Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival


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Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival is an annual event that features more than 1,200,000 light bulbs in every corner of Jones Park

How and where do you spend Christmas? Going out of town is perhaps part of your Christmas tradition.
If you are a fan of light exhibitions, where will you spend the extended holiday season? Probably, you have done some research online, and there are many options to take advantage of.

Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival
Festival highlights

About the Fest

This is where the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival can come into play. 

Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival is an annual event that features more than 1,200,000 light bulbs in every corner of Jones Park, transforming it into a winter wonderland, ideal for kids and even adults. 

Apart from the light exhibition, there are various rides to consider, including Santa Express Tour Train, Merry Go Round Carousel, Santa’s Big Wheel, Skyracer, and more. For those who love some adrenaline-boosting adventures, these rides are an excellent addition to your Christmas experience.

Also, do not forget to visit Santa in Santa’s Village. You can take pictures, of course, for some documentation. 

Festival Dates

Yearly, Jones Park is illuminated with millions of light bulbs. This 2023, the official dates for this fantastic festival of lights are yet to be announced by the organizers.

Usually, the festival takes place from November to December, making it the perfect holiday event for the whole family. So, if you love dazzling light displays and blinking Christmas lights, then you better stay tuned for the most up-to-date information on this wonderful spectacle.

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The Gulfport Harbor lights winter festival is located at 2269 Jones Park Dr, Gulfport, Mississippi.
Jones Park is situated south of Highway 49 and close to the Mississippi State Port. Recognized as a signature facility for

Gulfport, Jones Park is also considered the Front Yard for Mississippi.
The Mississippi State Port will only take a few minutes of car ride to reach Jones Park, which is extremely convenient on your part.

If you liked Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival, you should also check out this other amazing festivals of lights:

Wisconsin Festival of Lights

Hattiesburg Zoo Lights

Festival Hours

Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival is usually open at 5:30 pm, and it closes at 10:30. Yes, tourists and guests have a lot of time to explore the 60 acres of Jones Park. But after a few minutes of walking, you will surely feel hungry.

Don’t worry! There are foods to buy, satisfying your cravings and exceeding your taste buds.
But for this year’s celebration, the organizers do not disclose any information on the festival hours. Let us wait for that big announcement soon.

Cost to Visit the Festival

Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival cannot be enjoyed for free. But it is not as expensive as you imagine.

In last year’s edition, the general admission was only available at $15, which was quite affordable. For tourists aged 5 to 12, the admission cost $5. Children below five can enjoy the light exhibition for free. The Holiday Savings Pass, on the other hand, was around $80.

The light festival alone is fun. But it is more exciting if you take the rides. The go-to choices include Berry Go Round, Train Ride, Carousel, Swing Ride, and Ferris Wheel.

In 2022, The tickets for each of these rides ranged from $3 to $4.

Since the festival’s dates are yet to be announced, information on this year’s ticket prices are yet to be announced as well. For the latest updates on ticket pricing, stay tuned or visit the festival’s official website.

Weather and What to Wear

It is cold in Gulfport, Mississippi, in December. So, make sure to wear something comfy, thick, and designed for the long cold season.

Layering is crucial for staying warm. For your top, pile a tee, cami, tank, sweater, and coat. For your bottom, just layer thick leggings or tights.

Also, do not forget to keep your feet and hands covered. While there are many things to weigh in mind, winter boots and insulated shoes are already an excellent choice.

That’s it! You can also be creative when styling yourself during the cold holiday season. You can watch Christmas fashion tutorials on video platforms for some inspiration.

Where to Sleep

Aside from the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival, the city is home to luxury and competitively priced hotels. With a variety of options, you are probably confused about what to pick. Worry no more! Here are our top three hotels that will make your vacation one of a kind:

Monmouth Historic Inn and Gardens

Are you traveling to Gulfport with your special someone? Monmouth Historic Inn and Gardens is a romantic place to spend the Christmas season. From the rose hedges, porticos to gazebos, the hotel is elegant and luxurious.

Amenities include a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi access, and bath products. Every guest is also given evening snacks and complimentary breakfast.

The customer service is also welcoming, especially the bartenders and bellmen. Furthermore, Monmouth Historic Inn and Gardens is a few miles away from the Natchez’s Liberty Shopping Center.

Sienna-Sienna 602

If Monmouth Historic Inn and Gardens is too far from your travel bucket list, Sienna-Sienna 602 is a good alternative you should not miss.

It is close to Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, commercial buildings, and other top attractions in Gulfport, Mississippi.

It features complimentary self-parking, an outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi connection, an air-conditioned room, a fitness center, and other high-end amenities.

Legacy 0606 – 3 Br Villa 

Legacy 0606 – 3 Br Villa is popular for a reason. It is close to the Convention Center and Mississippi Coast Coliseum. The Treasure Bay Casino is three miles away from this villa.

