Winter Wonderland at McWane Science CenterFor most Americans, the holidays don’t just mean eating lots of food and unwrapping presents. It means that overnight guests are on their way! Spending time with family and friends this holiday season is a priceless opportunity to create memories, and when you live in metro Birmingham, there are several opportunities to start new traditions with those that you love. Here are a few of our favorite holiday activities going on right now in Birmingham:

Winter Wonderland Holiday Exhibit

Going on now through Jan. 11, 2014, the McWane Science Center is inviting children and adults to join them for a Winter Wonderland. From a 40-foot tub slide to a 70-foot zip line, Winter Wonderland has something for the thrill-seeker in all of us. Additionally, the McWane Train offers a holiday-themed ride around 200 feet of track. For those of us who have never been ice fishing (we do live in Alabama after all!), Winter Wonderland offers the unique opportunity to try your luck at ice fishing. Winter Wonderland is available with regular admission to the McWane Science Center, which will be open every day except for Chirstmas and New Year’s Day.

In addition to Winter Wonderland, make sure to catch a movie on the IMAX® Dome. Showtimes and tickets are currently available for Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, To the Arctic, Santa vs. the Snowman and Rocky Mountain Express.  For more information on the holiday special events, as well as the exhibits available at the McWane Science Center, click here.

Festival of Lights

If playing in a winter wonderland is not for you, take a ride through one with the Festival of Lights at Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. Open nightly from now until Dec. 28, time is quickly running out to see this dazzling display of lights, but there is still time! Featuring well over one million lights, the Festival of Lights allows you to view whimsical light displays while enjoying the warmth and comfort of your car. Following a trip through the lights, visitors are invited to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and some s’mores or play in the snow at Bud’s Best Cookies Holiday Village. Additionally, a train, photos with holiday characters, unique gifts and more are available in the Village.

The Festival of Lights is located in Pelham, Alabama, just a short drive from metro Birmingham homes. For more information on the Festival of Lights, including pricing, click here.

Zoolight Safari

The Birmingham Zoo once again invites Birmingham residents to hop aboard the Wells Fargo Zoolight Safari. Featuring festive light displays such as the 12 Days of Christmas musical light show, a giraffe arch and more, the Zoolight Safari is a magical experience for the entire family. In addition to the lights, visitors can enjoy a ride on the Candy Cane Train, go for a spin on the Jingle Bell Carousel and more. Every night at 5 p.m., individuals can also watch a tree lighting ceremony of the nearly 30-foot tall tree that is situated near the front gate.

New to the zoo this year, adults and children can satisfy their need for speed with a trip on the Yuletide Slide. This 100-foot inner tube slide is an exhilarating experience that you will never forget. To purchase your tickets to Zoolight Safari, as well as learn more about the Yuletide Slide and other exhibits at the Birmingham Zoo, visit

These are just a few of the many holiday events going on this week throughout metro Birmingham. For more information on events, visit

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