December Family Fun Guide: Santa and Holiday Events

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Looking to add a little Christmas magic to your holiday season…or just looking for a nice holiday photo opportunity with the big guy?

Because of the unfortunate combination of Hurricane Zeta + Covid-19, Christmas on the Gulf Coast will look a little different in 2020. Iconic events like Gulfport’s Harbor Light’s Winter Festival are canceled. Despite social distancing, mask mandates, and Santa being high-risk, there are still plenty of opportunities to see and visit with Santa and enjoy other holiday events.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27 (and ongoing through Christmas)

Holiday event at train museumChristmas at Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum

5 – 9 PM, nightly 

One of our family’s favorite Christmas traditions includes visiting the train museum for their spectacular Christmas displays and lights. They really do go all out and offer multiple train rides. The displays open November 27 and is open through the end of December. The event is free, but donations are recommended ($5 adults/$2 children).

They will also have Santa available on Saturdays from 1 – 5 PM. 


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28

Christmas Openhouse at Maritime & Seafood Industry

10 AM – 4 PM

This is the perfect opportunity to have your family visit the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum in Biloxi. They are hosting a free admission day. The Christmas event also includes pictures with Santa + Mrs. Claus, local vendors, and free cookies + hot chocolate.


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28 (and ongoing through December 19)

Winter on the farmWinter Wonderland on The Farm at Heavenly Grace Farm, Kiln

4 – 6 PM

Snow in the South? Pony rides? Christmas lights? Santa? Cookies? Of course! Bring your lists, talk to Santa, and enjoy a beautiful afternoon of animals and Christmas cheer. Every Saturday afternoon 4-6 PM starting November 28 until December 19. Tickets are $15/per person.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4

Main Street Presents Downtown for the Holidays, Pascagoula

5 – 9 PM

Main Street Pascagoula presents the annual Downtown for the Holidays with the 41st Annual City of Pascagoula Christmas Tree Lighting, followed by a holiday parade. Enjoy downtown shops and restaurants, other local vendors, performances, Santa, face painting, carriage rides and a holiday parade.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4

Christmas event at Lynn meadows

Kid’s Street Christmas at Lynn Meadows Children Museum

5:30 – 7:30 PM

This event is another one of our family’s favorite Christmas traditions. You can visit Santa, make ornaments, listen to carolers, and sip hot chocolate. The event is included in museum admission and is free to museum members.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4 (and ongoing in December)

Christmas in the wild

Christmas in the Wild at Wild Acres, McHenry

6 – 8 PM 

Guests will enjoy a self-guided walk through of our property filled with beautiful Christmas lights, decorations and of course, our exotic animal friends! This event will feature a petting zoo, vendors and more! Cost is $10 per person.

There will also be an option to purchase Santa & Sloth Selfie passes at the door! These will be an additional $10 per person and not sold in advance! This is your opportunity to have your photo made with our resident baby sloth, Sammy, and also meet Santa Clause himself!


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5 & SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6

Snowflake Tea

The Snowflake Tea hosted by Gulf Coast Mom

9 AM sessions only (12 PM SOLD OUT)

For the first time in forever…

Do you want to build a snowman? Do you want to sing some songs? Join us at the Snowflake Tea for some magical holiday food and fun!

Each child will receive a special gift. First 200 guests receive cocoa bomb from Dolce Bakeshop. 

Snapparazi Photo will be at the event with a magical photo backdrop. Photo included with price.

Thanks to our event sponsors Centennial Plaza and Memorial Hospital.

$45 per person includes food, pictures and activities with characters from our favorite winter wonderland movie! 


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5

Breakfast with Santa

Breakfast with Santa at St. Vincent De Paul Catholic School, Pass Christian

7:30 – 10:30 AM

Eat breakfast with Santa. $5 includes breakfast (to go). Visit with Santa and receive a Christmas activity bag. Professional Santa photographs will be available for sale. Call St. Vincent for more info 228.222.6000


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5

Santa’s workshop

Santa’s Workshop at Life Church, Gulfport

12 – 3 PM

We attended this free Christmas event last year, and I am still drooling over our Santa pictures. Their backdrop and lighting result in the most beautiful pictures. This year they are offering a see through mask for Santa to wear upon request.


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5

Boat with Christmas lights
Photo credit: Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum

Ride on the Biloxi Schooner in Christmas on the Water Boat Parade

6 PM

Sail aboard a Biloxi Schooner for the Christmas on the Water Boat Parade and socially distance wave to Santa. The parade starts at 6 p.m. with a fireworks display after the parade. The schooners will be decorated and will have Christmas music on board. Tickets may be purchased by calling 228 435-6320 Monday-Saturdayfrom the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum ($45/adult, $25 children 3-12).  Tickets are sold on a first come, first serve basis.


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5 (and ongoing through December)

Santa at Biloxi’s Edgewater Mall

11 AM

Santa Arrives at the Edgewater Mall on December 5. There will be a plexiglass shield and kids will sit on a bench in front of Santa. The camera will be adjusted to eliminate glare.  


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5

Sea Santa sailabration

Sea Santa Sail-a-bration, Long Beach (CANCELED) 😔 

5:45 PM

After the parade, head to Harper McCaughan Town Green for the annual tree lighting, live music, human snow globe, photos with Santa, and more!


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6

Ocean Spring’s Discover Christmas Parade & Toy Drive

2 PM

Instead of paying an entrance fee, every float or vehicle should bring an unwrapped toy. Wave to Santa while practicing social distance!


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11

It’s time for Aaron Jones Family Interactive Center’s annual Santa Visits the Wetlands! The event is specifically designed for children birth to five years old (not enrolled in school). In order to keep everyone safe during this time, the event will be by appointment only. All visitors are required to wear a mask. Space is limited. To schedule your appointment, please call 938-6418 between 9 AM – 3 PM.


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12

Christmas on the Bayou, Gulfport

6 PM

Christmas on the Bayou is a lighted boat parade the whole family can enjoy. Click here for the parade route.


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15

Pictures with Santa at Captain Al’s Steak & Seafood

6 – 8 PM

The real Santa will be available to take pictures while you eat that good ol’ shrimp po-boy!


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19

Frozen Tea Party at Lynn Meadows, Gulfport

11 AM, 1:30 PM & 4 PM

Limited spots are available per session! Anna, Elsa, and their friends invite you to join them for a magical high tea, tasty treats, crafts and a sing-a-long show! Prince and princess costumes are encouraged! Event ticket includes tea party snacks, crafts, meet & greet, activities and admission to the museum.


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19

Science with Santa at INFINITY Science Center, Pearlington

10 AM

Join Santa for a fun-filled day of exploring the science behind his favorite time of the year. Bring your camera to snap a photo with the big man himself! Adults $15; Children ages 4-13 $10; Children ages 3 and under get in free. Member pricing also available.