2016 Santa Sightings in Huntsville and North Alabama

If you’re trying to catch a glimpse of the jolly white headed man in the red suit, rumor has it he and his friends will be at these events. Many of these events are the perfect setting to get a picture with Santa and we recommend hitting up a couple in case your little ones aren’t cooperative on the first attempt. It happens.

For more holiday fun including all the places to hear holiday music, watch holiday plays, cavort with holiday cheerfulness and just plain get in the holiday spirit visit the main page of our comprehensive 2016 Holiday Happenings Guide sponsored Covenant Classical Schools and Daycares.


Under the Christmas Tree

Randolph_underthechristmastreeIn addition to all kinds of Christmas decorating ideas and more than 100 specialty merchants from 9 states, the 32nd Annual Under the Christmas Tree Market will include Breakfast with Santa, Photos with Santa, holiday art activities, gingerbread decorating parties, Elf University, and even a special Harry Potter Christmas event (see website for prices and to register for special events). Find unique gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list!

Date/Time: November 4-6 | Fri,10AM-7PM; Sat,10AM-6PM; Sun, 12-5PM
Location: South Hall VBC (map)
Cost: $8 (adults);$5 (seniors 60+); children under 18 are FREE
More Info: Under the Christmas Tree Website

Santa’s Arrival Party at Thrasher Clothing

Bring the kids after school as Santa rides in on his little red corvette to greet everyone! Santa’s helpers will be scheduling family, children and pet sessions with Santa by Johnny & Stephanie E. Jennings Photography. Meet Santa, enjoy refreshments (including milk and cookies) or purchase meals at food trucks. There will be live music by Josh Allison, fun for the kids, and door prizes from nearby local businesses (including the grand prize of a free photo session). This is a family and pet friendly event!

Date/Time: Nov. 7th | 4:30-8PM
Location: Thrasher Clothing, 812 Regal Drive (map)
Cost: FREE
More InfoFacebook

“Host of Christmas Past” in Fayettevillehost of christmas past

Every year during the second weekend of November the small town of Fayetteville comes alive with its traditional “Host of Christmas Past.” This friendly small town offers free parking, great food, carriage rides, homemade snow, high tea, and nonstop entertainment. Of course, Santa will be present!

Date/Time: November 11-13
Location: Downtown Fayetteville, TN (map)
Cost: FREE
More Infowww.hostofchristmaspast.com

Santa at the Mall

PJ-Party-PosterThe big guy is coming to Parkway Place Mall and they’ve got all kinds of special events planned. Check the website for all the info, but here’s a preview of all the Santa opportunities available!

PJ Party with Santa: November 12th at 9AM – There will be cookies and milk, carolers from a Christmas Carol, face painters from the Fantasy Playhouse, Pillow cases specially pressed by local company Green Pea Press, Huntsville Havoc mascots, Chick-fil-a giveaways, Mice from the Nutcracker and Santa will make his GRAND ENTRANCE with a special reading of a book!
Pet Photos with Santa: November 15th, 29th & December 6th, 6-9PM – Bring in a pet food donation to help our local pet food bank!
Roll Tide Santa: November 23st 6-9PM
War Eagle Santa: November 22th 6-9PM
Santa Clause and Puppy Cuddles Photo Night: December 14th 6-9PM
Story Time with Santa and the HMCPL: December 19th 9:30AM

Date/Time: November 12 – Christmas Eve
Location: Parkway Place Mall (map)
Cost: Photo packages vary
More Info: Website

Santa at Bridge Street

Bridge Street Town Centre will light up like a winter wonderland to welcome Santa! The big guy arrives at the tree lighting ceremony on November 11th at 6PM; after that, Santa will be in residence on select dates November 19th through December 24th. Santa Claus will be strolling the promenade dressed  in Victorian attire, greeting shoppers and posing for photos. And on December 3rd from 2-4PM, Santa will be available for pet photos! Guests are invited to bring their dogs to visit with Santa and receive free doggy treats. Guests are invited to bring their own cameras to visit Santa, as professional photography is not available.

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Dates/Times: Nov. 19th through Dec. 24th (see full schedule)
Location: Bridge Street Town Centre (map)
Cost: FREE
More Info: www.bridgestreethuntsville.com

Kris Kringle Artist Market2016kriskringleposter

The Madison Arts Council and Madison Parks and Recreation are teaming up to create a Kris Kringle Market to bring cherished German and European traditions with international flair and local charm to Madison. Shop with artisans and craftsmen from across North Alabama, take photos with an Olde World Santa, participate in lantern-making workshops for children, and have fun at gingerbread decorating stations. Various food and drink options will also be available.

