Sorry Thanksgiving, now that Halloween is over, all anyone can think about is Christmas and the upcoming holidays. Holiday events in Greenville, South Carolina are as bountiful as the decorations showing up in all the stores. To squeeze in all the merriment leading up to the holidays, it takes a bit of planning. Grab your calendars and get ready! Here’s a list of 12 of the best bets for family fun to be found in Greenville. I call it the 12 Days of Christmas ideas list.
The holidays are coming! 47 days until Christmas in fact. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, don’t you agree? To get ready, we’re sharing a dozen of our favorite holiday events in Greenville, SC. From ice skating, tree trimming, arts and crafts and gift giving galore, this list will bring out the HO-HO-HO and guarantee no HO-HUM.
12 Holiday Events in Greenville, SC
November 29-December 1, 2018
The 48th Holiday Fair is coming! The Holiday Fair is the region’s largest holiday arts, crafts, and gift show. Looking for unique gifts for the holidays? Easy to find them here with more than 300 crafters and commercial vendors from 15 states in this three-day award-winning fair. TD Convention Center.
Admission $6 adults; $ 5 seniors; 12 and under FREE. My teen and I shopped until we could hardly walk anymore, but it was a wonderful way to find holiday gifts with so many vendors to choose from.
The Indie Craft Parade Holiday Pop-Up Shop
Select dates from November 24-December 16, 2018
This is a new find to the list, but it looks like a real winner. Think handmade gifts are the bee’s knees? Yeah, me too. Then this Indie Craft Parade will be your go-to gift locale. Kinda like a veritable Santa’s workshop!
The store will be open Thursdays through Sundays for 4 weekends: November 24 – 25, November 29 – December 2, December 6 – 9, and December 13 – 16. For the twelve days of Christmas, a curated mix of handmade giftable art, home goods, jewelry, and children’s items will be available for purchase.
Holiday Flea at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery
December 1 and December 15, 2018
Shop for vintage finds, upcycled home goods, handcrafted jewelry, reclaimed wooden pieces, gifts for dog lovers, chocolates, hand-poured candles, artisan foods, and many other locally-made items. The Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery will also be stocked with great holiday gift ideas, house-made pies, and delicious foodie finds.
November 23 & 25, 2018 and December 21-23, 2018
This classic ballet tale rolls into town twice. Both Nutcrackers are at the Peace Center: the first by Carolina Ballet Theatre and second one by the International Ballet. This was our holiday staple when I had a little ballerina, and it still makes me get in the Christmas spirit.
Ice on Main
November 16, 2018-January 21, 2019
Located in the heart of downtown Greenville, Ice on Main is an open-air ice skating rink. There’s something about ice skating that just makes me feel ready for the holidays. I’m not very good at ice skating, but it’s fun to try and then get hot cocoa afterwards. Adults $10; 12 and under $8; kids 3 and under are FREE. Groups of 15 or more: $ 8 for adults and $ 6 for 12 and under.
Monday – Thursday: 3 PM – 8 PM
Friday: 3 PM – 9 PM
Saturday: 11 AM- 9PM
Sunday: 11 AM – 7 PM
School Break Hours
December 20 – January 6:
11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 21: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 23: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Christmas Eve: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Christmas Day: CLOSED
New Year’s Eve: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
New Year’s Day: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Martin Luther King Day/Closing Day: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Christmas “Inn” Our Town
Fountain Inn hosts this from December 6-22 featuring carriage rides, carolers, entertainment, and even Santa. Be sure to sign up for the Gingerbread House contest and attend the annual Tree Lighting ceremony on December 6th.
Safari Santa at Greenville Zoo
December 1, 2018 from 11am-1pm
The Greenville Zoo is one of my favorite local attractions. Breakfast with Santa: $25 per person includes breakfast with Santa, provided by Texas Roadhouse, a free guest pass to the zoo, and a chance to win fun prizes! Registration required.
Or you can enjoy the zoo AND take your photo with Santa! This event is free with paid admission and offers zoo guests the opportunity to visit with Santa and enjoy an afternoon at the zoo. The first 100 children to have their photos with Santa will receive a free cookie. Hot chocolate, coffee, and holiday music.
The Greenville Poinsettia Christmas Parade
December 1, 2018 at 6pm
For more than 75 years, the parade has signaled the start of the Christmas season in Greenville. Each year the parade attracts thousands of visitors downtown to view the holiday floats and activities.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
December 1-9, 2018
One of the best Christmas plays is coming back to the Peace Center: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Here’s the description: “The Herdman kids are known as the rowdiest, most awful kids in the history of the world…so what do you think happens when they are cast in the annual Christmas pageant? The whole town is horrified, but the spirit of the season comes alive in the Herdmans, making this pageant the best one yet!” After years of reading this classic with my family at Christmas, I can’t wait to see this one grace the stage at the Peace Center.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve
December 7, 2018
TSO is bringing back its treasured tale, “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” to Greenville for two performances on December 7, 4pm and 8pm at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Expect loud music, bold visuals, and a jamming great time! I was most impressed with the violinist from last year as he sawed on the fiddle on a giant boom that went out over the audience!
Holiday at Peace
November 30-December 2, 2018
As an former orchestra girl, I love these kind of concerts. Especially when filled with holiday music! The Greenville Pops are back in action to get toes tapping and smiles popping. Yes, count on return performances by the International Ballet and Santa Claus, as well as the ever-popular audience sing-a-long. Fa-la-la indeed!
Festival of Trees
The 33rd annual Festival of Trees will bring the 2018 holiday season to life in Greenville. Get in the holly jolly spirit by viewing decorated trees line at four downtown Greenville hotels:Hyatt Regency Greenville, Courtyard by Marriott Greenville Downtown, Hampton Inn & Suites Greenville Downtown @ RiverPlace, and Embassy Suites by Hilton Greenville Downtown RiverPlace. All proceeds benefit the Adolescent and Young Adult Inpatient Cancer Center.
On December 1, another popular event is the Teddy Bear Luncheon. Bring a new stuffed animal to donate and get a free photo with Santa! Event begins at 11 am, complete with entertainment and lunch. Adults $ 15; kids 3-12 $ 10; under 3 are FREE.
Well, that’s the 12 events for ya! We’ve only scratched the surface of all the fun family offerings in Greenville this season. So be sure to check out the Visit Greenville SC website for additional resources.
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