We must admit that when you think of a top Christmas city, Savannah will hardly be the first place to come to mind.
It gets no snow (save for once every decade, if you’re lucky), and it is never especially cold.
But, like most destinations, it knows how to get into the Christmas spirit, and if you just so happen to spend Christmas in Savannah, we reckon you’ll have a great time.
Now, when it comes to things to do in Savannah during the holidays, the place isn’t exactly brimming with events.
It is mostly about displays and the odd Christmas parade, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t jump into a bit of Christmas revelry, and there will be more than enough that puts that holiday cheer in you!
Let’s dive into 15 of the best things, shall we?
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The quite aptly named A Christmas Tradition is now heading into its 21st year and promises to be as exciting as ever.
This 2-hour long spectacle runs throughout Christmas in Savannah. It is a variety show packed to the brim with singing, dancing, comedy, and plenty of smiles.
There is a different show each year, and the residents of Savannah flock to them (the shows do sell out very quickly; bear that in mind).
The show happens at the Historic Savannah Theater, so not only are you going to be enjoying that amazing variety show experience, but you’ll also get to enjoy it in one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.
Address: 222 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401
Want to sample the beautiful Christmas lights of Savannah while also enjoying a bit of a history lesson in the process? Well, a trip on the Holiday Sights & Festive Nights bus shouldn't be missed!
This nighttime tour will take you through some of the most beautiful streets of Savannah. Along the way, your conductor will tell you more about the older Christmas traditions of Savannah.
You'll then have a stop-off at the Prohibition Museum to get a feel for how those in the 20s in Savannah experienced Christmas.
It is an incredibly fun trip that we suggest you take if you only have a few days in the city.
You cover a good amount of ground, and you should be able to see the majority of the best light displays in a very short space of time!
This tour runs throughout the Christmas season in Savannah.
Broughton Street is where you'll find beautiful buildings and fantastic light displays. It is a historical street, and at the heart is the main Christmas tree for Savannah.
This is where the real Savannah at Christmas celebrations are kick-started. You know Christmas has rolled around when the lighting ceremony happens (the date varies from year to year).
We find that one of the best times to head to Broughton Street is at night (if you can’t make it for the tree-lighting ceremony, of course).
It is especially good if you have your partner in tow. There is nothing more romantic than walking down those beautifully lit streets.
You’ll think you’re in some Christmas Hallmark movie or something!
Address: E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401
This may not be for everybody, but a trip to the Cathedral Basilica shouldn't go amiss if you are in Savannah during Christmas and looking for something very religious.
Inside, the building is wonderfully decorated by the churchgoers. They really get into the Christmas spirit here.
If you want a Christmas Eve mass, then we don’t think there is a better place in the city to head than this cathedral.
It is packed to the brim, but you’ll have plenty of people to chat to, and the whole area is completely alive after the mass. It is an experience that you won’t get in one of the smaller churches.
Address: 222 E Harris St, Savannah, GA 31401
The City Market is running throughout the whole of the year, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the things to do in Savannah during Christmas.
As you can probably imagine, once Christmas rolls around, the open-air market changes dynamic a little bit.
The Christmas lights and decorations start to go up, and the vendors start to change their wares a little bit.
We've always found City Market to be one of the best places in the city to pick up unique Christmas gifts and maybe even the odd bit of food.
Do bear in mind that this is not a true Christmas market. It is always there. It just becomes a bit more festive.
Address: 219 W Bryan St, Savannah, GA 31401
Also Read: Best Places to Spend Christmas in the USA
The Savannah Christmas Market at Planet Riverside is a famous Savannah Christmas Event.
If you want an authentic Christmas market, then from mid-November, this market opens up.
All of the vendors here are in the Christmas spirit. You have lavish decorations and plenty of food and cheer. If you’re lucky, you may even catch sight of Santa.
While the Savannah Christmas Market is open early in the day, we think the best time to come is at night. It just feels a bit more festive when those Christmas lights are turned on!
Address: Plant Riverside District, Savannah
Also Read: Best Christmas Markets in the US
This is an event that sells out incredibly quickly.
Obviously, the Historic District is the oldest part of Savannah. If you're heading to the city, you'll probably wander around it quite a bit.
The area is lavishly decorated, and it is beautiful seeing all that history just lit up.
You can walk through the Historic District whenever you want, free of charge. The Holiday Tour of Homes is an event that happens once per year.
This tour will allow you to venture into some of the older private residences in the Historic District, all of which have been beautifully decorated for their expected guests.
We like this tour. It is a way to experience how some wealthier people in Savannah live their Christmas lives.
Address: 301 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Savannah, GA 31401
Also Read: Most Famous Historic Houses in America
There are a few light shows happening in Savannah for Christmas, but one of our favorites happens on the Historic Bamboo Farm.
