Christmas in Aiken is a memorable place to begin a holiday tradition. Aiken transforms into a winter wonderland with garlands downtown and holiday lights illuminating the city. This city has a feel of a Christmas village with holiday displays, festivals, and traditions. Aiken is listed as one of the top 10 Christmas Towns (and cities) in the Palmetto State.
Here are the 10 best things to do in Aiken at Christmas 2022!
1. Night of 1,000 Lights – December 1
Experience luminaries lining the streets of downtown Aiken as shops stay open late and offer holiday treats, drinks, and music for a festive evening out.
2. Downtown Tree Lighting – December 2
It’s a tradition to gather downtown for the lighting of the Christmas tree. Carolers serenade you while refreshments are served. The best part is hearing the squeals and delights of children being greeted with a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus!
3. Christmas Craft Show – December 2 & 3
Featuring over 100 exhibitors from all over the Southeast, this two-day event is a great place to find those unique holiday gifts. The best part is the food truck lineup serving all types of yummy snacks and delicious foods.
4. Festival of Trees at The Depot – December 2 – 31
Walk through the museum to see the beautiful Festival of Trees at the Aiken Visitors Center & Train Museum. The annual festival kicks off with a tree lighting on December 2 at 4:00 p.m.
5. Joye to the World Holiday Concert – December 9
Artistic Director Jazz Riley Mulherkar brings his beloved Jazz at Lincoln Center holiday tradition to Aiken – Joye to the World Holiday Concert. Experience the holiday magic and excitement of Christmas in New York, all without the need for a plane ticket!
6. Christmas in Hopelands – December 10 – 22
This enchanting walk-through exhibit features over two miles of lighted pathways and illuminated displays. The gardens are filled with the holiday spirit, with over 100,000 twinkling lights, marshmallow roasting, traditional Christmas caroling, and so much more!
7. Aiken Symphony Orchestra presents Home for the Holidays – December 11
The Aiken Symphony Orchestra delights into making this concert an annual holiday tradition. The afternoon will be filled with all your favorite holiday melodies and the bonus of including two of Aiken’s beloved groups, the Aiken Choral Society and the Aiken Civic Ballet. The Aiken Choral Society, a community chorus, is dedicated to providing the best singing experience to interested and talented singers throughout the Aiken area. Their repertoire is wide – from early music to last year’s hit movie theme.
8. Downtown Christmas Parade – December 11
Enjoy the annual parade in downtown Aiken for a “Fairy Tale Christmas”!
9. Aiken Civic Ballet presents The Nutcracker – December 16 – 18
Have sugar plum fairies dancing in your head? The Nutcracker ballet is performed at The Etherredge Center by The Aiken Civic Ballet Company – South Carolina’s longest-continuously operating dance company.
10. Hoofbeats and Christmas Carols Parade – December 17
The Hoofbeats & Christmas Carols parade started 13 years ago and has grown from a few horses and dogs to almost 300 horses and carriages and almost 100 dogs, everyone in costume including the animals, singing Christmas Carols through the middle of Aiken.