10+ holiday happenings you shouldn’t miss
With some popular holiday events no longer spreading festive joy (we miss you, Roper Mountain Holiday Lights), families in the Upstate might wonder where to take the little ones to get their holiday fixes. Not to worry. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best holiday experiences around.
The Passion of the Lights might seem familiar to many Greenville residents. Formerly known as Greenville Griswold, which began by Dustin Pellitier and his family at their Taylors-area home, The Passion of the Lights relocated last year to The Edge Community Church, where it became bigger and brighter. It now offers 750,000-plus lights, inflatables, giant Christmas trees and more—all for free. Hours are 6-10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 6-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The church is located at 506 Edwards Road, Greenville. Visit theedgechurch.org/ engage/passion-of-the-lights to view a map of traffic flow.
Fountain Inn’s Christmas Inn Our Town is 6 – 9 p.m. Wednesdays – Sundays Dec. 6 – 22. See this small town transformed into a Christmas village, complete with carriage rides, visits with Santa, street carolers, and other activities. For a complete schedule and more information, visit www.fountaininnevents.com/ christmas-inn-our-town.
Mauldin’s 12 Days of Christmas continues through Dec. 11. Each day includes a new event, from the ciry’s Christmas tree lighting to festive movies and more. For complete details, visit www.mauldinculturalcenter.org or call 864-297-1323.
The Upstate Holiday Light Show returns to Greenville Pickens Speedway this year, and runs through Dec. 31. This drive-thru display features 32 million lights synchronized to the music of favorite holiday classics. A petting zoo is open daily, and Santa Land is open Dec. 14-16 and 21-23. Passes start at $20. Visit www.UpstateLights.com for details.
Anderson Christmas Lights is open at 5:30 p.m. daily through Dec. 25 at 520 Woodcrest Drive, Anderson. For 25 years, this drive-thru display has been a tradition for many families. Santa’s Village opens nightly at 5:45 and closes at 9:45 p.m. Admission starts at $10. Visit www.andersonchristmaslights.com for more information.
Holiday Lights Safari at Hollywild continues through Jan. 5. Drive through millions of sparkling Holiday Lights decorating this nearly 100-acre animal park, and take some time to stroll in to see Santa and his many animals in the barns at Santa’s Village.Gates open nightly at 6 p.m. Admission is $6 per person. Visit www.hollywild.org for details.
Each year, The Christmas Park transforms the Town of Williamston into a Christmas wonderland. Admission is free, and families are invited to stroll through a lights display, visit with Santa (select nights only). The event is nightly at Mineral Spring Park in Williamston. Visit www.williamstonsc.us/events for more details.
Ice on Main continues through Jan. 21 at Village Green in front of the Courtyard by Marriot on Main Street, Greenville. Operating hours for the open-air ice skating rink are 3-8 p.m. Mondays – Thursdays: 3-9 p.m. Fridays; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays; and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays. Cost is $10 per person, which includes skate rentals. For a list of special events, visit www.iceonmain.com.
Skating on the Square continues through Jan. 15 at Morgan Square in Spartanburg. Regular hours are 3-8 p.m. Mondays - Thursdays, 3-9 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays. Cost is $10, which includes skate rentals. For special events and holiday hours, visit www.cityofspartanburg.org/ skating-on-the-square.
Skating on the Big Ice is 1-5 p.m. on select days (Dec. 23, 24, 26-27, 30-31, Jan. 1-4, 20-21) at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville. Admission to the indoor rink is $8 for adults ages 7 and older and $6 for children ages 6 and younger. Skate rentals are $3. Receive free skate rentals when you donate five canned goods or a case of water for local nonprofit organizations. Visit www.bonsecoursarena.com/ events/detail/skating-on-the-big-ice-2.
Some extras ... if you
don’t mind the drive
The Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia is open through Dec. 30. For tickets, visit www.riverbanks.org.
Holiday Lights on the River is 6 – 10 p.m. through Dec. 31 at Saluda Shoals Park. The drive-through lights display includes more than a million lights on a two-mile loop. Visit www.icrc.net.
Christmas at Biltmore Estate in Asheville continues through Jan. 6. In Antler Hill Village, Santa will visit with children and families from 1 – 5 p.m. select dates through Dec. 23. Candlelight Christmas Evenings continue through Jan. 5. A Gingerbread House Tea is at 1 p.m. select dates Dec. 15 – 22 at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. For details, visit biltmore.com.
Speedway Christmas is at the Charlotte Motor Speedway through Dec. 31. The event is a drive-through Christmas light park and village with movie nights and more. Visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
Nights of a Thousand Candles are select dates Dec. 6 – 22 at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet. For details and tickets, visit brookgreen.org.
The Holiday Festival of Lights continues through Jan. 1 at James Island County Park. The event is a three-mile drive through light displays, as well as a sand sculpture, gingerbread houses and more. For details, visit www.holidayfestivaloflights.com.
You’ll find a list of Christmas parades and more in our daily calendar starting on page 44!