January 26, 2021
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There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Celebrating Christmas in Huntsville

I always like to find new unique activities to celebrate the holiday season. I’m excited to say that I met my goal by finding Christmas in Huntsville! To say I was blown away by how much The Rocket City has going on at Christmastime is an understatement. Whether you reside in Huntsville or wish to make a road trip, these experiences are completely worth the time and will truly get you in the Christmas spirit!

Thank you to the Huntsville/Madison County CVB for hosting me. As always, all opinions and recommendations are my own. This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you book or purchase through these links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Christmas in Huntsville

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Christmas in Huntsville is definitely an exciting time. There’s a seasonal activity for every age and so many for the entire family to enjoy together!

Christmas in Huntsville Activities

Explore Downtown Shops

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

While you can enjoy these shops year-round, they are particularly beautiful all decorated for Christmas. Definitely pop into Harrison Brothers Hardware and a few others to see how gorgeous they are and pick up gifts for everyone on your list!

Galaxy of Lights

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

For 25 years, the Huntsville Botanical Garden has put on the Galaxy of Lights, a magical 2.5-mile festive light show. 

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Galaxy of Lights features a wide representation of holiday classics including The Nativity, 12 Days of Christmas, Hanukkah, and American icons such as the Statue of Liberty.

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

The event begins in mid-November and typically runs through January 2nd. In November, there are walk-through nights if you prefer the outdoors. Additionally, for dog owners, there are even nights designated to let your furbaby in on the action!

  • Visit Galaxy of Lights

    for more information, pricing, hours of operation, and a full list of activities. TIP: Get in line early and use the restroom right before you come!

Holiday Art Marketplace

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

To find that one-of-a-kind handcrafted gift, stop by the Holiday Art Marketplace. New this year and taking place on the first Saturday of the month, this artistic take on the Christmas market is one of many events put on by Arts Huntsville.

The Marketplace featured approximately 50 local artists showcasing various mixed media items. The cool thing about this is that you can enjoy an outdoor holiday market, find a unique gift for everyone on your list, and support local artists at the same time!

Tinsel Trail

Perhaps my favorite Christmas activity during my weekend exploration was Tinsel Trail. I spent so much time on multiple nights and even during the day winding my way through the ~300 Christmas trees. 

Yes, 300. You read that right. That extra zero isn’t a mistake.

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Let me be clear. Not just any 300 Christmas trees. 300 individually decorated, sponsored trees. Sponsors include everyone from corporations to healthcare facilities to private families honoring loved ones. 

As an art lover myself, the creativity was astounding. As a Type A fanatic (to a fault), the attention to detail was not lost on me. 

These trees were not only touching and beautiful but each one contributed to the makeup of a magical outdoor holiday spectacular!

  • Visit Tinsel Trail

    for more information, including event dates and how you can sponsor a tree. TIP: This is a free event. Go at night and, if possible, during the day for two different perspectives. Also don't miss the two Nativity scenes at the back!

Yule Y'all

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Yule Y’all! Sounds like the merriest of all jolly southern Christmas greetings, right? Well, it kind of is…

Yule Y’all is a Christmas market held at Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment. An old textile mill, it is now the largest privately owned arts facility in the southern United States!

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

With approximately 152 studios for 200 artists, Lowe Mill A&E is definitely an art wonderland. I thoroughly enjoyed finding these little gems of surprises!

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

At Yule Y’all, there is a slight twist. Self described as an “Outdoor-centric Christmas Market and Spirit Sampling”, they offer test tasting of different whiskeys, beer, and other spirits. Now I might know where the jolly name comes from…😉

  • Visit Yule Y'all at Lowe Mill A&E

    for more information, date of annual event, hours of operation, and vendors. TIP: There is a $5 parking fee and they light the water tower at 5pm.

Cruising with the Claus

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Have you seen these fun things? They have been on my radar for a while now and I finally got the chance to try it out. Even better that it was a Christmas version. Everything is better at Christmas, right?

Rocket City Rover offers rides seven days a week on their 14-person pedal trolleys. The sky is the limit on the different experiences one could have.

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Think progressive dinners, private tours, brunch rides, and even private tours to celebrate your own event!

During the holidays, they have Christmas with the Claus. Santa takes the reigns leading guests on an adult 21+ ride complete with cocktail stops and Christmas trivia.

Don’t forget to sing along to Christmas music as you pedal the streets of downtown Huntsville!

  • Visit Rocket City Rover

    for more information, pricing, hours of operation, and a full list of ride options. TIP: Book in advance as it fills up quickly!

Walking Tour of Old Historic Homes

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Pair your love of history with your love of the holidays and walk through the old, historic homes of Twickenham

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

The gorgeous, old homes are beautifully decorated for Christmas. Walking through them transports you back to a different era!

Skating in the Park

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Skating in the Park occurs right outside the Museum of Art providing a beautiful backdrop and a magical feel.

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel
There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Although I love to ice skate, I’m not the best at it and it had been a good five years since I last met the ice.

I thoroughly enjoyed a great time reorienting myself and I’m proud to say I didn’t fall once. I might have even relearned my little circle-turns!

