Catch the spirit of the season at Holiday Festival of Lights

  • Thursday, November 14, 2013

The holiday season is coming. This year, bring the family together to celebrate a Lowcountry tradition at Charleston’s most beloved wintertime event - the Holiday Festival of Lights. With more than two million shimmering lights, it’s easy to see why the festival was named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast for November 2013. Continuing through Dec. 31, gather family and friends to capture the magic of the holiday season at James Island County Park.

This three-mile driving tour delivers more every year, with more than 750 shining displays. But, the Holiday Festival of Lights is much more than just a driving tour. Park the car and experience exciting attractions custom-designed for holiday cheer. There are many celebrated attractions to see and do, including:

• Marshmallow Roasting

• Festival Train Rides

• Lakeside Lights Interactive Activity

• The Amazing Dancing Light Display

• Enchanted Walking Trail

• Gingerbread House Displays

• 50-Ton Sand Sculpture

• Giant Greeting Cards

• Old-Fashioned Carousel

• Unique Gift Shops and the Reindeer Workshop

• Portable Climbing Wall

• Photos with Santa (Nov. 27-Dec. 23)

• Santa’s Sweet Shoppe

• Special Family Events on select evenings

Grab dinner or just spoil your sweet tooth at Santa’s Sweet Shoppe and concessions stands around the park. In Winter Wonderland, see a meticulously crafted sculpture constructed with 50 tons of sand. View sugary hand-made structures from the annual gingerbread house competition. Shop at the festival shops for unique gifts from local artisans, official 14-kt gold on brass collector series ornaments, toys, personalized items, angelic decorations and multitudes of stocking stuffers. Hop aboard the festival train for an up-close look at the light displays.

Wander over to Santa’s Village, where the man himself is available for photos (on select dates, starting after Thanksgiving). Take a whirl on the traditional 18-animal carousel, make s’mores at the marshmallow roasting pits and marvel at the giant 4-by-8 holiday card designs created by local students as part of the annual art competition. Plus, you’ll enjoy family entertainment on select nights, including live music, kids’ activities, visits with Mrs. Claus, outdoor movies and more. On Dec. 31, join park staff at the festival for fireworks.

For more information, including event hours, fees, and the most up-to-date events schedules, call 843-795-4386 or visit www.holidayfestivaloflights.com. This event is presented by Boeing and Your Charleston County Parks.

For more information on CCPRC, call for 795-4386 or visit www.ccprc.com.

Special events calendar

Visit www.holidayfestivaloflights.com for updates.

Nov. 15: Ask a Naturalist

Nov. 16: Performance by Sweet Adeline, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 22: Outdoor Movie Night - Bring a chair and a blanket and kick back to watch a family holiday film! Continuous shows starting at 6 p.m. in Santa’s Village.

Ask a Naturalist.

Nov. 23: Outdoor Movie Night starting at 6 p.m.

Nov. 24: Performance by Katrina Rose, 6 and 7 p.m.

Nov. 27 - Dec. 23: Santa Claus is at the festival nightly! Children and dogs invited to have pictures taken.

Nov. 27: Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry Craft Night, 5:30 p.m. Free arts and crafts.

Nov. 29: Visit with Mrs. Claus, Ask a Naturalist

Dec. 1: Visit with Mrs. Claus

Dec. 4: Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry Craft Night

Dec. 5: Lowcountry Power Brass, 7 – 9 p.m.

Dec. 6: Visit with Mrs. Claus, Summerville Family Worship Center performance at 7 p.m.

Dec. 7: Performance by Katrina Rose, 6 and 7 p.m.

Dec. 8: Visit with Mrs. Claus

Dec. 11: Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry Craft Night

Dec. 12: Lowcountry Power Brass, 7 – 9 p.m.

Dec. 13: Visit with Mrs. Claus, Ask a Naturalist

Dec. 14: Visit with Mrs. Claus

Dec. 18: Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry Craft Night

Dec. 19: Lowcountry Power Brass, 7 – 9 p.m.

Dec. 20: Visit with Mrs. Claus, Ask a Naturalist

Dec. 21: Visit with Mrs. Claus

Dec. 22: Visit with Mrs. Claus

Dec. 31: Fireworks at the Holiday Festival of Lights. 9 p.m.

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