Christmas in Alabama: Lights, Festivals and Songs
December 1, 2022
Alabama knows how to Christmas. From light festivals and musicals to train rides and Dickens characters, nearly every town has a celebration aimed at filling even the Grinchiest souls with Christmas spirit. Here are a few of the best around for December.
Galaxy of Lights – Botanical Gardens, Huntsville
Through January 1
Walk or drive through the magical lights and beautiful gardens. With immersive displays throughout the gardens, there’s something to delight everyone. Enjoy laser lights, light shows, faux snow, and other special effects. Tickets required.
Winter Wonderland – Sportsman Lake Park, Cullman
Through December 23
The 20th annual Winter Wonderland at Sportsman Lake Park features more than a million lights! Ride the Christmas rain or horse & carriage, play in the snow, enjoy a photo booth, hot chocolate, and more! A new feature this year will be a Winter Wonderland Christmas Shop!
Christmas at the Falls – Noccalula Falls Park, Gadsden
Through January 1 (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
Beautiful Noccalula Falls is the setting for millions of holiday lights winding throughout the park with displays and decorations. Enjoy the lights from anywhere in the park or from a seat on the train ride. Santa and food vendors will be on hand, too. Tickets required.
Magic Christmas in Lights – Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Theodore
Through January 4 (except Christmas Day and New Years Day)
Historic Bellingrath Gardens hosts its 27th annual festival of holiday lights. Guests are welcome to tour the Bellingrath home (Santa may be there for photos from 5:30-9:30 p.m.) and enjoy the light show spread over the estate’s 65 acres. Snacks and hot chocolate are available for purchase on Live Oak Plaza at the midway point of the walking tour. Tickets required.
Safari of Lights – Alabama Safari Park, Hope Hull
November 9-December 31 (except Christmas Day)
Alabama Safari Park glows at night as you drive through thousands of sparkling lights around its 350 acres. After your drive, walk through the Candy Cane Forest and visit with all the farm animals in the petting area. Santa will drop by on select days with the perfect opportunity for snapping a photo with the jolly old elf. Tickets required.
Christmas Lights Festival – Montgomery Zoo
The Montgomery Zoo transforms into a Winter Wonderland displaying thousands of sparkling and twinkling lights and festive decorations at Christmas Lights Festival. Stroll through the park or enjoy a brisk train ride. Safely visit Santa and the Christmas Tree Village at the Mann Museum and enjoy the live entertainment at the Overlook Café. Hot chocolate and fresh baked cookies from the Overlook Café make a warm holiday treat. Tickets required.
North Pole Express – Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, Calera
Through December 18
Based on the holiday classic movie, The Polar Express, vintage train cars transport pajama clad kids through the dark night by starlight to the top of the world. Along the way, there’s a whimsical Christmas story, holiday carols, and then, through the windows, the bright lights of the North Pole appear and Santa and Mrs. Claus board the train for photos. Traveling back to the station, guests enjoy chocolate drinks and treats. Tickets required.
Christmas in Candyland – Downtown Court Square and Springdale Village, Andalusia
Through December 22 (See calendar for specific dates)
Enjoy imaginative play cottages for kids, train rides, snow tubing, winter skating, Christmas lights and decorations, musical acts, and snow shows every weekend at this holiday event with two locations. Attractions include Alabama's largest snow tubing hill, winter skating rink, train rides on The Springdale Express, imaginative play at the themed Candyland Cottages, hot cocoa and characters, visits with Santa in the Candyland Sleigh, and the Arctic Trek - Polar Bear Maze. Free Admission.
It's a Dickens Christmas Y'all – Downtown Tuscumbia
Enjoy a festive setting reminiscent of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” as the streets of downtown Tuscumbia feature horse-drawn carriage rides, “snow,” music and food. Warm up at a holiday high tea. Admission charged for some events.
The Living Christmas Tree – First Baptist Church, Montgomery
Since 1981, The Living Christmas Tree has celebrated the gospel message of Christmas through the First Baptist Church Montgomery choir and orchestra. The performance features a 150-voice choir, full orchestra, and a 31.6 foot Christmas tree illuminated with thousands of lights. Tickets required.
A Cinematic Christmas – Saenger Theatre, Mobile
The Mobile Symphony invites you to have yourself a merry little Christmas at its annual holiday concert. This year’s program features music from holiday movie favorites. Tickets required.
White Christmas Sing-Along – Alabama Theatre, Birmingham
As part of its 2022 Holiday Film Series, the White Christmas Sing-Along features a screening of the holiday classic movie “White Christmas.” Doors open 1 hour before the show and begins with a sing-along accompanied by the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. Tickets required.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve – Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center, Birmingham
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, with its unique sound, will perform classics from The Ghosts of Christmas Eve and more in this groundbreaking new show filled with the Christmas spirit. Tickets required.
So, gather your family in the car, pack some cookies and hot chocolate, and follow the “snow” flurries to discover a new Alabama holiday tradition.