2016 Holiday Happenings Guide

Auburn / Opelika

20th Annual Nutcracker Ballet
(Ad Sponsor)

Presented by the East Alabama Community Ballet. December 9-11, Auburn University Telfair Peet Theatre. There is no more festive way to start the holiday season than by experiencing the holiday ballet classic that is The Nutcracker.

Clara’s Tea Party
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Hosted this year by Auburn University’s Telfair Peet Theater, Saturday, December 10, 10:00am-12:00pm, this event is the perfect way to usher in the Christmas season! Ideal for girls and boys ages 10 and under, Clara’s Tea Party gives children an opportunity to watch a shortened version of the Nutcracker, meet the dancers, and take memorable Christmas photos. Light snacks and sweets will be provided. For adults, Clara’s Boutique, a unique collection of Christmas and Nutcracker-themed gifts, will also be open. Cost: $15.00 per person, for tickets, www.eacballet.com.

Auburn Parks and Recreation
(Ad Sponsor)

12th Annual Polar Express Holiday Celebration
Join the Auburn Arts Association and the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center for the 12th Annual Polar Express Holiday Celebration on Saturday, December 3.. The “train” will depart at 9:00am, 12:00noon and 2:30pm. Activities include arts & crafts, sweets & treats, holiday games, a trackless train, and much more. This event is open to children 12 and under. Children under 5 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite holiday pajamas. Tickets will be available for sale Wednesday, November 9 and Thursday, November 10 at the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center from 9:00 am-4:00 pm. The cost is $12 per person. For more information, please contact the Arts Center at 501-2963.

10th Annual Holiday Art Sale
The Auburn Arts Association, Auburn Parks & Recreation, and the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center will host the 10th Annual Holiday Art Sale on Saturday, December 10 from 9:00 am- 4:00 pm. at the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center. Local artists will be selling paintings, pottery, stained glass, photography, cards, jewelry, hats, scarves, and much more! If you would like to sell your work, applications are available online at www.auburnalabama.org/arts by clicking on the special events button. Applications are also available at the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center. Free to the public. For more information, please contact the Arts Center at 501-2944. Interested in participating in the Holiday Art Sale as a vendor? Applications are available online at auburnalabama.org/parks.

28th Annual Daddy-Daughter Date Night
Tickets go on sale Monday, December 5, 8:00am online at www.auburnalabama.org/parks, $35/per couple and $5 additional child. Dance will be February 8-11. This is a night for memories! Dads and daughters, enjoy an evening of dancing, refreshments, pictures, and surprises! Put your best foot forward in our dance contest and don’t miss your chance to take home one of several door prizes! Last year, this event SOLD OUT, so be sure to purchase tickets early. Join us for one of three nights of music, memories, and fun!

The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center
(Ad Sponsor)

Gingerbread Village Unveiling
The Hotel at Auburn University in partnership with Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction Master of Integrated Design and Construction Program presents the 2016 Auburn Gingerbread Village. The unveiling will be held Friday, December 8, after the Auburn Christmas Parade. . Enjoy complimentary cookies and hot chocolate while admiring the 2016 Gingerbread Village.

Children’s Gingerbread Class
Experience the magic of the holiday season by creating your very own Gingerbread House. Executive Sous Chef, Brandon Burleson, will assist your child in assembling and decorating a Gingerbread House. The class will be December 10, 17, 23, and 24. For $35 per child, your fee includes all materials, refreshments & the completed Gingerbread House to take home. Immediately following the class, children are invited to gather round the hotel’s Gingerbread Village to listen to classic holiday stories during Storytime with Santa.

Thanksgiving Dinner at Ariccia
Arricia will feature a special four-course dinner in addition to the a la carte dinner menu on November 26. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by contacting Ariccia at 334-844-5140.

Christmas Dinner
Let our culinary team do the cooking for you and enjoy a delicious four course holiday meal in Ariccia, on December 24, 5:00-9:00pm. Reservations highly recommended and can be made by contacting Ariccia at 334.844.5140. $39 adults; $19 child.

New Year’s Eve Celebration
Ring in 2017 with a five course sharing menu in Ariccia, a champagne toast at midnight and live jazz in piccolo, December 31, 5:30pm-1:00am. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting Ariccia at 334.844.5140. Dinner seating will take place between 5:30 – 11 p.m. Live jazz will begin at 9 p.m. It will cost $60 per person to attend.

Variations Dance Studio Presents “Nutcracker”
(Ad Sponsor)

This holiday season, enjoy the magic and beauty of our premiere performances of “Nutcracker”, December 4 and 9 the Opelika Performing Arts Center. Follow Clara into a dream-like world of dancing snowflakes and see all the colorful treats found in the Land of Sweets! Whether it is a first-time experience or an annual holiday tradition, don’t miss your chance to reserve your seat at this beautiful holiday ballet! Tickets available now online, www.variationsstudio.com.

