Everything There Is To Do This Holiday Season in Savannah

It’s that time of year…you can hear the sound of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” getting closer and closer. It’s the holiday season in Savannah! Whether this is your first holiday season with us or your 30th, we’re here to give you the inside scoop on all the Christmas and holiday activities happening over the next two months.

Christmas Tree Lightings

The large Savannah Christmas Tree sits between Broughton Street and Johnson Square.

Christmas Tree Lighting in Downtown Savannah

November 24th at 5:30pm

Savannah’s historic downtown district comes alive with twinkling lights, marking the beginning of the holiday season. The grand tree lighting ceremony is a must-see event, filled with joy and excitement.

Plant Riverside District Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

November 24th at 7:30p

The Plant Riverside District transforms into a winter wonderland with the lighting of its majestic Christmas tree. It’s a picturesque setting to capture the holiday magic.

Tybee Holiday Tree Lighting 

November 25th at 6pm

The charming island of Tybee hosts a tree lighting ceremony that adds a coastal twist to your holiday celebrations. 

Christmas Tree Lighting on Hilton Head Island

November 30th at 3:30pm

Just a short drive from Savannah, Hilton Head Island hosts a splendid tree lighting event. You can experience the holiday charm while exploring this neighboring island.

Holiday Tree Lighting at Telfair Academy in Savannah

November 30th at 5:30pm

Telfair Academy bathes in the glow of holiday lights. A hot cocoa bar, delicious cookies, and children’s art activities will take place in the Telfair Academy.

Town of Bluffton’s Christmas Tree Lighting

December 1st at 5:30pm

Cross the border into South Carolina to witness the Town of Bluffton’s 52nd annual tree lighting ceremony. They will be showing Elf on the lawn following the lighting so make sure to pack up some lawn chairs and blankets. 

Thunderbolt Tree Lighting

December 9th at 4pm

Thunderbolt, a part of Savannah’s close-knit community, hosts its own tree lighting event. Complete with photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, live entertainment, cookie decorating, ornament decorating, vendor village, food trucks and of course the lighting of the Town’s Christmas Tree.

Holiday Parades

Boat Parade of Lights on Savannah’s Waterfront

November 25th from 7pm-9pm

The Boat Parade of Lights is a mesmerizing spectacle as illuminated vessels glide through the Savannah River. It’s a unique take on a holiday parade.

Tybee Christmas Parade

December 1st from 6pm-8pm

Tybee’s Christmas Parade combines island vibes with holiday merriment. Santa will be there for photo ops with your kiddos. 

27th Annual Illuminated Hinesville Christmas Parade

December 1st at 6:30pm

This will be Hinesville’s 27th illuminated parade. There will be a great lineup of carefully decorated floats and vendors for grabbing something sweet. It’s a perfect outing for the whole family!

Richmond Hill Christmas Parade

December 2nd at 10am

Richmond Hill hosts a classic Christmas parade filled with floats, marching bands, and, of course, Santa Claus. The theme is Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

Bluffton Christmas Parade

December 2nd at 10am

This year will be the 52nd parade to float down Historic Downtown Bluffton. This parade will be following the tree lighting and menorah lighting which is happening on December 1st (see below for details) and will be an exciting time for your family and friends!

Traditional Beaufort Christmas Parade

December 5th at 4:30pm

Beaufort, just a short drive from Savannah, hosts a traditional Christmas parade that showcases the Lowcountry’s festive spirit. It will be parading through the streets of downtown Beaufort with floats, bands, groups of walkers and personal cars and trucks are expected to participate!

Christmas Parade in Downtown Savannah

December 9th at 5:30pm

Savannah’s own downtown parade starts at Plant Riverside District on the west end of River Street, goes down to the east end, then winds its way downtown for the entire community to enjoy. The parade features community floats, cars, trolleys, walking groups and more! 

Deck the Hulls, A Christmas Boat Parade in Hilton Head

December 9th from 6pm-8pm

For our Hilton Head Island folks, the second annual Deck the Hulls parade is a go! The parade will bring boats within feet of some of the Hilton Head’s waterfront restaurants like Skull Creek Boathouse, Dockside, and Hudson’s. You can participate in the parade if you’d like to, as long as you sign up on their website. 

