12 festive events for a magical December around Birmingham

Deck the Ham
Birmingham is about to get a lot more festive! Photo via Chaise Sanders for Bham Now

Ready to plan ahead for the final month of 2020? I think we’ve all been waiting to say hasta la vista to this year. Make December one for the books with these magical and COVID-19-friendly events around Birmingham. 

1. Glow Wild: An Animal Lantern Celebration

The Birmingham Zoo
Get your glow on. Photo via The Birmingham Zoo’s Facebook

Zoo Light Safari is getting an upgrade this December at The Birmingham Zoo. Say hello to Glow Wild: An Animal Lantern Celebration.

During this event, watch as the zoo comes alive with hundreds of stunning lantern creations that soar up to 30 feet high. From pandas and elephants to cheetahs and polar bears, this light show has it all.

COVID-19 Precautions:

  • Masks are required.
  • Limited capacity. Tickets will be sold in 30-minute time blocks to ensure social distancing.
  • One-way traffic throughout the zoo.
  • No re-entry.

More precautions here.

  • Where: The Birmingham Zoo, 2630 Cahaba Rd, Birmingham, AL 35223
  • When: Wednesday-Sunday, December 2, 2020–January 18, 2021
  • Time: 5-9PM
  • Price: Varies by date, time + membership
  • Tickets

2. Christmas at the Station

Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum
Choo choo! Photo via Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum’s Facebook

In need of some holiday magic this season? You’ll find it at the Heart of Dixie’s newest event—Christmas at the Station.

Amidst hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights, you’ll discover:

  • Games and activities
  • Food trucks and hot chocolate
  • Rides on the Calera & Shelby Train and the Shelby & Southern Train
  • The Merry Maze of lights
  • Safe photo ops with Santa

You can also plan a special date with your sweetheart when you purchase tickets in the Couple’s Caboose. During this fun ride, you and your sweetie will travel down the tracks in a car for two. How dreamy.

  • Where: Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, 1919 9th St, Calera, AL 35040
  • When: December 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
  • Time: 5-9PM
  • Price: Train + Activities- $33 | Couple’s Caboose + Activities – $50 | Infants – FREE

3. McWane Makers’ Market

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Looking for holiday gifts? Photo by Kira auf der Heide via Unsplash

Support local makers and crafters while knocking out that holiday shopping during the McWane Makers’ Market this December.

Showcasing makers and crafters from throughout Central Alabama, you’ll discover a variety of cool and unique crafts for sale.

What’s really cool is that in support of the science learning programs at McWane, each vendor will deliver scheduled demonstrations regarding the science of their craft.

  • Where: McWane Science Center, 200 19th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203
  • When: Saturday, December 5
  • Time: 10AM-3PM

4. Christmas at the Caboose

Greater Irondale Chamber of Commerce
Christmas is coming. Photo via Greater Irondale Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook

For holiday vibes, jingle your way to Irondale this December for Christmas at the Caboose. With food trucks, music, Santa and more, you and the fam will have a great time.

  • Where: Irondale Chamber of Commerce, 201 20th St S, Irondale, AL 35210
  • When: Saturday, December 5
  • Time: 4-7PM
  • RSVP to Attend

5. Woodlawn Street Market

Woodlawn Street Market
Shop the Woodlawn Street Market. Photo via Woodlawn Street Market’s Facebook

The Woodlawn Street Market is back December 6, and it will be as festive as ever with oh-so-cool vendors and merchants selling all sorts of items.

From fresh produce to unique holiday items, this market is always THE place to be.

  • Where: Woodlawn Street Market, 1 55th Pl S, Birmingham, AL 35212
  • When: Sunday, December 6
  • Time: Noon-4PM
  • Price: FREE

6. Deck the Ham presented by H2 Real Estate

Deck the Ham
Which local artist will win Deck the Ham this year? Photo via Deck the Ham’s Facebook event page

It’s time to Deck the Ham with Birmingham Art Crawl’s yearly winter window art contest.

Beginning December 6, watch as business windows around the Magic City transform into holiday and winter-themed art projects created by local artists.

Have a favorite design? Vote for your favorite December 6-31.

These are just some of the venues participating in the event:

  • Avondale Brewing
  • Birmingham Oddities
  • Cookie Dough Magic
  • Gaia Florals
  • The Literacy Council
  • SoZo Trading
  • The Pizitz
  • Where: Downtown Birmingham
  • When: December 6-30
  • Time: All Day

7. CahaBAZAAR Holiday Market

Cahaba Brewing
Nothing beats the CahaBAZAAR. Photo via Cahaba Brewing Company’s Facebook

Look out, Birmingham. Saturday, December 12 is the 6th annual CahaBAZAAR Holiday Market at Cahaba Brewing Company—and you won’t want to miss it.

