The Ultimate Auburn/Opelika 2021 Holiday Events Guide

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The Auburn/Opelika area is a lovely place to live year-round, but this time of year is special because we transform into a holiday destination for the region! We’ve gathered a list of coming events starting after Thanksgiving through the end of the year. From parades, Christmas markets, outdoor activities, festivals, and train rides, to live music and theatre productions, we’re sure you’ll find something for your whole family to enjoy! If we’ve missed an event or your organization would like your event to be included in this list, please contact us! We don’t want our AO Mom readers to miss out on anything! This list includes both free and ticketed events, so be sure to click the link in the title of the event for more information.

November 28th, 12 – 4 pm: Winter Wonderland Holiday Market

Rape Counselors of East Alabama’s 10th annual Winter Wonderland’s holiday fundraiser kicks off with just about anything one might find on Santa’s list. The market is open from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and features a silent auction.

November 28th, 12 – 6 pm: Downtown Auburn Holiday Open House

Check everyone off your holiday list!! Join the Auburn Downtown Merchants Association for our Holiday Open House. Merchants will open on Sunday for extended shopping hours and offer exclusive discounts and specials.

November 28th, 4 pm: Holiday Lighting Ceremony

The 2021 Holiday Lighting Ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 28, on Samford Lawn. It is a ceremony to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with the Auburn Family as we light the Christmas tree and Menorah.

November 30th, 4:30 pm: Sno*pelika Christmas Festival and Tree Lighting

Enjoy a Snowy Winter Wonderland & Christmas Music, picture opportunities galore, and a chance to visit with all the vendors at Courthouse Square. You won’t want to miss this event!

December 1st, 3:30 – 4:30 pm: Auburn Public Library’s Letters to Santa

The Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, and holiday decorations are sparklingit must be time to write Santa! Families will enjoy cookies, juice, and festive music while choosing from an array of fun and festive stationery, markers, and stickers as we write our wish-list letters to Santa.

December 1st-31st: Drive-Thru Nativity Story

Through stunning artwork and dramatic narration, the Drive-Thru Nativity brings to life the biblical accounts of Jesus’ birth from Luke 2 and Matthew 2. Drive down Grand National Parkway, past the Auburn Marriott, and take a left on to Spa Loop and listen to the Biblical account on your mobile device. While looking at the art that illustrates the birth of Christ. A free outdoor event that is for the whole family and COVID safe.

December 1st-31st, 4:30 pm – 10 pm: Christmas in Camelot Lighted Tour

The enchantment of Christmas comes alive throughout Camelot with the many large Christmas Cards are painted by Opelika High art students. The neighborhood lights are adorned with lighted wreaths and all the houses are decorated with the wonders of Christmas. This drive-through event begins at sundown.

December 3rd, 6 pm: Opelika Library’s Very Merry Stroll Tree Lighting

Get in the holiday spirit with a walk through Opelika’s Very Merry Stroll, a holiday showcase made of up to 60 locally decorated live Christmas trees. You may see a tree decorated completely by children’s art or one inspired by Polar Express (we are a Railroad town, after all). The Tree Lighting Ceremony will kick off the event on December 3 at 6 PM and the trees will remain lit every evening from dusk until 9 PM. The Very Merry Stroll runs December 3 – 31.

December 4th, 7 am: Jingle Jog 5K and Santa Stroll Fun Run

The Jingle Jog 5k and Santa Stroll Fun Run are back in 2021 – so pull out those ugly sweaters and get ready to run again! Join Active Auburn on Saturday, December 4 at 7 a.m. as we ring in the holiday season in style!

December 4th, 8:30 am: AUMC’s 50th Annual Christmas Market

Shop local arts and crafts, homemade baked goods, and frozen soups and casseroles.

December 4th, 9 am: Polar Express with Auburn Parks & Recreation

All aboard the Polar Express! This annual event is for children ages 12 and under that recreates the magical ride to the North Pole. Children are encouraged to wear their favorite holiday pajamas and participate in festive activities. Activities include holiday-themed crafts, hot-chocolate and cookies, story time with Mrs. Clause and a North Pole room complete with a visit from Santa Clause.

December 4th, 10 am: 2021 Opelika Christmas Parade

Don’t miss the 2021 Opelika Christmas Parade on December 4! The rain date will be Sunday, December 5, at 3 p.m.

December 4th, 10 am: Santa on the Corner

Santa Claus is comin’ to town! Join the Auburn Downtown Merchants Association and the Lee County United Way for Santa on the Corner.