21st Annual Cookie Walk
Cookies! Cookies! Cookies! For this Habitat for Humanity annual community fundraiser, the whole community gets into the holiday spirit of generosity and celebration. The Cookie Walk gets bigger and better every year. Folks come from far and near to buy fresh, delicious, holiday decorated cookies at this Habitat for Humanity fund raiser, sponsored by Auburn’s WeHelp Coalition of churches. Select from an array of 30,000 home baked holiday goodies for $6.00/lb. Santa will visit for photos! See you early for best selection! All proceeds go to build a house right here in Auburn! Saturday, December 3, starting at 8:00am-1:00pm at Grace United Methodist Church by Kroger on Glenn Avenue in Auburn.

22nd Annual Christmas in a Railroad Town
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Friday, December 9, 6:00-9:00pm. The Historic Downtown District celebrates “Christmas in a Railroad Town” in conjunction with the Victorian Front Porch Tour. This event converts Railroad Avenue into a Christmas wonderland festival, featuring all sorts of fun activities for the whole family, along with music, hot wassail and a variety of other holiday treats. Children love the miniature train rides and the time they can spend with Santa and Mrs. Claus; and everyone loves the wagon and/or trolley rides that take folks from the historic downtown district through the Victorian Front Porch tour in an “old fashioned” way.

Annual Holiday Poinsettia Sale
The Junior League of Lee County is offering beautiful poinsettias to enhance the holiday décor of any business or home. By purchasing a poinsettia, you are supporting health and wellness initiatives for Lee County’s Children. 6.5” Poinsettias (6-8 blooms) at $12 each & 10” Poinsettias (18-20 blooms) at $22 each in Red, Ivory and Marble. Orders will be taken from through November, with free delivery through early December. Go to www.juniorleagueofleecounty.com for more info.

Auburn Christmas Parade
December 8, 5pm; The entire community is invited to celebrate the season with the Auburn Chamber Christmas Parade. in downtown Auburn. The parade, sponsored by Thames Orthodontics, will include Aubie, Santa, Christmas characters, live music and lots of other Christmas favorites! Before and after the parade, from 4-9 p.m., enjoy Christmas in the Village, an open house in downtown Auburn. The event will feature pictures with Santa, a live nativity, live music and merchant specials. For float entry forms and the date (tba), log onto www.auburnchamber.com.

Annual Christmas Tree Recycling
Recycle your Christmas tree with the Opelika Tree Commission and Keep Opelika Beautiful on December 31. Location for drop off is at the Opelika Depot. Citizens will receive a tree seedling in exchange for the tree.

Christmas in Camelot Lighted Tour
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The Camelot Subdivision, located off of Rocky Brook Road, decorates the entire neighborhood for “Christmas in Camelot” each year, December 1, 2016- January 3, 2017, 4:30-10:00pm. There are lighted wreaths hung throughout the neighborhood on all of the street lights, creating a festive atmosphere for everyone as you enter the lighted tour. There are approximately 55 homes in the neighborhood with various seasonal scenes and season’s greetings in the shape of “Christmas Cards”, originally created by long-time resident Rosalyn Stern and her Art students at Opelika High School several years ago. The neighborhood’s theme remains the same every year: Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”
City of Opelika Christmas Parade
On December 10, festive floats showcasing local groups and business will be parading through downtown Opelika to deliver Christmas Magic to all! Santa and Mrs. Claus highlight the parade’s finale! Find a perfect spot downtown Opelika for seeing the magic at 10:00am.

Collinwood Christmas Luminaries
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Collinwood Subdivision shares the season with visitors to its annual Luminaries Tour held one night each holiday season- December 15 . This wonderful drive through tour features luminaries along the route that leads to the nativity scene at the end of the tour – reminding us all that Christ is why we have Christmas! The luminaries follow a one-way route beginning on Collinwood Street at the intersection of North Tenth Street and Oakbowery Road. The tour winds through the entire Collinwood subdivision and ends on McLure Avenue.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Hike
Make time in your busy holiday schedule to join us for this fun “santa-hunt” where we will hike the preserve, Saturday, December 3, 10:00am, looking for this elusive visitor in red. Later we will return to the amphitheater where we will gather for a cup of hot cocoa and a warm fire! New this year! We will offer holiday portraits with our special guest. The sitting fee for a 5×7 portrait is $10 and will benefit the Forest Ecology Preserve. Admission to the Ho! Ho! Ho! Hike is $3 per person. Donations of canned goods will be accepted for the East Alabama Food Bank. No pre-registration required. Cancelled in the event of rain. 334-707-6512

Loveliest Village Christmas Tour of Homes and Buildings
The Auburn Preservation League (APL) is pleased to announce the 8th Annual Loveliest Village Christmas Tour of Homes and Buildings will be Saturday, December 10, 10am-4pm and Sunday, December 11, 1-4pm. The tour will feature nine homes and buildings in the Auburn area. Tickets for the tour are $20 and are available at The Villager and the Auburn Chamber. Tickets will also be available at each home on the days of the tour. For information about the tour, visit www.auburnpreservationleague.org.

