December happenings at the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park

The beloved Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park is celebrating its 28th year! Featuring an estimated two million lights, Charleston’s most popular holiday event is open for nightly admission Nov. 10, 2017 through Jan. 1, 2018.

More than four million people have toured the Holiday Festival of Lights, which is hosted by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission at James Island County Park. The event is open nightly starting at 5:30 p.m.

The Holiday Festival of Lights is known for its three-mile driving tour, but there is much more to see and do! Visitors are encouraged to park the car for family attractions, shopping, dining, special event evenings and more, including:

·       Marshmallow Roasting         

·       Festival Train Rides                              

·       Interactive Lakeside Lights

·       The Amazing Dancing Light Display

·       Enchanted Walking Trail

·       Portable Climbing Wall

·       Santa’s Sweet Shoppe

·       Concessions including hamburgers, kettle corn, hot chocolate and more

·       Four Gift Shops, featuring the children’s toy emporium Prancer’s Presents

·       Daytime photo opportunities to “Mingle with Kringle” (register in advance)

·       Entertainment on select evenings (see listing below)

In Winter Wonderland, see a meticulously crafted sculpture constructed with 50 tons of sand. Wander through festival shops for unique gifts, official 14-kt gold on brass collector series ornaments, toys, personalized items, decorations and stocking stuffers. Hop aboard the festival train for an intimate look at the festival, only seen on this enchanted ride.

Explore Santa’s Village, where the man himself is available for photos through Dec. 23. Take a whirl on the 18-animal carousel, make s’mores, and marvel at giant holiday greeting cards created by local students for the annual art competition. Enjoy entertainment on select nights, including live music, storytelling, Mrs. Claus and more.

Every Monday through Thursday, guests can bring a canned food item for donation to the Lowcountry Food Bank (dog and cat food also accepted) and receive discounted admission. For more information on the Holiday Festival of Lights, including event hours and fees, call 843-795-4386 or visit HolidayFestivalofLights.com. This event is presented by The Boeing Company and Your Charleston County Parks.

Holiday Festival of Lights Special Events Calendar

Most performances take place in Santa’s Village; visit HolidayFestivalofLights.com for details and updates. 

Every Monday through Thursday: Save $5 off admission when you bring a canned food item for donation to the Lowcountry Food Bank. Canned dog or cat food also accepted. Discount offered Monday through Thursday, Nov. 13 through Dec. 28.

Nightly Nov. 22 – Dec. 23: Santa Claus is at the festival nightly in Santa’s Village!

Nov. 29: Starlight Yoga – The moon and stars enhance this flowing yoga class, 6:30 p.m. Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.

Dec. 1: Storytelling with the South Carolina Stingrays, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.  Ask a Naturalist, 6 p.m.

Dec. 2, 3 & 5: School of the Arts performance, 6 and 7 p.m.

Dec. 7: Visit with the South Carolina Aquarium, 6-8 p.m. Lowcountry Power Brass performance, 7- 9 p.m.

Dec. 8: Storytelling with the Charleston Animal Society, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.

Dec. 9: Holiday Carolers, 6–8 p.m.

Dec. 10: Juggling Elves, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Dec. 11 & 13: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.

Dec. 14: Lowcountry Power Brass performance, 7-9 p.m. Ask a Naturalist, 6 p.m.

Dec. 15: Storytelling with Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Visit with South Carolina Aquarium, 6-8 p.m. Ask a Naturalist, 6 p.m.

Dec. 16: Holiday Carolers, 6–8 p.m. Little Dickens Carolers, 6:30 & 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 17: Walk Around Magic with Julie, 7-9 p.m.

Dec. 20: Visit with Mrs. Claus, 6-10 p.m.

Dec. 28 & 29: Ask a Naturalist, 6 p.m.

Dec. 31: Balloon Artist, 6-9 p.m., and Fireworks at the Holiday Festival of Lights, 9 p.m.

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