Bellingrath Gardens Makes Christmas Magic

Bellingrath Gardens and Home, a 65-acre estate located near Mobile in Theodore, Alabama, is currently presenting its 24th annual Magic Christmas in Lights display. Through December 31, visitors will stroll through a nightly array of more than 3 million lights and 15 scenes. The Bellingrath Home will also be decked for the holidays with a dazzlng display of poinsettias.

Magic Christmas in Lights has become a Gulf Coast holiday tradition

Bellingrath Gardens began life inn 1917 as a fishing camp on the Fowl River for Walter D. Bellingrath, Mobile’s first Coca-Cola bottler. The Bellingraths were known for the fabulous gardens at their downtown Mobile home, and they soon began landscaping their weekend retreat. When they first opened the property to visitors in 1932, a major traffic jam ensued. The couple decided to open the Gardens permanently and to make the site their full-time home. The 10,500 square foot Bellingrath Home, today the centerpiece of the Gardens, was completed in 1936 in a style Mobile architect George B. Rogers referred to as “English Renaissance.” Visitors enjoy inspecting the Bellingraths’ original furnishings along with bathrooms which were state of the art in 1936, and the kitchen with its vintage appliances.

Lights surround the gateway to the Asian-American Garden

Over the last couple of decades, Magic Christmas in Lights has become a Gulf Coast holiday tradition and has garnered a number of honors along the way.  It was named a Southeast Tourism Society top 20 Festival and Event winner for December, 2018, and included in USA Today‘s 2018 list of “10 Best Botanical Garden Holiday Light Displays.” The family-friendly event  includes live entertainment on the South Terrace of the Bellingrath Home and an opportunity for children to have their pictures taken with Santa each night through December 23.

For information on visiting Bellingrath Gardens and Home, check the website at

Photos courtesy Bellingrath Gardens and Home

Kathie Farnell
Kathie Farnell
Freelance writer Kathie Farnell lives in Foley, Alabama, ten miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, with her husband, photographer Jack Purser, and a flock of cats. She has written travel articles for print and web publications since 1992, and also produces programming for public television and radio through her nonprofit corporation, Artemis Media Project. The couple enjoy exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations and spending time on the Gulf beaches.

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