There’s no shortage of events taking place throughout the South during this most magical time of year. Grab your calendar and carve out a day or two to explore the region’s top December events — you’ll be in the holiday spirit in no time!
21 Southern Events for December 2019
December 5, 2019: Third Annual Festival of Trees – Nashville, TN
The Holiday Inn on West End Avenue in Nashville hosts The Third Annual Festival of Trees. This event raises money for the Arc Davidson County & Greater Nashville, and the Arc Williamson County’s programs and services for adults and children with disabilities. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., enjoy live music, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction while you browse amongst the trees decorated by sponsoring businesses, individuals or organizations. General admission tickets are $20. For more information, visit thearcwc.org.
December 6-8, 2019: Christkindlmarket – Huntsville, AL
Recognized as the #1 Christmas market in Alabama in Food and Wine Magazine, enjoy the smells, tastes, and crafts this German Christmas market has to offer. Located in the Historic Downtown Square in Huntsville, the Christkindlmarket Market offers specialty German street food and drinks, live entertainment and over 50 Christmas craft vendors. This event is free, however, donations are accepted on behalf of Free 2 Teach. Enjoy it on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Visit their christkindlmarkethuntsville.com for more information.
December 7 & 14, 2019: The Shops Buckhead Atlanta Holiday Block Party – Atlanta, GA
The Shops Buckhead Atlanta kick off the holiday season with an extended-hours block party! Decorate a holiday cactus and enjoy the live entertainment. Additionally, bring your pet for a holiday pet portrait. The block parties are free admission and will take place from noon to 4 p.m. during the holiday season. The Shops Buckhead Atlanta are open Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. For more information on the shops and holiday events throughout the season, visit theshopsbuckheadatlanta.com.
December 7, 2019: Brew Lights – Chattanooga, TN
Enjoy a night of brews, food and music with the animals, at the Chattanooga Zoo. Taste unlimited samples of craft beer and cider, view the holiday light display, and enjoy the Christmas carolers and DJ Santa. The second annual Brew Lights is a 21+ event that takes place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $45. For more information, visit their chattzoo.org.
December 7, 2019: Crafty Bastards Charleston Arts & Crafts Fair – Charleston, SC
Enjoy this outdoor market complete with over 70 artisan vendors, live music, and craft beer and cocktails. Browse through and meet the artists behind the craft tables, which feature clothing, screen printing, food, original art and more. The Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair originated in Nashville, TN but has now expanded to Charleston, SC. The free event takes place at Joe Riley Park, and it runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
December 11-23, 2019: Hampton + Hudson’s Bo Ling Chop Suey Palace Pop-Up – Atlanta, GA
The classic Christmas movie, “A Christmas Story,” is the inspiration behind Hampton + Hudson’s annual Bo Ling Chop Suey Palace pop-up. Enjoy a special Chinese menu, as well as Bo Ling cocktails and beer, while surrounded by decor inspired by the movie. The pop-up is first-come, first-serve, and it takes place from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The regular menu is available during these times. Additionally, on Christmas Day, watch the movie, “A Christmas Story,” cheer on football and enjoy an exclusive menu.
December 12-15, 2019: LUNA Fête – New Orleans, LA
View the spectacular light show of video projection mapping in Lafayette Square. Organized by the Arts Council of New Orleans to illuminate the city’s beautiful architecture, LUNA Fête incorporates sound, graphics and light into their wondrous displays. Grab your family and enjoy the lights from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for free! For more information on the light display, you can check out neworleans.com.
December 14, 2019: 10th Annual Savannah Reindeer Run – Savannah, GA
For the tenth year in a row, the “Reindeer Games” takes place at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center. The event includes an 8k run, a kiddie race, and plenty of after-race games. Proceeds from the event go towards the Prevention Education Program at the Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire. For $30, participate in the 8k and enjoy shrimp and grits, beer (21+), and post-race activities. The free kiddie race begins at 8:45 a.m., and the 8k begins at 9 a.m. You can find more events details here.
December 14, 2019: Ugly Sweater Crawl – Birmingham, AL
Throw on your Goodwill ugly Christmas sweater and participate in the fun and festive 21+ bar crawl in Birmingham! Single tickets for the crawl are $22.84 and include an Ugly Sweater Crawl T-Shirt, koozie, discounted drink specials at bars, photo ops with the bar crawl photographer, and holiday music provided by a DJ. Follow the map to hit all of the participating bars for a festive night out. Check-in for the event at Tin Roof from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and enjoy the crawl until midnight. Ticket information can be found here.
December 15, 2019: Tampa Riverwalk Winter Fest – Tampa, FL
Enjoy a holiday atmosphere with local food, drinks and artisan crafts, at the Tampa Riverwalk Winterfest. Live music, water taxis and fresh air surround the space as you browse through home decor, garden art, up-cycled goods, and a variety of desserts and food. The event takes place at Water Works Park from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with free admission. For more information, visit yourtampamarkets.com.
