Ready or not– the holiday season is here. Cue chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, and seeing mommy kissing Santa Claus.
Whether you’re the type of person who puts their holiday decorations up before Thanksgiving, or if you’re still struggling to get into the holiday spirit– the Lowcountry has oodles of events to help you channel your inner Buddy the Elf.
From parades to holiday shows, the whole month of December is packed with fun for the whole family.
Looking for our complete 2019 holiday guide? Find it here.
○ City of Charleston Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting | Dec. 1 | 3 p.m. | Downtown Charleston | Free | The Parade will start on Broad Street at Rutledge Ave., travel north on Meeting St., + conclude on Calhoun Street. Will conclude with the lighting of the 64-foot Holiday Tree of Lights on Marion Square.
○ Holiday Parade of Boats | Dec. 14 | 5:30-8 p.m. | Charleston Harbor | Free | Best places to view the parade: The Battery, Waterfront Park and Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park Pier.
○ Folly Beach Christmas Parade | Dec. 14 | 12-3 p.m. | Center Street, Folly Beach | Free | The parade is best to be watched on both sides of Center St., south of Indian St. An Arts + Crafts show will be held at the Folly Beach Community Center
○ Mt. Pleasant Christmas Light Parade | Dec. 8 | 5:30-8 p.m. | Begins at Live Oak Dr. heads south, + ends at Patriots Point Rd. | Free | Enjoy a fireworks show followed by a holiday parade.
○ City of North Charleston Christmas Festival + Parade | Dec. 7 | 4-8 p.m. | Felix C. Davis Community Center, 4800 Park Place East., North Charleston | Free | This holiday bash will have vendors, live music, hay rides, a petting zoo, visits with Santa Claus + more. Park Circle will be closed off to vehicles at 2 p.m.
From the annual Holiday Festival of Lights on James Island to the Christmas Tree in Marion Square, click here for all the places around town that are lighting up for the holidays.
○ Sundays with Santa at the Aquarium | Dec. 1, 8 + 15 | 11:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. | South Carolina Aquarium | Included with aquarium admission | Photo packages + ornaments will be available for purchase.
○ Citadel Mall – Pet Photos with Santa | Dec. 3-17 | Citadel Mall Charleston | Free | Bring a food donation for Pet Helpers and receive a free 5” x 7” with any photo package purchase.
○ Butcher & Boar – Pet Photos with Santa | Dec. 8 | Butcher & The Boar, 730 Coleman Blvd., Mount Pleasant | Free | Homemade treats will be available for purchase + all proceeds will benefit the Charleston Animal Society.
○ Holiday Festival of Lights | Daily through Dec. 31 | Times vary by day | James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Dr. | $20 per vehicle (up to 15 people) | Drive through three miles of two million shimmering lights. Then explore the enchanted walking trail, visit with Santa, spoil your sweet tooth with hot cocoa, + more.
○ Kids Teeth’s Visits With Santa | Dec. 5 | 11 a.m.-1 p.m. + 2-4 p.m. | Kids Teeth, 1073 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Mount Pleasant (a.m.) + 1130 Professional Ln., Mount Pleasant (p.m.) | Free | Families can come take photos with Mr. + Mrs. Claus, and can bring non-perishable food donations for I Heart Hungry Kids.
○ Photos with Santa at Tanger Outlets | Dec. 5-24 | Times vary by day | Tanger Outlets, 4840 Tanger Outlet Blvd., North Charleston | Free, professional photo packages available for purchase.🎅
○ Meet Santa in the Library | Dec. 8 | 11 a.m.-3 p.m. | The Restoration, 75 Wentworth St. | Free
○ Storytime with Mrs. Claus + Cocoa with a Cop | Dec. 9 | 7 p.m. | Citadel Mall | Free | “Share Santa’s favorite treat, chocolate chip cookies & milk, while enjoying a holiday story read by Mrs. Claus and sipping on hot cocoa with our neighborhood police officers.” 🍪
○ Holiday Hoedown | Dec. 5 | 6-8 p.m. | North Charleston Wannamaker County Park, 8888 University Blvd., North Charleston | $5 | Country-style holiday event for people with special needs + their families and caregivers. Guests are encouraged to dress in western outfits.
