PublishedDecember 7, 2023
Add a little fun to this holiday season in the Main Street District under twinkling city lights. From boutique shopping to cozy wine bars, private igloos, and even a forecast of snow, there’s no shortage of ways to celebrate the holidays in the heart of the capital city.
Nothing says holidays like a snowy forecast. While we may not get a lot of those weather alerts naturally, you can bet you’ll see a Winter Wonderland on the 1600 block of Main Street this season. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday this December stroll along Main Street’s 1600 block under a flurry of (artificial) snow and twinkling lights. Snow will fall every hour from 6 – 9 PM, courtesy of the folks behind The Venue, among other restaurants. Don’t miss stopping into The Venue’s “Home for the Holidays” pop-up bar for an immersive holiday experience with live festive music and a holiday menu.
Need something a little more active for the kiddos (or yourself)? Grab a team and play a game of bowling at boutique bowling alley, The Grand, where you can also eat a delicious meal or even check out the underground tiki bar.
Photo from @SmokedSC
Head to Nickelodeon Theater to catch a movie at Main Street’s movie theater, affectionately called ‘The Nick’ by locals. This holiday season they’ve got everything from classic hits like It’s a Wonderful Life to indie films. And if fashion and art suits your fancy, head to the Columbia Museum of Art to see the latest exhibitions – Lee Alexander McQueen & Ann Ray: Rendevouz and Sergio Hudson: Focused the Fit, which highlights the styles of up-and-coming designer for the stars who grew up right here in Columbia.
Photo from @ColaMuseum
In all of the holiday chaos, we can’t forget about New Year’s Eve plans, and the Main Street District has the most concentrated number of parties in Columbia. Say goodbye to 2023 at Hendrix with DJ Neptune on the rooftop, or enjoy a three-course meal from Market on Main and watch the ball drop on the jumbotron. New this year, there will be a live ball drop in the 1600 block in front of Nickelodeon Theater. Start your evening at Smoked’s Red Carpet Affair, or Robinson Room’s Roaring 20s Gala and end the night with a block party and champagne toast to watch the ball drop on the 1600 block in front of Nickleodeon Theater. Stay tuned as more places announce their NYE plans.
Photo from @MarketOnMainColaSC
Check our events page for a list of all the events happening in the Main Street District this season.
Don’t miss the limited-time retail pop-up, The Little Lady, located at the corner of Sumter St. and Lady St. Open Thursdays – Sundays until December 23 this new concept houses gifts from local makers or local stores only and even has some activations scheduled with other community groups. Check out the Cola Love website for more details on each activation.
Photo from @ColaLove.SC
Looking for something on trend but don’t know where to start? Miss Cocky has you covered. While they have a variety of trending gameday looks, they also carry plenty of styles for other occasions. Designers like Buddy Love and Show Me Your Mumu, among others, fill the store and their retail associates are there to help you find just the right thing.
If you have a South Carolina enthusiast on your list, stop by Uptown Gifts for tea towels, drinkware, bags and more that show off that SC and collegiate pride. Or, get your special someone started on Nora Fleming dishes. With dish accessories for every holiday or occasion, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. When it comes to the perfect accessories, housewares, furniture or knick-knacks, look no further than Icon on Taylor. Formerly called the Shoppes on Main and located in a new building, Icon on Taylor has everything that’s trending.
Photo from @IconOnTaylor
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the shopping opportunities at Soda City Market. Hundreds of vendors line Main Street every Saturday from 9 AM – 1 PM, rain or shine. Here you can find art, jewelry, vintage clothing and even fresh flowers. With vendors from across the Southeast, you’re sure to find something unique.
Photo from @SodaCitySC
For the outdoorsy type, head to Mast General Store for men’s and women’s outerwear, shoes, camping gear and more. And don’t forget about the kids! Stocking stuffers abound in the back of the store with candy, toys and kitschy signs. In need of something a little more refined? Granger Owings houses brands like Peter Millar and Barbour. Be on the lookout for their holiday sales but act fast! And if you’re attending a holiday party and need a little something for yourself, don’t miss the budget-friendly jackets and accessories at Cavaliers of Columbia or New York Style.
Visit our shopping page for a full list of stores in the district.
We all know the holidays can be a bit stressful. Take some time to break away from the stress and celebrate the season at one of our many local restaurants and bars.
‘Tis the season to get cozy and what better place to do that than Lula Drake Wine Parlour? Take a step back in time and cozy up to the bar with a glass of vino and a pasta dish for two in this historic building. Or, stop into Robinson Room for specialty cocktails, a cheese board and a photo-worthy aesthetic. Newer to the Main Street District, Kao Thai Cuisine might just have one of the best happy hours in Columbia. $4 draft beers and $5 select appetizers? Count us in.
Photo from @RobinsonRoomSC
Treat yourself with some elevated dining – it is a time to celebrate after all! Delight in French farm-to-table dining at Hampton Street Vineyard with a side of vino recommended by their in-house sommelier. Or indulge in a steakhouse moment at Halls Chophouse that is sure to impress. Looking for a leisurely evening? Try a cocktail on the rooftop at Hendrix before heading downstairs for an elevated Southern dining experience, or get your fill of martinis and oysters on the idyllic back patio of Smoked while you wait for your dinner table.
Photo from @HendrixCola
If you’re in need of some quick fuel for your shopping day, try Sunrise Cafe for that good ole’ Southern breakfast, served until 3 p.m. Or, stop by Takosushi for a little bit of the East and the West. With dishes like chips and queso and sushi rolls, there’s something for everyone in your crew. And if you just need a hearty sandwich, soup or salad to get through it all, Sound Bites Eatery or East Bay Deli have what you’re looking for. Or maybe you need that mid-day margarita – we’re not judging – Cantina 76 is the perfect spot for that liquid fuel.
Photo from @SoundBitesEatery
Maybe you’re looking for somewhere to host a fun group dinner that’s out of the normal rotation. Did you know there’s a hibachi restaurant right on Main Street? Hanabi Hibachi & Sushi brings together the fun of a hibachi experience with the vibe of a cocktail lounge. Stop by the bar for drinks and sushi or book a large table and enjoy the show. Or, try one of Main Street’s newest spots and cook your own meats at MOA Korean BBQ. Pick your choice of meat and grill right at your table with the help of the MOA serving team. We suggest getting a Korean pancake or two for the table to start.
Just across the street you’ll find the biggest yard Main Street can offer at Market on Main. During the holidays you can book a private igloo or settle into the enclosed sunroom so you can still enjoy that outdoor feel among the chillier temps. But don’t wait! These igloos book up fast. If the outdoors are where you and your crew feel best, don’t miss the patio at Bourbon’s cocktail lounge. Equipped with overhead heaters and bites from their Creole-Cajun menu, it’s its own oasis.
Photo by Forrest Clonts from @bourboncolumbia
For a full list of restaurants and bars in the district, check out our dining page.
You can even come to the Main Street District for a chance to unwind amidst the holiday chaos. Take a yoga class at Corazon Holistic Health or sweat out some stress with Pilates Bodies by Victoria. And if you’re in need of a quick glamour touch up, book an appointment with Carolina Hair Studios or Circa Barber Shop before all of those holiday parties.
Photo from @CircaBarberShop
Visit our services page for a full list of ways to unwind and freshen up.
There is always something happening in the Main Street District. Whether you’re looking for live music, movies, art, business networking or special events, Main Street has it all!