A bustling outdoor holiday market at dusk, with people browsing stalls decorated with lights, situated between brick buildings, earns its spot among the Top 10 Christmas Markets in South Carolina.

Top 10 Christmas Markets in South Carolina: Discover Festive Delights

The holiday season in South Carolina is a magical time. It’s filled with festive lights, cheerful music, and bustling markets.

As you wander through the bustling towns and cities, you’ll find a variety of Christmas markets. These markets offer a unique blend of local crafts, delicious treats, and warm holiday cheer.

Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor, these markets are sure to make your holiday season special.

Crowds of people browse through festive stalls, adorned with twinkling lights and colorful decorations. A giant Christmas tree stands at the center, surrounded by vendors selling handmade crafts and delicious holiday treats

What makes these markets truly special is their ability to combine traditional holiday elements with local Southern charm. From handcrafted ornaments to homemade sweets, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

So grab your family and friends, bundle up, and get ready to explore the best Christmas markets that South Carolina has to offer this holiday season.

1) Holiday Market at Magnolia Plantation

A festive market with twinkling lights, colorful stalls, and a giant Christmas tree. Visitors browse handmade crafts, sip hot cocoa, and enjoy live music

Nestled in Charleston, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens hosts one of the most enchanting holiday markets in South Carolina. As you stroll through the historic grounds, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the cozy charm of festive stalls.

Local artisans offer their crafts, from handmade ornaments to unique gifts.

Live music fills the air, creating a perfect backdrop for holiday shopping. It’s a fun place to take your family, especially with kids’ activities that keep the little ones entertained while you browse.

Warm up with some hot cocoa from one of the many food vendors.

The historic setting of Magnolia Plantation adds a unique charm to this Christmas market, making it a must-visit. Don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful gardens while you’re there.

December 15-17, 20243550 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC9 AM – 4 PM$10 entry fee (children under 6 free)

2) Charleston Holiday Market

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The Charleston Holiday Market is a festive highlight in the heart of Charleston. Taking place in Marion Square, this market is perfect for finding unique holiday gifts.

On Saturdays and Sundays, the market is filled with local vendors offering everything from handmade crafts to delicious treats. You get to enjoy live music and festive decorations, making the shopping experience even more enjoyable.

The market also features a bounty of fresh local produce. Shopping here supports local businesses and gives you a chance to purchase high-quality, locally-made products. Bring your friends and family for a delightful time.

First three weekends in DecemberMarion Square 329 Meeting Street Charleston, SC 294039am-2pmFree to enter

3) Myrtle Beach Boardwalk Winter Wonderland

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The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk Winter Wonderland is a must-see during the holiday season. The event features a stunning lights display that stretches along a mile of oceanfront area.

You can visit the lights display nightly from 5 to 9 p.m. It runs from Black Friday through New Year’s Day.

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Additionally, you will find family-friendly attractions, including a Family Fun Festival, on December 1-3. This event includes activities perfect for all ages.

For those who enjoy cycling, don’t miss the Light Up the Night Bike Ride on December 12 at 6 p.m. It begins at Grand Strand Brewing Co. and tours the festive lights downtown.

Winter Wonderland at Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is truly a festive experience. It’s full of holiday cheer, blending outdoor fun with sparkling lights.

Nov 24, 2023 – Jan 1, 2024Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, SC5:00 PM – 9:00 PMFree
Dec 1-3, 2023Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, SCVarious timesFree
Dec 12, 2023Grand Strand Brewing Co., Myrtle Beach, SC6:00 PMFree

4) Columbia’s Main Street Ice Rink & Market

A bustling ice rink surrounded by festive market stalls on Columbia's Main Street. Twinkling lights and holiday decorations create a merry atmosphere

Every winter, Columbia’s Main Street transforms into a wonderland with the Main Street Ice Rink & Market. It’s the perfect spot for holiday cheer.

You can lace up your skates and glide on the ice, surrounded by twinkling lights and festive decorations. It’s a magical experience for all ages.

Beside the rink, you’ll find a bustling market. Vendors offer unique goodies and handmade crafts. It’s ideal for finding special gifts.

There are also plenty of food stands. Warm up with hot cocoa, enjoy some festive treats, and soak in the holiday vibes.

Don’t forget to check the schedule for events. Ice skating performances and live music add to the fun.

You won’t want to miss this holiday hot spot.

Nov 24 – Jan 21500 Main St, Columbia, SCMon-Fri: 4pm – 10pm$10 Adults
  Sat-Sun: 10am – 10pm$8 Kids & Seniors

5) Spartanburg Dickens of a Christmas

A festive street market with twinkling lights, Victorian-style stalls, and bustling crowds in Spartanburg. Dickens of a Christmas celebrates the holiday season with a charming and nostalgic atmosphere

Step into the magic of Victorian England at the Spartanburg Dickens of a Christmas. This festive event transforms downtown Spartanburg into a charming holiday scene. Carolers dressed in Victorian garb fill the air with classic Christmas tunes, creating an enchanting atmosphere.

