There is so much holiday fun going on in the Upstate this December! We’ve complied a list of parades, light shows, festivals, and more.
Upstate Holiday Light Show
Thursday, November 26, 2015 – Sunday, January 3, 2016
5:30 PM – 12:00 AM
Greenville Pickens Speedway adds sparkle to the holidays this season with the area’s largest Christmas light show. Drive through a nighttime Christmas wonderland as 32 million colors set the sky ablaze, synchronized to the music of your favorite holiday classics.
Anderson Lights of Hope
Anderson Civic Center
November 26th – December 25, 2015
Open Every Evening at 5:30 PM, Thursday at 10 PM and Friday & Saturday at 11 PM, Closed Sundays
The Christmas Gift Light Festival is the Upstate’s largest festival of lights with an endless loop around the magical hill of dancing Christmas Lights. Over 48,000 people visit each year to see our lights and help the local charities. Please come drive through our festival of lights any night after Thanksgiving and visit Santa and his elves in the Santa Village.
Piedmont Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 12, 11:00 AM
25th Annual Spirit of Christmas Past Festival
Thursday, December 3 – Saturday, December 19, 2015
If you haven’t visited Fountain Inn lately, the holiday events are your perfect excuse! Fountain Inn offers a magical holiday experience complete with Santa Claus, kids crafts and horse drawn carriage rides- a sweet small Southern town at its finest! The downtown offers unique shops including a wonderful book store and a clothing boutique, several great restaurants and even a craft beer growler station with Table 301’s Papi’s Tacos inside!
Holiday Home Tour
Great Southern Homes’ Tucker Branch and Fountainbrook communities
Sunday, December 13, 2015
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Come enjoy hot cider and Christmas cookies while you tour the decorated home!
Gaffney Christmas Parade
Historic Downtown Gaffney
Sunday, December 6, 2015, 3:00 PM
United Community Bank Ice On Main
City of Greenville
November 20, 2015 – January 18, 2016
Located in the heart of downtown Greenville, United Community Bank Ice on Main is an open-air ice skating rink – the only one of its kind in Upstate South Carolina.
Roper Mountain Holiday Lights
Roper Mountain Science Center
November 26 – December 30, 2015
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
2015 marks the 24th year of this great event which has become an upstate tradition for many families. Start your visit by parking the car and strolling through WinterWonderland. That’s where you will find lighted walking trails, Santa Claus, a balloon artist, concessions, and giant holiday greeting cards created by local area students. After you have visited WinterWonderland, continue on to the 1.5 mile drive through the large displays including Candy Cane Lane, Santa’s Sleigh, the Caterpillar, and many other family favorites.
St. Francis Festival of Trees
Hyatt Regency Downtown, the Courtyard Marriott Downtown, and the Hampton Inn & Suites Riverplace
December 1 – December 28, 2015
Celebrated for over 20 years, this event offers holiday magic and many surprises! Enjoy the beauty of the season! Locally sponsored trees will be on display throughout downtown.
Bob Jones University
Thursday, December 3rd – Saturday, December 5, 2015
4:30 PM – 8:00 PM
BJU’s Christmas Living Gallery will be a beautiful celebration of the season, “Dawning Light” combines the tradition of Lessons and Carols with wonder-inspiring tableaux vivants-featuring dozens of live models bringing great masterworks of art to life and accompanied by orchestra and chorus.
Museum and Gallery at Bob Jones Host Christmas Activities for all Ages
Bob Jones University
Friday, December 4th – Wednesday, December 16, 2015
- Christmas Music with the Masters: Friday, December 4 from 5-6 p.m. Visitors are admitted for free and have the unique opportunity to hear live Christmas music while touring the museum’s galleries on Wade Hampton. A string quartet, a hand bell choir, and an elementary school vocal ensemble will present various selections.
- M&G Holiday Sidewalk Sale: Friday, December 4 from noon to 7:30. Shoppers will not be disappointed by the special holiday sales with discounts of 20-60% off original retail price.
