Holiday Happenings

Family-friendly events this season

Are the kids bouncing off the walls with holiday excitement? Do you need to get them out of the house? Luckily for you, there's a bevy of holiday-themed events appropriate for the whole family throughout the Lowcountry. We've compiled a list of the events by day to help guide your family through the festive season.

ONGOING

Creche Festival

What: The monks at Mepkin Abbey will present a display of nativity sets from around the world.

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily through Dec. 1

Where: Mepkin Abbey, 1098 Mepkin Abbey Road, Cordesville

COST: Donations encouraged

MORE INFO: 843-761-8509 or mepkinabbey.org


Holiday Festival of Lights

What: The Lowcountry's ultimate light show featuring more than 750 light displays throughout the James Island County Park, including drive-through and walk-through trails. The kids can enjoy carnival rides and games, marshmallow roasting, meeting Santa, train rides, sand sculptures, sweet shop, gift shop and more.

WHEN: Through Dec. 31; Sunday-Thursday 5:30-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 5:30-11 p.m.

WHERE: James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Drive

COST: $15 per vehicle of 1-15 guests

MORE INFO: HolidayFestivalOfLights.com


Holiday Driving Tour

WHAT: Celebrate The Season's Driving Tour features dozens of animated light displays along a picturesque route that winds through Santee Cooper's headquarters and the Old Santee Canal Park in Moncks Corner. The event is powered with 100 percent Green Power from Santee Cooper and exclusively uses energy-efficient LED lights. During weekends, visit the site's

Holiday Fair.

WHEN: Through Dec. 30

Cost: $5 per vehicle

MORE INFO: celebratetheseason.oldsanteecanalpark.org


Horse Drawn Carriage Rides at Towne Centre

WHAT: Gather up the whole family and get in the holiday spirit with a complimentary horse-drawn carriage ride around Towne Centre. The rides depart from the Palmetto Grande Cinema and Belk.

WHEN: Every Saturday and Sunday from Dec. 7-22; Noon-6 p.m.

WHERE: Towne Centre located at I-526 and Highway 17, Mount Pleasant

COST: Free

MORE INFO: MtPleasantTowneCentre.com


The Polar Express 4-D Experience

WHAT: Take a journey to the North Pole in this inspiring tale of self-discovery featuring Santa Claus himself. The 4-D Immersion Theater combines 3-D imagery with special effects.

WHEN: Through Dec. 31

WHERE: South Carolina Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf

COST: $6.95 for tickets (ages 3 and under are free)

MORE INFO: SCAquarium.org


Scuba Claus in the Great Ocean Tank

WHAT: A very welcome guest from the North Pole will make special appearances in the Great Ocean Tank at the South Carolina Aquarium during the daily dive show.

WHEN: 11 a.m. daily

WHERE: South Carolina Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf

COST: Free with aquarium admission

MORE INFO: SCAquarium.org


“A Sweet T. Christmas” performance

WHAT: This holiday mystery show tells the laughingly lovely story of a heavenly stranger, a hapless handyman, a hopeless hostess, a hopping-mad Santa and their hysterical hunt for the holy grail of wish-granting — a winning lottery tickets. The frequently sold-out show features audience participation along with drinks and desserts. The show is rated PG and contains humor and content perhaps over the heads of children under 9.

WHEN: Through Dec. 29

WHERE: The Black Fedora Comedy Mystery Theatre,

164 Church St.

COST: $24 adults, $22 college and military, $15 for children 12 and under

MORE INFO: CharlestonMysteries.com or 843-937-6453


“A Christmas Carol” at Woolfe Street Playhouse

WHAT: The Dickens tale returns to the Woolfe Street Playhouse for the holiday season. Using Charles Dickens' words and a chameleon ensemble of eight actors, the show is a bold theatrical re-imagining of the classic Christmas story.

WHEN: Dec. 6- 22

WHERE: Woolfe Street Playhouse, 34 Woolfe St.

COST: Adults $30; Seniors $27; Students $20 and $15 for kids 12 and under

MORE INFO: WoolfeStreetPlayhouse.com or 843-856-1579


“A Christmas Carol” at Footlight Players Theater

WHAT: This song-infused version tells the classic tale of greed from a new perspective. Ebenezer Scrooge is awakened on Christmas Eve by spirits who reveal to him his own miserable existence, what opportunities he wasted in his youth, his current cruelties, and the dire fate that awaits him if he does not change his ways. Scrooge is faced with his own story of growing bitterness and meanness, and must decide what his own future will hold: death or redemption.

WHEN: Dec. 6-22

WHERE: Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen St.

COST: Adults $25; Seniors $22; Students $15 and $12 for children 12 and under

MORE INFO: Footlightplayers.net or 843-722-4487


“Annie” performance

WHAT: The ever-optimistic depression era Annie returns, bringing President Roosevelt and Charleston a “New Deal for Christmas.” The musical includes the favorite hits “It's a Hard-Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” and “Tomorrow!”

WHEN: Dec. 6-22

WHERE: Dock Street Theatre, 135 Church St.

COST: Adults $38.50-57.50; Seniors $36.50-55.50; Students $22.50-45.50

MORE INFO: CharlestonStage.com or 843-577-7183


The Charleston Christmas Special

WHAT: Seen by more than 9,000 people every year, this holiday show is filled with favorite holiday songs and danced. The show sells out, so buy your tickets early.

