Explore family friendly events, theatres, galleries, concerts, nightlife, things to do, and more in the Greenville, SC and Upstate areas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Bon Secours Festival of Trees
Nov 29 all-day
Hyatt Regency Greenville, Courtyard by Marriott Greenville Downtown, and Embassy Suites by Hilton Greenville Downtown RiverPlace

The 37th annual Festival of Trees will bring the 2022 holiday season to life! Spectacularly decorated trees line the entranceway of three hotels in downtown Greenville, giving visitors and community members the chance to experience the magic of the holidays. View trees November 18 thru December 26 at Courtyard Marriott Downtown, Embassy Suites by Hilton – Riverplace, and Hyatt Regency Greenville.

All proceeds will support the purchase of a second mammography coach.

Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s with FREE photos with Santa 
Nov 29 – Dec 24 all-day
Cabela's

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s is proud to invite families to the beloved tradition of visiting Santa Claus this holiday season during the annual Santa’s Wonderland experience.

Visit your local store to be one of the more than two million kids and families to take a photo with Santa. Photo sessions will start on Sunday, November 6. Reservations are recommended. To learn more and make a reservation, visit www.cabelas.com/santa.

Support Communities with Healthy Food!
Nov 29 all-day
online
Support Proud Mary on Giving Tuesday
Nov 29 all-day
online

#GivingTuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and a chance to support local nonprofits in the LGBTQIA+ arts community.
It’s the Season of Giving w/ The Blood Connection + Feeding the Carolinas
Nov 29 @ 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
The Blood Connection--Greenville

One in five people in the Carolinas don’t have enough food to eat.  As we enter the holiday season, November is historically one of the hardest months for food banks across the country.  Many North and South Carolinians are either looking for ways to help those in need or looking for help themselves. The Blood Connection (TBC), the non-profit community blood center serving these two states, is dedicating the month of November to addressing the issue of food insecurity in the region by offering blood donors a way to help those in need.

 

In the month of November, TBC will partner with Feeding the Carolinas – a network of food banks across North and South Carolina that works to provide a healthy, adequate, and consistent food supply – to promote blood donation and food donation.  Each year, Feeding the Carolinas estimates they supply food to more than 2.3 million Carolinians facing hunger.  Feeding the Carolinas also supports the Augusta, Georgia region, which TBC has recently begun operations in.

 

TBC needs around 1,000 blood donations per day to supply blood to more than 100 hospitals across the Carolinas, and TBC must ensure the shelves are stocked with life-saving blood products when hospital partners call. TBC has set a goal of raising $5,000 for food banks in November, with the hopes of helping neighboring non-profits stock their shelves, as well. Like the need for blood, the need for charitable food does not go away: people in this community will always need food – especially now with inflation at never-before-seen levels.  With one blood donation, a donor can save three lives and help a family in their own community have enough food on the table for Thanksgiving.

Throughout the month of November, blood donors will have the option to donate their TBC reward points in
the TBC Store to Feeding the Carolinas. At TBC centers, food collection boxes will also be placed out for
donors to give non-perishable food items. TBC is also looking for organizations to host blood drives
benefiting Feeding the Carolinas. Blood drive hosts have the option to donate $10 or $20 per blood donor to
Feeding the Carolinas. For more information about hosting a blood drive in November, go to
thebloodconnection.org/host.

 

Nutcracker: the Exhibition
Nov 29 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Upstate History Museum

The nutcracker sits under the holiday tree, a guardian of childhood stories. Feed him walnuts and he will crack open a tale…

In the Christmas season of merry making, the ways of celebrating are as many and as varied as possible, but familiar traditions and stories connect all of us during this time, influencing our celebrations and holding a special place in our hearts. One such story and tradition is The Nutcracker.

Whether it’s a tradition to see the ballet or if you only know the songs from hearing them played on Christmas playlists, we are all familiar with the story of The Nutcracker. Or are we truly?

The Upcountry History Museum in partnership with Walt Disney Archives, The Walt Disney Family Museum, Charles M. Schulz Museum, artists James Ransome and Jan Brett, R. Michelson Galleries, and the Carolina Ballet Theatre will invite visitors to explore the history of the surprisingly dark story behind the ballet and its evolution into a holiday classic.

From its origins as a short story written by Prussian author, E.T.A. Hoffman in 1816, to its premiere as a fairy tale ballet in two acts that opened a week before Christmas in 1892, The Nutcracker has become the most popular ballet to be performed around the world at Christmas time.

