Birmingham Area Holiday Happenings Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And there are so many fun events happening in and around Birmingham to get you in the Holiday Spirit! Mark your calendars for all of this Family Friendly Fun!

Holiday Happenings In Birmingham

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops
Santa Photos, crafts and special events happening through December 24th for a full schedule of activities and more information on getting a Bass Pass for your Santa Photo visit their site!

North Pole Express at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum
“All Aboard” says the conductor, and your family’s journey begins to the North Pole! Through the dark night, the magical train makes its way to the top of the world!  Upon arrival at the brilliantly decorated North Pole, Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves board the train to visit with your family and give each child a keepsake! Be sure to bring your camera to get a photo of your family with Santa and Mrs. Claus! You’ll enjoy chocolate milk and cookies, sing Christmas songs, and listen to a special Christmas Story! The North Pole Express will make lasting Christmas memories for you and your family! For even more fun, be sure to wear your pajamas!

Holidays at McWane

The Magic of Model Trains returns to spread some holiday cheer and amaze guests. Discover trains of every shape and size inside this popular exhibit of train displays. Every set in the exhibit is designed to scale with the size of the trains. The meticulous detail of the scenery includes covered bridges, downtown storefronts and, of course, several train stations that will keep your family entertained for hours! Now – January 6th

Make it – Join McWane Makers to create, make, and craft holiday gifts for friends and family. Uncover the science behind the art of soap making, bath bombs, plastic fusing, and more. Maybe you’ll even make something for yourself.

Santa’s Gingerbread Workshop –

Build a new holiday tradition with McWane Science Center at the inaugural Santa’s Gingerbread Workshop. Create an unforgettable experience as you engineer your very own edible masterpiece with fresh baked gingerbread and decorations from the candy buffet. Bring your imagination and leave the clean-up to us! Take a break from construction to visit Santa over a cup of hot cocoa and cookies. At the end of the workshop, enjoy a ride on the holiday train before you head home with your keepsake gingerbread house, sweet memories, and a new way to kick off “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” It’s a little bit of science and a whole lot of holiday fun.

December 8th and 15th
Workshop One: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Workshop Two: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Shadracks Christmas Wonderland
Christmas light and music extravaganza, over 3 miles long… with festive lights dancing to jolly tunes and comical displays.

Birmingham Race Course
Open until January 6th.
Open from dusk until 10pm nightly

Brrrmingham! Ice Skating at Railroad Park
Brrrmingham, presented by Red Diamond Coffee and Tea The rink will be open seven days a week through January 6, only closed on Christmas Day. You can find more information HERE 

Pelham Community Tree Lighting
Enjoy music, cookies and cocoa, ice skating and a visit with Santa at the annual Pelham Community Christmas Tree Lighting in the Main Arena at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena!! Join friends and neighbors to kick off the beginning of the Christmas season on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 6:30pm. Guests to the event will enjoy holiday music from the Pelham High School Jazz Band as they enter the venue. Members of the Beautification Board will pass out 1,000 Christmas ornaments, so don’t be late!

Leeds Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting
Leeds Downtown 1st Annual Christmas Tree Lighting – Enjoy tree lighting, Santa, entertainment, food trucks & shopping on the Parkway. You won’t want to miss this! Plan to spend the evening for a great Christmas experience. November 29th
5-8p – Food Trucks
Until 7p – Downtown Shopping
6:30p – Christmas Tree Lighting
6:45p – Santa to arrive
6:45p-7:30p – Selfies with Santa

Shelby Ironworks Christmas in the Park
Friday, November 30th, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. we kick off the holiday season with Christmas in the Park at the Shelby Iron Works in Shelby, AL. Kids can enjoy free crafts, or have their picture taken with Santa Claus ($5). There will also be an outdoor holiday movie (weather permitting), a reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and plenty of Door Prizes. Admission is free. A chili Dinner ($5) and hot cocoa ($1) will be available for purchase.

Helena Hollow
Supper with Santa!
-Supper with Santa & friends
-Storytime Hayride through the woods
-Firepit & S’mores
-Live Animals & Nativity
-Crafts & Face Painting
-Lights & Music
November 30th, December 1st, December 2nd
Visit their Facebook Page for more information

Alabaster Christmas Parade
One of Alabama’s largest Christmas Parades! There are floats, bands, dance groups, horses, dogs, Jeeps, Corvettes, and so much more plus lots of candy, and of course Santa Claus riding on the fire truck!
December 1st, 10am

Bluff Park Christmas Parade
Shades Cliff Pool
December 1, 10am

Pinson Christmas Parade
The Christmas Parade will start at 10 a.m. at Pinson Valley High School and will go to the Triangle Park.
December 1st

Mountain Brook Holiday Parade
Mountain Brook Village
December 2nd, 3pm

Homewood Christmas Parade and Star Lighting
The Homewood Christmas Parade will be held Tuesday, December 4, 2018. Join us as we light the historic Homewood Star at the top of 18th Street as the official beginning of the Downtown Homewood Christmas Parade! The Lighting of the Christmas Tree will immediately follow the parade at City Hall.Parade Route: The parade will begin at the Homewood Library and travel east on Oxmoor Road; turn left onto 18th Street South; travel under the Christmas Star; turn right onto 29th Avenue; turn left onto 19th Street; travel past City Hall turn left onto 28th Avenue; Travel to the intersection of 18th Street. Walking groups will be encouraged to turn left onto 18th Street and vehicles will have to continue straight thru the intersection toward Central Avenue.