Opelika Parks and Recreation
(Ad Sponsor)

Christmas Crafts
Make and take your own Christmas crafts, on December 20, 2:00-3:00pm at the Covington Rec Center. Ages 6-10yrs. Fee: $15.
Christmas Wreaths
Join us at the Covington Recreation Center, Opelika for an afternoon of decorating Christmas wreaths to hand on your door for the holidays. December 1; 3:30-4:30pm. Ages: 5-12 years. Fee: $15.
Rocky Brook Rocket Reindeer Express
Come take a train ride through the lights! Enjoy food, hot chocolate, face painting, entertainment, pictures with Santa and more! December 1-3, 5:00-8:00pm, Ages 2nd grade and younger, at the Municipal Park, Opelika.

Santa On the Corner
Santa will be on the Corner for photos sessions in Downtown Auburn! Times/dates are to be announced! Donations will be accepted to The United Way. For more information, please visit www.downtownauburnonline.com.

Victorian Front Porch Christmas Tour
(Ad Sponsor)

Visit an Ole World Christmas wonderland and see more than 60 turn-of-the-century Victorian homes adorned with life-size Santa’s, angels, toys, and other figures. Enjoy live entertainment, carolers, costumed homeowners and other festivities. December 7-11, in Opelika. Lighted driving tour December 7, 5:00-10pm. Walking tour December 10, 6:00-9:00pm. More information, please call 334-887-8747. Free event.
Valley /LaGrange

Christmas Holidays at Hills & Dales Estate
Experience our circa 1940’s tinsel-laden Christmas tree, brilliant Poinsettias and other seasonal decorations during the holiday season. The Fuller E. Callaway family home and the visitor center will be decorated for the holidays this December, Tuesday to Saturday. Regular tour prices apply. 706-882-3242. Also offering workshops that include Family Tabletop Luminaries Workshop, Boxwood Christmas Wreath Workshop, Mixed Green Christmas Wreath Workshop and Children’s Christmas Celebration. www.hillsanddales.org

Christmas Village at The Historic Langdale Mill
Christmas Village and Merry-Go-Round
Beginning the first weekend in December, experience the spirit of the Season in Historic Valley, Al. There’s the life size Nativity Scene in the meadow, the Madonna light-sculpture, and the Christmas Merry-Go-Round that has given over 1,000,000 FREE rides to children and adults, too. As you take a walk through history, you will be greeted with Christmas caroling and much more festive fun. In 2008, a new tradition was started with the first “A Cotton Mill Christmas” production at Langdale Historical Theater, as local actors tell the history and stories of Valley. Exit 77 and left on US Hwy 29. www.cityofvalley.com

Follow The Shepherds Christmas Walks & Under The Bethlehem Star Light Show
Experience the Christmas story in a whole new way. Join a guide as you walk from Nazareth to Bethlehem, learning new insights into the Christmas story in the most unique, authentic setting surrounding areas, as well as live actors and animals. December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, (Friday and Saturday evenings) and Christmas Eve at 6:00pm, 6:30pm, 6:40pm, 8:15pm. $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 4-12. Explorations in Antiquity Center, 130 Gordon Commercial Dr., LaGrange. 706 885-0363.

LaGrange Christmas Parade
December 1, 6:00pm, as an old-fashioned celebration laced with nostalgia, culminates in the arrival of the big guy atop a bucket fire truck. Come take a selfie with Santa and his North Pole friends at LaGrange’s Big Christmas tree before the parade begins at 6:00. Bring your own camera to capture a Christmas memory in Downtown LaGrange.
LaGrange Symphony Orchestra
Concert ‘Light’
The Choral Society of West Georgia, led by artistic director Bettie Biggs, joins the LSO for a special Christmas performance, December 13, 7:30-9:30pm (EST), Callaway Auditorium at LaGrange College. 706-882-0662

‘A Christmas Carol’
Presented by New Horizon Community Theatre, December 8-10. This Christmas Carol goes beyond other adaptations with Charles Dickens himself being introduced to the audience. The story unfolds behind him, and soon Dickens is weaving in and out of the action, observing, performing small roles, interpolating short passages of rich narrative never heard in other versions. A Christmas Carol recaptures the magic and mystique of the Dickens original. www.nhct.org

Sons of LaFayette Christmas Concert
Concert with audience participation, December 3. Come early to get a good seat, located at First Presbyterian Church, 4:00pm EST. This is both an enjoyable and worshipful experience. What a great way to start the Christmas season. Tickets available, sonsoflafayette@gmail.com

