The Holiday Festival of Lights returned on Nov. 15 to make merry magical memories at James Island County Park for its 30th year. This vibrant light show is one of Charleston’s most cherished holiday events, featuring an estimated two million dazzling lights.
The Holiday Festival of Lights is open every evening, rain or shine, from Nov. 15 – Dec. 31, 2019. The festival opens at 5:30 p.m. nightly and closes at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Millions of families have toured the Holiday Festival of Lights, which is hosted by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission at James Island County Park. The holiday hotspot has earned many awards and mentions throughout the country, and was named a 2018 Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society.
Families are invited to warm their hearts as they cruise along the three-mile display of glimmering lights through the park. After the driving tour, guests can park the car and explore family attractions, shopping, dining and more. Highlights include:
- Marshmallow Roasting
- Festival Train Rides
- The Amazing Dancing Light Display
- Enchanted Walking Trail
- Old-Fashioned Carousel
- Santa’s Sweet Shoppe and concessions: 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)
- Climbing Wall
Visit Winter Wonderland, home of the area’s largest holiday sand sculpture, formed from over 50 tons of sand. Roam through festival shops for merry gifts, official 14-kt gold on brass collector series ornaments, toys, personalized items, decorations and stocking stuffers. Take a ride on the train for an up-close view of the festival, and to see even more light displays.
Make a trip to Santa’s Village, where old St. Nick is waiting to take photos, starting the day before Thanksgiving through Dec. 23. Take a spin on the old-fashioned carousel, toast s’mores at the marshmallow roasting pits and marvel at the outstanding 4-by-8 holiday greeting card designs created by local students for the annual holiday art competition. Enjoy entertainment on select nights, including live music, storytelling, visits with Mrs. Claus and carolers.
Save money on admission at the Holiday Festival of Lights Monday through Thursday! Bring a canned food item for donation to the Lowcountry Food Bank these nights for discounted admission. Dog and cat food donations are also accepted.
For more information on the Holiday Festival of Lights, including event hours and fees, call 843-795-4386 or visit HolidayFestivalofLights.com.