Deep in the heart of South Carolina lies a jewel that is a best kept secret—Lake Murray Country. Located near the great capital city of Columbia, Lake Murray has warmed the hearts of many South Carolinians with its impeccable shoreline, fun traditions, and endless amount of activities and this holiday season… the same holds true.
If you’re like us, you’ve been cooped up for the last six months or so and are chomping at the bit to go somewhere… anywhere! Whether you’re looking for a fun holiday activity the whole family can enjoy or the perfect place for a festive date night, Lake Murray Country is the ideal destination. Here are ten reasons to visit the famous Midlands area this winter.
1. Have a Koala-ity Christmas at the Zoo
The Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is known for their ‘koala-ity’ holiday celebrations each year as Columbia’s longest running holiday tradition! While most of the animals will be catching up on precious beauty sleep, over a million twinkling LED lights will be sure to keep you awake in ahh and wonder. This event takes place on select days during November and December so be sure to check out Lake Murray Country’s events page for more details.
2. There’s Holiday Lights on the River
Each year, Lake Murray hosts the largest drive-through lights show in all of the Midlands, decorated with euphoric displays using over a million glowing lights. If you’re dreaming of a bright Christmas, come see over 400 animated displays of all shapes and sizes. Experience this socially distant winter wonderland between November 25th through December 31st from 6 to 10 PM at Saluda Shoals Park East.
3. See This Very Shiny Nose in Person!
The South Carolina State Museum is hosting the classic holiday adventure, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, with 3D visuals and interactive effects. Showing daily until January 3rd, experience the same stop-motion animation from the beloved television classic at this visually brilliant experience. This event will charm your whole family for generations, you could even say it’ll go down in his-tor-y! For more information, click here.
4. Have The Hap-Hap-Happiest Christmas At
A Drive-In Movie Event
Nobody will want to walk out on this old-fashioned family Christmas event: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at the Hampton-Preston Gardens! With socially distant pods, all you have to bring is your own chair and blanket. Don’t worry about packing a snack—Columbia’s famous Craft & Draft will be onsite in a food truck selling beverages and food. Come enjoy this nostalgic classic on December 4th, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Grab your ticket today.
5. See Santa on the Big Screen – We know him!!
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. But you don’t really have to sing. If you and your family love the movie Elf, The Columbia Fireflies are hosting a movie on the lawn at Segra Park December 4th. Fans can buy tickets in groups of two or four for $12 each, which includes popcorn and a drink. The feature film will start at 7:15pm but gates open at 6pm. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy a movie night out with the family or you’ll be a cotton-headed ninny-muggin.
6. Jingle & Mingle at Cola Concerts
While you may not hear Jingle Bells, the Cola Concerts at Columbia Speedway Entertainment Center will definitely make 2020 go down in history, like Rudolph. On December 5th, American country music singer and songwriter Chase Rice will perform at 8pm. You’ll also want to mark December 10th on your calendar as the iconic and undeniably talented Wynonna Judd will hit the stage. Trust us, all you want for Christmas is to see these performers in person. Your tickets can be purchased in groups of 4 and are already selling fast.
7. You Can Have A Drive-Thru Light Show at the State Fair
Still dreaming for an even brighter Christmas? For the second year in a row, the South Carolina State Fair will have a drive-through light show, named Carolina Lights! From December 5th through the 27th, come visit the special event with over a 100 different light displays that are sure to make you love the holiday season a whole watt. Tickets are $20 for each car, $35 for mini buses, and $70 for vehicles containing more than 25 passengers. More details here.
8. Celebrate a Berry Merry Christmas with North Pole Nights
No snow? No problem. The Wonders of the North Pole are coming to Newberry as downtown’s Memorial Park hosts fluttering faux snow! No need to fret—the fake snow is non-toxic and evaporates after five minutes. Bring your letters to Santa as well to send in the new Santa mailbox! This berry fun event is happening on December 4th, 11th, and 18th from 6 to 8 PM. Don’t miss North Pole Nights.
9. Get Crackin’ at the Nutcracker Ballet
The holiday classic is back just in time! Watch the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Nutcracker Prince dance with beautiful snowflakes and tiny toy soldiers this winter at the Koger Center. With phenomenal choreography, immersive sets, and striking costumes, the whole family is sure to enjoy the show presented by Dance Alive. Due to government restrictions, seating is limited, so be sure to purchase your tickets early.
10. Celebrate New Year’s with a Bang
The Famously Hot New Year’s Eve Celebration is South Carolina’s largest firework show, and while it may be virtual this year, the vibrant atmosphere will sure heat up anyone who is watching online. Or book your stay somewhere close to the South Carolina State House and watch the mesmerizing flares outside in the sky. Let’s all count down together as we ring in the New Year! For more details and updates on this celebration, check back here regularly.
There’s Snow-Place like
Lake Murray Country
Don’t give winter the cold shoulder. Celebrate this holiday season in the beautiful outdoors of Lake Murray Country, conveniently located near bustling Columbia, the ever-expanding Lexington, historically rich Newberry, and the homey town of Saluda. Take an elfie, oops – we meant selfie, with your family and friends at each event, have a mistle-toast at some of the great restaurants around town and never fir-get the best trip of 2020. To book your stay, please visit lakemurraycountry.com/. See you soon!