Holiday Happenings in Savannah

Posted on November 25, 2015 by

There are plenty of ways to get in the spirit of the season here in Savannah, where the bitter cold doesn’t bite! Whether it’s Santa or Christmas lights you want to see, you’ll find them and more this year in the Coastal Empire, where lighted boat and bike parades take over and Santa strolls the cobblestone streets spreading holiday cheer.

Sailing with Santa

November 27 & 28

Savannah Riverboats on the Savannah River, 9 E. River St.

If it’s Santa you’re looking for, then head over to the Savannah Riverboat Cruises to explore the Savannah River with the jolly old man himself. This one-hour, family-friendly Harbor Sightseeing Cruise allows kids to sail free with the donation of an unwrapped toy. Boarding begins at 1:30 p.m. and sailing is from 2-3 p.m. No reservation required. Tickets are $21.95 for adults and $12.95 for children (ages 5-12). For more information, call (912) 232-6404 or go to www.savannahriverboat.com.

Savannah Harbor Holiday Series

November 27-December 27

The Westin, 1 Resort Dr.

For lights, amazing gingerbread houses, Christmas activities, holiday treats and more, head over to the Westin across the Savannah River for the 15th annual Savannah Harbor Holiday Series. It will not only feature the South’s best Santa Claus, a world famous Gingerbread Village & Competition, but also daily events from local organizations and holiday treats at the “Ice Bar” and “North Pool.” There will not be a “Festival of Lights” road course with a drive thru light display, but instead the Savannah Harbor Foundation will have a non-profit organization, children’s group or musical performance each night, presenting their very own special holiday cheer. Tickets are just $5 and $10 on November 28 for the Boat Parade. You can find more information about it at www.savannahharborfoundation.com.

December Nights & Holiday Lights

November 27-December 24

The Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, 2 Canebrake Rd.

For a magnificent light display, head out to the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, where more than 500,000 lights will be on display for the holidays. With several different themed gardens, the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens’ display is constantly described as “magical and pretty.” But the lights aren’t the only activity here; music, sweet treats and a model railroad display add to the festive 2015 holiday experience. Wednesday-Sunday, November 27-December 13 and daily December 16-24 from 6-9 p.m. For more information, go to www.coastalgeorgiabg.org.

“A Christmas Tradition” Musical Variety Show

November 26-December 26

The Savannah Theatre, 222 Bull St.

If it’s a holiday show you’re looking for then make your way to the famed Savannah Theatre for holiday glitz and glitter. The two-hour variety show, “A Christmas Tradition,” will feature Frosty, dancing reindeer, Santa and his elves, along with an award-winning cast of singers and a live band performing all the classic Christmas favorites, Tuesdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. with matinees on Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $37 for adults and $18 for children. For more information, call (912) 233-7764 or go to www.savannahtheatre.com.

Boat Parade of Lights

November 28

Savannah River, view from River Street & Hutchinson Island

The Boat Parade of Lights is the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season, because there won’t just be a boat parade with more than 30 festively decorated vessels cruising the Savannah River, but also live entertainment, a festive tree lighting, Savannah Pipe and Drum Band performances and, of course, photos with Santa! The Savannah Riverboat Cruises will even have a special cruise so you can partake in the boat parade and see Savannah on this two-hour cruise at $50 for adults, and $30 for children. For more information, go to www.savannahriverboat.com.

Downtown Design District Holiday Party

December 3

Bring friends and family and come enjoy holiday refreshments, inspiration and shopping in Savannah’s Downtown Design District off Whitaker Street! This year’s celebration will be packed, with Thread + Onion’s grand opening and a one-year celebration from Bottega Bellini, plus many other events from 5-9 p.m. on Thursday night.

Who Killed Tiny Tim?

December 4, 11 & 18

This special family-friendly Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre presented by Odd Lot will take place on the Fridays leading up to Christmas as a part of “On The Spot Mysteries,” a series of improv shows at the Savannah Coffee Roasters. Each performance is completely unique as an award-winning improv team creates a show based on your choices! You choose the characters, quirks, and plot. Then you solve the crime! $40 includes the show and a wonderful three-course dinner. For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to savannahcoffee.com.

Christmas on the River

December 4-5

River Street

The Savannah Waterfront Association is known for it’s fun festivals on River Street and their Christmas on the River celebration is just that. This holiday celebration features regional arts and craft exhibitors with holiday gifts and stocking stuffers at the Rousakis Riverfront Plaza, with music and local entertainment on the Arbor Stage throughout the weekend leading up to Savannah’s Lighted Parade. Weekend festivities kick off December 4 from 4-10 p.m., with First Friday Fireworks at 9:30 p.m., and December 5 from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. The parade will start on West River Street, travel throughout downtown and end in City Market. For more information, call (912) 234-0295 or go to www.riverstreetsavannah.com.

