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Festival of Lights – A Charleston Christmas Tradition

This week, families all over America will wave goodbye to Halloween and say hello to the 2013 holiday season. But even though it’s the most exciting time of the year, sometimes you or your family might need a little something to push your holiday cheer into high gear. If you need a little boost of holiday spirit — or if you want a way to share your holiday cheer — Charleston’s Holiday Festival of Lights is the perfect place to go this season. This year’s festival will feature interactive light displays, an enchanted forest walk, and concerts.

Charleston Festival of Lights
by Jo Naylor

Festival of Lights – Details

Since it first opened in 1989, the Holiday Festival of Lights has become an annual tradition for many local families. Here’s the basic information you’ll need to go to the Festival.

  • Where: James Island County Park (861 Riverland Drive, Charleston, SC 29412)
  • When: November 8 – December 31
  • How much:
    • $12 per vehicle entrance (1-15 guests)
    • $15 per vehicle Friday & Saturday (1-15 guests)
    • $40 per vehicle (16-30 guests)
    • $100 per vehicle (31+ guests)
    • There is also a $2 per vehicle discount available Sunday – Wednesday in exchange for a canned good.

What to Do at the Festival of Lights

Once you’re inside the park, take the three-mile driving tour and prepare to be amazed — there are more than 600 beautiful displays and 500,000 lights in the park! There is also a 54-passenger train that tours the park, which you and your family can ride for $3 per person. Rides last approximately 12 minutes and depart every 20 minutes. After the tour, take the kids to visit Santa Claus himself (photos with Santa are available, too!) and warm up with some tasty hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows. Ride the festive carousel for only $1 per person, or if you feel adventurous, take on the rock-climbing wall. And before you go, be sure to visit the two special holiday gift shops, Santa’s Attic and The Incredible Gift Shoppe. In the shops you can find a variety of handcrafted items that would make perfect gifts or stocking stuffers.

This Charleston festival is the perfect way to celebrate the upcoming holidays and get the whole family into the holiday spirit. A trip to the park can be a great way to end a fun weekend outing with the kids, or even serve as a special weeknight activity. It’s sure to bring the family together this holiday season.

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