The Tuesday Top Ten: Top Ten Holiday Activities in Charleston

By BJ D’Elia

According to the Charleston Regional Development Alliance – 34 people move here every day. Despite this influx, we’ve done a good job of maintaining that small town feel that draws so many here. This is especially true during the holidays when residents and visitors come together to share the joys of the season at area events. Here is our list of Top Ten Things to do in Charleston at Christmastime.

 

VISIT THE HOLIDAY FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT JAMES ISLAND COUNTY PARK

Each year, thousands of families come out for the Festival, where millions of multicolored lights illuminate the sky. You can journey through three miles of over 700 magical light displays of all shapes and sizes. Park your car and enjoy family activities, shopping and food. www.ccprc.com/3169/Holiday-Festival-of-Lights

 

CHARLESTON HOLIDAY PUB CRAWL

Bring your friends and family on a holiday adventure to celebrate local food, flavor and fun. On this tour, the group will be escorted by a local guide to several pubs and taverns, to hear the stories and legends of Charleston’s unique culture and history. Sip on your favorite beverages and enjoy complimentary appetizers and holiday treats, while taking in the backdrop of the beautifully decorated city. This runs daily at 1pm, 4pm, and 7pm until January 7th. www.pubtourcharleston.com/holiday-pub-crawl

 

TOUR CHARLESTON’S HISTORIC JEWISH SITES

Did you know that Charleston is home to one of the country’s oldest synagogues? Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim was founded all the way back in 1749. The Belmond Charleston Place Hotel is offering a special one or two night package during Hanukkah that includes a tour of the city’s historic Jewish landmarks. www.belmond.com/charlestonplace

TAKE A NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER CRUISE

The ‘Spirit of South Carolina’ will be decked out for it’s New Year’s Eve Cruise. It starts at 9pm on Sunday, December 31st. Tickets cost $99 and include a four course dinner, live music and dancing. spiritlinecruises.com/new-years-eve-dinner-cruise/

 

SEE XMAS DECORATIONS AT “THE SANCTUARY” & “CHARLESTON PLACE”

Over the years, I’ve seen many hotels decorate their lobbies for the holidays. Some looked great, others not so much. Here in the Charleston area, we have two hotel lobbies that will really put you in the spirit.  The lobby at “The Sanctuary” on Kiawah is very impressive – like something out of ‘Downton Abbey’ if it were set in the Lowcountry. It’s got high ceilings, a grand staircase and beautiful artwork. At Christmastime they transform the space into a winter wonderland. www.kiawahresort.com/photos-videos/

Over at the Charleston Place lobby, they’ve got a miniature replica of the Venice Simplon – Orient Express train that winds its way through a winter village. It reminds me of the train set that used to go through the old FAO Schwarz in NYC. www.belmond.com/ideas/articles/belmond-charleston-place

 

GOVERNOR THOMAS BENNETT HOUSE HOLIDAY TEA AND TOUR

Looking to start a new family tradition? How about a guided tour of the Historic Governor Thomas Bennett House with tea to follow? Tickets are $60/person. December 15 from 1p-3p

 

CAROL WITH FRIENDS WHILE WATCHING “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE”

Every person entering the Charleston Music Hall will be given their very own Jingle Bell along with specific instructions on how to interact with the film. And just before the screening, Charleston’s own R & B Singer, Manny Houston will lead the caroling. Proceeds benefit the Charleston Animal Society. This events happens at 6:30pm on Wednesday, December 13th. www.charlestonmusichall.com/event/1570583-its-wonderful-life-charleston/

 

ENJOY “THE CHARLESTON CHRISTMAS SPECIAL”

New York City has the “Christmas Spectacular” at Radio City Music Hall and here in Lowcountry we have the “Charleston Christmas Special” at the Charleston Music Hall. This year’s production is all new for 2017. Producers Brad and Jennifer Moranz are bringing back audience favorites while creating entirely new musical performances and comedy sketches — all with a holiday theme. charlestonmusichall.com/event/1329321-charleston-christmas-special-charleston/

 

SEE A “CHRISTMAS CAROL” AT DOCK STREET THEATRE

What would Christmastime be without seeing a performance of Charles Dickens’, “A Christmas Carol”? This year’s production at the Dock Street Theatre features four new musical numbers. There are plenty of dates to choose from and adult tickets start at $31. www.charlestonstage.com/shows-and-tickets/49-a-christmas-carol.html

 

LISTEN TO THE 34TH ANNUAL SPIRITUALS CONCERT AT DRAYTON HALL

For the 34th consecutive year, Drayton Hall presents African-American spiritual music in concert with three memorable performances by Ann Caldwell & The Magnolia Singers. Taking place in the atmospheric raised English basement, these concerts are a rare opportunity to experience music that could have been heard centuries ago in the surrounding fields and praise houses. www.christmasincharleston.com/events/34th_annual_spirituals_concerts-10518?search=&endDate=03/27/2022&startDate=11/22/2017