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December Holiday Events in Charleston

As the holiday season unfolds, Charleston remains a vibrant hub of festive activities, making December an ideal time to experience the charm of the Holy City. With the crisp winter air and a more relaxed atmosphere, December provides a wonderful opportunity to explore the city’s enchanting offerings. Whether you’re eager to kick off the holiday spirit, a culinary enthusiast seeking delectable delights, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the spirited local scene, Charleston’s December calendar promises something special for everyone. Dive into the season’s magic with our curated selection of top events this December!

festival of lights

Festival of Lights

When: November 10-December 31

Where: James Island County Park

Embrace the magic of the holiday season at the Charleston Holiday Festival of Lights, a cherished annual event held at James Island County Park in Charleston, South Carolina. This enchanting festival transforms the park into a winter wonderland, bedecked with millions of dazzling lights. Visitors can stroll or drive through a three-mile tour featuring the city’s finest light displays. They also feature a sculpture made from 50 tons of sand, a holiday train, an enchanted walking trail, a Victorian carousel, Santa Claus, Santa’s sweet shop, gift shops, marshmallow roasting, and more! Get your tickets today for this heartwarming, family-friendly experience that captures the true spirit of the season!

christmas stroll

Christmas Strolls

When: December 1-30

Where: Begins at 117 Broad Street

Take a stroll where history meets hospitality in its finest array of Dickens past! Learn the stories behind the displays and take an intimate look at what makes Christmas in Charleston special!


Skate the Stadium

When: November 30- December 30

Where: Credit One Stadium

Credit One Stadium transforms into a winter wonderland this season with the arrival of Skate The Stadium, a custom-built synthetic ice rink! Lace up your skates and join the festive atmosphere as you glide across the ice amidst the twinkling lights and holiday cheer.

Warm up by cozy fire pits, indulge in delicious concessions, and create lasting memories with loved ones. Skate The Stadium offers a unique and affordable way to celebrate the season, with tickets priced at only $10 per person, including skate rental and a 45-minute skating session.

home for the holidays

Home for the Holidays

When: November 24- January 6

Where: Magnolia Plantation

Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with this exclusive experience at Magnolia Plantations. Magnolia Plantation will offer tours highlighting Norwood and Sara Hastie, who were the owners of the plantation for 30 years. During their ownership, they entertained lavishly and hosted many prominent figures, including presidents, first ladies, innovators, and A-list celebrities of the time. Visitors can expect to hear fascinating stories about the Hasties and their impressive guest list, making for an unforgettable experience. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind experience this holiday season!


Aquarium Aglow

When: December 1-3, 7-8, 10, 14-23, 26- 30

Where: South Carolina Aquarium

Check out the South Carolina Aquarium from a whole new perspective with Aquarium Aglow. This one-of-a-kind event has quickly become a Charleston holiday tradition. Aquarium Aglow is an intricate light show that stretches throughout the aquarium. Using thousands of lights and an array of colors, the aquarium transforms its space into something truly magical. This memorable event is ticketed, with prices varying depending on the day you plan on attending. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity in Charleston!

christmas carol

A Christmas Carol

When: December 1- December 22

Where: Dock Street Theatre

As the holiday season approaches, Charleston’s Historic Dock Street Theatre prepares to once again immerse audiences in the timeless tale of A Christmas Carol. This beloved production, adapted by Julian Wiles and directed by Sam Henderson, is renowned for its captivating performances, stunning visuals, and heartwarming message. This show is a must-see event. Purchase your tickets today!

holiday boat parade

Holiday Boat Parade

When: December 9

Where: Charleston Harbor

This holiday spectacle transforms the Charleston Harbor in an array of dazzling lights and decorated boats. Participants, ranging from private boat owners to local businesses, transform their vessels into floating masterpieces, adorning them with thousands of twinkling lights, festive ornaments, and creative holiday scenes. The parade route winds its way through the Ashley River, past the iconic Battery Park, and into the Cooper River, offering spectators a mesmerizing view of the illuminated vessels. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to Charleston, this enchanting spectacle is sure to leave you feeling dazzled and filled with holiday cheer.

Chanukah in the Square

Chanukah in the Square

When: December 10

Where: Marion Square

Join us at this family-friendly event with Chanukah in the Square! This vibrant festival brings together the Jewish community and the wider community to commemorate the holiday season. This year’s event will feature live entertainment, a variety of food stations, and various children’s activities for families. The event also includes the lighting of the menorah candles at sundown. Don’t forget to stop by this event on your visit to Charleston.

charleston christmas special

Charleston Christmas Special

When: December 14-17, 19-23

Where: Charleston Music Hall

The Charleston Christmas Special is a beloved holiday tradition in Charleston, South Carolina. This annual show features a cast of 28 professional singers, dancers, and musicians. The show is an all-new production each year, featuring a family-friendly blend of holiday classics, new songs, comedy skits, and more. The Charleston Christmas Special is a heartwarming and entertaining show that is sure to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

yule log class

Yule Log Class

When: December 17

Where: Mercantile and Mash

As the festive season draws near, the aroma of warm spices and sweet treats fill the air. Among the most popular holiday desserts is the Bûche De Noël, also known as a Yule Log. Join the pastry team at Mercantile and Mash for a special workshop and create your very own Yule Log! In this hands-on class, you’ll be guided through every step in creating your very own chocolate sponge cake with chestnut cream filling. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the best and add a touch of magic to your holiday celebrations!

new years eve at south carolina aquarium

NYE At South Carolina Aquarium

When: December 31

Where: South Carolina Aquarium

The South Carolina invites guests to finish off 2023 with their classic NYE Celebration. This event is for all ages and includes a DJ, face painting, a stilt walker, and even a ball drop! It’s a night of underwater wonder, festive fun, and unforgettable memories that will set the stage for a year filled with joy and adventure.

Charleston is the perfect destination for the holiday season. We invite you to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit of the season in the Holy City. From the dazzling lights of the Holiday Boat Parade to the heartwarming traditions of Chanukah in the Square, Charleston's holiday events offer a unique blend of cultural experiences, vibrant entertainment, and cherished moments of togetherness. Happy Holidays from the Charming Inns Family!