5 holiday light displays you need to stroll through this year in Alabama


Galaxy Of Lights
Holiday light shows in Alabama are one of my favorite traditions. (The Bama Buzz)

As the days get shorter and darker, some of Alabama’s prettiest lights are just starting to glow. One of the best ways to enjoy the glimmer—and get some exercise while you’re at it—is walking through holiday light shows. Keep reading for five of our favorites throughout the state.

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1. Galaxy of Lights—Huntsville

Huntsvillians know the holidays aren’t complete without a visit to the Botanical Garden—specifically, the Galaxy of Lights. While lots of families enjoy the lights by car ride, the Garden offer walking nights for people and their dogs.

Of course, with Huntsville’s huge population of engineers, the Galaxy of Lights is a technical masterpiece created in-house. Featuring 1.25 million lights and the breathtaking Whimsical Woods along with creations from locals, the Galaxy of Lights is a true holiday bucket list item.

2. Magic Christmas in Lights at Bellingrath Gardens & Home—Theodore

This light show is celebrating its 28th year in 2023, and it’s become a tradition in the Gulf Coast area. Crafted by members of the Bellingrath Gardens & Home staff, each glimmering work of art is thoughtfully created, forming a stunning experience. In fact, the display has been ranked multiple times in USA Today’s “10 Best Botanical Garden Holiday Light Displays.”

While you’re there, don’t forget to tour the historic Bellingrath Museum Home cheerfully decorated for the holidays, grab a bite to eat at the Magnolia Cafe, stop by Live Oak Plaza for snacks and drinks and visit Santa Land for the ultimate holiday experience.

3. Glow Wild: An Animal Lantern Celebration—Birmingham

Birmingham Zoo Glow Wild
Glow Wild at The Birmingham Zoo. (Nathan Watson / The Bama Buzz)

If you’re looking for something a bit more on the wild side (sorry, we couldn’t help it), The Birmingham Zoo is the place to be. For two months, the enchanting Glow Wild event lets you experience the zoo in a new and festive way. See luminous, beautiful animals from zebras to sea creatures, and even witness live acrobatic performances.

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4. Christmas at the Falls at Noccalula Falls Park—Gadsden 

If you thought Noccalula Falls couldn’t get any more beautiful, think again. During Christmas at the Falls, millions of lights illuminate the meandering trails while holiday displays put some jolly spirit in your step.

With food trucks and Santa appearances, Christmas at the Falls is a magical experience and a wonderful way to explore Alabama’s natural beauty in a new way.

5. Christmas in Candyland—Andalusia

If you grew up playing Candy Land like me, this annual event in Andalusia is a nostalgic holiday destination with loads of activities. Christmas in Candyland, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, brings gorgeous holiday lights, play cottages, train rides, snow tubing, ice skating, musical acts, Christmas characters, snow shows and more to South Alabama.

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Sarah Gronberg
Sarah Gronberg
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