SNOPELIKA PARADE & TREE LIGHTING
Snopelika is Opelika’s official kick-off event for the Christmas season. The annual community event will feature a parade along Railroad Avenue, artificial snowfall and a tree lighting ceremony at Courthouse Square on Sunday, Dec. 3. The festivities, which begin at 5 p.m., are free. [Date changed due to weather]
DOWNTOWN AUBURN HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE
Downtown Auburn merchants will remain open for extended shopping hours and offer exclusive discounts and specials 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, with children’s activities, Santa, live music, cocktails to go and more.
DONUTS WITH DEPUTIES
Don’t miss a festive and fun holiday drop-in with the Lee County Deputies at the Donuts with Deputies event on Friday, Dec. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Twin City FOP Lodge #21 in Opelika. There will be sweet treats, coloring activities and more, including a special mailbox to send off letters to Santa.
JINGLE JOG 5K & SANTA STROLL FUN RUN
Pull out your ugly Christmas sweaters and get ready for the Jingle Jog 5k and Santa Stroll Fun Run, set for Saturday, Dec. 2. The one-mile Santa Stroll Fun Run will begin at 6:30 a.m., and the Jingle Jog 5k will begin at 7 a.m., both at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn.
AUBURN DRIVE-THRU TOY DRIVE
Help make the holidays bright for disadvantaged children in Auburn by bringing newly purchased, unwrapped toys to a drive-thru donation event at the Dean Road Recreation Center on Dec. 2, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
ANNUAL CHRISTMAS MARKET
For more than 50 years, the United Women of Faith at Auburn United Methodist Church have used all proceeds from its annual Christmas Market to support local area missions. Shop local arts, crafts, food, traditional baked goods and frozen soups and casseroles at this year’s Christmas Market at AUMC on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free to attend.
SANTA ON THE CORNER
Santa Claus will be at Toomer’s Corner in Downtown Auburn from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2, and from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3
ANNUAL COOKIE WALK
The 28th Annual WeHelp Cookie Walk will be held Saturday, Dec. 2, from 8 a.m. to noon at True Deliverance Holiness Church, located at 936 N. Donahue Dr. in Auburn. The Cookie Walk is a fundraiser sponsored by the WeHelp Coalition of Churches, which proceeds benefitting the Auburn Opelika Habitat for Humanity. Choose from thousands of Christmas cookies and treats while listening to musical talent and visiting with Santa. Enter for a chance to take home one of three beautiful handmade quilts. Cookie donations may be dropped off at Grace United Methodist Church on Friday, Dec. 2, from 2 to 7 p.m, and at the event before 9 a.m. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOLIDAY ART MARKET @ OPELIKA ART HAUS
The annual Holiday Art Market at the Opelika Art Haus is a one stop shop for local arts and crafts, as well as artisan foods, soaps, candles, pottery and many other beautiful items. The event will be held on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
HO-HO-HO HIKE & HOLIDAY CELEBRATION
On Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Kreher Perserve & Nature Center in Auburn will transform into a winter wonderland filled with nature-themed crafts, performances, cookies, hot chocolate and a visit from Mrs. Claus. The Ho-Ho-Ho Hike is a fun “Santa Hunt” where guests hike the Preserve looking for the elusive visitor in red, meeting many of nature’s creatures along the way.
O.C.T. CHRISTMAS SHOWCASE
The Opelika Community Theatre will present Christmas Showcase on Saturday, Dec. 2, featuring a festive performance, hot chocolate and cookies. Doors open at 6 p.m., showtime is 6:30 p.m. at 1220 Fox Run Ave., Suite 216. Tickets are $5 for children, $10 for adults and are available at www.opelikacommunitytheatre.com.
MERRY MARKET GLYNN SMITH CHEVY GMC
Glynn Smith Chevrolet GMC’s inaugural Merry Market, featuring more than 80 vendors, food trucks, a bouncy house, live music and visits with Santa, is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 600 Columbus Pkwy., Opelika.
A MARTHA’S TROUBLE CHRISTMAS
Martha’s Trouble will perform Christmas tunes twice in December at The Sound Wall, located at 605 Avenue B in Opelika. Performances will be on Saturday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec. 8. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission is $25. BYOB.
AUBURN CHRISTMAS PARADE
The city of Auburn’s annual Christmas parade will march through downtown on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m.
