Make This Holiday Season Bright in Lake Murray Country

November 17, 2021

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Whether you’re looking for a fun holiday activity the whole family can enjoy or the perfect place for a festive date night, there are lots of events to choose from this holiday season around the Capital City/Lake Murray Country region.

  1. Kick off the Holiday Season on Lake Murray’s Shoreline

Lake Murray’s annual Christmas Light Boat Parade will be held Saturday, December 4th at 6pm. Locals love decorating their boats for the holidays especially when there are cash prizes for the winning boats. Spectators can take in the sparkling lights on the shore at the Lexington Park Site at the Lake Murray Dam and there’s a firework finale! Pack up a picnic and head to the Park Site at 4:30pm to get a good view.


  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 rest, over a million twinkling LED lights will be sure to keep you awake in awe and wonder. This event takes place on select days during November and December, so be sure to check out Riverbanks.org for more details.

  1. Cayce Christmas is Charming as Always

The Christmas in Cayce festivities will kickoff the first week in December. It all begins on December 2nd and includes a Christmas Drive Through, Carols Along the Riverwalk, the Cayce Museum’s Annual Holiday Open House and it all wraps up on December 11th with the Holiday Parade of Lights. Come witness the magic of more than 35,000 Christmas lights and the City’s gorgeous 22-foot Christmas tree!

  1. There’s Holiday Lights on the River

Each year, Saluda Shoals Park, 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 winter wonderland November 25th through December 31st from 6 to 10 PM.

  1. Celebrate a White Christmas with North Pole Nights in Newberry

Want to see 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 Santa mailbox! This snow fun filled event happens on December 3rd, 10th, and 17th from 6 to 8 PM. You don’t want to miss North Pole Nights in Newberry!


  1. More Snow at Lexington’s Snowball Festival

The Town of Lexington will host this year’s Snowball Festival and Carnival at the Icehouse Amphitheater on Saturday, December 4th from 1-9pm. This fun filled event will feature face painting, balloon artists, letters to Santa, rides and be sure to stay and watch The Grinch beginning at 6pm. Then, on Sunday head to Lexington’s Main Street for the Christmas Parade at 3pm. Oh what fun it is!

  1. 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 in downtown Columbia. With phenomenal choreography, immersive sets, and striking costumes, the whole family is sure to enjoy the show presented by the Columbia City Ballet. Get your tickets early before they’re gone at KogerCenterForTheArts.com.

  1. You Can Have A Drive-Thru Light Show at the State Fair

Still dreaming for an even brighter Christmas? For the third year in a row, the South Carolina State Fair will host a drive-through light show, called Carolina Lights! From December 4th through the 26th, come visit this 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.  Find out more at LakeMurrayCountry.com.


There’s snow-place like Lake Murray Country during the holiday season with so much to see and do!