Free Things to Do in Spartanburg This Holiday Season

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Are you celebrating the holidays on a budget this year? The holidays can be a financially stressful time for a lot of families. Finding festive activities to enjoy that are free and low cost can help when you are trying to keep the kids occupied during winter break.

Kidding Around contributor Melanie has searched high and low for the local holiday events that won’t break the bank.

Dickens of a Christmas
Tree Lighting at A Dickens of a Christmas in Spartanburg, SC (Canceled for 2020)

Spartanburg Celebrates Holiday Traditions

Celebrate some of the beloved holiday traditions of Spartanburgers throughout the years.
This exhibit includes

  • The James Buchanan dioramas of “A Visit From St/ Nicholas”
  • Floats from past Spartanburg Christmas parades
  • Memories of “Dickens of a Christmas”
  • A collection of Hannukah traditions from members of Temple B’nai Israel
  • A collection of nativity scenes

Housed at the Spartanburg Regional History Museum at the Chapman Cultural Center, this exhibit runs from November 6th, 2020 – January 2nd, 2021.
The Cultural Center is open Tuesday – Friday from 10 am – 5 pm and Saturday from 11 am – 4 pm.

The Christmas House

This Inman family has been decorating their historic home for people to enjoy for 47 years! Driving though this light display, is sure to bring a smile to the faces of everyone in your vehicle! There’s even a frozen themed display for the Disney princess fans in your family!

The Christmas House display is lit from November 26th through December 31st, 2020 – beginning nightly at 5:30.

360 Foster Road, Inman SC 29349 (near Lake Bowen)

Christmas In Greer Tree Lighting 

December 4th, Downtown Greer ushers in the holiday season with a celebration including live music, inflatables, cookie decorating, s’mores, and more! The best part is it’s all free and ends with the tree in City park being lit. 

The tree lighting ceremony starts at 7:30 pm. For all of the fun, you can have during the holidays in this quaint South Carolina town, check out our Guide to Christmas in Greer.

A Family Christmas Festival

First Baptist Spartanburg is inviting the community to a fun-filled night on December 13th, from 5 – 8 pm. The FREE event will include:

  • Sleigh Rides
  • Family Photo Booth
  • Christmas Bingo
  • Live Nativity
  • Hot Cocoa & Cookie Decorating
  • and more!

250 East Main Street, Spartanburg

Santa on the Green Screen

Get a photo with a digital Santa on a green screen at the Middle Tyger Library on December 10th, 2020. Call 864.439.4759 to schedule a time for your photo.

AIM Drive-Thru Christmas Parade

AIM Spartanburg is hosting a free drive-thru Christmas parade event in their parking lot. The event is open to the public. Bring yourself some hot chocolate or a special treat and head to AIM Spartanburg December 12th, 2020 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm.

Free Fun Outside Of Spartanburg

Christmas Laser Light Show

Head over to Gaffney for the Christmas parade and then stay for the 2nd annual Christmas laser light show in Jolly park following this year’s drive-thru parade.

It’s free and will start every 30 minutes on the following dates:
Friday, December 4th – 7 pm-11 pm
Saturday, December 5th – 7 pm-11 pm
Sunday, December 6th – 7 pm-11 pm

Cabela’s Winter Wonderland

Head over to Greenville to visit Santa at Cabela’s! You can get your photo taken with Santa for free and kids can enjoy making a different craft every week leading up to Christmas. In Santa’s Winter Wonderland kids can also write a letter to Santa for free!

For all the info you’ll need, check out this local mom’s review of her family’s visit to see Santa At Cabela’s Winter Wonderland.

*crafts subject to availability, please contact store with questions.

The Omni Grove Park Inn Gingerbread Display

The competition will continue virtually in 2020 without a public display of Gingerbread Houses at the historic hotel due to restrictions surrounding COVID-19.

Beginning December 1st, the hotel will announce one finalist, per day, with the Grand Prize Winner revealed on December 12th in honor of National Gingerbread House Day! Tune in via The Omni Grove Park Inn Facebook or the Omni Grove Park Inn Instagram.

Non-guests of the Omni Grove Park Inn, who arrive without a reservation during high occupancy times will not be permitted access to the grounds to ensure social distancing and capacity restrictions remain intact. While visiting the hotel collects a parking fee of $25, shared with local non-profit organizations. Please check the hotel website for a list of 2020 beneficiaries and blackout days due to the holidays.

Christmas Town USA, North Carolina

For 65 years, this North Carolina town just outside of Charlotte has been known as Christmas Town USA. Driving through this town is always free and you can park and enjoy a walk around the lake.

The 2020 season lights will run from December 1st – 26th, from 5:30 pm – 10 pm, 7 days a week. This is a departure from the later shut-off times on the weekend in the past.

For more info about visiting this unique town just across the North Carolina border, check out our review of Christmas Town USA.

See Santa at Cabela’s

Head over to Greenville and See Santa at Cabela’s. Not only will you get to visit Santa free, but you’ll also get a free 4×6 photo and a goody bag for each child.

We hope you enjoy all kinds of fun this holiday season!

Did we leave off a free local event? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author
Melanie is a native New Yorker, who landed in the Upstate by way of Florida. She is the mom to two awesome kids, and the three of them love going on adventures! She enjoys sharing her finds with friends and loves even more that she can share them with Kidding Around readers! She can be found on Instagram @figuringthisoutdotcom
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