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Make some Christmas memories with your family and friends this year. There are so many opportunities in the Midlands area going on right now. Check out the following ideas. If there are any questions, a contact will be listed by the event. Merry Christmas!

  • Holiday Lights on the River at Saluda Shoals Park is a crowd pleaser every year. Hundreds of lights illuminate the sky throughout the park. Plenty of activities and more until Dec. 31. New entrance this  year at 6071 St. Andrews Road. Also new is an ice skating rink! Click here for more information or call  803-772-3903.
  • Main Street Lights in Newberry is like a flashback to the good ol’ nostalgic Christmas. Ride or walk down Main Street and experience the magic of Christmas. More information here.
  • Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo sparkles again this year with  nearly 1 million lights, animated images and visits with Santa. Lights shine bright from 5-9 p.m. until Dec. 30. Closed Nov. 24, Dec. 24, and Dec. 25. For more information, click here.
  • Roper Mountain Holiday Lights is the only not-for-profit holiday lights event in the Upstate. This is the 25th year. Open through Dec. 30. Stroll through a Winter Wonderland with lighted walking trails, visit Santa and enjoy plenty of activities for all ages. More information here.
  • Explore an extraordinary 4D Christmas adventure this holiday at the SC State Museum on The Polar Express.
  • You’re invited on an extraordinary 4-D adventure this holiday season at the SC State Museum on The Polar Express! Believe in the magic of Christmas once again. Adventure runs through Jan. 1. More information here.
  • Go back in time with Historic Columbia’s guided tours available to families, school groups, tourists and the community. House museums are decorated and offer a glimpse into the lives of three different holiday social scenes set in 19th and early 20th century Columbia. Enjoy the greenery and decorative faux food throughout each house while guides provide stories of holidays past. More information here.
  • Go ice skating in the heart of Columbia! Head to Boyd Plaza for Main Street ICE! The City of Columbia’s outdoor ice skating rink, located at the corner of Main and Hampton streets, returns for another year of fun for the whole family. Open from Thanksgiving Day until Jan. 1. The rink will be closed on Christmas Day and will be open until 12 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. Open Monday – Thursday 4pm – 9pm, Friday 4pm – 10pm, Saturday 10am – 10pm, and Sunday 1pm – 9pm. More here.
  • In need of a party spot or just want to get together with some friends? Check out these locations:
    • Phillips Market Center, 117 Ballard Court, West Columbia. Contact Jessica Orso at 803-737-4588.
    • Gervais & Vine, 620 Gervais St., Columbia. 803-799-8463
    • The River Center (Inside Saluda Shoals Park), 5605 Bush River Rd., Columbia. Call 803-213-2015
    • Solstice Kitchen, 841 Sparkleberry Lane, Ste. 4., Columbia. Kristen Moore at solsticekitchen@gmail.com or 803-788-6966
    • Liberty Taproom, 828 Gervais St./1602 Marina Rd. Call 803-461-4677 (Vista) and 803-667-9715 (Irmo)
    • Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, 924-A Senate St., Columbia. Contact Amber Van Patton at 803-476-1305, or Catering at 803-476-1306.
    • Old Mill Brewpub, 711 E. Main St., Lexington. Call 803-785-2337.
    •  Moriarty’s Irish Pub, 902B Gervais St., Columbia. Call 8003-888-6462.
    • Rios Brazilian Steakhouse, 410 Columbiana Dr., Cola. Call 803-708-3151.
    • Rosso Trattoria Italia, 4840 Forest Dr., Columbia, Call Tammy Palmer at 803-787-3949.
  • Where is Santa? Check out these spots!
    • Santa at Columbia Mall through Dec. 24 from 12-7 pm every day.
    • Santa at Dutch Square Mall through Dec. 24. Bring your own camera. Bring your pet Dec. 18.
    • Santa at Columbiana Mall Monday – Saturday from 12 – 8 pm and Sundays from 12 – 6 pm, with special hours Dec. 16 – 23 from 9 am – 9 pm, Dec. 18 from 10 am – 9 pm and on Christmas Eve from 9 am – 5 pm, with break from 12:30-1:30 pm.
  • Need that last minute Christmas item? Stop by Midlands Thrift at 807 S. Lake Dr., Lexington Tuesday through Friday, 10 – 6 and on Saturdays from 9 – 1. So many unique items for that special someone!