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. No more searching all over to figure out where to find Santa in Huntsville and North Alabama! 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 2019 Holiday Happenings Guide sponsored by the Galaxy of Lights at Huntsville Botanical Garden.

ON THE GO? Keep all of our Holiday Guides and our full Event Calendar at your fingertips with our free Explore Huntsville app. It’s available on iTunes & Google Play and will help make your spirit bright!


Under the Christmas Tree

If marking early shopping off your list is a must, this popular local shopping event is definitely one to attend! Attendees can enjoy Christmas special events, children’s activities while shopping from more than 100 specialty merchants from 9 states. Photos with Santa are available as well as special children’s events such as Breakfast with Santa, which invites children of all ages to a pancake breakfast which includes a visit with Santa. Children under 7 must be accompanied by a parent. Each person must have a ticket to enter Breakfast with Santa.

Date/Time: Nov. 1-3 | Fri. 10AM-7PM; Sat. 10AM-6PM; Sun. 12-5PM; Breakfast with Santa is Nov. 3 at 9:30AM
Location: South Hall VBC (map)
Cost: $8 (adults); $5 (seniors 60+); children under 18 are FREE but Breakfast with Santa tickets are $22 each
More Info: Website

“Host of Christmas Past” in Fayetteville

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, kids’ activities, homemade snow, high tea, and nonstop entertainment. Of course, Santa will be present! Begin your visit on Friday afternoon to our beautiful Downtown all decorated for the holiday season. Friday evening following the Annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree at 5:00 pm. Enjoy photos with Santa Claus on Saturday from 9AM-4PM at the BLC Victorian House!

Date/Time: Nov. 8-10
Location: Downtown Fayetteville, TN (map)
Cost: FREE to attend; photos for a fee which benefit Fayetteville Main Street
More InfoWebsite | Facebook

Santa at the Mall

The 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: Nov. 8, 5:30-7:30PM – At this free public event, kids can don their holiday PJ’s to enjoy milk and fresh chocolate chip cookies, caroling, face painting, Letters to Santa, a Christmas magic show with Dr. Osborn, and the first 300 children receive a personalized ornament from the Ornament Workshop. Enjoy fun Christmas pictures with a Snow Queen and the Grinch, help decorate The Salvation Army Angel Tree, and lastly, Santa will make his grand entrance for storytelling and singing before making his way to the Santa set!
Roll Tide Santa: Nov. 21, 6-9PM
War Eagle Santa: Nov. 22, 6-9PM
Santa Cares with the Riley Center: Dec. 8, 9-11AM – Santa Cares with the The Riley Center is a sensory-friendly opportunity for children with all spectrums of special needs to enjoy the time-honored tradition of the Santa Photo Experience! Families can enjoy a calming environment at the Santa set presented by Hyde Homes. There will be sensory stations and visits with Santa prior to public hours. Please RSVP in advance by reserving one ticket per group. Photo packages are available for purchase during the event.
Santa Paws: Nov. 11, 18, & 25 and Dec. 2, 9, & 16, 6-9PM – Pictures with Santa and pets are from 6-9pm on the lower level in center court. We can’t wait to see all the priceless pet photos with families.

Date/Time: Nov. 8 – Christmas Eve
Location: Parkway Place Mall (map)
Cost: Photo packages vary
More Info: Website | Facebook

Galaxy of Lights Walking Nights

Galaxy of Lights Walking Nights offer a truly magical experience. You can visit with Santa, walk through snow falling inside the twinkling icicle forest, enjoy hot chocolate along the way, and experience up close all the wonder of the larger-than-life displays. (Please keep in mind that Santa is busy this time of year and has to return to the North Pole at 8:30.)

Dates/Times: Nov. 15-18 and 21-26,  from 5:30-8PM (last admission)
Location: Huntsville Botanical Gardens (map)
Cost: Adults $10 members, $12 non-members; Kids 3-15 $5 member, $6 non-members
More Info: Website

Santa at Oak Grove Thach Volunteer Fire Department

Come visit with Santa and help out your local fire department! No sitting or booking fee, and there will be a $5.00 4×6″ take home print along with professional packages available for purchase. Book your time slot by calling 256-423-8144.

Date/Time: Nov. 16 | 2-5PM
Location: Oak Grove Thach Fire Dept, Athens (map)
Cost: Photos available for purchase
More Info: Website

Santa’s Wonderland at Cabela’s

Santa cuts the ribbon to officially open his Wonderland after flying in on a helicopter at a special arrival event. From 5-8PM on Nov. 16, enjoy free photos with Santa, games, crafts, giveaways, treats, and gingerbread house building, plus the S.W.A.T. team, the Huntsville Fire Department, and his skating elves. Afterwards, Santa will be in the store for photos nearly every day until Christmas with inexpensive photos for Bass Pass ticket holders. (Note: A Bass Pass is required to see Santa and provides a time slot for your visit, allowing you to explore while waiting in a virtual line. Bass Passes are available in-store, but are limited and go quickly each day.)