Nutcracker: The Exhibition, a 1,200 square foot exhibition, organized by the Upcountry History Museum, will explore the kaleidoscope of artistic re-imaginings of The Nutcracker, from the 1820’s to the present. The immersive experience will take visitors on a journey from The Nutcracker’s beginnings as a short story, to its artistic interpretations in literature, ballet, theater, and film. Original illustrations, drawings, film and ballet costumes, props, and ephemera will examine multiple perspectives of one of literature’s greatest paradoxes that continues to inspire imagination, creativity, and discussion.

Rich with visual interpretation, the exhibition will take visitors on a journey through the cultural, technological, and societal shifts that have compelled artists, filmmakers, and fans to return to tale of The Nutcracker time and time again.

Christmas Display-Model Trains Station
Nov 29 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Model Trains Station

Model Trains Station presents the 2022 Christmas Display.  A family fun holiday theme adventure with trains of all sizes. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

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Closed on Christmas and New Years Day

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
Nov 29 @ 3:59 pm – 4:59 pm
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is back in 2022! The 1¼ hour round-trip passenger excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Children’s faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the North Pole to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa will board THE POLAR EXPRESS™, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot.

Weather

We encourage guests to plan ahead and stay apprised of the latest weather developments. Cancellations of a POLAR EXPRESS departure because of inclement weather are very rare. If you’re staying in the Gatlinburg/Sevierville, Tennessee area, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Service announces road closures and openings on Twitter, or call (865) 436-1200 extension 631 for a recorded message. In such case Highway 441 is closed through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Interstate 40 typically remains open. Use 45 Mitchell Street, Bryson City, North Carolina 28713 as your destination to find an alternate route.

Candlelight Christmas Evenings
Nov 29 @ 5:30 pm
Biltmore Estate

Biltmore House glows with candlelight and firelight during this nighttime tour, changing the daytime visit’s mood and experience. Candlelight Christmas Evenings in Biltmore House allows guests to step back in time with an experience reminiscent of the Vanderbilt’s first Christmas spent in Biltmore House in 1895. Musicians stationed throughout the house perform seasonal favorites. Setting the scene is a 55-foot Norway spruce encircled by illuminated evergreens and shrubs sparkling in the center of the front lawn.

The North Carolina Arboretum Winter Lights
Nov 29 @ 6:00 pm
The North Carolina Arboretum

Winter Lights is a spectacular open-air walk-through light show made from over one million lights! Located at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, North Carolina, this year’s event features favorites like the famously tall 50-foot lighted tree and the Quilt Garden, along with enchanting new details designed to delight and surprise.

alternatetext  The Lights!

This year’s show features over a million lights and mixes enchanting new displays with old favorites like the 50ft tree and Quilt Garden. Winter Lights is a walk-through light show with countless opportunities for photos. Use our hashtag #NCWinterLights22 to share the magic!

View the photo gallery here

   Live performances

Live performances are scheduled nightly at the Education Center, near Bent Creek Bistro. View the music schedule here.

  Rocky Cove Railroad*

During Winter Lights, our beloved g-scale model train offers nightly service to the North Pole. All aboard!

  Storytime at Woodland Cove

Visit the Education Center for a whimsical window display that follows a young bear’s journey to discover new habitats. This is an educational exhibit that will delight the whole family.

  Gift Shops

Still have a bit of shopping to do for the holidays? our Connections Gallery Gift Shop in the Baker Visitor Center and Winter Lights Shop in the Education Center are open 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily, and from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. nightly, during Winter Lights.

  S’mores and Firepits*

If the winter nights turn a bit chilly, cozy up to the fire pits and heaters throughout the gardens.

S’mores kits are available for purchase at the Bent Creek Bistro, where there’s an especially large fire pit for all your marshmallow-roasting needs!

 Wishing Trees

A favorite Winter Lights tradition, the Wishing Trees return this year in a new location! Look for them near Rocky Cove Railroad, and make sure to leave a wish for the coming year.

  Eat and Drink**

Looking for something to warm you up while you stroll? Cocoa, beer, and wine are available at both the Cocoa Shack and Bent Creek Bistro.

View the menu for Bent Creek Bistro

Bent Creek Bistro Hours: Full menu: 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Snacks: 9:30-10:00 p.m.

 

*The Rocky Cove Railroad and the fire pits cannot run in certain weather conditions, and may be closed without notice.

