Events

Everything You Absolutely Must Do in Charleston This Winter

Published On 11/29/2016 Published On 11/29/2016
Charleston Food + Wine
Charleston Food + Wine Festival | Courtesy of Charleston Food + Wine
December
South Carolina Stingrays
Stingrays Game | South Carolina Stingrays

December

Thursday - Saturday
Dec 1-31
No holiday season is complete without a trip to the James Island County Park Festival of Lights, where you’ll see 700 displays and two million twinkling lights. Just be sure to stop by on a day that isn’t Friday or Saturday if you want to avoid spending two hours stuck in traffic getting in and out of the park.
Thursday - Saturday
Dec 1-31
This fun holiday show features a number of hits from the 1960s--everything from the Beach Boys to Motown greats -- which means it’s the perfect activity for when the parents (or grandparents) come to visit. Did we mention they serve alcohol?
Friday - Sunday
Dec 2-4
A whole weekend dedicated to the celebration of southern food, music, art, and culture. What could be better? How about a weekend that includes a sport shop, pop-up diner, and complimentary coffee? That’s what we call southern hospitality.
Friday
Dec 2
Calling all pet lovers! The 12th annual Fur Ball includes a three-course dinner with wine service, live entertainment, and a number of great auction items to benefit Pet Helpers. Talk about a great claws, uh, cause.
Friday
Dec 2
Singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge brings her Holiday Trio performance to the Charleston Music Hall for one night only. The Grammy award-winning songstress is sure to make 1990s you very jealous.
Saturday - Sunday
Dec 3-18
The Farmers Market may be out of season, but the Holiday Market is in full swing! Do a little last-minute holiday shopping from local artisans for that one-of-a-king gift.
Sunday
Dec 4
Downtown
Santa Claus is officially coming to (down)town, and will be welcomed with a parade that starts on Broad Street and continues down King before concluding at Calhoun and Meeting. Mosey down to Marion Square after the parade for the official tree lighting ceremony later in the day.
Tuesday
Dec 6
Already sick of Christmas music? We don’t blame you. Try something a little different (and surely without xmas cheer), at a rock spectacular with special guests SIXX:AM and As Lions
Wednesday
Dec 7
For $25, you can try four special sparkling wines at this tasting event. Vonda Freeman of the Indigo Road will lead the sampling, while Chef Tim Morton provides tasty bites.
Thursday - Wednesday
Dec 8-14
Enjoy a four-course dinner at Circa 1886 while live actors perform a retelling of A Christmas Carol.  You can’t be a Scrooge with a good show and even better food.
Saturday
Dec 10
Charleston Harbor
If you’ve ever seen a Christmas parade and thought “this would be way better if these floats were all literally floating on a river,” then the holiday parade of boats is the event for you. The parade can be viewed anywhere along the Charleston Harbor starting at 5:30 pm.
Saturday
Dec 17
This family-friendly 5K takes you through the streets of the Nexton community in Summerville with the added incentive of free hot cocoa after the race.
Tuesday - Saturday
Dec 20-31
If it’s not chilly enough outside, it definitely will be out on the rink! Get in on the action and holler until you’re warm.
Monday
Dec 26
In addition to a delicious buffet, you’ll enjoy the lovely sounds of Gullah spirituals performed by The Plantation Singers during this two hour cruise.
Saturday
Dec 31
Various
There’s no shortage of great New Year’s Eve events in Charleston. From classy evenings, to lowkey bashes, to the biggest parties in the Lowcountry and everything in between, you really have no reason to stay home.
January
Charleston Jazz Festival
Charleston Jazz Festival | Fia Forever Photography

January

Wednesday - Sunday
Jan 4-22
Various Restaurants
Start making a list and checking it twice, and then make a few reservations. Nearly 100 restaurants are participating this year, so be sure to work up an appetite.
Thursday
Jan 5
Garrison Keillor -- storyteller, poet, and Grammy award winner -- brings his signature blend of comedy, charisma, and wisdom to the Holy City. See the A Prairie Home Companion host live instead of listening to the radio.
Saturday
Jan 14
Twenty local restaurants compete to be the best fried chicken in the south during the Southern Fried Chicken Challenge. Best of all, you get to help decide who should be crowned the winner.
Saturday
Jan 14
Just keep thinking about the free beer and shrimp and grits at the finish line to get you through this 26-mile running tour of the city. All proceeds benefit Engaging Creative Minds, so you can do some good for your community as well as your body.
Saturday
Jan 21
Downtown Charleston
You don’t have to go all the way to New Orleans to listen to great jazz. In addition to jamming out to local musicians and bands during the three-day event, this year’s festival will feature Grammy Award winning bands The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6. Jazz hands optional.
Monday - Saturday
Jan 23-28
Downtown Charleston
The first annual Charleston Wedding Week will feature industry experts who are there to help give advice on all aspects of the wedding planning process. Whether he put a ring on it or not, this is sure to be a fun, fashionable, and informative week!
Monday
Jan 23
Described as “part shadow act, part dance, part circus, and part concert,” this is  can’t-miss performance combines modern dance with high-energy, fast-paced multimedia displays. Expect  multiple moving screens and projected images merged with front-of-screen choreography that leverages darkness and light.
Friday
Jan 27
The annual “A Night in the Valley” dinner and auction benefits the Culinary Institute of Charleston, AKA the Holy City’s future chefs and culinary stars.
Sunday
Jan 29
This annual favorite is a must-do for oyster lovers. Main events feature timed shucking and eating contests, in addition to live music, lots of cash bars, and plenty of food stands (just in case mollusks aren’t your cup of tea).
Tuesday
Jan 31
We dare you not to sing along as a starry-eyed young dancer Peggy Sawyer tries to land a role in the musical “Pretty Lady,” in this classic Broadway revival of 42nd Street. This quintessential backstage musical comedy will transport you to the bright lights of New York.
February
festival at marion square
SEWE Festival | Flickr/Donald West

February

Wednesday
Feb 1
For the first time ever, America’s Got Talent will hold auditions in Charleston. Fingers crossed for a golden buzzer!
Sunday
Feb 12
King Street
In addition to free parking, enjoy al fresco dining, live music, and a whole lot more on King Street. Celebrate the fact that it’s not too chilly by supporting local businesses.
Friday - Sunday
Feb 17-19
Marion Square
Most of downtown Charleston gets a little wild to celebrate the three-day festival; think window art, puppy exhibits, and special menus...and that’s not even part of the festival! This celebration of wildlife and nature takes over Marion Square with art, food, conservation, sporting demos, and more.
Saturday
Feb 25
Country Queen Miranda Lambert stops by North Charleston with special guests Old Dominion and Aubrie Sellers. Bring your tissues and your cowboy boots.
March
Charleston Wine + Food
Charleston Wine + Food Festival | Courtesy of Charleston Wine + Food

March

Wednesday - Sunday
Mar 1-5
Time to eat and drink your face off, and maybe even learn something from locally and nationally recognized chefs and culinary personalities. You can also expect to meet local wine and beer experts, with special events held at venues throughout the city. Bring your appetite!

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