Top 10 Things To Do In December

02Dec 2016

1.  Light Up Charleston is a collaborative effort between the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), Charleston Area Alliance, Charleston Main Streets and the Kanawha City Community Association, to enhance the holiday shopping experience. The Charleston CVB and its business partners want to reward shoppers for shopping and dining local. With more than 50 partners lighting up the city, new Saturday and Sunday brunch offerings and free downtown weekend parking, the Holiday Prize Patrol will be combing the city to reward random patrons with gift cards. In addition, the Prize Patrol will also make surprise visits to the Capitol Market and Charleston Town Center. To see our Prize Patrol in action, click here.

2. Santa Claus is coming to town! See him daily at the Charleston Town Center through Dec. 24; at the  Capitol Market on Dec. 3, 10, and 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences on Dec. 3, 10 and 17 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.; Cabela's on Dec. 3 and 4 at 11 a.m. and Dec. 10 and 11 at 1 p.m. and at various Kanawha County Public Library branches throughout December.

3. Celebrate the season with these local, hometown Christmas parades:
- City of Charleston: Dec. 3, 10 a.m.
- City of Dunbar: Dec. 2, 7 p.m.
- City of St. Albans: Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. 
- City of South Charleston: Dec. 10, 12 p.m.
- City of Nitro: Dec. 10, 4 p.m.

4. Children of all ages will enjoy exploring the new exhibits at The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences! My Town allows children to participate in activities that reflect how people live and work in a community. My Town includes a diner, vet clinic, emergency center, grocery store, medical clinic, car repair center, theater, bank and more. The gold dome of the West Virginia state Capitol sits at the entrance. The governor's desk is also near the front of the exhibit. Another new exhibit - Ashton's Climbing Sculpture - is a centerpiece designed by Spencer Luckey that gives a birds-eye view of the building from three stories high! 

5. Hosted by First Presbyterian Church of Charleston, the third annual Light Up the Levee is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 15, at 6 p.m. at Haddad Riverfront Park. The community Christmas caroling event will feature numbers by the Appalachian Children's Chorus and First Presby Worship Team, a lighted boat parade, and visit from Santa Claus. Donations of canned food for Covenant House Food Pantry are requested. 

A number of Charleston-area businesses and organizations are participating in Light Up Charleston, a community effort to make the season a little brighter. 

Coonskin Park's holiday lights will be lit nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Dec. 31. 

The holiday light display at Little Creek Golf Course in South Charleston features several recognizable characters, including Santa, Mickey Mouse and Big Bird. 

The St. Albans Festival of Lights, held at City Park, is open nightly from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 26 (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas day). 

6. The award winning Gaither Vocal Band and several special guests come together for the Gaither Christmas Homecoming on Dec. 3 at the Charleston Civic Center.

Contemporary Christian band, Mercy Me, brings the holiday cheer to the Charleston Civic Center Municipal Auditorium on Dec. 11.

7. West Virginia Gov., Earl Ray Tomblin, and First Lady, Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, will host the yearly Joyful Night celebration at the state Capitol Complex on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Festivities include the state tree lighting ceremony and performances by local marching bands and choirs. 

8. Joy to the World is an annual live performance holiday jazz radio program hosted by pianist Bob Thompson and produced by  West Virginia Public Broadcasting . Singer Denise Jannah, will join Thompson and his band for this year's show on Dec. 8. 

9. The Charleston Ballet will present the full-length version of Tchaikovsky's magical holiday masterpiece, The Nutcracker, with live music by the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, on Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Clay Center. 

10. The Charleston Light Opera Guild's production of A Christmas Story will take a run Dec. 16 - 18 and 21 - 23 at the Norman L. Fagan State Theater at the Culture Center.

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