Charleston Holiday Events & Activities

December 1, 2023

Ready to get in the holiday spirit? There are a lot of fun holiday events and activities in Charleston to get you in the mood for hot chocolate, candy canes, and cozy fires. Here are some of the top holiday happenings in 2023 in Charleston.

NOTE: This is a running list! We’ll be adding more events as they are announced. Submit events for consideration here.

Holiday Activities & Pop-Ups

Skate at The Stadium

November 24, 2023 – December 31, 2023

Enjoy the holidays by attending Skate The Stadium in a custom-built synthetic ice rink at the Credit One Stadium on Daniel Island from November 24, 2023, through December 31, 2023. The experience is open Thursday through Sunday. Attendees can enjoy skating, cozy fire pits, concessions that include s’mores kits, and special holiday events. Tickets are $10 per person, which includes skate rentals and a 45-minute skating session. An adult must accompany children 13 and under. 

Tickets: $10

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Life-Size Gingerbread House

November 24, 2023 – January 6, 2024

Hotel Bennett

Hotel Bennett has created a life-sized gingerbread house for guests to enjoy this holiday season. Come and view this beautiful holiday masterpiece. Hot Chocolate service will be available from 12:00pm to 7:00pm, daily.

Tickets: No tickets or reservations required. 

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Holiday Festival of Lights

November 10, 2023 – December 31, 2023

The annual Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park is nightly from 5:30pm to 10:00pm from Friday, November 10, 2023, through Sunday, December 31, 2023. This event features over 700 displays and two million lights. Drive through the display and then park to enjoy all the other offerings, including Santa’s Village, a holiday train, treats at Santa’s Sweet Shoppe, a carousel, a holiday sand sculpture, and more. This family-friendly event is suitable for all ages and takes place rain or shine. Pricing is based on regular nights and peak nights.

Tickets: $15 to $150 per vehicle 


Aquarium Aglow

November 16, 2023 – December 30, 2023

Aquarium Aglow will take place on select dates from Thursday, November 16, 2023, through Saturday, December 30, 2023, from 5:30pm to 8:00pm (entry times) at the South Carolina Aquarium. Guests can expect an immersive holiday light experience featuring tens of thousands of lights and multiple installations. There will also be a variety of food and beverages. Ticket prices vary on the guest’s age and day of attendance.

Tickets: $25.95 to $29.95

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The Christmas Tree Festival

November 18-19, 2023

Head to Boone Hall on Saturday and Sunday, November 18-19, 2023, from 10:00am to 8:00pm for the 2nd Annual Christmas Tree Festival. While at the event, attendees can purchase a Christmas Tree, holiday wreath, and Christmas decorations. There will also be festive food trucks, holiday cookie decorating, and a chance to meet Santa, who will be there on both days from 12:00pm to 6:00pm. 

Tickets: $10

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$5 Make and Take Art Workshops

November 25 – December 16, 2023

$5 Make and Take Workshops are held on Saturdays from 3:00pm to 5:00pm at The Paper Canopy. Attendees can enjoy beginner-friendly craft and art workshops this holiday season at the beautiful new stationary store, The Paper Canopy.

Workshop Dates & Details

  • Saturday, November 25, 2023 – Wax Seal 101
  • Saturday, December 2, 2023 – Holiday Crackers
  • Saturday, December 9, 2023 – Marbled Gift Tags
  • Saturday, December 16, 2023 – Paper Ornaments 

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Tree Lighting Ceremony at The Charleston Place

November 24, 2023

The Charleston Place

Celebrate the start of the holiday season with the Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, November 24, 2023, from 5:00pm to 8:15pm at The Charleston Place. In the Market Street Circle, guests can enjoy the Equinox Orchestra performing, snow falling all around, and festive cocoa and cookies!

