WinterFest is Back at the State Museum

Celebrate the holidays with The Polar Express 4D Experience, free with an Explorer 2 ticket

COLUMBIA, S.C., Dec. 17, 2019 – The holidays are in full swing at the South Carolina State Museum. WinterFest, sponsored by Cool Care Heating and Air, is an annual celebration packed with holiday fun for the whole family, Dec. 21 through Jan. 5, 2020. Enjoy an exclusive Nutcracker performance, visits with Santa, a chance to see The Polar Express 4D Experience free and more.

During WinterFest guests that purchase an Explorer 2 ticket will be able to see The Polar Express 4D Experience for free through Jan. 4, 2020.

Santa Meet and Greet (Sat., Dec. 21, Sun., Dec. 22 and Mon., Dec. 23)
Guests can avoid the headaches of crowded malls and Meet Santa at the State Museum on Sat., Dec. 21, (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.), Sun., Dec. 22 (12 p.m. – 3 p.m.) and Mon., Dec. 23 (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.). Special holiday picture with Santa available for purchase: 1 picture sheet $8, 2 sheets $12, 3 sheets $15 with a choice of sizes: 5×7, 4×6 and 3×5. Each purchase includes a free digital copy.

Marionette Theater Performance, “Santa’s Christmas Party” (Sat., Dec. 21 at 11:30 a.m.)
Guests will enjoy a live puppet performance featuring Santa Claus and other special party guests. Free with museum general admission.

Nutcracker Performance by Anne Brodie’s Carolina Ballet Company (Sat., Dec. 21 at 1 p.m.)
Guests will experience these talented ballet dancers perform selections from this holiday classic exclusively for museum guests. Free with museum general admission.

Holiday Cookie Decorating (Sat., Dec. 21 at 2:30 p.m.)
Guests will get to decorate their own holiday cookies. Free with museum general admission.

Hands on Activity Stations (Sat., Dec. 21 – Mon., Dec. 23 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.)
Guests will create holiday cards, ornaments and more at these hands on stations located in the lobby of the museum. Free with museum general admission.

Snowball Fights & Igloo Building (Thurs., Dec. 26 – Sun., Jan. 5, 2020 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Guests will have fun playing in our winter wonderland, just make sure to watch out for snowballs. Free with museum general admission.

An Enchanted Tea Party (Fri., Dec. 27 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.)
This magical evening will spark young guests’ imagination! During the event, guests will watch the State Museum debut of the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 4D Experience, enjoy special live performances, meet and greet with their favorite characters like Anna, Elsa and Olaf, and enjoy crafts and activities. There will be light snacks and refreshments and costumes are highly encouraged. An Enchanted Tea Party tickets are $12 per person for general public and $9 per person for museum members. Space is limited, advance ticket purchase is recommended. Tickets are on sale now at

Kids Holiday Spa Day (Dec. 30 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.)
Kids are invited to create their own spa themed gifts for family and friends from lavender and rose bath bombs to peppermint foot soaks. Guests will receive two tickets per child with general admission. Each ticket will allow a child to create gifts like milk baths, sugar scrubs and bath salts. Free with museum general admission.

Noon Year’s Eve (Tues., Dec. 31 at 11:45 a.m.)
Guests will celebrate the New Year a little early with a Noon countdown, bubble wrap popping and a sparkling grape juice toast. Free with museum general admission.

Winter Break Camps (Dec. 20 – 23, 2019 |Dec. 26 – 27, 2019 | Dec. 30 – Jan. 3, 2020)
The State Museum is excited to offer camps during Winter Break for children aged 6 – 12 years old. Each day will focus on a different subject matter and even includes a special Polar Express Day! Campers can customize their schedule. Every camp day features: morning social time with other campers, museum exploration time, hands-on and interactive activities, snack time and lunch time. Extended Day includes a snack time and activities. Visit to learn more.

Holiday Shows – Now Playing Daily through Jan. 5, 2020
The Polar Express 4D Experience
Star of Bethlehem – Planetarium Show
Laser Holidays – Planetarium Show
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Laser Fantasy – Planetarium Show (Tuesday nights only)

For a full list of WinterFest activities, days and times for performances and tickets for An Enchanted Tea Party, visit
About the South Carolina State Museum: As the state’s largest and most comprehensive museum, the South Carolina State Museum, offers a unique, entertaining and educational experience to visitors throughout its 225,000 square foot facility located in the heart of downtown Columbia’s Congaree Vista. The State Museum is housed in one of its greatest artifacts, an 1894 old textile mill full of character and charm. In addition to beautiful meeting spaces throughout the facility, guests can explore outer space in one of the largest planetariums in the Southeast, watch an interactive 4D movie and look through a vintage telescope in a one-of-a-kind observatory. These exciting opportunities are all in addition to the four floors of South Carolina art, cultural history, natural history and science/technology that guests can experience. For more information about the museum, visit

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