Hilton Head Island’s Thanksgiving Guide for 2023

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If you happen to be celebrating Thanksgiving on our beautiful, Hilton Head Island, here is a list of festive events that start as soon as the weekend before America’s favorite holiday.

Fun Runs

Turkey Trot 5K & Fun Walk

November 23rd, 8:00-10:00am

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Organized by the Island Recreation Association, join the Hilton Head community for the 35th Annual Turkey Trot. Starting and ending at Skull Creek Dockside, runners and those walking the Fun Walk will have a blast and are encouraged to bring nonperishable items to donate to the Deep Well food pantry.

Thanksgiving Turtle Trot

November 23rd, 9:00-10:00am

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Join in on the 3rd Annual Thanksgiving Turtle Trot, hosted by the Palmetto Dunes Property Owners Association. This run is great for families who want to run or walk the course, and advance registration is required. Proceeds of the race will help Palmetto Dunes Cares Fund, and therefore local non-profits and the community.

Seasonal Markets

Holiday Gallery Gifts

November 14th-December 30th, 10:00am-4:00pm

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A great opportunity to find one-of-a-kind pieces that will make the perfect gifts for your family and friends this holiday season, The Art League of Hilton Head Gallery will transform into the Gallery of Gifts. For the fourth year, you’ll find paintings, photography, pottery, mixed media pieces, and smaller items like beautiful jewelry and more!

Holiday Market

November 21st, 10:00am-1:00pm

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Tuesdays are usually Farmer’s Market days, but to get in the holiday spirit, the Coastal Discovery Museum will be hosting a holiday market! Make a day out of it, and explore the grounds of Honey Horn or the Smithsonian Affiliate museum after finding great locally-made products and gifts.

Historic Holidays on Hilton Head Island

November 25th, 1:00-4:00pm

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Head to the USCB Hilton Head Campus for an afternoon tea service, the chance to meet authors for book signings, and, of course, the many opportunities to find the perfect holiday gifts made by local artists and basket makers. The entrance fee supports The Heritage Library, and children under 12 years old have free admission.

Other Festive Events

Hilton Head Lantern Parade, Photo by Culture HHI

The Town’s Official Holiday Kick-Off Festival

November 18th, 12:00-3:00pm

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Festivities start the weekend before Thanksgiving Week, with a family-friendly festival featuring entertainment, arts and crafts, food trucks, and a local market. Children will be able to spot Santa and Mrs. Claus, and everyone will be able to have a sneak peek of the upcoming musical, Holiday Inn.

Hilton Head Island Lantern Parade

November 18th, 5:00pm

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One of the most magical events held on Hilton Head, the annual Lantern Parade is an amazing chance for guests and residents to celebrate the island’s history and community. A part of the Crescendo Series and created by artist, Chantelle Rytter, this free event lights up the night sky at Coligny Beach. Need to make a lantern? Learn more about the Coastal Discovery Museum’s Lantern Making Workshops.

Gregg Russell Thanksgiving Concert & Christmas Tree Lighting

November 24th, 7:30-9:00pm

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You’ll typically find the island icon, Gregg Russell, performing under the Liberty Oak in Harbour Town during the warm summer nights, but don’t miss his special Thanksgiving concert that’s family-friendly and completely festive! Get into the holiday spirit by sticking around to see the official lighting of the Harbour Town Christmas Tree! Passes are available to purchase at both Sea Pines gates, but this event is completely free to attend.

Caramel Apple Festival

November 25th, 1:00-3:00pm

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Head to Sea Pines Heritage Farm, where your family will have a fun-filled afternoon full of games, arts and crafts, face painting, delicious caramel apples, and a bounce house to take care of that sugar rush! You’ll need to purchase a pass to enter Sea Pines, but while you’re there, reserve a seat on a wagon ride that will be running from November 21st to the 25th.

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