The Winter Wonderlands of the Upstate

Gracie Fletcher, Staff Writer 

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

With the enchanting arrival of the Christmas season comes all of the holiday festivities that make the upstate home to so many as well as a yuletide vacation for family visiting from out of town.  Known for its endless seasonal opportunities, Greenville, S.C. has become the poster child for holiday celebration making way for jubilation activities without intensive travel. The upstate provides merry entertainment for all walks of life within the heart of Downtown Greenville or the front yard of a house in the nook and cranny for Mauldin.  

Whatever your desire may be to get you in the Christmas spirit, allow these Greenville treats to pave the way.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

1.      Roper Mountain Holiday Lights

Locals can celebrate the holiday season as well as the 25th anniversary of Roper Mountain Holiday Lights located at Roper Mountain Science Center.  This starlit wonderland has become a tradition for families across the upstate who want to roast marshmallows by the fire pit in the midst of twinkling lights.  But after you get your s’mores kit and walk through the frosty trails, make sure you take a ride in your car through the quaint wooded areas of the winter wonderland and admire the 24-foot-tall gingerbread man.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

2.     Holiday at Peace

The Greenville Symphony Orchestra will take the stage once more at the Peace Center for the upstate’s best classical performance in celebration of Saint Nicholas’ arrival.  Holiday at Peace draws in its ticket holders in by providing a family friendly performance including not only the orchestra but surprise special guests, The International Ballet, and Mr. and Mrs. Clause.  Within the theatrical setting of the Peace Center Concert Hall, performance viewers will be able to join a Christmas sing-a-long towards the end of the show.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

3.     Poinsettia Christmas Parade

Many bundle up on Main Street of downtown Greenville to get their first glimpse of the North Pole king himself as the Christmas season approaches.  For over seven decades, Greenville’s Poinsettia Christmas Parade has provided that sneak peek by taking over the streets of downtown, illuminating the light with jubilee.  Floats, marching bands, dancers and even the Greenville trollies will stroll down the heart of the city and express their holiday spirit.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

4.     TNT Lights

In a smaller town of the upstate, Mauldin, S.C. is known for its Maverick pride from one of the biggest high schools in Greenville County.  But those who call Mauldin home know that there is more to the community than Mauldin High School, especially around the holiday season.  TNT Lights is one of the best kept secrets within the streets of Mauldin.  TNT Lights is a local home in the community that contains 325,000 lights, 70 inflatables and much more.  Locals can come and walk around the home enjoying the synchronized music to the Christmas lights while sipping on free hot chocolate and snacking on popcorn.  Santa Clause also makes a night appearance up to the 23rd of December for pictures. 

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

5.     Rogers Family Christmas

On a small two -ane road in Simpsonville, S.C. hides an enchanting light show that invites you to pull off the side of the road and press your face against the glass of your car to watch.  This house is decorated with thousands of lights that synchronize to music that you get to watch within the comfort and warmth of your own car.  A radio station is displayed on a glowing sign at the entrance of the house’s driveway asking you to change your channel to fully experience the light show.  Tons of inflatables and lights twinkling up the trees will dance to the sounds of “Jingle Bell Rock” or even “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble”. 

NGU freshman Alexandra McNider would rather enjoy a community environment to celebrate the holiday season than be in the city.  "I would love to look at the lights of someone's house because there are certain neighborhoods that have a lot to show," McNider said.  

Whether you’re bundling up to take the streets of Downtown Greenville to embrace the Pointesettia Parade, hopping in your car with a warm cup of hot chocolate from home to go to Simpsonville for the Rogers Family Christmas, or dressing up in your finest holiday attire for a merry performance at the Peace Center, the upstate of South Carolina has it all.