When you want to do something different for Christmas, take a trip to Alabama for your winter vacation. Whether you’re hoping to shop in a one-of-a-kind Christmas market, see a wacky holiday musical, or play in some snow made by snow machines, there’s something here for everybody. Book a stay at one of numerous vacation rentals in Alabama. To create fantastic holiday memories, visit one or all of the seven best Christmas getaways in Alabama.

1. Wicksburg

Two fireworks shows and 14 million lights are the reasons Wicksburg calls their favorite attraction “Holiday Spectacular Park.” The first fireworks show occurs on Christmas Eve, and the second occurs on New Year’s Eve, with lots of events before and between the shows. Kids of all ages enjoy the whimsical Christmas scenes located throughout the park during the month of December. Besides the lighted displays, check out the bobsled, look for the train ride, ride the zipline, meet with Santa, and go for a hayride.

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2. Huntsville

The Huntsville holiday spirit results in two amazing holiday attractions. The Galaxy of Lights features animated light displays located throughout the Huntsville Botanical Garden. Colorful nursery rhyme characters come to life, dancing and frolicking among traditional holiday scenes as Santa soars over a wondrous winter village. There’s even a night when you can bring Fido. In downtown’s Big Spring Park, the Tinsel Trail includes 300 or more live Christmas trees decorated for the holiday season by a local corporation, group, or family. Look for the official City of Huntsville Tree while you’re there.

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3. Birmingham

Birmingham is a big city that does Christmas in a big way, including plays and musicals to go along with all of the other holiday festivities. The Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s production of “A Christmas Carol” comes to town, presenting the tale in true Dickens style. Check with the Alabama Theatre for dates and times. In a wackier vein, the Virginia Samford Theatre presents “A Christmas Story” as a musical. When you’re ready for some outdoor entertainment, check out the ZooLight Safari at the Birmingham Zoo as it comes to life for 19 nights. Treat your family to more than a million holiday lights, music, and a ride on the Candy Cane Train. Enjoy special snowfalls each night, hop on the Jingle Bell Carousel, and zip down the 100-foot Yuletide Slide. As you enjoy the lovely 30-foot tall Christmas tree in Trails of Africa, boogie down to live entertainment.

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4. Tuscumbia


You know it’s the deep South when you attend the “Dickens Christmas, Y’all” festival in Tuscumbia. The downtown is all decked out in Victorian trappings to take you back in time reminiscent of the classic “A Christmas Carol.” Just imagine the smiles on your kids’ faces when you take them for a horse-drawn carriage ride. Be sure to drink in the very essence of the Yuletide of yesteryear as you meander through the vendors’ booths, listening to the music, and savoring the aromas of roasted peanuts and baked goods.

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5. Gadsden

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go in Gadsden. Although Mother Nature rarely cooperates in the white Christmas department in this particular vacation destination, the Hardin Center hosts the indoor “Let it Snow” wonderland from early November through early January. The children’s area is filled with a material that looks and feels similar to snow; it’s cool without being wet. Give your kids a thrill by letting them play in the snow, slide down the snow slide, and skate around in their socks. The Center also hosts the Festival of Trees, a glorious site to enjoy and put everyone in a festive mood. The place to go after dark is the “Christmas at the Falls” display at Noccalula Falls Park. Enjoy the millions of lights by strolling along the park’s walking trails or riding the train. Other activities featured at this attraction include a petting zoo and cookie decorating.

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6. Calera

Just minutes from your Calera vacation rental, the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum features your most special train ride of the year. When the conductor calls out, “All aboard,” your family begins an exciting excursion to the North Pole. The train makes its trek through the night to the top of the world where Santa and his entourage wait to join you. The train glides into the brightly-lit North Pole station to pick up her special passengers — Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves. As they board the train, they bring Christmas cheer, visiting each family, giving each child a gift, and posing with your family for selfies. Your Christmas memories of this magical trip include enjoying chocolate milk and cookies, singing festive songs, and listening to a story. To make it even more cozy and special, be sure to dress up in your favorite pajamas.

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7. Andalusia

There’s magic in the air when it’s Christmas in Candyland in the Andalusia Court Square. The magic is part of a spectacular holiday attraction that opens every Friday and Saturday throughout December. Included in this winter wonderland in southern Alabama are eight snow machines that puff out little flakes of pure joy to elicit squeals of delight from the kiddies. Just watch as your kids thrill to darting in and out of the child-sized playhouses between snow flurries. Ice skating and a 60-foot tall Christmas tree with twinkling lights help round out the magical experience. When the crew works up an appetite, check out Big Mike’s Steakhouse or David’s Catfish House for American cuisine.

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