Christmas in Charleston 


Christmas in Charleston

Spending Christmas in Charleston is like taking a trip back in time. Antebellum mansions adorn with garland, holiday traditions passed down from the earliest settlers, and Gullah spirituals and holiday tunes.

December is jam-packed with Christmas activities to get you in the holiday spirit and the mild temps makes this an ideal time of year to visit and soak up some of Charleston’s fascinating history.  Winter festivals, holiday walking tours, parades, plays, concerts and light displays are just a few of the reasons why Travel + Leisure named Charleston one of the best places to visit during the holiday season. 

Holiday shopping is another activity that draws visitors to Charleston this time of year. Whether you are gift shopping or shopping for yourself, Charleston has lots of options including the iconic King Street shopping district, the Historic City Market, the Holiday Market in Marion Square and several outlet and open air malls in the area.

After a day of sightseeing and shopping, relax and enjoy some mouth watering Southern food and holiday favorites at one of the many award-winning restaurants in Charleston.

Christmas draws in a large number of visitors and numerous hotels in Charleston offer special holiday packages so remember to book well in advance to ensure you can find a place to stay.



Christmas in Charleston Photos


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Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston

Click Photos to Enlarge

Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Charleston

Christmas in Charleston 
Parades and Light Displays


Folly Beach Christmas Parade
Dec. 14, 2021

Folly Beach Christmas Parade

The event will feature floats, marching bands and an Arts & Crafts Show at the Community Center. It’s the perfect place to get a unique gift you won’t be able to find anywhere else. After the parade head down to Folly River Park to receive goodies from Santa.


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Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park
Nov. 12 - Dec. 31, 2021

Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park

The Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park is known for its three-mile driving tour decorated with two million dazzling lights. Visitors can also walk the enchanted trail, wander through festival shops, make s’mores and sip on hot chocolate, and explore Santa's village.


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Holiday Parade of Boats
Dec. 11, 2021

Holiday Parade of Boats

The Charleston Holiday Parade of Boats is held yearly in Charleston Harbor.  Participants must register and decorate their boat from stem to stern while spectators view the parade from either Mt. Pleasant or Charleston along the harbor. The parade culminates with fireworks display.


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Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade
Dec. 12, 2021

Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade

Brilliantly lit floats and community groups will march up West Coleman Boulevard as the Mount Pleasant Christmas Light Parade sets sail to the delight of thousands of spectators. The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. with a fireworks show, immediately followed by the start of the parade. 


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Christmas in Charleston 
Christmas Tours and Events




Festival of Trees
Nov. 15, 2021 - Jan 4, 2022

Festival of Trees Charleston

This free event at the Visitors Center will feature 25 themed and decorated trees and 16 wreaths all decorated in honor or in memory of someone who has battled cancer. Visitirs will stroll through the event to bid on trees and wreaths online to support Dragon Boat Charleston. 


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Candlelight Tours of Drayton Hall
Nov. 27, Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 & 18, 2021

Candlelight Tours of Drayton Hall

Experience Drayton Hall at night with these incredibly special candlelight tour experiences. This is a remarkable way to understand the house and lives which touched it from the perspective of a non-modernized colonial home. After the tour enjoy a warm cup of a seasonal beverage.


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Charleston Reindeer Run
Dec. 1, 2021 - Dec. 10, 2021

Charleston Reindeer Run

The Reindeer Run is a family-oriented, pet-friendly 5k run/walk located downtown Charleston. The #1 priority is the health and safety of everyone. Runners can choose to participate in-person or virtually. We are looking forward to celebrating this milestone year with everyone. 


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Illumination Charleston
Dec. 2 - 5, 2021

Illumination Charleston

Enjoy demonstrations, tours of historic houses, a market featuring the Southern Living Tastemakers, inspired vignettes at the historic Aiken-Rhett House, engaging talks from some of the brightest stars in the design world, and fabulous nighttime gatherings. 


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Christmas on the Battery
Dec. 2 - 3, 2021

Christmas on the Battery Charleston

Enjoy a special evening at the historic Edmondston-Alston House. Take a self guided tour of the festively decorated house by candlelight and hear the Charleston Caroling Company. Warm up in the courtyard with a glass of wine or hot cider and Gullah Christmas stories.


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Candlelight Tour at the Nathaniel Russel House
Dec. 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 & 18, 2021

Candlelight Tour at Nathaniel Russel House

Step back in time and witness the romantic light at the day’s end with the flicker of flame in this stately early 19th-century townhouse. Appreciate the challenges of life before modern lighting while experiencing the beautifully lit house adorned with illuminating holiday decor. 


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Uncorked
Dec. 3, 2021

Uncorked Boone Hall Plantation

Boone Hall Plantation and the Charleston Radio Group are excited to present an exclusive black tie optional Christmas holiday event presented at Cotton Dock venue at Boone Hall Plantation.This is the Exclusive Christmas Holiday Kickoff Event for Wine Under the Oaks.



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Wine Under the Oaks
Dec. 5, 2021

Wine under the Oaks Boone Hall Plantation

Wine Under the Oaks is a casual and elegant affair that welcomes patrons to sample fine wines  and delicious gourmet foods from Lowcountry chefs. Featuring live music, specialty gifts, a fine selection of wines, and edible delicacies.


