5 beautiful reasons to head to Hattiesburg this December

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Victorian Candlelit Christmas in Hattiesburg
Victorian Candlelit Christmas. (Visit Hattiesburg)

Need a little Christmas? Looking for just the right backdrop for your holiday pics, or a sweet weekend getaway? Just 3.5 hours from Birmingham, Hattiesburg, Mississippi is the perfect place for all this and more.

December in Hattiesburg is full of fun holiday events

horses and wagon in Hattiesburg
Christmas in downtown Hattiesburg is full of photo-ops. (Visit Hattiesburg)

Get your calendar now and start planning your trip. Here’s some of what Hattiesburg has on tap for the month of December:

  • Pocket Museum / Theater (Holiday Exhibit): December 1-31
  • Self-Guided Downtown Window Display Tour: December 1-31
  • Lucky Rabbit: Open every weekend
  • Lights of the Wild at Hattiesburg Zoo: December 2-4, 9-11, 16-23, with a special Sensory Day December 11
  • December First Saturday: December 3
  • Downtown Candlelit Christmas: December 10
  • Victorian Candlelit Christmas: December 10-11
  • Midnight on Front Street: December 31

1. Pocket Museum, December 1-31

Families love visiting the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum year round. (Visit Hattiesburg)

The Hattiesburg Pocket Museum is a tiny treasure tucked away on a downtown alley. Its “secret” location and rotating exhibits of small things keep it fresh. Plus, during December, it actually sometimes “snows” in the pocket alley.

2. The Lucky Rabbit, open every weekend

The Lucky Rabbit
So many treasures await at The Lucky Rabbit. (Visit Hattiesburg)

The Lucky Rabbit is “a 15,000 square foot variety store filled with unique finds and nostalgic treasures from long ago.” If you’re looking for over-the-top displays, photo-worthy backgrounds and the best dirty Santa gifts, you’ve got to stop by. You might have spotted this fun Hattiesburg shop on HGTV’s “Home Town.”

Fun fact: DYK, Hattiesburg has lots of tasty food you can enjoy while you are there?

3. Lights of the Wild at Hattiesburg Zoo, December 2-4, 9-11 + 16-23

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Wild about these zoo lights. (Visit Hattiesburg)

While others sing about the 12 Days of Christmas, the Hattiesburg Zoo hosts 13 nights of Lights of the Wild.

  • What: Beautiful and exotic lanterns showcasing diverse flora and fauna from around the world, plus:
    • Unlimited train + carousel rides
    • Animal encounters
    • Characters, including some from Frozen
    • Storytime with Mrs. Claus
  • Where: Hattiesburg Zoo, 107 S 17th Ave., Hattiesburg 39401
  • When: December 2-4, 9-11 + 16-23, 6-8:30PM + special “Sensory Day” December 11
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  • Pro tip: Get tickets early as this event sells out

4. Downtown Candlelit Christmas, December 10

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Those historic homes lit by candles, though. (Visit Hattiesburg)

Each year, the Downtown Hattiesburg Association teams up with merchants, the Historic Neighborhood and vendors to host Downtown Candlelit Christmas.

This year’s holiday weekend features a number of special events in and around downtown Hattiesburg, including:

  • Downtown Christmas Adventure: a scavenger hunt through downtown Hattiesburg
  • The 45th Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas, featuring the Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood, with:
    • 18,000 white bags with flickering candles lining the sidewalks of the Historic Neighborhood + the downtown district
    • 300+ homes + businesses decorated for the holidays with garlands, bows + twinkling lights
    • 1000s of visitors from across the region
    • Sacred Heart Church caroling on the church front steps
    • Historic home tours—both in-person + virtual
    • Horse-drawn carriage rides
  • The Mice Before Christmas: a Christmas event at the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum, featuring story time with Mrs. Claus
  • East Sixth Street Museum District’s Open House: at the African American Military History Museum + Smith Drug Company
  • Holiday Art Market: hosted by the Hattiesburg Community Art Center
  • Extended holiday shopping at multiple retail locations and dining with live music at many eateries

5. Holiday Lights in HBURG, December 1-31

windows 5 beautiful reasons to head to Hattiesburg this December
It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas. (Visit Hattiesburg)

After checking your list twice for everyone naughty and nice, grab a cup of hot cocoa, and enjoy the local festivities. Check out these favorites for holiday lights and cheer:

  • Fodor’s listed the Downtown Hattiesburg Window Tour as one of the Top 50 Best Place to See Christmas Lights in America. Adults can pick up a drink from a local bar or restaurant, then sip and stroll with Downtown Hattiesburg’s “Go Cup” district, similar to Birmingham’s Entertainment Districts.
  • For a set up that will take you back to childhood, visit Lewis Lights, celebrating more than 30 years of providing a free, walking path of twinkling lights and characters.

BONUS: ring in the New Year in Hattiesburg

It’s time to start planning how you will ring in the new year in HBURG. Plan a staycation or a mini-getaway.

Looking to make New Year’s Eve traditions with the little ones? Midnight on Front Street is for you. Street vendors, blinky swag, dual fireworks shows, live music, and the Hub Sign “ball” drop at midnight will fill the night with memories in the making.

Ready to go? Book your trip to Hattiesburg today. Follow Visit Hattiesburg on social: Instagram | Facebook | Tik Tok | Pinterest

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Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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