Travel

Events in South Carolina

Katie McElveen
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Check out our calendar of events to discover holiday happenings in South Carolina.

Carriage with driver and passengers pulled by horses with house in background Jason Schneider

Visit these buildings for some history of Christmases past—and to enjoy the festive finery of Christmas present.

Historic Yorkville Holiday Home Tour, York

Tours of historic homes and downtown historic buildings all dressed up in their holiday best are just part of the fun of this annual celebration, Dec. 9–10. Other weekend events include horse-and-carriage tours of the city’s historic district, plus carolers and more. 

Robert Mills House and Hampton-Preston Mansion, Columbia

Experience how some of Columbia’s wealthy families decorated their homes for the holidays in the 19th century at historic Robert Mills House and the Hampton-Preston Mansion, Nov. 15–Dec. 29 (Wednesdays through Sundays only; closed Nov. 23–24). In the past, there has been a day the tours are led by candlelight and also a holiday market. 

Governor’s Mansion, Columbia

Gov. Henry McMaster and first lady Peggy McMaster welcome guests into their home on Dec. 4 to take in multiroom holiday displays that include decorated trees, wreaths, fireplace mantels and more.

Now–Dec. 31 
The South’s Grandest Christmas Show

It’s nearly impossible not to get into the holiday spirit after watching this holiday music extravaganza, which transforms North Myrtle Beach’s Alabama Theatre into a Christmas wonderland for an evening of traditional and contemporary carols, exciting dance numbers and, of course, Santa. 

Nov. 16 
Vista Lights

Art, food, music and shopping come together each year in Columbia’s historical Congaree Vista area for an evening of holiday cheer. After a tree lighting and free concert, stroll through the more than 60 shops, galleries and restaurants in this neighborhood. 

Nov. 16–Dec. 31
Aquarium Aglow

This holiday light experience takes place indoors at Charleston’s South Carolina Aquarium, where themed light displays dance across the tanks, open spaces and walls of the aquarium on select dates. 

Nov. 17–19 
Jingle Bell Market

Start—and finish—your holiday shopping at the Florence Center, where dozens of vendors are on hand selling clothing, jewelry, home decor, crafts, artwork, gourmet food and other items. 

Nov. 23 
Aiken Turkey Trot

Get Thanksgiving Day off to an energetic start with a 1-mile fun run or 5K around Aiken’s Citizens Park. Strollers and leashed dogs are permitted at the event. Don’t forget to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots.

Nov. 25 
South Carolina-Clemson football game

This football rivalry is one of the oldest in the nation; even after a Gamecock victory in 2022, Clemson still leads the series 72–43–4. This year’s Palmetto Bowl takes place in Columbia at USC’s Williams-Brice Stadium. 

Nov. 25–Dec. 31 
Nights of a Thousand Candles

See the Brookgreen Gardens in a whole new light at this annual holiday event, which bathes the Murrells Inlet gardens in the glow of more than 2,700 candles and millions of sparkling lights on select dates. There will be musicians playing on event nights, and the on-site restaurant will be open. 

Nov. 28
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis

Join 15 top jazz soloists and ensemble players at Columbia’s Koger Center for the Arts for an evening of big band takes on classic holiday songs. A highlight is guest jazz vocalist and composer Ashley Pezzotti. 

Dec. 1–3, 7–10, 14–17 
It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

Based on the James Stewart classic holiday movie, the Chapin Theatre Company’s  
production of Joe Landry’s It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play in Chapin brings the story to life as a live radio broadcast. 

Dec. 2

Poinsettia Christmas Parade

Kick off the season in Greenville at this holiday parade, a tradition of more than 75 years that features floats, bands and dance groups, all led by a grand marshal. Afterward, visit Main Street’s shops and restaurants, or take a spin on the outdoor ice rink. 

Dec. 9 
25th Annual Holiday Market & Craft Show

Mount Pleasant’s weekly farmers market gets a holiday upgrade with live musical performances, a caricature artist, Christmas ornaments, and crafts and holiday treats for sale alongside the market’s usual bounty. Bring the children: Santa will be there for photos. 

Dec. 11 
CMA Chamber Music on Main

Performed at the Columbia Museum of Art, Chamber Music on Main is an intimate concert series that combines art and music.

Dec. 30
Cold Winter’s Day 5K & Snowflake Youth Fun Run

This fast, flat course takes runners through residential neighborhoods and past a golf course in Columbia. 

Jan. 2–7 
Hadestown

Making its Lowcountry premier at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center, this Tony Award-winning musical tells the classic and tragic story of Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as that of Persephone and Hades, set in more modern times. 

Jan. 6
Hair of the Dog 2 Mile

A 4:30 p.m. start time makes it easy to kick off happy hour after completing this Greenville-area 2-mile race; the fact that it begins and ends at Double Stamp Brewery makes it even more convenient. 

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