What makes it a sought-after option for many is that every room is heated well, featuring three bedrooms, two bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, coffee maker, oven, and refrigerator. It also prides itself with a fitness center, convenience store, golf villa, ATM, and free parking space for your convenience.

What to Eat

Gulfport is also home to good restaurants that will increase your appetite. Again, with a lot of choices out there, it is confusing to deal with.

Beach Blvd Steamer

Beach Blvd Steamer is one of our highly recommended restaurants in Gulfport.

If you have been eating meat and veggies since you arrive in the city, it is time to have some delicious seafood.

While Beach Blvd Steamer is known for its tons of good meals, its Southern-fried seafood is the top favorite of many. Top choices include crab claws and shrimp served with some baby back ribs in flavorful barbecue sauce.

Carter Green 

Another dining destination you should not ignore is the Carter Green. While the Beach Blvd Steamer specializes in seafood, Carter Green serves high-quality American steak in an elegant and stylish dining space, of course.

Gourmet steak options consist of USDA Prime ribeye and center-cut filet mignon. They are usually served up with side dishes and soup.

Carter Green also offers seafood from Gulf Coast, including lobster Newburg and Gulf shrimp. But wait, there’s more!

The appetizer is something that will complete your dining experience. Carter Green serves wide selections like margherita flatbreads with balsamic glaze and tomatoes, oysters with creamed spinach, and crabmeat with a spinach dip.

Salute Italian Seafood Restaurant

Are you craving some Italian seafood? Salute Italian Seafood Restaurant got you covered. What makes it the top favorite for many is that it is a casual dining spot in Gulfport set in a stunning open-style kitchen. It offers both outdoor and indoor seating all year round.

Every client can choose from sumptuous Italian fare with traditional ingredients, including lasagna al Forno, chicken marsala, fettuccine alfredo, and veal parmigiana. Every dish is not only of high quality but also available at the best price possible.

More Things to Do in the Area

Although you go to the city for the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival, do not end your vacation with that.

Remember that Gulfport has many things to offer.

The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies

Want some educational displays? The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies is the place you should go to. The displays are based on animals, featuring a fossil dig and touch pools. Everyone also has the chance to experience marine mammals like dolphins firsthand.

The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies is an organization devoted to education, conservation, and research of marine mammal biology in the Gulf Coast.

Gulf Islands Water Park

If you travel with your kids, the Gulf Islands Water Park is another destination you should add to your list. As a recreation center, Gulf Islands Water Park has exciting water slides that will allow your entire family to have more fun.

For those adventurous travelers, take the ride with towering drops, giving you an adrenaline rush.

Also, Gulf Islands provides a wave pool and a river that every family can spend some quality time.

Chandeleur Brewing Company

Are you fond of beers like stouts, porters, and ales? If yes, the Chandeleur Brewing Company is the facility you should explore. Any type of beer only comes from the finest ingredients to maintain its quality. Travelers are highly welcome to have a tour around the Chandeleur Brewing Company.

For more light exhibitions in the US and even other parts of the world, please feel free to browse our site. We hope this guide on Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival would help you for your future vacation.


1. What are the parking options during the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival?

Answer: There are designated parking areas near Jones Park for the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival. On high-traffic nights, additional off-site parking with shuttle service might be available. It’s recommended to arrive early, especially on weekends, to secure a spot.

2. Can visitors smoke at the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival?

Answer: Smoking is not permitted in the main festival areas for the safety and comfort of all guests. Designated smoking areas away from the main event spaces might be provided, so it’s best to look for signage or ask a festival representative.

3. Are pets allowed at the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival?

Answer: While pets are generally not encouraged due to the crowds and nature of the event, service animals are always welcome. If you wish to bring a pet, it’s best to check with the festival’s organizers in advance.

4. How long does it typically take to experience the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival?

Answer: Visitors usually spend 1 to 3 hours at the festival, depending on their interest in the various attractions, activities, and performances available.

5. Are there food and beverage vendors at the festival?

Answer: Yes, the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival usually features a variety of food and beverage vendors, offering everything from holiday treats to full meals.

6. Are there any restrictions on the type of bags or items I can bring into the festival?

Answer: For security reasons, large bags and coolers might not be allowed. It’s always best to pack light and check with the festival’s official guidelines on their website or contact organizers for specifics.

7. Are there any special performances or attractions this year?

Answer: The Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival often includes live performances, interactive displays, and various attractions. For a detailed list and schedule, you should visit the festival’s official website.

8. Is the festival area wheelchair accessible?

Answer: Yes, the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival is designed to be wheelchair accessible. However, due to the natural setting of Jones Park and the harbor, certain areas might pose challenges. Special accommodations might be available upon request.


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