Celebrate the 2014 Holiday Season in Charleston, South Carolina with festive events, twinkling lights, holiday tunes and more!
Charleston SC holiday events are recognized around the country and the world. Mark your calendar today so that you can experience Charleston's Holiday Festival of Lights, holiday markets, holiday cruises, Christmas parades, festivals, shows and more. It's time to celebrate the season in Charleston, South Carolina!
Visiting from out of town? Contact our local hotel partners for excellent holiday rates!
2014 Holiday Events in Charleston South Carolina:
Holiday Festival of Lights
Now - January 1, 2015
Featuring over 700 displays and two million lights, the Holiday Festival of Lights is a cherished holiday tradition for many families throughout Charleston and beyond. From November 14 - January 1, James Island County Park comes alive with illumination, and is a great place to capture the magic of the holiday season.The Holiday Festival of Lights has been recognized around the country and the world. It was featured as the only U.S. event in Moscow's Festival of Festivals, Coastal Living recognized it as "One of the Top 10 Holiday Celebrations," the American Bus Association ranked it as "One of the Top 100 Events in the Nation," and it was most recently named one of the "Top 20 Events in the Southeast" by the Southeast Tourism Society. Click here for additional information.
The Polar Express 4-D Experience
Now - December 31, 2014
You and your family are invited on an extraordinary 4-D adventure this holiday season on The Polar Express! When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery showing him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. The Polar Express 4-D Experience is based on the inspiring and beloved Caldecott Medal children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. For more information, call the SC Aquarium at 843-577-3474.
Toys for Tots at SC Aquarium
Now - December 20, 2014
In partnership with the United States Marine Corps Reserve and WCBD News 2, the South Carolina Aquarium will be accepting Toys for Tots donations through December 20th. Bring a new, unopened and unwrapped toy to the Aquarium and receive $5 off your general admission ticket. Donated toys will be collected and distributed to children in need throughout the Lowcountry this holiday season.
Holiday Market at Middleton Place
November 28 - 29, 2014 from 10AM - 4PM
The Garden Market & Nursery and Museum Shop kick-off the shopping season with an open-air market including local artisans and vendors, live musicians performing festive carols, complimentary hot cider and treats, and featured items in both shops. No admission required to shop.
A Sweet T. Christmas at The Black Fedora Comedy Mystery Theatre
November 28 - December 27, 2014
This Christmas Believe That Your Greatest Wishes Can Come True … even those you didn't know to wish for. Returning for a third holiday season is the laughingly lovely story of a heavenly stranger, a hapless handyman, a hopeless hostess, a hopping-mad Santa, and their hysterical hunt for the holy grail of wish granting, a winning lottery ticket! This holiday mystery with spirit is recommending for friends, family and co-workers looking to share some laughs this season, and those who like their holiday entertainment a little bit silly, a little bit sweet. Rated: PG Click here for tickets.
Holiday Event at Fort Sumter
November 29, 2014
History comes alive before your eyes at Fort Sumter! Your adventure will begin at the Fort Sumter Visitors Center at Liberty Square where you board the Spirit of the Lowcountry for your transportation back in time to Christmas, 150 years ago. During the cocktail reception on your way to the Fort a National Park Service Ranger will set the scene. At the Fort, re-enactors representing Union & Confederate soldiers share their experiences of Christmas at Fort Sumter. After touring the Fort, a delicious three-course, southern-style dinner will be served during a cruise through Charleston Harbor. Don’t miss this unique opportunity of exploring Fort Sumter by lantern light in this exclusive after-dark tour of the Fort. Click here for additional information.
Holiday Dinner Cruise Aboard The Carolina Queen
November 29, 2014
December 12, 19, 26 & 27, 2014
Celebrate the holidays Lowcountry style with The Carolina Queen's Holiday Dinner Cruise. Enjoy a gourmet buffet holiday dinner, 2 hour scenic Harbor Cruise on the Carolina Queen and a joyful mix of holiday favorites and Gullah spirituals! Live musical entertainment provided by The Plantation Singers. Board at 6:30PM. Cruise from 7PM - 9PM. Tickets are $49.95 per person.
SCUBA Claus in the Great Ocean Tank
November 29 - December 21, 2014
A very welcome guest from the North Pole will make special weekend appearances in the Great Ocean Tank at the SC Aquarium. From November 29 through December 21, don’t miss this opportunity to see SCUBA Claus swim with the fish during select Aquarium dive shows! For more information, call the SC Aquarium at 843-577-3474.
Charleston Strolls Holiday Walking Tour
December 1 - 31, 2014
Charleston Strolls invites you to enjoy our holiday spirit and seasonal decorations! Tour where carriages and motorcoaches are not allowed and take a fascinating stroll with stories and traditions revealing Charleston’s rich history and colorful past. Charleston Strolls has been featured in Southern Living and recommended by both the New York Times and the AAA Tour Book. Throughout December, the finale for this special tour is at the beautiful Mills House Hotel, where everyone will enjoy hospitality and holiday refreshments. Click here for details and tickets.
