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WinterFest! Holidays Around the World Party, Laser Shows, Visit with Santa and More!

December 19, 2015

WinterFest Kick-Off

Spend your winter break enjoying a variety of family friendly activities during the museum’s two-week WinterFest celebration. Programs vary each day and include activities such as “Holidays around the World” kick-off party, visits with Santa, performances by the Bright Star Touring Theatre, holiday crafts and more.


WinterFest! What to See & Do for SAT., DEC. 19



These WinterFest activities are FREE with museum general admission.
Kick off the Winterfest celebration with the State Museum during Holidays around the World, a special event focusing on international holiday celebrations like Kwanza, Hanukkah, Christmas, Chinese New Year and more. Enjoy international crafts, food and more.
  • The Columbia Jewish Federation will present a short program on the origins of Hanukkah and how it is celebrated. There will also be a children’s choir performing Hanukkah songs.
  • The Hindu Temple & Cultural Center of SC will talk about Diwali, the Indian Festival of lights and the Center’s dance group will perform Indian dances.
  • The Chinese Association will present the Lion Dance and the Dragon Dance for Chinese New Year.
  • The Nordic Club of Columbia will present a Sancta Lucia procession with music. Sancta Lucia Day (Dec. 13) is celebrated all over Scandinavia (& Italy) and is the start of the holiday season there.
  • Holy Apostles Orthodox Church’s Father Thomas Moore will present the story of the “Real” St. Nicholas.
  • Las Posadas, a Mexican holiday tradition, will also be presented. This involves processions of “pilgrims”(Mary & Joseph & others) going from house to house asking for shelter in Bethlehem. They are turned away by everyone until they are at last welcomed into the final house, followed by a big party with a pinata. The State Museum will follow that tradition with a party of its own—and a piñata for children as well. The Episcopal Church of St. Simon and St. Jude is providing costumes for Los Posadas.


Holiday Crafts and Scavenger Hunt
Get artistic and/or follow clues to search the museum for special objects.


Remembering Columbia Book Signing with John M. Sherrer, III
John Sherrer, Historic Columbia’s director of cultural resources, will be signing copies of his new book, Remembering Columbia, in the museum store.



You’re invited on an extraordinary 4-D adventure this holiday season on THE POLAR EXPRESS! When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole. Show Run Time: 15 mins.


When the last blue macaws on Earth, Blu and Jewel, are captured by bird smugglers, they must work together despite Blu’s inability to fly. Show Run time: 15 mins.

Click HERE for showtimes and tickets.

Please note: 4d Theater shows carry an additional charge. Click HERE to get a Holiday Savings Pass and see it all for one special price!



The Star of Bethlehem
This full dome planetarium experience takes viewers back in time to Jerusalem and Bethlehem to investigate fascinating ideas about the “Christmas Star.” The show presents historical and scientific facts to unravel this 2,000-year old mystery. Show Run Time: 25 mins.

Earth, Moon and Sun
This kid-friendly planetarium show, explores the relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun with the help of Coyote, a character adapted from Native American oral traditions. Show Run Time: 25 mins.

Laser Holidays
This is an exciting and unique way to celebrate the season through a display of colorful and dramatic laser lights choreographed to a mix of holiday music favorites, including “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Deck the Halls,” “White Christmas” and more. Show Run Time: 30 mins.

Click HERE for showtimes and tickets.

Please note: Planetarium shows carry an additional charge. Click HERE to get a Holiday Savings Pass and see it all for one special price!


Caesar Flex Logo

Julius Caesar: Roman Military Might and Machines
This blockbuster exhibition brings to life one of the most technologically significant times in history by showcasing more than 30 intricately designed and functional inventions from the height of the Roman Empire, including: war machines, transportation machines, Roman arches, gladiator replicas, hands-on activities, computer animations and more.

Click HERE to learn more and to get tickets!


Please note: Blockbuster exhibit admission carries an additional charge. Click HERE to get a Holiday Savings Pass and see it all for one special price!



Solar Observing
Take an up-close look at the the Sun in the State Museum’s sate-of-the-art Boeing Observatory. Solar observing is dependent on clear skies, but even if the weather is poor you can still visit the observatory and see the historic 1926 Alvan Clark telescope!

Click HERE to learn more!




Carolina Makers
This new exhibit celebrates local makers from South Carolina who are producing handmade objects for people all over the world. Some of the featured makers in the exhibition include luthiers, instrument builders, furniture makers, metal workers and clothing designers. Click here to learn more.

Threads: The Story in Our Clothes
See more than 200 years of clothing and fashion in this exhibition. From the ordinary to the remarkable, these pieces of clothing tell the unique stories of South Carolina, either through their creation or in the lives of the people who wore them. Click here to learn more.

Time and Place: the Artwork of James Fowler Cooper
Beautiful Lowcountry landscapes, farm labor and life growing up in rural South Carolina are all scenes depicted in Time and Place: The Artwork of James Fowler Cooper. This new exhibition tells the story of the Lowcountry through the eyes of South Carolina printmaker James Fowler Cooper. Click here to learn more.




Visit the museum store, The Cotton Mill Exchange, for a wide variety of unique SC themed gifts and products from jewelry, art, clothing, gourment food and more. Click here to learn more.


The Crescent Cafe offers a menu of delicious food, drink and even something for your sweet tooth!. Click here to learn more.



December 19, 2015
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