Holiday trips to big cities can be fun and exciting but there’s nothing like celebrating the season in your own town. In this busy world, spending time with family and friends is the most precious gift you can share, so make it a priority to create memories that everyone will remember far longer than the gifts they receive. Establish new traditions that can be passed down much like great-grandmother’s holiday dinnerware or the special ornament that always has the honor of being hung first on the family Christmas tree.
These are some of the holiday happenings and activities we love recommending to locals and visitors.
A visit to TMT Farms Christmas Light Display Drive-Thru brightens the holidays for tens of thousands of people every year and always opens Thanksgiving night. What started out as a few outdoor decorations for the Thompson family in 1994 has turned into a month-long event that draws folks from all over Georgia and beyond. Admission is free but donations are encouraged. Cash, nonperishable food items, new unwrapped toys, and pet items are accepted with all proceeds going to help those in need. The farm is located at 16710 Old River Road North, and the drive-thru is open seven days a week from sunset until midnight through Dec. 27. Holiday music for the light show can be found on 88.1 FM.
The Downtown Holiday Celebration is the first Friday in December and there is truly something for everyone to enjoy on this festive night. The event kicks off with the golf cart parade that includes a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Shop for unique Christmas gifts from local vendors and munch your way down East Main where food vendors will be selling sweet treats and hot chocolate, as well as heartier fare. Statesboro’s Chili Town has become a favorite holiday tradition for many businesses and organizations as they compete for the coveted Chili Town trophies. Categories include Judge’s Choice, Best Restaurant Chili, People’s Choice and Best Decorated Booth. Tickets are available to purchase to vote in the People’s Choice category with all proceeds going to the Humane Society of Statesboro & Bulloch County. The fun kicks off at 5:30 p.m. and lasts until 8 p.m. on Dec. 2.
Santa pics are a must with little ones, but remember taking photos with that jolly old elf when YOU were a kid? Think of the fun you’d have doing that as an adult! Grab your besties and head to the Statesboro Mall for photos with Santa. Get glammed up or don your favorite ugly holiday sweater and make memories you’ll treasure forever. Visit their Facebook page for reservation information. Sessions run from Dec. 1 through Christmas Eve.
“The Nutcracker” premiered in 1892 and has become one of the most popular ballets performed at Christmastime. Children love the holiday appeal so it’s a great introduction to the world of ballet. Enjoy the 11th annual Nutcracker performed by the Statesboro School of Dance on Dec. 4 at the Georgia Southern University Performing Arts Center. There are shows at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. with reserved seating only. Call 912-478-7999 for ticket information.
Leaving cookies out on Christmas Eve is a treasured ritual that children love but what if they could actually have cookies with Santa? Thanks to Bulloch County Recreation and Parks they can! Kids can enjoy hot cocoa and cookies along with holiday activities including painting an ornament from Free Spirit Pottery. Register at the Honey Bowen Building or visit www.bullochrec.com to pick your time slot for this Dec. 3 event being held at the Bulloch County Agricultural Complex.
A holiday show is always hit at the Averitt Center for Arts! Catch a performance of “Christmas Belles” Dec. 8-11. The Futrelle Sisters are back, and they are NOT in a festive mood. A church Christmas program spins hilariously out of control in this Southern farce about squabbling sisters, family secrets and a surly Santa. Don’t miss this hilarious holiday journey that is guaranteed to bring joy to your world. Visit averittcenterforthearts.org for ticket information.
The holidays can mark some of the most important moments in our lives. Create lasting recollections of these moments you’ll remember long after the decorations are packed away and the presents are forgotten. It’s the smiles and the laughter you’ll remember forever.