The Charleston Santa

We have added more reservation spots so please check the calendar for your desired day and time.

Welcome to The Charleston Santa:
A Magical Holiday Tradition

Join us for a heartwarming celebration at the Best Friend Train Museum in downtown Charleston, home to America’s first passenger locomotive, The Best Friend of Charleston, which debuted on Christmas Day 1830.

The Best Friend Train

The Experience

The Charleston Santa, presented by Explore Charleston and Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, welcomes families seeking a magical Santa experience. This holiday celebration also creates an educational opportunity for visitors to learn about the Best Friend of Charleston and invites guests to make a meaningful impact by supporting Toys for Tots.

Give a gift of joy- Toys for Tots

Capture the moment with Santa

Enjoy the Elf Emporium & Pop-Up Toy Shop

Explore the Best Friend Train Museum

Be Part of the Tradition

In our inaugural year, we invite you to become part of a new Charleston tradition. Visiting Santa is free, but reservations are required due to limited space. Secure your spot on the nice list by reserving a free, timed ticket!

Give the Gift of Joy to “Fill the Train” in Support of Toys for Tots

The Charleston Santa experience is unique as it encourages visiting families to give back. We invite you to bring a new, unwrapped toy to ‘fill the train’ for children in need. Let’s come together to spread joy and make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

Capture the Moment

Every family will receive a complimentary photo with Santa, capturing the joy and magic of the holiday season. Additional photo packages are available for purchase. For questions about your photos, please contact customerservice@rkdp.com.

Pop-Up Toy Shop and Elf Emporium

Conveniently located inside the Best Friend Train Museum, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry will host a Pop-Up Toy Shop. Purchase toys for the Toys For Tots train or find the perfect gift for your loved ones. Proceeds from the shop underwrite museum admission for under-resourced families. All purchases in the Pop-Up Toy Shop are tax free because they support the museum’s mission.

Meanwhile, little ones 8 and under can explore the Elf Emporium, a children-only shop located next door inside the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry. Here, they can select beautifully wrapped gifts for their families, including the family pet! Proceeds from the Elf Emporium contribute to admission discounts for area families in need.

Make Your Reservation

Don’t miss out on this enchanting experience! Secure your free reservation with The Charleston Santa and pre-purchase Elf Emporium gift tokens below. Santa will be available for reservations every 15 minutes. If a time or day has been fully booked, it will not be available on the calendar. As of December 11th, all dates are booked and spots will only become available if someone cancels.


The Elf Emporium

The Elf Emporium only accepts tokens to be used by children in our emporium. Each token is $5 and can be used to purchase 1 gift. Tokens may be purchased online and printed to bring with you, or you can purchase them during your visit.

$5 per token (1 gift per token)

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