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Published on December 5th, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Historic Columbia Announces December 2018 Events

COLUMBIA, S.C. — December is full of holiday festivities and more at Historic Columbia – from the annual Holiday House Tours,  Candlelight Tours and Carriage Rides and Breakfast with Santa, to Second Sunday Stroll of Main Street and Dollar Sunday at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home. The full December calendar of events is highlighted below.

Holiday House Tours

Now – Dec. 30 | Robert Mills House & Hampton-Preston Mansion

Guests are invited to see a variety of holiday decorations and experience past traditions at the Robert Mills House and the Hampton-Preston Mansion now through Sunday, Dec. 30. Tour guides will provide stories of holidays past in Columbia and discuss how families decorated and entertained during the 19th and early 20th centuries. At the Robert Mills House, guests will see how a home of its size might have been decorated in the 1820s during the time before Christmas trees were popular. Across the street at the Hampton-Preston Mansion, Christmas of the 1860s was very different from today in many ways but some of the traditions we carry on today have their roots from this time. Eggnog, poinsettias and Christmas trees were all part of the Victorian era holidays. Admission includes a guided tour of both the Robert Mills House and the Hampton-Preston Mansion. Tours will be offered Tuesday – Saturday at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m.,1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Visit The Gift Shop at Robert Mills, located at 1616 Blanding Street, to purchase admission and begin your tour. To schedule a group tour, call 803.252.1770 x 23 or email

Homeschool Friday | World War II in Columbia

Friday, Dec. 7 | 10 – 11:30 a.m. | Meet at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills

December 7, 1941 – “a date which will live in infamy.” This historic day saw the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and pushed the United States to enter World War II. Join us at the December Homeschool Friday | World War II in Columbia to explore the role Columbia and South Carolina played in World War II. Homeschool Friday will take place from 10 – 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 7 and will begin at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills. Registration is $5 for members, $6 for non-members and $8 for both members and non-members the day of. To register, visit, email or call (803) 252-1770 x 26.

Second Sunday Stroll | Main Street

Sunday, Dec. 9 | 2 – 3 p.m. | Tour begins at the State House

Explore Main Street with Historic Columbia from 2 – 3 p.m. on  Sunday, Dec. 9 during a Second Sunday Stroll, presented by Seed Architecture. Offering more than 150 years of architectural trends, Columbia’s Main Street is a physical legacy of its citizens’ aspiration and accomplishments. See the city’s oldest “skyscraper,” an IBM-punch-card-inspired office building and the State House. Walk through Columbia’s first indoor shopping mall and learn how an old department store became an art museum. The tour will meet and begin at the State House. Tickets are $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Space is limited. To register, visit, call (803) 252-1770 x 23 or email 

Candlelight Tours & Carriage Rides

Friday, Dec. 14, 5:30 – 9 p.m. | Robert Mills House & Hampton-Preston Mansion

Visit the decorated, candlelit halls of the Hampton-Preston Mansion and the Robert Mills House on a guided tour during our annual Candlelight Tours & Carriage Rides!

Enjoy live music, entertainment, children’s activities and hot chocolate from Scoppy Doo while celebrating the holidays with Historic Columbia. Before or after your house tour, take a carriage ride through the Robert Mills Historic District. Stop by the Gift Shop’s holiday open house throughout the evening for a last minute storewide sale as well as refreshments, holiday tunes and giveaways. Candlelight Tours are $5 for adult members, free for youth members, $15 for adult non-members and $8 for youth non-members. Carriage Rides are an additional $10/person. Candlelight Tour tickets must be purchased in order to purchase Carriage Ride tickets. There is limited space on the Carriage Rides and guests are encouraged to purchase advance tickets by visiting, calling (803)-252-1770 x 23 or emailing

Breakfast with Santa

Saturday, Dec. 15, from 8 – 11 a.m. | Robert Mills Carriage House

Join Historic Columbia for a holiday treat to remember! Enjoy a breakfast in the cozy Robert Mills Carriage House while listening to seasonal music. After your meal, explore the decorated halls of the Hampton-Preston Mansion, see a Victorian Christmas tree, make holiday crafts and take a picture with Santa! While Santa is hard at work gathering lists, the Gift Shop elves will also be hard at work providing great values on purchases. Enjoy shopping and activities throughout the day at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills! Breakfast with Santa is $15/adult and $7/youth for members, $20/adult and $10/youth for non-members and free for kids 3 and under and includes breakfast. There are three times for this event: 8, 9 and 10 a.m. Space is limited and guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance by visiting, emailing or calling (803)-252-1770 x 23. 

Dollar Sunday | Woodrow Wilson Family Home  

Sunday, Dec. 17 | 1 – 4 p.m. | 1705 Hampton Street

Every third Sunday of the month, residents of Richland and Lexington counties are invited to tour of one of Historic Columbia’s house museums for just $1! On Sunday, Dec. 16, visit the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, the nation’s only museum of Reconstruction and South Carolina’s only remaining presidential site. The house will be open for guests to tour at their own pace, and guides will be available to answer any questions.  Walk-ins welcome! Tours will be available between 1 – 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home or at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills, located at 1616 Blanding Street. General admission prices apply for any house tours after the first.


Historic Columbia’s house tours and offices will be closed Dec. 24 – 26 and January 1.


Historic House Museum Tours
Holiday house tours will be offered Tuesday – Saturday at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m.,1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tours are free for members and $10/adults and $7/youth non-members. Visit the Gift Shop at Robert Mills, located at 1616 Blanding Street, to purchase admission.  *Note: Special joint holiday tours will be offered of the Robert Mills House and Hampton-Preston Mansion now through Dec. 30. Prices for these tours are free for members and $15/adults and $10/youth non-members. Learn more.

Group Tours

Historic Columbia is happy to arrange a private guided tour groups of 10 or more with advance registration. Bus tours are available. To schedule a group tour, call 803.252.1770 x 23 or email

About Historic Columbia:

In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation. Over the next five decades the organization, which was founded on the premise of preservation and education, would take on the stewardship of seven historic properties in Richland County. Today, the organization serves as a model for local preservation efforts and interpretation of local history. Visit or find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube for more details.



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