Holiday Happenings in Savannah

Posted on November 15, 2018 by

There are plenty of ways to get in the spirit of the holiday 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 23 & 24

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 12:30 p.m. and sailing is from 1-2:30 p.m. For more information, call (912) 232-6404 or go to www.savannahriverboat.com.

Savannah Harbor Holiday Series

November 10-December 31

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 18th annual Savannah Harbor Holiday Series. You can find more information about it at www.savannahharborfoundation.com.

December Nights & Holiday Lights

Select dates November 24-December 23

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. For more information, go to www.coastalgeorgiabg.org.

“A Christmas Tradition” Musical Variety Show

November 22-December 24

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. For more information, call (912) 233-7764 or go to www.savannahtheatre.com.

Boat Parade of Lights

November 24

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 a two-hour cruise. For more information, go to www.savannahriverboat.com.

Christmas on the River

December 7-9

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 on Saturday, December 8, 2019 at 5:30 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.

Lights On For Tybee

November 30

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 6:30-7:30 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 7

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. For more information, call (912) 232-4903 or go to www.savannahcitymarket.com.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, November 30-December 16

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. Call (912) 0238-9015 or go to www.savannahchildrenstheatre.org to purchase tickets.

City Market’s Christmas for Kids Celebration

December 8

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. For more information, call (912) 232-4903 or go to www.savannahcitymarket.com.

Tybee Island Christmas Parade

December17

Tybee Island

The holiday season is a special time of year on Tybee and this parade has become a tradition that highlights the small town charm you only find here. The parade begins at1:00 pm from the 14th Street parking lot (behind Hotel Tybee) and travels up Tybrisa to Butler Avenue then to the Tybee Gym where children will have photo time with Santa! The Tybee YMCA will have surprises for all to enjoy at the gym.

Christmas Tour at the Tybee Lighthouse

December 8-15

Tybee Island Light Station and Museum, 30 Meddin Dr.

Travel back through time and experience the sights and customs of Christmas at the Tybee Island Light Station in the days of its last Lighthouse Keeper and his family. This quaint depiction of holiday cheer in the 1930s and 40s illustrates the traditions of a simpler time by a small family whose closest, and sometimes only, neighbors were the military families of Fort Screven. Enjoy the twinkle of the Christmas Lights across the island from the top of the Lighthouse, carols, hot cider and the joy of the season by the warm glow of candlelight. Please call 912-786-5801 to reserve early as space is limited. 60-90 Minutes.

Holiday Gospel Dinner & Entertainment Cruise

Dates TBD

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. Advance reservations are required. For more information, call (912) 232-6404 or go to www.savannahriverboat.com.

Holiday Pops

December 18-19

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. Along with the stunning American Traditions Competition Gold Medalist Erica Everett, the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus present your favorite holiday tunes. Visit savannahboxoffice.com for more information or to purchase tickets.

Holiday Tour of Homes

December 8

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! The self-guided tour will take you on a stroll through some of the most picturesque parts of downtown Savannah. For more information, email [email protected], call (912) 236-8362 or go to dnaholidaytour.com.

Savannah Reindeer Run

December 15

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 8

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 annual Tour de Lights Bike Parade! The parade will begin and end at A-J’s Dockside 7-9 p.m. For more information, call (912) 786-9533.

The Twelve Bars of Christmas Charity Bar Crawl

December 15

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 4-11 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 15

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. 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. 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. For more information, go to coastaljazz.org.