Best Spots to View Christmas Lights in Charleston

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Real Estate

Many people know that I have lived in the Charleston area for my entire life, and I am an enthusiastic resident of the city. So, it should be no surprise that I look forward to the annual Christmas lights in Charleston. For those who may not be aware of all the events, I want to share information on some of these events.

Events Open Nightly Throughout the Holiday Season

Holiday Festival of Lights


The annual Holiday Festival of Lights, located at James Island County Park (871 Riverland Drive), will be drive-thru only in 2020. Visits and pictures with Santa can be scheduled during the day. Some of your favorite treats will be available from your car. The display includes three miles and two million lights. Christmas music will play over your car radio when you tune it to 1630 AM. You also can purchase a 2020 keepsake ornament. Enjoy the holiday scavenger hunt, "I spy." The Festival of Lights will be open nightly between 5:30 pm. and 10:00 pm. from November 13 to December 31.

Charleston Christmas Tree Lighting


The 64-foot lighted Christmas tree will be on display at Marion Square Park. However, the annual parade and lighting festivities have been canceled this year due to COVID-19.

Christmas at Charleston's Historic Homes


Some of Charleston's historic homes decorate for Christmas and offer special tours.

Built in 1820, the Aiken-Rhett House at 48 Elizabeth Street is decorated in Victorian Christmas style.

Built in 1808, the Nathaniel Russell House at 51 Meeting Street is open Thursday through Saturday between December 6 and December 21. It is decorated in early 1800s Christmas style and traditions.

Built in 1825, the Edmondston-Alston House is offering a candlelight tour and Madeira tasting on November 21 between 5:30 pm. and 6:30 pm. The Edmondston-Alston House offers a view of the Charleston Harbor.

Charleston Strolls Holiday Walking Tour


During December, the two-hour Charleston Strolls Holiday Walking Tour explores Charleston's historic district including private neighborhoods, The Battery, and the Four Corners of Law. This tour includes the Edmondston-Alston House.

Mount Pleasant Annual Christmas Parade


The Mount Pleasant Annual Christmas Light Parade and fireworks are scheduled for December 13 from 5:30 pm.to 8 pm. The parade includes community groups and lighted floats.

Celebrate the Season Holiday Driving Tour


The Celebrate the Season Holiday Driving Tour offers dozens of light displays using thousands of lights overall. The driving tour is accompanied by Holiday Fairs located at the Moncks Corner Regional Recreation Complex at 418 East Main Street. At the Holiday Fairs, there are visits with Santa, rides, food, crafts, and other activities. The Holiday Lights Driving Tour runs between November 27 and December 30 (Closed December 24 and 25) from 6 pm.to 9 pm. The Holiday Fairs are open December 4 through December 6, December 11 through December 13, and December 18 through December 20.

Brookgreen Gardens’ Night of a Thousand Candles


The Brookgreen Gardens’ Night of a Thousand Candles features twinkling lights, holiday music, carolers, and 2,700 hand-lit candles. As you walk through the display, you can enjoy warm beverages such as cocoa, cider, and wine. The Brookgreen Gardens is located at 1931 Brookgreen Drive, Murrells Inlet, and is open Wednesday through Sunday between November 27 and December 31 from 4 pm to 9 pm except December 23, 24, and 25, 2020.

One Night Special Events


Please note tree lighting events are followed by the opportunity to view the tree nightly throughout the holiday season.

Holiday Parade of Boats


On December 12 at the Charleston Harbor, enjoy a parade of decorated and lighted boats. The parade starts at 5 pm at Mt. Pleasant and at 7:30 pm at the downtown peninsula.

Summerville Christmas Tree Lighting on the Square


The annual tree lighting ceremony on December 1 also includes food trucks and Christmas music from live performers. The tree will be located at the Summerville Town Hall at 130 East 2nd North. The festivities begin at 5:30 pm.

Daniel Island Night Market Christmas Lighting


The Daniel Island Night Market Christmas Tree Lighting features a jazz band playing Christmas music, carolers, shopping, games, other activities, and food trucks. The tree is located at 880 Island Park Drive.

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