When is Santa Claus there?

Santa Claus and his elves are at Winter Wonderland nightly from November 27 – December 23. Visiting with Santa is free. Digital photos from Coleman Photography are available for an additional fee. Learn more...

Is the festival open on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas?

Yes! The festival is open on November 22, December 24, and December 25.

May I walk or ride my bike around the festival?

For your safety, bicycles and pedestrians are not allowed entrance into the Holiday Festival of Lights. Bicycles are not allowed at anytime during festival hours; this includes Campground visitors.

Are there alternate routes to try to avoid the traffic?

During this busy time of year, please consider alternate routes to the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park:​ - From Folly Road (SC 171), turn right onto one of these roads: Camp Road, George L. Griffith Boulevard, or Grimball Road. Then, turn right onto Riverland Drive, and then make a final left turn into the festival. - The park is at 871 Riverland Drive. - The majority of vehicles traditionally come from other roads, so to decrease your travel time we suggest taking these different routes.

Where do I park if I want to get out and look around?

Festival traffic is one-way after passing the gate houses. All parking lots are accessible from the left lane, and all offer easy access Santa's Village and Winter Wonderland.

Can I bring my own marshmallows and roasting sticks for the marshmallow roaster?

Visitors are welcome to bring their own marshmallows and sticks for roasting. Please do not take branches from trees to use as marshmallow sticks. Destruction of natural resources in the park is prohibited.

What are your busiest nights?

Our busiest nights of traffic are historically the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after Thanksgiving, and each Friday and Saturday in December. Expect lines on these nights, use the restroom before arriving, have plenty of gas in your car, and please have payment ready upon reaching the gates.

How many times may I drive through?

Please feel free to drive around the light show as many times as you would like!

I'd like to bring my group out to the festival. Who should I call?

Groups of 15+ are asked to call James Island County Park at 843-406-6990 for a reservation. Reservations are recommended, but not required.

What rules do you have for tour bus groups?

Please use the left-hand lane when approaching the gatehouse if you are driving a bus. Buses are welcome, and guests may be dropped off in front of Santa’s Village and Gift Shops, but buses must park in the designated bus parking area.

What is the festival radio station?

Tune to 1630 AM for park information and holiday music.

May I bring my dog?

Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a short, non-retractable leash. Please make sure to clean up after your dog. Pets are also welcome for pictures with Santa.

Are the gift shops open during the day?

Gift Shops are open only during festival hours, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The official Holiday Festival of Lights ornaments may be purchased online or at the James Island County Park office.

Do you rent wheelchairs?

The Holiday Festival of Lights is a three-mile driving tour with a self-guided walking portion to see more lights and extra amenities. While we encourage everyone to get out of the car and enjoy the lights, this may be difficult for some visitors. A wheelchair is available at the park office (Winter Wonderland) free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. A photo ID is required as a deposit.

Where can I purchase the official festival ornament?

The official Holiday Festival of Lights ornament is 24kt gold on brass and part of the collectible series. Proceeds from sales are used for further development of the Holiday Festival of Lights. The ornament is for sale online and at the festival for $19.99. Many of the previous years' ornaments are also available.

What forms of payment do you accept?

Cash and credit cards are accepted for admission and throughout the festival.

Frequently Asked


Is your question not listed here?

Email Park & Program Services or call

843-795-4386 or 843-406-6990.

James Island County Park

871 Riverland Drive

Charleston, SC 29412


Tel: 843-795-4386

Tel: 843-406-6990

  • Facebook
  • Twitter - Grey Circle
  • Instagram - Grey Circle
  • Pinterest - Grey Circle

© 2020 by Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission

We reserve the right to use photos or videos taken of visitors while they are at Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission facilities or events for publicity purposes. Please lock your vehicle, and remove valuables from view. CCPRC is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or stolen property. Park fees, operating schedules, and hours are subject to change without notice.