December 18, 2019: Sips and Succulents – Holiday Style – Virginia Beach, VA
Sip on some beer while you craft your own ornament succulent! Not only do you create and learn how to care for your succulent, but you also craft an essential oil spray and Peppermint sugar scrub. Additionally, sip on some New Relm Brewing Beer to top off the ultimate holiday spa day! Tickets are $40, and space is limited. Tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.com.
December 19, 2019: Winter Wine Class – Kings Mountain, NC
Participate in a guided winter wine tour at Veronét Vineyards & Winery. Learn about what meals to pair with the classic and unique wines you taste. Eat your way through with wine and food pairings, and enjoy a tasting pour of six wines. Bottles and cases are available for purchase throughout the tour. Tickets are $45, and the evening wine class takes place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Through December 21: Christmas at Oak View Farm – Raleigh, NC
Take a guided tour through five historical periods at Historic Oak View County Park. Unique holiday decorations recreate the Antebellum Era, Civil War Era, Victorian Era, Great Depression, and World War II. This event is free, and one-hour tours run Monday through Friday at 2 p.m., Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Registration is required, and no tours run on December 7th or 8th. For more event info, visit raleigh.eventful.com.
December 25, 2019: Atlanta Botanical Garden Holiday Lights – Atlanta, GA
Enjoy your Christmas Day evening at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, with the Holiday Lights exhibit. Stroll through the gardens of unique light displays with your family and loved ones. Additionally, enjoy s’mores and hot chocolate as you listen to music and experience Nature’s Wonders, the largest curtain of synchronized lights in the world. The special hours for this exhibit are 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and ticket prices range. For more information on the event and tickets, check out atlantabg.org.
December 26, 2019: Cocktails in the Oak Room – Nashville, TN
Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery is hosting a holiday cocktail party, complete with fine cocktails, lounging and corn hole. In addition, a tasting takes place in the Oak Room from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Admission is free, and the cocktails range in price from $7 to $10. Their Cold Fashioned cocktail is a must-try!
December 27, 2019: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Fan Night – Atlanta, GA
The Georgia Aquarium hosts the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Fan Night for football and fish fans alike. Walk through the aquarium exhibits, participate in a pep rally with the teams’ cheerleaders and mascots, and enjoy food and drinks throughout the night. The festivities take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and tickets are $26.95. For more information, visit georgiaaquarium.org.
Through December 30, 2019: Zoolumination – Nashville, TN
Visit the country’s largest Chinese lantern festival at the Nashville Zoo. Over 500 lanterns create images of zoo animals, holiday scenes and a 200-foot-long dragon! The light display is up throughout the entire month of December. Enjoy the nightly display from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is closed on December 24th and 25th. Tickets are $14 for children and $19 for adults. If you have a membership, there is a ticket discount!
December 31, 2019: Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show – Gatlinburg, TN
Celebrate the new year at the 32nd annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show. The streets of downtown Gatlinburg are flooded with music and activities until the ball drops at the 400-foot Gatlinburg Space Needle. The event is complete with a colorful fireworks show. Admission to this celebration is free, and the festivities begin at 10 p.m.
December 31, 2019: Tupelo’s New Year’s Eve Party — Tupelo, MS
Ring in the new year in Elvis’s hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi. The celebration gets underway at 7 p.m. and includes a variety of musical acts, a ball drop, fireworks, seasonal festivities for all ages, food, drinks and more. This festive event also kicks of a year of celebrating Elvis’s 85th birthday. Learn more here.
December 31, 2019: Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: New Year’s Eve in Nashville – Nashville, TN
Ring in the New Year with a night full of food, drinks, fireworks and live music at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park! All ages are welcome to watch the legendary Music Note Drop at midnight and enjoy this year’s music lineup, including Keith Urban, Amanda Shires, The Struts, and more. The jam-packed event kicks off at 4 p.m. and ends at midnight. with the ball drop. Alcohol is for purchase for 21+. Admission is free, and special viewing packages are available for purchase. For more information, check out visitmusiccity.com.
Through January 4, 2020: Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum – Asheville, NC
While the winter months bring in the chilly weather, there’s nothing like a winter wonderland to light up the holidays! Gather the family and check out the North Carolina Arboretum’s Winter Lights, on display through the month of December until January 4th. Not only are there colorful light displays, but there are also crafts, games, a model train exhibit and more. All of the proceeds raised during the Winter Lights exhibit go toward fundraising events to take place throughout the rest of the year. You can visit the Winter Lights from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week. Ticket prices vary. For more information, visit ncarboretum.org.
Enjoy all of the holiday events offered this December!
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