Things to Do Over Winter Break

because! winter! break! is! boring!

As winter break nears, an air of excitement falls over the Academic Magnet student body in anticipation of the relaxation to come. The first week of winter break is fantastic as it is typically jam-packed with holiday activities and down time. Although it is a much welcomed change of pace, once the holidays are over and the second week begins, we often find ourselves crossing the line from relaxation to boredom. In order to combat this and ensure that you get the most out of your winter break, we have compiled a list of activities to keep you occupied. 


1. Holiday Festival of Lights at the James Island County Park

Possibly the only good thing to come from James Island, the Festival of Lights is a fun and exciting place to go to in order to truly get into the holiday spirit. The lights cost $20 per vehicle and is open until December 31. Sunday through Thursday it’s open from 5:30-10, but Friday and Saturday nights last until 11. 

2. Find an oyster roast to attend

A seasoned tradition. Even if you aren’t a fan of oysters, give them a try. If you don’t like them, just go for social reasons. If you haven’t been invited to any, there are plenty of charity and public oyster roasts to search for.

3. Try out a new restaurant 

There are so many incredible restaurants in Charleston at every price point. Scroll through Yelp or ask a friend for recommendations. Some fan favorites in West Ashley are Mex 1 (courtesy of Mrs. Roop), the Early Bird Diner, and Costco. Downtown has Mama Kim’s, Taco Boy, Rutledge Cab Co., and Home Team BBQ. In Mount Pleasant, we recommend Mozzo, Sesame, and Fuji. You may just find your new favorite spot!

4. See a movie

Christmas time comes with the premier of new, riveting films. Go see Cats and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, premiering December 20th, or Just Mercy and Little Women, which both hit the big screen on Christmas Day. 

SC Picture Project
Beaufort, South Carolina

5. Explore a Charleston-adjacent town

We both love Charleston, but if your family doesn’t have any plans, maybe take a day trip down to Beaufort. It’s only an hour and a half away and there are many things to do. Check out the Habersham Marketplace, Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, or the Plaza 21 Drive In Theatre! Maybe if you’re feeling frisky, check out Savannah, Georgia. 

6. See a play at the Dock

The Dock Street Theater is always a great option for those who want to experience a more ~classy~ evening. Some of the upcoming shows to get excited about are Elf The Musical and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Grab a friend, get dinner before, and enjoy the show. If you can’t make it to the Dock, maybe try out the Gaillard Center.

7. Spend some of that Christmas (or Hanukkah) money 

Post-holiday sales are a thing. During your time off, make sure to stroll downtown Charleston on King Street or hit up Mount Pleasant Towne Centre to get the presents your cheap (or frugal)  family didn’t get you from your list. 

8. Convince your parents to go on a trip (if you have the means)

Some popular options are going down to Disney World or Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. While it is a hike, the car ride or plane flight will definitely be worth it. New York City is another popular option to venture to during your winter break. We recommend seeing the Rockefeller Tree before it comes down in January or going to a Broadway play. If both of these sound boring, maybe try to go skiing in Colorado or somewhere where it is not 70 in December. Sorry South Carolina, we still love you. 

9. Go thrifting!

Feel like balling on a budget? Post Christmas thrifting is great. Take a peek at a few thrift stores to see all of the discarded gifts that people couldn’t return. If you need some help, check out fellow Talon writer, Andrew de Arellano’s article about thrifting here!

10. Try out an escape room

Escape rooms offer a much welcomed outlet for our ~gifted~ brains. There are a plethora of escape rooms to discover on your break. In West Ashley, there is Break Out Charleston. Downtown has 2 options: Escape in 60 and Escape Game Charleston. For you Mount Pleasant people, Elite Escape Games is the place to go.

11. Become TikTok famous 

With the downtime, there are plenty of hours (384 to be exact) in the break to scroll through TikTok. Likewise, there are many chances to perfect your TikTok skills and become famous. No need to go to college!

Kaki’s festive car for Christmas

12. Deck out your car

New year, new you, new car. Grab a lift kit from Walmart, some LED lights (we like these!), new subs, a sassy steering wheel cover, and you have yourself a not-so-cost-effective makeover for your car. Driving your new souped up car, you are guaranteed to catch the eye of every man, woman, and everything in between.

13. Try out a trampoline park

While trampoline parks are very 2013, venturing to one of Charleston’s will unleash your inner middle schooler. Sky Zone and Velocity are by far the most popular, and if you’re debating between the 2, make sure to check out our Talon article to find which suits your fancy.


Hopefully you got a new idea of how to spend your 2 weeks away from the motherland, AMHS. If you try any of these, make sure to let us know. See y’all in 2020!