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. The mild temps make 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 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 mouthwatering Southern food and holiday favorites at one of the many award-winning restaurants in Charleston.

Christmas draws lots of visitors, and numerous hotels in Charleston offer special holiday packages. 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. 10, 2022 


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 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. 11 - Dec. 31, 2022


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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Charleston Tree Lighting
2022 TBA 


Charleston Tree Lighting

Enjoy musical interludes leading up to Mayor Tecklenburg lighting up the tree in Marion Square as part of Illumination Charleston.


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Holiday Sleigh Rides
2022 TBA


Charleston Christmas Parade

Harness some holiday fun and climb aboard our specially decorated carriage driven by one of Santa’s elves. This festive 20-minute ride through downtown – complete with caroling – is sure to make you merry. Last stop is Santa’s workshop (just behind our barn), where you’ll join Old St. Nick, Mrs. Clause, and Rudolph for hot cocoa and cookies. Bring your camera, and we’ll snap photos of you and Santa in his sleigh. A holly, jolly Christmas awaits.


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Charleston Christmas Parade
2022 TBA


Charleston Christmas Parade

The holiday tradition is better than ever, as miles of bands, floats, marchers, and performers parade through downtown Charleston. 


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Holiday Parade of Boats
Dec. 10, 2022


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. 11, 2022


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
2022 TBA


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. Visitors 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. 26 - Dec. 17, 2022 


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. 10, 2022 


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. 1 - 4, 2022


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. 1 - 2, 2022 


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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Uncorked
Dec. 2, 2022 


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. 4, 2022 


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. 4, 2022


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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Christmas at Boone Hall Plantation
Dec. 5, 2022 - Jan. 1, 2023


Wine under the Oaks Boone Hall Plantation

Tours of the plantation home during the Christmas holidays are included, with regular paid admission to Boone Hall Plantation. There is no additional charge to tour the mansion beautifully decorated for the Christmas holidays.


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Grand Illumination and Dinner
Dec. 15 - 17, 2022 


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 of the British troops from Charleston. Feast on early American cuisine. 


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Aquarium Aglow
Nov. 18 - Dec. 31, 2022 


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
Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11 & 17, 2022 


Holiday Market in Marion Square

Shop Local this Holiday Season at the Annual Charleston Holiday Market in Marion Square on Saturdays & Sundays, 9am-2pm for the first three weekends in December. Enjoy a bounty of fresh local produce & homegrown creativity with additional vendors and decorations!


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Holiday Market at Middleton Place
Nov. 25 - 26, 2022 


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
2022 TBA


Charleston Strolls Walking Tour

Enjoy the holiday spirit and seasonal decorations on the 2-hour Charleston Strolls Holiday Walking Tour. Tour where carriages and motor-coaches 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. 25, 2022 - Jan. 8, 2023


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




The Sound of Charleston
Nov. 2, 9, 16, 26 & Dec. 2, 9, 16, 22, 2022 


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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Holiday Swing: A Charleston Jazz Tradition
Dec. 3, 2022 


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




African American Spirituals Concert with Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers at Drayton Hall
Dec. 11, 2022 


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. 17, 2022 


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. 17, 2022 


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, 2022 


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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