The weather outside may be frightful, but these fun Birmingham activities will keep you feeling warm and cozy all throughout the holiday season. Have a merry time with stress-free shopping, sightseeing and ice skating.

Alabama Theatre.

Editorial Credit: BJ Ray /

1. Christmas Movies at the Alabama Theatre

Is the Alabama Theatre not a Christmas haven? It’s been around longer than The Grinch or It’s A Wonderful Life, both of which you can catch this month on the big screen with so many others. There’s nothing like cozying up out of the cold and under the big screen with a classic movie and a cup of hot chocolate to get you in the holiday spirit.

2. Zoolight Safari

There’s no better way to enjoy the holidays than by walking through trails covered in more than one million lights. Spend your December evenings at the Birmingham Zoo to do just that. Zoolight Safari lights up the zoo with a colorful and complex array of patterned lights and designs. Plus, you can take a ride on the candy cane train to the North Pole or hang out with a few barnyard animals at the petting zoo. Zoolight Safari will capture the holiday wonder for all ages.

3. The Nutcracker or The Mutt-cracker

Take the sophistication and intricacy of The Nutcracker, one of the most beloved ballets spanning cultural divides and time itself, then add dogs. That’s what Birminghamians get to choose from during the holiday season: a majestic and playful performance of The Nutcracker by the Alabama Ballet company or The Mutt-cracker, a rendition by pooches in tutus. Nutcracker attendees can expect to be swept away by the masterful Alabama Ballet company, a troupe that boasts dancers from around the world, while The Mutt-cracker offers fun dances with pups immersed in the action.

Ice skating. 4. Ice Skating at Railroad Park

Just because it gets a little warmer down South doesn’t mean that we should be left out of ice-skating, right? Railroad Park has plopped down a little Rockefeller Center rink of our own. Skate in the early afternoon or spend a romantic evening under the skyline through the New Year.

5. Shop Local

As Birmingham grows and grows, the more off-the-beaten path shops there are to find the perfect gift for that family member or friend who might seem a bit impossible. Stop by What’s on 2nd? or 5th Avenue Antiques for a vintage find (or look to Reed’s Books for a dusty treasure trove of books) for the lover of the past, or stroll down the street to Sojourn’s for an array of international clothing and accessories. Regardless, you don’t have to be bogged down in the parking lot or sifting through stacks of shirts any longer.

All images courtesy of Shutterstock.