Stroll through living window displays that capture the essence of the 19th century. Horse-drawn carriage rides offer a delightful way to see the twinkling lights and festive decorations.

Don’t miss the lighting of the Christmas tree at Denny’s Plaza. This grand event brings together the community, spreading holiday cheer.

The 29th Annual Dickens of a Christmas is a free event, perfect for families and friends looking to create lasting memories. With so many activities and sights, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

December 5Downtown Spartanburg6 PM – 9 PMFree

6) Anderson Christmas Lights

A festive scene with colorful Christmas lights illuminating a bustling market in South Carolina, featuring vendors selling holiday goodies and cheerful visitors enjoying the holiday spirit

You’re in for a treat with Anderson Christmas Lights. This drive-thru light show in Anderson, South Carolina, has been a local favorite for 30 years. Spread across 2.5 miles, it’s one of the most kid-friendly displays, featuring nearly 300 light exhibits.

The display is open from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Day, ensuring you have plenty of time to visit. Arrive early to avoid the lines, as it’s a popular attraction.

Once you’re in, tune your car radio to the event’s designated frequency and experience synchronized light shows set to classic holiday music.

Located at 150 Rose Valley Blvd., Anderson Christmas Lights charges a flat rate per car, making it an affordable activity for families.

The mix of traditional and contemporary light displays ensures there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

There are also food vendors and souvenir stands along the route. So, bring some cash if you want to grab a snack or a keepsake from your visit.

November 24 – December 25150 Rose Valley Blvd., Anderson, SC 296255:30 PM – 10:00 PM$10 per car

7) Greenville Christmas Market

The Greenville Christmas Market at the Grand Bohemian Lodge brings a touch of European charm to South Carolina. You can explore various stalls offering unique holiday gifts, delicious treats, and festive decorations.

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The market opens on weekends at 10 am. During the week leading up to Christmas, from December 17th to 24th, it is open daily.

You’ll find everything from handcrafted ornaments to gourmet food.

A visit to the Greenville Christmas Market offers a festive atmosphere perfect for holiday shopping. Located at the scenic Grand Bohemian Lodge, it combines Southern hospitality with holiday tradition, featuring local vendors and artisans.

Whether you’re looking to buy unique Christmas gifts or simply want to enjoy the holiday vibe, this market is a must-visit.

Nov 27-28 (Opening Weekend)44 East Camperdown WayWeekends: 10amFree entry
Dec 17-24 (Daily)Greenville, SCDec 24: 12pm 

For more details, visit the Greenville Christmas Market website.

8) Hilton Head Island Winter Wonderland Festival

The Hilton Head Island Winter Wonderland Festival is a holiday gem.

Located at Shelter Cove Community Park, this festival transforms the park into a vibrant winter wonderland. It’s perfect for families and kids aged 2-15.

You’ll find moon bounces, carnival games, and hayrides.

There’s also face painting, tree decorating, and the entertaining Children’s Elf Parade. Santa himself makes an appearance, greeting kids and posing for photos with a warm, festive cheer.

Beyond the activities, the festival also features holiday-themed foods and drinks.

You can enjoy sweet treats while wandering through the beautifully lit displays. This is an event where memories are made, and holiday spirits are lifted.

If you find yourself in Hilton Head during the holiday season, the Winter Wonderland Festival is a must-visit.

It’s where the joy of the season comes alive, offering endless fun and festive activities for the whole family.

Dec. 1-23Shelter Cove Community Park, Hilton Head Island, SC5:30 PM-8 PMFree entry; some activities may have a fee

9) Peppermint Forest Christmas Shop in Charlotte

One of the most magical places you can visit during the holiday season is the Peppermint Forest Christmas Shop.

Located in Pineville, just outside Charlotte, it’s a must-see for Christmas enthusiasts. This shop has been enchanting visitors for over 40 years.

You will find an array of Christmas decorations, from glittery gold snowflakes to clear glass balls. It’s like stepping into a winter wonderland.

Their high-quality artificial trees are also a highlight, though do keep in mind they might be on the pricier side.

If you love unique ornaments, this place is for you.

Peppermint Forest even offers hand-painted items, making it easy to find that perfect, personalized gift. The variety and quality here are impressive.

For those who love a good sale, visiting towards the end of the season could be a smart move.

You might find discounts ranging from 30% to 70% off. Just remember, the popular items tend to go fast, so early visits can be beneficial.

October to January11729 Carolina Place Parkway, Pineville, NCVaries, generally 10 AM – 8 PMModerate to High

10) Lexington Snowball Christmas Market

The Lexington Snowball Christmas Market offers a cozy and festive atmosphere perfect for getting into the holiday spirit.

Set at the Icehouse Amphitheater Pavilion, this market features a diverse range of local vendors. You’ll find unique gifts, fresh produce, and delightful crafts that make for perfect holiday presents.