December 2 & 3, 2014
This free pre-school event at Armory Park provides young children an opportunity to visit Santa, participate in hands-on activities, including holiday arts & crafts, and take part in live performances and music. For required pre-registration, contact the North Charleston Parks & Recreation Department at 843-740-5805.
Christmas 1860 at the Edmondston-Alston House
December 5 & 12, 2014
Celebrate a Victorian holiday season by candlelight at the Edmondston-Alston House – decorated for the holidays as it would have been in 1860. Costumed interpreters will present dramatic scenes exploring Charleston’s last opulent Christmas before the start of the Civil War. Click here to purchase tickets.
A Christmas Carol
December 5 - 21, 2014
This all new production of Dickens's classic features dazzling special effects including ghosts that fly through the air, spectacular new scenery, new period costumes and new orchestrations. Julian Wiles's acclaimed adaptation has been expanded to include an alive and kicking Jacob Marley who opens the show trying to "out Scrooge" Ol' Scrooge himself. Featuring a professional cast of 29 singers, dancers, actors and musicians, Charleston Stage's brand new production of A Christmas Carol is this year's holiday event not to be missed. Click here for tickets.
The Charleston Christmas Special
December 5 - 21, 2014
From holiday classics to spiritual favorites and everything in between, this year’s Charleston Christmas Special has something for everyone. This annual show has become a true holiday tradition for than 9,000 people each year. Make it part of your holiday tradition and book your tickets today! New this year: Dinner & Show Ticket option plus a Kids’ Night Out partnership with the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry on Dec. 19. Click here to buy tickets.
Christmas Parade and Festival
December 6, 2014 from 3PM - 9PM
The Christmas Festival includes a Holiday Market with children’s activities, craft and food vendors, and live musical performances on two stages. The Christmas Parade begins at 5PM at the corner of Montague and Mixson Avenues, proceeds down Montague, around Park Circle, and concludes at Armory Park. Just prior to the start of the Christmas Parade, Mayor R. Keith Summey and Santa Claus will light the City’s Christmas tree located outside the front entrance of the Felix C. Davis Community Center.
Breakfast With Santa
December 6, 2014
Saturday, December 6, from 8:00 am to 10:00 am at Felix C. Davis Community Center. Breakfast with Santa gives area children the opportunity to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. A hearty meal is provided. To purchase tickets, call 843-745-1028 or visit the Felix C. Davis Community Center for $4 per person.
December 7, 2014 at 7PM
The Charleston Symphony Orchestra's brass ensemble will perform familiar holiday classics to kick off the holiday season at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Bring family and friends to share in the good cheer of the holiday! Admission is free to this holiday event.
The Elves & the Shoemaker
December 12, 2014 at 10AM
Atlantic Coast Theatre presents The Elves & the Shoemaker at Sterett Hall Auditorium on December 12th. The classic Brothers Grimm story takes the stage as an original musical with new lyrics set to traditional holiday melodies. An Elf must help a poor shoemaker with assistance from some of the elves in the audience. For grades K-5. To purchase tickets, call 843-740-5854. Children $2, accompanying adults free. Group reservations required.
Holiday Parade of Boats
December 13, 2014
The 33rd Annual Holiday Parade of Boats will be held in Charleston Harbor on Saturday, December 13, 2014. You can participate in the parade by simply registering, decorating your boat from stem to stern with lights, and joining us on the water. Thousands of spectators view the parade along the route from Mt. Pleasant to Charleston each year. The parade begins at approximately 5PM near the Mt. Pleasant side and ends in the Ashley River at approximately 7:30PM. We say approximately, because of various factors, including wind, current, and the ability of the boats to maintain headway. Captains and crews will be invited to the Captain’s Party and Awards Ceremony at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina. Prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place boats in both the power and sail categories, with the best-in-show award going to the highest scoring boat overall. Click here for additional information.
Family Yuletide in the Stableyards
December 13, 2014
Fresh greenery, berries and other natural items gathered from the plantation will be provided to make wreaths and other holiday decor. Stableyards artisan shops will be lit by candlelight as craftspeople ply their trades and interact with visitors. Seasonal refreshments provided. Click here for tickets.
Grand Illumination & Buffet Dinner
December 18, 19 & 20, 2014
Revel in the joy of a most extraordinary holiday season! Join costumed interpreters and trained actors on a walking tour as they take you back to the Christmas of 1782. This lively event celebrates the return of Arthur Middleton from Philadelphia, the end of the Revolutionary War in the South and the departure from Charleston of the occupying British troops. Warm fires, dramatic tableaux and presentations, historic beverages, plus a traditional buffet dinner will help make Grand Illumination a memorable part of your holiday season. Click here for tickets.
Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker
December 24, 2014
Moscow Ballet’s spectacular Great Russian Nutcracker is the must-see event this holiday season at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center! Celebrate the beloved Christmas tradition with the whole family as forty world-class Russian artists bring this charming classic to life. The New York Times raves “Knock Out!” Experience Tchaikovsky’s master score this Christmas with the magic of larger than-life-puppets, growing Christmas tree and life-sized Matrushka Dolls! Click here for tickets.
Charleston SC Events