Dates/Times: Saturday, Nov. 19th | 9AM-4PM
Location: Dublin Park (map)
Cost: FREE
More Info: Website

Santa’s Sleigh visits Learning Express Toys

It’s Toys for Tots season, and for a $10 donation to the popular Christmas toy charity (or a $10 in-store purchase) your little one can climb into Santa’s sleigh for a picture. What’s not to love about this fun toy-shopping, Santa-visiting event?!

Dates/Times: Saturday, Nov. 19th | 9AM-1PM
Location: Learning Express Toys (map)
Cost: $10 in-store purchase or $10 donation to Toys for Tots
More InfoFacebook

Village of Providence Tree Lighting

Many of the merchants throughout Providence will be providing family-friendly activities for both young and old alike at the event, such as a corn-hole competition, a giant Jenga attraction, and a cookie decorating station and of course, Santa Clause will be available for pictures. Additionally, in order to encourage healthy and worthwhile rivalry between establishments within the Village of Providence, each will compete with one another in collecting unwrapped and unopened Christmas gifts for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves’ charity, Toys for Tots.

Dates/Times: Friday, Nov. 25 | 4-7PM
Location: Village of Providence (map)
Cost: FREE
More Info: www.villageofprovidence.com

Christmas in the Park – ArabArab Christmas in the Park

Arab City Park is a must-see during the holiday season. Featuring more than 2 million lights, the park is ablaze with the magic and beauty of Christmas. Visitors can stroll along the sidewalks and pathways within the park. This event kicks off with a formal lighting ceremony at 6:00 PM on the Friday after Thanksgiving at the park gazebo. Santa Claus and his elves will make a special visit to Arab Historic Village. His toy shop will open Fridays and Saturdays for four weekends beginning November 25, 2016. Have your picture taken with Santa, take part in a Christmas craft in the Hunt School House, make reindeer food at the Grist Mill, hammer out reindeer shoes at the Blacksmith Shop, enjoy cookies and juice in the Boyd House and listen to live music in Rice Church. The Elvin Light Museum will also be open for a tour of Historical Arab!

Dates/Times: Fridays & Saturdays, November 25 – January 1
Location: Arab Historic Village (map)
Cost: The park is free & open to the public, Santa visits are $5 each, $20 for families of 4 or more. Children 2 and under are free.
More Info: www.arab-chamber.org

Santa’s Village

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Another staple holiday event put on by Earlyworks, this one in conjunction with Constitution Village. If you buy a ticket to the Earlyworks Society’s Suppers with Santa, you get admission to Santa’s Village for free – but you can also just buy tickets for this delightful event on its own. All ages will delight in visiting the Claus’ house, meeting Santa’s reindeer, the North Pole elves, and Santa! Snow shows, craft projects and musical entertainment all add to the fun at the Village Santa Calls Home! In Santa’s Magic Garden, the magical garden will come to life right before your eyes. Christmas trees will talk and sing, while holiday lights magically keep up the beat. There’s lots to see and do in the magical village that Santa calls home!

Date/Time: Nov. 25 – Dec. 23 | 5-9PM
Location: Constitution Village (map)
Cost: $5 per person. Children under 1 year free.
More Info: www.earlyworks.com
Read our review of this event.

Suppers with Santa

This popular Huntsville fundraiser sponsored by the Earlyworks Society includes a child-friendly meal and a seat at each table reserved for Santa to drop by and wish you a hearty Ho Ho Ho! When Santa’s not at your table, one of his many friends will drop by to say hello. After dinner, head over to Santa’s Village to visit with the reindeer, hear a story from Mrs. Claus, and enjoy the snowfall while listening to our entertainers performing holiday classics (and you can visit with Santa there, too!). Tickets go on sale NOVEMBER 1st online only at 8AM – they go FAST!

Date/Time: November 28th – December 1st, seatings at 5:00PM and 6:30PM each night
Location: Earlyworks Children’s Museum Grand Hall (map)
Cost: Tickets are $15 each and are required for anyone above the age of one year. Includes admission to Santa’s Village.
More Info: Earlyworks Website
Read our review of this event.


Kris Kringle’s Candlelight Christmas

No Holiday Event is Complete Without This Guy

Burritt on the Mountain is decking the halls, the walls and the stalls! The star-lit mountain will be mirrored by more than 600 candles, adding to the nostalgic feel of the holidays. Music will be heard throughout the mansion and the park; cider, cookies and tasty figgie pudding will keep us warm. Children will enjoy stringing cranberries and popcorn, making paper punch ornaments, creating handmade cards and icing cookies. Many who have come to Candlelight Christmas have felt there was no better way to start the holiday season in a festive non-commercial setting. Kris Kringle will be on hand in the Burritt Mansion from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. He has to get the reindeer to bed early as he has a busy month coming up!

