Holiday Things to Do: Spend a Day in Downtown Greenville, SC

Posted on | No Comments

Are you looking for a festive way to spend some time in Downtown Greenville, SC for Christmas? Now that the holiday season has arrived, we’ve gathered up some ideas for a festive day spent in downtown Greenville packed with holiday things to do. Here, you will find suggestions for places to go in downtown Greenville using the free trolley, information on Greenville’s Holiday Happenings events, and lots more.

Christmas is in the air. I smell it. It is a crisp, cool, cheerful aroma. You can savor this sweet scent by simply strolling down Main Street in Greenville. My boys and I do this. Often. In fact, it’s one of my favorite things to do this time of year. Toss in a cup of hot chocolate along with a free trolley ride through downtown Greenville, and you have yourself the perfect holiday morning!

Plan Your Trip Downtown During the Holidays

A few months ago I stumbled across this gem: M. Judson Booksellers & Storytellers. Have you been? Trust me, it is well worth your time. They are located on Main beside the Poinsett Hotel. Inside the four walls of this historic building, you will find colorful décor and walls upon walls of books! This year, I am excited to check out their Camilla Kitchen. (I already know I will have one of their literature-inspired specialty coffee drinks coupled with a Spicy Ginger Molasses Cookie! Yum!)

If you’re looking for more than an hour or so of holiday entertainment, skip over to the Marriott Courtyard where Ice on Main is located, and purchase a small cup of chocolate goodness before heading to the trolley stop.  And if you’re feeling really brave rent some ice skates and give the rink a go! This year, it is strongly encouraged that you buy tickets in advance.

There are a handful of trolley stops along the road, but my gang and I usually pick it up across the street from the Carolina Ale House restaurant. You’ll likely have plenty of time to people-watch while you wait (another favorite pastime of mine). For the tech-savvy among you, you can check out the FindGreenlink app, so you’ll know exactly where every in-service trolley is located in real-time.

On the way back down Main, we always jump off the trolley to visit the Festival of Trees at the Hyatt Regency and Courtyard Marriott.  We enjoy seeing the trees decorated by schools in the area. The Festival of Trees will be held from November 17th, 2023 through December 25, 2023.

Downtown Greenville, SC holiday window decorating contest
Downtown Holiday Window Decorating Contest

Holiday Happenings Events and More Things to Do

I don’t know about you but I’m having a little trouble getting into the holiday spirit this year. So I’m hoping these Holiday Happening events in Greenville will serve as the catalyst that thrusts me into a fa la la state of mind. I love seeing the twinkling white lights in the trees that line Main Street. If I close my eyes I can almost hear the carols and smell the flavored coffee. (I’m learning to like coffee, by the way, but that’s a whole other article.)

Greenville Christmas Market at the Grand Bohemian Lodge– Select dates November 24th, 2023 – December 31st, 2023. This free market will have live music, entertainment, Santa visits, and lots of holiday fun while all located in the new Grand Bohemian Lodge in the heart of downtown Greenville.

Night of Lights- December 1st, 2023 Canceled for 2023 Due to Weather | This event will feature Christmas tree lighting, live music, vendors, food trucks, and more! The ceremony will take place in front of M. Judson Booksellers on Main Street.

Poinsettia Christmas Parade Postponed to December 9th, 2023 at 6 pm | The event takes place on Main Street. Plan accordingly for parking and arrive early to grab a good spot along the sidewalk!

Window Decorating Contest- Greenville’s local shops will compete for the best holiday window display. Visitors and shoppers can enjoy the displays and vote for their favorites in mid-December, with dates to follow.

Poinsettia Postcards – School groups and local non-profits created and decorated holiday postcards which will be displayed throughout the Main Street plazas. Vote for your favorite online, or in person at 656 South Main Street.

Free Parking- Black Friday, Christmas Eve, and Christmas day, parking is free in some City of Greenville parking facilities.

Ice on Main, November 15, 2023 – January 15, 2024. There will be an opening ceremony on November 15th at 2 pm. Ice skate in Downtown Greenville’s outdoor rink, Ice on Main.

Ice on Main Skating

So grab your calendar and pick a day. You’ll be glad you did!

For even more holiday fun, don’t miss the Ultimate Holiday Guide to Greenville, SC. It’s packed full of things to do, gift ideas, events, and more!

Holiday Free Parking

The City of Greenville will be giving the wonderful gift of FREE parking for 2023 on December 16th and 17th. Garages include:

  • North Laurens Street Garage
  • West Washington Garage
  • Broad Street Garage
  • Richardson Street Garage
  • 2 West End Parking Lots
  • South Main Parking Lot
  • Over 900 free on-street spaces

Parking will also be free for all city-owned garages from December 23rd – 25th, 2023, and January 1st, 2024.

About the Author
Andrea Beam works for the Greenville County School System, but her passion is writing! Greenville has always been her home. Her family enjoys exploring everything the town has to offer. In addition to Kidding Around Greenville, she blogs at Sunshine & Rain.

Sign up for our email newsletter.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments