Event Info 

At a glance, information about Christmas on The River at Ditto Landing.

  • occurring daily and no admission charged
  • Location: 293 Ditto Landing Road, Huntsville, AL
  • December 2-December 22, 2022
  • Stroll through the Christmas Card Lane with 4’ by 8” lit Christmas cards created by local businesses and patrons.
  • Visit the indoor holiday model train display at Santa’s Depot
  • Buy a tree at the Tree Farm

Attend special weekend events in addition to designated walking and driving nights, including fireworks, deck the docks, food trucks, caroling at state docks, and a visit from Santa Claus. 

Special events:

Cruising the Cards:

Wednesday and Thursday, December 21 & 22, from 5-8 pm

Christmas Card Lane is usually a walking attraction, but these days it is open for drive-thru.

Reindeer Rails

Presented by ServisFirst Bank, Reindeer Rails is a model train display and village located in the South Harbor clubhouse. You can reach it at the end of Christmas Card Lane, take a trolly certain nights from the Ditto Marina, or drive directly to south harbor Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5-8. Each piece of the model train display has been purchased, donated, or borrowed to achieve a Christmas village reminiscent of a Hallmark movie.

Holiday Fireworks

Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. (weather permitting) Celebrate the season with fireworks over the waterfront, presented by Redstone Gateway.

Deck the Docks

December 16-18 from 4– 8 p.m. Boats will line the ditto marina with lights and decorations for the holiday season, presented by Erwin Marine Sales.

Santa visits Christmas at the River - December 17


Christmas on the River 

Christmas traditions are the crux of holiday memories. Two had a half years ago; our customary Christmas traditions were significantly altered by an out-of-state move. I'd lived in my hometown for seventeen years of married life and in the same house for sixteen years of birthing and raising four kids, doing the same Christmas activities year after year.

Enter 2020; we moved to Huntsville in July, so I had to make all new traditions for our Christmas activities. If you're new to Huntsville or looking for a new practice to add to your trove of traditions, here is a new one this year; Christmas on the River at Ditto Landing. 

Christmas at Ditto Cards in Daylight


If you're unfamiliar with Ditto landing, it serves as the front porch to the magnificent Tennessee River on the southern border of Huntsville. The backdrop of the tranquil mountain foothills mirrored over the river waters creates a visually stunning outdoor experience. Ditto Landing and I bonded when I was a new transplant, grieving a move from the Georgia coast. Like a good friend, Ditto was there to offer me a water fix when I was craving the movement of the ocean.

Christmas Card Lane

What is Christmas At Ditto? Imagine walking a greenway trail nestled along the Tennessee River, illuminated with festive lights. At the same time, nostalgic Christmas music plays as you wander past human-size Christmas cards artfully created by local sponsors. All with a picturesque backdrop of the Tennessee foothills. The greenway trail is the central part of this event and is festively called Christmas Card Lane featuring life-size Christmas cards. Christmas on The River is a recurring event running from December 2 until December 22. 

Closer shot Christmas Cards at ditto


The South Huntsville Business Association, Ditto Landing, and the Madison County Commission are working together to create South Huntsville's very own Christmas tradition. Visitors can walk the Christmas Card Lane, which begins at the Ditto landing parking lot from 5–8 pm nightly. There are volunteers directing people, or you can walk all day starting at 7 am. I suggest going when it's dark - the lights bring it all together. Our family enjoyed discussing the cards and the details of each one. We suggest catching a sunrise and a sunset on the magical Christmas Card Lane. Our kids ran and skipped while viewing the cards as the Tennessee River in the background created a serene holiday experience!

The Train Depot at South Harbor

The Christmas Card Stroll takes you from Ditto to South Harbor, where visitors can go into the clubhouse at the end of Christmas Card Lane and see the indoor holiday train display. The train display was a community effort from various locals and sponsors. County Commissioner Phil Reddick built the table - this is a community project, reflecting the teamwork of all involved.

Our kids were in heaven the minute we walked into the depot. They were mesmerized watching the trains start and stop and weave throughout the village.

train set at ditto

Kids looking at Train Christmas on the River

Christmas at Ditto is perfect for outdoorsy exercise enthusiasts who want to combine aerobic activity with Christmas cheer. Come get your steps in and enjoy the Reindeer Rails model train display at the end. Train hobbyists will love seeing the collective effort of the community.

Christmas at Ditto has various special events within the daily Christmas Card Lane and nightly train viewing from 5-8, Fireworks on December 22, Deck the Docks December 16-18, and Santa Visits Christmas on the River December 17

We enjoyed getting our daily walk-in with a lovely view all around while being enveloped in Christmas cheer. Our kids ran and played, and the train was a huge hit!

grouping of cards at Christmas at ditto

up close trains at ditto

Need to know:

There are port-a-potties on the trail spread throughout the mile. I appreciated the thoughtfulness of having them all around for smaller children. The night we went it started raining, so pay attention to the weather, and bring an umbrella or a poncho. The walk is nearly a mile, so be prepared with walking shoes and

Christmas on the River after dark

We walked the trail before sunset, and when returning from the train depot at South Harbor, it was nighttime; we personally felt the Christmas lights, music, and Christmas Cards were a neater experience in the dark.

Night time shot Christmas on the river ditto

For more information call Ditto Landing 
For GPS: 293 Ditto Landing Road, Huntsville, AL