The nights are getting shorter, and the days are getting cooler. Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, and the holiday season is about to kick into full swing. In between prepping your Thanksgiving turkey and starting your Christmas list, don’t forgot to get out and enjoy the South. These regional events encompass food and wine, entertainment, holiday fun and so much more.
Southern Events & Happenings November 2018
November 1-4, 2018: Christmas Village Festival | Birmingham, AL
At the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center, this sprawling expo of Christmas-inspired arts, crafts, food, decor and more is a great way to kick off your shopping season. Come see this year’s holiday trends, do some early shopping and get great ideas for decorating your home for holidays! christmasvillagefestival.com
October 30, 2018 through November 18, 2018: Book Festival of the MJCCA | Atlanta, GA
Readers will be delighted to welcome back the 27th edition of the Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta! If your literary senses are tingling, they should be. This year’s event has some fabulous visiting authors, in a variety of interactions including meet-and-greets, signings and panel discussions. Notable writers this year include Sally Field, Mike Luckovich and Senator Joe Lieberman. The event takes place at the Marcus JCC Atlanta in Dunwoody and tickets can be bought individually by day or as a series. atlantajcc.org
November 2 & 3, 2018: The Hangout Oyster Cook-Off & Craft Beer Weekend | Gulf Shores, AL
Come to the sugar-white sand beaches of Gulf Shores for a celebration of oysters, culinary artistry and craft beer, featuring celebrity chefs doing cooking demos, an oyster recipe contest, a craft beer oasis, the North American Oyster Showcase with oysters flown in from seven regions, tailgating tent with sports viewing lounges to watch SEC football games and live music performances by Michael Ray and Red Clay Strays! Don’t miss it! hangoutcookoff.com
November 3, 2018: Wine Down Main Street | Franklin, TN
Spend your evening in Williamson County, TN, at this premier wine-tasting event. With wines from around the globe, delicious food and live music, this is one November event you won’t want to miss. Participating stores will be open for business through the event, so come ready to shop. Restaurants taking part will be open for bites–come ready to eat. This event is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. General admission tickets are $85 and VIP tickets are available for $125. www.eventbrite.com
November 11, 2018: Charleston Cup Steeplechase | Charleston, SC
Whether you are making your way to Charleston for the black-tie Race Ball, to tailgate with friends or to catch a glimpse of the nation’s top racers competing for more than $100,000, you are sure to have a blast. Make your way to Charleston the second week of the month and enjoy a weekend of food, tailgating, horse racing and drinking. General admission tickets start at $30 with many other options available. steeplechaseofcharleston.com
November 5-11, 2018: Downtown Dining Week | Memphis, TN
Experience the foodie culture of this soulful city during Memphis’ ninth annual Downtown Dining Week. This year’s lineup includes Aldo’s Pizza Pies, Arcade Restaurant, Bardog Tavern, Automatic Slim’s, B.B. Kings Blues Club and many more. Participating restaurants feature special menus and pricing throughout the week. Head to the Bluff City to support locally owned small businesses and enjoy a taste of the South! downtowndiningweek.com
November 9-15, 2018: Savannah Food & Wine Festival | Savannah, GA
Let historical sites and coastal venues act as a picturesque backdrop while you indulge in wines, culinary creations, music and cocktails. Savannah Food & Wine Festival celebrates local and national culinary talent, winemakers, chefs, cocktail masters and more over six days next month. Take a class and master the art of cooking or wine tasting, enjoy a Jazz & Bubbles Brunch, stroll River Street, enjoy the Wine Challenge Dinner or dig in at the World’s Largest Lowcountry Boil. Tickets vary in price, so see what fits your budget and your schedule. www.savannah.com
November 13, 2015–January 2, 2016: Galaxy of Lights | Huntsville, AL
Kick off the holiday season with a trip to witness North Alabama’s Galaxy of Lights at the Huntsville Botanical Garden! Come for a stroll through the breathtaking display of lights, or bring your pooch on the special dog-walking nights. Passenger cars can tour the Galaxy of Lights beginning on Thanksgiving Day. Behold the twinkling icicle forest, nursery rhyme characters and, of course, Jolly Old St. Nick flying overhead in his reindeer sleigh! hsvbg.org
November 13, 2015-January 3, 2016: Holiday Festival of Lights | Charleston, SC
For 52 nights, James Island County Park, in Charleston, SC, will come alive with more than 700 magical light displays. Stroll through three miles of lights, sand sculptures, treats, gingerbread houses and the Victorian carousel. You are invited to drive through the park, stroll or take the holiday train. Named by Coastal Living as one of the Top 10 Holiday Celebrations, this light display is one of our favorite holiday family traditions. ccprc.com/1546/Holiday-Festival-of-Lights
November 13-15, 2015: Christmas Village | Nashville, TN
Approximately 260 merchants and 25,000 shoppers from all over the United States gather for this yearly Nashville tradition. Toys, jewelry, food, pottery and collectibles are only a few of the items that will be offered at this annual event. Nashville’s Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club puts on Christmas Village to benefit the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center and other sorority philanthropies. Check Christmas shopping for yourself, friends and family off your list. Tickets are $10 at the door and $8 in advance. If you plan to return the next day, grab a ticket at the door for $5. christmasvillage.org
November 14, 2015-January 9, 2016: Garden Lights Holiday Nights | Atlanta, GA
You could drive around Atlanta looking for houses with some great light displays, or you can buy tickets to the Garden Lights show at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. New features at this year’s event include the Tunnel of Light, as well as favorites like Glittering Galaxy and Radiant Rainforest. The twinkling displays light up the garden 5 to 10 p.m., and ticket prices depend on membership status, as well as peak night admission. atlantabg.org
November 20, 2015-January 3, 2016: Lights Under Louisville | Louisville, KY
There’s no other holiday light show like Lights Under Louisville. Each year, the Louisville MEGA Cavern is adorned with light fixtures to celebrate the Christmas season. Get the kids in the car and take 30-minute ride through part of the 17 miles in underground passageways. Tickets are purchased at the entrances and prices are charged by the carload– $25 for a car, truck or SUV and $35 for a van. For more information, visit: louisvillemegacavern.com.
November 21-22, 2015: Good Folk Fest | Louisville, KY
The fifth annual Good Folk Fest will be held Saturday, November 21, and Sunday, November 22, at the Tim Faulkner Gallery. The two-day art and music festival features more than 80 local, regional and internationally known folk artists with performances from musicians. For more information, click here: junkabilly.org.
November 27, 2015-January 3, 2016: Holiday LIGHTS at Cheekwood | Nashville, TN
Enjoy this new holiday tradition at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Art Museum in Nashville, TN. For the first time ever, the gardens–not just the mansion–will be decorated with elegant displays and hundreds of thousands of festive lights. Throw on your jacket and stroll the grounds as you celebrate the holiday season. The gardens will be open every night until 10 p.m. (not open Christmas night). cheekwood.org/Calendar/Events
November 27-28: Star Wars and More, the Music of John Williams | Atlanta, GA
Do you hear that ominous Jaws music every time you go swimming? Pay homage to composer John Williams, who turned a dip in the ocean into one scary recreational activity, at this orchestral event that brings the movies to life. Tickets are available for shows on Friday night and two on Saturday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., at Atlanta Symphony Hall. atlantasymphony.org
Enjoy your month and all of these great events.