10 Things to Do in Charleston in December
Why not plan a December trip to Charleston? Despite not being the most obvious choice for a winter getaway, this historic city offers a unique charm that genuinely shines during this time of year. From outdoor sightseeing opportunities to indoor concerts and performances, there is no shortage of things to do in December in this beautiful southern city. So grab your favorite sweater, indulge in a delicious cup of hot cocoa, and let's explore a taste of what Charleston has to offer in December.
Before you visit Charleston in December, here's the weather forecast.
Weather In Charleston in December
Compared to other areas of the U.S., the weather in Charleston in December is generally mild and more comfortable. December is an ideal time for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Average monthly temperatures can range from the mid-60s (18ºC) to the mid-40s (6ºC)
We recommend packing light sweaters, jackets, and medium-weight pants for the weather. Consider bringing a thicker jacket and gloves for the chillier days and nights, especially if you plan to visit the harbor. Sometimes, of course, the weather can be unpredictable.
Charleston, SC, in December
Choose from an array of multi-genre music performances, historic sightseeing tours, skating, and fireside dining. Whatever you choose, you'll be satisfied!
1. Feel Charleston's History Through Music
Circular Congressional Church
Weekly Performances Through December
Charleston's longest-running musical production, The Sound of Charleston, defines its rich musical history. This live concert takes audiences on a 350-year journey of musical heritage with professional musicians performing gospel spirituals, Civil War-era songs, and compositions by George Gershwin. A stirring rendition of “Amazing Grace,” composed after John Newton worshiped at the Circular Congregational Church, closes every performance. Each performance is 75 minutes long. Check out the weekly concerts in December.
2. Experience the Magic of Winter at Skate the Stadium
Credit One Stadium
Thursdays - Sundays
Experience the exhilarating sensation of gliding, spinning, and jumping on ice at the state-of-the-art skating rink within the confines of Credit One Stadium. Skate the Stadium allows families and friends to partake in 45-minute sessions, complete with warm and inviting firepit areas for cozying up, mouthwatering treats from the concession stand, and unforgettable holiday festivities on select dates. If you haven't brought your own skates, don't worry; rentals are available.
3. Tour a Historic Estate by Candlelight
Select Dates in December
Experience one of Charleston's treasured estates in a new light with an enchanting guided Candlelight tour. Throughout December, Drayton Hall, circa 1738, welcomes visitors to a magical guided tour of the home renowned for its well-preserved beauty. As you wander through the corridors and rooms, you will be transported back in time, immersing yourself in the history and charm of this place, surrounded by the warm glow of flickering candles.
4. Discover Charleston's Historic District by Carriage
Old South Carriage Co.
Tours Available Daily
With December's mild temperatures, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and explore Charleston's history by immersing yourself in its stories with a Historic Carriage Tour. Take a step back in time as your carriage leisurely wanders through the picturesque streets lined with colorful antebellum homes and historic landmarks. The rhythmic sound of the horse's hooves and the gentle swaying of the carriage create a magical ambiance that truly immerses you in the city's rich history.
As you glide through the streets, your knowledgeable guide will entertain you with fascinating stories and facts about Charleston's past. You’ll learn about the city's significant role in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and its vibrant history as a major port and hub of commerce. The guide's anecdotes and exciting tidbits bring the district to life, offering a deeper understanding and appreciation for this captivating city. Check availability for the Historic Charleston Carriage Tour.
Traveling with kids in Charleston this December? Check out the Holiday "Sleigh" Ride.
5. Catch An Electrifying Stingrays Game
North Charleston Coliseum
11 Home Games in December
Visiting Charleston in December? For sports enthusiasts, it's an excellent opportunity to experience the energy and excitement of live hockey! You’ll be surrounded by the electric atmosphere with passionate crowds, the sound of blades cutting through ice, and the exhilarating thud of the puck hitting sticks and finding its way into the net! Hockey is a thrilling sport suitable for fans of all ages. The South Carolina Stingrays, a professional hockey team in the ECHL's Eastern Division, play their home games at the North Charleston Coliseum. Don't miss out on attending their December games, including the matchup against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on December 15th and their game versus the Atlanta Gladiators on December 27th.
