Stay Here, Play Here: Lexington County events for the week of Dec. 1

Posted 12/1/22

Lexington County Lights

Lights at Riverbanks The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden (500 Wildlife Pkwy.) hosts its annual Christmas light event (known previously as Lights Before Christmas). The Zoo will …

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Stay Here, Play Here: Lexington County events for the week of Dec. 1


Lexington County Lights

Lights at Riverbanks
The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden (500 Wildlife Pkwy.) hosts its annual Christmas light event (known previously as Lights Before Christmas). The Zoo will be illuminated by nearly a million lights and more than 350 handcrafted images. You can also take a photo with Santa and roast marshmallows at the Jingle Bell Bonfire. The event continues through Dec. 30 on select dates (including Nov. 25-27, 1 and Dec. 1). Visit for more information.

Holiday Lights on the River
Enjoy an evening of holiday lights and activities at Saluda Shoals Park East (6071 St Andrews Rd. in Columbia). The park will have three miles of lights featuring colorful, animated light displays of all shapes and sizes. There will also be a tube slide, a hayride train, a laser light show on the Wetland Trail, and kids can write and color a letter to Santa in the Environmental Center. Santa will also be there for photos, and Santa’s Claus’et Gift Shop will be open for holiday shopping. Concessions, beer and wine will be available for purchase. The event recurs nightly through Dec. 31, and admission costs between $25 and $75 (available activities vary on some nights). Visit for more information.

Tree Lightings
Trees are lighting up across the county this week:

  • The City of West Columbia hosts its tree lighting at City Hall (200 N 12th St.) with school chorus performances, special readings from Mrs. Claus and coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cookies on Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m.
  • The Town of Lexington also lights its tree Dec. 2, doing so as part of its Snowball Festival at the 6:30 p.m. Carolighitng Ceremony. The event is at Icehouse Amphitheater (107 W Main St.) and will happen with carols and help from Santa.
  • The Town of Pine Ridge lights its tree at Town Hall (2757 Fish Hatchery Rd.) after it rolls out its Christmas Parade Dec. 3, with the festivities going from 4 to 7 p.m. and including live music, food and drinks.
  • The Town of Swansea also lights its tree Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. with hot chocolate available downtown on Monmouth Avenue. The town’s Christmas Parade follows on Dec. 4 at 4 p.m.
  • The Town of South Congaree lights its tree on Dec. 4 at 5:30 p.m. on Main Street with live Christmas carol performances, coffee, hot chocolate and Santa Claus will be in attendance.
  • The Town of Springdale lights its tree on Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. at Felton C. Benton Park (2915 Platt Springs Rd.) with an elementary school chorus performance, hot chocolate and s’mores, and ornament making for the kids.
  • The Town of Irmo lights its tree at Irmo Town Park (7330 Carlisle St.) on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. with a “State of the Town” address from Mayor Barry Walker, Sr. along with a birthday celebration for the town’s 132nd birthday, hot cocoa and cookies, pizza, pictures with Santa, and more.

Friday — Dec. 2

Holiday Open House
The Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center (311 W. Main St.) and Mary Kay cosmetics present a Holiday Open House. This drop-in style event features snacks, door prizes, shopping and a free goodie bag worth $25. RSVP is required at 803-615-1972. The event runs from 11am to 2pm. Visit for more information.

Carols Along the Riverwalk
Head over to downtown Cayce for an evening of Carols Along The Riverwalk: “Beginning at the N Avenue Entrance (201 N Avenue at the intersection of Axtell and N Avenue) of the Cayce Riverwalk, the sounds of the holidays flow through the trees during this reverse caroling event, where several local church choirs and musicians will be located throughout the first half mile of the Riverwalk. Parking will be made available at Brookland Cayce High School with free trolley rides provided to and from the entrance of the Riverwalk.” Carols Along The Riverwalk runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is free to attend. Visit for more information.

Murders and Mysteries Irmo Walking Tour
The Lexington County Museum hosts a walking tour “all about the murders, mysteries, duels, and lynchings that occurred in Irmo and the Dutch Fork,” starting at Irmo Town Park at 8 p.m. and going until 9 p.m. Event is free, and no reservations are needed. Find more info at

Saturday — Dec. 3

Snowball Festival Carnival
Enjoy a family-friendly holiday afternoon at the Icehouse Amphitheater (107 W. Main St.) as they host the Snowball Festival Carnival. There will be face painting, balloon artists, letters to Santa, rides and more. The festival begins at 1 p.m., and there will be a screening of the Christmas classic “Elf” at 5:30 p.m. The event is free to attend. Visit for more information.

