It’s another amazing weekend in the Rocket City! There are holiday events galore, and below we picked our favorites that are fun, family-friendly, and, most importantly, FREE.
As always, be sure to check out our complete Event Calendar for tons of other things happening in Huntsville, Madison, and Madison County. And keeping our Holiday Happenings Guide handy is a pretty good idea too.
We’re finishing up our 12 Days of Giveaways with the final prize, and it’s a doozie! Huge thanks to our friends at the Huntsville Embassy Suites for knowing how much our readers need a weekend to themselves sometimes. Enter to win below, and plan to use it for New Year’s or another special occasion!
Chilly Play Days at Hays
Thursday from 3:00-4:00 PM – FREE
& Saturday from 10:00-11:00 AM
Hays Nature Preserve (map)
Brrrr! Bundle up and get some fresh air at this awesome program from Huntsville’s Operation Green Team. Today will focus on a special bird – the Owl. We will discuss fun facts about owls, read The Christmas Owl, and make an owl craft. Meet the new owl puppet and help to name him! Be sure to wear shoes & clothes you don’t mind playing in outdoors.
Christmas Parade in Athens
Thursday from 6:00-8:00 PM – FREE
Downtown Athens (map)
Remember last week when they cancelled several town parades because of the rain? This is the newly scheduled date for the city of Athens – you and your family can enjoy floats and marching bands from area schools and see the Square lit up with holiday cheer.
Visit with Santa at Bridge Street
Saturday & Sunday, Noon-6:00 PM – FREE
Bridge Street Town Center (map)
Get your list ready! Santa will be roaming the promenade dressed in his Victorian outfit, greeting shoppers and posing for photographs. Visitors are invited to bring their own cameras. Professional photography is not available. While you’re there, enjoy the carousel and train! More info here.
“Christmas Now & Then”
Friday – Sunday: FREE
Calvary Assembly Church (map)
This annual show at Calvary Assembly Church in Decatur not only features Santa, but dancing characters like Frosty the Snowman, The Grinch, Angels, Elves, Spiderman, VeggieTales, Disney characters, and a host of other children’s favorites in the elaborate production. It’s a character smorgasbord! Free tickets are general admission, or they can be purchased online in advance for $4 each. Read our review of the show here.
Breakfast With Santa
Saturday from 8:00-10:00 AM – FREE
Primrose School of Research Park (map)
Admission is free for everyone, with fruit and donuts served for breakfast. Santa will be available to visit with the children, and a professional photographer that will be taking pictures of Santa. We will be emailing complimentary photos to each family. More info at 256.830.0110.
Cosmic Carols & Cocoa
Saturday from 9:00AM – 1:00PM: FREE to members
US Space & Rocket Center (map)
You and your family are invited to this super cool program under the Saturn V rocket! This event is free to members or included with museum admission for daily visitors. You’ll enjoy live musical performances while decorating out-of-this-world cookies and ornaments. After you create a holiday masterpiece, grab a cup of hot cocoa and sit down with Mrs. Claus for a reading of The Polar Express. To top it off, we will show the movie Elf throughout the day in the digital theatre. “Smiling is my favorite!”
Rocket City Kid’s Marathon & Concert
Saturday from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM: FREE
Holiday Inn Downtown (map)
The Huntsville Track Club would like to invite all families to come and cheer on the Kids Rocket City Marathon participants. This event takes place Downtown and benefits the National Children’s Advocacy Center. Be the personal cheerleaders for over 250 local kids ages PreK to 8 years old as they run their first marathon! A free concert open to the public begins at 10:00 am and will coincide with the finishing of the marathon.
Gurley Christmas in the Park
Saturday from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM: FREE
Downtown Gurley (map)
The annual Gurley town parade bgins at 10am this morning, with Christmas in the Park starting right after the parade, at noon. Enjoy Christmas music, free hot chocolate and cookies, raffles, Santa and more.
Christmas Magic in Downtown Madison
Saturday at 5:30 PM – FREE
Main Street, Madison (map)
After the annual city parade at 5:30 PM, a lighted Christmas tree village will surround the downtown Madison gazebo. Cookies & hot chocolate and Mr. & Mrs. Clause will make an appearance for photos and visits with the children. Open to the public.