CAROLING @ RANE CENTER
Enjoy Christmas caroling prior to the Auburn Christmas Parade on Sunday, Dec. 3, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Tony & Libba Rane Culinary Science Center at Auburn University.
GINGERBREAD VILLAGE @ RANE CENTER
Following Auburn’s annual Christmas parade on Sunday, Dec. 3, the Tony & Libba Rane Culinary Science Center will unveil the Gingerbread Village at 3 p.m. The display, East Alabama’s largest, will remain up until New Year’s Day. Santa will be onsite at the Gingerbread Village from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on three Saturdays throughout the holiday season, ready to listen to wish lists and pose for photos. The dates are Dec. 9, Dec. 16 and Dec. 23.
HOLIDAY TEA @ 1856 – CULINARY RESIDENCE
On three Sundays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17, celebrate the holidays with a Holiday Tea at 1856 – A Culinary Residence from 2 to 4 p.m. The event will feature a mixture of assorted patisseries, a selection of specialty teas and wine and champagne selections, as well as a Teddy Bear Tea menu specially made for children. Reservations required.
BE A SANTA TO A SENIOR
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is teaming with Home Instead for the “Be a Santa to a Senior” program again this year. Through this program, Home Instead and their community partners deliver Christmas gifts to financially challenged seniors. Last year, more than two million gifts were delivered nationwide. Each of the ornaments on the tree in the Sheriff’s Office lobby represents the wish list for a local senior. “Be a Santa” participants may stop by and pick out a senior’s wish list, then drop off the unwrapped gifts and ornament by Friday, Dec. 8. Gifts will be delivered in time for Christmas.
The ice-skating rink at Auburn’s Hey Day Market greenspace is open daily from noon until 8:30 p.m. through Jan. 15, 2024. The cost, which includes skate rental and one hour of skate time, is $13 for children ages 12 & under, $20 for adults.
Enjoy a touch of winter wonder every evening at 5 p.m., with “snowfall” at Auburn’s Hey Day Market.
COUNTRY CHRISTMAS @ ROCKY TOP FARM
The Farm at Rocky Top will host Country Christmas each weekend through Dec. 17. The farm, located at 2910 Lee Road 145 in Salem, will feature Santa Claus Corner, a reindeer food-making station, a snow castle, Christmas tree picking, train rides and more. Admission is $12 for ages two and up and $7 for ages 65 and up. Dates and times are: Fridays, Dec. 1, 8 & 15, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Dec. 2, 9 and 16, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Dec. 3, 10 & 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
BIG BAND HOLIDAYS
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. With big band arrangements of songs both sacred and secular, Big Band Holidays is an uplifting tradition enjoyed by audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Special guest vocalist Ashley Pezzotti joins the band for imaginative new versions of classic holiday tunes. The performance is set for Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Gouge Performing Arts Center at Auburn University. Ticket prices range from $35 to $90 and are available at the website goguecenter.auburn.edu.
CHRISTMAS IN A RAILROAD TOWN
Christmas in a Railroad Town, set for Friday, Dec. 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. in Downtown Opelika, is a night full of activities for children and children at heart, including a mini train, pony rides, large and small animal petting zoos, wagon rides, trolley rides and late night shopping and dining.
VICTORIAN FRONT PORCH CHRISTMAS TOUR
Victorian Front Porch Christmas Tours will be held in Opelika’s Historic District along 8th & 9th streets Dec. 8-12. This Christmas tradition has been voted one of the southeast’s top-rated tourism events and was featured in Better Homes and Gardens and Southern Living. Sixty Victorian and historic homes are transformed into colorful, nostalgic reminders from a simpler, slower-paced era.
AUBURN TOYS FOR TOTS RACES
Auburn Toys for Tots 10k, 5k and one-mile races will be held Saturday, Dec. 9, at Wrights Mill Road Elementary School. All participants are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy to be distributed to children in need. The one-mile race will start at 8 a.m., followed by the 5k and 10k races at 8:30 a.m. Cost is $35 for the 10K, $25 for the 5K and $15 for the 1-mile fun run, which includes a t-shirt, if pre-registered by Nov. 19 through the website runsignup.com/Race/Info/AL/Auburn/AuburnToysforTots10k5k1mileAORTA. Race Day registration fees are $55 for the 10k, $40 for the 5k and $25 for the one-mile race.
