Guests can spend time with friends and family as they stroll through Hopelands Gardens, taking in the sights and sounds of the holiday season, while sipping hot cocoa or apple cider. This enchanting walk-through exhibit features over two miles of lighted pathways and illuminated displays. With over 100,000 twinkling lights in the peaceful setting of Hopelands Gardens, this event should be at the top of your holiday bucket list.
The Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame, The Doll House, The Clifford S. Gerde Carriage Museum, Rye Patch, and the Rye Patch Stables will be open and decorated for visitors to enjoy. The Rye Patch Stables feature the exhibit; “Aiken’s Historic Horses”. Complimentary refreshments will be served in the Hall of Fame courtyard and outside of the Guest Cottage near Rye Patch. S’more kits are available for purchase for $5 (cash only) at Rye Patch, where you can roast your marshmallows at our s’more pit. Rye Patch will be the destination for fun holiday activities for children. Santa Claus will be there to hear your child’s Christmas wishes and take what is sure to become a treasured photo. After visiting Santa, children can stop by the craft station to make a keepsake to take home. Parents must accompany children at all times. Rye Patch will also host a Labyrinth display where guests can learn more about the Labyrinth in Hopelands. Live entertainment is provided on select nights, either on the Roland H. Windham Performing Arts Stage at 7:00 p.m. or throughout Hopelands Gardens when traditional Christmas caroling takes place. Spectators should bring a blanket or use the natural amphitheater seating to enjoy the shows. There is no cost to enter the event or to utilize the shuttle service.
All guests should use the shuttle service to Hopelands available each night. Shuttles run continuously from Citizens Park, located at 1060 Banks Mill Road, from 5:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. The last shuttle to view Christmas in Hopelands leaves Citizens Park at 8:45 p.m. General public parking is not allowed at Hopelands, Rye Patch, Fermata Club or The Green Boundary Club. However; handicap parking is available at 135 Dupree Place and 100 Berrie Road. No animals are allowed on shuttle vehicles.
While Christmas in Hopelands is a free event, donations are accepted and are used to help support the growth of the program. Donation boxes are located at each entrance. Donations may also be mailed to: City of Aiken Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department Christmas in Hopelands, P.O. Box 1177, Aiken, SC 29802. If you have any further questions about Christmas in Hopelands, please contact the PRT Department at 803-642-7631.
In the event of inclement weather, you can call the City of Aiken Rain Out Hotline at 803-643-4661. You can also check the City Channel 4 on Atlantic Broadband, the City of Aiken website, City of Aiken PRT social media accounts or download the City of Aiken Explorer app for instant notification of any changes. You will need to sign up and enable notifications. If someone in your party needs to borrow a wheelchair to enjoy the program, call 803-642-7631 ahead of time to reserve one.