Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL

Fun Holiday Happenings

Trade in the snow for sugar-white sand beaches, warm temperatures and lots of fun holiday events.

Get in the Christmas Spirit

Watch as Santa jumps out of an airplane and lands on the sugar-white sand behind the world-famous Flora-Bama (December 8). It’s a sight you’ll not soon forget. Enjoy arts and crafts, sweet treats, live music including lots of Christmas songs for the kids, and pictures with Santa. Bring a canned food item to donate to Manna Food Bank or a toy for Toys for Tots in exchange for a free drink.

Check out the 33rd Annual Christmas Lighted Boat Parade (December 8) where dozens of festively lit boats drift past on the Intracoastal Waterway canal. Find your spot along the parade route, bring a thermos filled with hot chocolate and take in the sights and sounds of Christmas.

Giggle with excitement when you find the perfect gift at the 7th Annual Merry Market (December 7-8). Browse over 70 vendors displaying a variety of gifts, apparel, homemade products, local honey, toys and much more.

At the 23rd Annual Magic Christmas in Lights (November 23-December 31), stroll through the dazzling light displays featuring more than 1,100 set pieces, 3 million lights and 15 scenes on the grounds of Bellingrath Gardens and Home.

Bring your little ones to LuLu’s to see Billy Claus and The LuLuBelles (December 8). Billy Claus is Santa’s warm weather-loving brother who lives in the Caribbean but comes this way to help Santa during the holiday season. The LuLuBelles are Billy’s fun version of Santa’s elves. Take a photo with the colorful crew and let Billy pass your children’s wish list on to Santa. In addition to kid’s arts and crafts activities, there will be a reading of Billy Claus and the Spirit of Christmas, a children’s book written by Lucy Buffett.

Ring in the New Year

One advantage of celebrating New Years on the Gulf Coast is that you don’t have to stay up till midnight. At Noon Year’s Eve at LuLu’s (December 31), your family will enjoy crafts, kid safe fireworks (bubble wrap), a live band, face painting, balloon animals, a sand castle building contest, and when the clock strikes noon, a colorful beach ball drop.

Be prepared to have a blast at Flora-Bama’s New Years Eve Bash (December 31). Bring your friends and enjoy the all-you-can-eat buffet, free breakfast sandwiches starting at midnight, free champagne split, party favors and live music on three stages.

Reel in the New Year at The Wharf (December 31). Enjoy family-friendly fun including dancing, live bands and various kids’ activities. At the stroke of midnight, the marlin will drop and fireworks will light up the sky.

Dress up in a funny costume and take a dip in the Gulf (January 1) at the Flora-Bama Polar Bear Dip. If you’re brave enough to take the plunge, you’ll enjoy a traditional feast with black-eyed peas, cornbread, ham and more.

There’s no shortage of ways to celebrate the holidays on Alabama’s white-sand beaches. Plan your coastal Christmas getaway to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach today.