Memorable Ways to Celebrate Christmas and the Holidays in Charleston

Charleston commemorates Christmas and the holiday season with a brilliant light display, festive holiday markets, and celebrated traditions. It is a magical time of the year to visit the Lowcountry.

Here are our local recommendations for activities to get into the holiday spirit during your Christmas vacation in Charleston, SC.

If you are looking for additional ideas to celebrate the holidays in the Lowcountry, access our complimentary Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island Vacation Guides. Our guides are filled with recommendations for Charleston’s top attractions, events, shopping, dining, and more. We can’t wait to welcome you to our Yuletide paradise!

Celebrate Christmas and the Holidays in Charleston

The Holiday Festival of Lights | November through January

No holiday trip to Charleston is complete without a visit to the most spectacular light display in Charleston, and surrounding areas.

The Charleston Festival of Lights drive-thru holiday light show is the perfect COVID-safe, family-friendly event of the season!

You will enjoy much more than lights at this holiday event!

Enjoy drive-up concessions and hot chocolate. Even Santa knows that there isn’t a better place to celebrate the holiday season than at James Island County Park!  So pack the family, crank up the holiday tunes and put this on your must do holiday happenings list.

Holiday Dining at Kiawah Island Golf Course | December

The holidays wouldn’t be complete without five-star dining from your friends at Kiawah Island Golf Course. From harvest dinners to traditional suppers, you don’t have to sacrifice home cooking for a great holiday vacation this year. Call ahead to reserve your table. (800) 654-2924

Annual Holiday Parade of Boats | December

Don’t miss the spectacular boat parade held at the Charleston Harbor on December 12, 2020. Watch as the decorated boats glide up and down the harbor at this premier holiday event. The parade takes place at 6 p.m., but we recommend arriving early to find a great viewing spot.

Holiday Markets | December

The Holiday Market and Craft Show at the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market, Dec. 12, 2020 from 11 am - 4 pm.

Holiday Walking Tours | December

If you have ever been on a historic walking tour in Charleston, you already know this type of excursion gives you a “behind the scenes” view of the Holy City. The Holiday Walking Tour presented by Bulldog Tours does this and more. Stroll down streets and alleyways that carriages and motor coaches can’t access, listen to stories about Charleston’s history, and view incredible holiday decor. This tour is offered at 10 a.m. daily during the month of December.

New Year’s Eve in Charleston

If you’re spending New Year’s Eve in Charleston, there are a number of ways for you to celebrate!

You could head downtown to experience Circa 1886’s New Year’s Dinner and enjoy delicious Southern cuisine at one of the city’s finest restaurants.

Or, you could attend the Snyder Grand Ball at the S.C. Aquarium. Countdown to 2021 with live entertainment, a full bar, and heavy hors d’oeuvres, all set against the backdrop of an award-winning aquarium. Be sure to step out onto the deck overlooking the Charleston Harbor for an incredible view.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, don’t miss our blog about the 3 Best Ways to Ring in the New Year in Charleston.

Benefits of Staying in a Beach Vacation Rental for Christmas in Charleston:

Now that you have some holiday celebration ideas for your trip to Charleston, it’s time to find festive accommodations.

Just 30 minutes away from the bustling Holy City, the resort beach communities of Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island offer private homes and villas where you can create your own holiday magic. During the Christmas season, bring your family to decorate cookies and holiday s’mores at The Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island.

Enjoy elegant holiday menus at Kiawah Island’s Jasmine Porch, The Ocean Room, or The Atlantic Room. Visit Freshfields Village located between Kiawah and Seabrook Island for holiday events and shopping opportunities.

Now let’s talk about your vacation rental options with Pam Harrington Exclusives.

We offer the perfect setting for your family to gather for a safe, relaxing celebration together. Whether you’re a golfing family searching for fairway and lagoon vistas, or a large family searching for that perfect home with a beach view, we have many private vacation rentals from which to choose.

Seabrook Beach Club

Our vacation rentals are well appointed with stylish décor, quality WIFI for streaming all your devices, fully stocked kitchens for festive holiday dining suited and plenty of space for the entire family.

Our Seabrook Island portfolio of homes and villas even include several pet friendly options where FIDO can join you.


Best of all, we are an easy drive into historic Charleston, but just far enough outside the city to enjoy the tranquility of nature and no crowds.  We can’t wait to welcome you this holiday season!