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Fun things to do in Alabama

Illustration by James Gulliver Hancock

A curated list of the best upcoming events in Alabama.

Santa in the Village

Through December 16 on Fridays and Saturdays Arab transforms into the North Pole during Santa in the Village. Two million lights illuminate the town, creating a Hallmark-like scene. Kids are invited to visit with Santa, see reindeer shoes being made at Phillips’ Blacksmith Shop, and even take home reindeer food from Smalley Grist Mill. Adults, $6; children under 2, free. Arab.

Wonderland Under Warrior

Through January 8 Celebrate the spirit of the holidays at this whimsical underground event. More than 100,000 lights illuminate stalactites, stalagmites, and other unique geological formations at Rickwood Caverns State Park. Admission, $12. Warrior.

Cullman Christkindlmarkt

FREE! December 8–10 Sip mulled wine or hot chocolate as you explore this German-style Christmas market. Local vendors fill wooden tents with ornaments, gifts, and other handcrafted treasures. Festhalle Farmers Market and Economic Development parking lot. Cullman.

Historic Decatur Christmas Tour

December 9 Visit a dozen of Decatur’s most charming homes on this self-guided holiday tour. Tour stops include houses, churches, and other architecturally significant buildings decorated with greenery, lights, and more. In addition to the tour, guests can enjoy shopping, refreshments, and live music. Adults, $30. Decatur.

Sippin’ Cider Festival

FREE! December 9 What’s better than small-town holiday shopping? Small-town holiday shopping with cider in hand! Browse the wares in an array of shops and then vote on your favorite cider; the winner receives the Cider Cup. Other activities include carriage rides and s’mores. Athens.

MoonPie Over Mobile

FREE! December 31 Ring in 2024 at the MoonPie Over Mobile celebration. Enjoy festivities such as the Second Line parade, the cutting of the giant MoonPie, live music, fireworks, and a laser light show. Mobile.

Foley Snowbird Welcome Coffee

FREE! January 9 Attention snowbirds who have flocked South for the winter! Foley invites you to its annual welcome event at the civic center. Learn what Foley has to offer while enjoying live music and light bites. There’s even a scavenger hunt to get you acquainted with the cityFoley.

Kentuck Saturday Art Market

FREE! January 20, February 17, March 16 On the third Saturday of every month, historic downtown comes alive with vendors and artisans selling jewelry, paintings, metal work, and more. Featured artists for the month are announced ahead of each market. Northport.

Firebird with MSO

January 20–21 The Mobile Symphony Orchestra is slated to perform some of ballet’s most notable pieces. Directed by Scott Speck and accompanied by pianist Maxim Lando, the concert will include Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, Duke Ellington’s The River Suite, and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Tickets start at $20. Mobile.

The Lettermen Live

January 22 As one of the most popular doo-wop groups of their time, The Lettermen crooned classics such as “The Way You Look Tonight” and “Put Your Head on My Shoulder.” At the Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center, the current band members will perform hits that are as popular today as they were when they were released more than 60 years ago. $35. Enterprise.

Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival

January 26–27 Bluegrass, country, and gospel bands take the stage along with some of the country’s best oral storytellers at this annual festival. The event kicks off on Friday with a ticketed supper and live storytelling and continues with 3 concerts on Saturday. The $55 ticket includes Friday night’s dinner and a show along with all 3 Saturday performances. Troy.

Shen Yun

February 6 Bringing 5,000 years of Chinese history and culture to north Alabama, the New York City group presents a stunning showcase of musical and dance performances. The spectacular show will take place in the Mark C. Smith Concert Hall at the Von Braun Center. Tickets start at $80. Huntsville.

My Fair Lady

February 6–7 Watch Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, an unlikely pair, fall in love and be transformed before your eyes in Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady at the Gogue Performing Arts Center. Enjoy musical numbers such as “Wouldn’t It Be Lovely?” and “I Could Have Danced All Night.” Tickets start at $45. Auburn.

Blues in the Night

February 8–March 3 This Tony Award–nominated musical is heading to Montgomery for a 3-week stint at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Songs include classics from artists such as Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Alberta Hunter, Jimmy Cox, and Ida Cox. Tickets start at $26. Montgomery.

Mobile Mardi Gras

FREE! February 13 As the birthplace of Mardi Gras in the U.S., Mobile is the spot to celebrate carnival season. Festivities such as parades, balls, and food and drink tours are held beginning in late January, with the culminating events taking place on Mardi Gras Day. Mobile.

Fort Morgan Oyster Fest

February 24–25 The annual festival is back for another year of all things bivalves. Tickets include all-you-can-eat oysters from Navy Cove and Admiral, but there will also be loads of additional festival foods. Enjoy live music, shop from local artisans, or participate in an oyster-shucking contest. Early bird 2-day tickets, $90. Gulf Shores.

Ballyhoo Festival

FREE! March 2–3 Now in its 10th year, Gulf Shores’ Ballyhoo Festival is a juried fine arts festival featuring 100 artists as well as a celebration of local culture ranging from that of Poarch Creek Indians to early present-day residents. Festivalgoers can watch The Poarch Creek Pow Wow Club perform an original tribal dance in ceremonial regalia and see basket-weaving and wood-carving demonstrations. Gulf Shores.

Alabama Medieval Fantasy Festival

March 2–3 The Renaissance returns at the Alabama Medieval Fantasy Festival. The event captures life in the 9th Century with a European Marketplace, performances, costumes, demonstrations, games, and crafts. Adults, $20. Greenville.

Festival of Flowers

March 8–10 The largest outdoor flower show in the Southeast will celebrate its 31st year this March. Throughout the open-air downtown display, find living garden sculptures created by local florists, artists, landscapers, and nurseries. Attendees can also enjoy garden tours of downtown residences, vendors, live music, and a car show. Adults: $13 in advance, $15 at the gate. Mobile.

Visit Tuscaloosa Half Marathon

March 24 The longest distance-running race in T-Town, the half-marathon meanders Black Warrior River, Tuscaloosa River Walk, portions of the University of Alabama campus, and beautiful neighborhoods, too. Stay after sweating for the post-race party to toast your accomplishment. Tuscaloosa.

‘Poosa Jeep Fest

FREE! March 28–30 Jeepers and Jeep lovers unite for the second year at this all-things-Jeep festival. Events include a car show and an obstacle course. Don’t miss food trucks, games, and live music, too. Montgomery.

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