From McClellanville to Kiawah, downtown Charleston to Moncks Corner, there are plenty of holiday parades, festivals and tree lighting ceremonies for the family to enjoy this December.

Thursday, November 28

Holiday Festival of Lights

What: The 30th annual Holiday Festival of Lights is a three-mile driving tour with over 700 light displays and additional attractions in the Winter Wonderland and Santa’s Village. See website for Santa’s visitation schedule and other special activities and performers.

When: 5:30-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5:30-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, through Dec. 31

Where: James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Drive

Price: $15-$20 per vehicle (increased fees for buses, etc.)

More Info: 843-795-4386,

Friday, November 29

Creche Festival

What: The theme of this year’s Creche Festival is “Come to the Stable.” Creche is a model that represents the scene of Jesus Christ’s birth and this is the abbey’s 17th annual event, featuring nativity scenes from all over the world. Registration required.

When: Nov. 29-Dec. 7

Where: Mepkin Abbey, 1098 Mepkin Abbey Road, Moncks Corner

Price: Free and open to the public (with a reservation)

More Info: 843-761-6580,

Santa at Freshfields

Santa will be settin' up shop at Freshfields Village Nov. 29-Dec. 1.

Freshfields Festival

What: Families can visit Santa’s Workshop throughout the weekend to send their wish lists to the North Pole and there will be additional kids’ activities, live music and food and beverage vendors. Pets are welcome, and donations will be accepted on behalf of Charleston Animal Society. The big event for the kiddos will be Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., with inflatables, holiday crafts, an interactive band and an opportunity to meet some members of the St. Johns Fire Department and tour a firetruck.

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 29-30; 1-6 p.m. Dec. 1

Where: Freshfields Village, 165 Village Green Drive, Kiawah Island

More Info: 843-972-9712,

Holiday Lights Tour

What:The Holiday Lights Driving Tour in Moncks Corner opens Friday at Santee Cooper headquarters and continues its way through Old Santee Canal Park. Dozens of spectacular light displays (all energy-efficient LEDs powered with 100 percent green power) will be up through Dec. 30. Proceeds from admission will benefit local charities.

When: 6-9 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 30 (closed Dec. 24-25)

Where: Santee Cooper headquarters, 1 Riverwood Drive, Moncks Corner

Price: $5 per vehicle

More Info: 843-899-4708,

Saturday, November 30

Holiday Festival

What: The inaugural Goose Creek Holiday Festival will feature local businesses, artisans, craft vendors, food trucks, live music, fun and games for all ages, and a special appearance by Santa.

When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 30

Where: New Life Christian Fellowship Church, 358 Liberty Hall Road, Goose Creek

Price: Free and open to the public

More Info: 843-737-1832,

Sunday December 1

parade girl s'mores reindeer ears (copy)

Charleston Parade

What: The city of Charleston and the Charleston Fire Department will present the annual parade, beginning at Broad St. and Rutledge Ave., up Meeting St. and ending at Calhoun St.

When: 3 p.m. Dec. 1

Where: Meeting St., downtown Charleston

More Info: 843-577-2311,

Tuesday, December 3

Summerville Tree Lighting

What: The town of Summerville's annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration will feature live window displays in area businesses, pre-program music organized by the Garden Club, photos with Santa, and of course, the tree lighting program. There also will be food vendors on site and roads around the square will be closed for the festivities.

When: 5-8:30 p.m. Dec. 3

Where: Hutchinson Square, 200 S. Main St., Summerville

More Info:

Thursday, December 5

Daniel Island Tree Lighting, Market

What: Daniel Island will light its Christmas tree during the holiday night market, featuring live holiday jazz music, Christmas carolers, fire-juggling elves, games and activities, and food trucks as well as the holiday market vendors.

When: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 5

Where: Daniel Island Square, 880 Island Park Drive

More Info:

James Island Tree Lighting

What: The city of James Island will host its Christmas tree lighting, featuring music from the James Island Charter High School jazz choir, a visit with Santa and hot chocolate and s’mores.

When: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5

Where: James Island Town Hall, 1122 Dills Bluff Road

More Info: 843-795-4141

Friday, December 6

McClellanville Jingle Jangle

What: The McClellanville Jingle Jangle will kick off the holiday season with several events on Friday and Saturday. There will be a Children’s Craft Corner with free arts and crafts, a jump castle, live music, booths from local groups and businesses and fun lighting and decorations. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, followed by the Holiday Classic Car Show at the old middle school.

When: 5-9 p.m. Dec. 6; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 7

Where: Pinckney St., Historic District of McClellanville

More Info:

Light the Lake Colonial Lake

The Charleston Parks Conservancy will host the annual Light the Lake tree lighting and winter celebration at Colonial Lake on Dec. 6.

