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Christmas events in Birmingham 2022: Lights, concerts, movies, parades and more

AL.com 12/1/2022 Mary Colurso, al.com
The holiday film series at the Alabama Theatre is a Christmas tradition for many families. © Tamika Moore/al.com/TNS The holiday film series at the Alabama Theatre is a Christmas tradition for many families.

Here’s our guide to holiday festivities in Birmingham, with listings for 50 events. We’ve got concerts, lights shows, movie screenings, holiday markets, pop-up bars, dance performances and more, all designed to kindle the Christmas spirit.

PEPPER PLACE HOLIDAY BAZAAR

What: Holiday vendors, DJ music, photos with Santa and more.

When: Dec. 1, 5-8 p.m.

Where: The Market at Pepper Place, 2829 Second Avenue South, Birmingham.

Admission: Free.

AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS

What: Opera by Gian Carlo Menotti tells of a family visited by three wise men on their way to Bethlehem. Part of Smith Opera Series.

When: Dec. 1-4, five performances at various times.

Where: Harrison Theatre, Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham.

Tickets: $5-$20.

LIGHTS OF NOEL

What: Drive-through holiday light show with synchronized music.

When: Daily through Jan. 2. Hours: 5 p.m. until 12 a.m.

Where: Birmingham Race Course, 1000 John Rogers Drive, Birmingham. (Entrance to the light show is at Winners Way. Do not enter casino parking lots, follow signs.)

Admission: $25-$30 per car or family van; $40-50 for activity van, limo or mini bus; $70-80 for tour bus, school bus or RV. Advance tickets available online.

MIRACLE ON 24TH STREET

When: Through Dec. 30.

Where: Queen’s Park, 112 24th Street North, Birmingham.

What to expect: Holiday pop-up bar with menu of specialty cocktails and shots, Christmas decorations, seasonal music, festive events. Prices $6-$13.

GLOW WILD: AN ANIMAL LANTERN CELEBRATION

What: Lighted displays depicting wild animals and marine life, train rides, carousel rides and more.

When: Through Jan. 16, select nights, mostly Wednesdays-Sundays. Hours: 5-9 p.m., weather permitting. Closed Dec. 24-25. See zoo website for full schedule.

Where: Birmingham Zoo, 2630 Cahaba Road, Birmingham, 205-318-2170.

Admission: Advance tickets $18.95-$21.95 adults, $11.95-$13.95 children, depending on the day. Timed tickets issued in 30-minute blocks. Prices at gate increase to $23.95 adults, $14.95 children. Admission is free for kids younger than age 2. Carousel or train rides $3.95 per person.

Good to know: Zoo animals will not be on view in the evenings, during Glow Wild hours. The zoo recommends visitors plan to be on site for 90 minutes for Glow Wild, more for other activities.

THE MAGICAL WORLD OF SANTA’S CIRCUS

What: Holiday-themed circus production.

When: Dec. 1-2 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: The Library Theatre, Hoover Library, 200 Municipal Drive, Hoover, (205) 444-7888.

Tickets: $35, available online.

HOLIDAY GREENERY SALE

What: Fresh greenery for wreaths, garlands and more.

When: Dec. 1-3, starting at 9 a.m.

Where: Aldridge Gardens, 3530 Lorna Road, Hoover.

Admission: Free.

HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR 2022

What: Seasonal music performed by local artists and members of the theater’s youth ensembles.

When: Dec. 1-18, 19 performances at various times.

Where: Red Mountain Theatre, 1600 Third Avenue South, Birmingham, (205) 324-2424.

Admission: $27-$47 via theater website.

Good to know: The nonprofit theater “fosters artists, inspires youth and engages audiences through quality theatre and education programming,” according to its website. Keith Cromwell is the executive director.

SIPPIN’ SANTA

When: Through Dec. 30.

Where: Neon Moon, 2318 Second Avenue North, Birmingham.

What to expect: Christmas pop-up bar with a tiki theme and tropical flair, specialty cocktails and shots. Prices $6-$30.

ZACH WILLIAMS “I DON”T WANT CHRISTMAS TO END” TOUR

What: Christian rock artist from Arkansas performs holiday music and more, with opening act Paul Fuller. The tour is named after a song by Williams released in 2021.

When: Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.

Where: BJCC Concert Hall, 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard North, Birmingham.

Admission: $19.75-$69.75 via Ticketmaster. VIP “Eat and Greet Experience” $199.75 via Ticketmaster.

Good to know: “Eat and Greet” tickets include a dinner prepared by chef Paul Fields, a meet-and-greet with Williams, a gift bag and more. More info here.

IRONDALE’S CHRISTMAS NIGHT OF LIGHTS

What: Tree lighting, parade, photos with Santa and more.

