As the end of November approaches, the events on Hilton Head Island kick into high gear. Holiday shows and festivals return once again as streets all across the Island get prettier and prettier each night with wreaths, lights and garland. But before Christmas comes, Hilton Head Island celebrates Turkey Day with all kinds of Thanksgiving events, from wagon rides to concerts and turkey trots. So if you’re looking for an excuse to get out, we’ve got plenty! Here are some celebrations you won’t want to miss!
1. “The Nutcracker”
The holiday season kicks off with the Hilton Head Dance Theatre’s 31st production of “The Nutcracker” in the Seahawk Cultural Center at Hilton Head Island High School, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (843) 842-3262 or go to hiltonheadance.com.
Don’t miss the display of beautifully and creatively decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, centerpieces, garland and baskets sponsored and decorated by local organizations, businesses and individuals at the Sonesta Resort in Shipyard Plantation. Hilton Head Preparatory School’s Festival of Trees presented by Coastal States Bank is the perfect place to go and look for holiday inspiration. Preview party on November 17 at 6 p.m. Call (843) 715-8536 for performance schedules, preview party tickets and other additional information.
Witness “the most tastefully tacky light display in the Southeast,” when the Dove Street Festival of Lights illuminates Shelter Cove Towne Centre. From 6-10 p.m. nightly, park the car and stroll through the lights and falling snow (bubbles) with nightly entertainment, shopping, dining and more. Admission is free; PEP (Programs for Exceptional People) and the Island Rec Center will be accepting donations on site. Call (843) 686-3090 or visit sheltercovetownecentre.com for details and the complete entertainment schedule.
Give thanks Sea Pines-style with Thanksgiving Wagon Rides in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve at various times from Tuesday-Saturday, November 22-26, or sign up for the Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt throughout the resort on Thursday, November 24. On Friday, the Gregg Russell Thanksgiving Concert takes place under the Liberty Oak Tree in Harbour Town and includes the official lighting of the Harbour Town Christmas Tree, the centerpiece of the Harbour Town Lights display, which can be viewed through January 1. Reservations are required for some events, call (843) 842-1979 or visit seapines.com.
Get a head start on holiday shopping during the Tanger Outlets Moonlight Madness and After Thanksgiving Sale! Stores open on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. and stay open through 10 p.m. on Friday night with extended shopping hours all weekend long. Call (843) 837-5410 or visit tangoutlets.com before you shop for extra deals and savings. November 26-27, stop by the Salty Dog Bluffton T-Shirt Factory in Tanger Outlet 2 for Pictures with Santa from noon-4 p.m. For more information, call (843) 837-5511 or go to bluffton.saltydog.com.
On Wednesday, Salty Dog invites the community to gather together for Thanksgiving Homecoming to celebrate the spirit of the island and the restoration that has taken place over the last couple of months. Bring friends and family over to South Beach Marina Village to enjoy live music, food and gratitude! There will be Happy Hour from 4-8 p.m., featuring Salty Dog Cafe’s new Fireside Menu. Enjoy a complimentary Lowcountry Boil at The Cookout from 6-8 p.m. with tunes from Trevor Harden from 4-8 p.m. It is the perfect warm up for Turkey Day! For more information, call the Salty Dog Cafe at (843) 671-2232.
Want to burn off some of the holiday calories and have fun all at the same time? Then grab your family and get moving at the fun and family-oriented Turkey Trot on Hilton Head Island. With a Fun Walk, 5K and 10K, the Annual Turkey Trot hosted by the Island Rec. Center begins at The Chart House at 8 a.m. Advance registration recommended; for more information, call the Island Rec. Center at (843) 681-7273.
For those who don’t want have a place to spend Thanksgiving, St. Andrew By-The-Sea United Methodist Church will host the 18th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner at Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. A free turkey dinner with all the trimmings is served family style by volunteers with donations for The Deep Well Project and Bluffton Self Help greatly appreciated. For details or to volunteer, call (843) 505-1370.
Don’t just shop at the bit box stores this holiday season; head over to Coligny Plaza and do a little shopping while enjoying the party at the plaza. Hear music from Cranford Hollow, get delicious bites from food trucks and discover finds at local vendors, street-style artisans and craftsmen. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Santa, who will arrive in a helicopter and at the Coligny Plaza Local Black Friday event, which is from 2-5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call Coligny Plaza at (843) 842-6050.
There’s nothing like getting in the spirit of the season with Santa, Mrs. Claus and their trusty reindeer Rudolph. This year, join all of them for the Community Christmas Tree Lighting at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina from 3:30-5:30 p.m. This free Yuletide celebration and Town of Hilton Head Island’s Official Christmas Tree Lighting features Christmas carols, holiday crafts, yummy treats and a musical performance. For more information about the event, call the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina at (843) 686-3945