Getting out and shopping during the holidays is more difficult this year with the COVID-19 safety protocols limiting special events and traditional gatherings. But there are still some treasured experiences to be had in some of our favorite neighborhoods.
So, give some of these outings a try.
Clements Ferry Road
Many people enjoy giving gifts of experiences. If this is your forte, consider a gift from R and R Acres, a farm nestled in the Francis Marion Forest in Berkeley County, that hosts farming classes and family visits. Learn the art of beekeeping, candle pouring, make your own goat soap, visit the animals, or participate in a pollinator search in the garden.
If a peaceful afternoon of mediation, mixed in with a few laughs, is at the top of your wish list, sign up for a goat yoga class. The farm store offers traditional and artisan raw honey for sale, along with fresh eggs, pork, poultry, and all-natural skin care products. Visit randracres.com for more information.
Coffee is a great gift for a teacher or co-worker, and locally owned Lowco Café has flavors that capture the holiday spirit. Winter Wonderland is a combination of hazelnut, almond and butter rum; Sugar Cookie has a vanilla, shortbread flavor. Available in one pound bags. Order in-person or by phone at 843-471-1720.
The Veranda at Zavarella’s (1937 Clements Ferry Road) is an ideal meeting spot for your holiday gift exchange. Safely congregate on the outdoor patio equipped with a fire pit and enjoy the space beautifully decorated with a winter wonderland theme. Live music enhances the festive atmosphere. Favorite menu items include pepperoni rolls, scratch-made lasagna, and homemade bread.
Santa is coming for brunch at Dockery’s! On Dec. 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., bring the family to meet Santa and take a socially-distanced photo while relaxing with Bloody Marys. Tickets are limited; purchase online at dockerysdi.com. Christmas takeout is also available; see the website for the menu.
Pets are ready for Santa Paws, who is scheduled to make an appearance at Michael’s Barkery in Central Island Square on Dec. 12 from 1-3 p.m. Participants are invited to decorate cookies and capture photos during the event.
Practical stocking stuffers, such as lotions, hand sanitizers, bug spray, and shave soap, are doubly popular when the products are naturally made. Gail and Steve Salomon, Daniel Island residents for 14 years, own Mission Essentials, a skin care line free of parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, harsh chemicals, and synthetic fragrances.
Holiday best sellers include Balsam Cedar soap, shave vessels with soap and a brush, alcohol-free sanitizers, and travel kits with outdoor essentials. Keep your eye out for these finds as you visit several Daniel Island locations like Island Expressions, Qwik Pack and Ship, Delta Pharmacy, and Laura Alberts.
And don’t forget to stop into the shops in the Publix Shopping Center, including Paisley’s, House of Sage, Lucia’s Premium Pet as well as the shops along Seven Farms Drive, like Linen’s and Monograms Daniel Island.
King Street traditionally rolls out the red carpet for Christmas shoppers, with all the hospitality, majesty, and old-world charm of historical Charleston. This year, small business merchants are depending on support from locals more than ever.
“King Street needs you,” commented Rhett Outten, co-owner of Croghan’s Jewel Box. “We are clean, safe, we have free garage parking, and we are working really hard to provide the highest level of customer service that you can imagine.”
Outten is a founding member of the Charleston-based merchant group MiKi, or Middle King Shopping District. MiKi was founded in October as a way for local, mom and pop retailers to combine their marketing efforts and let consumers know that a still vibrant King
Street is open for business. The diverse group wants to encourage their neighbors to come downtown, shop and see the holiday decor, stay for a meal or call the stores to place an order and enjoy the convenience of free delivery to your doorstep on Daniel Island
Ten shops have teamed up to provide a curated and convenient shopping experience. Participating shops include Croghan’s Jewel Box, M.P. Demetre, Jackson Davenport Vision Center, Hampden, M. Dumas and Sons, Shoes on King, Palm Avenue - A Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store, Grady Ervin & Co., Jordan Lash, and Finicky Filly.
A few must-see gift items include iconic Elizabeth Locke jewelry made of Venetian glass set in 19K gold from Croghan’s Jewel Box (and as a bonus, you can catch the Locke exhibit at the Gibbes Museum), Palmetto and Crescent Moon Trucker Hats from Jordan Lash, or a pair of trendy, Dolce Vita suede booties from Shoes on King.
Quinn Sherman, managing director of MiKi, said, “These are business owners who step up and give to local charities, they employ local people, and they add to the success of our city every day. Shopping locally greatly benefits the community in which you live.”
While shopping on King, indulge in a midday break to visit the luxurious lobby at Hotel Bennett for a glimpse of exquisite towering trees and greenery that adorn the sweeping grand staircase. Make a reservation for holiday tea at Camellias, or, for an unforgettable experience with the kids, Tea with Santa on Dec. 13 or 20. Includes tea service, photos with Santa, a story read by Mrs. Claus, gifts for children, and prosecco for adults. Call 843-990-5460.
If sweet stocking stuffers are at the top of your list, pop into OMG Candy Store at 316B King St., an alley-sized mecca boasting a wall of rainbow hued lollipops, bulk candy, an extensive PEZ collection, and larger than life gummies.
For a unique outing with friends, schedule a workshop at Candlefish, 270 King St., to design and create your own scented holiday candles or pick up a few seasonal favorites to take home. The Candlefish concept is from the creators of locally owned Rewined Candles, and offers customers 100 different fragrance options for custom candles. Book online at candlefish.com.
On Dec. 18-20 beginning at 5 p.m., Old South Carriage Co. is offering a twist on their traditional carriage tours. Santa is joining in with “one horse open sleigh” rides that include Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, cookies, cocoa, and holiday carols during a festive 20-minute ride around the city. Masks required. Call 843-723-9712 for reservations.
Before calling it a day, take a stroll to the College of Charleston campus for Cougar Night Lights, created by John Reynolds, an Emmy Award winning lighting designer and C of C alumnus. The Cistern Yard, at the corner of George and St. Phillip streets, is enhanced with hanging lights to resemble Spanish moss, and visitors experience a light show set to pop music that runs every 30 minutes. Free and open to the public, masks and social distancing required.
Belle Hall Shopping Center
The Coastal Cupboard off of Long Point Road makes Christmas shopping fun with its mix of traditional pieces and trendy products in the kitchenware market. The store carries the locally made Toadfish line and features a new folding fillet knife and folding cutting board.
Collectible nutcrackers, German pyramids, and Earthwood ornaments made in Bethlehem add old-world touches. With unmatched customer service and complimentary gift wrapping, a stop here is a must!
And swing around the corner to find a delightful gift at Zinnia’s, owned and operated by Daniel Island residents. The shop features artisan jewelry, fanciful gifts, and home decor accessories and offers gift wrapping.
Kiki & Rye is a fairly recent addition to the restaurants at Belle Hall, with an inviting atmosphere for customers. An extensive, covered outdoor seating area provides a view of the pond and the center’s Christmas tree. Live music is available every Thursday night; on Sundays, they host “Party on the Pond” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. which includes music, brunch, and an outdoor artisan fair. A gift card special is available through December.
Saying goodbye to 2020 is a reason to celebrate. Mark your calendars for Skip & Sully’s New Year’s Eve Bubbles Party on Dec. 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bottomless, bubbly champagne for the parents coupled with a playground of bubbles for the little ones will help bring in the new year with joy for everyone.