Holiday Film Series at the Alabama Theatre
Always a family favorite, the Alabama Theatre will be hosting their Annual Film series again kicking off December 7th with White Christmas and running until December 22nd

Tickets for all movies are $9 each, with the exception of The Polar Express which is $12 and is a fundraiser for Kid One Transport. Children ages two and younger are free of charge. Doors open ninety minutes before showtime, and each screening will begin with a sing-along accompanied by the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.

Click Here to see a full schedule of Movies

Zoolight Safari at the Birmingham Zoo
Watch as the Zoo comes alive for 18 nights of holiday-centric fun at ZooLight Safari presented by Wells Fargo! Be amazed by over one million lights, listen to holiday music and delight in festive snowfalls every night! Enjoy a ride on the Shipt Candy Cane Ride*, go for a spin on the Jingle Bell Carousel*, experience the thrill of the over 100 foot Yuletide Slide*, ride the Santa Rollers* and so much more. Take in the beauty of a decorated tree reaching nearly 30 feet tall in Trails of Africa as you dance and boogie to special entertainment each night! New this year – enjoy a nightly (through December 23) performance plus meet and greets and photos with the Singing Santa!

Kicks off December 7th

Christmas Tree Lighting at Old Baker Farm
Grab your favorite people and head down to the Farm to enjoy a little Christmas spirit! There will be something for everyone in the family to enjoy – Cookies with Santa, catch a classic Christmas movie, cook yourself a yummy s’more over the fire pit, dine with various food trucks, and shop local vendors. All of this and more while everyone’s favorite Christmas tunes are sung by a choir and a LIVE Nativity tells the true story of Christmas! A magical hay ride through the enchanted woods of Old Baker will leave the entire family ready for the Christmas season!

At 6:00 we will light the tree! This is a magical event that everyone will enjoy! Followed by the movie at 6:30.

The event kicks off at 5:00 but feel free to come early and find the perfect tree in our tree farm!
December 8th and 9th

Vestavia Hills Christmas Parade and Celebration
Enjoy the city’s official parade followed by the Liberty Park Christmas Celebration with kids’ activities, refreshments, music, pictures with Santa and more! Parade starts at the Liberty Park Sports Complex and travels down Liberty Parkway to the Alston Meadows neighborhood and ends at Alston Meadows Park where the Celebration takes place.
December 9th, 2pm – 5pm

Santa’s Coming to the Farm – Oak Mountain State Park
Santa is stopping by the farm on December 15th! He will be in the barn visiting the goats from 10Am until 12PM. Come and get your picture with Santa and while you are here give your warmest “Season’s Greetings” to the farm animals! We will have small Christmas ornament crafts, and will have light refreshments for the kids!

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker presented by Alabama Ballet
Alabama Ballet is proud to present George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® as one of only eight companies in the world licensed by The Balanchine Trust to perform this holiday masterpiece. Tchaikovsky’s beloved melodies transport the young and young at heart to a magical world where mischievous mice besiege a battalion of toy soldiers, and an onstage blizzard leads to an enchanted Land of Sweets.

Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center
Friday, December 14th 7:30pm
Saturday, December 15th 2:30pm and 7:30pm
Sunday, December 16th 2:30pm
Friday, December 21st 7:30pm
Saturday, December 22nd 2:30pm and 7:30pm
Sunday, December 23rd 2:30pm

To purchase tickets, visit their site

Holiday Happenings Near Birmingham

Christmas at the Falls, Noccalula Falls
The petting zoo will be open, the train will run, letters for Santa in the General Store, a special light show to music at the covered bridge and millions of lights will be in glow through out the park! All of that for $6 for ages 4 and up and 3 and under are free! Additional cost items will be items from vendors, or our gift shop and you can decorate a cookie at the Cookie Workshop at 1 for $3 or 2 for $5. Tickets are on sale at Onsite tickets will go on sale at 4 pm nightly, the park will open at 5 pm and the last ticket will be sold at 9 pm. Call 256-549-4663 and press 3 for more information.

Christmas at the Cave at Desoto Caverns
Join DeSoto Caverns for the most magical time of the year. Come walk in a Winter “Underland” for a family-fun event for all ages. With holiday treats, classic Christmas movies, caroling and sing-a-longs, as well as a special visit from St. Nicholas himself, Christmas at the Cave at the majestic DeSoto Caverns is the best way for you and your family to spend the most wonderful time of the year.

December 14th, 15th, and 21st, 22nd

Tinsel Trail in Tuscaloosa
This holiday season Tuscaloosa’s Riverwalk will be lit with 150 + live Christmas trees sponsored and decorated by local businesses, organizations, and individuals.
Open until January 19th


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