You don’t have to wait until December for events that will get even the Grinch in the Christmas spirit. Take the kids to a tree lighting or get your shopping done early at a seasonal market or festival. Check out our roundup below.
Christmas Village Festival
Wednesday, Nov. 2- Sunday, Nov. 6
Now in its 35th year, the Christmas Village Festival is an Alabama tradition. Browse a variety of crafts, gifts, and food and stock up on creative presents for your friends and family.
Many shoppers have expanded their experience to include a night (or two) in our host hotel. The Birmingham Sheraton offers an enclosed skywalk directly into Christmas Village. However you choose to experience Christmas Village Festival, it’s sure to be a memorable experience.
Riverchase Galleria Tree Lighting
Friday, Nov. 4, 6-8 p.m.
Round up the kids and head to the Center Court at Riverchase Galleria for this special annual tree lighting event. Entertainment begins at 6 p.m., and the tree lighting ceremony begins at 7 p.m. Immediately following the tree lighting ceremony, characters will be available in front of Macy’s for photo opportunities and autographs. Santa Claus will also make an appearance.
Market Noel Presented by Junior League of Birmingham
Nov. 30-Dec. 5
Cahaba Grand Conference Center
Get your shopping done early this year with this market of gift venodrs. The festivities begin Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. with a Preview Noel with hor d’oeuvres, wine, beer, and bourbon tastings, and your chance to win a Diamonds Direct piece of jewelry. General admission shopping takes place Thursday, Dec. 1- Saturday, Dec. 3. Highlights of the week include Market Bliss, a girls’ night with beauty and bubbles featuring Tonya Jones beauty bar, and Rock the Runway featuring Lilly Pulitzer.
Presented by Swoozie’s Birmingham, Lights Up at The Summit is their annual kick-off to the holiday season. Watch a parade that ends with Santa’s arrival and a fireworks show. Stick around for the Lights Up After Party, featuring holiday tunes from local artist Jackson Capps. Arrive early, stay late, and enjoy all the holiday festivities. Magic 96.5 will be broadcasting live and will have a Children’s Christmas Craft Area on the Kendra Scott Terrace Patio.
Naked Art Gallery
Nov. 18–Dec. 24
Buy something unique and local for friends and family this year at Kitschmas, featuring artwork and ornaments made with recycled materials by more than 60 artists. Ready-made art and hip crafts for gifts are priced under $50.
Winter Wonderland Exhibit
McWane Science Center
Opens Nov. 19
Bring your family to the most magical place around this holiday season. Children can coast down the Ice Slide and take a whirl across the room on the extended zip line. Climb aboard the McWane Train and go for a ride or try your luck at ice fishing. The Zip Line will be even longer this year as visitors fly through the air on 70 feet of suspended wire.
Nov. 20, 3 p.m.
Riverchase United Methodist Church
The Alabama Civic Chorale will present their 69th annual performance of Handel’s MESSIAH with soloists and orchestra. The chorus is comprised of approximately 100 people from all over the Birmingham area and throughout the state and is free to the public. Seats are a first come, first serve basis and will fill up quickly. It is suggested to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the program. A great way to begin the holiday season.
Birmingham’s Winter Wonderland
Nov. 25- Jan. 17
Want to experience a winter wonderland in the Magic City? Railroad Park plans to add an outdoor ice skating rink this winter. The ice rink will open the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, and stay open seven days a week through mid-January.
Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum
Saturdays, Nov. 26–Dec. 17, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Take a special train ride with Santa. Each child will receive a special treat and have the opportunity to tell Santa what he or she would like for Christmas, as well as take a photo with him. Rides last around one hour.