Phenix City / Columbus

25th Annual Fantasy in Lights
The most spectacular holiday light and sound show in the south begins November 12- January 7! Nestled amidst wooded landscape of Callaway Gardens, Fantasy In Lights is the Southeast’s most spectacular holiday light and sound show with more than eight million twinkling lights celebrating the holiday season. This spectacular show has attracted almost two million visitors since it opened in 1992. With more than a dozen larger-than-life lighted scenes, Fantasy In Lights remains unique in that its scenes are custom-designed especially for Callaway Gardens–to celebrate not only the joy of the season but the wonder of nature in this idyllic setting. Drive your car or ride the Jolly Trolley to experience scenes like March of the Toy Soldiers and Snowflake Valley. At Robin Lake Beach, enjoy ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ and ‘The Nativity’, light and sound shows enticing passers-by to stop, reflect and enjoy. www.callawaygardens.com.
Specialty Nights:
Saturday, Nov. 12 – March of Dimes Night Walk
Sunday, Nov. 13 – Bicycle Night
Monday, Nov. 14 – Photography Night (Advance Registration Required)
Saturday, Dec. 31 – Fantasy & Fireworks New Year’s Eve Celebration

26th Annual Christmas Made in the South
As Christmas time approaches what better way to get ready for the holiday season than to stroll the aisles for treasures at this year’s award winning 26th annual Christmas Made in the South, October 28-30, at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center. www.madeinthesouthshows.com

‘A Cantus Christmas’
December 19,, 7:30pm. The 17th annual tradition tells the Christmas story with musical masterpieces and audience carols. The professional chorus Cantus Columbus presents the eleventh installment of Message of the Season—Music of the Masters in Legacy Hall. The concert features the Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet and tenor Bradley Howard. www.rivercenter.org

‘A Tuna Christmas’
Celebrate Christmas in Tuna, Texas, with its quick changes, fast-paced humor and heart-warming moments of sincere Christmas joy. Texas’ third smallest town is in the throes of its annual Christmas yard display contest, which promises to have Tuna in an uproar and have you laughing out loud. Columbus’ most popular show ever; over 35,000 served. December 8-23, Springer Opera House. www.springeroperahouse.org

Bi-City Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 3, 10:00am EST. It’s here! The annual B-City Christmas Parade! Come early and find a great spectator spot for you and your family to enjoy seeing marching bands, commercial floats, homemade floats, motorcycles, clowns, horses, and much more. Parade applications can be found online or picked up at the Phenix City Parks and Recreation Office located at 1500 Airport Road. Please call 334-291-4719 for more information.

Columbus Ballet presents The Nutcracker
December 10, 7:30pm and December 11, 2:30pm. The Columbus Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker promises to instill a love of the arts in young and old alike. This family-oriented production, which features a cast of over 100 performers, with live orchestra and acclaimed guest artists, captures the magical wonder and innocence of Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet as seen through a child’s eyes. Spectacular sets, sumptuous costumes, special effects and live music come together to create a stunning grand-scale event that is sure to become a firm family tradition. www.rivercenter.org

‘Jingle Arrgh the Way!’ presented by Columbus State University Theatre
The “How I Became a Pirate” crew is back! A mysterious message left in the crow’s nest of their ship brings Captain Braid Beard and his pirate mates back to North Beach to seek out young Jeremy Jacob to help solve a riddle and find the Christmas treasure. Favorite characters, a rollicking story, great songs, and a trip to the North Pole to find “you know who” – makes “Jingle ARRGH the Way!” a wonderful holiday show for the whole family. Based on a story by Melinda Long, author of “How I Became a Pirate.” Shows November 30, December 1-4. www.theatre.columbusstate.edu/productions.php

MCoE Army Holiday Concert
Fort Benning’s Manuever Center of Excellence Band Holiday Concert is a local favorite for active duty and retired military. December 4, 4:00pm. Free admission!

Night of Lights
December 1, 7:30-9:00pm EST. You are invited to join us for NIGHT OF LIGHTS at The Phenix City Amphitheater located on the banks of the beautiful Chattahoochee River at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. This very special holiday event will include a beautiful stage production to include live music, a visit from dear ole Santa and a fabulous fireworks display over The Chattahoochee River. Admission is free and includes FREE hot chocolate for our little guests to enjoy during the show. After the show, enjoy the Christmas lights on Broad Street with your family and friends. Make this part of your family holiday tradition. For more information, please call The Phenix City Parks and Recreation Office at 334-291-4719.