**Alcohol purchased on-site may only be consumed in the event area and is not permitted in the parking lot or on the trails. Outside alcohol is prohibited at all times, on all parts of the property. This includes the parking lot and trails.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Bon Secours Festival of Trees
Nov 30 all-day
Hyatt Regency Greenville, Courtyard by Marriott Greenville Downtown, and Embassy Suites by Hilton Greenville Downtown RiverPlace

The 37th annual Festival of Trees will bring the 2022 holiday season to life! Spectacularly decorated trees line the entranceway of three hotels in downtown Greenville, giving visitors and community members the chance to experience the magic of the holidays. View trees November 18 thru December 26 at Courtyard Marriott Downtown, Embassy Suites by Hilton – Riverplace, and Hyatt Regency Greenville.

All proceeds will support the purchase of a second mammography coach.

Support Communities with Healthy Food!
Nov 30 all-day
online
It’s the Season of Giving w/ The Blood Connection + Feeding the Carolinas
Nov 30 @ 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
The Blood Connection--Greenville

One in five people in the Carolinas don’t have enough food to eat.  As we enter the holiday season, November is historically one of the hardest months for food banks across the country.  Many North and South Carolinians are either looking for ways to help those in need or looking for help themselves. The Blood Connection (TBC), the non-profit community blood center serving these two states, is dedicating the month of November to addressing the issue of food insecurity in the region by offering blood donors a way to help those in need.

 

In the month of November, TBC will partner with Feeding the Carolinas – a network of food banks across North and South Carolina that works to provide a healthy, adequate, and consistent food supply – to promote blood donation and food donation.  Each year, Feeding the Carolinas estimates they supply food to more than 2.3 million Carolinians facing hunger.  Feeding the Carolinas also supports the Augusta, Georgia region, which TBC has recently begun operations in.

 

TBC needs around 1,000 blood donations per day to supply blood to more than 100 hospitals across the Carolinas, and TBC must ensure the shelves are stocked with life-saving blood products when hospital partners call. TBC has set a goal of raising $5,000 for food banks in November, with the hopes of helping neighboring non-profits stock their shelves, as well. Like the need for blood, the need for charitable food does not go away: people in this community will always need food – especially now with inflation at never-before-seen levels.  With one blood donation, a donor can save three lives and help a family in their own community have enough food on the table for Thanksgiving.

Throughout the month of November, blood donors will have the option to donate their TBC reward points in
the TBC Store to Feeding the Carolinas. At TBC centers, food collection boxes will also be placed out for
donors to give non-perishable food items. TBC is also looking for organizations to host blood drives
benefiting Feeding the Carolinas. Blood drive hosts have the option to donate $10 or $20 per blood donor to
Feeding the Carolinas. For more information about hosting a blood drive in November, go to
thebloodconnection.org/host.

 

Nutcracker: the Exhibition
Nov 30 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Upstate History Museum

The nutcracker sits under the holiday tree, a guardian of childhood stories. Feed him walnuts and he will crack open a tale…

In the Christmas season of merry making, the ways of celebrating are as many and as varied as possible, but familiar traditions and stories connect all of us during this time, influencing our celebrations and holding a special place in our hearts. One such story and tradition is The Nutcracker.

Whether it’s a tradition to see the ballet or if you only know the songs from hearing them played on Christmas playlists, we are all familiar with the story of The Nutcracker. Or are we truly?

The Upcountry History Museum in partnership with Walt Disney Archives, The Walt Disney Family Museum, Charles M. Schulz Museum, artists James Ransome and Jan Brett, R. Michelson Galleries, and the Carolina Ballet Theatre will invite visitors to explore the history of the surprisingly dark story behind the ballet and its evolution into a holiday classic.

From its origins as a short story written by Prussian author, E.T.A. Hoffman in 1816, to its premiere as a fairy tale ballet in two acts that opened a week before Christmas in 1892, The Nutcracker has become the most popular ballet to be performed around the world at Christmas time.

Nutcracker: The Exhibition, a 1,200 square foot exhibition, organized by the Upcountry History Museum, will explore the kaleidoscope of artistic re-imaginings of The Nutcracker, from the 1820’s to the present. The immersive experience will take visitors on a journey from The Nutcracker’s beginnings as a short story, to its artistic interpretations in literature, ballet, theater, and film. Original illustrations, drawings, film and ballet costumes, props, and ephemera will examine multiple perspectives of one of literature’s greatest paradoxes that continues to inspire imagination, creativity, and discussion.

Rich with visual interpretation, the exhibition will take visitors on a journey through the cultural, technological, and societal shifts that have compelled artists, filmmakers, and fans to return to tale of The Nutcracker time and time again.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
Nov 30 @ 3:59 pm – 4:59 pm
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is back in 2022! The 1¼ hour round-trip passenger excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Children’s faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the North Pole to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa will board THE POLAR EXPRESS™, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot.