When: Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Irondale City Hall, 101 20th Street South, Irondale.

Admission: Free.

JINGLE ALL THE WAY

What: Stories, songs, and sing-alongs with Bobby Horton and Dolores Hydock.

When: Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Homewood Public Library auditorium, 1721 Oxmoor Road, Homewood.

Admission: $25, reservations available here.

A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION

What: Birmingham Community Concert Band performs holiday favorites

When: Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.

Where: Ferus Artisan Ales, 430 41st Street South, Birmingham.

Admission: Free.

CHRISTMAS AT THE TOWER

What: Alabaster water tower illuminated in holiday colors, food trucks, vendors, photos with Santa.

When: Dec. 2, 6-8 p.m.

Where: Alabaster City Hall, 1953 Municipal Way, Alabaster. Photos in gazebo near Alabaster Senior Center.

Admission: Free.

A HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR CONCERT

What: Holiday tunes from more than 60 performers, presented by music department at Alabama School of Fine Arts. Jaeden Henderson, 2021 graduate of the school, serves as emcee and guest artist.

When: Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.

Where: Dorothy Jemison Day Theater, Alabama School of Fine Arts, 800 19th Street North, Birmingham.

Tickets: $15 adults, $8 students and children age 2 and older, available via theater website.

THE MAGIC CITY NUTCRACKER

What: “Performances will feature 50 dancers from 48 dance studios across the state,” organizers say. “The cast is comprised of dancers as young as 5 years old, college students and professionals from the Birmingham metro area, Gadsden, Anniston and beyond.”

When: Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.; Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Dec. 4 at 2 p.m.

Where: Lyric Theatre, 1800 Third Avenue North, Birmingham.

Good to know: Magic City Performing Arts is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization behind “The Magic City Nutcracker.” Proceeds from ticket sales help the organization to provide weekly outreach classes and arts opportunities to the community.

Tickets: $25-$50, $60 VIP, via Ticketmaster.

MAGICAL NIGHTS: VULCAN’S HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE

What: Holiday light show choreographed to music, appearances by Santa, concessions (including hot chocolate) and more.

When: Dec. 2-4, 9-11, 16-18. Hours: 6-8 p.m.

Where: Vulcan Park and Museum, 1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham, (205) 933-1409.

Admission: $6 for those age 13 and older, $5 seniors, $4 kids ages 5-12, free for children younger than age 4.

SATURN HOLIDAY MARKET

What: Vendors sell art, food, vintage items and more.

When: Dec. 3, noon until 4 p.m.

Where: Saturn, 200 41st Street South, Birmingham, (205) 703-9546

Admission: Free.

BLUFF PARK CHRISTMAS PARADE

What: Parade with theme Nostalgic Christmas.

When: Dec. 3 at 10 a.m.

Where: Bluff Park Community Center, 517 Cloudland Drive, Hoover.

Admission: Free.

GRINCH’S JINGLE BELL PARTY

What: Dancing crafts, cookies and hot chocolate, photos with the Grinch.

When: Dec. 3, 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Where: McWane Science Center, 200 19th Street North, Birmingham.

Admission: $8, $18 with IMAX movie, “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch.”

CHRISTMAS IN HELENA

What: Parade with marchers, floats, Santa and more. Theme is Christmas Dreams.

When: Dec. 3 at 1 p.m.

Where: Helena Amphitheater, 4151 Helena Road, Helena

Admission: Free.

CHRISTMAS IS A DRAG

What: Holiday drag show.

When: Dec. 3 at 8 p.m.

Where: Saturn, 200 41st Street South, Birmingham, (205) 703-9546.

Admission: $15 general admission, $125 VIP table for four.

HOLIDAY ARTIST MARKET

What: Vendors, holiday cheer, visits with Santa, hosted by Fellowship House Junior Board.

When: Dec. 3, 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Where: East Room, Sloss Furnaces, 20 32nd Street North, Birmingham.

Admission: Free.

OPERA SHOTS HOLIDAY EDITION

What: Opera Birmingham performs holiday music at pop-up concert.

When: Dec. 3 at 10 a.m.

Where: The Market at Pepper Place, 2829 Second Avenue South, Birmingham.

Admission: Free.

CHRISTMAS AT ARLINGTON

What: Holiday open house with tours, refreshments, visits with Santa.

When: Dec. 3, 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Where: Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens, 331 Cotton Avenue, Birmingham.

Admission: Free

CAHABAZAAR HOLIDAY MARKET

What: Arts and crafts vendors, live music, food trucks, photo booth, hot chocolate bar and more.

When: Dec. 3, Noon until 5 p.m.

