Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates (view the "External Resources" section below).
Alabama celebrates Christmas with fantastic light displays all over the state. From Gulf Coast to the Appalachian Mountains near the Tennessee River, millions of lights illuminate neighborhoods, gardens, parks, and downtowns.
Magic Christmas in Lights at Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Theodore (November 27, 2020–January 3, 2021)
Every holiday season, Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Theodore host Magic Christmas in Lights. This is a favorite Gulf Coast holiday tradition, attracting thousands of guests who stroll through a magical light display with more than 1,100 set pieces and fifteen scenes. Over three million lights illuminate the sixty-five-acre garden estate. The Bellingrath Home is lavishly decorated and enhanced with beautiful poinsettias. Every night there is a choral performance on the South Terrace of the Home. Guests may also get hot chocolate and other beverages at Live Oak Plaza. Magic Christmas in Lights was included in the Top 20 of Southeast Tourism Society Festivals & Events and ranked among “10 Best Botanical Garden Holiday Light Displays” by USA Today.
Glow Wild: An Animal Lantern Celebration at the Birmingham Zoo (November 18, 2020–January 18, 2021)
Glow Wild: An Animal Lantern Celebration is a new larger than life illuminated experience at the Birmingham Zoo. This extraordinary event will be held on select nights during November, December, and January. Guests will be captivated by visually stunning lantern creations of wildlife from around the world. Watch the Zoo come alive with hundreds of marvelous animal shapes of all sizes—from pandas, elephants, cheetahs, polar bears, and whales—soaring up to 30 feet (9.1 m) high!
Christmas at the Falls at Noccalula Falls Park, Gadsden (November 26, 2020–January 2, 2021)
Noccalula Falls Park and the City of Gadsden hold a big holiday celebration every year. Christmas at the Falls features millions of lights throughout the park, illuminating walking trails or magnificent views from the park’s train's vantage. In addition to seeing impressive light displays, families can try cookie decorating, visit the petting zoo, and warm up with hot chocolate. Drop by to visit Santa Claus, take a picture, and send a letter to the North Pole in a special mailbox at the Old Post Office.
Galaxy of Lights at Huntsville Botanical Garden, Huntsville (November 13, 2020–January 2, 2021)
Galaxy of Lights Nights is a truly magical experience at Huntsville Botanical Garden in Huntsville, Alabama. Bundle up and enjoy the Walking Nights, exploring dozens of larger-than-life displays on foot. Pay a visit to Santa and walk through snow falling inside the magical icicle forest. Cheer up with a cup of hot chocolate to complete your Galaxy of Light experience. Other options include Dog Walking Nights when pets are invited to the Botanical Garden and Driving Nights when visitors can explore the displays in the comfort of their own cars. Don't forget to stop by a delightful Christmas village to enjoy traditional holiday scenes and characters.
Walking Nights: November 15–18, 21–26, 2019 | Dog Walking Nights: November 18 & 25, 2019 | Driving Nights: November 29, 2019–January 4, 2020.
Tinsel Trail at Big Spring Park, Huntsville (November 27, 2020–January 3, 2021)
Tinsel Trail is a spectacular free display of live Christmas trees that can be seen in Downtown Huntsville's Big Spring Park. Since 2010 volunteers, families, businesses, and various organizations decorate trees for the holidays. Every winter, about 300 trees are sparkling with lights and colors for the whole community to enjoy. The Tinsel Trail can be accessed from Williams Avenue and Church Street, where parking with meters is available.