WHAT'S HAPPENINGConcerts, Educational and Seasonal Information
Seasonal and Special Events
Christmas in Hopelands, Concerts, and Story Time.
Christmas in Hopelands 2023
The 32nd Annual Christmas in Hopelands event will transform Hopelands Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina, December 9-22nd from 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Guests can spend time with friends and family as they stroll through Gardens, taking in the sights and sounds of the holiday season while sipping hot cocoa or apple cider. This enchanting walk-through exhibit features over two miles of lighted pathways and illuminated displays. With over 100,000 twinkling lights, this event should be at the top of your holiday bucket list.
The Doll House, Clifford S. Gerde Carriage Museum, Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and the Rye Patch Stables will be open and decorated for visitors to enjoy.
In partnership with Aiken County Habitat for Humanity, s’more kits will be available for purchase during the event for $5 (cash only) at Rye Patch, where you can roast your marshmallows at our fire pit and enjoy fun holiday activities for children.
Complimentary refreshments will be served in the Hall of Fame courtyard and outside the Guest Cottage. In addition, Santa Claus will be onsite to hear your child’s Christmas wishes and take what is sure to become a treasured photo (parents must accompany children at all times). Live entertainment is provided on the Roland H. Windham Performing Arts Stage at 7:00 p.m. Spectators should bring a blanket or use the natural amphitheater seating to enjoy the shows. Performances are subject to change.
December 9 – TBD
December 10 – Catherine GGT Productions Presents “A Merry Christmas”
December 11- Jolly fellow Choristers
December 12 – Southern Elite Cloggers
December 13 – Aiken Sheriff’s Pipes and Drums
December 14 – East Aiken School for the Arts
December 15 – Renovate Ballet
December 16 – Suzuki Strings
December 17 – Aiken High Jazz Band
December 18 – AAA Homeschool Band
December 19 – Jolly fellow Choristers
December 20 – Brooke Lundy and John Vaughn
December 21- Unity Dance Company
December 22 – Josh Martin
All guests should use the shuttle service to Hopelands, which runs continuously from Citizens Park, located at 1060 Banks Mill Road, from 5:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. each night. The last shuttle to view Christmas in Hopelands leaves Citizens Park at 8:45 p.m. General public parking is not allowed at Hopelands, Rye Patch, Fermata Club, or Green Boundary Club. However, handicapped parking is available at 135 Dupree Place. No animals are allowed on shuttle vehicles. There is no cost to enter the event or to utilize the shuttle service.
While Christmas in Hopelands is a free event, donations are accepted. Donation boxes are located at each entrance. Donations may also be mailed to: City of Aiken Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department, Christmas in Hopelands, P.O. Box 1177, Aiken, SC 29802. If you have questions about Christmas in Hopelands, please call 803-642-7631 or visit www.aikenismagical.com.
If you are interested in learning about volunteer opportunities, call (803) 642-7650.
In the case of inclement weather, Christmas in Hopelands may be cancelled. Receive updates on cancellations by calling the City of Aiken Rain Out Hotline at (803) 643 4661 or sign up and opt-in to receive notifications by texting AIKENRAINALERT to 91896.
The City of Aiken Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism invites people of all ability levels to enjoy programs, parks, and facilities. Individuals needing special assistance to participate should notify PRT Administrative Office 48 hours in advance.
Hopelands Concert Series
Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating. Picnic dinners are welcomed, but alcohol is strictly prohibited. The concert series is family and pet friendly with no cost to attend.
Handicapped parking is available at Rye Patch at 100 Berrie Rd. All other attendees should park at the Green Boundary Club at 780 Whiskey Rd. In case of inclement weather, performances are moved to another site. For more information call 803-642-7631.
The 2023 Hopelands Free Concert Series Lineup
April 3, 6:30 PM – The Lady & The Gents
April 10, 6:30 PM – The Aiken Brass
April 17, 6:30 PM – Southern Elite Cloggers
April 24, 6:30 PM – Heart & Soul (Aiken Heart Board Band)
May 1, 7:00 PM – Aiken Concert Band
May 8, 7:00 PM – Preston and Weston
May 15, 7:00 PM – Swingsation of Aiken
May 22, 7:00 PM – Chris Ndeti & Co.
May 29, 7:00 PM – Aiken Civic Ballet Company
June 5, 7:00 PM – The Wayne Hoey Big Band
June 12, 7:00 PM- The Surefires (Jaycie and Brooke)
June 19, 7:00 PM – The Experiment & the I-20 Horns
June 26, 7:00 PM- The Parris Island Marine Band
Story Time In The Gardens
On Tuesday afternoons in March, April, May, September and October, families meet on the grounds of Rye Patch, located at 100 Berrie Rd. Everyone has fun listening to a story read by an engaging reader. Snacks and drinks, and a lawn chair or blanket make the experience more enjoyable. Admission and one book are free (if a child attends all 20 readings, they will accumulate 20 books). After the story is finished, the fun continues as children run and play with friends or perhaps engage in a craft project.
Families are encouraged to bring used books from home to help stock the Little Free Library located at the Doll House in Hopelands.
Reading and sharing books promote literacy in our community. Please link to the Education Box and see a bibliography of books found at the Aiken County Public Library or in the ABBE Regional Library System. You can check out these books at www.abbe-lib.org.
Story Time is free to attend and is held on the grounds of Rye Patch, located at 100 Berrie Rd. This season our stories will highlight the importance of your imagination, teamwork, friendship, and much more!
For more information call 803-642-7631