Running from November 30 to December 1, the market is open each day from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

You can stroll through the stalls, sip on hot cocoa, and enjoy the cheerful surroundings. The market is part of the larger Snowball Festival, which includes Christmas carols, tree lighting, and a visit from Santa.

This community event brings together families and friends, making it an excellent outing for everyone. Plus, it’s free to attend, adding to its charm.

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Lexington Snowball Christmas Market Details

Nov 30 – Dec 1, 2023311 West Main Street, Lexington, SC 290724:00 PM – 8:00 PMFree

History of Christmas Markets in South Carolina

Christmas markets in South Carolina have deep roots and have evolved significantly over time.

Origins and Traditions

Early Christmas markets in South Carolina can be traced back to European settlers who brought their customs with them. These settlers, especially those from Germany, set up small market stalls in town centers, selling handmade crafts and holiday treats.

Over time, these markets evolved to include local crafts and traditions, creating a blend of European and Southern culture.

The tradition of gathering in town squares during the holidays became a key part of community life.

Families would buy gifts, enjoy festive foods, and participate in communal celebrations. These markets weren’t just for shopping; they were social events that brought people together. This sense of community and tradition remains a core part of the markets today.

Development Over the Years

As South Carolina grew, so did the scale and number of Christmas markets.

Cities like Columbia, Charleston, and Greenville started hosting larger events with more vendors and diverse offerings.

These markets expanded to include various attractions like live music, light displays, and activities for children.

Modern markets reflect both the state’s cultural diversity and its history.

For instance, the Junior League Holiday Market in Columbia hosts over 170 merchants, transforming the South Carolina State Fairgrounds into a bustling holiday hub.

The Mount Pleasant Holiday Market & Craft Show is another example, offering a wide range of locally crafted goods and family activities.

What began as small gatherings have now become major events, drawing visitors from across the state and beyond.

These markets continue to honor their roots while adapting to contemporary tastes and needs, ensuring they remain a beloved holiday tradition in South Carolina.

Unique Features of South Carolina Christmas Markets

South Carolina’s Christmas markets showcase a blend of local craftsmanship and regional delicacies, offering vibrant holiday experiences unique to this Southern state.

Local Crafts and Artisans

Many South Carolina Christmas markets highlight the work of local artisans who offer handmade products that range from pottery and glass ornaments to woven textiles and wooden toys.

These markets are not just places to shop; they are opportunities to meet the creators behind the goods.

You will find items crafted with techniques passed down through generations, providing not just a product, but a story.

Supporting local vendors helps sustain these traditions and infuses a personal touch into your holiday shopping.

For example, at the Christkindlmarkt Charleston, you can find authentic German handicrafts alongside locally made goods, giving you a taste of international and Southern charm all in one place.

Specialty Foods and Beverages

The food at South Carolina Christmas markets is a feast for the senses.

You’ll encounter stalls filled with specialty foods such as pecan pies, shrimp and grits, and spiced peach preserves. Warm mulled cider and hot cocoa are often available to keep you cozy as you explore.

Local favorites like boiled peanuts and barbecue also make an appearance, providing unique Southern flavors that make these markets stand out.

Events such as the Christmas at Camden Concert often feature local food trucks and vendors, ensuring you won’t leave hungry.

These festive markets offer more than just shopping; they create a rich cultural experience that you can taste and enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Discover the best spots across South Carolina for holiday cheer and family fun. From charming markets to festive events, here’s everything you need to know for a magical Christmas season.

What are the top holiday markets to visit in Upstate South Carolina?

Upstate South Carolina offers a blend of local crafts and holiday treats.

Check out the Greenville holiday fair held downtown, which transforms the city into a winter wonderland.

Spartanburg’s Dickens of a Christmas also brings Victorian charm with its traditional market setup.

Which Christmas events should not be missed in South Carolina?

In addition to markets, South Carolina hosts unique events.

The Christmas at Camden Concert fills the town with carols and holiday spirit.

Don’t miss the Candlelight Tour of Homes in Camden, offering a nostalgic glimpse into Christmas past.

Where can one find the most picturesque Christmas market in South Carolina?

One of the most picturesque markets is the Kringle Holiday Market in Falls Park on the Reedy.

Set against a backdrop of the Grand Bohemian Lodge, this market offers an enchanting European village setting.

Are there any traditional Christmas markets hosted annually in South Carolina?

Yes, traditional markets are a highlight in South Carolina.

The Holiday Market at Magnolia Plantation in Charleston and Charleston Holiday Market are prime examples, offering a blend of local crafts and festive fare.

What are some unique features of the Greenville holiday fair?

The Greenville holiday fair is special for its diverse selection of handmade crafts and gourmet food.

It transforms the city center into a lively celebration with lights, music, and even ice skating.

Can you recommend winter activities for families in South Carolina during the Christmas season?

Families will love Columbia’s Main Street Ice Rink & Market, which combines skating with shopping.

The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk Winter Wonderland offers attractions and holiday lights, perfect for a family outing.

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