6. Listen to a World Class Symphony Orchestra
Established in 1936, the Charleston Philharmonic is renowned for its talented musicians who present full-scale symphonic performances, chamber ensembles, a pop series, family-friendly events, and holiday concerts. Whether you are a seasoned symphony enthusiast or simply appreciate beautiful music, attending a concert by the Charleston Philharmonic guarantees an unforgettable experience combining classical masterpieces and contemporary compositions. The performances take place at the prestigious Gaillard Center, providing a grand and elegant setting for the philharmonic.
Immerse yourself in the joyous atmosphere by attending a Charleston Philharmonic concert in December, where you can revel in beloved classics and the enchanting allure of live music.
7. See Charleston's Pride and Joy Play at Home
The Blue Dogs
11th Annual Homecoming Concert - Dec 29
On December 29th, the Blue Dogs will perform their 11th Annual Homecoming Concert in Charleston. Known for their feel-good original songs, lively performances, and seamless combination of rock, pop, and country music, this band has delighted audiences since 1987. Their popular hits, including "Young Love" and "All Night Long," have established the Blue Dogs as one of Charleston's most cherished and enduring musical acts.
8. Visit the Place Where the Civil War Started
Observe history as you listen to the echoes at the famed Fort Sumter on an island in Charleston Harbor. This fort holds a significant place in American history, as it was where the Civil War began on April 12, 1861, with Confederate troops firing the first shots. You can take a tour boat that includes a 30-minute narrated cruise to the fort and meet a National Park Service ranger who will offer an introduction and address your queries. Then you’ll have time to explore the fort and its museum store at your leisure.
9. Walk Through Charleston's History
White Point Garden and Battery Park
At your leisure, anytime
Experience the beauty of Charleston's historic White Point Garden on a leisurely walk through its enchanting gardens, home to a wealth of historic Civil War monuments. Soak in the lush surroundings and take in the breathtaking views of Charleston Harbor, where the Ashley and Cooper rivers flow into the vast Atlantic Ocean. Initially constructed in 1837, The Battery was repurposed as a fortified stronghold during the Civil War and today showcases an impressive collection of weaponry. Don’t forget to explore the refurbished bandstand while admiring the awe-inspiring sights of Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor.
10. Savor Charleston's Exceptional Cuisine
Exploring Charleston's culinary scene is essential during your December visit. The city is famous for its lively food culture and wide range of restaurants and food markets. From classic Southern dishes to creative farm-to-table creations, Charleston offers something to satisfy every taste.
With such a vast selection of eateries, here's a curated list of some of the most popular favorites and well-established restaurants to enhance your visit to Charleston in December.
- Halls Chophouse is a popular Charleston restaurant known for its elegant environment, hearty family-style side dishes, and Sunday Gospel Brunch. It also offers a selection of succulent steaks, fresh seafood dishes, and decadent appetizers.
- Cru Cafe - This top-rated eatery, tucked away in an 18th-century Charleston-style home, offers an array of gourmet comfort food options, from Four-Cheese Macaroni to Thai Seafood Risotto, along with light salads and decadent desserts. Check out their featured specials on Facebook every week!
- Circa 1886 Restaurant, located in the Wentworth Mansion, is an elegant downtown Charleston restaurant where guests can indulge in imaginative Southern cuisine crafted by a celebrated executive chef, including Lowcountry favorites and exquisite tasting menus created by executive chef Marc Collins.
- 82 Queen- Indulge in the unrivaled tastes of Charleston's finest fare, sourced from local farms and delivered with Southern charm at a beloved bistro in the Historic French Quarter.
Are you looking for more festive activities in Charleston in December? Visit the Christmas in Charleston post for the best holiday events & activities, or check out our Old South Carriage Co. blog for tips about Charleston, SC, any time of year!