When the weather gets cold children get restless. Listed here are seasonal events that let you stretch your legs and shake the sillies out. There are so many fun ways your family can make memories together this holiday season – Christmas in Huntsville is full of special events.
For more holiday fun including all the places to hear music, catch Santa, watch holiday plays, cavort with holiday cheerfulness and just plain get in the holiday spirit, visit the main page of our comprehensive 2019 Holiday Happenings Guide sponsored by the Galaxy of Lights at Huntsville Botanical Garden.
Galaxy of Lights
Our favorite way to celebrate the holiday season in Huntsville! See Santa soar over a delightful winter village, nursery rhyme characters spring to life, traditional holiday scenes, and much more. Galaxy of Lights is the perfect holiday treat for the young and young at heart. Plus, Mrs. Claus always allows Santa to visit the Garden during Walking Nights!
Walking Nights: Nov. 15-18, Nov. 21-26 | Dog Walking Nights on Nov. 15 & 25 | 5:30PM – 8PM (last admission)
Bike the Lights: Nov. 19 | 5:30PM – 7:30PM
Driving Nights: Nov. 29 – Jan. 4 (closed Dec. 2 and 3 for 5K Run and 3K Holiday Dash) | 5:30PM – 9PM (last admission)
Location: Huntsville Botanical Gardens (map)
Walking Nights Cost: Adults $10 members/$12 non-members, Children ages 3-15 $5 members/$6 nonmembers; Dogs $3
Bike the Lights Cost: Adults $20 | Kids 11 and under $15 | Family 4-pack $60
Driving Nights Cost: $25/vehicle (some nights are discounted to $20)
More Info: General Info | Bike the Lights | 5K Run | 3K Holiday Dash
RCM Review Walking Nights | RCM Review Driving Nights
Skating in the Park
ICE is coming back to Huntsville! Get ready to lace up your skates at Huntsville’s first outdoor ice skating rink — our very own version of “Rocket-fella” Center. Bring your family and friends and experience a magical winter land right in downtown Huntsville. Don’t miss the grand opening festivities on November 15th!
Dates/Times: Nov. 15 – Jan. 12; Hours vary (see website for details)
Location: Big Spring Park / Huntsville Museum of Art (map)
Cost: $15 (ages 10+), $10 (ages 9 and under), $5 skate or skooter rental
More Info: Website | Facebook | 256-529-7995
Holiday Pony Rides and Pictures
Join the Montessori School of Huntsville and Hampton Cove Equestrian Center for Holiday Pony Rides and Pictures! Introduce your kids to horses, take some cute family photos for the holiday cards, and enjoy some hot cocoa and cider.
One Table Huntsville is a city-wide Thanksgiving meal held in the heart of our city. It is an opportunity for strangers and friends to gather and share a meal at one long table. This year the food is being prepared by Bubba’s Silver Spoon and Mangos Caribbean Cookhouse for plant-based options.
Land Trust’s 26th Annual Thanksgiving Day Hike
Join us for a Thanksgiving Day tradition! Be prepared for your Thanksgiving feast by starting the morning off with a Monte Sano hike lead by Land Trust volunteers and staff. We’ll start out at Bankhead and work our way down to Three Caves on the Alms House Trail. Those who don’t want to make the walk back up will be shuttled to their cars. Please carpool to the starting location. This is a popular hike and parking is limited.
Date/Time: Nov. 28 at 9AM
Location: Take Pratt Avenue through Five Points to Bankhead Parkway on Monte Sano. Drive up the mountain past Tollgate Road. The Land Trust’s hiker parking lot- the Bankhead Trailhead – is ½ mile further on right. (map)
Cost: FREE (but reservations are REQUIRED)
More Info: Website
26th Annual Turkey Trot
The Crisis Services of North Alabama 26th Annual Turkey Trot 5k & 1 Mile Fun Run will take runners through beautiful campus of the University of Alabama Huntsville. The race will take place on Thanksgiving morning, followed by the the 1 Mile Fun Run at 8:10am and the Tiny Tot Turkey Trot at 9:00am with awards to follow. The Turkey Trot is a family family tradition! Walkers and strollers are welcome, but please leave your pets at home. If you just can’t resist dressing like a Pilgrim or a turkey, don’t be shy! You won’t be alone!
All ages will delight in visiting Santa in his workshop at The North Pole! Step inside The North Pole Express, Santa’s real-life train car, to create your very own ornament. Write a letter to Santa at The North Pole Post Office. See Santa’s Magic Garden light up The North Pole with twinkling lights and your favorite holiday songs. Snow shows, cookies, and musical entertainment all add to the fun at the Village Santa calls home!
