Things to do in Charleston for this Thanksgiving

Make new family traditions with this ultimate itinerary for spending Thanksgiving in Charleston.


Whether you are traveling to visit family in the Lowcountry or indulging in a holiday vacation, Charleston offers a unique Thanksgiving experience. Charleston’s milder fall weather and a wide variety of stores and restaurants make this an ideal location for the whole family.  Make new family traditions this November with this ultimate itinerary featuring things to do in Charleston for Thanksgiving.

42nd Annual Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble 5k

Start the day with incredible (and fun) exercise at the 41st Annual Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble. You’ll work up an appetite during this 5k run. Starting at Marion Square in downtown Charleston, the course passes many famous historic Charleston landmarks such as the Famous Historic Market, Gibbes Museum of Art, St. Michael’s Episcopal, White Point Garden and finishes back on the west side of Marion Square. The course is a stroller free zone but there is Children’s fun run for all ages and every child receives a participation prize! Don’t race home when you cross the finish line– stay and enjoy the live music at the post-run party. All participants can cool down after the race with free refreshments and family-friendly activities. You’ll groove and dance as you listen to the Melodic Entertainment. Make the Gobble Wobble your new favorite family Thanksgiving tradition in Charleston!

Bulldog Food Tours

Impress the whole family with this fan-favorite excursion with a Charleston Food Tours. Savor the flavors and experience the best of Charleston’s cuisine through a Bulldog walking food tour. They offer four different food tours that visit different Charleston culinary staples. From the Savor the Flavors of Charleston Tour to the Charleston Dessert Tour, you’ll fall in love as you are immersed in the culinary culture of the Lowcountry.  You’ll meet Chefs and learn about the rich history of the local restaurants and a number of southern staples such as stone-ground grits, southern pralines, fried green tomatoes and more. These tours are perfect for foodies and true fans of the culinary arts. You’ll feel the festive season as you are sampling authentic Charleston fare and travel through the historic Charleston.

30th Annual Holiday Festival of Lights on James Island

Pack up the car and treat the family to the beloved Holiday of Lights Festival. This is one of the most popular holiday events in Charleston with over two million glittering lights performs a dazzling display of holiday cheer. Blast your favorite holiday tunes as you drive through three miles of shimmering lights. The real fun starts when you park your car, visitors are encouraged to explore this holiday village of attractions and activities. Cozy up to the fire and roast some marshmallows as you wait for the Festival Train to return or take a romantic trip through the enchanted walking trail. Stop by before the sun goes down and get a photo with Santa himself. *Locals Tip*On Monday – Thursday bring a canned food item for a discounted admission to make the holiday extra special for families in need.

Lights of Magnolia

Chinses lanterns will glow through the holiday season at America's oldest gardens at night for every first time in its history. Magnolia Plantation has partnered with Zigong Lantern Group from Chine to present "Lights of Magnolia -Reflections of a Cultural Exchange. The lantern festival will feature custom-designed installations of large-scale thematically unified lanterns, a fusion of historic Chinese cultural symbols and images that represent the flora and fauna of Magnolia. Explore illuminated hand-made, three-dimensional sculptures through the garden from November 15th to March 15th.