Huntsville, Alabama is known as The Rocket City for helping put mankind on the Moon along with its continuing role in developing the propulsion system to return humankind to the lunar surface, then on to Mars. It takes lots of rocket scientists to accomplish these lofty goals, but it doesn’t take one to see that Huntsville is a fantastic destination for a holiday visit!
Many of the same folks who worked for NASA now volunteer their time and talents at the Huntsville Botanical Garden to create the displays for their annual Galaxy of Lights. Preparations begin in the summer for this major event at the garden. Existing displays are maintained and new designs created from the minds of physicists, rocket scientists and other dedicated volunteers. This is a very special year for the Galaxy, since 2020 marks the 25th presentation of this perennial holiday favorite.
The Holiday Magic starts in mid-November, and runs into the New Year. Walking nights kick-off the event for those who prefer to see the lights up close, yet safely socially distanced from others. Drive through nights start after Thanksgiving and conclude in early January. The two and one-half mile spectacle features hundreds of displays and thousands of lights. Come and see why the Huntsville Botanical Garden’s Galaxy of Lights is an event for all!
Downtown Huntsville also features some outstanding events including the Huntsville Museum of Art’s Skating in the Park, an outdoor ice skating venue ready to delight the young and young-at-heart. Rental skates are available and no previous skating experience is necessary! The museum also has a stellar Gloria Vanderbilt exhibit and on-site dining at Pane e Vino overlooking the lagoon in Big Spring International Park.
The Downtown Huntsville Tinsel Trail is a free event featuring trees decorated by local organizations and businesses for all to enjoy. Themed holiday trees line walkways throughout Big Spring International Park to illuminate the area with thousands of lights. Tinsel Trail will be open the day after Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season.
The Twickenham Historic District, one of the largest concentrations of antebellum homes in the south, will be aglow with luminaries, trees and front doors glistening with decorations during the Spirit of Christmas Past Luminary tour, on December 12. It’s the perfect opportunity to walk or drive through this historic district and see the homes at their holiday brightest and best.
The EarlyWorks Family of Museums is offering some holiday magic of their own with Ten Nights of Santa. The event will be indoors at the EarlyWorks Children’s Museum with a program that allows safe capacity limits, social distancing and sanitizing protocols. The jolly old elf will still visit with children and spread holiday cheer from within Santa’s Magic Snow Globe. This event is offered December 13 – 23 with limited and timed entry tickets to ensure the safety of all involved.
A mile and a half maze of bright holiday lights awaits visitors to a brand new event, the Rocket City Christmas Spectacular. Guests can drive through the magical Santa’s Mountain themed show, then wander into the Winter Wonderland in Toyota Field for a whole host of holiday activities.
Burritt on the Mountain’s Candlelight Christmas offers a glimpse into the holidays of yesteryear. Celebrate with a truly old-fashioned Christmas experience at Huntsville’s very first museum.
Other area attractions including the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment will also feature special exhibits, events and activities sure to bring everyone some yuletide joy.
For additional information, visit www.huntsville.org/hsvmagic . There you’ll find all the info you’ll need including lodging, dining and shopping options in the Rocket City. There are even discount coupons for many of the events mentioned in the article.
Can’t make it during the holidays? No problem! Huntsville is a fantastic destination year-round and we’re serious about providing family-friendly activities with social distancing protocol and sanitization procedures in place. The Rocket City is ready to see you in our space. Huntsville is a Go for Re-Entry!