The island’s holiday schedule is packed with performances, tree lightings, festivals, markets, and more! We’ve collected some of the most anticipated events happening on Hilton Head leading up to the end of the year. We’ll keep an eye out for more events and update this list throughout the month.
The following list is in order by date.
Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn
Nov. 29-Dec. 24 | Various Times
The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina
Recommended for ages 5 and up, get into the holiday spirit with this heartwarming musical based on the classic movie from 1942. Follow Jim Hardy as he leaves show business behind to turn his farmhouse in snowy Connecticut into a truly festive inn that’s only open to guests on holidays. A show full of fantastic musical numbers and lovesick characters that get themselves into some hilarious situations, you won’t want to miss Holiday Inn, The Musical this season.
Town of Hilton Head Island’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
Dec. 1 | 5:30-8:00pm
Lowcountry Celebration Park
The actual tree lighting will be at 6:30pm, but make sure to arrive early for cookies, coffee, and cocoa, as well as a laser light show set to music from local bands. Don’t miss Santa, who’s set to arrive at 5:45pm, and will be glad to meet you until 7pm. Admission is free, and additional parking will be at the USCB campus and includes a trolley service throughout the event.
Holiday Nights & Lights
Dec. 2-4 | 6:00-8:00pm
Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park
See this dazzling light and holiday display at the Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park. In its fourth year, the park will once again be transformed, welcoming cars filled with cheery visitors looking for some holiday magic and Christmas lights. Grab some hot cocoa to-go, turn on a radio station with some Christmas music, and join in on the fun!
Admission is free, but donations are accepted. This is a popular event, so if you’d like to avoid long waits, plan to line up on Beach City Road at about 5:45pm.
Gullah Celebration Winter Holiday Market
Dec. 2 | 11:00am-4:30pm
Lowcountry Celebration Park
This unique shopping experience will allow you to immerse yourself in the Gullah culture, and find traditional crafts, handmade jewelry and authentic Gullah art. Throughout the market, enjoy live performances, storytelling, and of course, delicious local cuisine. Support local artisans and find the perfect gifts for friends and family this holiday season. General admission is $10.
Dec. 7 | 5:30-7:30pm
Lowcountry Celebration Park
All are welcome to celebrate the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah, at this community event. Rabbi Brad L. Bloom will be leading the Menorah lighting ceremony, and attendees will be able to enjoy traditional holiday food like latkes and sufganiyot, as well as music, dreidel games, and more. This event is free to attend.
Winter Wonderland Festival
Dec. 8 | 4:00-8:00pm
Shelter Cove Community Park
For a major dose of holiday family fun, head to the Annual Winter Wonderland Festival at Shelter Cove. This event doesn’t require tickets, and includes free bounce houses, a parade, DJ and more! Food and drinks, along with a few other family-friendly activities will be an additional cost. Santa has RSVP’d to this event, so make sure to bring your camera!
Santa’s Visits to Hilton Head
Dec. 8, 15, 22 | 5:00-7:00pm
Dec. 23 | 12:00-2:00pm
Shelter Cove Towne Centre
Santa will be making various visits to Shelter Cove this holiday season, making it easy for your kiddos to see the jolly fellow. You’ll find him close to the store, Francesca’s, but on specific dates like the 8th and 23rd, Santa will be located in the Community Park.
Deck the Hulls Christmas Boat Parade
Dec. 9 | 5:00pm
This new island tradition is in its second year of bringing some Christmas cheer to Skull Creek! This year, the parade will have a new route, bringing the decked out boats closer to the shore so you can get a good look at them! The best spot to see them will be at the docks by Skull Creek Dockside.
Free to Attend
Dec. 9 | 8:20am
Hilton Head Running Company
Hosted by Java Burrito, Horizon Rehabilitation Sports Medicine, and Hilton Head Running Company, and benefiting island charity, The Deep Well Project, the Nutcracker 5K will be unlike any race you’ve ever ran. At the start and end of the race, enjoy a performance by the Hilton Head Dance Theatre. Participants will receive a custom t-shirt, with the chance for a bonus swag item if you register early. The post race party will be catered by Java Burrito–yum! Bring a toy along with your running shoes for the toy drive!
Family Movie Night at the Fire Station
Dec. 16 | 6:00pm (Doors Open at 5:30pm)
Fire Station 4, 400 Squire Pope Road
Join in on the fun at Station 4 to watch The Grinch (2018) with the whole family. Enjoy popcorn and hot chocolate, and remember to bring blankets and chairs for your group. And as a special surprise, Santa will be making an appearance and driving by the station after the movie. Parking will be at the Mount Calvary Parking Lot.
HHI Jingle Jingle 5K & 10K
Dec. 23 | 8:00am
Since 1992, families have participated in Hilton Head Islands Great Race, some even wearing holiday costumes! All participants of either race will be given an official Jingle Jingle Bridge Run long sleeve t-shirt, and be able to run over the scenic Broad Creek on the Cross Island Expressway. After the race has been completed, stick around for an award ceremony with refreshments, festive music, and door prizes. We’ve even heard a rumor that Santa might stop in to congratulate the runners!