It's mainly because not only will you get to enjoy the beautiful holiday lights, but you can also wander through the stunning botanical gardens.
It is a real treat for the eyes! In fact, it may be a real treat for the scientist inside you too. There are plants grown here that cannot be grown anywhere else in Georgia.
If you're just here for the lights, that's fine too. The displays are beautiful.
Address: 2 Canebrake Rd, Savannah, GA 31419
Built in 1820, the Davenport House is an old mansion now run by the local government. For the vast majority of the year, it works as a museum.
However, the lights get switched off for a few select nights during December, and it becomes a beautiful Victorian Christmas experience.
Back before electric lights were invented, people were celebrating Christmas by candlelight, something that they almost certainly would have done in the Davenport House. So, why not experience Christmas in the same way?
When the lights are switched off, you can wander on a tour of the house with nothing but a candle to guide you.
It is a wonderful experience, and it allows you to see, quite literally, this stunning mansion in a whole other light.
Some of the rooms in the building will be decorated with Victorian-inspired Christmas decorations. It really helps to round out the experience.
Address: 323 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401
Also Read: Top Savannah Attractions & Things To Do
The Paris Market is a boutique store in the heart of Savannah. Amongst Savannah residents, it has a reputation for being a very exclusive, upmarket store.
So, you'll probably need a good chunk of cash if you want to buy anything here.
But don't worry if your bank account is sitting empty. You can still wander inside. In fact, The Paris Market encourages it.
When the Savannah Christmas rolls around, The Paris Market puts up lavish decorations in their windows, and their store is adorned with some of the best decorations in the city.
In fact, their decorations are often so beautiful that they'll be dominating social media accounts and local media for weeks.
The shopping experience inside is great too. The Paris Market is a blend of an antique store (that almost looks like a museum) and designer clothing.
So, if you want to spend cash on incredibly unique items and clothing, this is the place to do it.
Address: 36 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401
In our opinion, a must-do in Savannah during the Christmas season is a trip to the Byrd Cookie Co.
As the name suggests, this is just a cookie shop. But who can say no to a few sweet treats at Christmas?
Whenever we have been in Savannah around the holiday season, we always pick up a box or two of cookies for our friends and family back home.
The Byrd Cookie Co. always has some great options available. Oh, and don’t be afraid to pick up a few boxes for yourself too! Trust us, you won’t be able to stop eating them.
Address: 6700 Waters Ave, Savannah, GA
If you want a far more laidback and relaxed Christmas experience, then why not take a stroll through Forsyth Park?
This is already one of our favorite parks to walk through in Savannah, but it becomes even better at Christmas.
You’ll see decorations everywhere, and when the sun sets, the place looks absolutely beautiful.
Bring your children to this one during the day and your partner at night. You really won't regret it!
Address: Savannah, GA 31401
Also Read: Top Georgia Attractions & Things To Do
The Savannah Philharmonic & Chorus is an orchestra. They play events throughout Savannah at all times of the year.
When Christmas rolls around, they often put up a few dates where you can listen to them play some awesome Christmas tunes.
Again, this is an incredibly relaxing experience and something slightly different from usual.
You'll have to keep an eye on their website as the dates they play change yearly (as does their location).
We can promise you that we have never been disappointed with a Savannah Philharmonic & Chorus performance, though.
Address: 1515 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31401
Why not celebrate Christmas in Savannah with a short riverboat cruise? There are a few boats that offer cruises along the Savannah River, and they each offer something a little bit different.
Some of our favorite cruises at Christmas involve Santa (he has to be there for Christmas, right?).
These short cruises are perfect for the kiddies to meet Santa and his Elves and maybe listen to a recital of a Christmas poem or two.
For adults, you can find both lunch and dinner cruises. No Santa, but the decorations still look great.
Address: 9 E River St, Savannah, GA 31401
Okay, so the Boat Parade of Lights happens in mid-November, so not Savannah during Christmas. But it does kick off the Christmas season.
This charity event features beautifully lit boats cruising down the Savannah River and is often accompanied by a beautiful fireworks display.
This has become a top event on the Savannah calendar. Now in its 20th year, the Savannah Boat Parade of Lights attracts thousands and thousands of people to the river banks. In 2023, it is happening on November 25th.
Address: Eastern Wharf Dock, Savannah
We recommend either Broughton Street or the Savannah Christmas Market at Plant Riverside.
Savannah has fewer Christmas events than other towns in the US, but you still have a lot happening. This includes Christmas markets, street parades, and plenty of parties.
The weather in Savannah is usually very mild around Christmas. It will hover between 45F and 65F.
As you can see, there is no shortage of things to do when it comes to Christmas in Savannah. You have light shows, boat cruises, orchestras, and the odd Christmas market. While Savannah will never be Christmas-central, it is always worth a Christmas spent in this beautiful city.