- Children’s Christmas Celebration: Saturday, December. 12 at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. For world travelers ages 5-12, the day will showcase through art activities, two programs and an international cookie-tasting table how Christmas is celebrated around the world!
- Christmas Scavenger Hunt for kids (ages 5-12): Available through Wednesday, December 16. This self-paced activity highlights various paintings and objects around the world related to the Christmas story. Prizes are available at the completion of each scavenger hunt in the M&G Gift Shop.
- Christmas Strolling Tour for adults: Available through Wednesday, December 16. While children enjoy their quest through the galleries, adults can discern some of the rich symbolism present in the storytelling power of Old Master paintings. Guests can stroll the galleries and ponder the artists’ use of color and precise imagery to reveal an unparalleled gift to the world.
City of Greenville Poinsettia Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 5, 2015, 6:00 PM
The parade, a long standing City tradition, features over 75 musical marching units, elaborately decorated floats and, of course, Santa Claus.
TD Convention Center
Saturday, December 5, 2015
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
This year’s Holiday Fair is sure to be a spectacular event for the thousands who will visit the region’s largest holiday arts, crafts, and gift show.
Indie Craft Parade Holiday Fair
The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center
Saturday, December 5, 2015
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
The Indie Craft Parade Holiday Fair is a smaller, more intimate version of the September festival. This one-day event features 35+ previous Indie Craft Parade participants whose work will be oriented towards gifts and Christmas décor.
Polar Express Pajama Party
The Railroad Historical Center
Saturday, December 12, 2015
All aboard the Polar Express! Families are invited to attend our magical Polar Express Pajama Party being held this year at our Railroad Historical Center. This two hour party will feature fun for the entire family as you board our Steam Engine, Carolina Executive Car, and P&N Interurban Electric Car all decked out in their Christmas best. Participants will enjoy hot chocolate and other delicious treats, crafts, games, a special visitor, and more MAGIC!
“An International Christmas” Christmas Parade
Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 2:30 PM
Christmas in Mauldin
Friday, December 4th – Saturday, December 5, 2015
The festivities start with the Tree Lighting on Friday, December 4th at Mauldin Cultural Center 6pm. Will featuring Christmas songs by local choirs, hot chocolate and refreshments. This event is free. On Saturday, December starts with Breakfast with Santa at the Mauldin Senior Center starting at 9am. The Mauldin Christmas Parade starts at 2pm starting at the Mauldin Cultural Center and ending at Mauldin High School, this holiday tradition is not to be missed!
World Energy to Host Festival of Trees
World of Energy Education Center
Saturday, November 28th – Thursday, December 31, 2015
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Monday-Friday, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM on Saturdays
Nearly two dozen trees will be on display, decorated by local businesses and organizations for the public to view. Visitors are asked to vote on their favorite tree; the winning tree will receive a $1,000 grant from Duke Energy to donate to their registered charity of choice. A tree lighting ceremony is planned for 5 p.m. Dec. 3, for the community to enjoy with live music by the Zion Quartet. Also, as part of the holiday festivities, Santa and Mrs. Claus are visiting the World of Energy from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. The center is an official Toys for Tots drop-off location, so those visiting are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the drop box.
2015 Holiday Parade
December 6, 2015, 3:00 PM
Start the holiday season off right with the annual Simpsonville Christmas Parade. This is a community favorite, and a great chance for the season’s first sighting of Santa!
Skating On The Square
November 25, 2015 – January 3, 2016
Downtown Spartanburg’s outdoor ice skating rink.
Hollywild Holiday Lights Safari Benefit
Hollywild Animal Park
Saturday, November 14, 2015 – Saturday, January 2, 2016
Drive your own vehicle through nearly 100 acres magically decorated with millions of twinkling lights, dazzling holiday themes, light sculptures, a life-sized Nativity, plus HERDS OF LIVE ANIMALS and much more.
The Beacon Drive-in Presents: The 2015 Spartanburg Christmas Parade
Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 6:30 PM
Holiday Lights Trolley Tour
Magnolia Train Depot
December 10 – December 23, 2015
On board, enjoy hot chocolate, Christmas music and some historic story-telling while enjoying our very best local Christmas light displays.