Port Columbus’ Victorian Christmas
December 3. Our Civil War-era Santa will be on hand for visits and storytelling. There will also be Victorian-era entertainment and music. At the conclusion of the day, Santa will fire the original Civil War cannon from the CSS Jackson! The museum is decorated throughout with circa 1863 decorations and trees. Admission to the museum is FREE during the open house. www.portcolumbus.org

RiverTown Christmas with Allen Levi and Friends
Locally grown, nationally known singer-songwriter Allen Levi, with a complement of folk and jazz, shares humorous, thoughtful, original songs and stories in a unique celebration of Christmas. This remarkable show is certain to delight people of all ages and capture the special heart of Christmastime in the Chattahoochee Valley. RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. www.rivertown-christmas.com

Santa Claus 10K at Callaway Gardens
December 3. The course will be through the Callaway Gardens “Fantasy In Lights”. (USATF certified)The 10K is also part of the “Run & See Georgia Series” The course will meander through all of the “Fantasy in Lights”. The course is very easy and will be open to runners and walkers alike. www.callawaygardens.com

The Ludy’s Christmas Light Spectacular
Drive into a light display set to music like none other within the Cottonwood Subdivision, 5784 Ironstone Drive, Columbus. Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, 6:00-10:00pm weekend days and 6:00-10:30pm on weekends. www.lundychristmas.com
Eufaula / Dothan

11th Annual Eufaula Christmas Tour of Homes
Stroll through history and witness the magnificence of Eufaula’s finest homes all aglow in holiday splendor. Enjoy a seated luncheon or an elegant dinner at the grand historical Shorter Mansion. December 3, 1:00-6:00pm. www.eufaulapilgrimage.com

A Downtown Christmas
Snow, artisans, food vendors, Santa, cookie decorations, marsh mellow roasting, handmade items and lots of art venues for children and families. December 5, 9:00am-3:00pm, downtown Dothan on North Foster and Troy Streets. 334-793-3097. thedowntowngroup.com. Free!

Mistletoe Market
Main Street merchants offer goodies to sample and great sales. Also an Artist Walk, and more. November 19, 10:00am-7:00pm. Historic Downtown Eufaula. 334-616-6170. Free.

“The Nutcracker”
Southeast Alabama Dance Company presents its 35th annual performance of this holiday classic. Watch as snowflakes dance, flowers waltz, dolls come to life and the Nutcracker turns into a charming prince. December 2-4; Dothan Civic Center. 334-702-7139.

Victorian Christmas
Sample turn-of-the-century desserts, sip hot chocolate or mulled cider and try your hand at making traditional Christmas decorations. December 11, 1:00-4:00pm. 334-794-3452. www.landmarkparkdothan.com. Free.

Alexander City /
Lake Martin

An Eclectic Christmas
A unique way to experience Christ this Season! It was the night that saved the world. Sent away because there was not room in the inn, Christmas was born in a stable. Come join us, December 1-10, to experience the true story of the first Christmas. In the atmosphere of an outdoor walking trail, you and your guests will be part of live drama that is set during the Roman Empire. As you walk through the streets on your way to Bethlehem, you will visit the field where shepherds received the angel’s message and news of the Messiah. Then visit the wise men as they journey in search of the New Born King. This event will take place at 1733 Claud Road Eclectic, Alabama, just south of Eclectic on AL Highway 63. Reservations are suggested and may be made by calling 256.794.7789. Free!

Annual Hometown Christmas Parade
One of East Alabama’s largest parades featuring elaborate floats, dancing groups, marching bands, horse-riding clubs and Santa Claus highlight. December 3, 6:00pm. Downtown Alexander City.

Christmas at Crossroads
Christmas at Crossroads, November 25-27, is a great way to get out with the family and friends, do some shopping, take a carriage ride, check off items on your Christmas list and let the kids visit with Santa. Our Naturalist, Marianne typically has a presentation that will interest everyone. Stop by for a visit and bring the kids! Russell Crossroads at Russell Farms Road. Visit www.russelllandsonlakemartin.com.


11th Annual Interfaith Christmas Nativity Exhibit
Help your family keep the true meaning of Christmas in your heart from the start by attending this Community Celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ. This spectacular event features nativities from around the world and special music by local performers. This magnificent display is sure to warm the hearts of young and old alike. November 30-December 4, 1:00-8:00pm . 3460 Carter Hill Road, Montgomery. Open to all. FREE Admission. Sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. www.MontgomeryNativity.com

25th Annual Christmas Light Festival at Montgomery Zoo
Thousands of Holiday Lights illuminate The Montgomery Zoo in shapes of animals and Christmas themes. See the Zoo transformed into a Winter Wonderland sparkling with thousands of festive lights and decorations. Stroll the many pathways or enjoy a brisk ride on the Santaland Express train ride. Visit with Santa nightly, enjoy live entertainment, food, gifts and more. December 1-4, 8-11, 15-31; 5:30- 9:30pm each night. (334) 240-4900; www.montgomeryzoo.com

Alabama Shakespeare Festival presents “A Christmas Carol”
ASF revives this family classic, November 20-December 24! The snowy London streets ring with carols that set the stage for Dickens’ magical tale of hope and redemption. Join us as the ghosts of the past, present and future reawaken Scrooge’s conscience. Visit www.asf.net for more information.

