I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…and for the first time in 18 years, this is actually possible! We are loving the lower temperatures in the Upstate of SC this Christmas season as we experience our first Christmas and winter on the farm.
I’ve formed a list of our favorite Christmas activities and we can’t wait to keep adding to this list every year. Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
1 – Tree Cutting at Mystic Tree Farm
Mystic Tree Farm for Christmas Tree Cutting in Greenville, SC: What a blast it was to visit a local tree farm for our Christmas tree this year! Being from Florida, we were used to purchasing our live Christmas tree from a pre-cut church parking lot or even Costco so we never processed the joy that would come from a live tree farm! Mystic Tree Farm was only 30 minutes from our home and had a beautiful selection of live trees. We chose the Leyland. Cypress, which turns out to be allergen-friendly – a huge win for my sinuses!
The aroma of live Christmas trees filled the air along with Santa photo ops and spaces where our boys could run wild and free. Once we chose the tree, Landon and Griffin (with dad’s supervision), loved helping to use the ax to cut down the winner. We loved the quality of the tree so much, we returned the next weekend for live garland and wreaths for our home which will become a staple for our annual Christmas decorating.
2 – Walk Downtown Greenville / Visit O.P. Taylors
One December weekend, we hopped in the car and decided to walk around downtown Greenville without any specific plans. What a beautiful sight it was to see so many shoppes lit up for Christmas and to hear Christmas music blasting on the streets! Several live trees are set up for wonderful picture ops around downtown as well.
One of the iconic places to stop by for a visit in downtown Greenville during Christmastime is O.P. Taylors, a charming, old-school toy store decorated with nutcrackers and Christmas galore at its entrance. The boys made their Christmas wish lists and could have spent hours window shopping at O.P. Taylors.
While there are so many wonderful restaurants to visit during the Christmas season in downtown Greenville, we really enjoyed the holiday-filled atmosphere at Limoncello.
3 – Skate at Ice on Main
Arguably the most adorable area of downtown Greenville decked out for the holiday season is Ice on Main, a pop-up ice skating rink which replaces the courtyard grass of the Courtyard Marriott from mid-November through the end of January annually. Our boys absolutely love to ice skate so it is such a special way to spend an hour during the Christmas season, listening to Christmas carols and racing each other on skates.
Be sure to pre-register by purchasing tickets early in the season as slots of availability fill up quickly. In addition, if your child is going to require a blue walker for ice skating assistance, be sure to purchase that upon your arrival as there are limited number in stock.
4 – Santa’s Sleigh Ride in Downtown Greenville
When we had friends in town visiting from Florida, I knew one way to bring a good amount of Christmas cheer was to surprise the kids with a ride on Santa’s sleigh. Santa’s Sleigh Ride operates “sleigh rides”, an 18-seat passenger van, through the streets of downtown to view the lights and feel the cheer. All of the kids absolutely loved this ride (and I think the moms loved it even a little more!) Book a Christmas carol-filled ride that strolls through the winding, hilly streets of Greenville. Ho ho ho!
5 – Christmas at Biltmore
There is very little more iconic holiday sight than the sight of a Christmas tree shining in a large estate such as the Biltmore. Our first-time experience at the Biltmore kept us desiring for more as we were so impressed by the amazing estate, grounds and things we could do there! There are 55 decorated Christmas trees on the property and each one is more impressive than the previous one. Visiting Biltmore during the Christmas season is an absolute must.
6 – New Year’s Eve Dinner at Hotel Domestique
One of the most special ways for our family to ring in the New Year is a fancy, sit-down dinner at Restaurant 17 located in Hotel Domestique. This beautiful location, boasting mountain views, biking trails and gorgeous tree lines, is located in Traveler’s Rest, SC, an Upstate gem-of-an-area for those who adore the mountain settings. The prix-fixed menu at Restaurant 17 on New Year’s Eve is sure to please, offering child-friendly options for the littles but delicious, unique tastes for the adults. It’s one of our sweetest annual family traditions!