The holidays are a time when family and friends come together to enjoy festive fun and good company. And when it comes to Christmas activities, Lake Hartwell has no shortage of holiday events for you to enjoy.
To make sure you don’t miss out on any of the fun, we have created the Ultimate Christmas Bucket List for Lake Hartwell. Take a look at these merry activities and make a plan to cross them all off your bucket list!
Cheer Floats At A Christmas parade
First up on the list is hitting up a Christmas parade. With homemade floats, Christmas lights, and candy, these festive parades are sure to get you in the Christmas spirit!
- Hartwell Christmas Parade | Hartwell, Ga | December 8th at 4pm
- Elberton Christmas Parade | Elberton, Ga | December 1st at 4pm
- Lavonia Christmas Parade | Lavonia, Ga | December 1st at 3pm
- Clemson Christmas Parade | Clemson, SC | December 3rd at 6pm
- Anderson Christmas Parade | Anderson, SC | December 8th
See Amazing Christmas Light Displays
Going to see Christmas lights is a pretty ubiquitous family tradition. And there are many places you can go around Lake Hartwell to take in a spectacular holiday light show. Don’t miss these amazing holiday light displays!
- Christmas At The Goff’s | 2035 Starr’s Bridge Road, Canon, Ga | Beginning November 29th
- Bonfire, marshmallows, and hot cocoa on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
- Anderson Christmas Lights | Old Country Farm Circle, Anderson, SC | Thanksgiving – Christmas
- Don’t miss Santa’s village – firepit, hot cocoa, meet Santa, and more
- Holiday Lights Safari | 2325 Hampton Road, Hampton, SC | Fridays & Saturdays November 16 – January 4
- Selfies with Santa and his animals in the barn, bonfire, and marshmallows
- Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden | Atlanta, Ga | November 16 – January 11
Take a tour of holiday homes
Few things spark Christmas spirit more than homes drenched in holiday decor. Bask in the holiday cheer and take home some decorating inspiration with these nearby Christmas home tours.
- Hartwell Service League Christmas Tour Of Homes | Hartwell, Ga | Saturday, December 14th, 1-7 pm
- Holiday Spirits Museum Mile Tour | Athens, Ga | Offered in December by reservation only
- Joy Of Christmas Tour of Homes | Greer, SC | Saturday, December 7th, 4-9 pm
- Christmas Tour of Homes | Belton, SC | Sunday, December 8th, 3-6:30 pm
Visit A Christmas Tree Farm
Whether you’re a fan of live Christmas trees or not, visiting a tree farm should definitely be on your Christmas bucket list. Even if you’re not going to pull a Clark Griswold, you can bring home some wreaths and other festive home decor. Take the opportunity to get some family photos as well!
- Callaway Christmas Trees | Hartwell, Ga | Opens November 28th
- Beck’s Christmas Tree Farm | Bowersville, Ga |
- Hilltop Christmas Tree Farm | Six Mile, SC | Opens November 28th
- Merry Christmas Tree Farm | Central, SC | Opens November 28th
- Friendship Valley Christmas Tree Farm | Seneca, SC | Opens November 28th
Go To A Tree Lighting
One of the most spectacular sights at Christmas-time is to witness the lighting of a gigantic Christmas tree. While we can’t compete with the tree at Rocketfeller, you can still enjoy the beauty and festivities of a tree lighting at some of our local towns.
- Tree Lighting and Christmas Village | Hartwell, Ga | November 26
- Lighting Of The Tree | Toccoa, Ga | December 6
- Christmas Tree Lighting at the Gazebo | Lavonia, Ga | December 2
- Tree Lighting On The Square | Pendleton, SC | November 29
Young and old alike are delighted to speak to the man with the bag. Take the kids to one of these events with Santa and make some memories!
- Guardhouse on the Village Green | Pendleton, SC | Select Dates November – December
- Breakfast with Santa at the Children’s Museum | Greenville, Ga | December 7-8 & 14-15
- Breakfast with Santa at the Classic Center | Athens, Ga | December 7
- Breakfast with Santa at the Best Western | Clemson, SC | December 14
- Christmas Festival | Lavonia, Ga | December 6
- Bass Pro Shop | Lawrenceville, Ga | Starting November 16th
See a show
You might be surprised to find out that there are plenty of Christmas-y shows happening around Lake Hartwell this time of year. From Christmas plays to the classic Nutcracker ballet, don’t miss these holiday shows near Lake Hartwell.
- Christmas Show at Ritz Theater | Toccoa, Ga | December 7
- Christmas On The Farm at Savannah River Playhouse | Hartwell, Ga | November 8-9 & 15-16
- A Celtic Christmas by Savannah River Productions | Hartwell, Ga | December 13-14
- The Nutcracker at The Peace Center | Greenville, SC | December 6-8
It’s not as commonly done as it used to be, but it is always a fun time. Gather with friends and family for some good old fashioned carol singing. Hopefully, you’ll even get some figgy pudding out of the deal! If you’re not sure your neighbors will welcome your vocal stylings, here are some Christmas activities that include caroling.
- Caroling on the Square in Bowman | Bowman, Ga | December 7 at 6 pm
- Toccoa Christmas Fest | Toccoa, Ga | December 7th
- Christmas Family Sing-Along | Botanical Gardens Clemson, SC | December 7
Take a train ride
If Polar Express is one of your must-watch movies every Christmas, then taking a train ride is an absolute must for your Christmas bucket list. Sure you’ll have to drive a ways to get a real holiday experience, but it’s sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.
- Santa Express on Blue Ridge Scenic Railway | Blue Ridge, Ga | November 29 – December 23
- Sing-Along Christmas Train at Stone Mountain Park | Stone Mountain, Ga | Begins November 16th
- Holiday Ride On Train at Atlanta Botanical Gardens | Atlanta, Ga | Saturdays & Sundays November 17 – January 12
Play in the snow
Okay, we know what you’re thinking, Lake Hartwell doesn’t get a lot of snow! It’s true, but did you know that you can still go sledding and ice skating not too far from the lake? Here are some snow and ice rinks near the lake.
- Snow Mountain | Enjoy epic snow tubing at Stone Mountain Park | Stone Mountain, Ga | November 16th – February 23rd
- Ice On Main | Seasonal outdoor ice skating in downtown Greenville | Greenville, SC | November 15th – January 2020
- Athens On Ice | Indoor ice skating at the Classic Center | Athens, Ga | November – February
When you’re looking for Christmas gifts, make sure to support local businesses around Lake Hartwell. There are plenty of towns with unique and wonderful shops around the lake. For stores near you, visit the links below.
Have you crossed any of these off your Christmas Bucket List?
If you’ve been to one of these events or something else near the lake, we’d love to hear about it. Share your experience in the comments below!