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Drayton Hall's Oyster Roast
Dec. 5, 2021

Wine under the Oaks Boone Hall Plantation

The Deck the Hall Oyster Roast is the highlight of Charleston’s Christmas season – a Lowcountry tradition and a premiere holiday event. The oyster roast includes oysters with all the fixings, chili, beer, wine and live music on the most beautiful historic landscape in Charleston.


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Grand Illumination and Dinner
Dec. 16, 2021

Grand Illumination and Dinner

Join actors in period costume as they take you back to the Christmas of 1782. This 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 British troops. Feast on early American cuisine. 


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Aquarium Aglow
Dec. 5, 2021

Aquarium AGlow

Aquarium Aglow is a one-of-a-kind holiday experience. This immersive holiday light spectacular brings forth the joy and magic of the season with tens of thousands of lights displayed throughout the Aquarium. Enjoy food, beverages and live entertainment. 


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Christmas in Charleston 
Holiday Markets




Holiday Market in Marion Square
Saturdays and Sundays in December

Holiday Market in Marion Square

Visit the Annual Holiday Market in Marion Square and enjoy shopping, sweet treats, live bands and caroling, kids activities, and free visits and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. 


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Holiday Market at Middleton Place
Nov. 26 - 27, 2021

Holiday Market at Middleton Place

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.


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Christmas in Charleston 
Holiday Walking Tours




Charleston Strolls Walking Tour
December 2021

Charleston Strolls Walking Tour

Enjoy the holiday spirit and seasonal decorations on the 2-hour Charleston Strolls Holiday Walking Tour. Tour where carriages and motorcoaches are not allowed, and take a fascinating walking tour with stories and traditions revealing Charleston’s colorful past. 



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Charleston Holiday Pub Crawl
Nov. 26, 2021 - Jan. 10, 2022

Charleston Holiday Pub Crawl

Based on pub crawls in Europe, it’s a unique spin on a holiday city experience – through the local taverns brimming with stories and legends of Charleston’s culture and class. This 2.5 hour adventure visits 3-5 historic pubs where you can have your favorite beverage and appetizers.


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Christmas in Charleston 
Live Performances




Manheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis
Nov. 27, 2021

Manheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis in Charleston

Celebrate the holiday magic of Mannheim Steamroller in 2021 when they bring their annual holiday tour to fans in the Lowcountry. Experience the music that has become the hallmark of the holidays and a tradition for multi-generational families.


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The Sound of Charleston
Nov. 27, Dec, 3, 10, 17, 23, 26, 30, 2021

The Sound of Charleston

The Sound of Charleston Holiday Edition features rich musical heritage, from gospel to Gershwin, including selected holiday songs of the period. The Circular Congregational Church will be decorated for Christmas to provide a beautiful backdrop for this enchanting evening. 


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The Elf on A Shelf Christmas Musical
Dec. 2, 2021

The Elf on A Shelf Christmas Musical

This holiday season, the beloved tradition that has captured the hearts of families everywhere returns to the live stage. The Elf on the Shelf: The Musical is the thrilling spectacle of music and dance that transports audiences to the North Pole to glimpse the magical lives of Santa’s Elves.


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Holiday Swing: A Charleston Jazz Tradition
Dec. 4, 2021

Holiday Swing A Charleston Jazz Tradition

The Charleston Jazz Orchestra always looks forward to this holiday concert. Maestro Robert Lewis and the 18-piece big band will swing you into the holiday spirit with big band arrangements of holiday favorites. Add a little jazz to your holiday with this popular Charleston tradition.


Holiday Swing A Charleston Jazz Tradition


Under the Streetlamp - Hip to the Holidays
Dec. 5, 2021

Under the Streetlamp - Hip to the Holidays Charleston

Let's get Hip to the Holidays, as Under the Streetlamp celebrates with a joyous performance of your favorite holiday tunes plus songs from the American Radio Songbook. Oh what fun it is to dance in the aisles while merrily singing along to songs from their live Specials and studio album. 


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The Hip Hop Nutcracker
Dec. 5, 2021

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

A holiday mash-up for the whole family, returns to the stage for its seventh season. The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a re-mixed and re-imagined version of the classic, smashing hip hop dance and Tchaikovksy’s timeless music together into a heart-stirring and inspirational holiday event.


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38th Annual African American Spirituals Concert
at Drayton Hall

Dec. 12, 2021

38th Annual African American Spirituals Concert at Drayton Hall

Performed in the beautiful George W. McDaniel Education Center at Drayton Hall, this traditional Charleston holiday concert is a rare opportunity to experience music that could have been heard centuries ago in the surrounding fields and praise houses. 


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A Christmas Carol Reading
Dec. 18, 2021

A Christmas Carol Reading Charleston

Charles Dickens edited his book, A Christmas Carol, into a public reading format and performed this reading himself in both Europe and America to sold out houses. Traveling Literary Theater brings the same edited, 70 minute version. English stage actor, James Dyne, leads the cast.


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The Charleston Christmas Special
Dec. 21, 2021

The Charleston Christmas Special

All new for 2021. Brad and Jennifer Moranz have delighted audiences of all ages with their holiday musical show featuring some of the country’s most talented singers, dancers and musicians – now in it’s 26th spectacular year.


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Holiday Pops
Dec. 22, 2021

Holiday Pops

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Bring your family and friends to enjoy the annual holiday tradition, which has become a spectacular celebration. Holiday Pops will include choirs, dancers, guest vocalists, pipers, and special appearances by Frosty, Saint Nick, and more. 


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Hotels for Christmas in Charleston



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