Huntsville, Alabama is a bound with activities and events for the whole family, especially during the holiday season. It is a wonderful time of sights and sounds. You know it is holiday time when you see the snowflakes attached to light poles as you travel on Memorial Parkway. Everywhere you go you will hear Christmas music. In fact, each year 99.1FM plays non-stop Christmas music during the holidays.
Each year Huntsville kicks off the holiday season with Christmas Parade. It is always the first Saturday in December and many people and organizations from the community come to participate. The sidewalks lining the parade's path in downtown Huntsville are always packed with children and adults of all ages. Those who can't make it out to the parade can always watch the parade on WAAY-TV, Channel 31.
Bridge Street Town Centre has an annual tree lighting ceremony to kick off the Christmas season. Bridge Street has over 70 shops, and is home to Monaco Pictures as well as the Westin Huntsville Hotel. It located on the corner of Old Madison Pike and Research Park Boulevard. It also surrounds a 10-acre lake with gondola rentals available. Children will enjoy the large carousel that is located on the property. Bridge Street is amazing unto itself, but with the lighting of the Christmas tree it helps make the holidays complete.
Constitution Village is transformed during the Christmas holidays as Santa and his helpers make their arrival to the Huntsville. Santa's Village is like Santa's second home. It transports residents and visitors back in time to an old-fashioned Christmas, as well as enjoying the sights and sounds of modern technology through animated light displays of penguins and polar bears.
Santa's Village is open to the public from late November through till Christmas Eve. For an admission fee of $15 you can enjoy all the activities this attraction has to offer between the hours of 5pm and 9pm. For more information on exact dates, call (256) 564-8100.
Since 1984, First Baptist Church on Governors Drive have ignited the sounds of the holiday is with a powerful musical performance. The sanctuary is transformed with a giant Christmas tree that almost reaches their high ceiling. Hundreds of singers gather to sing within this enormous Christmas tree as the talented orchestra provides soothing music that will have the grumpiest of scrooges in the Christmas spirit. Admission is free but you will need to call in advance for tickets at (256) 428-9400. For a glimpse of what to expect, you can visit their website to see a video of a past performance.
Voted the top attraction in the southeast, the Huntsville Botanical Gardens host an array of Christmas lights. Some of these are even animated. It is a mile long wonder of lights that can be view from the comfort of your car as you drive through the tantalizing sights. Admission is $15 per car and is open Thanksgiving night through New Year's Eve from 5:30pm - 9pm. They will also have certain nights available for a walk-thru with many activities for children and a chance to talk with Santa himself.
Each year the neighbors of Horseshoe Trail spare no expense lighting up the street and their house to delight children and adults of all ages. Children can get out and have a chance to talk with Frosty the Snowman, the Grinch, and even Santa. Don't be surprised to also find live reindeer on one of the front lawns. Although traffic is bumper to bumper during this time, it is well worth it. Your children will be talking about their experience here for years to come.
Christmas just isn't the same without having the opportunity to watch the Nutcracker live. The Huntsville Ballet Company teams up with the Huntsville Symphony each year for an enchanting performance in the Von Braun Center's Concert Hall. For more information you can visit this website.
North Alabama Railroad Museum is located at 694 Chase Road. Each year they host a train ride with Santa. Santa always has gifts and candy for the children. Although the train ride with Santa costs $12 per person, the admission to the museum is free. You and your children will be able to take in all the sights of the holidays as they admire the Christmas decorations at the Museum. It will be something they will remember for years to come.
Another local favorite is Ditto Landing's Parade of Boats. On the second Saturday during the month of December, fireworks kick off the amazing event. Over twenty boats participate in a parade on the water showing off their creative skills by decorating their boats with thousands of Christmas lights. It is definitely a must-see event for the holidays.
Another event that occurs the second Saturday in December is the Huntsville Luminaries from 5pm-9pm. The Twickenham Historical Homes Districts is home to over 5,000 luminary lights. It isn't just the tour of homes that makes this night special. There is also a Candlelight Christmas Memorial for the unknown soldiers in Maple Hill Cemetery.
The Burritt Museum always tones Christmas down with a beautiful display of candle lights. It gives the visitors an old-fashion feel as they slow down from the fast-pace of our society today. You will find volunteers in 19th-century period clothing baking cookies on an open hearth as well as musicians playing Christmas music from that time. Children can play games, make old-fashioned ornaments, and even listen to stories. Even a Victorian St. Nick, known better as Santa Claus, will make an appearance with treats for the children. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children 2-18, and $5 for seniors, military, and students.
Santa at the mall
For children in the Huntsville area, Christmas isn't complete without a chance to sit on Santa's lap at the mall. Huntsville has two malls to choose from, Parkway Place Mall and Madison Square Mall. Many children look forward to sitting on Santa's lap and the opportunity to have their picture taken with him. Although lines tend to lengthy, it is well worth the wait.
Various theatre groups, schools, and churches will sometimes put on a Christmas themed play. This is always enjoyable to attend. Not only does it help put one in the Christmas Spirit, but it also showcases the talent of the people in the Tennessee Valley.
As you can see, there are many activities and events available throughout Huntsville during the Christmas holidays. Although many are children and family oriented, they can be quite enjoyable for adults as well. If you can't make all the events, sit down and talk with your family and friends to determine which events are of the most interest.