Capital of Dreams Christmas Parade
December 16, 6:00pm. Depart from Cramton Bowl and Parade downtown from Capitol Steps to the Court Street Fountain.

Cruising with Santa
Cruise the Alabama River with Santa on the Harriott II Riverboat, Downtown Riverwalk. December 2-3, 6-7, 16-17. (334) 625-2100
F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum Christmas Open House
Come join us, December 10, as we celebrate Christmas with our Christmas Open House.

Governor’s Mansion Candlelight Open House
The 1907 Governor’s Mansion will be aglow with lights and filled with the spirit of the season. December 5, 12, & 19. 5:30-7:30pm. 1142 South Perry Street, Montgomery.

Holiday Festival
A community celebration of the holiday season. A two week long, December 5-17, craft show and bake sale with Santa in attendance some afternoons. 10:00am-5:00pm.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis
December 3. 5k Run or Walk to benefit the Arthritis Foundation Also 1 mile fun run (chasing an Elf) for under 8’s and 1 mile walk for those of us who want to support the Arthritis Foundation.

Old Alabama Town Holiday Open House
Join Old Alabama Town in December to celebrate the holiday season. Our house museums will be authentically decorated for the holidays. Early December. www.oldalabamatown.com

Christmas on the Coosa
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A Christmas extravaganza with arts and crafts, parade, food, quilt show, classic car show, entertainment and activities on the Coosa River culminating with Santa ski-in and a spectacular fireworks exhibition at dusk. December 10, Gold Star Park & the Courthouse Veranda, Wetumpka.

Christmas at the Alabama Nature Center
December 13-17. For the regular price of admission, ANC guests can visit with Santa, hike over 5 miles of trails, make a Christmas craft and enjoy a snack around a roaring fire. 1-800-822-9453.

Christmas Faire
The Christmas Faire showcases fine art, handmade jewelry, pottery, quilts and crafts of all kinds made by local artisans. This event is November 19. www.arrac.org

City of Millbrook Christmas Paradeand Festival
Join in the spirit of Christmas and celebrate the holiday season during the annual Christmas parade and Arts and Crafts in the park. Village Park will be filled with arts and craft vendors and concessions from local schools, December 3, 9:00am-4:00pm. The parade starts at 2:00pm.

Wetumpka Tree Lighting & Progressive Nativity and Luminaria
Lighting of the Tree will be December 8, 6:00pm. Downtown Wetumpka and Gold Star Park. Luminary Night and Downtown Open House, December 9, 6:00pm. www.cityofwetumpka.com

The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum’s North Pole Express
All aboard! Next stop – the North Pole! “All Aboard” says the conductor, as your train ride begins. Families are sure to enjoy their trip to the North Pole, complete with a reading of The Polar Express™ and chocolate milk and cookies served on board the train. Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa and Mrs. Claus visit everyone on the train and each child will receive the “First Gift of Christmas”, just like in the story. Sing Christmas carols as you return to the depot. Wear your pajamas! The excursion will last approximately one hour. First class service to the North Pole! The Silver Maple and Kayenta railcars will offer first class service – hot chocolate in a souvenir mug, special dessert treat, premium gift and specialized service. Wear your pajamas! November 18-20, 25-27, December 2-4, 9-11, & 16-17. For tickets, www.hodrrm.org.

Santa Claus Special at The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum
Santa rides the train with you! Tell him what you would like for Christmas as he poses for photos. Each child will receive a Christmas gift! November 26, December 3, 10 & 17. www.hodrrm.org

Birmingham and North

Alabama Ballet presents George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker”
Annual performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, Alabama Ballet remains one of only seven companies in the world currently licensed to present this holiday classic. All performed to Balanchine’s brilliant specifications; dazzling choreography, opulent costumes, and extravagant sets make this production unlike any other. The addition of a community cast of children from the area make this performance truly magical. Join us December 9-11 and 16-18 at the Samford Wright Center for this joyous spectacle. www.alabamaballet.org.