4 Year Anniversary
Cayce brewery Steel Hands expanded to a second location in Greensboro, North Carolina, this year, and the mothership (2350 Foreman St.) keeps going strong. The beer destination celebrates four years in operation from noon to 10 p.m. with live music all day on two stages in its beer gardens, along with four special beer releases (including a Coffee Lager variety six-pack with two new flavors for 2022). Find more info at

Tinsel Town Market
Have fun for a good cause at the Tinsel Town Market at Lake Murray Presbyterian Church (2721 Dutch Fork Rd. in Chapin). The market features over 80 arts and crafts vendors and several food trucks, and it’s a fundraiser for Girl Scout Troop 760 & Troop 29036. The market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the church requests that you bring a gift for the Tweens & Teens gift drive. Visit for more information.

Holiday Open House
The Cayce Historical Museum (1800 12th St.) hosts a Holiday Open House. Each room will be decorated with trees and crafts from the 18th century to present. The event will also feature live entertainment, docents dressed in period attire, and light refreshments. The Open House runs from 6 to 9 p.m., and admission is $3 for adults and $2 for military members, seniors over 65 and children aged 3-12. Infants 2 and under are free. Visit for more information.

Classic Country Music & Dancing
Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor (710 Meeting St. in West Columbia) presents its Saturday night tradition: Classic country music and dancing. Drop by and take a spin on the dance floor or just have a seat and enjoy the tunes. The evening begins at 6 p.m., and admission is a $10 donation. Visit for more information.

Christmas in the Country
Visit Locklair Farm Supply (109 State Pond Rd. in Gaston) for a taste of Christmas in the Country. There will be arts and crafts vendors selling everything from soaps and candles to Christmas décor, along with live music, food and a visit from Santa Claus. This event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free to attend. Visit for more information.

“A Christmas Carol” (play)
The Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College (7300 College St. in Irmo) hosts a production of the classic Dickens story “A Christmas Carol” rewritten for the stage by Broadway heavy hitters Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens. Experience the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the three Christmas spirits at 2 p.m. or 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for each performance. Visit for more information.

Sunday — Dec. 4

Chamber Crawl
The S.C. Philharmonic brings its ongoing series of casual concerts at drinking destinations to Irmo, with a performance at Loveland Coffee (7475 Carlisle St.). A string quintet will play holiday favorites, with doors opening at 2 p.m. and the concert starting at 3 p.m. Tickets start at $20. Find more info at

Christmas at Red Bank (concert)
A holiday tradition continues, as the Christmas at Red Bank concert returns for a 17th year. The annual concert at Red Bank UMC brings together local musicians (Brent Lundy, Admiral Radio, Todd Mathis, and Prettier Than Matt highlight this year’s 12-act lineup) to sing “traditional and not-so-traditional Christmas music.” There is no charge for admission, though an offering will be taken to benefit Mission Lexington. Find more info on the 6:30 p.m. concert at

Across the County Line

Fantasia (concert)
Singer and “American Idol” winner Fantasia performs at the Township Auditorium (1703 Taylor St.) on Dec. 2. Special guest Case opens the show, which begins at 8 p.m. Tickets cost between $71.50 and $177. Visit for more information.

Jingle & Mingle
The Land Bank (1401 Hampton St. in Columbia) hosts South Carolina Artists’ Jingle & Mingle on Dec. 2. Enjoy eggnog and hot cocoa, an arts and crafts market, a Best/Worst Christmas Sweater competition, gallery tours, food and wine. The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. and is free to attend. Visit for more information.

“The Nutcracker” (ballet)
Enjoy a performance of “The Nutcracker” at Newberry Opera House (1201 McKibben St.) on Dec. 4. This classic Russian ballet, composed by Tchaikovsky, has been a family holiday favorite since it premiered in 1892. The performance begins at 4 p.m., and tickets cost between $15 and $50. Visit for more information.

“Cirque Dreams Holidaze”
The Koger Center for the Arts (1051 Greene St. in Columbia) hosts “Cirque Dreams Holidaze” on Dec. 6: “Features a world-renowned cast of performers accompanied by an original music score including new twists on seasonal favorites such as ‘Deck the Halls,’ ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.’ Singers, dancers, penguins, toy soldiers, and reindeer invoke the dreams behind a child’s eye on the most magical of nights.” Showtime is 7:30 p.m., and tickets cost between $29 and $79. Visit for more information.

Gallery Talk
Join the Columbia Museum of Art (1515 Main St.) on Dec. 7 for a Gallery Talk featuring Wendell Brown, fiber artist, associate professor of art, and director of the Henry Ponder Gallery at Benedict College. Brown will host a tour highlighting works in the featured exhibition, “The Art of Elizabeth Catlett: From the Collection of Samella Lewis.” Hear about Brown’s time working with both Catlett and Lewis when he was director of art education at Hampton University. This Gallery Talk is free with museum membership or museum admission. Registration is recommended. Visit for more information.


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