Wright Square Holiday Open House

December 4

Shop local and enjoy fun festivities for all at the 14th annual Wright Square Holiday Party on Friday, December 4 from 5-9 p.m. The shops at Wright Square, including Shoe Be Do, Olfactory, Magnolia’s and Wright Square Café, will stay open late and offer specials and deals for shoppers to enjoy. For more information, call (912) 232-3600 or click here to visit their Facebook.

Lights On For Tybee

December 4

Tybee Island

Flipping the switch on is magical and you can witness this incredible event on Tybee Island. Residents and guests will gather on Tybrisa Street at the Strand from 6:30-9 p.m. for the annual lighting of the Tybee Christmas Tree, enjoy the choirs and dance student performances. Complementary refreshments and extended store hours throughout the downtown area.

City Market Open House

December 4

City Market, 219 W. Bryan St.

City Market is a great place to explore any time of the year, but it gets even more beautiful during the holidays, when red bows, garland, wreaths and hundreds of lights brighten the courtyard. During their open house, visitors can enjoy Christmas carolers, visit with Father Christmas and sample holiday treats in the shops around City Market starting at 6 p.m., ending at 9 p.m. Don’t forget to bring an unwrapped toy to drop off in their Holiday Hope collection box. For more information, call (912) 232-4903 or go to www.savannahcitymarket.com.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, December 4-20

The Savannah Children’s Theatre presents this holiday special for families every weekend in December leading up to Christmas. You can begin your holiday fun with cookie decorating, ornament making and caroling, then get cozy in the theater to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” while sipping hot chocolate from a create-your-own cocoa bar. Shows are on Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults or $15 for children, seniors and military. Call (912) 0238-9015 or go to www.savannahchildrenstheatre.org to purchase tickets.

City Market’s Christmas for Kids Celebration

December 5

City Market, 219 W. Bryan St.

Maybe you don’t just want to explore City Market, but partake in some holiday activities. If that’s the case, then make your way there for their Christmas for Kids Celebration, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. There will be fun-filled activities, including cookie decorating, ornament making, face painting, a petting zoo, photos with Father Christmas in the Carriage Tours of Savannah Cinderella carriage and a choir performance during this special occasion. Don’t forget to bring an unwrapped toy to drop off in their Holiday Hope collection box. For more information, call (912) 232-4903 or go to www.savannahcitymarket.com.

Sailing with Santa

December 5 & 12

Savannah Riverboats on the Savannah River, 9 E. River St.

Jolly Saint Nick returns to the Savannah Riverboats so families can sail with Santa and take their Christmas photo on board during the one-hour narrated Harbor Sightseeing Cruise! Kids sail FREE with the donation of an unwrapped toy. Boarding begins at 1:30 p.m. and sailing is from 2-3 p.m. No reservation required. Tickets are $21.95 for adults and $12.95 for children (ages 5-12). For more information, call (912) 232-6404 or go to www.savannahriverboat.com.

Tybee Island Christmas Parade

December 5

Tybrisa Street, Tybee Island

Christmas parades are one of the best activities of the season and Savannah and Tybee Island have their fare share. On December 5, visitors can head over to “Savannah’s Beach” at 1 p.m. for the Tybee Island Christmas Parade, where festive floats and spirited parade participants will fill the streets of Tybee Island as they lead Mr. and Mrs. Claus from the 14th Street parking lot, up Tybrisa to Butler Avenue, to the Tybee Gym for photos with Santa and all kinds of other family fun. The Tybee YMCA will also have surprises for all to enjoy at the gym. For more information, go to www.tybeevisit.com.

4th Annual Holiday Cottage Tour

December 5

Vacationing on Tybee is one thing, but getting a peek into some of the classic cottages all decked up is another. This season, guests can tour the classic Tybee Island cottages restored by the famous interior designer Jane Coslick from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The tour will also include a visit to the recently re-opened Tybee Post Theater. Tickets are $30 with proceeds benefiting the community Low Cost Spay Neuter Clinic & Humane Society of Greater Savannah. For more information, call Shirley Sessions at (912) 695-0724, Sandy McCloud at (912) 484-7355 or go to www.tybeefun.com.

Floating Christmas Parade

December 6

The Crab Shack, 40 Estill Hammock Rd.

If you think a Christmas parade with trucks and cars is good, then you’ve got to see one on the water. Head over to Tybee Island at 5:30 p.m. to enjoy beautifully lit and holiday decorated boats cruising down the back river. There will be an award ceremony directly after the event where boats are awarded best decorated boat, best costumed crew, most lights and best commercial entry. This event is free to participants with a donation for Second Harvest Food and $5 for spectators with a donation for Second Harvest Food. For more information, call The Crab Shack at (912) 786-9857.

