Ready to get in the holiday spirit? Check out five reasons to hop in the car for a short drive to experience the holidays in Auburn-Opelika, two charming cities filled with festive events.
1. Enjoy events for the whole fam ❤️
Celebrate the holidays with activities for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a traditional tree lighting or a lively Christmas parade, holidays in Auburn-Opelika are full of can’t-miss fun. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s on the schedule:
Sno*pelika Christmas Festival + Tree Lighting | November 30, 4:30-7PM
Opelika turns into a winter wonderland, thanks to a tree-lighting ceremony and artificial snow. You can also hear live music from the Opelika High School marching band.
Loveliest Village Holiday Fair | December 4 & 5, 11AM
Visit Downtown Auburn for a parade featuring festival floats, music and an appearance from Santa himself. You’ll also be able to shop in the morning, then see the annual Downtown Auburn Christmas Parade at 2PM.
Auburn Gingerbread Village | December 5 – January 1
Check out the largest Gingerbread Village in East Alabama at The Hotel at Auburn University. You’ll see over 10 gingerbread versions of Auburn University buildings.
This is just a taste of what you can enjoy when you celebrate the holidays in Auburn-Opelika. Check out the full schedule here.
2. Get active with fun runs, hikes + more ☀️
- AORTA Toy Drive 1 Mile, 5K + 10K, November 28, 2PM | Bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit Toys for Tots on this run.
- Jingle Jog 5K + Santa Stroll Fun Run, December 4, 7-9AM | Join Active Auburn for a fun run in Downtown Auburn.
- Ho Ho Ho Hike at the Kreher Preserve, December 4, 10-11:30 AM | Bring the family for a guided hike at Kreher Preserve and Nature Center.
- A Holiday Walk in the Woods, December 17 & 18 | Enjoy a walk through Kreher Preserve with lights and songs by local talent.
3. Eat your way through Auburn-Opelika 🍔
As an Auburn alum, I brag about Auburn-Opelika’s foodie offerings whenever I can. Whether you’re new to the city or returning for the holidays, you can find plenty of tasty options. Not sure where to start? Here are a few of my top suggestions:
- Amsterdam Cafe: Enjoy fresh farm-to-table options like their renowned crab cake and avocado sandwich, seared scallops, or the Amsterdam turkey wrap (my personal favorite). | 410 S Gay St, Auburn, AL 36830
- Tacorita: Order a few tacos (I recommend the cheesy chicken, a taco with fried chicken, queso and corn pico) and a margarita for the perfect meal with loved ones. | 138 N College St, Auburn, AL 36830
- Zazu Gastropub: Head to this gastropub for dishes made with local ingredients, like their fried sweet tea chicken and cornbread, and top your meal off with a beer or wine from their extensive selection. | 112 S 8th St, Opelika, AL 36801
4. Knock out your holiday shopping 🛍️
While you celebrate the season in Auburn-Opelika, you can also grab gifts for your loved ones. While you’re at it, pick up something for yourself, too.
Whether you buy art featuring an Auburn landmark (Samford, anyone?) or books from an independent bookstore, there’s something for everyone. Plus, get great deals and discover new makers at these Auburn-Opelika’s holiday events:
- Opelika Holiday Open House, November 14, Noon-5PM | Visit the charming shops of Downtown Opelika and enjoy music, free gift wrapping, door prizes and refreshments.
- Holiday Art Sale, November 20, 9AM-4PM | Support local artists and buy paintings, pottery, cards, jewelry and more.
- Downtown Auburn Holiday Open House, November 28, Noon-6PM | Take advantage of extended shopping hours and exclusive discounts at the stores of Downtown Auburn.
- Loveliest Village Holiday Fair, December 4 & 5, 11AM | Check out vendors at this brand new holiday event in Downtown Auburn.
- Sweet Homemade Alabama Art Show, December 11, 9AM-4PM | Head to the Opelika Art Haus to shop local artists and support The Community Market, a program of the Food Bank of East Alabama.
5. Find a great place to stay when you enjoy the holidays in Auburn-Opelika
Auburn-Opelika is an easy drive less than two hours from Birmingham, making it the perfect day trip. Want to extend the magic of the holidays and enjoy a weekend in the area? Stay at one of the area’s many hotels or check out unique AirBnBs.