2019 Holiday Activities in Auburn Opelika

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M.A. Hughes | Auburn-Opelika Tourism

2019 Holiday Activities in Auburn Opelika

Looking for something fun to do this holiday season? Look no further than Auburn-Opelika! From parades to 5Ks to gingerbread villages, there's something for everyone to enjoy. 

Opelika Holiday Open House

November 3

Start your Christmas shopping off on November 3 from 12-5 p.m. by visiting the charming shops and restaurants in Downtown Opelika! You will find many unique and special gifts enabling you to mark those hard people off your list! And, if you just can’t decide, then a gift card is always appreciated! Enjoy music, free gift wrapping, door prizes, and refreshments to get you in the holiday spirit.

Small Business Saturday

November 30

Start your Christmas shopping with Small Business Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on November 30!

Decorations Swap

December 2

Tired of your Christmas decorations? Want to try something new but don’t want to spend a ton of money? Come to a decoration swap at the Lewis Cooper Jr. Memorial Library on December 2 from 5-7 p.m.! 

Opelika High School and Opelika Middle School Bands' Christmas Concert

December 3

Get into the holiday spirit with the OHS/OMS bands' Christmas concert on December 3 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.! The performance will take place at the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts. 

Sno-Pelika 

December 4

Join the Opelika Chamber and East Alabama Medical Center at the Courthouse Square from 5-8 p.m. for Opelika’s biggest Christmas season kick-off event ever! This event will include an inflatable snowglobe for pictures, a giant inflatable slide, a Reindog Parade for dogs and their pet owners, a choir competition, and a giving back sleigh! The event will conclude with an official tree lighting. The event is free and open to the public. 

Opelika Christmas Parade

December 7

Don't miss the 2019 Opelika Christmas Parade on December 7 at 10 a.m.! Floats will be decorated with fun tributes to the Victorian days according to the holiday season and all of its magical wonders.

Polar Express with Auburn Parks and Recreation

December 7

Bring your kiddos to the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center on Saturday, December 7 to hop aboard the Polar Express! The “train” will depart at 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Activities include arts & crafts, sweet treats, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and much more! Children are encouraged to wear their favorite holiday pajamas.

Jingle Jog 5K and Santa Stroll Fun Run

December 7

The Jingle Jog 5k and Santa Stroll Fun Run are back in 2019 – so pull out those ugly sweaters again! Join Active Auburn on Saturday, December 7 at 7 a.m. to ring in the holiday season in style!

The Santa Stroll Fun Run will begin at 7 a.m. at Toomer’s Corner. The Jingle Jog 5k will begin at 7:30 a.m. at Toomer’s Corner. 

Ho Ho Ho Hike at the Kreher Preserve

December 7

Come help us find Santa in the Kreher Nature Center forest on Saturday, December 7 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.!

On our annual HoHoHo Hike, we will venture out on a guided hike to try and find the elusive man in red. We'll also explore all the other red things might we find in nature! Then, we'll return to a warm campfire, hot chocolate, crafts, and more.

Santa on the Corner

December 7 - 8

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

Santa will be at Toomer's Corner on Saturday, December 7 from 11- 3 p.m. and Sunday, December 8 from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Photos with Santa are free with a requested donation to The United Way. 

Holiday Movie at the Plex

December 8

The Opelika SportsPlex is hosting Holiday Movie at the Plex on December 8, 2019, from 6-8 p.m.! Come meet Santa, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate and watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

Auburn Christmas Parade

December 8

Join the Downtown Merchants Association for the annual Downtown Auburn Christmas Parade at 2 p.m.! The parade will feature local favorites, festive floats and an appearance by Santa. 

Victorian Front Porch Christmas Tour

December 11-15

The tour began in 1993 with just a few homes participating, but has grown to include 60 homes on North 8th and 9th street. The homes are decorated with life-size Santas, angels, toys, carousel horses and Christmas-themed figures. The Victorian Front Porch Christmas Tour has been voted one of the southeast's top-rated tourism events and featured in Better Homes and Gardens and Southern Living.

The event is a self-directed driving tour. However, on Saturday night, North 8th and 9th streets will be closed to traffic to encourage visitors, neighbors, and friends to stroll through the neighborhood. This enables everyone to leisurely enjoy the homes up close, listen to the carolers and talk with residents dressed in Victorian costumes. This tour begins on North 8th street and 2nd Avenue and includes over ten city blocks. Admission to this spectacular production is free.