December 4th, 10 am: Ho Ho Ho Hike

Hikers visit stations along a well-marked trail to pick up and learn a little about some of nature’s beautiful treasures. Hikers will use these items to create beautiful, custom nature frames for holiday photos. A fun holiday photo opportunity will be set up in the Nature Playground for you to take a family photo.

December 4th, 2 pm: Opelika Library’s Family Crafternoon & Movie

Everyone is invited to make a Tim Burton inspired craft and then stay to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. There will be a children’s, teen and adult craft. Bring the whole family for a fun afternoon! Crafts will be available from 2-3:00, and the movie will begin at 3:00 pm.

December 4th-18th: Christmas at Marriott Grand National

Join Marriott at Grand National every Saturday from December 4 until December 18 for a holly jolly celebration! Drink hot cocoa while walking through the spectacular light display, listen to Mrs. Claus read Christmas stories, and even call an elf through a direct line to the North Pole!

December 4th-5th, 11 am – 6 pm: The Loveliest Village Holiday Fair

Join the Auburn Downtown Merchants Association for this festive, new event in downtown Auburn. The Loveliest Village Holiday Fair is a two-day celebration that will include past holiday favorites with new traditions.

December 5th, 2 – 4 pm: Auburn Gingerbread Village Unveiling

Come experience the largest Gingerbread Village in East Alabama in the conference center of the Hotel at Auburn University. Over 10 Gingerbread Buildings are on display in the pre-function foyer for guests to admire. The Gingerbread Village will be unveiled right after the Auburn Christmas Parade and remains on display throughout the month of December.

December 5th, 2 pm: Downtown Auburn Christmas Parade

Join us for your favorite holiday tradition, The Auburn Christmas Parade. This year’s parade will feature festive floats, local celebrities and a surprise ending. We are SNOW excited.

December 5th, 6:30 pm: Mat & Savanna Shaw Christmas Concert

Mat and Savanna Shaw are a daddy-daughter duo from Utah that rose to prominence during the COVID-19 quarantine. Savanna, eager to keep in touch with her music friends, started a music social media account.

December 6th, 3:30 – 5:30 pm: Auburn Public Library The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) Movie

You’re invited to a family-friendly movie! The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) Rated G 1 hour 25 minutes.

December 7th, 7:30 pm: Million Dollar Quartet: Christmas

Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley come together again to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Follow along with the gang’s usual antics as we journey through a story of Christmas past, present, and future.

December 10th, 5 pm: Christmas in a Railroad Town

Join us for the 22nd annual Christmas in a Railroad Town in Historic Downtown Opelika. Visit with friends and enjoy a variety of food vendors and restaurants. Bring the kids to write letters to Santa, enjoy pony rides, caroling, entertainment and other new activities!

December 10th-11th, 8 pm: A Martha’s Trouble Christmas 2021

Join Martha’s Trouble for two nights in December (Dec 10 & 11, 2021) as they celebrate the season with renditions of your favorite Christmas tunes.

December 10th-12th: East Alabama Community Ballet presents The Nutcracker

A holiday tradition since 1995, East Alabama Community Ballet is excited to present The Nutcracker. Join Clara and the Nutcracker as they battle the Mouse Queen and journey through the Land of the Sweets!

December 10th-12th, 5 – 8 pm: Rocky Brook Rocket Reindeer Express

Come take a train ride through the lights! Enjoy food, hot chocolate, pictures with Santa and a Christmas Market.

December 10th-14th: Victorian Front Porch Tour

Opelika’s Northside Historic District is celebrating Christmas like it’s 1899! For five days in early December, 60 historic homes in downtown Opelika are transformed into a colorful, nostalgic reminder of Christmas from a simpler era. The event is a self driving tour except for Saturday night when the streets are closed for visitors to stroll through the neighborhood. The admission to this spectacular production is free.

December 11th, 10 am & 12 pm: Marriott at Grand National’s Brunch with Santa

Santa Claus is coming to town! Enjoy Christmas Crafts, Delicious Brunch (with an omelet and waffle station), and Special Time with Santa & his elves! Seating times at 10am & 12pm. To make reservations please call 334-737-2117.

December 11th, 10 am: East Alabama Community Ballet hosts Clara’s Tea Party

For younger audiences, Clara’s Tea Party is a shorter performance of The Nutcracker. Experience all the magic of Act II, The Land of Sweets! Meet the dancers while enjoying treats and crafts!

