Christmas light hunting is something that I have enjoyed every year for as long as I can remember. My family and I would always pile into the car with some fast food (remember the Christmas ornaments that were in Happy Meals quite a while ago?) and go out. We always had two or three mainstays every year, but nothing was more exciting than finding something new to add to our list for the following year! So, now that I have my own family, I’m looking forward to making our own traditions here by finding some Birmingham Christmas lights to add to our mental checklist every year!
Below is a list by our BMC contributors of some of the best Christmas lights in Birmingham.
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Vulcan Park and Museum is hosting Vulcan’s Magical Nights again, and it’s better than ever! It has more lights, more music, more food, and more family fun! The holiday spectacular runs December 2-4, 9-11, 16-18 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. each of those nights. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children. This includes access to the museum, the viewing deck, and all the live nightly entertainment! Purchase tickets at the park or online to avoid the line!
The Birmingham Zoo is bringing back Glow Wild this year. It runs from November 16, 2022,
to January 16, 2023, on selected dates. Check out the zoo website for ticket purchase and full details. The zoo website stresses to give yourself one hour to enjoy the whole event!
Located at the Birmingham Race Course, the Lights of Noel is Alabama’s largest animated light show. The fun kicks off on November 18 and ends on January 2 from 6 pm until midnight every night. Admission fees differ with weekends vs weekdays, so check out the website for more details!
The Wacky Tacky Light Tour by Fresh Air Family is a fundraiser for their Gross Out Camp Scholarship Fund. Embrace your inner tacky with these two-hour bus tours that depart from Cahaba Brewing Company on December 13, 15, 20, and 22. The tour is curated to light up the night with fun and festivity and includes Santa’s Trailer Park, the Hanukkah House, Dueling Neighbors, Star Wars Christmas and new houses: Saddle Up Santa and Xmas on a Limb. You can purchase individual tickets or book your own party bus!
About an hour long drive from the heart of Birmingham, but another favorite, is Christmas at the Falls at Noccalula Falls in Gadsden. It features millions of lights winding throughout the park grounds with beautiful holiday displays and decorations. Christmas at the Falls opens November 24 and runs through January 1st. They even have two new, electric trains up and running this year!
Make a visit to “Santa’s House” in Trussville’s Peppertree neighborhood. While it has lots of fun lights for the family to enjoy, it’s Santa’s sleigh that’s the main attraction. If you’re lucky, you may catch Santa Claus himself waiting to pose for photos in his sleigh.
We have it on good authority that the larger neighborhoods in the area, such as Longwood, Brentwood, Pinemeadow and Chapel Hills, have some solid displays every year. Also, the Gardendale Civic Center is hosting a Festival of Trees this year! Rocket Around the Christmas Tree Trail is an event supporting the Dick Lee Memorial Scholarship Fund. The trees will be displayed to the public from December 6 to January 1, 2023.
Bama Lights on West Hill Road in Pinson has become a destination display in recent years. It’s a drive-through experience beginning at 5:00 pm nightly, weather permitting. The property owners also collect donations for charity each year.
Timber Trails and Burkwood Road in Fultondale, as well as Hampstead Drive and Doss Ferry in Kimberly have been reported to us as excellent opportunities for light viewing in the North Birmingham area as well.
Just Over the Mountain
Homewood’s Edgewood subdivision hosts lots of lights to brighten your night. Start at Barry Avenue to be dazzled with its light show. Then, be sure to also check out Edgewood Boulevard, East Hawthorne Drive, and West Hawthorne Drive for more fun lights and sights.
I love music and Christmas lights, so knowing that these neighborhoods found a way to combine the two definitely put them on my list of places to visit. Take a trip to the Biltmore Estates of Vestavia to see some lights synchronized with music. Be aware some traffic from the display at Chestnut Road and Monterrey Drive may spill out onto Highway 31, so if you’re just passing through, have a little extra Christmas cheer or take a detour and check it out!
For those who love tradition, you’ll be satisfied with a visit to Lake Drive in Mountain Brook. As one of the first streets in the area to decorate their trees, you’ll enjoy seeing Santa and his reindeer. If their lights return this year, the Beech Hill subdivision is an Auburn fan’s Christmas delight. Finally, take a trip to Spring Rock Road for an abundance of blow-up decorations that your kids will adore. This area is sure to please every light viewer in your car!
The resort is decorated beautifully, but the neighborhood itself is fun and festive around the holidays. Start at the main entrance with all the new shops and restaurants to enjoy a treat. Then, wind your way around each area to see the white-lit trees on the terraces, inflatables, and more fun décor the residents display for all to enjoy.
If you enjoy Hallmark Christmas movies as much as I do, then this neighborhood is for you! Enjoy a small town feel as you cruise through the Preserve in Hoover. Better yet, have a date night with your honey at one of their two restaurants and take a festive stroll down the neighborhood sidewalks lined with lit trees.
Hoover Commons Chick-fil-A
If you don’t have time for a full light tour in Birmingham, then this stop is for you. Sure to be a crowd pleaser as you pick up dinner, this Chick-fil-A decorates their drive-thru with a light tunnel that will definitely keep your kids entertained.
North Shelby County
There’s always something festive and magical about a lit pathway. Throughout Meadowbrook’s neighborhood in Inverness, you’ll find luminary lined paths helping Santa find his way this season. Be sure to also visit Brookhill Drive for some lights synced to their own FM station.
The Richardson Family reminds others of the reason for the season as they use their holiday décor on Arrow Drive in Alabaster to host a canned food drive for those less fortunate. Don’t forget to bring your contribution when you come view their synchronized light show which runs from the day after Thanksgiving through New Years Day. As someone who has seen the show in years past, prepare for a long wait if you go on a weekend day. I would advise going in the middle of the week!
The City of Alabaster is also hosting a Festival of Trees for the first time this year. Trees will be displayed to the public from December 2 to January 2 on the grounds of City Hall. Some proceeds from entry fees will benefit Shelby County Emergency Services. Have a little extra time? Check out the Christmas Tour of Lights for a list of roughly 15-25 decorated homes all across the city. We always look forward to seeing what everyone does each year!
Located on 5703 Highway 39 in Chelsea, The Cloutier Christmas Lights are sure to please everyone in the family! In years past, their playlist has changed every night, so it is never the same show two nights in a row. One thing I’ve always enjoyed about this show is that the playlist isn’t always fully Christmas-oriented! There is limited driveway parking for those who might want to watch the show outside of their vehicles. The Cloutiers have announced that they are going to be on the upcoming season 10 of The Great Christmas Light Fight, on December 12, 2022, at on 8 pm on ABC!
Christmas Wonderland is a walk-through Christmas lights display. Originally located in Calera in years past, this year is the first year that the display is on 309 Studdard Drive in Clanton. On select nights, meet Santa! Display is open 9-5 on select nights.
Christmas Fantasyland is located on 500 County Road 128 in Calera. Among many other sights, visit Elsa’s castle, Whoville and the North Pole! Keep an eye on Facebook in case Santa and other characters make an appearance!
We have heard that the Lake Wilborn subdivision close to Brock’s Gap in Hoover has a Christmas light display that will be worth the drive! You’ll also want to check out the Hillsboro neighborhood in Helena, which is known for its beautiful light displays during the holidays.
Did we miss anything? Please let us know!