Date/Time: Santa’s arrival party on Nov. 16 from 5-8PM; Then, see complete schedule through Dec. 24
Location: Cabela’s (map)
Cost: FREE; Photo packages for $5
More Info: Website

Sparkman High School JROTC Holiday Bazaar

Jrotc Boosters Holiday Bazaar

Join Sparkman High School JROTC Boosters for their annual Holiday Bazaar Flea Market, Craft, and Vendor Show! There will be crafters, vendors, and flea market dealers as well as concessions, children’s activities, and pictures with Santa.

Dates/Times: Nov. 16 | 10AM-4PM
Location: Sparkman High School (map)
Cost: FREE
More InfoFacebook

Bike the Lights

For a wheelie good time, grab a group of friends, decorate your ride, and join us for Bike the Lights! You’re welcome to cycle through the Galaxy of Lights course as many times as you’d like (although we ask everyone to be off the course by 7:45). Snacks and drinks will be available for participants, Santa will hang out, and festive costumes are encouraged

Dates/Times: Nov. 19  from 5:30-7:30PM
Location: Huntsville Botanical Gardens (map)
Cost: Adults $20; Kids 11 and under $15; Family 4-Pack $60
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 Lights Up! tree lighting ceremony on November 22; after that, Santa will be in residence on select dates November 23rd through December 24th. Santa Claus will be strolling the promenade dressed in Victorian attire, greeting shoppers and posing for photos. Guests are invited to bring their own cameras to visit Santa, as professional photography is not available.

Dates/Times: Nov. 22  through Dec. 24, various times (see full schedule)
Location: Bridge Street Town Centre (map)
Cost: FREE
More Info: Website

Kris Kringle Artist Market

The Madison Arts Council is bring back the Kris Kringle Market to bring a cherished German and European tradition with international flair and local charm to Madison. The Kris Kringle Market will feature artisans and craftsmen from across North Alabama, an Olde World Santa, lantern-making workshops for children, and various food and drink options for our guests.

Dates/Times: Nov. 23 | 9AM-3PM
Location: Bob Jones High School Gym (map)
Cost: FREE
More Info: Website | Facebook

10th Annual Village of Providence Tree Lighting and Toys-for-Tots Drive

Join us in Providence Park for the 10th Annual Tree Lighting event for games, activities and pictures with Santa FREE with a new unwrapped toy for Toys-for-Tots. Businesses will have crafts and game tents set up for your enjoyment. Please, no outside food or drink at this event. Event begins with Santa’s arrival via firetruck at 4PM, followed by the tree lighting at 6PM.

Dates/Times: Nov. 29 | 4-6PM
Location: Village of Providence (map)
Cost: FREE
More Info: Website | Facebook

Santa’s Village

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. New for 2019: Join bring your furry four-legged friends to Dog Nights! Dogs will get to enjoy walking and sniffing around this magical wonderland and get their picture made with Santa.

Date/Time: Nov. 29 – Dec. 23, 5-8PM nightly | Dog Nights: Nov. 23 & 24 from 5-8PM
Location: Historic Huntsville Depot (map)
Cost: $7 per person. Children 2 & under are free. | Dog Nights are $10 per person (dogs are free)
More Info: Website | Dog Nights
Read our review of this event.


Suppers with Santa

supper 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. The Grand Hall will be transformed into a magical Christmas wonderland by the Society members. If you know you’d like to attend, mark your calendar now to snag tickets – they go on sale Nov. 1 online only at 8AM, and they go FAST!

Date/Time: Dec. 2-5, seatings at 5PM 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.

Redstone Community Tree Lighting

redstone community tree lighting

The Redstone Community Tree Lighting features a lighting ceremony beginning at 5:30PM, as well as FREE pictures with Santa, Home Depot Santa’s Workshop, festive treats, kids activities and more! Bring a toy for the Toys for Tots drop off station.

Dates/Times: Dec. 5 | 4:30-7PM
Location: The Summit at Redstone (map)
Cost: FREE
More Info: Facebook

Candlelight Christmas

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.

Date/Time: Dec. 6 & 7 | 5:00-9:00 PM
Location: Burritt On the Mountain (map)
Cost: $30-$50 per carload (up to 8 people)
More Info: Website
Read our review of this event.

North Star Limited

The North Star Limited is a night-time ride along the rails, featuring snacks and special treats for all our guests. All children riding the train 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!

