As summer draws to a close, it’s officially time to start planning for the holidays! The Christmas season can be so hectic at times, so why not opt for a relaxing Christmas in Gulf Shores instead? With warm, balmy weather and gorgeous sandy beaches, it’s the 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 Gulf with a fun coastal flair!
From boat parades and concerts to visits with Santa, there are so many fun ways to celebrate Christmas in Gulf Shores. Mark your calendar for the following holiday festivities. Then, browse our coastal vacation rentals to start planning your trip!
Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Gulf Shores
The Wharf in Orange Beach
When it comes to things to do in Orange Beach, Alabama, during December, a visit to The Wharf should be at the top of your itinerary! Visitors can enjoy plenty of activities such as ice skating, photos 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. And if you need to do some last-minute shopping, this is also a great spot to find thoughtful gifts for your loved ones!
Happy Howlidays Kid and Pet Parade
One of the newer events held at The Wharf is the Happy Howlidays Kid and Pet Parade. Bring the whole family, including your four-legged friends, for a fun and festive stroll down Main Street. Pups, parrots, and pigs are welcome!
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. The parade starts at Gulf Shores Public Beach and ends at Sims Park. Afterward, make sure to stay for tasty treats, pictures with Santa, and a coastal-style snowball drop with 4,000+ ping pong balls.
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 entire Southeast! Dozens of decorated sailboats, charters, and even kayaks participate in the event. The parade starts at Lulu’s, winds down the Intracoastal Waterway past the Wharf, continues west to Perdido Pass and ends in Orange Beach. We recommend watching at the Wharf or Lulu’s for prime viewing!
5. Breakfast With Santa
Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without a visit from Santa! Attend Gulf Shores’ annual Breakfast with Santa at the Erie H. Meyer Civic Center, where you can enjoy pancakes with the jolly old elf himself! Plus, the first 50 kids receive a complimentary picture with Santa. Check their website for dates, ticket prices, and other information.
Christmas Lights at Bellingrath Gardens and Home
With more than 3 million twinkling lights, 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.
Annual Flora-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.
Billy Clause and the LuluBelles
Did you know that Santa Claus has a brother named Billy? It’s true! Come meet Billy at LuLu’s and have your picture taken with this fun-loving Caribbean Clause. There’ll be plenty of activities for the kids. Check LuLu’s website for more information about Billy Clause and the LuLuBelles.
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
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 some new friends while enjoying a potluck lunch and some live music. They provide the turkey and ham. All you need to bring is a side or dessert, and plenty of holiday cheer!
Celebrate Christmas in Gulf Shores 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 rentals, pet-friendly properties, or homes with private pools, we are sure to have the ideal accommodations for your stay. Walk on the beach, enjoy the fresh sea breezes, and then head inside for a family Gulf Shores Christmas dinner. Low key, relaxing and wonderful!
Let our knowledgeable staff at Harris Vacation Rentals answer any questions you may have on how to find the perfect holiday rental. We would love to help make sure you have everything you’ll need! So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call to start planning your holiday, and join us for an unforgettable Christmas in Gulf Shores!