Where: Cahaba Brewing Co., 4500 Fifth Avenue South, Building C, Birmingham.

Admission: Free.

MOUNTAIN BROOK HOLIDAY PARADE

What: Parade with floats, fire trucks, bands, choral groups, dancers and Santa.

When: Dec. 4 at 3 p.m.

Where: Mountain Brook Village, 2816 Culver Road, Birmingham.

Admission: Free.

CRESTWOOD COMMUNITY BAND

What: Christmas concert.

When: Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.

Where: Cahaba Brewing Co., Cahaba Brewing Co., 4500 5th Avenue South, Building C, Birmingham.

Admission: Free.

BLACK VIOLIN GIVE THANKS HOLIDAY TOUR

What: Instrumentalists Wil Baptiste and Kev Marcus blend classical training and hip-hop influences to create a sound they call “classical boom.” The duo released a holiday album, “Give Thanks,” in 2020.

When: Dec. 7 at 8 p.m.

Where: Lyric Theatre, 1800 Third Avenue North, Birmingham.

Admission: $31.50-$66.50 via Ticketmaster. $95-$125 Platinum via Ticketmaster.

SAMFORD LEGACY LEAGUE CHRISTMAS HOME TOUR

What: Tour of five homes in Vestavia Hills and Mountain Brook, plus Samford president’s home.

When: Dec. 8, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and 4-8 p.m.

Where: Homes and addresses listed on tour website.

Admission: $40, advance purchase required.

CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE

What: Touring company celebrates the season with acrobatics, music and production numbers.

When: Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Where: BJCC Concert Hall, 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard North, Birmingham.

Admission: $35-$95 via Ticketmaster.

Good to know: Cirque Productions, also known as Cirque Dreams, is a subsidiary of Cirque du Soleil.

HOLIDAY FILM SERIES

What: Christmas classic and seasonal gems, screened at the historic theater. Each screening begins with a holiday sing-along, following music performed on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.

When: Dec. 9-22. Full schedule here.

Where: Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Avenue North, Birmingham.

Admission: $10 general admission for most films, on sale via Ticketmaster; $12 for “The Polar Express,” benefit screening for Kid One Transport. Free for children age 2 and younger.

Good to know: Last year’s lineup featured “White Christmas,” “Elf,” “A Christmas Story,” “Christmas Vacation,” “The Polar Express” and more.

A DECADE OF HOLIDAY CHEER

What: Steel City Men’s Chorus performs holiday program, with the Sugar Babies.

When: Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 11 at 2:30 p.m.

Where: Virginia Samford Theatre, 1116 26th Street South, Birmingham.

Tickets: General admission tickets, sold out.

TAYLOR HICKS

What: Country-soul singer and former “American Idol” winner performs Van Morrison hits and Christmas classics.

When: Dec. 9 at 8 p.m.

Where: Lyric Theatre, 1800 Third Avenue North, Birmingham.

Tickets: $34-$44 via Ticketmaster.

BAD MOVIE NIGHT (CHRISTMAS EDITION)

What: Bad movie with holiday theme, title TBA.

When: Dec. 9 at 8:15 p.m.

Where: Sidewalk Film Center and Cinema, 1821 Second Avenue North, Birmingham.

Admission: Free.

CHRISTMAS WITH ACT OF CONGRESS

What: Alabama Symphony performs SuperPops concert with acoustic troupe Act of Congress: mandolinist Adam Wright, guitarist Chris Griffin, fiddler Connie Skellie and bassist Tim Carroll Jr. Conductor for the show is Christopher Confessore.

When: Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.

Where: Wright Center, Samford University, 872 Montague Drive, Birmingham.

Tickets: $12-$65.

BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL ART SHOW

What: More than 50 vendors sell jewelry, pottery, clothing, ceramics, cards, paintings, ornaments and more. Items include discounted pieces with slight flaws or imperfections.

When: Dec. 10, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.; Dec. 11, 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Where: Earthborn Studios, 7575 Parkway Drive, Leeds, (205) 702-7055.

Admission: $2 admission, $25 for hot soup and bread in handmade souvenir bowl.

Good to know: Proceeds go to First Light center for homeless women and children.

JINGLE ALL THE WAY

What: Stories, songs, and sing-alongs with Bobby Horton and Dolores Hydock.

When: Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.

Where: Leeds Performing Arts Theatre, 8140 Parkway Drive, Leeds.

Admission: $21, reservations available here.

UGLY SWEATER BAR CRAWL

What: Participants visit Tin Roof, Innisfree, Moe’s and more, for music, giveaways and food and drink specials.

When: Dec. 10, 5 p.m. until midnight.

Where: Lakeview entertainment district, on and around Seventh Avenue South, Birmingham. Check in at Tin Roof, 2709 Seventh Avenue South.