Date/Time: Dec. 6-7 and 13-14 | 5:45PM & 7:45PM
Location: North Alabama Railroad Museum (map)
Cost: $35 each
More Info: Website

CASA’s Breakfast with Santa

Come enjoy breakfast and a picture with Jolly Ole St. Nick! Children can make reindeer food, crafts, and a coloring contest, while adults can browse and bid on the silent auction. Tickets are $5/each and include breakfast, picture, and crafts.

Dates/Times: Dec. 7 | 8-11AM
Location: First Bible Church Decatur (map)
Cost: $5 each; families of 5+ are $25 total (Tickets)
More Info: Facebook

Santa at Beignet Cafe

Santa is coming to Beignet Cafe!  We will deck the halls for Jolly Old St. Nick and enjoy special treats for the kids!

Dates/Times: Dec. 7 (Winchester location) and Dec. 14 (Madison location), 10AM-12PM
Location: Beignet Cafe – Winchester (map) and Madison (map)
Cost: FREE
More Info: Winchester | Madison

Santa Train

It’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 7 & 14 | 12PM, 1:30PM, and 3PM
Location: North Alabama Railroad Museum (map)
Cost: $20 coach/$30 first class
More Info: Website
Read our review of this event.

Literary Trails with Santa

Enjoy one of our favorite books and picture time with special guest reader Santa Claus at Literary Trails – Children’s Book and Exploring Club! Enjoy a story with Santa, along with hot chocolate & apple cider. After story time, there will be picture time with Santa and holiday crafts. Call 256-564-8077 or email for more info.

Date/Time: December 13 | Sessions at 12PM and 1PM
Location: Hays Nature Preserve (map) – Meet at the playground near the Little Free Library; In the event of inclement weather, meet at the Education Building.
Cost: FREE for children and an adult
More Info: Facebook

Christmas Fest

Come join us at the First Christian Church for our come-and-go Christmas Fest! You and your kids will enjoy hands-on Christmas crafts, free pictures with Santa, free finger food, a live reading of the Christmas Story, and Christmas Carols. Come prepared to take part in the festive fun with your kids!

Date/Time: December 14 | 11AM-1PM
Location: First Christian Church (map)
Cost: FREE
More Info: Facebook

Free Pictures with African-American Santa

All are welcome to join us for free pictures with Santa! Join us for fun, games, refreshments and of course to have a chat and snap a pic with Santa! Selfies are welcome and we will also have a photographer on hand that will send your free pictures via email after the event.

Date/Time: December 14 | 1-4PM
Location: Risen Life Church Without Walls (map)
Cost: FREE
More Info: Website

Santa’s Day at North Pole Stroll

The big, jolly man in red is coming to the Athens North Pole Stroll on December 14th from 5:00PM-7:00PM to visit with the boys and girls and a few four-legged friends too. Be sure to bring your letters to Santa too!

Date/Time: December 14 | 5-7PM
Location: Big Spring Memorial Park, Athens (map)
Cost: FREE
More Info: Facebook

Holly Jolly Breakfast with Santa at Stars & Strikes

stars & strikes breakfast with santa

Santa is coming to Huntsville! Reserve your spot today for Breakfast with Santa at Stars and Strikes. Enjoy a delicious breakfast as well as time with Santa, where guests can take their own photos, plus 2 hours of bowling and a 1-hour unlimited video game card. Reservations are required, so call 256-272-4626 to reserve your spot.

Date/Time: December 14 | 9-11AM
Location: Stars & Strikes (map)
Cost: $20
More Info: Website | Facebook

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!

Dates/Times: Dec. 14 | 9AM-8PM
Location: Downtown Scottsboro (map)
Cost: FREE
More InfoFacebook

Snacks with Santa at Imagination Place

A day of special holiday fun is planned as the Hardin Center hosts their annual Snacks with Santa. Santa Claus arrives at 10 am and will stay until noon. Children can visit with Santa while enjoying free snacks provided by Downtown Gadsden, Inc. Snacks with Santa is a free event, however this year’s event is combined with our annual Polar Express Day, a ticketed event.

Dates/Times: Dec. 14 from 10AM-12PM
Location: Hardin Center’s Imagination Place, Gadsden (map)
Cost: FREE (museum entrance or Polar Express Day events are ticketed)
More InfoWebsite or call (256) 543-2787

Second Saturday at Merchants Walk + Merchants Square

Welcome to our event series, Second Saturday at Merchants Walk and Merchants Square! Join us on the Second Saturday of each month to celebrate the holidays, as this December 14th we have the carolers and SANTA with us! We have a photo booth from Sigh Photo Booth, plus enjoy great shopping specials and lunch options from our merchants.

Dates/Times: Dec. 14, 11AM-2PM
Location: Merchants Square (map)
Cost: FREE
More Info: Facebook

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Where is YOUR favorite place to see Santa in Huntsville? Leave a comment below to help out other North Alabama families!

Huntsville Christmas