Weather

We encourage guests to plan ahead and stay apprised of the latest weather developments. Cancellations of a POLAR EXPRESS departure because of inclement weather are very rare. If you’re staying in the Gatlinburg/Sevierville, Tennessee area, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Service announces road closures and openings on Twitter, or call (865) 436-1200 extension 631 for a recorded message. In such case Highway 441 is closed through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Interstate 40 typically remains open. Use 45 Mitchell Street, Bryson City, North Carolina 28713 as your destination to find an alternate route.

Candlelight Christmas Evenings
Nov 30 @ 5:30 pm
Biltmore Estate

Biltmore House glows with candlelight and firelight during this nighttime tour, changing the daytime visit’s mood and experience. Candlelight Christmas Evenings in Biltmore House allows guests to step back in time with an experience reminiscent of the Vanderbilt’s first Christmas spent in Biltmore House in 1895. Musicians stationed throughout the house perform seasonal favorites. Setting the scene is a 55-foot Norway spruce encircled by illuminated evergreens and shrubs sparkling in the center of the front lawn.

The North Carolina Arboretum Winter Lights
Nov 30 @ 6:00 pm
The North Carolina Arboretum

Winter Lights is a spectacular open-air walk-through light show made from over one million lights! Located at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, North Carolina, this year’s event features favorites like the famously tall 50-foot lighted tree and the Quilt Garden, along with enchanting new details designed to delight and surprise.

alternatetext  The Lights!

This year’s show features over a million lights and mixes enchanting new displays with old favorites like the 50ft tree and Quilt Garden. Winter Lights is a walk-through light show with countless opportunities for photos. Use our hashtag #NCWinterLights22 to share the magic!

View the photo gallery here

   Live performances

Live performances are scheduled nightly at the Education Center, near Bent Creek Bistro. View the music schedule here.

  Rocky Cove Railroad*

During Winter Lights, our beloved g-scale model train offers nightly service to the North Pole. All aboard!

  Storytime at Woodland Cove

Visit the Education Center for a whimsical window display that follows a young bear’s journey to discover new habitats. This is an educational exhibit that will delight the whole family.

  Gift Shops

Still have a bit of shopping to do for the holidays? our Connections Gallery Gift Shop in the Baker Visitor Center and Winter Lights Shop in the Education Center are open 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily, and from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. nightly, during Winter Lights.

  S’mores and Firepits*

If the winter nights turn a bit chilly, cozy up to the fire pits and heaters throughout the gardens.

S’mores kits are available for purchase at the Bent Creek Bistro, where there’s an especially large fire pit for all your marshmallow-roasting needs!

 Wishing Trees

A favorite Winter Lights tradition, the Wishing Trees return this year in a new location! Look for them near Rocky Cove Railroad, and make sure to leave a wish for the coming year.

  Eat and Drink**

Looking for something to warm you up while you stroll? Cocoa, beer, and wine are available at both the Cocoa Shack and Bent Creek Bistro.

View the menu for Bent Creek Bistro

Bent Creek Bistro Hours: Full menu: 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Snacks: 9:30-10:00 p.m.

 

*The Rocky Cove Railroad and the fire pits cannot run in certain weather conditions, and may be closed without notice.

**Alcohol purchased on-site may only be consumed in the event area and is not permitted in the parking lot or on the trails. Outside alcohol is prohibited at all times, on all parts of the property. This includes the parking lot and trails.

Thursday, December 1, 2022
52nd Annual Holiday Fair
Dec 1 – Dec 3 all-day
Greenville Convention Center

The 52nd annual Holiday Fair will take place at the Greenville Convention Center December 1 – 3, offering the region’s largest selection of holiday arts, crafts and gifts in one place. Exhibitors include approximately 350 crafters and commercial vendors in this three-day, award-winning fair that gives shoppers a chance to support small businesses this holiday season.

Bon Secours Festival of Trees
Dec 1 all-day
Hyatt Regency Greenville, Courtyard by Marriott Greenville Downtown, and Embassy Suites by Hilton Greenville Downtown RiverPlace

The 37th annual Festival of Trees will bring the 2022 holiday season to life! Spectacularly decorated trees line the entranceway of three hotels in downtown Greenville, giving visitors and community members the chance to experience the magic of the holidays. View trees November 18 thru December 26 at Courtyard Marriott Downtown, Embassy Suites by Hilton – Riverplace, and Hyatt Regency Greenville.

All proceeds will support the purchase of a second mammography coach.

Support Communities with Healthy Food!
Dec 1 all-day
online