Holiday Events

December Nights and Holiday Lights at the UGA Cooperative Extension’s Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens

Kick-off of Decemeber Night and Holiday Lights at the Coastal Botanical Gardens

November 24th at 5pm

In its 12th season, December Nights & Holiday Lights returns from November 24th to December 23rd. This festive experience spans over five acres with a mile of illuminated trails and enchanting gardens. New themes this year include “Alice in Wonderland,” “Once Upon a Time” with a real fire-breathing dragon, “Octopus’s Garden,” and the vibrant “Carnival of Color.” This walking event requires advance ticket purchase for a magical holiday adventure.

Holiday Market & Tree Lighting

November 25th from 12pm-6pm

Combine your holiday shopping with the delight of a tree lighting ceremony. The event will have local merchants & vendors, live music, kids activities & train rides, a corn hole tournament and the Christmas Tree Lighting! It’s the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.

City Market Holiday Open House

December 1st from 4pm-8pm

Hang out in City Market for the night and meander through 2 blocks of vendors and hosts. This is their annual special open house event, which turns out to be one of the best downtown celebrations. 

Savannah Theater Christmas Tradition

December 3rd at 6:30pm

Enjoy a classic Christmas show at the Savannah Theater, a time-honored tradition for locals and visitors. This one-hour variety show stars dancing reindeer, Santa, his busy elves, and an award-winning cast of singers. Backed by a live band, they deliver cherished Christmas classics, all for the noble cause of supporting single mothers at Shelter From the Rain Inc.

Savannah’s Waterfront Christmas on the River

December 8th- 10th

Get into the holiday spirit along Savannah’s Waterfront with “Christmas on the River.” This festive three-day event from December 8 to December 10, 2023, features live performances on Rousakis Riverfront Plaza at the Arbor Stage. You can stroll along the waterfront for unique gifts from River Street vendors and even catch Santa. The highlight is the 31st Annual Lighted Christmas Parade on December 9th mentioned above.

Chanukah Dinner, Menorah Lighting & Kabbalat Services

December 9th from 5:30pm-8:30pm

Join the Savannah Jewish Federation for a Chanukah Dinner, Menorah Lighting and Kabbalat services at Mickve Israel on December 9th. 

Savannah Official Bar Crawl

December 9th 4pm-2am

For those looking for a different kind of holiday fun, the Savannah Official Bar Crawl is the way to go. Explore the winter wonderland of Savannah’s nightlife through 12 bars featuring drink specials, live entertainment, and opportunities to make new friends. Be among the first 200 participants to complete the crawl and receive a free T-shirt to remember the night.

Celebrating Kwanzaa Traditions – Creating Your Own Kinara

December 9th from 11am -1pm

The Savannah African Art Museum hosts their annual event “for celebration of their heritage and their achievements, reverence for the Creator, creation, commemoration of the past, recommitment to cultural ideals, and celebration of the good.” (Savannah Master Calendar)

Colonial Christmas at Wormsloe

December 9th from 10am-4pm

Experience a taste of history as Wormsloe Plantation celebrates the holidays in colonial style. They do it the old fashioned way, playing period music and living history demonstrations throughout the property. They also burn a  yule log starting at 2:00 pm. For all of us history buffs, this is a great way to celebrate the holiday season and get a little history in too!

The Town of Bluffton’s Menorah Lighting

December 9th from 5:30pm- 7:30pm

The Menorah Lighting Ceremony is a new addition to Bluffton’s holiday event lineup. The Menorah Lighting will be held at Martin Family Park. It is a free, public event so together, the community can celebrate additional holiday traditions. 

High Design Holiday Party at Starland Yard

December 14th from 6pm-10pm

The Starland Yard is going to be home to High Design’s annual stylish holiday party with a focus on design and aesthetics. Grab your tickets now!

Christmas Festival at Trustees Garden

December 16th from 10am-5pm

Trustees’ Garden proudly invites the community to its 4th annual holiday gathering, uniting neighbors and visitors in a joyful celebration, complete with a guaranteed snowfall! The Christmas Festival at Trustees’ Garden promises a safe and enjoyable experience for all ages. We’re honored to announce that CURE Childhood Cancer will be the beneficiary of this year’s festivities.

Candlelight Holiday Special at the DeSoto

December 17th- Showing times may vary

Savannah’s Candlelight concerts offer a unique musical experience in breathtaking locations, including The DeSoto Savannah, where you can revel in holiday-inspired music bathed in the soft glow of candlelight. The concerts, lasting 65 minutes, are open to those aged 8 and above, with an option for private gatherings of 15 or more. The program includes a beautiful selection of holiday classics and timeless compositions.

With all that’s going on this season, there is something for everyone no matter what neck of the woods you’re in or how you celebrate! Happy holidays to all!