“A Christmas Carol”
Ebenezer Scrooge is a prosperous curmudgeon who believes personal wealth is far more valuable than the happiness and comfort of others. With an infuriated “Bah! Humbug!” Scrooge summates his feelings of Christmas tidings and charitable giving, but he’s forced to face his selfish ways when three ghosts on Christmas Eve lead him through his Past, Present, & Future. Thanks to their guidance, Scrooge recognizes his faults and greets Christmas morning with a cheerful “Happy Christmas” before spending the day reconnecting and sharing love with those that mean the most to him. November 15- December 17. Recommended for ages PreK-1st grade. www.bct123.org

‘A Christmas Story: The Musical’
December 2-18. Don’t miss the highlight of the holiday season as it comes to hilarious life on stage in Alabama for the first time! The Tony Award nominated Broadway hit, based on the perennial holiday movie favorite, takes place in 1940’s Indiana where a bespectacled boy named Ralphie has a big imagination and one wish for Christmas: an Official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle. A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a cranky department store Santa, and a triple dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas dream. Featuring funny and heartfelt songs by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul and a faithful yet inventive book by Joseph Robinette. A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE MUSICAL captures holiday wonder with such deliciously wicked wit that it is sure to delight children and grown-ups alike! www.virginiasamfordtheatre.org

Christmas at Arlington
Celebrate with Arlington’s staff, December 4-6, as they commemorate the mansion’s 58th anniversary as Birmingham’s historic house museum. See local floral designers transform the interior into replications of Christmas past. Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens, www.birminghamal.gov/arlington

Christmas Light Show at DeSoto Caverns
November 25- December 24. This special light show celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and is shown on every caverns tour.

‘Holiday Spectacular’
Step out of the cold and into a heartwarming holiday show. Enjoy your favorite holiday hits in this cheerful celebration that is sure to spread the humor and joy of the season. December 2-18. www.redmountaintheatre.org.

McWane Science Center
Jingle Bell Breakfast
December 10 & 17; 8:30-10:00am. Bring your little elves for a Merry Morning at McWane! Enjoy a hot breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, make holiday crafts, build a snowman in Winter Wonderland, and ride the Ice Slide before heading to the IMAX Dome for a special showing of Santa vs. the Snowman! Don’t forget your camera! Ticket includes same day museum admission following the IMAX movie. Reservations are required. Call (205) 714-8414. Breakfast: 8:00-9:30am, Movie: 9:30am, Cost: $25 Adults, $20 Kids; Members receive $2 off.
Polar Express P.J. Party
December 10-11. 4:00-6:00pm with movie times 3:00pm or 6:00pm. Tickets: Non-Members: $14 Adults, $12 Kids. Members receive $2 off. It is the return of the Polar Express PJ Parties and the beloved holiday movie Polar Express in IMAX. Put on your pajamas, treat yourself to cookies and hot-chocolate, kick back for the viewing of Polar Express, and enjoy a visit with Santa. Special treats will be given to all.
The Magic of Model Trains Exhibit
Discover trains of every shape and size inside this popular exhibit which features over a dozen different train displays. November 19- January 31.
Turkey Science
November 21-23. As Thanksgiving Day fast approaches, it’s time for Turkey Science, the only science activity that features November’s favorite bird.
Winter Wonderland
Snow is in the forecast, November 19-December 31, at McWane Science Center this year with the return of the Winter Wonderland exhibit. This magical holiday experience gives families a chance to learn about the science of the season together as they play in the snow, go ice fishing, and watch toy trains zip around the tracks. Inside the snow room, children can make snow angels, build snow castles and more. Children can catch fish through the ice in the ice fishing area. Guests can even sled down the giant slide between the third and second floors in the museum or try the zip line. Families also have a chance to see toy trains of every shape and size zipping around the tracks in the Magic of Model Trains area. This year children will be able to become conductors at one of the new stations.

Opera Birmingham presents “Sounds of the Season”
Don’t miss this December concert, jam-packed with all your favorite Christmas carols and beloved holiday classics! It is a true gift of the Season! Brock Recital Hall at Samford University. December 9. www.operabirmingham.org

“T’was the Night Before Christmas’
Adapted from the poem “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore. The classic story jumps to life on the WeeFolks stage as the Mouse Family tries to settle in “for a long Winter’s Night.” See this family discover the magic of Christmas as Santa Claus drops in for an unexpected visit at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Mouse and their other woodland friends. November 29-December 17. www.bct123.org
South Alabama and
Gulf Coast

33rd Annual Christmas Through the Ages
December 10. Experience a Christmas of “Days Gone By” in Dauphin Island. This event is a living history Day for the whole family. Come and join the soldiers from the 1700’s through the 1900’s and their Families as they celebrate a non-commercial Christmas. Our visiting children will have the chance to make a seashells ornament and other decorations. www.dauphinisland.org

Arctic Express Christmas Train
Christmas at the Wales West Light Railway is a special family time. The entire railway and surrounding park grounds are totally decorated with over 1,000,000 lights, figures, blow-ups and miles of ribbon & garlands. Our steam powered totally decorated train (Arctic Express) leaves the main station for a mile long trip through a wonderland of lights to the North Pole and return. Visit Santa and receive a handmade wooden locomotive made here at the railway as part of their visit that they can decorate at the arts & crafts table before re-boarding the train. November 28- December 24, 4:00-9:00pm, Silverhill, Al. (near Fairhope, Al.) www.waleswest.com