‘Light the Lake’

What: The Charleston Parks Conservancy will host the annual Light the Lake tree lighting and winter celebration, with holiday cookie decorating, a photo booth, letters for Santa station, ugly Christmas sweater contest, food trucks and more, including the lighting of the tree in the middle of Colonial Lake and a performance from the Meeting Street Watoto Charleston Ensemble. New, unwrapped toys will be collected for Toys for Tots.

When: 5-7:30 p.m. Dec. 6

Where: Colonial Lake, Ashley Ave. and Broad St., downtown Charleston

Price: Free admission

More Info: 843-724-5003,

Holly Hill Festival

What: The 15th annual Holly Hill Christmas Festival will feature a live nativity, parade, food, craft and merchandise vendors. Friday night includes kids’ Christmas crafts for the kids, a movie, live music and dancing. Saturday will feature the annual parade and the SCSU Marching Band 101, as well as amusement rides and arts and crafts.

When: 5-10 p.m. Dec. 6; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 7

Where: 8603 Old State Road, Holly Hill

More Info:

Hanahan Tree Lighting

What: The city of Hanahan will host its Christmas Tree Lighting and Movie in the Park event, featuring entertainment from local school choirs, chorus groups and high school and middle school bands, as well as a screening of “Arthur Christmas” and an opportunity to meet Santa.

When: 6 p.m. Dec. 6

Where: Hanahan Amphitheater, 3100 Mabeline Road

Price: Free

More Info: 843-266-0723,

Moncks Tree Lighting

What: Moncks Corner will host its 26th annual Christmas tree lighting, featuring local chorus performers and the Corner Cloggers.

When: 6 p.m. Dec. 6

Where: Moncks Corner Market Pavilion, 418 E. Main St.

More Info: 843-599-4708,

Moncks Corner Christmas Parade kids with lightbulb necklaces

Holiday Fairs

What: The kids can enjoy visits with Santa and the Grinch, children's rides and marshmallow roasting, and there also will be goods from local artisans and food trucks.

When: 6-9:30 p.m. Dec. 6-8, Dec. 13-15 and Dec. 20-22

Where: Moncks Corner Regional Recreation Complex, 418 E. Main St.

Price: Free admission

More Info: 843-719-7900,

Park Circle Tree Lighting

What: Join the mayor for the lighting of the 40-foot Christmas tree and take a stroll around the Circle to see the rest of the tree and light displays. The Royal Missionary Baptist Church Sunbeam Choir will perform carols throughout the evening.

When: 6 p.m. Dec. 6

Where: Felix C. Davis Community Center, 4800 Park Circle, North Charleston

More Info: 843-554-5700,

Saturday, December 7

Santa in the Swamp

What: Santa will arrive by flat-bottom boat in the swamp and greet visitors for photos, and the event also will feature craft vendors, food trucks and children’s crafts. The Grinch may even make a visit.

When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 7

Where: Cypress Gardens, 3030 Cypress Gardens Road, Moncks Corner

Price: $5-$10; free for ages 5 and younger

More Info: 843-553-0515,

Hanahan Christmas Parade

What: The Hanahan Exchange Club will host the annual Christmas parade, which will begin at the high school.

When: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dec. 7

Where: Hanahan High School, 6015 Murray Drive

More Info:

Daniel Island Festival

What: Community event featuring a holiday shopping village with more than 100 vendors, entertainment and kids’ activities.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 7

Where: Volvo Car Stadium, 161 Seven Farms Drive, Daniel Island

Price: $5 general; free for ages 3 and younger

More Info:

Children's Holiday Village

What: The Children's Garden at Magnolia will transform into the Children's Holiday Village, featuring a ride on the Holiday Express to Candy Cane Lane, with a celebration of international holiday traditions, food and activities, and Santa and Mrs. Clause will visit. Visit the website for a breakdown of additional activities and events are scheduled each weekend, such as juggling elves and stilt walkers.

When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in December

Where: Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, 3550 Ashley River Road, Charleston

Price: $20 adult; $10 ages 6-12 years; free for ages 5 and younger; BOGO admission with a donation of a canned food item for the Lowcountry Food Bank

More Info: 843-571-1266,

Girls at parade

Isle of Palms Holiday Festival

What: Isle of Palms will host its eighth annual Holiday Street Festival, featuring live music from the Sullivan’s Island Elementary Chorus, Warrick McZeke and The Lauren Hall Band, carnival rides, jump castles and other kids’ activities, a photo booth, food and craft vendors. The 24-foot Christmas tree will be lit at 5:45 p.m. and Santa will visit with children 4-6 p.m.

When: 2-7 p.m. Dec. 7

Where: Front Beach, Ocean Blvd., Isle of Palms

Price: Free

More Info: 843-886-8294,

North Charleston Parade

What: North Charleston will host its annual Christmas parade, beginning at the corner of East Montague and Mixson avenues, down East Montague, around Park Circle and back up East Montague. There will be musical entertainment from New Galaxy, Wayne Daws and The Charleston Carolina Company, visits with Santa, kids’ activities, hay rides, an artist market, petting zoo and more.