WHEN: Dec. 6-22; Kids get in free Dec. 19 with purchase of one full-paying adult or senior

WHERE: Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St.

COST: Adults $34; Seniors $31; Students $19, Kids 12 and under $16

MORE INFO: Bradandjennifermoranz.com


The Sound of Charleston Holiday Special Edition

WHAT: Come experience the music that helps define Charleston's history — Gospel, Gershwin, Civil War camp songs, light classics, jazz and more. The holiday shows include songs of the season as well as the opportunity to enjoy hot wassail and cookies after the show with the cast.

WHEN: Dec. 6, 13, 20, 26 and 30

WHERE: Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St.

COST: Adults $28; Seniors $26; Students $16; Free for children ages 3-12

MORE INFO: SoundofCharleston.com


Charleston Farmers Market: Holiday Market

WHAT: Visit the Marion Square farmers market during extended holiday hours to browse hand-made holiday gifts, wreaths and crafts, enjoy festive performances and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

WHEN: Every Saturday (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

and Sunday (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

WHERE: Corner of King and Calhoun Streets

COST: Free

MORE INFO: CharlestonFarmersMarket.com


Boone Hall Plantation Christmas

WHAT: Come see holiday decorating at its finest as Boone Hall Plantation is decked out for Christmas all month long. The plantation grounds and mansion will be decorated in Lowcountry style with a live tree in each room. There are no plastic decorations here, each ornament and arrangement is made with natural material including sweetgrass, cotton and berries grown right on the plantation, fruit, magnolia leaves and more.

WHEN: Dec. 1-31

WHERE: Boone Hall Plantation, 1235 Long Point Road

COST: Regular admission prices

MORE INFO: BooneHallPlantation.com


Holiday Crafts and Movies

WHAT: Lowcountry public libraries will be holding a variety of holiday crafts, playtimes and movie showings for children and families, covering everything from cookies and gingerbread houses to holiday cards.

WHEN: Through Dec. 31

WHERE: Library branches throughout the Lowcountry

COST: Free

MORE: CCPL.org, dcl.lib.sc.us and other local library websites


Live Manger Scene

WHAT: Take your family and view the live manger scene to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. You can stop and walk up to the scene or simply drive slowly by to view.

WHEN: Dec. 22 and 23: 5:15-7:15 p.m.; Dec. 24 after the 7 p.m. Christmas Eve service

WHERE: Bethany United Methodist Church,

1853 Maybank Highway

COST: Free

MORE: 843-795-3527

DECEMBER 1

Gingerbread House Decorating

WHAT: Let your imagination run wild as you create your own decorative centerpiece for everyone to enjoy during the holiday season. Lebkuchen gingerbread houses, royal icing and candy will be supplied. For ages 7 and up.

WHEN: 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.

WHERE: Southern Season, 730 Coleman Blvd., Mount Pleasant

COST: $35

MORE INFO: SouthernSeason.com/Charleston, 843-416-1240


Charleston Christmas Parade

WHAT: Usher in the holiday season with the annual Christmas parade featuring floats, decorated fire engines, candy for children and more. The parade will proceed down King Street to Broad Street to Lockwood Boulevard.

WHEN: 2-4 p.m

WHERE: Parade begins at the intersection of

Calhoun and Meeting Streets

COST: Free

MORE INFO: CharlestonArts.org


Chanukah in the Square

WHAT: The largest annual Jewish event in the state of South Carolina, this kid-friendly event is a wonderful way to end the Thanksgiving weekend. Hot food, live music and children's activities will be included in the festive atmosphere. Local Holocaust survivors will light the candles and Mayor Joe Riley will make welcoming remarks.

WHEN: 4-6 p.m.

WHERE: Marion Square, corner of Calhoun and King Streets

COST: Free

MORE INFO: CharlestonArts.org


Christmas Tree Lighting

WHAT: Help usher in holiday cheer at the James Island Recreation Complex. The annual event will include lighting the complex's Christmas tree along with holiday music and light snacks for the kids.

WHEN: 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: James Island Recreation Complex, 1088 Quail Drive

COST: Free

MORE INFO: 843-795-5678

DECEMBER 2

Gingerbread House Decorating

WHAT: Let your imagination run wild as you create your own decorative centerpiece for everyone to enjoy during the holiday season. Lebkuchen gingerbread houses, royal icing and candy will be supplied. For ages 7 and up.

WHEN: 5 p.m.

WHERE: Southern Season, 730 Coleman Blvd., Mount Pleasant

COST: $35

MORE INFO: SouthernSeason.com/Charleston, 843-416-1240

DECEMBER 3

Summerville Christmas Tree Lighting

WHAT: Hosted by the Flowertown Garden Club, join the Mayor of Summerville as they light up the Town Square and town Christmas Tree in Historic Downtown Summerville. Musical entertainment proceeds the event provided by SHS band and choral groups.

WHEN: Music begins at 6 p.m.; tree lighting at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Summerville Town Square

COST: Free

MORE INFO: Summervilledream.org


Carols in the Round

What: The CSU Concert Singers will perform Christmas selections.

When: 7:30 p.m.

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