The holidays are in full swing at the South Carolina State Museum with returning holiday-themed 4D and planetarium shows now playing and the museum’s annual Winter Fest celebration. WinterFest, sponsored by Cool Care Heating and Air, is an annual celebration packed with holiday fun for the whole family, December 21 through January 5. Enjoy a fun-filled kickoff celebration, live performances and visits with Santa. Guests of all ages will experience the joy of the holiday season at the museum.

Returning Holiday Shows:

The Polar Express 4D Experience:

Guests are invited on an extraordinary 4D adventure this holiday season on The Polar Express 4D Experience. When a doubting young boy takes a train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. This 15 minute 4D experience will be showing through January 5 in the Rev. Dr. Solomon Jackson, Jr 4D Theater.

Star of Bethlehem:

This full-dome planetarium experience takes guests to the ancient cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem to investigate fascinating ideas about the Christmas Star. The show uses historical and scientific facts to unravel the 2,000-year-old mystery through a special audiovisual display featuring popular Christmas carols. This 25-minute show will be playing through January 5 in the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Planetarium.

Laser Holidays:

This exciting 30-minute laser show celebrates the season through a display of colorful and dramatic laser lights choreographed to a mix of holiday musical favorites like, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Deck the Halls, White Christmas and more. Laser Holidays will be playing on Tuesday nights through January 5 in the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Planetarium.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Laser Fantasy:

This dramatic holiday laser light show features a colorful display of laser lights choreographed to popular Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music. Selling more than 30 million records, Mannheim Steamroller is known for their modern recordings of Christmas music and for their Fresh Aire albums that blend classical music and rock. This 40-minute show will be playing through January 5 in the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Planetarium.

Santa Days: Meet Santa at the Museum

Santa will visit the State Museum, December 3, 10 from 6 until 7 pm and 17 and December 21 through December 23 from noon until 3 pm for an opportunity for families to meet and get their photo taken with him. Special Santa photo packages include:

· 1 picture sheet for $8

· 2 photo sheets for $12

· 3 photo sheets for $15

There is no charge for guests to meet Santa. Visit to learn more.

Tasting Tuesdays (December 10 and 17)

The Cotton Mill Exchange is open late every Tuesday and, in December, will bring back Tasting Tuesdays in celebration of the holiday season. From 5 pm until 8 pm guests will be able to sample South Carolina made food from local companies and enjoy samples of local beer, wine and cider while they shop.

WinterFest Events:

Guests visiting the museum December 21 through January 5 will experience hands on winter crafts, building activities like making your own igloo, snowball fights. All activities will take place from 10 am until 4 pm and are free with museum general admission. For a full list and schedule of WinterFest activities visit  

Frozen Tea Party, December 27

The evening will spark young guests’ imagination from 6 until 9 pm, December 27. During the event, guests will watch Disney’s Frozen, meet and greet with their favorite Frozen characters like Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf, and enjoy crafts and activities. There will be light snacks and refreshments and Frozen costumes are highly encouraged. Frozen Tea Party tickets are $18 per person and $15 for museum members. Space is limited, advance ticket purchase is recommended. Be sure to check out the family room option for a more relaxed viewing experience. Tickets are on sale now at

Winter Break Camps (December 20 –January 3)

The State Museum will 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.