Tickets: $17.99-$22.99 via Eventbrite.

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE AND MAKER’S MARKET

What: Makers open studios, give tours, sell wares.

When: Dec. 10, 2-6 p.m.

Where: MAKEbhm, 4000 Third Avenue South, Suite 102, Birmingham.

Admission: Free.

MERRY & BRIGHT!

What: Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra performs holiday favorites, conducted by Alex Fokkens.

When: Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Where: Riverchase Galleria, 2000 Galleria Circle, Hoover. Concert will take place near the carousel.

Admission: Free.

MAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT

What: Three on a String performs with special guest Sean of the South.

When: Dec. 11 at 3 p.m.

Where: Lyric Theatre, 1800 Third Avenue North, Birmingham.

Tickets: $30 via Ticketmaster, sold out.

WACKY TACKY CHRISTMAS LIGHT TOUR

What: Two-hour bus tour of houses with outrageous decorations, over-the-top lights and jaw-dropping holiday displays, presented by Fresh Air Family.

When: Dec. 13, 15, 20, 22. Buses run every 15 minutes, 6-7:45 p.m.

Where: Buses leave from Cahaba Brewing Co., 4500 5th Avenue South, Building C, Birmingham.

Tickets: $45 general admission, reserve tickets here. To reserve a private bus, call (205) 747-7410.

Good to know: Proceeds benefit Fresh Air Family Gross Out Camp Scholarship Fund.

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA

What: Prog-rock troupe combines rock opera with Broadway vocals, guitar solos, laser lights, trippy special effects and seasonal storylines. This year, the touring ensemble will perform “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve — the Best of TSO and More.”

When: Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.

Where: Legacy Arena at the BJCC, 1898 Ninth Avenue North, Birmingham.

Admission: $29-$109.50 via Ticketmaster.

GEORGE BALANCHINE’S THE NUTCRACKER

What: Dancers from the Alabama Ballet perform the holiday classic, with choreography by George Balanchine (1904-1983). He co-founded the New York City Ballet and was revered for choreography that emphasized speed and lightness of movement.

When: Dec. 16-18, Friday-Sunday, four performances at various times; Dec. 20-23, Tuesday-Friday, five performances at various times.

Where: BJCC Concert Hall, 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard North, Birmingham.

Good to know: Only a handful of dance companies in the United States are allowed to perform Balanchine’s version of “The Nutcracker” All have been chosen by the Balanchine Trust.

Tickets: $45-$65 via Ticketmaster.

HANDEL’S MESSIAH

What: Alabama Symphony Orchestra performs George Frideric Handel’s epic oratorio, conducted by Jason Max Ferdinand. The piece features “the iconic Hallelujah chorus and sweeping solos portraying one of the greatest stories ever told,” according to the symphony website.

When: Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.

Where: Jemison Concert Hall, Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Avenue South, Birmingham.

Admission: $24-$80.

Good to know: Featured soloists are soprano Helen Huang, tenor David Tayloe, mezzo-soprano Ann McMahon Quintero and bass-baritone Frank B. Mitchell III. They’ll be joined by the ASO Chorus.

THE BROWN SUGAR NUTCRACKER

What: Ursula Smith Company presents a holiday dance classic with a cultural twist.

When: Dec. 17 at 3:30 p.m. (sold out), Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 18 at 4 p.m.

Where: Dorothy Jemison Day Theater, Alabama School of Fine Arts, 800 19th Street North, Birmingham.

Good to know: Ursula Smith Company is based in Birmingham’s Woodlawn neighborhood, at 5365 First Ave. North, 205-202-9510.

Tickets: $48-$65 adults, $35-$65 children, $75 VIP for Dec. 17 performance at 7:30 p.m. VIP includes premium seats, a cocktail and a post-show reception. Tickets available at theater box office at 205-458-0381, or online here.

SOUNDS OF THE SEASON

What: Family-friendly concert of carols, classic holiday songs and more, performed by singers from Opera Birmingham.

When: Dec. 18 at 2:30 p.m..

Where: Brock Recital Hall, Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham.

Tickets: $25, $10 students.

HOLIDAYS AT THE MOVIES ON ICE

What: Ice skating show.

When: Dec. 18, 2:30 p.m and 6 p.m.

Where: Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena, 500 Amphitheater Road, Pelham.

Tickets: $12 adults, $8 children, general admission, via Ticketmaster.

BAD MOVIE HOLI-DAY

What: Double feature of bad movies with holiday theme, titles TBA.

When: Dec. 26 at 4:15 p.m.

Where: Sidewalk Film Center and Cinema, 1821 Second Avenue North, Birmingham.

Admission: Free.

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