Winter is often synonymous with Christmas. And Greenville has some great holiday celebrations and activities. But what about those other two pesky months of January and February? Well I think Greenville is a bit quieter during these months, but there are still a few things to do.
Winter is also one of my favorite seasons to be outside in the Upstate. Yes it does get cold, but we also get several days in the 50s, 60s, and even 70s. And I take full advantage of them. So, without further adieu, here are 20+ things to do in Greenville in winter.
Updated for the 2021-2022 season!
Holiday City Events
Saturday, December 4, 2021: 6:00pm
This parade has been going on for 75 years so you know it’s a tradition. There’ll be floats, dancing, music, and of course Santa. (I mean it’s a Christmas parade after all.) The parade procession will go up Main Street from River street to North Street. So make sure to stake out a good spot early!
Saturday, December 11, 2021: 10:30am
Travelers Rest’s annual parade. And it’s on a different day than Greenville (if you love parades and want to go to both.) Plus stop by the Trailblazer Park afterwards for the Very Merry Christmas Market.
Greenville has a lot of holiday markets this year! So many that I’ve put together another article just about the markets. Check there for location, dog friendly status, and other details. But below is a quick rundown if you’d liek an overview!
Indie Craft Parade Holiday Pop Up Shop
Friday, November 5 through Sunday, December 19: 11:00am-5:00pm
Fridays, Saturdays, + Sundays only
Indie Craft Parade Mini Markets
Saturday, November 20: 10:00am-4:00pm
Saturday, December 4: 10:00am-4:00pm
Saturday, December 11: 10:00am-4:00pm
Camperdown Holiday Market
Sunday, November 21: 12:30pm-5:30pm
TR Farmer’s Market: Small Biz Saturday
Saturday, November 27: 12:00pm-3:00pm
Thursday, December 2: 10:00am-8:00pm
Friday, December 3: 10:00am-8:00pm
Saturday, December 4: 10:00am-6:00pm
TD Saturday Market Holiday Edition
Saturday, December 4: 9:00am-1:00pm
Saturday, December 11: 9:00am-1:00pm
Holiday Flea at Swamp Rabbit Cafe
Saturday, December 4: 11:00am-4:00pm
Saturday, December 18: 11:00am-4:00pm
Greer Farmers Market: Christmas Festival
Saturday December 4: 10:00am – 2:00pm
Sunday, December 5: 10:00am – 2:00pm
The Heddle Holiday Market
Saturday December 4: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Winter Wonderland Market
Sunday, December 5: 11:00am – 2:00pm
TR Farmers Market: Very Merry Local Christmas Market
Saturday, December 11: 12:30pm-4:30pm
Read Next: Shop Local at Greenville’s Holiday Markets
Holiday Light Displays
Roper Mountain Science Center: Holiday Laser Shows in the Planetarium
Friday December 10 | Saturday December 11
Friday December 17 | Saturday December 18
6:00pm | 7:30pm | 9:00pm
Three shows a night for two weekends on Friday/Saturday nights.
$8 per ticket per show.
Holidays at the Zoo
December 17 through December 30
1:00pm – 8:00pm
To see the lights, be sure to go after dark (advance tickets recommended)
Upstate Holiday Light Show
November 25 (Thanksgiving) through December 31 (New Years Eve)
$35 to drive through
Anderson Christmas Lights
November 25 (Thanksgiving) through December 25 (Christmas)
near the Anderson Civic Center
Pretty sure it costs money but can’t find the price on the website
Holiday Lights Safari
November 19 through January 1 (New Years Day)
$10 per adult
Holiday Music & Shows
A couple of years ago I went to go see the “Christmas On The Rocks” at the Warehouse Theatre, and it was awesome. I’ve also seen a few Christmas plays at the Greenville Theatre, like the Sherlock Holmes Christmas one in 2017, and I loved it. So every year I take a look at the holiday shows to see if there’s anything that strikes my fancy.
ELF: The Musical
December 2 – 19, 2021
The Nutcracker: Once Upon A Time In Greenville
Peace Center: Carolina Ballet
December 3 – 5, 2021
Christmas with the Chorale: Handel’s Messiah
December 7, 2021
Bon Secours Wellness Arena
December 10, 2021
Peace Center: International Ballet
December 10 – 12, 2021
Governer’s School’s Winter Dance Performance
December 11 – 12, 2021
A Very Special Christmas with Michael W. Smith and Darci Lynne
Bon Secours Wellness Arena
December 15, 2021
Holiday At Peace
December 17 – 19, 2021
Cirque Dreams Holidaze
December 21 – 22, 2021
Holiday Parties & Events
Here’s a roundup of some of the best parties / celebrations I’ve heard about this holiday season. This list is always a work in progress as I hear about new events.
Liability Brewing Co
Friday, December 3: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
A celebration of Christmas and the dark side (by drinking 6 different dark beers on tap)!
Night of Lights
Downtown Greenville: intersection of Court Street + Main Street
Friday, December 3
Official lighting of Greenville’s 30ft Christmas tree
Greer Christmas Tree Lighting
Greer City Park
Friday, December 3: 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Head to Greer for this lighting event. Plus Santa will even show up around 7:15pm.
