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Can’t Miss Alabama: Light up the holidays with show-stopping performances

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Celebrate the holiday with amazing entertainment.


Mobile Symphony’s Cinematic Christmas salutes holiday movies

The Mobile Symphony Orchestra (MSO) invites holiday concertgoers to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11, at 2:30 p.m. at the historic Saenger Theatre. The orchestra’s annual Christmas concert is a Gulf Coast family tradition, and this year’s performance features music from popular holiday movies: “White Christmas,” “Silver Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and more. Learn more about the show and performers here. Alabama Power is supporting the event. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at 251-432-2010 or at the symphony box office.

‘It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play’ at Alabama Shakespeare Festival

The beloved American holiday classic comes to life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers the impact of his life one fateful Christmas Eve. Kate Bergstrom will make her directorial debut leading a cast of five actors who will use sound effects, singing and quick character changes to bring to life this iconic American story. The Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery will feature the play until News Year’s Eve. This production is perfect for all ages. Purchase tickets online.

Magic Christmas in Lights

Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Theodore will have its annual holiday light display through Wednesday, Jan. 4. Stroll throughout the 65-acre gardens estate just south of Theodore. Beer, wine and coffee with Irish cream will be available throughout the evening, as well as snacks, hot chocolate and s’mores. Magic Christmas in Lights will be open daily with extended hours from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Bellingrath’s Magnolia Café will also serve holiday meals 4-8 p.m. Follow this link to download the Magic Christmas in Lights map.

Choccolocco Park Festival of Lights in Oxford

Enjoy the beautiful one-mile drive-thru light show with more than a million lights and twinkling displays from the comfort of your vehicle. Festival of Lights will also feature Santa’s Village with lots of fun activities, vendors and outdoor skating. The village offers synthetic-ice skating, food vendors, merchandise, inflatables, photos with Santa and hot apple cider. The festival is open nightly through Christmas Eve 5-10 p.m. For a smoother holiday experience, purchase tickets online at Tickets can also be purchased at the gate. The venue is at 954 Leon Smith Parkway.

Galaxy of Lights in Huntsville

Explore the elaborate lights at the Huntsville Botanical Garden through Saturday, Jan. 1. Between walking nights and driving nights, new features at this year’s Galaxy of Lights include a 150-foot tunnel of lights, comprising 40,000 channels of light; lighting effects in and around the Damson Aquatic Garden; a display of 96 light poles, each 10 feet tall, programmed to dance to music in the Van Valkenburgh Daylily Garden; more than 300 colorful floodlights that emphasize the garden’s natural features and landscape; more than 10 illuminated swings spread throughout the experience; and a professional photo opportunity in the garden. Click here for tickets and here for the holiday schedule.

Springville’s 150th anniversary celebration

The city of Springville is celebrating its 150th anniversary. The celebration will highlight Springville’s rich past, present and future.

Festivities will take place on Main Street in Springville:

Dec. 8

  • 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Free 150th city of Springville Christmas Ornament while supplies last.
  • 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Santa, Woodall Building.
  • 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.: Kids’ activities, Springville Library.
  • 5:45 p.m.: Christmas concert, Farmers Market.
  • 6:30 p.m.: Ceremony, Farmers Market.

Dec. 10

  • 6 p.m.: Christmas Parade.
  • Fireworks following the parade.

For more information, contact the city of Springville at 205-467-0265.

Holly Days on Main Festival at The Wharf

There is something for all ages at the third annual Holly Days on Main Festival at The Wharf in Orange Beach Dec. 10-11. The free-to-attend festival will have live music, a lighted boat parade and a pub crawl. Holly Days takes advantage of the wide Main Street area of The Wharf to line vendors up and down the complex. Vendors will sell a variety of fine arts, retail goods and crafts. There will be Christmas-themed performances by a youth choir and dance programs. Visit the website for the complete details.

Magical Nights: Vulcan’s Holiday Experience

Vulcan Park and Museum in Birmingham will be transformed into a wonderland filled with holiday lights, music and special guest appearances Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 16-23. The Anvil and Museum will have extended hours until 8 p.m. Food, hot chocolate, wine and beer will be available for additional purchase. Tickets are available via the website or on Eventbrite. Admission includes access to the park grounds, observation tower and museum and photos with Santa.

Taylor Hicks Moondance

Taylor Hicks, a Birmingham native and “American Idol” winner, will perform Van Morrison’s hits and Christmas classics at the Lyric Theatre on Friday, Dec. 9. The event will benefit Toys for Tots. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.  Follow this link for tickets. Downtown parking meters are free after 6 p.m. on weekdays and all day on Saturday and Sunday. Lots marked “permit parking only” are tow-away zones and vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense. The Lyric Theatre is at 1800 Third Ave. N. in Birmingham.

Glow Wild: An Animal Lantern Celebration

The Birmingham Zoo’s larger-than-life illuminated experience, Glow Wild: An Animal Lantern Celebration, continues through Monday, Jan. 16, from 5-9 p.m.  Watch the zoo come alive with wild animal and sea life lantern creations brilliantly lighting up the night. Take a ride on the Red Diamond Express Train or go for a spin on the Protective Life Carousel. Glow Wild is a weather-dependent event with nights being subject to cancellation. The zoo will be closed Christmas and Christmas Eve. Tickets are on sale at birminghamzoo/glowwild.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

Celebrate the holiday season with a dazzling performance of Cirque Dreams Holidaze at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Dec. 9-10. The holiday spectacular wraps a whimsical, Broadway-style musical infused with contemporary circus artistry into a holiday gift for the entire family. Since 1993, the Cirque Dreams brand has entertained more than 50 million people worldwide, appearing in theaters, casinos, theme parks, at sea and on Broadway. Frequently asked questions are here. Follow this link for ticket information.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze will take place in Birmingham Dec. 9-10. (Cirque Dreams Holidaze)