Christmastime is a wonderful time to be in Charleston, SC.  Temperatures can be cold and raw one day, sunny and warm the next.  Be prepared for both!  The cold temperatures rarely hit the freezing mark and the coastal areas are warmer overall than inland areas.  At the beach, you should expect moderate winds but many beachwalkers on sunny days. 

Here are some things you might enjoy - these are only available from December to Mid-January.

* Hotels - expect the hotels to have attractive deals! 

* Holiday Decor to view for free - Charleston's streets, hotels and inns,  and private homes look beautiful during the holiday season.  The lucky traveler will find the southern door wreaths and over-the-door "sprays" breathtaking.  Look for the sprays made with apples, pears, and pineapples, and sweetgrass basket holiday wreaths adorning doors.  As yet another example of Charleston's rich gardening heritage, Charleston native Joel Roberts Poinsett discovered the plant later to be named the Poinsettia, one of the most recognizable symbols of the seaso* Holiday Festival of Lights - James Island - Nov 14 - Jan 4 - One of the most spectacular Holiday Light Shows in the country.  On opening night, there is a  "Fun Run and Walk" during which visitors can run or walk (non-competitive) through the 2-mile light display.  Leashed dogs welcome, and at the end of the light display are holiday treats. 

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas - Nov. 14-23 - A production of the Charleston Ballet.

* The Sound of Charleston Special Holiday Edition - Dec. 5, 12, 19, 26, 30 at 7 pm. Hear the music of Charleston's history, from Gospel to Gershwin. Includes holiday music of the period and refreshments after each performance. 


A Christmas Story - Mt. Pleasant Village Playhouse - Nov. 28 - Dec. 20 - This is a wonderful stage version of the Jean Shepherd classic.

Charleston Sleigh Ride by Boat - December - See the lights of the city by "Thriller" boat ride.

* 18th Century Wining and Dining Tour - Dec 4-18 - Heyward Washington House

A Christmas Carol - Dec. 4-21 - Sottile Theatre

* Magnolia Plantation's Camellia Display - Dec 4 - 31 - America's largest display of Camellias in bloom

* City of Charleston Christmas Tree Lighting on Marion Square - Dec. 6 -

Christmas Parade of Boats in the Charleston Harbor - Dec 6 - Family night; Santa arrives; reindeer games; holiday treats; etc.

Reindeer Run - Dec 6 - This charity run is just plain FUN and has a costume component - check out the photos on their website!

* Charleston Christmas Parade - Dec 7 - Through the streets of downtown Charleston

Christmas 1945 - Dec 12 - An elegant Christmas dinner on the Yorktown - complete with live music, dancing

Lowcountry Singing Christmas Tree - Dec. 12-15 - Summerville

Charleston Christmas Show - Dec. 12 - 21 - Song and Dance in the Holiday tradition

Spirituals Concert at Drayton Hall - Dec. 13, 14 - Drayton Hall

Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre - Starting the day after Thanksgiving, and continuing each weekend until Christmas - Free Horse-drawn Carriage rides throughout this "lifestyle" all-outdoor shopping center (pick up and drop off at major fountains and Christmas tree circles in the shopping center).  For additional information, go to Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre's website. (Christmas tree lighting ceremony with the Mayor on Nov. 22).  Santa will take time out of his very busy December schedule to be at Towne Center Monday through Friday from noon to 8pm, Saturdays from 11 am to 8 pm and Sundays from noon to 6pm.  (Not to worry - he's good at delegating!)  Carriage rides start at noon and continue until closing, and pick up will be in front of the Belk entrance near the Christmas Tree.

Progressive Dinner, Circa 1886 - Dec 12 - Dec 23 - This special "event" has been a tradition for many years in Charleston.  Tickets are purchased in advance, and for one price, guests enjoy appetizers and champagne at a historic inn on King Street, after which guests are taken by carriage to Circa 1886 to enjoy a leisurely dinner.  After dinner, another carriage ride takes guests to the dessert venue, which is another historic inn.   Each inn and restaurant, as well as the carriages and streets are decorated in Charleston Holiday traditional decor, and guests are welcome to take photos alongside the beautifully-decorated Christmas trees at each of the elegant locations. 

The Nutcracker Ballet - Dec 13, 14 - Galliard Auditorium - This Holiday classic will get you in the right spirit for the season!

Wine Under the Oaks at Boone Hall Farm - Dec 14 - The beautiful Boone Hall Plantation is the setting for this holiday wine event.

Charles Dickens Christmas - Dec. 17 - This special evening is available at Circa 1886.

Poogan's Porch Christmas Dinner - Dec 25 - For those of you from out of town, looking for a charming place to celebrate Christmas - Poogan's Porch is a local "institution".

* Moscow Ballet Great Russian Nutcracker - Dec 26 - North Charleston Coliseum

New Year's Eve 2008 - Dec. 31 - This special evening is available at Circa 1886.

 * The 6th Annual Holiday Pub Tour A historic walking tour about Charleston history with tales of Christmas past.



CHRISTMAS EVENTS FROM 2007 -  Refer to this list as many events will be repeated and their 2008 dates will be announced soon.