Bad (and Boujee) Santa
Upon on the Roof
Friday, December 10 & Saturday, December 11: 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Throughout the month of December, you can visit Upon on the Roof and see their Holiday Pop-Up Bar (wonderfully named “Elf’d Up”), but for some extra festive fun, there will be a 2 night party complete with Santa.
Kringle Holiday Village
Saturday, December 11: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Sunday, December 12: 11:00am – 5:00pm
This new event (for 2021) will bring Santa’s village to Flour Field. This European-styled holiday market will include vendors, rides, music, Santa, food, and a beer garden. Plus a fireworks show Saturday night at 8:45pm. Tickets are $10.
A Very Grateful Christmas
Saturday, December 11: 11:00am – 4:00pm
A photoshoot for a good cause. Photoshoot with Santa for children & dogs, seasonal drinks (coffee & beer), and the Host Mobile food truck. Photoshoot participants are asked to bring a donation (see details in link above). Registration for photoshoot is recommended.
Pictures with Santa
Unleashed Dog Bar
Sunday, December 12: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Get photos of your dog with Santa at this dog bar!
Santa Claus & Puppy Paws
December 14, 2021: 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Head to Camperdown Plaza downtown for some FREE pictures of your pup with Santa. There will be a couple vendors and a spiked hot chocolate bar as well.
Holidays at the Zoo
December 17 through December 30: 1:00pm – 8:00pm
Visit during the day to enjoy the Christmas decorations and see your favorite animals OR visit in the evening to check out the enchanting light displays (advance tickets recommended).
Ugly Sweater Christmas Party
Fireforge Crafted Beer
Friday, December 17: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Put on that sweater and head to Fireforge for their 3rd annual party – complete with local band, Red Bank Road. Note that most Fireforge parties are not dog friendly.
The Ultimate Christmas Party
13 Stripes Brewery
Saturday, December 18: 6:00pm – 12:00pm
Head to Taylors Mill for this party featuring an ugly Christmas sweater contest, beer releases, and live music by My Girl My Whiskey and Me.
Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree
I hate fake trees. My family always used to go to a Farmer’s Market and get our own tree. But since I’ve moved to South Carolina, Ryan and I now go and cut down our own tree. Well actually we go to a farm and pick out our tree, and then have someone experienced with a chainsaw cut it down. But you can do it yourself if you want.
New Years Eve Parties
Here’s a roundup of some of the best parties / celebrations I’ve heard about so far for NYE! Listed alphabetically by the bar/restaurant/brewery.
NYE Party at Taylors Mill
13 Stripes Brewery
Starts at 8:00pm
Ticket prices are $40. Expect a cotton candy bar, charcuterie boards, a DJ & dance floor, and more!
Hoppin’ New Years Eve Party!
Starts at 8:00pm
Ticket prices are from $60-$75, but gets you discounted beer & wine ($1 for 16oz) food from Todaros around 9pm (until gone), rooftop patio, champagne at midnight, and a DJ.
NYE at Ink n Ivy
Ink n Ivy
Starts at 9:00pm
Ticket prices are just $20, but that’s basically just the cover. I’ve been to several of Ink n Ivy’s celebrations, and I always have a good time. Plus they have a great rooftop.
’22 With A View
Starts at 8:00pm
Ticket prices are VERY expensive, but you’ve got those amazing rooftop views, several hours of a prepaid bar, and some food stations.
Starts at 9:00pm
I don’t know too much about this one yet, as I just saw the EventBrite page and nothing from Southernside yet. Hopefully more details to come from them.
Unleashed Dog Bar
Unleashed Dog Bar
4:00pm – 9:00pm
I saw this pop up in their stories but didn’t add it to the list soon enough. More details coming soon for this!
Food + Drink
Try Some Holiday Food & Drinks
I love me some holiday themed drinks. Beers, coffees, lattes, and maybe even smoothies. And hello holiday treats. There’s a reason I gain like 10 pounds every December.
I’ve tried in previous years to list some of the drinks, but they are announced / removed quickly. I’d suggest checking the instagram of your favorite coffeeshop to see what seasonals they have available.
I usually have luck with:
January 13-23, 2022
Yes Greenville has two restaurant weeks! And the one in the winter is actually my favorite. It gets me out of the house on a dreary January week and into an amazing restaurant. I make an effort to eat at one new place every time Restaurant Week rolls around and this year you can bet that I’ll be keeping to tradition.
5th Annual Mac-N-Cheese Off at Birds Fly South
I can’t not include this even from my favorite brewery. I always seem to be out of town for this event as well. It’s usually in February. So keep an eye out for it. And when I see it pop up, I’ll be adding the date here.
Do-It-Yourself Brewery Tour
Greenville has a great brewery scene. So for my birthday one year (which is in the winter), I planned my own brewery tour. Luckily I got Ryan to be my driver and we spent the day hitting up my favorite breweries around town. Different friends joined in at different parts, and we spent the day trying loads of different beers. Now we didn’t hit them all, but it was a great way to spend a Saturday birthday.
