The beloved Holiday Festival of Lights returns to James Island County Park in November for its 29th year! Featuring an estimated two million shimmering lights, Charleston’s most popular holiday event opens for nightly admission November 9, 2018 to January 1, 2019.
The festival is open every evening, “rain or shine,” from November 9 – January 1.
Sunday – Thursday: 5:30 – 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 5:30 – 11 p.m.
More than four million people have toured the Holiday Festival of Lights, which is hosted by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) at James Island County Park. The event has received many awards and mentions in publications throughout the country, and the three-mile driving tour delivers more excitement every year.
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 and experience family attractions, shopping, dining and more. Some of the other celebrated attractions and activities include:
- Marshmallow Roasting
- Festival Train Rides
- Interactive Lakeside Lights
- The Amazing Dancing Light Display
- Enchanted Walking Trail
- Old-Fashioned Carousel
- 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, including the Footlight Players performing an excerpt from “Annie”
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 on select dates, starting the day before Thanksgiving. Take a whirl on the traditional 18-animal carousel, make s’mores at the marshmallow roasting pits, and marvel at giant 4-by-8 holiday greeting card designs created by local students for the annual art competition. Enjoy entertainment on select nights, including live music, storytelling, visits with Mrs. Claus, carolers, outdoor movies and more.
What’s every family’s best bet for savings at the Holiday Festival of Lights? Join us on our evenings benefitting the Lowcountry Food Bank – every Monday through Thursday! Bring a canned food item (dog and cat food also accepted) on these nights to receive discounted admission.
For more information on the Holiday Festival of Lights, including event hours and fees, call 843-795-4386 or click here. This event is presented by The Boeing Company and your Charleston County Parks.
(Photo credit: CCPRC website)