Holiday Market at the Lighthouse

December 6

Tybee Island Light Station and Museum, 30 Meddin Dr.

If it’s holiday shopping you’re after, then get on over to the Tybee Island Lighthouse to find one-of-a-kind gifts for that special someone. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., returning and new vendors will have unique gifts ranging from original pottery to jewelry to driftwood furniture to handmade soaps to doggie treats, and so much more! Come by, enjoy the outdoor shopping experience while checking off items on your holiday gift giving list for yourself or that someone special. Holiday music will be provided by Shock Wave Entertainment. For more information or to become a vendor, call Vikki at (912) 786-5801.

Holiday Gospel Dinner & Entertainment Cruise

December 7 & 14

Savannah Riverboats on the Savannah River, 9 E. River St.

The Savannah Riverboat Cruises don’t just have one kind of cruise this season; they’ve got several, and the Holiday Gospel cruise is one of them! Experience local Holiday Gospel entertainment and enjoy the savory flavors of the South with Savannah Riverboat Cruises’ Holiday Gospel Cruise! Don’t miss out on this spectacular two-hour holiday gospel performance and delicious Southern cuisine as you cruise the Savannah River. Sailing only twice in December, this cruise is a must do! Advance reservations are required and tickets are $45.95 for adults and $27.45 for children (ages 5-12). For more information, call (912) 232-6404 or go to www.savannahriverboat.com.

Holiday Luncheon Cruise

December 10

Savannah Riverboats on the Savannah River, 9 E. River St.

The Savannah Riverboat Cruises have another opportunity to get out and celebrate the holiday season on the water, with their Holiday Luncheon Cruise! Dine on a delicious lunch buffet while enjoying house entertainment. Need a longer holiday party for your guests? Then feel free to continue the party dockside! Sailing from 1:30-3 p.m. Advance reservations are required and tickets are $41.95 for adults and $24.15 for children (ages 5-12). For more information, call (912) 232-6404 or go to www.savannahriverboat.com.

Holiday Pops

December 11-12

Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

The sounds of the season never sounded better than when put on by the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra, especially at their Holiday Pops Concert. Bring your friends and family to enjoy the magic, joy, and warmth of the season with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, soloists and special guests for the seventh season. This year the soloists include Irish Entertainer Harry O’Donoghue and countertenor (American Traditions Competition Gold Medalist) Alexander Edgemon with special guest I Cantori. Tickets range from $16 to $75. Click here for more information about, or to buy, tickets.

A Lighthouse Christmas

December 11-12

Tybee Island Light Station and Museum, 30 Meddin Dr.

This quaint depiction of holiday cheer in the 1930s and ‘40s illustrates the traditions of a simpler time. Enjoy the twinkle of the Christmas lights across the island from atop the lighthouse, carols, hot cider and the joy of the season by the warm glow of candlelight. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children 5-17 years. Space is limited and reservations are suggested. For more information, call (912) 786-5801 or go to www.tybeelighthouse.org.

Holiday Tour of Homes (SOLD OUT!)

December 12

Starting point: Massie Heritage Center, 207 E. Gordon St.

Don’t settle for gazing at homes decorated in garland and lights, get a peek inside of them with the Holiday Tour of Homes! Now in its 41st year, the Holiday Tour of Homes features eight private residences for you to Tour throughout the afternoon. The self-guided tour will take you on a stroll through some of the most picturesque parts of downtown Savannah from 12-5 p.m. Tickets are $50. For more information, email [email protected], call (912) 236-8362 or go to dnaholidaytour.com.

Southern Holiday Tea Party Cruise

December 12

Savannah Riverboats on the Savannah River, 9 E. River St.

Dress up in your favorite tea hats and dresses for an afternoon that will be forever cherished! Featuring music by AngelFire Duo, an assortment of teas, holiday-inspired sandwiches and sweet treats, a Savannah Bee Company honey bar and Spiked Spiced Cider. A full cash bar will be available during the cruise, which sails from 1:30-3 p.m. Advance reservations are required and tickets are $44.95 for adults and $24.95 for children (ages 5-12). For more information, call (912) 232-6404 or go to www.savannahriverboat.com.

SantaCon

December 12

Map TBA

No, SantaCon isn’t a convention, it’s much better – a holiday pub crawl. All attendees must dress up for this event to get price reduced drinks or free admission. Nothing will blow on-lookers minds like a roving band of jolly Santas, elves, snowmen, reindeer and assorted Christmas characters. Everyone is invited and encouraged to get creative and go all out, and to bring an unwrapped toy for the toy drive. For more information, go to santacon.info/Savannah-GA.

