It wouldn’t be the holidays without festive, extravagant Christmas light displays! From drive-through parks to illuminated caverns to glowing zoo animals, here are the best places to see Christmas lights in Alabama. (Be aware that some activities may be limited due to COVID-19 safety precautions.)
Instead of Zoolight Safari, this year the Birmingham Zoo launched a new stunning light experience: Glow Wild. The ticketed event includes glowing lantern creations of animals from around the world. You’ll see lions, tigers, and bears — oh my! — some reaching up to 30 feet tall.
Peak Nights (Friday–Sunday)
Onsite Tickets/Purchased at the Gate
All Nights (Wednesday-Sunday)
Members: 30% discount on above prices
For 25 years, the Huntsville Botanical Garden has hosted Galaxy of Lights. You’ll be able to walk through 2.5 miles of magnificent light displays featuring holiday themes, classic characters, and scenes from the natural world.
Pricing: Non-members: $14/adult and $9/child
This drive-through light attraction is Alabama’s largest synchronized light show. See more than one million lights synchronized to traditional and newer Christmas music played through your own car stereo. You’ll drive through twinkling tunnels, past looming nutcrackers, and see plenty of lit-up Christmas trees.
Festival of Lights is a drive-through light show at Choccolocco Park. Before or after going through the spectacular light display, you can visit Santa’s Village, where you’ll find photos with Santa, synthetic ice-skating, food-vendors, merchandising, inflatables, slides, and more. (Some attractions are an additional cost.)
Pricing: Car – any vehicle which has seats for eight (8) or less persons.
$17 – Advance Online Ticket (valid for any night)
$20 – At the Gate – Mondays through Thursdays
$25 – At the Gate – Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays
Van – any vehicle which has seats for nine (9) to fifteen (15) persons.
$25 – At the Gate – Mondays through Thursdays
$30 – At the Gate – Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays
This year, the 18th annual Winter Wonderland Christmas Light Display at Sportsman Lake Park has more light displays than ever before. Guests can enjoy driving through the park, train rides (safely separated from others by plexiglass), carriage rides, hot chocolate, and pictures with Santa.
Enjoy millions of lights throughout Noccalula Falls park, with spectacular views from the paved walking trails or from the vantage of a ride on the park’s train. A socially distanced Santa will be in the post office/general store this year, and concessions will be for sale.
Pricing: $8/ticket (Monday–Thursday) and $10/ticket (Friday–Sunday)
The Montgomery Zoo transforms each year into a winter wonderland, displaying thousands of sparkling and twinkling lights and festive decorations. Stroll through the zoo or enjoy a train ride around the grounds. Safely visit Santa and the Guardian Credit Union Christmas Tree Village at the Mann Museum; enjoy live entertainment at the Overlook Cafe; and warm up with hot chocolate and fresh baked cookies from the cafe.
Pricing: Non-members: $10/person
Bellingrath Gardens and Home is hosting its 25th year of Magic Christmas in Lights. Guests can stroll through a dazzling light display featuring more than 1,100 set pieces, 3 million lights, and 15 scenes throughout the 65-acre Garden estate. In addition, the Bellingrath Home is decorated in its holiday best and filled with beautiful poinsettias.
Pricing: Garden & Home: $25/adult and $14/child
Gardens Only: $16/adult and $8/child
Desoto Caverns’ Christmas extravaganza includes the “Illuminations of Advent” light show in the caverns; multiple cheery park shows including storytelling with Saint Nick; caroling and sing-a-long shows; rides on Santa’s very own sleigh on the Destiny Express; holiday treats; and twinkle lights galore. It’s an interactive experience that you won’t want to miss.
Pricing: Starts at $29.99/person
Julia Sayers Gokhale is a writer and editor who has been working in the lifestyle journalism industry since 2012. She was Editor in Chief of Birmingham Magazine for five years and is now leading Yellowhammer News’ lifestyle content. Find her on Instagram at @juliasayers or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.