When: 4-8 p.m. Dec. 7

Where: Park Circle, North Charleston

More Info: 843-554-5700,

Moncks Corner Parade

What: Moncks Corner will host its annual Christmas parade along Main Street, and Santa will be available for photos in the Market Pavilion after the parade.

When: 6 p.m. Dec. 7

Where: Main St., Moncks Corner

More Info: 843-599-4708,

Sunday, December 8

Lowcountry Extravaganza

What: Yonder Field will host the second annual Lowcountry Christmas Extravaganza, featuring Christmas decor and lights, performances from South Carolina schools and churches, an artistan crafts village, amusement rides, kids’ craft stations, photos with Santa and stories with Mrs. Claus. Food and beverage trucks will be on site.

When: 1-6 p.m. Dec. 8

Where: Yonder Field, 180 Log Cabin Road, Bowman

Price: Free admission and parking; $20-$22 amusement ride wristbands

More Info:

Summerville Parade

What: The theme for this year’s parade is “All Aboard!” and will begin on W. 4th N. St, to Main St., to W. Richardson Ave. and will end on Hickory St. A food truck rodeo will be on Little Main St. along Hutchinson Square.

When: 2 p.m. Dec. 8

Where: Downtown Summerville

More Info: 843-821-7260,

Mount Pleasant's 19th annual Christmas Light Parade (copy)

Christmas Light Parade

What: Mount Pleasant’s Christmas Light Parade will begin at Mill St. and head up Coleman Blvd., ending at Patriots Point Road. A Pyrotecnico fireworks show will kick things off.

When: 5:30-8 p.m. Dec. 8

Where: W. Coleman Blvd., Mount Pleasant

More Info: 843-884-8517,

Tuesday, December 10

Forest Park Holiday

What: Head out to the playground to celebrate the season with a drive-in movie, music, crafts, hot chocolate and s'mores. Designed for all ages.

When: 5:30-7 p.m. Dec. 10pm

Where: Forest Park Playground, 780 W. Oak Forest Drive, Charleston

Price: Free and open to the public

More Info:

Saturday, December 14

‘Christmas in the Creek’

What: The Christmas in the Creek Holiday Parade will run along St. James Ave. down a mile to Marilyn St.

When: 9:30 a.m. Dec. 14

Where: St. James Ave., Goose Creek

More Info: 843-797-6220,

Folly Christmas Parade

What: The annual Folly Beach Christmas Parade will travel along Center St. with floats, marching bands and community organizations. There will be an arts and crafts village and market at the Community Center and Santa will give away some goodies at Folly River Park after the parade.

When: Noon Dec. 14

Where: Center St., Folly Beach

More Info: 843-513-1836,

Holiday Parade of Boats vertical (copy) (copy)

The annual Holiday Parade of Boats lights up the Charleston harbor every year.

Parade of Boats

What: The annual brightly decorated Holiday Parade of Boats will proceed up the Cooper River along the Mount Pleasant side of the harbor, go under the Ravenel Bridge, come back down on the Charleston side of the harbor and then head to the Ashley River.

When: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14

Where: Charleston Harbor

More Info:

‘Lights on the Harbor’

What: Patriots Point will host Lights on the Harbor: A Boat Parade Viewing Party aboard the aircraft carrier Yorktown, featuring a family-friendly flight deck holiday party with live music, snacks and beverages available for purchase, a visit from a Santa and a top-notch spot to view the Holiday Parade of Boats.

When: 6-9 p.m. Dec. 14

Where: Patriots Point, 40 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant

Price: $20

More Info: 843-884-2727,

Sunday, December 22

Chanukah menorah

The 15th annual Chanukah in the Square will be held in Marion Square on Dec. 22.

Chanukah in Square

What: The 15th annual Chanukah in the Square extravaganza is a family-friendly community event, featuring the tradition of lighting of the menorah candles by local Holocaust survivors, live music, food and activities, presented by the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, Chabad of the Lowcountry, the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs and representation from every local Jewish organization in the Lowcountry.

When: 4-6 p.m. Dec. 22

Where: Marion Square, 329 Meeting St., downtown Charleston

Price: Free and open to the public

More Info: 843-884-2323,

Thursday December 26

Kwanzaa dancing (copy)

Kwanzaa is a commemoration of African forefathers and celebrates family, community and culture Dec. 26-Jan. 1.


What: Commemoration of the strength, courage and endurance of the forefathers from Africa who paved the way of freedom for generations. The holiday celebrates family, community and culture. Each day celebrates one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa: Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith).

When: Dec. 26-Jan. 1

Where: Various Charleston venues

More Info:

Reach Liz Foster at 843-937-5581. Follow her on Twitter @TheDizzyLizzieB

Senior news clerk and staff writer Liz Foster joined The Post and Courier team in 2012 and, among other things, compiles events and writes the My Charleston Weekend column for Charleston Scene.