And now there are even more breweries in town for our next DIY tour! Check out all of the Greenville’s breweries and plan your own!
November 12 – January 17, 2021
Monday-Thursday: 2:00pm – 9:00pm
Friday: 2:00pm – 10:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am – 10:00pm
I think Ice On Main is one of the most quintessential winter activities in Greenville. Open past Christmas, this isn’t just a holiday thing. And it’s open almost everyday during its run (check for holiday hours though as they are different on key days, and closed on Christmas). Tickets cost $10 and include rentals.
In order to control capacity levels, rink admission will be limited. Buying your tickets online and in advance is strongly recommended to guarantee skating.
Holiday Themed Races & 5Ks
Honestly, this isn’t something I know too much about since I’m not a runner. But here are some fo the races I’ve heard about around town!
Holiday Hustle 5K
December 4, 2021: 9:00am
Want to run a 5k in your best holiday gear? This is the race for you it looks like. Stroller and dog friendly!
GTC The Santa Run
December 18, 2021: 8:30am
This is actually two different events it looks like. There’s the Santa Run (with Swag) 5K and the Jingle Trot for dogs 5K. Tickets for these two runs include some goodies (like a Santa hat and dog bandana respectively). If you want to be considered for the costume contest, get there early.
December 19, 2021: 3:00pm
If The Santa Run sounds fun, but seems a bit far, this 2 mile run may be perfect for you. There’s a costume content of course (ugly Christmas sweaters welcome), but the best part are the numerous snow machines along the route (blasting soap foam).
Tacky Sweater 5K
December 19, 2021: 4:00pm
This trail 5k runs through the nature preserve and includes two loops of 1.5 miles with a barn finish! Don’t forget to wear your tackiest sweater.
Xmas Eve Fun Run
December 24, 2021: 9:00am
Run the Swamp Rabbit Trail the day before Christmas. Festive attire is encouraged.
Try Escape Room’s holiday themed adventure! Gather 4-8 family/friends together for this one hour experience. I’ve done one escape room in the past and loved it! And I’m thinking of treating my family to one this holiday season.
So in the past couple of years, Greenville’s ax throwing scene has really grown (in that we have 2 options now). I’ve only been to The Blue Ox, but I loved doing it. And it’s the perfect winter activity in my mind.
Go For A Hike
Hiking? In the winter? You might think that sounds odd. But it’s actually one of my favorite seasons to hit the trails. Several years ago I used a warm Saturday to tackle Table Rock.
I later went back and hiked it again in the spring, and I can tell you it was much nicer to do the climb in 55 degree weather than 80. Just make sure you get there early since it will get darker sooner (something we didn’t quite account for).
Another easier option I love is to head to Paris Mountain State Park for the afternoon.
This may only happen once a year. But yes it does snow in Greenville. And I urge you to take advantage of it. As someone who lived for several years up north where snow was not a rarity, it took me awhile to appreciate it. But now I look forward to our annual “snowstorm.” It never lasts very long (usually melting in just 24 hours). So get out there. Build a snowman. Go for a walk downtown to see the Falls bedazzled with the white stuff. I know you can’t do this everyday, so I debated to include it. But I like having it here as a reminder to simply be a kid when you can and enjoy the snow.
Read Next: 20 Photos of Greenville in the Snow
Arts, Crafts, & Music
November 13, 2021 – February 13, 2022
The Upcountry History Museum will host the traveling exhibition Norman Rockwell’s Home for the Holidays. This beloved exhibition, featuring over 40 of Norman Rockwell’s most memorable and enduring holiday images, will make its South Carolina debut at the Upcountry History Museum.
December 4, 2021 through March 2022
Every Saturday: 11:00am-2:00pm
(No market January 29)
Every Saturday from December to March, Brewery 85 has a kind of farmer’s market / craft show right in their brewery. I went a couple of times last year and (other than beer) bought bread, arugula, cheese, and earrings for my sister’s birthday. So it’s a pretty big mix of different farmers, crafters, and artists. Oh and there are food trucks on site as well.
Okay so you know Greenville has a very popular minor league baseball team, but what about hockey? Meet the Swamp Rabbits. Though the name has changed over time, I still love to go and watch a game. (Hockey being one of my favorite sports to watch in person.) And with lots of tickets for under $20, this is a great way to beat the winter blues.
Day Trip to Asheville To See The Biltmore
Okay so I may or may not go to Asheville every season, but there’s a reason I waited until winter to include it. The Biltmore is amazing. Think a castle located just an hour or so away. And during the holiday season, everything is decorated. I’ve been to the estate a few times, but seeing it in December was probably my favorite.
Take A Ski Getaway
The mountains nearby might make any west coaster scream in frustration, but if you’re craving some slope time, there are several options. A few years ago Ryan and I headed to Sugar Mountain. It’s a large-ish mountain with several options. And we got there on a great weekend, cold enough for some real snow but before the sleeting started.
Check out this article for some other nearby options.