A local favorite, Huntsville’s Tinsel Trail is a display of live Christmas trees in Downtown Huntsville during the month of December. An anticipated 300 will trees decorate Big Spring Park for the holiday season. The Tinsel Trail is open to the public daily until midnight. Trees are lit from dusk until midnight each night.
Christmas in the Park – Arab
Arab City Park is a must-see during the holiday season. Featuring more than 1 million lights, the park will be ablaze with the magic and beauty of Christmas. Kick things off off with the 25th Annual Lighting Ceremony featuring the Arab High School Jazz Band, led by Ty Parker, and special guests Charles Whisenant, Arab’s Citizen of the Year, and 2020 Miss Marshall County & Miss Appalachian Valley reigning queens. Afterwards, enjoy Christmas in the Park every night through December 31st.
North Pole Stroll
The 2019 Athens North Pole Stroll will return to Big Spring Memorial Park in the Beaty Historic District during the month of December. Each tree sponsored by area agencies, groups, businesses and families will sparkle to life after dark and will be decked with a variety of decorations and themes.
One of Burritt’s favorite traditional holiday events is being updated! Burritt comes alive with the sights, sounds and smells of a traditional Christmas. Cabins are decorated with historic ambiance and the sounds of traditional music fill the air throughout the park. String cranberries and popcorn, make paper punch ornaments, create handmade cards and ice cookies to kickoff the holiday season. Don’t miss Kris Kringle in the mansion from 5-8 for that annual photograph! It is certainly an event for young and old to enjoy.
Mommy & Me Nutcracker Tea
Create a special memory with your little ones at our third annual Mommy & Me Nutcracker Tea. (Daddy is welcome too.) Enjoy delicious treats, tea, make a keepsake craft, meet our dancers and hear the story of The Nutcracker at Alabama Youth Ballet Theatre’s Mommy & Me Nutcracker Tea. The tea party will conclude with a mini-presentation of The Nutcracker.
Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes Christmas Open House
Each December, we have our annual Christmas Open House events at our ABCH campuses, and this year we are looking forward to the privilege of hosting YOU in Decatur! Guests enjoy festive decorations, holiday foods, and guided tours from our children, who are always so excited to show off their homes.
Christmas Movies at the Princess Theatre
Visit the historic Princess Theatre in downtown Decatur to grab a box of popcorn and take in a classic holiday film with the family!
Dec. 8 – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Dec. 9 – Miracle on 34th Street (Original Version)
Dec. 16 – A Christmas Story
Dec. 17 – It’s a Wonderful Life
Dec. 22 – White Christmas
Dec. 23 – Elf
It doesn’t get much better than a live nativity story! Ride the Christmas Caravan through history as the story of Christ’s birth is told in one of the most unique ways you’ll ever experience it.
Jingle Bell Square
Join us for Jingle Bell Square in Downtown Scottsboro! The activities will begin at 9:00 a.m. with our arts & crafts vendor fair. We will also have kid’s activities and food vendors! We will continue the fun with the Christmas Parade at 5:00 p.m. Enjoy the sights of the Jingle Bell Trail of Christmas trees and have your picture made with Santa!
Historic Decatur Christmas Tour
The Historic Decatur Christmas Tour is held the second Saturday in December each year. During this time many of the homes in Decatur’s historic districts open their doors for public tours. This year’s schedule includes a Holiday Market and a performance by the Orchestra Sul Ponticello at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in the Albany district. Don’t forget our downtown merchants and restaurants will be open for your dining and holiday shopping needs before and during the tour, and Westminster Presbyterian Church will serve as tour headquarters with light refreshments available for tour ticket holders.
Polar Express Day at the Hardin Center
Join us as we celebrate our fifth annual Polar Express Day! Visitors can play in Imagination Place, Let it Snow, join a guided tour of Festival of Trees, watch “The Polar Express” movie, create a special craft, and take one ride on our miniature “Polar Express” train in our rear parking lot. This year’s event is combined with our annual Snacks with Santa, with Santa in the lobby for free visits from 10 am to noon.
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- The Ultimate Activity Guide to Christmas & Huntsville Holidays
- 2019 Santa Sightings in North Alabama
- Christmas Parades & Tree Lightings
- Holiday Markets & Craft Fairs
- Listen: Christmas Music & Concerts in Huntsville
- Watch: Local Holiday Plays, Shows, & Performances