Here’s what’s up for the Christmas season 2014 along the Gulf Coast.
Corpus Christi has a lot to offer this Christmas season so get out your calendar to make sure you have the important events penciled in. From “Storytime with Mrs. Santa Claus” at the Harbor Playhouse, The Town & Country Christmas Classic shopping gala, the 5K Santa Boogie, the Nutcracker Ballet, the Winter Wonderettes, to the Town Club Holiday Shop and more, you’ll have to schedule in your meal time and visits with friends. Enjoy all of the events and when it’s over, have fun as a participant or spectator at the Polar Bear Plunge on New Years Day. Click here for the schedule.
Galveston‘s holiday season starts off with an event the day after Thanksgiving at the Hotel Galvez on Seawall Blvd. Carolers, the tree lighting, Santa and many great displays will be available to keep you and your family busy and in the spirit. Take in the Home for the Holidays Gift Mart and the Ice Sculptures and Festival of lights at Moody Gardens. Dickens on the Strand, Handbell Concert, Victorian Holiday Homes Tour, and a Victorian Pipe Organ Extravaganza are just a few of the other events planned for you. Click here for the schedule.
Houston has a fun calendar of events. Start your planning with the H-E-B Parade in Downtown Houston on the 27th. Visit the Houston Zoo’s “Zoo Lights” and the largest display of lights along the Gulf Coast on Galveston Bay. The performing arts list includes The Rockettes, Dear Santa, Madeline’s Christmas, Very Merry Pops and more. There’s a candlelight tour of Houston’s oldest historic homes decorated for the holiday season. If you like concerts, be sure to catch the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Elisabeth von Trapp, the Symphomy, and the ROCO Brass Quintet. Houston hosts 5K runs, holiday shops and an outdoor skating rink. Click here for more information.
A New Orleans Christmas features the traditional Reveillon Dinner that all guests to the Crescent City should try. Here’s a list of restaurants that participate. Make your reservations early. While you’re in town, don’t miss caroling in Jackson Square, Celebration in the Oaks, Bonfires on the Levee, holiday shops, home tours and St Louis Cathedral concerts. Click here for Christmas holiday event information and laissez bon temps rouler through the holiday season.
From Ocean Springs to Biloxi/Gulfport there are plenty of events to keep you busy. Pass Christian celebrates with a tree lighting, street concerts and crafts, Santa and a 5K run on Dec 5 & 6. Other tree lighting festivals include Pascagoula, Bay St Louis, Long Beach and Ocean Springs. Several towns have lighted boat parades including Biloxi/Gulfport. Holiday shops, performing arts and Christmas at Beauvoir should be on your calendar. For more information on Mississippi Gulf Coast Christmas click here.
Mobile‘s Hank Aaron Stadium is hosting a drive-thru Christmas light show with synchronized music playing over your car’s radio. More holiday lights can be found at Bellingrath Gardens. The city cancelled it’s Christmas parade this year but you can swing over to the other side of the Bay for the Gulf Shores Lighted Boat Parade and other events. While you’re there, drive down Fairhope Avenue at night. The street is lined with heavily lighted trees and it’s really beautiful. View the lights and the gingerbread display at the Point Clear Marriott Grand Hotel. Click here for the schedule.
Pensacola holds its Winterfest right after Thanksgiving every year. Check on the schedule and get your tickets early because they tend to sell out fast for certain events. There is plenty to do: carolers, shopping, parades, reindeer games, carriage rides and more!! Click here.
The Emerald Coast Christmas events include parades, Dicken’s Christmas, Jingle Bell Jog, Symphony, Holiday markets, lighted boat parades, concerts and, of course, Santa. Here’s the schedule of events.
Tampa‘s Santa Fest has lots of family activities, a parade and ice skating. During the rest of the holiday season you can catch some holiday music concerts like the USF Choral Christmas Concert, the Nutcracker, Winterville, Twinkle in Tampa Bay (the decorated boat festival of lights) and more. Calendar of events for Tampa.
In Sarasota you can attend the Christmas parade and tree lighting, watch the lighted boat parade, listen to the Pops Orchestra, watch the Nutcracker, attend some holiday markets. Lakewood Ranch is hosting their Main Street party with parade featuring the jolly old elf, carriage rides and carolers. View holiday decorations and lights at Spanish Point and Ca’ d’Zan and Sarasota Jungle Gardens. Participate in activities and parades on St Armand’s Circle and downtown Sarasota. Click here for more information.
I hope you got the picture: there’s a lot to do along the Gulf Coast during the Christmas season this year. Unfortunately I can’t name them all for you but try to make it to the events listed above or find some that are closer to your Gulf Coast home. What ever you do, I wish you a great season of joy and a Merry Christmas.