How about a Mississippi Gulf Coast holiday getaway?

posted in: Holiday 2019 | 0
Photo by Coastal Mississippi
A sand snowman in Pass Christian beckons visitors to the Mississippi Gulf Coast for the holidays.


By Zack Steen

For Crossroads Magazine

Searching for the perfect holiday getaway?

Some might consider heading to the mountains, but it’s the Mississippi Gulf Coast that has the best options for a weekend trip to see twinkling Christmas displays and visit festive events.

Get packed for the short five-hour trip south from the Crossroads area to the beautiful coastal towns of Biloxi, Gulfport and Bay St. Louis and fall in love with a different part of the Magnolia State during the month of December.

While in the area, don’t forget to check out the beaches, casinos, shopping and museums – all have world-class offerings.

Snowflakes in the Bay

Nightly, Nov. 27 – Dec. 31

Downtown Bay St. Louis

Phone: 1-888-467-4853

Price: Free

Beautiful century old Live Oak trees are decorated with illuminated snowflakes throughout the historic Bay St Louis and Waveland areas.

33 Days of Christmas

Nightly, Nov. 29 – Dec. 31

Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum in Gulfport

Phone: 228-234-4649

Price: Free

This event brings together the magic of Christmas and trains. Outside gardens and displays are merry and bright with holiday lights.

Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival

Nightly, Nov. 29 – Dec. 31

Jones Park in Gulfport

Phone: 228-868-5881

Price: $10 adults; $5 children, age 5 to 12; Free, age 4 and under

The gulf coast’s quintessential holiday event is this spectacular light show featuring over 1.2 million lights in Jones Park overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Take in the festival of lights in a walking tour or aboard a free heated trolley. Participants will be able to visit with Santa in Santa’s Village, take pictures at the Elfie Selfie stations and enjoy hot chocolate, marshmallows and other concession items. A Letters to Santa mailbox is available as well as amusement park rides including Santa’s Big Wheel, the Merry Go Round Carousel, Santa Express Tour Train, Skyracer and Santa’s Kid’s Master Express Train. Guests may also wish to Park & Pay at the CTA Parking Garage – fee includes covered parking, festival entry and free heated shuttle service to and from the festival.

Holiday Peppermint Pops

Dec. 1, 3 p.m.

Hancock County Performing Arts Center

Phone: 228-896-4276

Price: $25; $10 students and military

Santa will join the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra for a fun holiday sing-along complete with the reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas, selections from Disney’s Frozen and traditional holiday music.

Kids Street Christmas

Dec. 6, 2 – 4 p.m.

Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport

Phone: 228-897-6039

Price: Included with museum admission

The children’s museum will present this fifth annual event featuring Santa, crafts, hot chocolate and cookies, face painting and more.

Snowflakes & Sugarplums Festival

Dec. 7, 11 a.m.

Downtown Bay St. Louis

Phone: 228-463-9222

Price: Free

This annual holiday festival includes the Bay St. Louis Christmas Parade, pictures with Santa, the Dream Castle Bounce Village, H&H Express Train and live Christmas music.

Biloxi Christmas in the City

Dec. 7, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Rue Magnolia & Water Street, Downtown Biloxi Arts District

Phone: 228-435-6339

Price: Free

Enjoy live entertainment including choirs, bands and dancers, pictures with Santa, and special Biloxi Pusharatas, a traditional holiday treat at this holiday event. Talented vendors also setup.

Christmas on the Water Boat Cruise

Dec. 7, 4 p.m.

Ship Island Excursion – Margaritaville Resort Biloxi Dock

Price: $50


Climb aboard and be a part of the Biloxi Christmas on the Water boat parade. Participates will enjoy food, door prizes, raffles and fireworks. The ship will enter the parade with all the other boats in Biloxi’s Christmas on the Water. Heavy hors d’oeuvres provided by various coast restaurants will be served and a cash bar will be available.

Photo by Alex North
Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival remains one of the many things to see during the holidays on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.


