Posts tagged ‘christmas’

Merry & Bright


(Photo Credit: Getty Images. Ornate wrought iron porches and Christmas garland really set off the beauty of a Charleston office downtown. The historic district is full of old buildings that have been renovated to their antebellum grandeur)


Charleston is always a good idea, but come December the Holy City goes full tilt. Not only are there numerous churches, cathedrals and synagogues — among countless other houses of worship — that make the whole season merry and bright with pop-up shops, carnivals, musical performances and other annual traditions, but the city itself gets an extra dose of sparkle and light, courtesy of several light shows, and it ends with a BANG! Here is a primer for where to go and what you shouldn’t miss when you do the holidays the Charleston way:


The 29th Annual Holiday Festival of Lights











(Photo from website)


Organized by Charleston County Parks, what is arguably Charleston’s biggest holiday extravaganza runs from November to January 1st at James Island County Park. Get there between 5:30 and 10 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday, or until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Beyond the driving tour of the lights, the event also features a 50-ton sand sculpture, a holiday train, Santa’s Sweet Shoppe, the Enchanted Walking Trail (for more sparkly fun), a Victorian Carousel and much more!


Candlelight Tour of the Edmondston-Alston House












(Photo from website)


Boasting commanding views of Charleston Harbor, the Edmondston-Alston House elevates the holiday magic when the house is lit exclusively by candlelight and decked out in mid-19th century holiday décor. Arrive anytime between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. on December 14th or January 4th to get a tour of the historic property, and enjoy light refreshments at the end of your self-led tour.


Holiday Parade











(Photo from website)


Bands, floats, marchers and performers make their way through downtown Charleston spreading cheer as they play holiday favorites and interact with the crowd. This year the event was rescheduled to Saturday, December 16th. The Parade will begin at 3 p.m. near Colonial Lake and continue up Broad Street to Meeting Street, ending on Calhoun Street near Marion Square.


Christmas at Boone Hall Plantation










(Photo from


Everyone knows about the Avenue of Oaks, but if you head to Mount Pleasant to visit Boone Hall through December 22nd, you’ll find the property dressed in its holiday best with Christmas decorations of every kind. Ornately decorated Christmas trees grace every room of the mansion’s main floor, and the ornaments and decorations are made with local sweetgrass, or cotton and berries grown right on the plantation, and the wreaths are made with leaves from the magnolia trees that grow on the historic grounds. Understated, tasteful and invigoratingly fresh — no plastic here — this holiday display may not be overly lit, but it does light up the season.


…and close out with the really bright lights!


Happy New Year, Charleston!

Ring in 2019 with fireworks over Marion Square! You can get into the spirit as early as 4 p.m. on December 31st with family friendly activities, live music and food trucks. This free event is a brilliant way to kick off the New Year in the heart of the Holy City.


Holiday Events in Charleston

Charleston is a magical city to visit during the holiday season. Here are the can’t-miss events that will fill your trip to The Holy City with pure joy for the whole family.

10th Annual Holiday Festival of Lights

When: Nov. 10 – Jan 1, 2018
Where: James Island County Park; 843-795-4386

One of Charleston’s most popular holiday events, the Holiday Festival of Lights, is hosted by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission at James Island County Park. The festival is known for its three-mile driving tour and a variety of fun, family-friendly attractions and activities like marshmallow roasting, train rides and an Enchanted Walking Trail.


12th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

When: Nov. 30

Where: Market Pavilion Hotel lobby, 225 East Bay Street; 843-723-0500

Join The Holy City’s esteemed dignitaries and members of the clergy for a festive Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Market Pavilion Hotel. There will be roasted chestnuts and a special appearance from Santa himself! Attendees are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to donate the Salvation Army.


Christmas 1860

When: Dec. 1–8
Where: Edmondston-Alston House, 21 East Battery; 843-722-7171

Theatrical performers shed light on a turbulent time in Charleston just before the beginning of the Civil War. Adorned in period costumes, they reflect on the events of the day and how their lives would soon be forever changed.


24th Annual Reindeer Run

When: Dec. 2

Where: 161 E. Bay Street

The Reindeer Run, presented by Half-Moon Outfitters, is a family-oriented, pet-friendly 5k run/walk through the lower peninsula of downtown Charleston. Proceeds benefit the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and the Charitable Society of Charleston.


Charlotte Ballet’s The Nutcracker

When: Dec. 2–3
Where: Charleston Gaillard Center
95 Calhoun St.; 843-242-3099

Celebrate the magical sights and sounds of the holidays at Charlotte Ballet’s Nutcracker! Join the Charlotte Ballet for the magical sights and sounds of the Nutcracker, with live music and choreography by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux.


City of Charleston Holiday Parade

When: Dec. 3
Where: Broad Street to Calhoun Street

The City of Charleston and the Charleston Fire Department put on a holiday spectacle that starts at Broad and Barre and ends at Calhoun and Meeting.


Charleston Christmas Special

When: Dec. 8–23
Where: Charleston Music Hall; 37 John Street; 843-853-2252

Charleston’s biggest and most anticipated holiday production is the perfect mix of holiday music, comedy sketches and dazzling costumes. The live orchestra onstage will be led by James Davis Jr. who has supervised musical productions at Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center and The Apollo Theater. Tickets are on sale at the Charleston Music Hall Box Office.


Breakfast With Santa by the Sea

When: Dec. 17
Where: The Citadel Beach Club; 4700 Palm Blvd, Isle of palms; 843-953-266

The Citadel’s Beach Club at the Isle of Palms hosts a pancake breakfast with the most famous guest of honor: Jolly Old Saint Nick. Perfect for little ones, you can take photos, sip hot chocolate, enjoy kids crafts and other fun family activities.