December, January and February. The coldest months of the year, when you’re usually fighting snow, sleet and traffic jams on the way to work or holiday events. But not at the Gulf! It’s sweater weather down here. It may be a little too chilly for a swim – unless it’s a Polar Bear Plunge – but there are plenty of other Gulf Shores events and activities to do here in Gulf Shores during the winter season.
Time to enjoy a Gulf Coast holiday! You may be worried about not feeling the holiday vibe down here in the land of sun, sand and palm trees, but you can. It’s just going to have that fun, quirky Gulf Coast twist. To get everyone in the mood, let the kids make holiday decorations out of shells and driftwood they’ve picked up on the beach. Or, let them help you decorate a batch of Christmas cookies that you’ve made (or picked up along the way).
If it’s not Christmas for your family without The Nutcracker, don’t worry. The Coastal Ballet Academy presents The Nutcracker in early December. If you miss out on tickets to this very popular event, don’t worry. Just grab those Christmas cookies and set the kids up in front of the large flat screen and stream the Nutcracker on PBS (using the free Wi-Fi in your beach front cottage of course).
Time for a Parade!
The city of Gulf Shores hosts their annual Lighted Christmas Parade & Lighting of the Beach each December. With lighted floats and marching bands, holiday characters and plenty of holiday treats, pictures with Santa, this’ll get you in the mood! And, there’s a coastal style snowball drop with over 4,000 ping pong balls that the kids will surely enjoy!
The annual Christmas Lighted Boat Parade features a parade of festively lit boats sailing from LuLu’s down the Intracoastal Waterway past The Wharf, and ending in Orange Beach. You can watch the parade at The Wharf in Orange Beach or LuLu’s in Gulf Shores. Plan to grab a spot early, because this is a popular event. Just ask our staff about rentals along the parade routes. Put on some carols and watch the lighted boats pass right by your rental! It’s the start of a new family tradition!
Santa and More!
Take the family to the nearby legendary Flora-Bama and watch as Santa sky-dives onto the beach in front of this famous honky-tonk! Once he arrives, kids of all ages can sit on his lap for pictures, and there are plenty of activities, hot chocolate and free sweets for the kids. Meanwhile, adults can hit the oyster bar and grab a few of the Flora-Bama’s famous bushwackers.
After Breakfast with Santa at the Civic Center, take the family to The Wharf in Orange Beach for ice skating. Kids can get their pictures taken with Santa too, while you finish any last-minute shopping. Plan to spend the day here because The Wharf has it all – dining, shopping, movie theater, an arcade, mini-golf and an Escape Room. Plan a ride on the Ferris wheel once it gets dark for an amazing panoramic view of the Gulf.
Start the Year Out Right With These Gulf Shores Events
Lulu’s and The Hangout will have plenty of family friendly events in Gulf Shores for New Year’s. Lulu’s has plenty of activities for the kids including a sand castle contest and a beach ball drop at noon on New Year’s Eve. And the entire family will enjoy The Hangout’s dance contests and cookie decorating. These two beachfront establishments have been favorites of locals and visitors alike for years and always have something going on. Fresh seafood and live music at the beach can’t be beat any time of year!
Spend the day at Gulf State Park fishing, hiking, biking, kayaking, beachcombing and geocaching! Then wait ‘til the sun goes down for the annual fireworks display. The Wharf usually hosts an annual ball drop or fireworks display too on New Year’s Eve. And of course, back at the Flora-Bama, there’s their New Year’s Eve Bash and Polar Bear Dip!
Watch – or join in – the city’s Mardi Gras parade, a tradition since the 1970s. And for serious Mardi Gras fun, head to LuLu’s or the Flora-Bama’s famous annual Super Chili Bowl Cook-Off. It’s not exactly Mardi-Gras related, but it’s a lot of fun.
Winter Vacation Rentals
Whether you’re starting a new family tradition with your entire extended family, or it’s just you and your sweetie, we have a rental that will be just right. From one-bedroom cottages to six-bedroom vacation homes, we can easily accommodate your entire group. And you can choose from beachfront, bay or backwater fronted with gorgeous views.
Let our staff help you find holiday events in Gulf Shores for the entire family, suggest locations for a fun holiday meal, where to do that last minute shopping, and to make sure events are still going on. Give us a call today!