26 festive December events that will get you in the holiday spirit

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December events
(Jingle Bell Run)

The holiday rush is here, but amidst all the joyous movies, yummy treats and gift buying, be sure to make time to celebrate the season with some of Birmingham’s top events. Here’s what’s ahead all December long.

1. Glow Wild: An Animal Lantern Celebration

December events
Flamingos at Glow Wild. (The Birmingham Zoo / Facebook)

What: Glow Wild continues through December, and if you’ve never been to this spectacular event, now’s the time. The Birmingham Zoo comes alive in this illuminated event that features larger-than-life wild animal and sea animal lantern creations that are sure to amaze you. More info.
When: Wednesdays-Sundays in December | 5-9PM
Where: The Birmingham Zoo, 2630 Cahaba Rd, Birmingham, AL 35223
Cost: Varies
Tickets

2. Red Mountain Theatre’s Holiday Spectacular

What: The Holiday Spectacular returns this year with another must-see magical show. Performed by Birmingham’s top talent and Red Mountain Theatre’s Youth Ensembles, you won’t be able to help dancing in your seat to all your favorite music of the season. More info.
When:
Wednesday-Sunday, December 1-18th | Weeknights 7:30PM, Weekends 2PM + 7:30PM
Where: Red Mountain Theatre Arts Campus, 1600 3rd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233
Cost: $27+
Tickets

3. Dr. Chandler and Jane Paris Smith Opera Series presents Amahl and the Night Visitors

What: You’ll be ushered into the Christmas season in this heartwarming American opera by Gian Carlo Menotti. Filled with beautiful music, you’ll hear the story of Amahl and his mother who are visited by three wisemen on their way to Bethlehem. More info.
When:
Thursday-Sunday, December 1-4 | Dec. 1-3, 7:30-9PM | Dec. 3-4, 2:30-4PM
Where: Harrison Theatre, 800 Lakeshore Dr, Birmingham, AL 35229
Cost: $5-$20
Tickets

4. The Magic City Nutcracker

What: Join Clara on a magical journey as she battles the Rat King in this fantastic tale. This year’s show features over 150 community dancers and actors, guest principal artists and local professional guest artists. More info.
When: Friday, December 2, 7PM | Saturday, December 3, 2PM + 7PM | Sunday, December 4, 2PM
Where: The Lyric Theatre, 1800 3rd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
Cost: $25+
Tickets

5. Meet the Grinch

December events
Christmas at The Summit Birmingham. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

What: Your ultimate holiday photo is just a click away when you join in some Whoville fun and holiday photos with the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who. Walk-ins welcome! More info.
When:
Friday, December 2, 9 + 16 | 5-8PM
Where: The Summit, 214 Summit Blvd, #150, Birmingham, AL 35243
Cost: Free (Photos available for purchase)

6. Holiday Market: Benefiting Fellowship House

What: You’re sure to get merry during this special holiday market filled with shopping + charity. Santa Claus himself will make an appearance, too. Proceeds from the event benefit Fellowship House, a substance use disorder recovery program in Birmingham. More info.
When:
Saturday, December 3 | 10AM-3PM
Where: Sloss Furnaces, 20 32nd St N, Birmingham, AL 35222
Cost: Free admission

7. Experience Christmas, a live nativity & festive family fun

live nativity
See a live nativity during Experience Christmas, Dec. 4. (Asbury United Methodist Church)

What: Experience the magic of Christmas during this all-new FREE event. You’ll see a live nativity, take part in festive, family-friendly activities, enjoy time with the community and more. More info.
When:
Sunday, December 4 | 4-8PM
Where: Asbury United Methodist Church, 6690 Cahaba Valley Rd, Birmingham, AL 35242
Cost: Free

8. Colonial Christmas Lunch & Tour

What: Eat, drink + be merry at this annual American Village event. Hear light-hearted stories of how George + Martha Washington met and courted and be greeted by the “newlyweds” during lunch. Hurry—tickets sell out fast! More info.
When: Monday-Friday, December 5-9 | 10:30AM-1PM OR Noon-2:30PM
Where: The American Village, 3727 Highway 119 S, Montevallo, AL 35115
Cost: $40
Tickets: Call 205.665.3535 ext. 1031 to reserve your seats

