By December 7, 2013 Read More →

Around the South: December 2013

Southern Guide to Life | Travel - December 2013



The Magic of Model Trains (Birmingham – Nov 9 – Jan 5) The holidays are picking up steam at McWane Science Center with the return of the Magic of Model Trains exhibit. Discover trains of every shape and size inside this popular exhibit which features over a dozen different train displays. Every set in the exhibit is designed to scale with the size of the trains. The meticulous detail of the scenery including covered bridges, downtown storefronts and of course, several train stations will keep your family entertained for hours!

Governor’s Mansion Christmas Open House Tours 2013 (Montgomery – Dec 2-16) The 1907 Governor’s Mansion will be aglow with lights and filled with the spirit of the season. Pick up tickets at the Gift Shop across the street.

Galaxy of Lights (Huntsville – Nov 15 – Dec 31) Galaxy of Lights is a magnificent 2.5-mile long holiday light extravaganza featuring larger-than-life animated light displays. Special exhibits include a holiday village, dinosaurs, wild animals, a magical twinkling icicle forest, garden scenes, animated snowmen and the 12 days of Christmas.

Arctic Express (Silverhill – Nov 29 – Dec 24) A Welsh Victorian railway will be turned into a Christmas wonderland. There are well over 1,000,000 lights, thousands of decorations, and numerous blow-ups in all the buildings, along the tracks, and all over the grounds. The totally decorated train travels through a wonderland of 3D lighted displays and passes one Christmas display after the other on it’s way to the “North Pole” for a visit with Santa. When you de-train at the “North Pole” you will find “Santa” waiting for you in his cozy little cottage inside the fully decorated activities barn. As part of the child’s visit, Santa will give each child either a hand made wooden toy locomotive or whistle that they can decorate at the “Art Table”. After the toys are decorated everyone re-boards the train and chuffs back to the main station past even more Christmas lights. At the station everyone can enjoy a snack of hot coco, candy canes, and cookies in the party tent next to the station. This is also an excellent time to find a train related gift in our gift shop while the children play with the Thomas The Tank tables in the tent.


Ozark Mountains Christmas Lights & Newton County Reindeer Trail (Jasper – Nov 25 – Jan 1) Enjoy the Reindeer Trail by day and the Ozark Mountains Christmas Lights Trail by night. The Reindeer Trail allows visitors to enjoy a long favorite Ozark holiday tradition — driving the scenic highways and back roads during the Christmas season to see “Santa’s Reindeer” — the famous Arkansas elk and deer herds. Local businesses and community venues are decked out with beautiful holiday light displays. Town tree lighting on Dec. 5.

Caroling in the Caverns (Fifty Six – Dec 1-22) Every Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving until the Sunday before Christmas. 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. showtimes. Marvel at the beauty of astonishing formations coupled with the sounds of caroling resounding through the caverns as musicians perform your favorite old-time Christmas songs. Phone: 870-269-8068


Santa’s Safari at the Louisville Zoo (Louisville – Dec 7 – Dec 8 & Dec 14 – Dec 15) Santa is making a special stop at the Louisville Zoo and he’s bringing a bunch of his North Pole friends along too. Join the holiday cheer with Frosty the Snowman, as he leads children of all ages in a Christmas carol sing-a-long. There will also be crafts, cookies and you can see the animals.

A Coca-Cola Christmas (Louisville – Nov 16, 2013 – Jan 6, 2014) This special interactive holiday exhibit showcases more than 75 years of enchanting art and rare artifacts direct from Coca-Cola’s exclusive collection. Visitors can explore and discover original Coca-Cola artwork, memorabilia, artifacts, advertising and hands-on fun.  The exhibition features two beloved holiday icons – Santa Claus and the Coca-Cola Polar Bears. The exhibit features original oil paintings from one of the greatest illustrators of the 20th century, Haddon Sundblom.

46th Annual Event “Frontier Christmas” (Old Washington/Maysville, Kentucky – Dec 07 – Dec 08) Celebrate and old fashion Christmas – Quilting, Weaving, Candle Dipping,  Handmade gifts, Banjo, Dulcimer, Fiddle, Harp, Bagpiper, Kris Kringle, Horse-drawn wagon or Carriage rides and Much More. 7 museums with holly decked mantles, pine-scented rooms and candle-lit windows, and craft demonstrations.  A different full production play is performed at the New Beginnings in Presbyterian Church. Shops offer a wide variety of Christmas items.  Many vendors come to fill every nook and cranny. Washington is a 1700’s village of log cabins, museums, flagstone streets with a variety of antique, craft and specialty shops.


The Candlelight Advent Walk (Paris – Dec 4) Worshippers will hear the message of Advent in beautifully decorated churches then process by candlelight through the historic downtown area. It’s a great opportunity to worship with other churches, enjoy their meaningful decorations of the season and stroll through the Victorian town square.

Christmas at the Carter Mansion (Elizabethton – Dec 6-7) Spend a candlelit evening in the oldest frame house in Tennessee, decorated with bright greenery for the holidays. Enjoy music, refreshments, and costumed interpreters acting out scenes from an 18th century Christmas.

Maury Christmas Historic Home Tour (Columbia – Dec 6-7) Listed as one of the must see top 20 events by the Southeast Tourism Society. Columbia is the antebellum capital of TN. Most of these homes are privately held. The Maury Christmas Historic Home Tour is a way to see homes decorated for the season that otherwise would be closed to the general public.

Mansher’s Station Yulefest (Goodlettsville – Dec 7) Experience Christmas on the frontier. The fort and historic Bowen Plantation House will be decorated for the holidays.

Historic Jonesborough Progressive Dinner (Jonesborough – Dec 7) Experience an elegant multi-course dinner and tour of Jonesborough’s finest historic homes that you will remember for a lifetime. This event is a fundraising effort for the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Reservations are required. www

Christmas Open House at Historic Cragfont (Castalian Springs – Dec 8) (FREE) Traditional decorations, Christmas music, and Santa Claus. Bring your entire family and your camera and enjoy refreshments and a tour of beautiful, historic Cragfont.

Annual Candlelight Tour (Knoxville – Dec 8) Come see a holiday home from 1797 dressed in it’s finest for the Christmas Holidays. Lit only by candle light and decorated with live greenery this beautiful home comes alive with visions of Christmas’ past. Enjoy holiday treats and live music in the Visitors Center as part of celebration.

20th Annual Christmas Toy Train Show (Nashville – Dec 14) Toy trains from all major manufacturers and in all gauges will be for sale including modern products as well as trains produced over the last 100 years. There will be operating layouts and several sets will be awarded to kids only by drawing.

Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights (Chattanooga – Nov 22 – Jan 4) For the holiday season, Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights is a family tradition. This award-winning light extravaganza features more than 25 holiday scenes and nearly a million lights that transform the gardens’ daytime splendor to a nighttime fantasyland. Enjoy gingerbread cookie decorating, hot cocoa and nightly Music Under the Moon entertainment.


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