HomeA Complete Guide To Celebrating Gulf Shores HolidaysHow To Have a Very Merry Gulf Shores Christmas

As summer comes to a close, it’s officially time to start looking forward to the most wonderful time of year! The Christmas season can be pretty hectic, so why not opt for a relaxing Gulf Shores Christmas instead? With warm weather and gorgeous white-sand beaches, it’s the perfect peaceful getaway that you’ve been dreaming about. And, of course, there’s no need to skip any of your usual Yuletide traditions; you can do everything here at the Alabama Gulf Coast with a fun coastal flair!   

With boat parades, concerts, photos with Santa Claus, and other annual Christmas events, there are so many fun ways to celebrate Christmas in Gulf Shores! For the easiest way to book the best excursions in the area, check out TripShock! We have partnered with them to offer tickets for activities at the best price possible! 

tripshock activities

10 Ways To Celebrate a Gulf Shores Christmas   

There are so many ways to celebrate the holiday season by the Gulf Coast! Check out some of our picks for must-do activities! 

1. Winter at the Wharf

ice skating

When it comes to things to do in Orange Beach during December, a visit to The Wharf should be at the top of your itinerary! Visitors can enjoy plenty of activities, such as an ice skating rink, photo-ops with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, and the Holiday SPECTRA Sound and Light Spectacular. Don’t miss the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, which features musical performances, cookie decorating, letters to Santa, and hot cocoa. If you need to do some last-minute shopping, this is also a great spot to find thoughtful gifts for your loved ones! 

2. Annual Lighted Christmas Parade 

There’s nothing quite as magical as Gulf Shores during Christmastime, and the Annual Lighted Christmas Parade is a favorite tradition for locals and visitors alike! Highlights of the parade include extravagant lighted floats, marching bands, and special appearances from holiday characters. Afterward, make sure to stay for tasty treats and a coastal-style snowball drop with 4000+ ping pong balls. 

3. Gulf Shores Christmas Lighted Boat Parade

For over thirty years, the Christmas Lighted Boat Parade has brought holiday cheer to Gulf Shores. In fact, it is one of the largest boat parades in the Southeast! Dozens of decorated sailboats, charters, and even kayaks participate in the event. The parade starts at Lulu’s and winds down the Intracoastal Waterway past the Wharf. We recommend watching at the Wharf or Lulu’s for prime viewing! 

4. Breakfast With Santa 

breakfast with santa

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a visit from Santa! Attend Gulf Shores’ annual Breakfast with Santa at the Erie H. Meyer Civic Center. The whole family can enjoy pancakes with the jolly old elf himself! Check their website for dates, ticket prices, and other information. 

5. Christmas Lights at Bellingrath Gardens and Home 

With more than 3 million twinkling lights at their Magic Christmas in Lights event, a visit to Bellingrath Gardens and Home is a truly magical experience! Take a romantic stroll with your special someone through the beautiful display, which spans the 65-acre garden estate. Then, visit the gift shop for unique souvenirs. 

6. AnnualFlora-Bama Santa Drop 

Would you like to see Santa go skydiving? Now, you can! Attend Flora-Bama’s Annual Santa Drop to see Santa skydive onto the bright white beaches below. Then, have your picture taken with Santa himself, grab some hot chocolate, and stay for lunch and other delicious treats.

7. Finish Your Christmas Shopping


Did you check your list twice? Do you still need to pick up some holiday gifts for your loved ones? Gulf Shores offers lots of fantastic options for Christmas shopping. Head to Tanger Outlets and The Wharf to find the perfect way to say “I love you.”

8. Meet Billy Clause and theLuluBelles

Did you know that Santa Claus has a brother named Billy? It’s true! Meet Billy at LuLu’s and have your picture taken with this fun-loving Caribbean Clause. There’ll be plenty of thrilling activities and crafts for the kids!  

9. Annual Baldwin Pops Christmas Concert

Nothing will get you into the holiday spirit like some festive live music! Head over to the Cultural Arts Center in Gulf Shores to hear the Baldwin Pops perform their annual Christmas concert. The performance is free and offers fun for the whole family. 

10. Gulf Shores Christmas Dinner

christmas dinner

Many of your favorite restaurants will be open on Christmas, but it’s always best to check before you head out. One of our top recommendations is The Flora-Bama, which will be offering up their usual Christmas Potluck. This is a fun, casual way to meet new friends while enjoying a potluck lunch and live music. They provide the turkey and ham. All you need to bring is a side or dessert and plenty of holiday cheer!  

Celebrate a Gulf Shores Christmas With Harris Vacation Rentals! 

After you’ve had your picture taken with Santa, seen all the parades, and finished that last-minute shopping, head back to your beachfront rental and unwind. When you book your stay with Harris Vacation Rentals, you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest! Whether you’re searching for beachfront rentalspet-friendly properties, or homes with private pools, we are sure to have the ideal accommodation for your stay. Walk on the beach, enjoy the fresh sea breezes, and then head inside for a lovely holiday dinner with the family.  

With our extensive collection of vacation rentals in Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, and Orange Beach, it’s easy to find the perfect holiday rental. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your festive Gulf Shores vacation today! 

balcony with ocean view

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