9. Winter Wonderland – Pictures with Santa

What: Meet Santa during this free family-friendly community event hosted by Crestwood’s Best and Gracie Barra Birmingham. In addition to an exciting Santa meet-and-greet, you’ll find a cake walk, bounce house + more. More info.
When: Saturday, December 10 | 2-5PM
Where: 3800 3rd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222
Cost: Free | $10 instant prints + $5 digital copies are available

10. Breakfast with Santa

What: Searching for Santa? You can find him eating breakfast at this sweet and FREE event on December 10. Bring the family for a morning filled with pancakes and photos with the Big Guy. More info.
When:
Saturday, December 10 | 7:30-10AM
Where: Vestavia Hills Civic Center, 1090 Montgomery Hwy, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216
Cost:
Free

11. Avondale’s Holiday Market

What: Eat, drink and be merry. At this fun event, get your picture taken with Santa, listen to holiday music and sip hot chocolate all while shopping local vendors. More info.
When: Saturday, December 10 | Noon-4PM
Where: Avondale Brewing Co, 201 41st St S, Birmingham, AL 35222
Cost: Free admission

12. OUR VOICES: a showcase and fundraiser

What: View + purchase creative works by shelter guests from Firehouse Ministries + Pathways Home, see live dance performances and hear poetry readings from local renowned poets. Proceeds benefit InToto Creative Arts programming. Shelter guests receive 80% of sales from their sold artwork. More info.
When: Saturday, December 10 | 6-9PM
Where: Harvest Roots Ferments, 4420 4th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222
Cost: $10 suggested donation.

13. Christmas with Act of Congress

Act of Congress
Act of Congress. (Act of Congress / Facebook)

What: During this spirited event, Chris Confessore leads the Alabama Symphony Orchestra with special guest Act of Congress as they perform holiday favorites and timeless classics. More info.
When:
Saturday, December 10 | 7PM
Where: Samford University Wright Center, 872 Montague Dr, Birmingham, AL 35229
Cost: $12-$65
Tickets

14. Home Alone Trivia Night

What: Think you know all about the 90s holiday film Home Alone? Prove it during this trivia night at Dave & Buster’s. Play for a chance to win prizes, plus enjoy drinks and games while you’re there. More info.
When:
Thursday, December 8 | 6:30-8:30PM
Where: Dave & Buster’s, 2700 Galleria Cir, Ste 110, Birmingham, AL 35244
Cost: Free admission

15. It’s a Wonderful Life Live!

What: It’s not Christmas without seeing It’s a Wonderful Life. Now, you can see the 1948 film live onstage at the Homewood Theatre. More info.
When:
Thursday-Sunday, December 8-11 + 15-18
Where: Homewood Theatre, 1831 28th Ave S, Homewood, AL 35209
Cost: $25
Tickets

16. A Cappella Choir Choral Vespers

What: Hear the Samford A Cappella Choir perform in this special choral vespers service. More info.
When: Thursday, December 8 | 5:30-6:30PM
Where: A. Hamilton Reid Chapel, 808 Montague Dr, Homewood, AL 35209
Cost: Free

17. Cirque Dreams Holidaze

What: Broadway-style musical meets contemporary circus arts in this brilliant and whimsical family holiday spectacular. Cirque Dreams Holidaze lights up the stage at The BJCC with original and classic music and holiday storybook characters that come to life.
When: Friday, December 9, 6:30PM | Saturday, December 10, 3PM + 7:30PM
Where: The BJCC, 1 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N, Birmingham, AL 35203
Cost: $35-$95
Tickets

18. Jingle Bell Run

Jingle Bell Run
Get ready for jingle bell fun. (Arthritis Foundation of Alabama / Facebook)

