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


What You’ll Find When You See the James Island Christmas Lights in 2021

Did you know that there are an estimated two million lights at the Holiday Festival of Lights at the 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.

  • Open Nightly 5:30 - 10 pm
  • November 12 - December 31, 2021
James Island Christmas Lights

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?

The cost to attend the Festival of Lights is $20 per vehicle (up to 15 ppl). If attending Monday - Thursday, bring a canned food item or dog / cat food item to benefit the Lowcountry Food Bank and pay only $15! Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic there may be limits to the 2021 Festival - they are not yet announced. 

In 2020, the Holiday Festival of Lights created a special experience for all to enjoy from their own vehicles with promises of magical surprises along the way! To see the James Island Christmas light displays, you must enter the park and remain in your vehicle, except for use of the restroom. Concessions were available for purchase from your vehicle. 

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 a great way to incorporate exercise into your trip!

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, we are waiting to hear if this will be offered.

View a Map of the James Island County Park.

Annual Traditions for the Festival of Lights in Charleston Should Resume Shortly

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.

We are still waiting to hear if visits with Santa will take place during the 2021 Holiday Festival of Lights, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

However, visits with Santa are available during the day at the James Island County Park by appointment only. Click here for more details. We'll update as soon as we know more!

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.

For access to the most up-to-date listings and real estate trends, remember to contact our agents for local guidance and access to the Charleston MLS database.


If you aren’t quite ready to connect with an agent, you can still stay in the know with our Charleston real estate listing alerts.

Submit your criteria, including desired location, budget, and community amenities, and we will notify you when we find a listing that matches your needs.