Whether it’s a Christmas performance, holiday market, or beautiful lights, Charleston offers many ways for the whole family to celebrate the 2018 season. Here’s just a sample...
The Holiday Festival of Lights at the James Island County Park
The James Island County Park Festival of Lights is a memory-making event for the whole family. Drive three miles through the park and be treated to more than 2 million sparkling and colorful lights in 750 displays ranging from Santa’s Toyland to candy canes and gingerbread men. After the ooh and aah car ride, be sure to park and explore the Winter Wonderland. Kids can visit Santa, take a ride on the carousel, stop for hot chocolate, or roast marshmallows at one of the roasting stations. Adults will enjoy the gift shop that offers handmade gifts and Santa’s Sweet Shoppe for hand-dipped chocolate and fresh-baked goods. Oh, and don’t forget the walk along an enchanted trail where fairies buzz through the light-drenched trees; a holiday-themed sandcastle crafted from more than 50 pounds of sand; and a festival train to view the lights close up. Various musical performances will keep festival-goers in a merry mood. It’s $20 per car 5:30-10:00 Thursday through Sunday and $15 per car 5:30-11:00 Monday-Thursday with donation of canned food item or dog/cat food. Through Dec 31. www.holidayfestivaloflights.com
Grab a cup of coffee or hot apple cider as you stroll through the food and gift booths in Marion Square for one-of-a-kind holiday market. Soak in the splendor of the 64-foot Holiday tree and enjoy children’s and church choirs, storytellers, and other performers. The park is kid and pet friendly and beautifully decorated - where else do you see tall palms with so many lights? Saturdays and Sundays, 9 am to 3 pm through Dec 17. www.charlestonfarmersmarket.com
The beautiful Circular Congregational Church in downtown Charleston hosts 75 minutes of live music, including holiday tunes, that helped define Charleston’s rich heritage. As you listen to performances that range from Civil War ballads to gospel spirituals to Gershwin - you can’t help but appreciate the magnificence and history of the setting - the church, founded in 1681, is one of the oldest continuously worshipping congregations in the South. Dec 7, 14, 21, 26, 30. www.soundsofcharleston.com