5 Magical Holiday Scenes in Huntsville, Alabama

5 Magical Holiday Scenes in Huntsville, Alabama

A special thanks to the Huntsville/Madison County CVB and their partners for hosting me at some of these attractions. All opinions are my own.

From colorful rows of evergreen trees to dazzling icicle forests, the holiday vibes are strong in Huntsville, AL. This is a Southern destination that doesn’t often get painted in wintry white, so fostering a festive atmosphere is especially important, and luckily, the community is all over it.

I spent some time here in early December, checking out the seasonal scene around town and crunching on candy canes to fuel my holiday spirit. Read on for a few festive spots I encountered around Huntsville that you should check out, too.

Santa’s Village

Did you know that Santa lives in Huntsville, AL? That whole North Pole thing is a facade — the guy in red busts out swim trunks for vacay in Gulf Shores each summer and we can only assume who he’s pulling for come football season. Bad jokes aside, SANTA'S VILLAGE downtown is a sweet little spot to take the kiddos to meet Mr. Kringle, along with his elves and reindeer.

Located at the Alabama Constitution Village, an open-air museum that displays life in 1819, when’s the state’s constitution was signed here, the magical land comes alive with twinkly lights, singing trees and musical entertainment during the holidays.

Open through Dec 23. 

Tinsel Trail

If you’re one of those people who leaves your Christmas tree up for a good two months (shamelessly raising my hand), you’ll love the TINSEL TRAIL in Big Spring Park. But even if you’re a normal person with an appropriate level of appreciation for trees, you must check out this free holiday attraction.

Hundreds of evergreens line up in neat rows here, each decorated by a local company, organization or family in all kinds of colorful themes. You’ll see classic decor, hand-made ornaments, nods to movie characters, and a couple of quirky setups that I can only assume were built on inside jokes. Come during the day to gain some inspiration for your own tree, and again after dusk to see them all aglow.

Open through Jan.3.

Skating in the Park

There’s something so special about finding an outdoor skating rink in the South. Especially when it’s still warm enough outside to wear short sleeves in December and you’re grasping for that Christmassy feeling. Gliding around on the ice with the stars for company and “Winter Wonderland” playing in the background is just the right dose of holiday magic.

The Huntsville Museum of Art’s SKATING RINK is such a fun addition to the landscape of Big Spring Park over the holidays and makes a perfect date-night spot or family outing. In between laps around the rink, you can sip on hot chocolate to warm up, or go all out and fuel up on nachos and funnel cakes from the concession stand. After all, you’ll probably burn a lot of calories showing off those twirls and not falling even once!

Open through Jan. 7. 

Bridge Street Town Centre

I’m not much of a mall person, but I’ve always loved department stores during the holidays - with the window displays, Christmas trees and giant paper snowflakes dangling everywhere. It just makes me want to grab a candy cane and skip around holding Santa’s hand. BRIDGE STREET TOWN CENTRE ticks all my boxes for holiday charm, with its soaring tree, illuminated reindeer and a strolling Santa available for free photos leading up to Christmas.
I especially love that you can do some good here too, by popping into the KIDS TO LOVE Foundation’s wrapping center. Gifts for foster kids are accepted at the location until mid-December, but you can get your prezzies wrapped through Christmas Eve for a small fee to support the non-profit.

Open daily. Santa’s here through Christmas Eve.

Galaxy of Lights

If you’re like me and get a little too excited about Christmas lights, you definitely need to check out the holiday scenes at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. There are close to 200 different displays this year at the GALAXY OF LIGHTS, including some really clever moving scenes and an icicle forest that had me oohing and pointing like a little kid.

Since you’ll be driving through the attraction (unless you visit on walking nights early in the season), you’re free to cozy up in Christmas PJs and bring your own hot cocoa to sip while you listen to the accompanying festive tunes.

Open through Dec. 31.

*Bonus Holiday Scene*

I love discovering sweet neighborhoods that deck their homes out for the holidays, and the houses that go all out with synchronized lights and music win all the points for their efforts to spread joy in their communities. I stumbled upon a couple here and there while driving around the Huntsville area, and one family even reached out to invite me to check out their display — the HALL FAMILY LIGHT SHOW, which they’ve been putting on for 10 years! It’s on Cove Valley Drive in Owens Cross Roads if you want to check it out. There are more than 100,000 lights and 50 inflatables, so you’re in for a major festive treat!

Where do you love to spend the holidays? Share it with us in the comments.

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