December 11th, 1 – 3 pm: Nature Art Series: Holiday Nature Ornament

The KPNC Nature Art Series with Heather Jackson is an art workshop series where each class has a nature theme and explores beautiful and interesting art techniques. **For all ages – no art experience required**

December 12th, 12 pm – 5 pm: ‘Tis the Season to Discover! OPELIKA

‘Tis the Season to Discover! will feature a variety of holiday hands-on STEM opportunities for children and families: help Santa’s sleigh fly faster, make an ice necklace, design a gingerbread house, code a path to help the elves deliver the presents, and more! Each ticket includes access to all AO Discover’s STEM exhibits and a ticket to vote for your family’s favorite tree.

December 12th, 2 pm: Opelika Theatre Company Winter Showcase

Opelika Theatre Company’s showcases are filled with amazingly talented individuals of all ages with different levels of performance experiences. The Winter showcase will be held December 12 at 2pm at the Opelika SportsPlex Amphitheater. It will consist of both Christmas songs and Disney favorites. The showcase performances are free to the public, but donations are appreciated.

December 12th, 3 pm: Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer: The Musical

The timeless TV classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. See all of your favorite characters—Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, and, of course, Rudolph—as they come to life in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.

December 12th, 4 pm: Miss PattyCake LIVE!

IT’S CHRISTMAS – Bring your children ages 2-8 for singing, dancing, jumping, shouting, learning and giving PRAISE TO GOD, and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus!

December 12th & 13th, 7 – 10 pm: The Sound Wall Holiday Supper Club

Celebrate the Christmas Season with your friends at The Sound Wall! We are excited to have Executive Chef Chris Wilton for two nights this December 12 & 13!

December 16th, 6 – 8 pm: Christmas Drop-In

A special occasion drop-in featuring food, fun and games. Ages 3rd-5th graders, $10 per child.

December 17th, 5 – 9 pm: Collinwood Luminaries

Collinwood Luminaries is a neighborhood event with live characters and animals showing the path to Christ. Drive-thru this lovely neighborhood by candlelight which leads to a live nativity.

December 17th & 18th: A Holiday Walk in the Woods

In the spirit of unity and peace, Auburn Area Community Theatre and the Kreher Preserve are bringing back their special December event for our broader Auburn community to celebrate together. At three different performance events, there will be a series of staggered and timed walking small group tours with a guide on a well-lit and easy trail through the piney woods at the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center. At 6-8 stations along the hour long trail, performers representing different organizations, traditions and cultures in the community, will share a song, spoken word or other performance with the tour group. Enchanting decorations, sweet treats and nature art projects round out the experience.

December 18th, 8 am – 12 pm: The Holiday Wrap Up

The Auburn Parks and Recreation Department program, Find the Leader in You (FLY) is offering holiday gift wrapping services as a fundraiser for the coming year’s activities.

December 18th, 9 am – 4 pm: ‘Tis the Season to Discover! AUBURN

‘Tis the Season to Discover! will feature a variety of holiday hands-on STEM opportunities for children and families: help Santa’s sleigh fly faster, make an ice necklace, design a gingerbread house, code a path to help the elves deliver the presents, and more! Each ticket includes access to all AO Discover’s STEM exhibits and a ticket to vote for your family’s favorite tree.

December 18th, 12 – 3 pm: Christmas Carnival and Pet Parade

Join Opelika Theater Company for a fun Christmas Carnival and Pet Parade! There will be games, food, and an opportunity for pictures with Santa for kids and pets! The fun ends with a pet parade that will include trophies for the most festive pets and owners!
Tickets are $25 per family and include all carnival activities and Santa pictures. Pet parade entries are $10 each.

December 18th, 2 – 3 pm: Auburn Public Library’s Doc Magic Elf Show

Everyone’s favorite, Doc Magic, will entertain you with interactive stories, prestidigitation, and fun!

December 19th, 7 pm: Matthew West: We Need Christmas Tour

Not only do We Need Christmas, but we also need a Christmas tour!! Make plans to sing some of your favorite Christmas songs (and maybe some of your new favorite Christmas songs) with Matthew West this December!

December 23rd, 9 am – Close: Opelika Library’s Christmas Movie Marathon

A new movie starts every two hours until close!

December 28th, 6 – 7 pm: Opelika Library’s Teens: (re)Gift Swap

Did you receive a present you’re not totally in love with or don’t really need? Wrap it back up and join us for some fun! We will play Dirty Santa and have some festive snacks. Loved all of your presents and don’t want to part with one? You can buy a gift to bring instead! For students in grades 6-12.

December 31st, 9 pm: New Years Eve Bash at Marriott Grand National

Celebrate the new year at the New Years Eve Bash at Marriott Grand National!

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