Once the Thanksgiving turkey has been reduced to a carcass and Black Friday deals have been gotten, it’s time to focus attention on other activities the family can enjoy.
Here are some suggestions.
OUTDOOR ICE SKATING
United Community Bank “Ice on Main” is back for its eighth season. The open-air ice skating rink was modeled after the rink in New York City’s Rockefeller Center and has become a downtown Greenville holiday tradition. The rink is open daily through Jan. 21. Hours vary. Skates are available for rental. Several special events and promotions are scheduled throughout the season.
WHERE: Village Green, adjacent to Greenville City Hall in front of the Courtyard Marriott on Main Street downtown
WHEN: Through Jan. 21; hours vary depending on day
COST: $10 for adults (age 13 and up); $8 for children ages 4-12; free for children 3 and under
CLEMSON VS. USC
No Thanksgiving weekend is complete without football, and no game in the Palmetto State generates more interest than when the Clemson Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks square off. Clemson is trying to make it to the College Football Playoff for the fourth consecutive season, while the Gamecocks would love nothing more than to spoil the Tigers’ season. Most will watch from the comfort of home or one of the many restaurants and bars that will have the game on big-screen televisions. But for those who want to watch the game in person in Clemson, you’ll have to try to score tickets outside Death Valley or on a third-party ticket site.
WHERE: Memorial Stadium, Clemson
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24
FAMILY ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS AT CHIMNEY ROCK STATE PARK
If you’ve ever wanted to mingle with groundhogs or get up close and personal with a red-tailed hawk, now is your chance.
Chimney Rock State Park in North Carolina will host “Family Animal Encounters” from Friday, Nov. 23, to Sunday, Nov. 25.
The 30-minute sessions will begin at 2 p.m. with a park ranger sharing fun facts about Chimney Rock’s wildlife. Visitors will then have the opportunity to meet some of the mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds of prey that reside at Grady’s Animal Discovery Den in the park. That includes Grady the Groundhog, the park’s mascot and wildlife ambassador.
Park officials recommend that visitors grab a “TRACK Trails” brochure once the encounter ends and round out the day with a hike along the Great Woodland Adventure. The 0.6-mile winding trail features 12 “discovery stations” with information about the park’s wildlife and habitat.
WHERE: 431 Main St., Chimney Rock, North Carolina
WHEN: 2-2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, to Sunday, Nov. 25
COST: Included with park admission
INFO: (828) 625-9611 or www.chimneyrockpark.com
STARRY NIGHTS AT ROPER MOUNTAIN SCIENCE CENTER
Roper Mountain Science Center is helping visitors connect with the cosmos this winter.
The center, which is owned by Greenville County Schools, is open every Friday from 6-10:15 p.m. for its “Starry Nights” program.
As part of the program, visitors can view any or all of two showings at the center’s T.C. Hooper planetarium or venture up to the Charles E. Daniel Observatory for a guided stargazing session.
Roper Mountain’s planetarium, which opened in 1989, is one of the largest facilities of its kind in South Carolina. It features a 360-degree full immersion dome with surround sound.
The first show, “Map to the Chocolate Planet,” is geared toward children and follows the journey of two alien children as they explore the universe for a mythical planet made of chocolate. It begins at 6 p.m. The second show, “Oasis in Space,” explores what makes a planet “Earth-like” and takes visitors on a tour of several worlds that could be habitable. It begins at 7:30 p.m.
After each show, visitors can observe the stars and planets through a 23-inch refractor telescope at the Daniel Observatory. The telescope, which was built in 1882 for astronomical research at Princeton University, is one of the largest refractors in North America. It is open to the public from 8-10:15 p.m.
WHERE: 402 Roper Mountain Road, Greenville
WHEN: 6-10:15 p.m. Friday evenings
COST: Tickets to planetarium showings cost $6 for adults and teens and $5 for children, senior citizens, and military. Admission is free for children under 3. Access to the Daniel Observatory is included with each ticket.
THE BREWERY EXPERIENCE
Greenville’s craft beer scene is on the rise, so why not take your friends and family to experience it firsthand around the holidays?
The Brewery Experience, started by craft-beer lover Gary Clancy, takes you and your loved ones to local Greenville breweries such as Swamp Rabbit Brewery, Thomas Creek, Quest Brewing Co., and more. Clancy is more than just a beer lover, he is also a cicerone – the equivalent of a beer sommelier, and he explains that the experience is about having fun, with lots of beer education along the way. “You’re going to learn a lot about beer and the places that we go,” he says. “One of the great things about the tour is you get an exclusive chance to talk with the owners.”
Several types of tours are offered weekly, with private options available, as well.
WHERE: Meet in front of the VisitGreenvilleSC Visitors Center, 206 S. Main St.
WHEN: 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Several times and locations weekly, including Saturday, Nov. 23
DICKENS’ ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL’ AT THE LOGOS THEATRE
Charles Dickens’ classic tale “A Christmas Carol” comes to life in a new way at the Logos Theatre this Christmas as an original musical. The music was written and composed by founder Dr. Nicky Chavers and one of his daughters, Christy Chavers Stutzman. Artistic director Nicole Chavers Stratton adapted the show from the original book, ensuring that it stays true to the Ebenezer Scrooge story audiences know and love.
WHERE: Logos Theatre, 80 School St., Taylors
WHEN: Nov. 24 and 30; Dec. 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22; times vary
EXPERIENCE ‘HOLIDAY TRADITIONS’ AT CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF THE UPSTATE
For children who love Santa Claus and all things Christmas, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate will host holiday-themed events after Thanksgiving until the end of December.
This is the fifth year the museum has hosted the exhibit, called “Holiday Traditions,” which will also feature winter-themed events such as breakfast with Santa.
The exhibit will include train tables and Christmas village displays, a Santa letter-writing station with a North Pole mailbox, snowman games, stories about holidays from different cultures, a fireplace and Christmas movie viewing station, and a dollhouse replica of the Lanneau-Norwood House in Greenville.
WHERE: The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, 300 College St., Greenville
WHEN: Nov. 23 – Dec. 31: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays
COST: Included with admission to the museum. Children ages 1-15, $9; adults, $10; seniors, $9.50; military, $9; under age 1, free; museum members, free
FOOTHILL FOODIE TOURS
Greenville’s food scene is buzzing, with more than 120 locally owned restaurants dotting the streets of downtown alone. But how do you keep up with the latest happenings? The answer: Foothill Foodie Tours. Launched earlier this year by local culinary connoisseur Rose Woelker, Foothill Foodie provides visitors and locals alike with an in-depth look at the city’s growing list of restaurants, bars, and clubs. The company offers four walking tours, including a breakfast tour, a desserts tour, a cocktail tour, and a tour that highlights local craft beer, wine, and spirits. Tours begin on Friday and range from $45 to $69 per person. The cocktail tours are for ages 21 and up only. For more information, visit www.foothillfoodietours.com.
WHERE: Various locations
WHEN: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
INFO: [email protected] or (864) 553-9404