○ Christmas on the Battery | Dec. 5 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Edmondston-Alston House, 21 East Battery | $25 | Candlelight tour of this historic home on the Battery accompanied by theatrical performances to represent Charleston Christmas pasts.
○ Chanukah in the Square | Dec. 22 | 4-6 p.m. | Marion Square | Free | The largest annual Jewish event in South Carolina with food, entertainment + local Holocaust survivors lighting the menorah candles.
○ Christmas in the Park | Dec. 22 | 5 p.m. | Hampton Park, 30 Mary Murray Blvd. | Free
○ Holiday Princess Party | Dec. 8 | 1-2 p.m. | OutSlide In, 2070 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., West Ashley | $35 for one parent + one child | You and your child’s ticket includes all day access to OutSlide In’s playground until 6 p.m.
Arts and Crafts
○ Gingerbread Creation Contest | Dec. 7-31 | 11 a.m.-6 p.m. | Antiques and Artisans Village, 619 Old Trolley Rd., Summerville | Free | Entries must be made out of all edible materials, but does not need to include gingerbread. Prizes for top three gingerbread houses.
○ Sip and Paint: Jack’s Christmas | Dec. 16 | 6:30-9:30 p.m. | Frothy Beard Brewing Company, 1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., West Ashley | $35 | Grab your first beer for free + paint with professional instruction by Art with Andre.
○ Brewery District Winter Wonderland Run | Dec. 8 | 1:30-8 p.m. | Start + end at Palmetto Brewing | Free | Take a running tour of the Charleston Brewery District – 10 stops for a total of 6.7 miles. The longest leg is only 1.75 miles so this pub run is possible for any level of running.
○ The Charleston School of the Arts Holiday Spectacular | Dec. 3 | 7-10 p.m. | Charleston Gaillard Center | $18-$25
○ Carol of the Belles Dinner Theatre | Dec. 13 | 7-9 p.m. | Montague Terrace, 5001 Coliseum Dr., North Charleston | $36-$40 | Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. followed by a holiday performance by local vocalists.
○ The Ten Tenors- Home for the Holidays | Dec. 14 | 7:30 p.m. | Charleston Gaillard Center | $26-$86
Food + Drink
○ Miracle at Handcraft Kitchen and Cocktails | Nov. 25-Dec. 31 | Handcraft Kitchen and Cocktails, 735 Coleman Blvd., Mount Pleasant | Menu prices vary | Through the end of the year, Handcraft will transform into a holiday pop-up bar with festive decorations + special holiday cocktails.
○ Yuletide Madrigal Feast | Dec. 4 | Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St. | $50+ | This dinner-theater-esque meal will be accompanied by the College of Charleston Madrigal Singers, who will be presenting various Christmas tunes.
○ Holiday Candlelight & Sara Rutledge Dinner | Dec. 20 | 5:30-8 p.m. | Middleton Place, 4300 Ashley River Rd., West Ashley | $55 | Self-guided candlelight tours of the Middleton Place House Museum will begin at 5:30 p.m. + dinner reservations at the Middleton Place restaurant are available at 6 p.m.
○ Holidays on the Harbor | Dec. 21 | 6-9 p.m. | Charleston City Marina, 17 Lockwood Dr. | $52.95 adults, $26.95 kids | Holiday dinner buffet + live jazz and holiday classics aboard the Charleston Princess. 🛥
○ Christmas Karaoke | Dec. 25 | 5 p.m.-2 a.m. | Recovery Room | Free | Bar opens at 5 p.m., karaoke begins at 10 p.m.
Click here for a full list of 20+ holiday markets occurring throughout the month. 🛍
For our complete December calendar – including those events unrelated to the holiday season – check out our PlanAhead guide here.