On the Friday night of the tour, the City of Opelika sponsors Christmas in a Railroad Town. This event includes wagon rides through the Victorian Front Porch Christmas tour, where tour guides will take you back in time while enjoying the festively decorated homes.

Opelika High School and Opelika Middle School Christmas Choral Concert

December 12

Get into the holiday spirit with the OHS/OMS bands' Christmas choral concert on December 12 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.! The performance will take place at the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts. 

Rocky Brook Rocket Reindeer Express

December 12-14

Children will love riding the Rocky Brook Rocket around Municipal Park! This adorable miniature train has been a staple in Opelika since 1955, but during the Christmas season, the Rocket transforms into one of Santa’s Helpers and becomes the Rocky Brook Rocket Reindeer Express! Don’t miss this fun two-night event featuring food, hot chocolate, face painting and pictures with Santa! The event will run from 5-8 p.m. both nights. 

Victorian Front Porch Bike Tour

December 12

Ride at your own pace through the beautiful historic homes in downtown Opelika and view how they've been transformed into a colorful, nostalgic reminder of Christmas from a simpler era! The self-led tour begins at 6 p.m.

Christmas in a Railroad Town

December 13

Whether you’re a young child or simply a child at heart, there will be activities for everyone at this great night out in historic downtown Opelika from 5-8 p.m.

Festivities include:
Children's train
Pony rides
Large and small animal petting zoo
Wagon rides
Trolley rides
Photobooth
Hot chocolate
Face painting
Gingerbread house contest
Make your own Reindeer Food
Make a Life Bead Bracelet
Storybook reading by the Opelika Theatre Company
Firetruck
Late-night shopping and dining

Guests can also be transported back in time with a wagon ride through the Victorian Front Porch Christmas Tour. Enclosed trolley rides will also be available at the Museum of East Alabama.

Collinwood Luminaries 

December 13

Take a drive through the Collinwood neighborhood to experience the pathway to Bethlehem. Featuring live actors and animals, this tradition is fun for the whole family. All are welcome. At the end of the luminary path, you will find a live nativity scene – an annual gift from the youth group of First United Methodist Church of Opelika for over 33 years.

The luminaries follow a one-way route beginning on Collinwood Street at the intersection of North Tenth Street and Oakbowery Road. The tour winds through the entire Collinwood subdivision and ends on Mclure Avenue.

Holiday Art Sale

December 14

Join the Auburn Arts Association, Auburn Parks & Recreation and Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center for the 13th annual Holiday Art Sale on Saturday, December 14, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.! The event will take place at the Jan Depmsey Community Arts Center, the Harris Center and the Frank Brown Recreation Center.

Local artists will be selling paintings, pottery, stained glass, photography, cards, jewelry, hats, scarves and more.

Victorian Front Porch Horse Drawn Carriage Rides

December 15

Take a horse-drawn carriage ride on the last night of the Victorian Front Porch Christmas Tour from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on December 15!

Fa-La-La Festival

December 21

Opelika students are invited to kick off their Christmas break with fun, games and learning during Lewis Cooper, Jr. Memorial Library’s one-day Fa La La Festival from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on December 21!

Christmas Movie Marathon

December 23

Spend your day watching all your favorite Christmas movies at the Lewis Cooper, Jr. Memorial Library on December 23! Movies will start playing at 10 a.m. and will play until the library closes. A new movie will play every two hours, so there's sure to be something everyone will enjoy!

Christmas in Camelot Lighted Tour 

December 1-31

Watch as the magic of Christmas comes alive throughout Camelot with the many large Christmas cards painted under art teacher, Roslyn Stern, 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 4:30 p.m. and lasts until 10 p.m. each day.

Auburn Gingerbread Village

December 8, 2019-January 1, 2020

Come experience the largest Gingerbread Village in East Alabama in the conference center of the hotel! Over 10 Gingerbread Buildings will be displayed in the pre-function foyer for guests to admire.

The Auburn Gingerbread Village was named one of the STS Top 20 Events in the Southeast for December 2018. The annual kick-off to the holiday season features prominent Auburn University buildings crafted out of gingerbread, candy, and icing. More than 2,000 people visited The Hotel at Auburn University in 2017 to enjoy the magical display.

 Since 2008, the hotel has offered a Gingerbread Village for the holiday season. It started as a depiction of three campus buildings – Samford Hall, University Chapel, and Hargis Hall – in the hotel’s lobby. The village has grown so much through the years the display now resides in the conference center atrium. Students in Auburn’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction work with hotel staff to create accurate scale model buildings for the village.

 

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