Date/Time: Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2nd and 3rd  | 5:00-9:00 PM
Location: Burritt On the Mountain (map)
Cost: General admission for non-members ($10 adults, $9 seniors and military, $8 children 3-18); $2 for museum members; FREE for children 2 and under
More Info: www.burrittonthemountain.com
Read our review of this event.

North Star Limited

Back for its second year, the North Star Limited is sure to be successful again! The North Star Limited is a night-time ride along the rails, featuring snacks and special treats for all our guests. Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas, which is unique to this ride. Each child and their families will have a one-on-one visit with Santa, where he or she can give Santa their Christmas wish-list. Santa will also have presents for the good boys and girls! We’ve added more departures this year to accommodate more guests, so if you missed out last year, don’t delay and purchase your tickets early!

Date/Time: December 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th and 16th at 5:45PM & 7:45PM
Location: North Alabama Railroad Museum (map)
Cost: $35 each (offers a drink, cookies and private time with Santa Claus)
More Info: www.northalabamarailroadmuseum.com

Brunch with Santamason dixon brunch with santa

SANTA?!?! I know him!!!! Join our favorite local gluten-free bakery, Mason Dixon Bakery & Bistro, for Brunch with Santa at Mason Dixon. Your reservation includes brunch, a picture with Santa, and each child receives a gingerbread house to decorate! Be sure to call 256-213-7545 and make your reservation today; reservations required by November 30th.

Date/Time: Friday, Dec. 3rd
Location: Mason Dixon Bakery & Bistro (map)
Cost: $18 children/$22 adult
More Info: Facebook

Santa Train

Santatrain_huntsville_alIt’s an annual Huntsville Tradition! Riding the rails with Santa Claus at the North Alabama Railroad Museum! Santa spends time with each child on board the train, making sure to get his or her Christmas wish-list. Regular class passengers will see Santa at their seats and receive a small gift as they disembark the train. First-class passengers are our extra special guests! They receive a treat as they board the train, and then some extra family time with Santa in his Christmas Tree Room. An extra special gift awaits these children from Santa! The Santa Train rides are always a sell-out, so purchase tickets early!

Date/Time: December 3rd & 10th at 12PM, 1:30PM, and 3PM
Location: North Alabama Railroad Museum (map)
Cost: First-class seats are $30 each (offers a drink, cookies and private time with Santa Claus), Coach seats are $20
More Info: www.northalabamarailroadmuseum.com
Read our review of this event.

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Saturday with Santa

saturdays with santa botanical gardenJoin the Huntsville Botanical Garden for their annual Saturday with Santa! Enjoy delicious kid friendly food, holiday crafts and play with everyone’s favorite powdery cold snow. Bring your camera and dress the kids for that special one-on-one time with Santa. Pick your time and reserve your space; reservations are required. Don’t miss this merry event that will bring holiday smiles to the tots! Tickets can be purchased online or in the Shoppe at the Garden. Contact Tamara Huron at thuron@hsvbg.org with questions.

Date/Time: Saturday, December 3rd at 10AM and 12PM
Location: Huntsville Botanical Gardens (map)
Cost: $12 members/$15 non-members
More Info: Huntsville Botanical Gardens Website

Sippin’ Cider Festival

Visit Downtown Athens for the city’s annual Sippin’ Cider Festival! Voted a top 20 event in the Southeast in 2014, it’s a night of family-friendly holiday festivities. Sample and vote on your favorite cider, while shopping and enjoying store specials. The merchant with the most votes wins the coveted Cider Cup and bragging rights for the next year. Other activities include in store children’s activities, train rides by the Athens Lions Club, live music, roasting marshmallows, and a visit from Santa.

Dates/Times: Saturday, Dec. 10 from 5PM-8PM
Location: Downtown Athens (map)
Cost: FREE
More InfoFacebook | 256-232-9040

Breakfast with Santa

The 2nd Annual Breakfast with Santa, sponsored by Bailey Cove Friends of the Library, is a fundraising event to benefit programming at Bailey Cove Library. Santa will mingle with the children as they are served breakfast biscuits, muffins, fruit and juice. Entertainment will include caroling and a puppet show, and each child will have the opportunity to visit with Santa individually.

Dates/Times: Saturday, Dec. 10 from 9:30AM-11AM
Location: Bailey Cove Library (map)
Cost: $15 per child
More Info: baileycovefriends@gmail.com

Christmas Magic in Madison

After the annual city parade at 5:30 PM, there will be an Awards Ceremony at the Roundhouse at Village Green.  The Madison Rotary Club will be serving hot chocolate and cookies. Don’t forget your camera, because Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the gazebo at Village Green following the parade!

Dates/Times: Saturday, December 10th after the 5:30pm parade
Location: Downtown Madison (map)
Cost: FREE
More InfoMadison, AL Website