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Weekend events cater to special needs families

The holidays are right around the corner, and a cold weekend will make a great setting to enjoy these festive events.

► United Community Bank Ice on Main opens Friday in downtown Greenville. A special opening day ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m. before the rink opens to the public at 4 p.m. Located in the heart of downtown Greenville, this open-air rink is located on Village Green in front of the Courtyard Marriott on Main Street. The rink will be open 2 p.m.-9 p.m. Mondays – Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Fridays – Saturdays, and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 18, 2016. Cost to skate is $10 for adults and $8 for children 12 and younger. For details and special events, visit

► Dress up like your favorite video game character for Video Game Night as the Greenville Swamp Rabbits take on South Carolina at 7 p.m. at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Old school video games will be featured on the video board throughout the night, and Greenville News Family Fun Packs will be available for purchase. Fun packs include four tickets to the game as well as full meals for the family for only $60. Purchase a fun pack up to three hours before the game at

► There will be a free playgroup for children with special needs noon-2 p.m. Saturday at Pump It Up in Greenville. The event is sponsored by The Shape of Behavior. To register, email For details, call 866-437-2165 or visit

► Paris Mountain State Park will hold a Geocaching program, and a signs of animals scavenger hunt Nov 21. The Friends of Paris Mountain State Park will host a program at 10 a.m. on Geocaching. Geocasher and teacher Tom Taylor will lead a program on this increasingly popular outdoor activity. Taylor will provide a basic orientation to geocaching and offer some fun hands-on practice with actual units outside, near Park Center. There is no fee for this two-hour program after park admission, and no registration is required. Meet at Park Center.

Ranger Cathy Taylor will also present a program at 1 p.m. called “Animal Signs Scavenger Hunt.” On a leisurely walk around Lake Placid lasting more than an hour, participants will look for at least 10 signs of animals listed on the park scavenger hunt sheet. That might include examining tree holes, tracks, spider webs, tooth marks of beavers, and turning over a few logs to discover which animals call Paris Mountain home. Meet at Park Center. The program costs $7 per person, payable at the welcome station instead of admission, and will start at Park Center. Registration is required. To register, email, or call the office at 864-244-5565.

► Caring Santa will be held 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Nov. 22 at Haywood Mall in Greenville. This special photo session with Santa is for families with children who have special needs. There will be no lines, crowds or music, and stories and activities will be provided. Reservations are required, and most times are already sold out. To register, visit

► The Augusta Road Business Association will kick off the season with Holiday Open House 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Shoppers can get in the holiday spirit with a visit from Santa, music, carriage rides, hot cocoa, door prizes, special gift ideas for Christmas and much more. Created in the 1980s by the first Augusta Road Business Association members, the event makes Augusta Road the place where families experience the beginning of the Christmas season. Participating businesses host special events to celebrate the upcoming holidays and promote local shopping on Augusta Road. Those who are out and about can enter the Shopping Spree contest to win $1,000 of shopping on Augusta. Plus, the first ever Holiday Open House Instagram contest will be going on. Post photos on Instagram and tag @onlyonaugusta and #holidayopenhouse2015 to win gift certificates to Augusta Road restaurants. Main Street Trolley will be available to take shoppers from one destination to another.

► Join Elsa, Anna, and other princesses for “Princess Night” 7 p.m. Monday night when the Swamp Rabbits welcome Atlanta to the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Elsa, Anna, Sofia the First and Tiana will all be in attendance and available to sign autographs on the concourse throughout the evening. In addition, fans can take advantage of 50 percent off tickets to Disney on Ice Nov. 25 – Nov. 29 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena box office through the start of the third period. This offer will only be available to fans who attend the game Monday night. The special tickets will only be available for purchase at the indoor ticket windows on the concourse during the Swamp Rabbits game. Doors open at 6 p.m. For details, visit

► Locally-owned Subway restaurants are working with The Salvation Army to fulfill the Christmas wishes of children in the 2015 “Angel Tree” program. Anyone in the community able to help can stop by participating Subway locations and pick up information on how to donate for a deserving child in the local area. Customers will be directed to a website where they can donate the gifts online. Online donations for this year’s Angel Tree program will be accepted through Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. For more information on the Angel Tree program, visit the Salvation Army’s website at