Are you looking at the best ways to spend Christmas in Savannah? We have you covered with the best things to do in Savannah during the holiday season!
Savannah Georgia is rich in history, architecture, haunted sites, and natural landscapes, and is even more magical during the Christmas Season. As you walk along the decorated cobblestone streets, hanging lights, and Christmas markets it almost feels like you are part of a holiday movie set!
December is the perfect month to visit as that hot southern weather has cooled off and is full of that Christmas spirit. Head to the European-style Christmas market, and attend a lights tour – either down by the river or stroll through the historic areas. Next, take in a play at the theater or the museum. No matter what you choose to do when spending Christmas in Savannah it is sure to bring a smile to your face.
Be sure to check our guide for the Ultimate 3-days in Savannah! It is one of our favorite festive vacation destinations for Christmas in the Southeast.
Is Christmas a good time to visit Savannah GA?
Heck yes!! Visiting Savannah at Christmas time is the perfect time to visit! The entire city gets into the holiday spirit with decorations, events, and more. The historic streets with twinkling lights and decor look like something out of a novel or movie set. Feel the southern pride the city has for the Christmas season. Plus there are plenty of free events to attend. It is truly one of our favorite places to spend Christmas in Georgia!
Savannah weather in December
So what can you expect of the weather if visiting Savannah in winter? In December the weather averages 60s a the highs and 40s as the lows. So pack those boots, scarves, and jackets so you can be cozy and warm while exploring Savannah during Christmas time.
The mild weather of the Southeast without freezing cold weather and snow keeps visitors returning every year. Just be sure to check the weather before your trip, as the weather is sometimes unpredictable and it has been known to be in 70s or 80s during December!
12 Best Christmas Things to Do in Savannah
Christmas on the River
For those looking for things to do in Savannah in December what better way than celebrating that at Christmas on the River? This 3-day festival takes place along the Savannah waterfront on the first full weekend of December.
Definitely head to Rousakis Riverfront Plaza for music and live performances on the Arbor stage. Next, shop at the pop up markets and you will find so many cute local vendors.
Finally, enjoy a surprise visit from Santa, and more! Best of all, did we mention it’s free to attend and free to park at all city parking garages?
Savannah Christmas Market
The Savannah Christmas market is a must-visit! And as a bonus, you don’t have to travel all the way to Europe to attend a Christmas market. The market runs from mid-November until January 1 giving visitors during the holiday season plenty of time to enjoy the market.
First, head to the Plant Riverside district to discover the magic of this traditional Salzburg festival that has its own southern twist. It is ranked as the #1 market in the Southeast! So what can you expect to find at this European-style market?
First, be greeted with one of the largest Christmas trees in Savannah. Listen to live music and performances. Next, there are plenty of activities and games for children as well as an area to take pictures with Santa. Finally, there are food stalls and small shops to find holiday gifts. If you are looking to find the holiday spirit head to the Savannah Christmas market for an enchanting and magical day or night!
The hours of operation for the early season (mid-November through mid-December) are Thursday to Sunday from noon to 8-10 pm. From Mid December to January and open daily except for Christmas Day from 2 pm to 10 pm.
Hanukkah/Chanukah in Forsyth Park
For those spending December in Savannah, and not celebrating the Christmas Holiday head to the Hanukkah festival in Forsyth Park. The event is put on in collaboration with the Savannah Jewish Federation and the Chabad house of Savannah.
All faiths are welcome here at this community event where you can witness the lighting of the 10-foot menorah with entertainment, food and more. The event begins on the first day of Hanukkah at 3 pm. Come and take pictures in the photo booth, try traditional Hanukkah foods like latke or donuts, as well as music performances and more.
For children, there are arts and crafts such as dreidel and menorah crafts, bounce houses and rides, balloon art and face painting!
New Year’s Eve Fireworks on Tybee Island
Why not ring in the end of year and winter in Savannah, at nearby Tybee Island? For those who take the 30-minute drive out to the Island will be rewarded with quite the show. Head to the Tybee Pier and Pavilion to welcome in the new year.
Unlike being in the city, the dark night sky will be lit up across Tybee Island to ring in the new year. Make sure to arrive early as parking does fill up early. So pack your blankets or chairs, a picnic and your friends and family to watch the firework display.
Historic District Christmas Lights
Savannah is known for being a very walkable city! We could not leave off walking around the Historic District to look at all the Christmas light displays on the homes and businesses in the area. Best of all, this is one of the free Christmas things to do in Savannah!
Nothing will put you in the holiday spirit like a stroll along the historic district. Visitors lament on the fact that it will feel like you are walking into a movie set. Carolers stroll along the neighborhood singing all your favorite Christmas music. While the historic homes with their gas lanterns, and cobblestone streets are all classically decorated making the perfect backdrop to get in the Christmas spirit.
