse Distilling. Their distilled spirits are made in small batches from local grains and each drink has a taste of the South. Try their vodka, rum, and gin.
  • The Oak Table. They serve fresh American cuisine and you can visit for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. The décor is made from recycled wood from a 19th century cabin and has outdoor seating options.
  • Lula Drake. This wine bar has an interesting past. When the owners found a trunk from the 1920’s in the corner of the basement of what was going to be their bar, they found a card with the name “Lula Drake” on it. After some research, they learned that Lula Drake owned her own hat business, went by “Drake,” and defied the social norms for her time. The wine bar celebrates this attitude and supports small vintners and brewers. Their wine menu changes frequently but the quality stays the same.
  • Motor Supply Co. Bistro. This restaurant has been open since 1989 in a building that used to be for supplying engines. Their menu changes daily so you always have a new experience each time.
  • Cola’s Restaurant. The location used to be bottling plant for RC Cola. The restaurant has delicious seafood, steaks, and always use fresh ingredients. Enjoy a drink at their 40 foot long bar.
  • Named after the Latin word for earth and land, Terra has food from local farmers to keep their dishes as fresh and nutritious as possible. Their menu changes periodically to showcase the flavors of the season.

Visit a Columbia, SC Christmas Tree Farm

The Christmas tree is one of the holiday’s main traditions, and nothing beats the aroma of a live tree. Picking out your tree for the season is fun and special. Visit one of these farms to get the best tree for you to decorate with lights, ornaments, and a bright star on top.

  • Old Congaree Run Christmas Tree Farm. While the drive is a bit long at 2 hours 20 mins, making a day out of getting your Christmas tree is a great way to get in the holiday spirit. After choosing and cutting down your tree, relax with some hot chocolate or go for a tractor ride.
  • Taylors Christmas Tree Farm. Closer to Columbia is Taylor’s Christmas Tree Farm. The drive is a little over a half hour. Come here to cut down your own tree. They have White Pine, Eastern Red Cedar, Leland Cypress, Deodar Cedar, Carolina Sapphire, and Frazer Firs.

Happy Holidays from the Solomon Law Group

With all these festive events and local shops to see, your holiday season is sure to be full of spirit and fun. As we celebrate the month dedicated to goodwill and cheer, we hope that you take a break from the rush of the season and enjoy the lights, see a show, and drink a cup of hot chocolate.

The Solomon Law Group wishes you a happy holiday season and healthy new year.

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