The holiday season on Hilton Head looks a little different this year

Here’s what you can expect from Hilton Head 

December is one of the most wonderful times of the year on Hilton Head Island. The last month of the year is typically packed with holiday events, the weather is mild and the crowds are much smaller than in the summer. 

Like everything else in 2020, December on Hilton Head will be a little different this year. While many annual holiday events have been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, there are some festive events to help spread holiday cheer: 

Main Street Village — Jingle Fest

A Christmas shopping event

December 3; 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Want to shop for Christmas presents while supporting local businesses?

Main Street Village on Hilton Head Island will host Jingle Fest on Thursday, Dec. 3 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

The shopping village will be adorned with Christmas lights and decorations, and several of the shops and restaurants will be offering special Christmas treats and sales.

This will be a COVID-19 safe event, with extra precautions including social distancing and mask wearing.

See the merchants here.

Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park — Season’s Greetings from Around the World

A drive-thru holiday light display

December 5-7; 6-8 p.m.

Come and drive through Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park’s Season’s Greetings from Around the World Light Display. This huge light display takes you around the globe with international decor all lighted up for the holidays!

This event is free and open to the public, but donations are welcome.

All attendees must remain in their vehicles.

Follow their Facebook page for more information.

Hilton Head Fire Station #3 — Christmas light display

A drive-thru holiday light display

Nov.26 - Jan.1

The Hilton Head Fire Department will continue their annual tradition of putting up a Christmas light display at Station #3 this year! This light display is a favorite of our islanders! The display is different each year, but usually includes music and is made so that you can drive around the station to view it — a perfect way to indulge in some holiday cheer without exposing yourself or your family to COVID-19! 

Want to make an extra special night for your family? Our favorite way to do it is to pack some hot chocolate, candy canes and a few other Christmas treats before we head to the station. Drive around it as many times as you want, and then go check out some of the other light displays on the island.

The station usually runs the light display from Thanksgiving Day through January 1.

Need directions? Click here

Harbour Town Lights — Sea Pines Christmas Light Display

Annual holiday light display in Harbour Town

Nov. 27 - Jan. 1

Harbour Town will be putting up its annual Christmas light display, which includes illuminated seasonal figures and a towering Christmas tree. COVID-19 safety protocols are TBD — but these displays are outdoors.

A Coastal Holiday — Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina

Holiday boat lights, shopping, music & Santa!

Nov. 27 - Jan. 2

Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina will be offering socially-distanced holiday shopping, and the marina will be full of boats decorated with Christmas lights!

On Nov. 27, they’re also hosting a Santa & Shopping Day — bring the kids for socially-distanced visits with Santa! Santa will arrive to Shelter Cove at noon on a fire truck and stay near the Neptune Statue until 2:30 p.m. Shops and restaurants will also be offering sales and specials.

Masks are required.

Get the details here.

Sweetgrass Wreath Classes — Coastal Discovery Museum

Holiday crafting class

Dec. 5 & 12, 10:30 a.m.

Want to learn how to make your very own sweetgrass wreath? This 2-hour class is limited to 6 people — 1 person at a table — to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In this class, you will make a small sweetgrass Christmas wreath to take with you. 

The class is $65 per person and reservations are required by calling 843-689-6767 ext. 223.

Winter Wonderland — Island Rec Center

Drive-thru holiday light display

Dec. 11-31, starting each night at 4 p.m.

Drive by the Island Rec any night in December to have a look at the Magical Holiday Scene.

Enjoy a treat at the Winter WonderFestival Drive Thru on December 11th from 4:00 until goodies run out.

Socially-distanced visits with Santa — Shelter Cove Towne Centre

Visit Santa on select Saturdays in December!

Dec. 5, 12 & 19; 5-7 p.m.

Take the kids to Shelter Cove Towne Centre for socially-distanced photos with Santa! For these COVID-19 safe photos, a 6’ perimeter must be maintained and Santa and his elves will be wearing full face safety shields. Shelter Cove is asking that kids bring a letter to Santa with their Christmas list so that they don’t have to talk close to Santa. 

Hand sanitizer will also be provided.

Get the details here.

The Manger Project — St. Luke’s 

Dec. 5; 3-5:30 p.m. at St. Luke’s Church, 50 Pope Ave. 

Register at

The Manger Project is a fun and interactive Christmas tradition that helps families focus on the true meaning of Christmas while building a manger. Bring your hammer and your kids, and let your heart be captured by the wonder of the lowly manger! 

The event will be outdoors under our beautiful oaks! Dress up for the weather -  we have plenty of parking available at our location. When you arrive, please go to the big tent to check in and pick up your supplies! If you can’t make it on December 5, you can purchase the kit and work on the manger at home. If you don't have a hammer, let organizers know so they can get you set!

Christmas Village and Santa Visits — South Beach

November 27-December 25 at The Salty Dog 232 S Sea Pines Dr, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Santa and S’mores Saturdays at 3 p.m. November 28, December 5, December 12, December 19

Santa sails into South Beach every Saturday in December. He’ll wave to all of the boys and girls. Enjoy live music from 3-7 p.m. and fireside fun with complimentary cocoa, cookies and s’mores. Visit South Beach as it transforms into a Christmas Wonderland through Jan. 1st.

Reverse Christmas Parade — Old Town Bluffton

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Dec. 5

The Town of Bluffton will host its annual Bluffton Christmas parade as a “reverse” parade, Saturday, December 5, as a way to keep its holiday traditions alive while incorporating health and safety precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The reverse parade is a creative way to host a socially distanced celebration as the parade entrants will be stationary on May River Road as parade spectators drive by. Parade entrants will be positioned a minimum of 10 feet from each other and a safe distance from the traveling vehicles. No candy or promotional items may be distributed by the parade entrants. 

Jingle Ring Virtual Santa — Tanger Outlets

Through Dec. 26

Live from the North Pole, it's Santa and Mrs. Claus, ready to spread virtual holiday magic with you and your family from all over the globe!  Schedule your joyful one-on-one digital Santa visit here and be delighted with Santa's customized visit with your little ones. With the ability to include up to four other family members, you can invite others in on the merry making fun!

Plus, you will get a sneak peek into Santa's workshop with his animated elves and a Christmas-card worthy photo to capture your digital memory as your own little Elves check their list twice with the Jolly Man himself. 

Lindsay Bunting
Lindsay Bunting
138 Lighthouse Rd P O Box 3087 Hilton Head Island SC 29928