Here’s what’s in store:

  • 70+ local vendors
  • Food trucks
  • Free hot chocolate bar
  • Live music + DJ
  • Drink specials
  • Special appearance by Santa
  • And more!

COVID-19 Precautions:

  • The event will be outdoors for adequate social distancing
  • Limited capacity–less than 50%
  • Designated eating and drinking areas
  • Masks required for all vendors and attendees
  • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the event
  • Where: Cahaba Brewing Co, 4500 5th Ave S, Building C, Birmingham, AL 35222
  • When: Saturday, December 12
  • Time: Noon-5PM

8. Nutcracker Market benefiting the Alabama Ballet

Alabama Ballet
A Sugar Plum Fairy. Photo via Melissa Dooley/Alabama Ballet’s Facebook (Taken before COVID-19)

On Saturday, December 12 the Alabama Ballet holds their first-ever Nutcracker Market. At this outdoor market, enjoy music and more as you shop ornaments, nutcrackers and more.

There will be no boutique at the Alabama Ballet’s performances of the Nutcracker this year, so be sure to shop during this special event.

This is a no-cash event. Cards and checks only.

  • Where: Alabama Ballet, 2726 1st Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233
  • When: Saturday, December 12
  • Time: 11AM-3PM
  • Price: Free to attend.

9. Pop-Up Winter Book Sale

Burdock Book Collective
Get your winter reads now. Photo via Burdock Book Collective’s Facebook

Burdock Book Collective’s latest collection awaits you during a Pop-Up Winter Book Sale at Charm on 2nd. Shop local for those essential winter reads, plus more fun finds.

COVID-19 precautions:

  • Masks and social distancing required
  • Use of hand sanitizer enforced before and after browsing
  • Where: Charm On 2nd, 2329 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
  • When: Saturday, December 12
  • Time: Noon-4PM

10. Holiday Art Exhibit

Studio 2500
Art awaits. Photo via Studio 2500’s Facebook

Studio 2500 is decking its halls with joy, giving and positivity during a Holiday Art Exhibit on December 13. All works of art on display will reflect a Season of Joy and will be available for sale at affordable, even discounted, prices.

COVID-19 Precautions:

  • Masks + social distancing required
  • Limited capacity–10 audience members per hour
  • Reserve a time slot to ensure social distancing
  • Where: Studio 2500, 2500 26th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35234
  • When: Sunday, December 13
  • Time: 2-5PM
  • Price: $10
  • Reserve your time slot

11. Holiday Spectacular

Birmingham, Red Mountain Theatre Company
RMTC Holiday Spectacular 2017. Photo via Stewart Edmonds/Red Mountain Theatre Company’s Facebook

There’s no better way to end the year than with something truly spectacular. Join Red Mountain Theatre Company (RMTC) socially distance style for one of their most exciting annual events—the Holiday Spectacular.

The amazing talents of RMTC take over Regions Field for an amazing show December 17-20. Expect your favorite holiday tunes and plenty of surprises.

Along with masks and social distancing, find the full list of COVID-19 precautions here.

  • Where: Regions Field, 1401 1st Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233
  • When: December 17-20
  • Time: Thursday-Sunday, 7:30PM | Saturday-Sunday, 2PM
  • Price: All tickets are sold in 2 or 4 seat bundles. Premium Club Level Tickets – $35 each | Bowl Seating Tickets – $25 each | Bowl Side Tickets – $20 each
  • Tickets

12. The Maestro’s Ball

violin, Alabama Symphony Orchestra
Violin at the ASO. Photo via ASO

Whether in a concert hall, via headphones or on a computer screen, music has the ability to bring people together. Alabama Symphony Orchestra is doing just that with The Maestro’s Ball on Thursday, December 31.

The live event will take place online, will be free of charge and will features a variety of music that is sure to uplift and inspire music lovers everywhere.

As the Orchestra’s largest annual fundraiser, your participation will help provide critical support for the Orchestra’s artistic performances, are education initiatives and outreach programs. Donate to The Maestro’s Ball here.

Where: Online
Thursday, December 31
Live Watch Link Coming Soon

Extra Events for Holiday Cheer

Holiday Movies at The Alabama Theatre

Feeling a good holiday film? Good news! You can catch all the classics this December at the Alabama Theatre. Here’s what’s playing. Tickets are limited—buy now.

Where to Visit Santa

Looking for some ho-ho-holiday excitement with a visit to see Santa this December? We know just where to find him. Check out our list, plus COVID-19 precautions taking place.

Patience Itson
Patience Itson
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