Holiday events: Christmas

Daniel McCarthy, 5, gives a hug to Santa during the 2010 Night of 1,000 Lights on Laurens Street in Aiken. The event features businesses staying open late, luminarias lining the streets, food and festivities.

TOY DRIVE: Sports Authority, 245 Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway, drop off site through Sunday, Dec. 22, for new, unwrapped toys to be donated to local families in need; visit Web site for store hours;


HOLIDAY PHOTO DISPLAY: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday, through Dec. 23, Cold Creek Nurseries, 398 Hitchcock Parkway; bring family, friends and camera; no charge to take photos

LIGHTS OF THE SOUTH: 6-10 p.m. through Dec. 30, (closed Christmas Day), Lights Of The South, 633 Louisville Road, Grovetown; more than 5 million lights throughout 100-acre forest; food, sweets, beverages, hay rides, walking trails, Christmas train, Christmas tree maze, more; $8; ages 4-17 $5; ages 3 and younger free; (706) 825-6441,

HOLIDAY ON THE HILL: Through Dec. 30, Hickory Hill, 502 Hickory Hill Drive, Thomson; experience the magic of the holidays on an evening tour of Sen. Thomas E. Watson’s beloved home; (706) 595-7777,

HOLIDAY TOURS OF THE BOYHOOD HOME OF PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the hour Tuesdays-Saturdays through Dec. 29 (closed Christmas Day), 419 Seventh St.; decorated with fresh evergreens by Charleston Street Fine Flowers and Events; $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 K-12 students, free ages 4 and younger; (706) 722-9828

RETURN TO BETHLEHEM: A city of Bethlehem built in a field beside Grace United Methodist Church, 639 Georgia Ave.; groups of 20 take guided tour through live scenes of the night of Jesus’s birth; handicapped guests can drive through; 6-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 6-8; park in front of Wesley Center no later than 5:45 p.m.; no donations taken;

LADIES NIGHT OUT: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, Cold Creek Nurseries, 398 Hitchcock Parkway, Aiken; create a centerpiece using fresh greenery; music, wine, hors d’oeuvres, door prizes, shopping; $25, includes supplies; in-store registration required; (803) 648-3592

25TH ANNUAL NORTH AUGUSTA CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES: 5:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8; sponsored by Beta Sigma Phi Sorority; tickets: Jim Bush Flower Shop, Communigraphics, Parks Pharmacy; day of tour tickets at any stop; $25; (803) 279-4844, (803) 279-6036, (803) 279-5074

A HOLLY DAY: All day, Saturday, Dec. 8, downtown Aiken; shops offer holiday specials; Aiken Downtown Development Association, (803) 649-2221,

CITY OF NEW ELLENTON CHRISTMAS PARADE: Noon Saturday, Dec. 8, Main Street, New Ellenton; (803) 652-2214,; free

MIDLAND VALLEY CHAMBER CHRISTMAS PARADE: 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, South Carolina Highway 421 from LBC Middle School in Bath to Langley; to enter, e-mail or call (803) 270-0934; (803) 292-2769

NORTH AUGUSTA LIONS PARADE: 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9; parade forms available at North Augusta Chamber of Commerce; parade begins at Kmart shopping center, goes down Martintown Road, then left onto Georgia Avenue to Buena Vista Avenue; (803) 279-2323

AIKEN JAYCEES CHRISTMAS PARADE: 2-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, downtown Aiken; Cartoon Christmas theme; register entries by Dec. 1; (803) 644-3008,

STORYTIME WITH MRS. CLAUS: 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, Odell Weeks Center, Rooms 6 and 7, 1700 Whiskey Road, Aiken; Mrs. Claus reading holiday books; refreshments; door prizes; each child given a free book; ages 8 and younger, accompanied by adult; (803) 642-7631; free

CHRISTMAS IN HOPELANDS: 6-9:30 p.m., Dec. 13-27 (closed Dec. 24 and 25), Hopelands Gardens, 1700 Whiskey Road, Aiken; lights, lights and more lights; refreshments offered; ride shuttle 6-9 p.m. from/to Citizens Park, 1060 Banks Mill Road; children must be accompanied by an adult; free, donations appreciated; (803) 642-7631

NIGHT OF 1,000 LIGHTS: 6-10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, downtown Aiken; held by Aiken Downtown Development Association; food, festivities and Santa in town; (803) 649-2221,

CHRISTMAS CANCELLED: A SPECIAL CIVIL WAR HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site, 181 Redcliffe Road, Beech Island; musicians, actors bring alive the holiday experience of free and enslaved families during the Civil War; includes tours of historic slave quarters and decorated historic mansion, games for the whole family; (803) 827-1473

A BLUEGRASS CHRISTMAS: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, The Stables Restaurant at Rose Hill Estate, 221 Greenville St. NW, Aiken; holiday music and a special guest from The North Pole; reservations recommended; (803) 648-1181,

BAREFOOT PRODUCTIONS INC./CREATIVE IMPRESSIONS: BEHOLD THE STAR 2012: Saturday, Dec. 22, Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, 2500 Walton Way; 3-5 p.m. show $15, ages 12 and younger $10; 7-9 p.m. show $20, ages 60 and older $18, children and college students with ID $10; (706) 667-4100

Today's Home: North Augusta Christmas Tour of Homes
Grovetown, Aiken displays to light up holiday season