Since you are already in the area be sure to pop into the hotels as each property goes all out for the holiday season with elaborate decor and sparkling lights! Perhaps have a drink or snack to enjoy the beautifully decorated lobbies. We think this is one of the best areas to see the Christmas lights in Savannah! It is one of the prettiest Savannah photo spots.
Window Holiday Displays
Obviously Savannah during Christmas time is magical. The shops of Savannah go all out with their extravagant window displays that change each year. We highly suggest going after the sunsets to take in full effect. Our suggestion is to head to Broughton Street to see all the whimsical holiday display windows from the shops along the street.
In fact, some of our favorites are Paris market, Brocante and Savannah Bee Company. These companies go all out for the holiday season and the windows are the perfect nighttime activity. You will think you are in a movie set as you stroll along the shops. Best of all the shops stay open late so pop in to do some Christmas shopping to support local businesses. Paris market is a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee and sweet treat in Savannah.
Each year a contest is held for the best window display that benefits the Savannah Harbor Foundation.
Davenport House Museum
Undoubtedly the Davenport House Museum hosts one of the best Christmas events in Savannah! This family-friendly event features costumed docents that emulate what the holiday season in the 19th century was like. Be ready to step back into the early 1900’s and transport yourself to the holidays of yesteryear. You might just think you have entered a Charles Dickens novel as you tour this lavish home.
This tour features refreshments after as well as music and lights to make round out the almost hour-long candlelight experience. The tours are offered nightly the week between Christmas and New Years.
Again please make sure to buy tickets in advance as it is often sold out and we think this is the perfect after Christmas in Savannah event to attend. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children.
Boat Parade of Lights
Are you looking at what to do in Savannah to kick off the holiday season? The Boat Parade of Lights actually takes place at the end of November and is a tradition that has occurred for the past 20 years. It kicks off the Savannah holiday events season. The event starts at the Eastern Wharf dock and raises money to support the Greenbriar Children’s Center.
The Boat Parade kicks off at 7 pm where the Savannah River is lit up with creatively decorated boats. Georgia Queen Riverboat kicks off the parade as the 40 + boats make their way down the river to the Plant Riverside district and back up to the Eastern Wharf.
Although we think it’s best viewed from shore, visitors can also be a part of the festival by buying tickets to ride on the Georgia Queen Riverboat. Make sure to get a spot on the riverfront early so you can enjoy the boats passing by and the fireworks that end the boat parade.
Ice Skating – Savannah Civic Center
Nothing says it’s Christmas time in Savannah like the start of the Ice Skating season at the Savannah Civic Center. Hosted by Ghost Pirates Ice at the MLK Arena, provides the opportunity for visitors and residents alike to jump on the ice for just $10 a session.
You can skate here until the first week off January. Each session is 90 minutes long, and skaters will dance along the decorated holiday rink. So bundle up and bring the whole family to enjoy a magical night out. We also think it is the perfect date night activity under the twinkling lights.
Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden Holiday Lights Show
The Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden Holiday Lights Show is hosted in Savannah in December. Every weekend in December you can stroll the over 5 acres of gardens that have been transformed to be decked out with holiday lights!
A family-friendly event welcomes visitors such as the children’s Santa Land where Santa is on-site every night, as well as mail letters to the north pole. All your favorite holiday foods such as hot coco and smores as well as small bites are located around the gardens.
The cost of admission is $15 and those under 3 are free. You can check for tickets here once they go on sale in November.
Old Town Trolley’s Holiday Lights and Sights Tour
Are you looking for fun Christmas activities in Savannah? If so, the Old Town Trolley’s Holiday Lights and Sights tour is one of the best tours you can take. What a better way than sitting back to relax and admire the holiday sights than riding on that iconic green and Orange Old Town Holiday trolly.
The tour will take you along the historic district, to the decorated city squares, along the river and more. All while listening to. holiday music and enjoying holiday treats! The tour operates every 30 minutes from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm on November 25 to December 24 and lasts approximately 2 hours. What a magical way to spend an evening!
Savannah Theater Holiday Play
The Savannah Theater Holiday Play, has been a tradition during Christmas time in Savannah for over 20 years. So come for an enchanting evening of a live-on-stage performance featuring singing, dancing, comedy, Santa, and band performances.
This 2 hour production ( starts at 7:30 pm) is sure to put everyone in the holiday spirit. The family-friendly show even features surprise visit by Santas reindeer. So get dressed up, take a picture, grab some snacks like popcorn and candy and spend the evening at the theater.