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.
Yearly, Jones Park is illuminated with millions of light bulbs. But 2020 was one of the most challenging years of the century. Aside from the Covid-19, Jones Park was canceled because of Hurricane Zeta.
Officially, it was scheduled to run from November 27 to December 31 until Zeta took place.
Over 80,000 people expressed their disappointment. But no one has expected and wished the hurricane Zeta to happen.
With the threat of Covid-19, it is still unknown if the event will really happen this 2021. Let’s hope the Jones Park will be restored soon. For more information, do not hesitate to contact the organizer or visit its official website.
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.
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.
The general admission is only available at $10, which is quite affordable. For tourists aged 5 to 12, the admission costs $5. Children below five can enjoy the light exhibition for free. The Holiday Savings Pass, on the other hand, is 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.
The tickets for each of these rides range from $3 to $4. Yes, it won’t cause you a big fortune.
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.
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.
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.