The City Magazine Since 1975

Deck the Halls, Y’all! Revel in the holiday spirit as the Holy City goes all out for the season

Deck the Halls, Y’all! Revel in the holiday spirit as the Holy City goes all out for the season
December 2021

See decorated doorways, marvelous mantelpieces, and sparkly lights galore

12 Doors of Christmas Cheer - Stroll past homes in the historic district, where all manner of wreaths and garlands salute the season >>SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE


Churches - Holy City houses of worship get into the spirit >>SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE


Historic Homes & Museums - Tour local house museums for historically inspired holiday displays, and don’t miss the Gibbes’ rotunda >>SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE


Hotels - Find holiday hospitality and elaborate displays worthy of a visit >>SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE


Hotels - The Dewberry: Spectacular mid-century-inspired lights, tinsel, and more delivered holiday magic in 2020 >>SEE MORE PHOTOS


Sparkle City: Marion Square & Colonial Lake - Lighting up the night in parks and public spaces >>SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE


Get holiday decor how-tos and tips from Gathering events designer Heather Barrie here!

More to see and do:

Holiday Festival of Lights
Through December 31
Drive the three-mile display of more than 750 light displays at James Island County Park, a beloved Lowcountry tradition for 32 years, plus an enchanted walking trail, Santa’s Village, and fireworks on New Year’s Eve. 871 Riverland Dr. James Island. Nightly, 5:30-10 p.m. $30-$15.

Festival of Trees
Through January 4
Head to the Charleston Visitor Center to check out and bid on 25 themed trees and 16 wreaths, all decorated in honor or in memory of someone who battled cancer. There are also holiday-themed workshops scheduled throughout the month. 375 Meeting St. Daily, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.

Aquarium Aglow
December 2-January 2
The South Carolina Aquarium’s holiday spectacular is an immersive light experience, featuring 5,000 LED lights, 14 coral chandeliers, illuminated glass-blown sculptures, and a 30-foot tree with lights. 100 Aquarium Wharf. Days vary, 5:30-9:30 p.m. $25-$16.




Photographs by Kim Graham; Melinda Smith Monk; Diana Henry; Julie Livingston; Andrew Cebulka/courtesy of The Dewberry Charleston; & Richard Ellis & courtesy of Explore Charleston; Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens; Gibbes Museum of Art; The Charleston Museum; Charleston Place; & Kiawah Island Golf Resort