Magic Christmas in Lights
From November 25-December 31, Bellingrath Gardens, Mobile is set aglow with more than 3 million twinkling lights, and more than 900 custom-designed set pieces appear in 13 scenes at this popular attraction. Tour the Bellingrath Home decorated in its holiday finery, and on weekends and during the week of Christmas you can have a picture made with Santa. www.bellingrath.org

Atlanta Area

2016 Children’s Christmas Parade
December 3, 10:30am, at Centennial Olympic Park, Downtown Atlanta, Ga. Surprise your kids this year by taking them to see the Southeast’s premier Holiday Parade! The annual Children’s Christmas Parade has been a holiday tradition in Atlanta for years, and features award-winning Marching Bands, Holiday Themed & Animated Floats, giant Helium Balloons & a grand finale featuring Santa Claus. The Atlanta Children’s Christmas Parade begins at Peachtree Street near Baker Street. The route follows Peachtree Street and turns right onto Marietta Street. It will end on Centennial Olympic Park Drive.

Chick-fil-A Bowl Parade
Every year on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 12:30pm, around 30 Bands, Classic Cars, Floats and various other entertainment, parade their way down Peachtree Street to International Blvd., then winds through downtown to Centennial Olympic Park, ending at the Georgia World Congress Center. The Parade makes it’s way through the downtown area to honor and celebrate the Two College Teams that will be playing for the Chick-fil-A Bowl title.

First Night Atlanta New Year’s Eve Festival
December 31, 11:00pm. Peachtree Street, Downtown Atlanta Georgia. This Block Party for thousands offers live musical performances by local artists and musicians, as well as a midnight Fireworks Spectacular. Tickets are available at a variety of local sources. Stay downtown and enjoy the festivities at Underground Atlanta … enjoy the ‘official’ Peach Drop at midnight – followed by a really awesome New Year’s fireworks display, with live performances.

Holiday in Lights
Centennial Olympic Park’s annual Holiday in Lights is an Atlanta tradition and celebrating its thirteenth anniversary season this fall. In November, the Park transforms into a winter wonderland with thousands of lights that make up the dazzling display. Different and unique every year, Holiday in Lights runs through the first week of January. The Park is open daily, November 19-January 8, to view the lights from 7:00am-11:00pm, including Dec. 25, Christmas Day, and there is no charge for admission. Come celebrate the 2016 holiday season by taking a stroll through the glowing 21-acre Park or a spin around Atlanta’s only outdoor ice skating rink located amongst the glittering lights on the Great Lawn.

Magical Nights of Lights
November 16-December 31; nightly 5:00-10:00pm. Rekindle an old tradition or create a new one at Lake Lanier Islands Resort’s Magical Nights of Lights holiday celebration. A seven-mile drive through tour of animated, festive, holiday light displays. At the end of your tour, the Holiday Village awaits you with carnival rides and games, pony rides and numerous holiday treats. Warm up with a hot cup of cocoa or step inside Santa’s Workshop for some holiday shopping and a visit with Santa. And nothing gets you in the holiday spirit like a visit to Legacy Lodge & Conference Center for a delectable Magical Nights of Lights dinner buffet, or stay the night so the kids can enjoy the time honored tradition of having Breakfast with Santa. www.lakelanierislands.com

Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park
Snow Mountain is Atlanta’s first snow park! The season opens November 21, 2015-February 28, 2016. Atlanta’s Stone Mountain Park transforms into a winter wonderland with Snow Mountain. Bundle your family up and get ready for snow tubing, snowballs, snowmen and snow angels. Based at Stone Mountain Park’s famous Laser Lawn, Snow Mountain keeps your entire family busy for hours. A 400’ foot tubing hill and a snow play area filled with a blizzard of snow activities make Snow Mountain Atlanta’s not-to-be-missed winter attraction. There’s even a play zone reserved for your littlest snow bunnies. Snow Mountain’s state-of-the-art snow-making magic guarantees you tons of fresh snow daily. And with two Mountain SnoLifts to get you up the tubing hill, you’ll want to go again and again! www.stonemountainpark.com

Stone Mountain Christmas
November 12- January 4. There is nothing like the Christmas season that magically transforms Stone Mountain Park into a land of enchantment. Within the glow of more than two million twinkling lights, you can watch live entertainment, engage in fun attractions and reconnect with friends and family during this special time of year. Make a Stone Mountain Christmas a part of your holiday tradition. Events include Sing-a-long Christmas Train, Wonderland Walkway, Snow Angel Castle, Holly Jolly Cabaret, Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas 4D Experience, Snow Angel Fireworks and Snowfall Celebration, Sleigh Ride, Simply Christmas, Christmas Parade, Visit with Santa Claus, storytelling and live shows, great food and holiday shopping! For tickets, www.stonemountainpark.com.


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