Ride the Biloxi Schooner in Christmas on Water Boat Parade

Dec. 7, 4:30 p.m.

Schooner Pier Complex in Biloxi

Phone: 228-435-6320

Price: $45 adults; $25 ages 3 to 12

Sail aboard a Biloxi Schooner in the Christmas on the Water Boat Parade. Riders are welcome to bring their own food and refreshments.

Christmas on the Water Boat Parade

Dec. 7, 6 p.m.

Mississippi Gulf Coast – Biloxi

Phone: 228-617-3112 or 228-432-2563

Price: Free

Boats parade in full holiday decor in this annual community-wide celebration. The best boat parade viewing locations include the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor, Casino Row, the Biloxi Lighthouse and Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.

Brunch with Santa

Dec. 8, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi

Phone: 888-952-2582

Price: $55; $25 ages 3 to 12; Free ages 2 and under

Have brunch with Santa and friends at BR Prime inside Beau Rivage. This upscale brunch for all ages takes place in an intimate setting, providing a unique backdrop for special moments with Santa. An expansive presentation of fresh seafood, prime rib, live action stations, traditional breakfast offerings and delectable holiday pastries along with unlimited Mimosas, Bloody Marys and Old Fashioneds highlight the menu. Each child receives a keepsake gift and commemorative photo with Santa.

The Nutcracker

Dec. 8, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi

Phone: 228-324-6296

Price: $10.95

The Nutcracker comes alive in this classic Christmas tale presented by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Ballet Theatre.

Christmas on the Bayou

Dec. 14, 6 p.m.

Bayou Bernard on Gulfport Lake

Price: Free

This lighted boat parade on a lake offers bleacher seating and a viewing area at the foot of the Cowan Lorraine Bridge.

International Christmas Festival & Pastry Sale

Dec. 14, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Biloxi

Phone: 228-831-5820 or 228-297-0526

Price: Free

This cultural and entertainment program features foods and gifts from Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Germany, Hungary, Belarus and America.

Christmas in the Air

Dec. 14 – 27, 3 and 7 p.m.

Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi

Phone: 888-566-7469 or 228-386-7111

Price: $12.95, $16.95, $22.95 and $29.95

A snow globe comes to life in this holiday spectacular featuring a 26-person cast of synchronized, high-kicking Rockette-style dancers, world-class singers, veteran TV and film actors and special appearances from Santa, his elves and several of their well-known pals. The show is created, produced and directed by internationally known Las Vegas producer Jeb K. Rand.

Photo by Gulf Coast Tourism
Beau Rivage Resort on the Gulf Coast hosts many holiday-themed events.


King’s Christmas Display

Dec. 14 – 29, 6 – 10 p.m.

15324 Three Rivers Road in Biloxi

Price: Free

This holiday display at a private residence is decorated to the nines during Christmastime.

Christmas Time at Beauvoir

Dec. 20 – 23, 5 – 8 p.m.

Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Home in Biloxi

Phone: 228-388-4400

This 1860’s Christmas in Camp Reenactment includes Santa, cookies, a movie, popcorn and Christmas Lights in Varina’s Garden.

Gingerbread House Family Decorating Workshop

Dec. 20

Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Biloxi

Phone: 228-897-6039

Price: $35

A workshop the entire family will enjoy. Decorate a gingerbread house together without all the mess and enjoy hot cocoa, cookies and holiday music.

Where to stay

The White House Hotel

1230 Beach Blvd, Biloxi


Beau Rivage Resort & Casino

875 Beach Blvd, Biloxi


Bay Town Inn

208 N. Beach Blvd, Bay St Louis


Where to eat

Half Shell Oyster House

125 Lameuse St, Biloxi


Taranto’s Crawfish

12404 John Lee Rd, Biloxi


The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint

7501 MS 57, Ocean Springs


For all things Mississippi Gulf Coast, contact 228-896-6699, 888-467-4853 or visit Also be sure to visit the Gulf Coast Welcome Center at 2350 Beach Boulevard in Biloxi.

(Zack Steen is a staff writer for the Daily Corinthian. He may be reached at

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