Tickets: Free and open to the public (Reservations are required as space is limited)


Holiday Shop with Rebecca Illustrated

November 24 – January 2, 2023

Mills House

Head to the beautiful and historical Mills House hotel for a one-stop holiday pop-up shop experience. Local artist Rebecca Meixner, known for her custom and vibrant watercolor designs ranging from coastal landscapes to wedding invitations, is hosting a gallery space at The Mills House from November 24 – January 2, 2023.  The space will be completely transformed to feature artwork and holiday gifts, including prints, mugs, tote bags, and custom Mills House-designed merchandise by Meixner. All items will be available for purchase, including custom Mills House holiday gift-wrapping paper, which, if purchased, Meixner will offer complimentary gift-wrapping, or as an added bonus – shoppers can bring in any unwrapped gift and have it wrapped in-store with the purchase of the wrapping paper and a small fee.

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Holiday Cocktail-Making Class

November 28, 2023

Frannie and The Fox

On Tuesday, November 28, 2023 at 6:00pm join the team at Frannie & The Fox for a Tequila cocktail making class. Tickets include cocktails made from the class as well as bites from the chefs at Frannie & The Fox. Tickets are $65 per person.

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Illumination Charleston

December 1-2, 2023

Illumination Charleston is a two-day event on Friday and Saturday, December 1-2, 2023, at The Charleston Place and The Charleston Visitors Center. This event will bring together some of the South’s most exciting designers, artisans, and tastemakers to celebrate Charleston’s creative spirit. The two-day celebration will feature demonstrations, tours of historic houses, a Southern Living holiday market, engaging talks, and fun nighttime gatherings. Ticket prices vary based on events.

Tickets: $85 to $140

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The North Charleston Christmas Festival and Parade

December 2, 2023

Explore Charleston

The North Charleston Christmas Parade is Saturday, December 2, 2023, from 4:00pm to 8:00pm at The Park Circle Community Building and Grounds. Attendees can enjoy festive food, children’s activities, thousands of twinkle lights, visits with Santa, and a lively parade. The Parade will begin at 5:00pm. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and/or blankets.

Tickets: Free Admission

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Holiday Street Festival Isle of Palms

December 2, 2023

City of Isle of Palms

The Holiday Street Festival is Saturday, December 2, 2023, from 2:00pm to 7:00pm at Front Beach on Isle of Palms. Attendees can enjoy festive arts and crafts, local food vendors, children activities, and live entertainment.

Tickets: Free Admission

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Holiday Walking Tour

December 1-31, 2023

Bulldog Tours offers a Charleston Holiday Walking Tour in Downtown Charleston every day in December except Sundays. The tours leave at various times each day from 115 Meeting Street. While they do accept walk-ups, reservations are recommended.

Tickets: $45 adults | $35 children (4-12) | free babies and toddlers (0-3)


Milk & Cookies With Santa – Daniel Island Ferry

December 2, 2023 – December 17, 2023

Daniel Island Ferry

Ride on the Daniel Island Ferry with Santa Clause himself! This holiday season starting on Saturday, December 2, 2023 until Sunday, December 17, 2023 the Daniel Island Ferry is hosting rides on Saturday and Sundays with Santa. Guests can enjoy milk and cookies and mimosas will be available for those 21+. Saturday rides begin at 9:00am and Sunday rides begin at 1:00pm.

Tickets: $30 to $40

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Elf in Concert

December 15-16, 2023

Elf in Concert

This holiday season, experience the classic movie Elf on a giant screen with John Debney’s original score performed live in concert in sync with the movie in Elf™ in Concert! The show will occur on Friday, December 15, 2023, and Saturday, December 16, 2023, at The North Charleston Performing Arts Center.

