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South Carolina Aquarium Announces Upcoming Holiday Celebrations



The South Carolina Aquarium is offering a variety of ways for guests to enjoy the warmth and joy of the upcoming holiday season. You can see each of those options below.

Aquarium Aglow: An Immersive Evening Experience

Aquarium Aglow, opening this Thursday, November 18th, is downtown Charleston’s newest holiday experience. This one-of-a-kind immersive holiday light spectacular brings forth the joy and magic of the season with tens of thousands of lights displayed throughout the Aquarium, from elegant and innovative to festive and nostalgic.

Featuring a 30-foot-tall tree with digital decoration choreographed to festive music, a cathedral of 5,000 LED lights in the Great Hall, 14 coral chandeliers, illuminated glass-blown sculptures by South Carolina artists and more, this event will be enjoyed by guests of all ages during family outings, dates nights and everything in between.

Aquarium Aglow runs select evenings November 18, 2021 through January 2, 2022. A full list of dates can be found on our website. Each event will run 5:30–9:30 p.m. Daily admission to the South Carolina Aquarium will not include entry into Aquarium Aglow as it is a ticketed special event.

Each night there will be live musical performances from 6 pm to 9 pm in the lower Great Ocean Tank gallery. Food and beverages, including wine, beer and soft drinks, will also be available for purchase. The Gift Shop will remain open throughout the event for any holiday shopping needs.

  • General admission advanced ticket prices are: Adult (13+) $24.95 and Child (3–12) $19.95
  • General admission day-of ticket prices are: Adult (13+) $29.95 and Child (3–12) $24.95
  • Member advanced ticket prices are: Adult (13+) $19.95 and Child (3–12) $15.95
  • Member day-of ticket prices are: Adult (13+) $24.95 and Child (3–12) $19.95
  • Toddlers (0–2) will receive free admission to Aquarium Aglow.

For more information regarding Aquarium Aglow, visit

Come Sea the Magic: Daytime Holiday Programming

In addition to Aquarium Aglow, there will be plenty of ways to make holiday memories during the day at the South Carolina Aquarium. Visit any time and enjoy the magic of the season with visits from Santa, special animal programming, festive photo stations and more.

Stop by the Aquarium on Santa Sundays to meet jolly old St. Nick himself and pose for a keepsake photo. Santa will be visiting in his sleigh, designed with social distancing in mind. This year, enjoy complimentary coffee, provided by Charleston Coffee Roasters, while supplies last.

Santa Sundays will take place on December 5, 12, and 19, 2021 from 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Venture through the Aquarium to find festive photo stations, including a larger-than-life Lite Brite upstairs, perfect for selfies and group pictures. During a visit, guests may see some of the animals enjoying new holiday décor or enrichment in their environment, have a chance to meet a critter up-close or stop by Santa’s special red mailbox to send a letter up North.

For more information regarding Holiday Programming, visit

Gifts that Give Back: A Guide to Meaningful Shopping

‘Tis the season to spread meaningful merriment to your friends and family and, by supporting the South Carolina Aquarium, it is easy to give gifts that give back all year long. All gift purchases help the South Carolina Aquarium continue its mission of educating the conservationists of tomorrow and caring for the sea turtles who need us most today.

The gift of a South Carolina Aquarium membership to loved ones provides unlimited visits to the Aquarium and exclusive benefits like special discounts, invitations to member-only events and more. All gift memberships are activated upon purchase, and members may visit the Aquarium and use their benefits right away. New gift memberships purchased between now and December 31, 2021 will expire December 31, 2022.

New this season, the Aquarium is offering holiday gift packages specially curated for those who love sea turtles. Packages include free shipping and directly support the South Carolina Aquarium’s mission to rescue, rehabilitate and release sea turtles in our Sea Turtle Care Center™. Another gift option for the sea turtle lover is a symbolic adoption of a sea turtle. Until December 31, 2021, adopt at the $50 level and receive $100 level benefits, which includes a plush sea turtle, fact sheet, adoptive parent decal and more.

Other options available include gifts that give back not only to the Aquarium, but support local businesses as well. Purchase a pair of Rheos Nautical Wear’s new Green Tortoise sunglasses, and twenty percent of the proceeds goes toward the Sea Turtle Care Center. Charleston Coffee Roasters has customized a “Wake Up in Charleston” gift box filled with holiday blends, with $10 of every purchase donated to the Aquarium.

To view all holiday gift options, visit

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