It’s finally December, and there are many holiday happenings this weekend to help you usher in the season.
The city of Greer will host its annual tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Friday in Greer City Park. The festive event will include music and entertainment provided by local choirs and schools, children’s activities, crafts, holiday photos and food for sale for charity, including s’mores. The highlight of the evening will be Santa arriving at 7:15 p.m. and reading a Christmas story before helping light the tree. Rain or shine. For full details, visit cityofgreer.org.
The Spartanburg Youth Theatre will present “Rudolph” at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Chapman Cultural Center. Tickets are $15 each for adults and $10 each for ages 18 and younger. For tickets, visit www.chapmanculturalcenter.org or call 864-582-ARTS (2787).
The International Ballet will present “The Nutcracker” with weekend performances at the Peace Center. Shows include a 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday performance. Internationally acclaimed guest artists Adiarys Almeida and Taras Domitro, who have danced for companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet and National Ballet of Cuba, star as Clara and her Nutcracker Prince. Tickets are $18-$55. For information, visit www.peacecenter.org.
Looking for the perfect gift? The annual Holiday Fair returns to TD Convention 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. through Saturday. Exhibitors include more than 300 crafters and commercial vendors from 15 states in this three-day award-winning fair. Admission is $6 per adult and free for children under 12. For details, visit http://holidayfairgreenville.com.
Visit and take photos with Rudolph and Santa Claus 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday during the Open-Air Market at The Shops at Greenridge in Greenville. There will be holiday music, and the event will include a balloon artist, cookies, crafts and a reindeer visiting with children. Admission is free. For details, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/348169642312613/.
“Santa Claus, a New Musical” will be presented by South Carolina Children’s Theatre at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Peace Center. After a thousand-year run, Santa is ready to retire. Who will take his place? Is anyone fit to run the North Pole? Find out in this family friendly musical, which includes a post-show visit with Santa and his elves. Tickets are $18-$27. For information, visit www.peacecenter.org.
Skating on the Big Ice returns to the Bon Secours Wellness Arena this weekend. Enjoy ice skating at the arena beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Cost is $8 for adults ages 7 and older and $6 for children 6 and younger. Skate rentals are $3, or bring five canned goods to donate to Harvest Hope Food Bank to receive a free skate rental. Free parking is available in the VIP lot. For details, visit www.bonsecoursarena.com.
Family Fun Day at the Upcountry History Museum will be held 10 a.m. - 2p.m. Saturday. Come meet Father Christmas and celebrate with crafts and story times with regular admission. Mrs. Claus’ Gingerbread Workshop follows at 2 p.m., but special tickets are required. Enjoy a story time with Mrs. Claus before grabbing some frosting and decorating gingerbread creations. Cost is $15 for non museum members and $8 for members. For details, visit www.upcountryhistory.org.
Breakfast with Santa events also begin this weekend in Greer, Mauldin and Simpsonville, but unfortunately all events are already sold out. Don’t worry. You can see Santa when he makes appearances in Upstate parades. The Mauldin Christmas Parade is at 2 p.m. Saturday along Butler Road. Greenville’s Poinsettia Christmas Parade begins at 6 p.m. along Main Street in downtown Greenville. Greer and Simpsonville will host their parades Sunday. Greer begins at 2:30 p.m. and Simpsonville begins at 3 p.m.
Kids of all ages can also meet Santa during Safari Santa 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday at Greenville Zoo. Take photos and visit with Santa, free with admission to the zoo. The first 100 children will receive cookies provided by The Bair Foundation and milk provided by Pet Dairy. Some zoo animals will also have their own Christmas trees on display. For details, visit http://greenvillezoo.com/168/Special-Events.
Christmas “Inn” Our Town is underway in Fountain Inn. Weekend events include carriage rides and photos with Santa 5-9 p.m. each day. Holiday displays throughout the town are on display daily. Santa’s workshop is located at the corner of Trade Street and Main Street. For more details, visit www.fountaininn.org/christmas-inn-our-town-.html.
Abate Motorcycle Club’s Toy Run benefiting the children served by the Julie Valentine Center, leaves the Greenville Shrine Club at 2 p.m. Sunday for a ride to Greenville County Square. The event is expected to include 400 – 500 riders. Greet the motorcycles at County Square when they arrive at approximately 2:15 – 2:45 p.m. and bring a toy for children ages infants – 17. Visit www.julievalentinecenter.org for more details.
Finally, The Carolina Youth Symphony Holiday Concert begins at 3 p.m. Sunday at McAlister Auditorium at Furman University. Tickets are $10 each for adults and $5 each for students and seniors. Visit carolinayouthsymphony.org.
For more events and resources, visit www.UpstateParent.com.