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  • Kids Life Magazine

Winter Wonderland Along Alabama's Beaches

Credit: Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism


Tuscaloosa families can have a white sand holiday along Alabama’s beaches during Coastal Christmas. Coastal Christmas, an event series created by the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, is designed to warm beach guests up to the holidays. The following list highlights the major holiday happenings taking place in and around Gulf Shores and Orange Beach:


Kaiser Realty by Wyndham Vacation Rentals Coastal Half-Marathon, 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run

Date: Nov. 25

Location: Orange Beach Sportsplex (4389 William Silvers Parkway)

Website: http://www.team-magic.com/events/100

Register: http://www.team-magic.com/events/100/contents/register

Details: Shed the turkey with family and fitness this Thanksgiving with a half-marathon, 5K or 1-mile fun run through the paved, scenic Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail in Gulf State Park; post-race party at the sportsplex


Winter at The Wharf

Dates: End of November through mid-January

Location: The Wharf (23101 Canal Rd., Orange Beach)

Website: ALWharf.com

Phone: 251-224-1000

Events:

  • Ice Skating Rink

Date: Nov. 17 to Jan. 14

Time: Thanksgiving Break (Nov. 17-26): 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Christmas Break (Dec. 16-31): 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Normal time: 4-10 p.m. (Monday-Friday) and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Saturday-Sunday)

Admission: $10 for skating; $13 for skating and Ferris wheel; $80 for frequent skater pass


  • Photos with Santa

Date: Nov. 17 to Dec. 24

Time: 3-7 p.m. (Friday); 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Saturday); 12-6 p.m. (Sunday); Dec. 24: 12-2 p.m. Admission: Various price packages


  • Horse & Carriage Rides

Date: Nov. 18-19, Nov. 26, Dec. 1-3, Dec. 8-10, Dec. 15-17

Time: 6-10 p.m.

Admission: $20 per carriage ride (up to 4 people); $5 for single rider


  • Holiday SPECTRA Sound & Light Spectacular

Date: Nov. 28 to Dec. 31

Time: 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Admission: Free


City of Orange Beach Tree Lighting at The Wharf

Date: Nov. 28

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Location: The Wharf (23101 Canal Rd., Orange Beach)

Website: ALWharf.com

Admission: Free

Details: Traditional tree lighting with live music, children’s activities and more to be announced


Bellingrath’s 22nd Annual Magic Christmas in Lights

Dates: Nov. 24 to Dec. 31 (Closed Dec. 25)

Location: Bellingrath Gardens and Home (12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road, Theodore)

Website: Bellingrath.org

Phone: 251-973-2217

Details: Three million twinkling lights in more than 1,000 custom sets in 14 scenes throughout the gardens, stunningly decorated Bellingrath home and photos with Santa on weekends


Lighted Christmas Parade

Date: Dec. 1

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Location: Clubhouse Drive to the Gulf Shores Public Beach

Website: GulfShoresAL.gov

Phone: 251-968-1171

Admission: Free

Details: Floats decked out in holiday décor will roll to the Gulf Shores Public Beach


6th Annual Merry Market

Date: Dec 8-9

Location: Orange Beach Event Center at The Wharf (4671 Wharf Parkway, Orange Beach)

Phone: 251-968-7200

Admission: Free

Details: Gifts, fine arts, arts and crafts, jewelry, clothes, food vendors, door prizes, story time with Mrs. Claus and more presented by Wind Creek Casino & Hotel and produced by the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber and the city of Orange Beach


Santa Drop at Flora-Bama

Date: Dec. 9

Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: Flora-Bama (17401 Perdido Key Dr., Pensacola)

Website: FloraBama.com

Phone: 850-492-0611

Admission: Free

Details: Santa will make a grand entrance to the Alabama Gulf Coast by safely skydiving and landing on Flora-Bama’s beachfront; activities include photos with Santa, food, holiday treats, Christmas carols and more


LuLu’s presents Billy Claus and the LuLuBelles

Date: Dec. 9

Time: 1 p.m.

Location: LuLu’s (200 E. 25th Ave., Gulf Shores)

Website: LuLuBuffett.com

Phone: 251-967-5858

Admission: Free

Details: Based on Lucy Buffett’s holiday children’s book, Santa’s warm weather-loving younger brother Billy Claus and his LuLuBelles will come to town; activities include arts and crafts, Santa letter station, photos with Billy and more


32nd Annual Christmas Lighted Boat Parade

Date: Dec. 9

Time: 5 p.m.

Location: Begins at LuLu's (200 E. 25th Ave., Gulf Shores)

Phone: 251-968-7200

Admission: Free

Details: Boats decked out in holiday decor will begin the parade at LuLu's at Homeport Marina in Gulf Shores and end at Cobalt Restaurant in Orange Beach