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA & RUDOLPH
The Oaks Farm will host Breakfast with Santa and Rudolph on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9 to 11 a.m. There will be small crafts for the children to enjoy while they visit with Santa. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for children and free for ages 2 and under. Price includes a breakfast buffet, beverages and a photo with Santa. Tickets will be available at the door and may be purchased by cash, check or credit card. RSVP at www.theoaksfarm.net/event-details/breakfast-with-santa-2/form. The Oaks is located at 18221 Veterans Memorial Parkway in LaFayette.
BRUNCH WITH SANTA
Enjoy brunch with Santa at the Auburn Marriott Opelika at Grand National on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature Christmas crafts, train rides on the North Pole Express and time with Santa and his elves.
The classic holiday ballet The Nutcracker will be presented Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9 and 10, at Woltosz Theatre at the Gouge Performing Arts Center at Auburn University. Performances are set for Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Dec. 10 at 4 p.m. Tickets are available at the box office and online at gougecenter.evenue.net.
SANTA CLAUS AT HEY DAY MARKET
Santa will Join Hey Day Market in their holiday festivities with a visit from Santa Claus! Bring your cameras and Christmas cheer to meet the big man in red from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9. Santa Claus will be back at the Hey Day Market from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 16 and again on Dec. 23.
MOVIE MATINEE AT AUBURN LIBRARY
The Auburn Public Library will present a free movie matinee on Monday, Dec. 11, at 3:30 p.m. featuring “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” rated PG. Run time is 76 minutes. For more information or to arrange accommodations for those with disabilities, email email@example.com or call (334) 510-3296.
ROCKY BROOK ROCKET REINDEER EXPRESS
The Opelika Parks and Recreation Department will host the Rocky Brook Reindeer Express Dec. 14 through 16 in Monkey Park. Train rides will be $2 per person, cash only, and will take you through stunning Christmas scenes with thousands of lights sure to put you in the Holiday mood.
Collinwood Luminaries is a neighborhood event off 10th Street in Opelika with live characters and animals and a live nativity. Drive through the neighborhood beginning on Friday, Dec. 15, from 5 to 9 p.m. nightly.
SOUND WALL CHRISTMAS SUPPER CLUB
The Sound Wall Christmas Supper Club is a reservation-only event featuring Chef Chris Wilton’s fan favorite Beef Wellington with an exquisite four-course chef’s menu.
On Sunday, Dec. 10, and on Monday, Dec. 11, guests will gather around the table to watch and interact with the Chef as dishes are being created. Expect next-level, delicious food. This is a bring-your-own beverage event. Tickets are $75 and are available at theswmi.org. The venue is located at 605 Avenue B in Opelika. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and supper is at 7 p.m. each night. BYOB.
FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES
On Wednesday, Dec. 13, join The Hound and The Depot for their Sixth Annual Feast of the Seven Fishes, a traditional Italian celebration of Christmas Eve with fish and other seafood. A seven-course meal and five drink pairings will be planned and prepared by Chef Robbie Nicolaisen from The Hound and Chef Scott Simpson from The Depot. A limited number of tickets are available for $200, which includes tax and gratuity. The event will be held at 124 Mitcham Ave. in Auburn. Cocktail Hour will be held from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. This event will be community seating. Please advise if there are friends coming with which you would like to be seated by leaving their name(s) in the comment box when purchasing your tickets at https://www.allaboardauburn.com. Due to the nature of the event, changes to the dishes to accommodate allergies and/or dietary restrictions are not available.
MARRIAGE CHRISTMAS BALL
Covenant Relationship Ministries will present the 11th annual Marriage Christmas Ball on Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Southern Room at Southern Union Community College. This black-tie event was started and is hosted by marriage counselors Glenn and Anita Comer to provide an evening of fun for married couples and those who are seeking marriage relationships. Tickets are on sale for $50 per person, which includes a plated dinner and entertainment by a live band featuring Demetriace Jordan and other performers. This event is supported with donations from local businesses and three area churches: New Life Christian Center, Pastor Auzzie Comer; True Deliverance Holiness Church, Bishop Nolan Torbert; and Christ Temple, Bishop Kenneth Carter.