Every year seems to teach a different lesson and no matter the takeaway, the holiday season often comes as a welcome interruption to the regularly scheduled programming and a chance to loosen up. Whether it’s a hankering to do the holidays differently or bring old traditions somewhere new, Mobile, Alabama has the spirit of celebration suited for any type of holiday getaway.
Spooky Celebrations and Seasonal Sights
As a 300-year-old city, it’s no surprise that Mobile embraces the spooky happenings and hauntings in its history. This fall, Mobile’s 2nd Weekends will take a seasonal, and sometimes spooky, twist. On the evening of Friday, Oct. 14, arrive downtown in costume for the Spooky LoDa ArtWalk. Stroll through Mobile’s lively arts district to enjoy the local art scene, live music and support downtown businesses. The following day, stop by the Fall Market in the Park at Cathedral Square to shop local, seasonal produce and goods, or sit back and relax watching a live performance by Jenna McClelland at Cooper Riverside Park that evening.
Still want to relish in that beautiful fall weather? A trip to Bellingrath Gardens and Home’s annual cascading chrysanthemums is the perfect opportunity to breathe some fresh air while witnessing the product of a year’s worth of thought and preparation. For those who crave something a little more spine-chilling, consider embarking on a Dark Secrets Tour to uncover chilling stories scattered throughout Mobile’s long history. Fans of the paranormal may opt for a Ghost Stories Tour sure to reveal the city’s most famous hauntings and frightening events.
There’s something about indulging in the coziness, the festivity and the joy those last two months of the year that never loses its charm. Start the holiday season off right with the City of Mobile’s Lighting of the Tree on Nov. 18. Get in the spirit with this free event’s live music, photo opportunities and a visit from Santa Claus for the little ones. Why not lean into the magic a little more? Grab a sweater and head to Bellingrath Gardens’ Magic Christmas in Lights Nov. 25 – Jan. 4. In this Mobile tradition, visitors stroll through a whimsical 65 acres of holiday lights and displays, tour the Bellingrath home in its full holiday decorations and sip on hot cacao in the cool weather.
Auld Lang “Pie”
While a 600lb electric, chocolate-covered confection may not be the very first image associated with counting down to the new year, MoonPie over Mobile looms large as the Gulf South’s largest, and might we add most unique, New Years Eve celebration. An informal symbol of Mobile and its unforgettable Mardi Gras celebrations, a 12-foot-tall, illuminated MoonPie is lowered to ring in the new year Mobile-style. Taking place just a stone’s throw from Lower Dauphin Street in the heart of downtown, merrymakers can enjoy the districts food and drink, slice into the world’s largest MoonPie, watch fireworks and catch free performances by major entertainers.
A Very Mobile Mardi Gras
It’s common to experience the post-holiday blues once the festivities of Christmas and New Year’s have ended – but not in Mobile. Recognized as the birthplace of the Mardi Gras celebrations known and loved today, Mobile wastes no time in finding yet another reason to celebrate with Carnival festivities ramping up in January through Fat Tuesday in late February of 2023. Witness revelry reach its peak with over 40 parades rolling through downtown Mobile, awe-inspiring house floats extending across the city and the living history of Joe Cain, the celebration’s original founder.
Reignite that sense of curiosity, surround yourself with centuries of history and dynamic culture, and find yet another reason to celebrate this holiday season in Mobile, Alabama. To learn more about all Mobile has to offer, explore upcoming events and to start planning that next trip, visit Mobile.org.