Happy Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful for every year but this year that feels especially true. I’m deeply grateful for the best family in the world, for my new husband, and for our precious pup Maybelle. I’m also so thankful to be living in Charleston with Edwin during this time as newlyweds… it is bringing us the greatest joy! Since we are loving our new home so much and can’t wait to experience Christmas here, I thought I’d share a guide to celebrating Christmas in Charleston. I rounded up the most festive, cheery local events of the season to get you in the holiday spirit! P.S. I’ll also be sharing a post about what to do in New York City at Christmas so stay tuned. Happy Thanksgiving! xx
A Guide to Celebrating Christmas in Charleston
Holiday Festival of Lights
The famous Holiday Festival of Lights is a three-mile driving tour of two million sparkling holiday lights. Talk about a fun way to kick off the holiday season! November 10th – January 1st.
Uncorked Holiday Kickoff
Boone Hall is kicking off Christmas early with a black tie event, Uncorked, on their famous Cotton Dock. Expect live music from East Coast Entertainment, delicious food from Cru Catering, oyster shucking from Oyster’s XO, aerialists performances, and drinks galore. November 30th.
Garden & Gun Jubilee
The Garden & Gun Jubilee 3-day festival is the magazine’s signature event. Enjoy everything from sporting to curated holiday shopping to southern food to music, art, and live entertainment under beautiful oak trees at Charles Towne Landing. December 1st – 3rd.
Holiday Swing: A Charleston Jazz Tradition
The Charleston Jazz Orchestra will get you in the swing of the holiday season with their show, Holiday Swing: A Charleston Jazz Tradition. It’s a night of Christmas hits from Santa Bay to Joy to the World. December 2nd.
Cigar Bazaar Holiday Market
The Cigar Factory is hosting a day of holiday shopping and celebration of local artisans, regional vendors, and retailers with their Cigar Bazaar Holiday Market! Out Of Hand Events will be on site making one of a kind wreaths for your holiday decor too! December 2nd.
Keep off the holiday
overeating over-celebrating with the annual 5k Reindeer Run through downtown Charleston. All the proceeds go to the MUSC Children’s Hospital. December 2nd.
Wine Under the Oaks
Boone Hall’s annual event, Wine Under the Oaks, is a Charleston favorite! You get to see the plantation fully decorated for Christmas and get to enjoy wine and food pairings along with lots of complimentary bubbles. December 3rd.
The Charlotte Ballet is coming to Charleston for a special performance of The Nutcracker at the Gaillard Center. Edwin and I saw the New York City Ballet perform the Nutcracker last Christmas season and thoroughly loved it! December 3rd.
Miracle on East Bay Street
Local favorite watering hole, The Gin Joint, transforms into Miracle on East Bay Street. The bar becomes a holiday winter wonderland with a special menu of Christmas concoctions. November 24th – December 24th.
Visit the Christmas Trees
Marion Square, The Belmond Charleston Place, Colonial Lake, The Market Pavilion Hotel are known for having the best, brightest, and biggest trees in town!
A Christmas Carol
The historic Dock Street Theater is putting on Charles Dickens holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. It isn’t Christmas without a little dose of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future! November 29th – December 20th.
Cannonborogh – Elliotborough Holiday Sip & Stroll
Join the cutest neighborhood in Downtown Charleston for an evening of holiday sips and shopping with their annual Cannonborough-Elliotborough Holiday Sip & Stroll. Enjoy treats like spiked peppermint mocha hot chocolate while you browse local favorites Indigo & Cotton, Candy Shop Vintage, J. Stark, Cannonborough Collective, Mac & Murphy, The George Gallery, and Sugar Bakeshop. December 8th.
Edmondston-Alston House puts on a theatrical performance, Christmas 1860, every year that sheds light on a turbulent time in Charleston just before the beginning of the Civil War. You’ll love the period costumes and love seeing the way the house would have been decorated then. December 1st and December 8th.
Seasonal Sips Cocktail Class
The Cocktail Club (one of my favorite CHS bars) is hosting their Seasonal Sips Cocktail Class celebrating drinks that are perfect for the holiday season. You’ll learn step-by-step how to make three unique seasonal recipes that can be recreated easily at home while enjoying small bites. December 9th.
Governor Thomas Bennett House Holiday Tea and Tour
The historic Governor Thomas Bennett House Holiday Tea and Tour is a new holiday tradition for the historic house. This is one of most beautiful historic homes in Charleston so I’m sure this will be a beautiful event! December 10th, 11th, 12th, and 15th.
It’s A Wonderful Life
How could I pass up on a chance to see my favorite movie of all time!? The Charleston Music Hall is showing It’s A Wonderful Life in their theater and hosting live caroling beforehand. December 13th.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
The Restoration is screening National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on their rooftop. I can never get enough of this movie! December 14th.
If you love a good holiday comedy, then head to the Charleston Music Hall for their screening of Elf. They are hosting live caroling before this movie too (just like It’s A Wonderful Life)! December 18th.
Zero George New Year’s Eve Party
Who wants to get dressed up!? Zero George is hosting their annual New Year’s Eve Party complete with champagne, caviar, heavy hors d’devours, and live music from the Gatsby Gang Jazz Band. P.S. it’s black tie and masquerade optional! December 31st.
Also, Worthy of Note
Old Village Holiday Street Fest (November 30th), Citadel’s Christmas Candlelight Services (December 1st – 3rd), Candlelight Tours of the Nathaniel Russell House (December 2nd and 9th), City of Charleston Holiday Parade (December 3rd), Gospel Christmas (December 9th), Cougar Night Lights (December 14th – January 1st), Grand Illumination Event (December 14th),
Photograph by Valorie Darling