Christmas can be hard on the wallet, so we have put together a list of free things to do this Christmas in North Alabama.
Tinsel Trail in Huntsville
The Tinsel Trail at Big Spring Park in Huntsville is going to be bigger than ever this year! It's expanding across Church Street into Big Spring Park West. There will be pop up versions of the Downtown Craft Coffee Trail and other food trucks. November 24 through January 1. (photo by North Alabama Ambassador Robert Posey)
Enchanted Forest of Decatur is a display of live-cut trees sponsored and decorated by members of the Decatur community for public viewing from December 2 through January 1. (Photo courtesy of Decatur Morgan Tourism)
Christmas in the Park in Arab
In celebration of the holiday season, Arab invites visitors to Christmas in the Park for a stroll through a magical wonderland filled with family photo opportunities at every turn. The event kicks off on November 24 at 6:00 p.m. with a lighting ceremony. Musical entertainment will be provided by Arab High School Jazz Band who will be playing everyone’s favorite Christmas carols and medleys.
During Christmas in the Park, the holiday lights are on from dusk until 9:30 p.m., weather-permitting, November 24 through December 31. Admission is free.
Santa in the Village adds to the holiday excitement when the Arab Historic Village, adjacent to the Arab City Park, is transformed into Santa’s village. As festivalgoers make their way around, a variety of activities will keep everyone entertained. Stop by the gristmill and pick up food for the reindeer, watch as the blacksmith makes reindeer shoes at his shop, head over to the 1890’s Farmhouse to visit with the Grinch and be sure to visit with Santa Claus before leaving. All historic buildings will be open and adorned with festive Christmas decorations. Plenty of photo opportunities will be available to capture the holiday spirit. Hours for Santa in the Village are 6 to 9 p.m. (weather-permitting) beginning November 24-25, and continuing December 1-2, December 8-9, December 15-16 and December 22-23. Admission for Santa in the Park is $6 per person. Children under 2 are admitted free.
Arab City Park is located at 844 Shoal Creek Trail. For more information, visit https://www.arabcity.org/events-festivals/ or call (256) 586-6793. (photo by North Alabama Ambassador Robert Posey)
Parade of Lights at Joe Wheeler State Park
Don't miss all the beautifully decorated boats at the marina at Joe Wheeler State Park! The parade will be December 9 at 6pm.
Christmas on the Square in Moulton
Beginning December 7, locals and visitors are invited to join in on the spirit of the holiday season with the annual Christmas on the Square, a magical stroll among a beautiful display of live Christmas trees trimmed in festive decorations. Due to renovation work at the Lawrence County Courthouse, the month-long event will take place this year at the Lions Club located at 455 School Street in Moulton. Admission is free.
Christmas on the Square is a display of uniquely decorated Christmas trees, sponsored and decorated by individuals, groups and businesses from Lawrence County and the surrounding area. The trail also features various photo backdrops or selfie stations to document the magical Christmas experience.
Additional free activities to add to the festive fun are planned Friday, Dec. 8 and Friday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. and include carriage rides, a petting zoo, sipping on hot chocolate, Santa Claus, train rides, snacking on popcorn and cotton candy and face painting. Food trucks will be on hand for anyone arriving hungry and for a nominal fee, festival goers can participate in bingo.
Guntersville Museum Festival of Trees
The Guntersville Museum Festival of Trees is a delightful display of beautifully decorated trees. November 17 - January 1, 2024.
North Pole Stroll
The North Pole Stroll in Downtown Athens is a celebration of beautifully decorated trees all around Big Spring Park. This year there will be horse-drawn carriage rides around the historic downtown area. December 1-31.
Sippin' Cider Festival
On Saturday, December 9, 2023, from 4 to 8 p.m., everyone is invited to sip and shop in downtown Athens in celebration of the holiday season. Now in its thirteenth year, the Sippin’ Cider Festival offers an evening of shopping, singing and other fun holiday activities while sipping on winter’s favorite drink.
During the Sippin’ Cider Festival, participating merchants prepare and offer complimentary sample tastings of their favorite hot cider recipe. Cider enthusiasts will vote by ballot for their favorite, and the cider receiving the most votes wins the coveted Cider Cup and bragging rights for the year.
While sipping on cider, guests can tackle their Christmas shopping and browse for unique holiday decorations. Merchants of downtown Athens will serve up plenty of gift ideas and special sales throughout the evening. Strolling carolers from Lindsay Lane Christian Academy Performing Arts Group and The Rocket City Chorus will provide entertainment as guests sip and shop.
Additional activities include the fantastic Athens High School Jazz Band beginning at 4 p.m. followed by Christmas carols led by Athens High School and Athens Middle School choirs on the courthouse steps, eating smores on the courthouse lawn, visits with Santa and free carriage rides.
Sippin’ Cider is a free event hosted by Athens Main Street. For more information, visit https://athensmainstreet.org/sippin-cider/ or contact Athens Main Street Executive Director Tere Richardson at 256-232-9040.