Candle Lantern Tours

December 18-19

Fort Pulaski, Fort Pulaski Rd, Tybee Island, GA 31410

Another activity that gives you a little insight into another time is’s Fort Pulaski’s Lantern Tours, which are done to commemorate the 154th anniversary of the Confederate Nog Party of 1861. Candlelight and oil lamps will guide guests through the fort, where hot cider, cookies, music, caroling and historic weapons firings will be found. Tours leave every 30 minutes from 6-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and children 15 and under are free. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended. For more information, contact Ron Calhoun at (912) 786-5787 ext. 120 or go to www.nps.gov/fopu.

Magical 3D Holiday Light Show

December 18-20

The Westin, 1 Resort Dr.

This year, one of the hits of the Savannah Harbour Foundation’s Holiday Series is a 3D video projection performance like no other seen in Savannah! Each night there will be a show at 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. while the resort holds its around the world festival. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online.

Savannah Reindeer Run

December 19

Savannah International Trade and Convention Center, 1 International Dr.

Work off a little bit of those holiday meals, all the while joining the race and run against bullies with the Savannah Reindeer Run. Adults and youth are invited to run an 8K at 9 a.m. and younger children can enjoy a kiddie race at 8:45 a.m. There will be several games and activities as well as a Kids’ Zone, costume and best holiday cookie contest. All proceeds will support the Prevention Education Program at the Rape Crisis Center. For more information, go to www.rccsav.org.

Tybee Island Tour de Lights Bike Parade

December 19

A-J’s Dockside, 1315 Chatham Ave.

Boat parades might look spectacular, but bike parades are heck of a lot of fun too, especially when you get in on the action. Tybee Island (aka Savannah’s Beach) invites you to light up your bikes, tinsel up the handrails and cruise the island for a night of holiday fun with Tybee Island’s 9th annual Tour de Lights Bike Parade! The parade will begin and end at A-J’s Dockside. Bike line-up and awards ceremony at 5 p.m. with the Tour de Lights Parade at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call (912) 786-9533.

The Twelve Bars of Christmas Charity Bar Crawl

December 19

McDonough’s Restaurant and Lounge, 21 E. McDonough St.

Too much family in town? Want to dress up and get out with your friends for the holidays? The Twelve Bars of Christmas Charity Bar Crawl solves both of these things. This bar crawl challenges visitors to brave Savannah’s “Winter Wonderland” and journey through Downtown Savannah from 3-9 p.m. After 12 bars, you’ll be full of holiday cheer. Along with presents from Santa, and a Santa Hat, each bar will provide festive drink specials for The Twelve Bars of Christmas participants ONLY. Tis’ the season for tacky sweaters, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, elves, reindeer, snowmen, angles, gingerbread men/women, Christmas trees, lights, drummer boys, snowflakes – get creative! For more information, go to www.staffordpromotions.com.

A Colonial Christmas at Wormsloe

December 20

Wormsloe Historic Site, 7601 Skidaway Rd., Savannah, GA 31406

Want to see what Christmas was like back in the day? Well now you can with A Colonial Christmas at Wormsloe from 1-4 p.m. Participate in everything from caroling and dancing to live period music to burning of the yule log, games and other holiday observances of the colonial period. Admission is $4.50-$10. For more information, call (912) 353-3023 or go to www.gastateparks.org/Wormsloe.

Christmas Eve Dinner Entertainment Cruise

December 24

Savannah Riverboats on the Savannah River, 9 E. River St.

Join Savannah Riverboat Cruises this Christmas Eve, along with family and friends, for a festive holiday cruise from 4-6 p.m.! Enjoy a specially prepared delicious holiday buffet and tap your feet to the beat to some of the best house entertainment, all while you cruise the Savannah River. Advance reservations are required and tickets are $62.95 for adults and $36.25 for children. For more information, call (800) 786-6404 or go to savannahriverboat.com.

Christmas Jam Concert

December 25

Savannah Station, 601 Cohen St.

Enjoy the sounds of the season on Christmas Day with the Coastal Jazz Association as they put on a homecoming concert to raise money for jazz scholarships. Local and regional jazz singers and musicians will put on a spectacular show from 5-8 p.m. Advanced tickets can be purchased for $30 at several local shops in Savannah, or bought the day of, at the door. For more information, go to coastaljazz.org.

Holiday Evening Tours by Candlelight

December 26-30

Davenport House, 324 E. State St.

The week following Christmas, guests can tour the Davenport House everyday before New Year’s Eve from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Glistening by candlelight, the Federal-style home welcomes visitors to an experience emphasizing the end-of-year celebrations of early 19th century Savannahians, including the Davenport household, who lived in the fine brick house on Columbia Square. Light refreshments, music and skilled interpreters, who show visitors through the home, are among the highlights of the presentation. Tickets are $10 for adults when purchased in advance, $12 at the door; $8 children in advance and $10 at the door. For more information, go to davenporthousemuseum.org.