You Need to See the James Island Christmas Lights This Year

The James Island Christmas lights draw thousands of visitors each year. It is one of the Charleston area’s most anticipated holiday events, and for a good reason. From miles of light displays to kettle corn and DIY s’mores, there is something for everyone! If you're staying on Kiawah Island or Seabrook Island between November and January, this is a must add to your things to do list. 

After your trip to the Holiday Festival of Lights, take your time to enjoy the other winter activities that the Lowcountry offers. Download our free Seabrook Island and Kiawah Island Guides for recommendations on top restaurants, entertainment, historic sites, and more!

More December Events


Here's What You'll See at the 2023 James Island Christmas Lights

Did you know that there are an estimated two million lights at the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park? It is one of the many reasons that it attracts so many visitors each year from across the Palmetto State. Lights are beautifully displayed and offer great entertainment for the entire family.

  • Holiday Festival of Lights Fun Run & Walk

November 8: 3 pm to 6 pm

Kick off the holiday season and get a sneak peek at this year's upcoming Festival of Lights Display! This 2-mile fun run/walk is a great exercise for the whole family.

Tickets for the Run/Walk are $35 per vehicle - a maximum of 15 people per standard-size vehicle.

Guests must arrive together, as each vehicle must have a ticket for entry.  Hurry! This event will sell out.  Call (843) 406-6990 for more info.

  • The Holiday Festival of Lights 2023 at James Island County Park

November 10  to December 31, 2023

Open Nightly 5:30 - 10 pm

Christmas lights on James Island

Not only will you see classic holiday designs, like Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer and even Santa Claus, you can also look forward to many unique displays as well.

The Holiday Festival of Lights is always adding something new to its collection, making it a great place to visit year after year.

How Much is the James Island Festival of Lights?

Standard Size Vehicle Admission

Regular Nights 

  • $15 Advance
  • $20 Gate

Peak Nights

  • $25 Advance
  • $30 Gate

Gift Passes

  • 1-9 passes: $20 each
  • 10-50 passes: $19 each
  • 51-250 passes: $18 each
  • 251+ passes: $17 each

To purchase gift passes, please call Park & Program Services at 843-795-4386.

Traditionally, the first two opening nights of the festival mark the Holiday Festival of Lights Fun Run & Walk. This is a family-friendly, two-mile run and walk that will allow you to see the lights on foot. It is a great way to incorporate exercise into your trip! Park your car and enjoy walking to Santa's Village and Winter Wonderland

View a Map of the James Island County Park.

Annual Traditions for the Festival of Lights in Charleston

No trip to the Festival of Lights is complete without visiting the one and only, Santa Claus! You can see him and his elves at the Winter Wonderland nightly from Thanksgiving week to the day before Christmas Eve. You will find Santa waiting once your vehicle reaches the end of the Christmas light displays.

Create New Holiday Memories Just Minutes from Charleston!

Kiawah and Seabrook Islands are ideal destinations for you to experience the best of the Lowcountry. Here we have stunning natural landscapes and private and secluded communities that are just a short drive away from the wonderful activities and events in Charleston.

Consider these beautiful barrier islands whether you’re looking for a new place to make your permanent home or you’re ready to make your vacation home dreams a reality.

Family and friends will enjoy visiting you on Kiawah Island or Seabrook Island during the Fall & Winter months.

Temperatures are still mild, beaches are less crowded and proximity to downtown Charleston is just 30 minutes.

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