Tickets: $50 to $72+

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Old Village Holiday Street Fest

December 16, 2023

Saltina Graphics

The Old Village Holiday Street Fest is Saturday, December 16, 2023, from 2:00pm to 8:00pm, and is held all along Pitt Street between Venning and Morrison Streets. The event will host several local vendors and artists who will showcase a variety of unique gifts, including baked goods, jewelry, women’s and children’s clothing, cookware, art, and more. In addition to the retail, shoppers can stroll and enjoy holiday decor illuminating the street, live music from Motown Throwdown and DJ Mosaic, food and libations from Post House Inn, Basic Kitchen, and Sullivan’s Fish Camp, and interactive kids activities, including a visit from Santa Claus.

Tickets: Free Admission

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Tea With Santa

November 25, 2023 – December 24, 2023

Enjoy tea with Santa this holiday season at The Hotel Bennett’s beautiful pink bar and lounge, Camellias. The experience will occur every Saturday and Sunday from November 25, 2023, to December 24, 2023. Guests can enjoy a holiday tea service alongside Santa with seasonal tea blends, holiday-themed treats, and Champagne for grown-up guests.

Tickets: $78 adults | $58 children under 12


Nutcracker Tea

December, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24 of 2023

Charleston Place

This December enjoy a Nutcracker-themed tea at the Thoroughbred Club in The Charleston Place. The experience will take place from 11:00am to 1:00pm on December, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, and 24. Guests can enjoy a selection of sweet and savory treats for both kids and adults, including Rare Beef with Black Truffle, Lobster Salad, Candy Cane Macarons, and Nutcracker Cookies. And while dining, guests can enjoy a short mini-performance from the Dance Conservatory of Charleston as well as a meet-and-greet with the dancers.

Tickets: $155 adults | $135 children under 12


Folly Beach Christmas Parade

December 9, 2023

The 2023 Folly Beach Christmas Parade is on Saturday, December 9, 2023, starting at 12:00pm along Center Street. After the parade, attendees can head to Folly River Park to receive holiday goodies and meet Santa.

Tickets: Free Admission

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Reindeer Run

December 9, 2023

Start your weekend off with a festive 5K around Downtown Charleston during The Reindeer Run on Saturday, December 9, 2023, from 8:00am to noon. Half Moon Outfitters hosts the event supporting the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital in Downtown Charleston. Attendees are encouraged to bring their pets and wear holiday outfits during the walk/run.

Tickets: $10 to $35

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Ice Skating Rink on Folly Beach

December 15 -17, 2023

Enjoy ice skating next to the beach at the Folly Beach Ice Skating Rink this year. From Friday, December 15 to Sunday, December 17, 2023, head to Folly Beach to skate on a synthetic ice skating rink that will be popping up. Tickets will be available for purchase closer to December 15th.

Tickets: $10

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The Riviera Holiday Soirée with The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra

December 15, 2023

Join The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra on Friday, December 15, 2023, starting at 7:00pm at The Riviera for an energetic and soulful evening of music. The Riviera will be transformed with a lively dance floor, fabulous VIP tables, and lounge area for all to enjoy. Guests can expect delicious food and drinks, dancing, and music.

Tickets: $50 to $75

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Nutcracker Dance Workshop

December 18, 2023

The Riviera

This holiday season, sign your little ones up for the Nutcracker Dance Workshop.The workshop is Monday, December 18, 2023, from 9:30 am to 10:15 am for 3 to 5-year-olds and from 10:30am to 11:15 am for 6 to 9-year-olds at The Riviera Theater. Attendees ages 3 to 9 are welcome to The Riviera Theater for a Nutcracker-themed dance workshop led by ballerinas from the Dance Conservatory of Charleston. Attendees will learn a short variation of The Nutcracker from the professional dancers who star in the ballet.

Tickets: $55

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Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

December 24, 2023

Little Palm

On Christmas Eve this year, head to The Ugly Sweater Christmas Party on Sunday, December 24, 2023, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at Little Palm. Guests can participate in an ugly Christmas sweater competition and savor bites and specialty cocktails. Prizes will be awarded for the craftiest, ugliest, and downright tacky holiday sweaters.

Tickets: Admission is free, but reservations are encouraged

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