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Celebrate Historic Holidays Dec 6-9 On Hilton Head

Posted by HH360 on November 12, 2019

Historic Holidays on Hilton Head Island, a weekend of Sea Island traditions. December 6-9th, 2019. Featuring lowcountry foods, historic church experiences, holiday market, trolley and bike tours, historic regiment encampment, ancestry research and a community tree lighting.

This weekend of events is presented by a partnership of the Heritage Library, Mitchelville Preservation Project, Coastal Discovery Museum, Gullah Museum, the Hilton Head Island Land Trust, and the Town of Hilton Head Island’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

Advance Tickets Available for Most Events


Lowcountry Food and Traditions at Hudson’s Seafood on the Docks

Lowcountry boil, oyster roast, and entertainment! Enjoy fresh oysters harvested in our very own Skull Creek by Andrew Carmines and Shell Ring Oyster Company. Local shrimp harvested by Hudson’s signature fleet. Cash bar. Limited tickets available.

$50/adult; $40/child



Tour Hilton Head Island Historic Sites by Trolley (rain or shine)

Immerse yourself in the history, culture, and holiday traditions of Hilton Head Island by trolley, enjoying stops at Zion Cemetery, A Revolutionary War Cemetery; Historic Honey Horn, a Hunting Plantation; Fort Howell, Built to Protect the Union Army, Historic Mitchelville, The Place Where Freedom Began; and The Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island, where Gullah history lives!

$15/adult – $5/child (age 12-16, under 12 free)

Scheduled tour times: 9:30am, 10:15am, 11:00am, 1:15pm, 2:00pm; times may vary

  • This trolley tour leaves from Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, 70 Honey Horn Drive.
  • This is a “stay with your own trolley” tour and lasts over 2 hours; You will spend 30 minutes at each site.
  • Restroom stops are available.

Artisan Market at Coastal Discovery Museum

Stop by the museum grounds to enjoy local artisans, storytellers, authors, and more, including the South Carolina 2nd Regiment!

$10/adult – $2/child (age 10-16, under 10 free)



Worship with Our Community

Free tickets available!

Established by the Gullah Community in 1887, Central Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church will host their weekly service with a traditional gospel choir.

Open to everyone with a free-will offering

Historic Sunday Service is at 10am

Free tickets available!

Established by the Gullah Community in 1887, Central Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church will host their annual Candlelight Communion Service.

Open to everyone with a free-will offering

Candlelight Communion Service at 5pm

Free tickets available!

Established in 1865 with prayers and service under an oak tree, Historic Queen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church will host a program with a reading of a Christmas Story in the Gullah language followed by the choir singing Christmas carols and history of this historic place. Gumbo will be for sale!

Open to everyone with a free-will offering

Program is at 1pm

Enjoy a Tour of the Civil War – By Bike

Bike through the community of Port Royal Plantation and immerse yourself in Hilton Head’s dramatic Civil War history with tour stops at Zion Cemetery, Fort Walker, Fort Sherman, The Steam Gun Cannon, and the Headlands.

$25 or $35 if bike rental is needed.

Scheduled tour times: 11:00am, 12noon, 1:00pm, 2:00pm; times may vary.

BIKE TOURS NOTE: Every bike tour participant must have a waiver. Click here for a 2019 bike waiver; print, sign, and bring to the event!

Times vary.

  • Tours depart from and return to Port Royal Clubhouse, take 2 hours, and are 4 miles long.
  • Tours are rain or shine; No refunds unless the event is canceled!
  • Helmets are required!
  • Detailed instructions for the bike tours will be sent with confirmation


Research your Roots with Genealogists from The Heritage Library

Dig deep in your family tree with assistance from a team of seasoned ancestry researchers and explore ancestral documents and databases not found in traditional online sources.

Free with any ticket to a Historic Holiday event; otherwise, $5 per person. Advance registration is highly recommended.

11am – 2pm

Lighting of the Big Oak Tree

Free tickets available!

Round out your holiday weekend with the grand finale: the lighting of the big oak tree in Mitchelville Freedom Park. This annual tradition brings together the entire community to reflect on and honor the people who first experienced freedom at Historic Mitchelville.

Free and open to everyone


Special room rates at the Westin Hilton Head Island are available for only $119/night! Book here using booking code S6241. Type in code under “special rates” or call 843.681.4000 to make your reservation.

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