  • Visit Skating in the Park

    for more information, pricing, hours of operation, and a full list of activities. TIP: Walkers available to rent for kids. Get a discount for bringing your own skates. Event runs into January.

Classic Activities

I know when you visit a city, you want to maximize your time and visit attractions for which the destination is well known.

So, even if you are visiting for Christmas in Huntsville, here are a few suggestions for classic activities as well!

U.S. Space & Rocket Center

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel
There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Probably the number one thought that comes to mind when one thinks of Huntsville is the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. It is The Rocket City after all….

It had been a very long time since I last visited so it was almost like my first experience all over again. 

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Enjoy spending time meandering through the exhibits, Military Park, Rocket Park, and Shuttle Park.

The Planetarium

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

In addition to all of the aforementioned activities, The INTUITIVE® Planetarium is a digital experience that is a MUST. Plain and simple, this is worth its price of admission and then some. 

The 8K Digital Planetarium and Dome Experience is the only one of its kind in the Southeast. Amazing doesn’t even begin to cover it.

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

While I don’t know what it’s like to be in space viewing the beautiful planets and stars in the Milky Way, I felt like I was truly there. You know….minus the weightlessness and all.

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Brought into a perspective I wouldn’t have otherwise had, the show conveys the magnitude of just how vast our universe truly is. 

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Miss Baker

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Before you leave, don’t forget to check out Miss Baker’s grave. Miss Baker is a squirrel monkey famous for being one of the first two animals to successfully complete and return from a mission in space with the United States.

Typically, you will find a banana or two (or a bunch) on top of her grave. However, on my rainy visit in December, I didn’t find any.

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Miss Baker’s grave is right next to that of her first husband, Big George. Yes, she was married…twice actually in real ceremonies (one presided over by a judge). However, Big George was her one true love as evidenced by the fact that she refused to wear her white wedding train in her second marriage ceremony!

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel
There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

If you’re doubting Miss Baker’s personality, let me help you out. She was born in Iquitos, Perú. Monkeys are spunky anyway but Peruvian monkeys are downright sassy.

The two photos above are from my time in Iquitos on the Amazon. Although not a squirrel monkey, he was a smaller (wild) monkey.

Well…wild man was on top of my head before I knew it, had his tail wrapped around my neck and was trying to grab my water bottle with one hand and my phone with the other. Spoiler alert: He wasn’t successful.

So, y’all don’t doubt…mmm-kay? 😉

  • Visit U.S. Space & Rocket Center

    for more information, pricing, hours of operation, and a full list of activities. TIP: Check the Planetarium showtimes before you go because they are only offered on certain days at certain times.

Secret Art Trail

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

The Secret Art Trail encompasses several different works of art including murals. Stop in at the Downtown Huntsville Visitor Information Center for a map and be on your merry way!

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Among my favorite murals are Celestial Symphony by Jessie Andrews (#14 on the map)…

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel
There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

and the Catalyst, a fun “interactive” mural by Robert Beem (#18 on the map).

  • Visit Downtown Huntsville

    for more information, their different options to obtain maps, and any events. TIP: When stopping in at the visitor's center, ask how to obtain a purple cup drink to enjoy open container in certain areas of downtown.

Huntsville Museum of Art

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Don’t forget the Huntsville Museum of Art for beautiful art and interesting exhibits.

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

It’s beautifully decorated for Christmas…

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

And gorgeously illuminated at night!

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

While we were there, they featured the Gloria Vanderbilt exhibit including a video on her life. I found it very fascinating. 

Since no photos were allowed for the Vanderbilt exhibit, I will leave you instead with a fashion favorite of mine I found in the Jonathan Becker exhibit. I loved seeing so many fantastic fashion icons showcasing their creativity!

  • Visit Huntsville Museum of Art

    for more information, pricing, hours of operation, and a full list of exhibits. TIP: Go later in the afternoon the place more to yourself.

Where to Stay for Christmas in Huntsville

Where you stay is so very important and plays a crucial role in your accessibility of a destination. This absolutely turned out to be the case in Huntsville because we could walk to most everything on our itinerary. The places to which we needed to drive were very short distances. I’m not sure we drove over 15 minutes total (traffic lights and all)!

AC Hotel Huntsville Downtown

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel
We stayed at the AC Hotel Huntsville Downtown. All of downtown is within easy walking distance and the Museum of Art and Big Spring Park are right across the street!
There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

I highly recommend the city view because it’s beautiful looking out over downtown especially if you are celebrating Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel Trail is right across the street and you can see the start of the beautiful trees!

There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel
Grabbing a cocktail at the Bar Vista in the hotel is a cool experience. Located outdoors on a terrace with heat lamps, when tarps aren’t up for rain, it also offers an exceptional view of downtown!
There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel
There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel
There are so many options to celebrate Christmas in Huntsville. Tinsel trees, lights, lattes, and more will get you in the holiday spirit! #christmas #holidays #huntsville #alabama #sweethomealabama #travel

Christmas in Huntsville is pretty cool, isn’t it? If you weren’t aware of all of these holiday events before, consider yourself aware now. Get out there and enjoy the holidays in The Rocket City!

Merry Christmas from Huntsville!

If you’ve done any of these activities which was your favorite? Let me know below and as always, I welcome suggestions to explore in the future!

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