The Holiday Season is Here: Local Festivities and Fun


The Holiday season is here, it really snuck up on us this year! There is still time to get into the spirit of the season, make some family memories and check out wonderful light displays. Please tell me I am not the only one who has not sent out Holiday cards yet, or even taken a family photo. Maybe one of these local activities will provide the perfect family photo op. And you know I could never leave out Old Saint Nick!

Santa Pictures

I’ve raved about this Santa before, but Beau Rivage really does go all out each year for their Photos with Santa. Starting Sunday, December 15 and going through Thursday, December 19, Photos with Santa at The Buffet is your best bet for a free Santa picture. Each night from 5-9pm receive two complimentary photos with Santa with each purchase of an adult dinner buffet. He really is just one of the most jolly Santas I’ve ever seen, which sure makes for a great pic with the kiddos all dressed up.

Holiday Twinkle Lights

Gulfport Harbor Lights Festival is the “Most Magical Show in Mississippi.” This impressive display of over 1 million lights, live entertainment and a nightly appearance of Santa himself is sure to wow young and old alike. Harbor Lights is open nightly 5:30-9:30pm until December 31, only closing Christmas Eve night. Tickets to walk the display are $10/adults and $5/children (under age 5 is free). Pictures with Santa are included with entry through December 23, bring your own camera. Free parking is offered across Hwy 90 in the CTA parking garage with a shuttle to take you to Jones Park.

Community Boat Parade

Gulfport has their boat parade, Christmas on the Bayou, Saturday, December 14 at 6pm. This is an entertaining lighted boat parade, going down Bayou Bernard, beginning at Gulfport Lake and ending at the mouth of the Bayou at Big Lake. Free to the public bleacher seating will be available near the public boat ramps at the south side of Gulfport Lake, the foot of Cowan Lorraine bridge (Kremer’s Landing) and  Switzer Park.

Jolly Time for the Kids

One of the most fun activities on the Coast for children of all ages (and children at heart) is the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum. They are open during the holidays 5-9pm nightly, closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This museum is home to the largest Lego railroad display in Mississippi, which is so fun to explore, but it is outside where the fun really happens. Their garden displays are covered in twinkling lights and include four riding trains. You will have to drag your children away from this gem at closing time! This museum is proud to always be free to the public but appreciate donations to keep the fun running year round. Their 33 Days of Christmas runs nightly until Tuesday, December 31.

Williams Family Farms in Wiggins is hosting Christmas in the Country on Saturday, December 14 from 3-10pm. This looks to be just some old fashioned Christmas fun with a craft fair, caroling hayride, an outdoor movie and even Santa will be there! Entry will be $5/person, and you are encouraged to bring your own chairs and blankets for the movie.

Menorah Lighting and Family Fun

Chabad of Coastal Mississippi is hosting a community menorah lighting on Sunday, December 29 at 4:45pm at Edgewater Mall (near the carousel). There will be kids crafts, face painting and latkes! This is a free, family event.

Camp (in December) Fun

I’ll be honest, this one made me smile! Not only is this a camp for your kids during the school break (when so many of us still have to work), it is a leadership and physical fitness camp. B.E.Fit Brantley Ellison Fitness is holding a Kids Christmas Camp this holiday season. It is for ages 7-12, held on December 26 and 27th and then January 2 and 3rd 10am-12pm and is only $100. There will be obstacle courses, competitions, team building and even nutritional information.  Go to his Mind Body online to register or call 228-223-1997 for more information.