What: Spread good cheer for a great cause during this holiday-inspired 5K benefiting the Arthritis Foundation. Holiday costumes are encouraged! More info.
When:
Saturday, December 10 | 9:30AM
Where: Veteran’s Park, 4800 Valleydale Rd, Meadowbrook, AL 35242
Cost: 5K Timed – $45 | 5K Untimed – $40 | Virtual Jingler – $30
Register

19. The JLB: Centennial Gala

What: Celebrate 100 years of service with the Junior League of Birmingham. The event features a series of activities, including the ongoing 100 Acts of Service initiative designed to improve the community and to further raise awareness of the JLB and its goals. More info.
When:
Sunday. December 11 | 6-11PM
Where: Events at Haven, 2515 6th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233
Cost: Reception Only – $25 | General Ticket – $75
Tickets

20. Wacky Tacky Light Tour

Wacky Tacky Light Tour
It’s time to get tacky! (Wacky Tacky Light Tour / Facebook

What: It’s time for all things tacky during this must-join holiday light tour that features a two-hour bus ride celebrating the best of the gaudiest holiday light displays in Birmingham. See the Hanukkah House, Santa’s Trailer Park, Dueling Neighbors, Star Wars Christmas, a Reindeer Playground + more. More info.
When: Tuesday, December 13 + 20 and Thursday, December 15 + 22 | Buses leave every 15 minutes beginning at 6PM
Where: Buses depart from Cahaba Brewing Co, 4500 5th Ave S, Building C, Birmingham, AL 35222
Cost: $45
Tickets

21. Trans-Siberian Orchestra: the Ghosts of Christmas Eve

What: Are you ready to rock? You will be when Trans-Siberian Orchestra takes to the stage at the Legacy Arena. These amazing musicians and performers are guaranteed to blow you away with seasonal favorites like O Holy Night and Music Box Blues. More info.
When: Thursday, December 15 | 7PM
Where: Legacy Arena
Cost: $49.50+
Tickets

22. The Firehouse End of The Year Bash

What: The Firehouse Community Arts Center’s annual holiday celebration is back this December with an interactive hip-hop learning experience, live performances from Firehouse students, headliner Mike Cooley of the Drive-By Truckers and a live auction with amazing items + experiences. Proceeds benefit the Center’s community. More info.
When:
Thursday, December 15 | 8PM
Where:
Saturn, 200 41st St S, Birmingham, AL, 35222
Cost:
General Admission – $20 | VIP – $150
Tickets

23. George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®

The Nutcracker
Alabama Ballet performs George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®. (Eric Lucky Photography / Alabama Ballet / Facebook)

What: It’s time for mischievous mice, fairies and an enchanted Land of Sweets in this holiday classic performed by the Alabama Ballet. More info.
When:
December 16-17, 20-21, 7:30PM | December 17-18, 21-23, 2:30PM
Where: BJCC, 2100 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N, Birmingham, AL 35203
Cost: Varies by seat
Tickets 

24. Handel’s Messiah

What: Alabama Symphony Orchestra brings this beloved fixture of the holiday season to Birmingham this December. You’ll even get to hear the iconic Hallelujah Chorus, one of the work’s most famous pieces. More info.
When:
Saturday, December 17 | 7PM
Where: Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35294
Cost: $10-$80
Tickets

25. TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl

Birmingham bowl
TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl 2021 at Protective Stadium. (Miranda Shaffer / Bham Now)

What: Alabama’s most exciting postseason college football game returns to Protective Stadium this December. As we wait to see which teams will go head to head, be quick and get your tickets now. More info.
When: Tuesday, December 27 | Time – TBD
Where: Protective Stadium, 1020 24th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203
Cost: $42
Tickets

26. New Year’s Eve: A Viennese Celebration

What: Join the Alabama Symphony Orchestra during this incredible SuperPOPS! Special Event. Toast to the end of 2022 with a nod to the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day performances as beloved Maestro Beloved Carlos Izcaray leads the Orchestra in a selection of Strauss family favorites. More info.
When:
Saturday, December 31 | 6PM
Where: Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35294
Cost: $12-$65
Tickets

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