What to do in Alabama over Christmas Break
It’s finally the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas break is almost here. Let all of the holiday festivities commence. Whether you’re from the South, heading home, or hanging around Auburn for the holidays, here are the festivities you have to experience during December in Alabama.
See the Lights
Christmas at the Falls in Gadsden, AL
At Noccalula Falls in Gadsden, you’ll find millions of lights and tons of activities during the Christmas season. The show starts Thanksgiving evening and entry is only $6. You can either walk the paved trail or ride on the park’s train through the lights. After the show, don’t miss the petting zoo, cookie decorating and Mr. Claus himself. Check here for more info.
Galaxy of Lights in Hunstville, AL
Inspired by Callaway Gardens’ Fantasy in Lights, Galaxy of Lights at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens is a favorite for many in north Alabama. Unlike other shows, they host walking nights, driving nights, a biking night, and (our personal favorite) a dog-walking night. Walking nights start Nov. 9, and prices vary. For more details on pricing, dates and times, visit their website.
Christmas Lights Festival in Montgomery, AL
Okay, who can pass up seeing Christmas lights at the zoo? The Christmas Lights Festival is held at the Montgomery Zoo and opens Nov. 29. The zoo animals will be put away for the night, but there will still be a petting zoo and tons of other activities to participate in. Visitors can roam around, ride the train, or take a skylift ride over the lights. For more info on dates, times, and pricing, click here.
Magic Christmas in Lights in Theodore, AL
Ranked among the “10 Best Public Light Displays in America” by USA Today in 2014, the Magic Christmas in Lights at the Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Theodore, Alabama is celebrating its 23rd year. According to their website, over three million lights will cover the 65-acre estate. Each night they offer a different holiday meal, choral performances Sunday through Thursday, and meet and greets with Santa. You can find dates, prices, and times on their website.
Get a Tree
Gilbert Christmas Tree Farms in Lanett, AL
For 30 years, the Gilberts in Lanett, Alabama, have been selling Christmas trees to their neighbors in the Valley area. What started in 1983 on 84 acres is now 227 acres of pure Christmas joy. If you’re staying in town for the break and in the mood for a road trip, the farm is about 50 minutes away. The Gilberts will cut down a tree for you, or you can attempt it yourself. Find out what types of trees they offer, prices, and openings here.
Beavers Christmas Tree Farm in Trafford, AL
Cutting down a tree is hard work, so it’s a good thing the Beavers tree farm offers a few extra perks like hay rides, hot chocolate, fresh-cut wreaths, and refreshments. Their days of operation may be limited to Friday through Monday, but there’s no shortage of fun. Visit their website to find out everything you need to know, from how to pick out a tree to what you should expect at the farm.
Fish River Christmas Trees in Summerdale, AL
The Fish River tree farm isn’t a regular tree farm, it’s a cool tree farm. Located five miles east of Fairhope, they have gone completely above and beyond selling Christmas trees. Not only can you cut your own tree, but you can also take a train ride, hang with Santa, visit the nativity scene, and take a camel or pony ride. Check out their website for more info on hours and prices.
See a Show
Martha’s Trouble Christmas in Opelika, AL
If you’re in town for the break, you can’t miss this event. Martha’s Trouble is a local husband and wife duo that frequent the Opelika live music scene. This year will be their 12th year performing for the Christmas show. The event will take place at The Sound Wall in Downtown Opelika. Tickets are $20 and usually sell out fast, so don’t miss your chance for a night with good people and good music!
Christmas Shows at the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham, AL
The Birmingham area has no shortage of things to do in December, you just have to know where to find them. If you’re looking for a Christmas show, your best bet is the Alabama Theater. Located in the heart of downtown Birmingham, the nearly 100 year old theatre has a full schedule of shows for the Christmas season. You can watch movies like The Polar Express, Elf, and A Christmas Story or see The Nutcracker performed by the Birmingham Ballet.
The Nutcracker in Homewood, AL
Down the road from the Alabama Theatre is the Alabama Ballet. This year, they are performing George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at Samford University’s Wright Center in Homewood starting Dec. 14. Grab your friends and family and make a new tradition. The Nutcracker is a classic and is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit instantly. Check their website for more info on dates, times and tickets.
‘Tis the Season in Mobile, AL
If you’re heading down south for the holidays, make sure you have plans to see the Mobile Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas concert. Seeing the symphony orchestra play some of your favorite Christmas songs is a fun start to a great break. The best part? Getting all dressed up and doing something super fancy with friends or family. For info on dates, times and tickets, visit their website.
Visit a Market or Festival
Auburn | Opelika Christmas Market in Opelika, AL
Before you head home for the holidays, make sure you visit the A|O Christmas Market! The event is held in Downtown Opelika at the Bottling Plant and benefits BigHouse Foundation and Women’s Hope. General shopping days are Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. General admission is $10, but if you bring an unwrapped toy or an item needed by one of the organizations, admission is only $5. For more info check their website!
Christmas on the Coosa in Wetumpka, AL
Located about an hour south of Auburn, this small town outside of Montgomery is known for its annual Christmas festival. The celebration lasts all day along the banks of the Coosa river. There are tons of activities and events like a car show, arts and crafts, a ski-in by Santa and a finale of fireworks to end the night. The event is held on Dec. 8. For more info check here.
Merry Market in Orange Beach, AL
As if we needed any other reason to go to the beach. The 7th Annual Merry Market is a two-day event on Alabama’s coast. Admission is free and the market lasts all day. You can expect tons of vendors with art, jewelry, clothes and more. For more info visit the website.
Go Ice Skating
The Ice Palace in Montgomery, AL
One of the best holiday festivities is ice skating, and you can find it right down the road from Auburn in Montgomery at the Eastdale Mall. It only costs $8 per person or $7 for a group. Plan a day trip with friends and get some Christmas shopping done afterwards. Make sure to check their website before you go because operating times vary.
Huntsville Ice Complex in Huntsville, AL
If you’re up north, head to the Huntsville Ice Complex. During their public and open skating hours, anyone can use the rink. Admission is $9 and the rink is open every day during the month of December. For more info on times and dates check their calendar.
Want to add to our list? Comment below or tag us on social @AuburnCampusRec.
And as always, happy holidays and be well, Auburn.