Downtown Mobile news and info - December 2015
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Downtown Mobile is all aglow for the holidays...the shops are filled with gifts, the restaurants are rolling out new menus and special events are practically wall-to-wall. The full list of fun happenings is below, but whatever you do, plan on being downtown every weekend until Christmas. You might help make history, and you'll certainly be making many new memories. 



If you've been searching for a completely different dining experience, noted Mobile chef Chakli Diggs has created a restaurant you must try! SAISHO, Japanese for new, first or beginning, is certainly all of those those things. Diggs has created a chic Japanese gastro-pub at 455 Dauphin Street. 

Even though SAISHO is in its soft opening phase, the seasonal menu offerings are intriguing and feature regional ingredients.  As soon as the restaurant is fully opened, you'll be able to enjoy small bites and drinks on the second floor or experience the art of cooking as it occurs right before you in the open kitchen.


Pat's Downtown Open for Lunch and Dinner!

Pat's has been a downtown fixture on the late night scene for many years, but owner Mike Piercy has long wanted to expand into the restaurant world. He has developed a classic pub menu -- chicken fingers, pulled pork sandwiches, burgers (do not miss the Fat Pat, a burger topped with cheese, bacon, a bit of sausage and bacon jam) and a divine chicken cordon bleu sandwich.The kitchen is ready, the new tables and chairs are in..and he'll be open for lunch, dinner and late night beginning December 8th. Pat's 


Downtown Gift Cards Make Shopping Easy!

If you're like most of us, there are always at least a couple of people on your Christmas list that present gift-buying challenges. Not to worry...we have the solution! The Downtown Mobile Gift card is good at two dozen  shops, galleries, attractions and restaurants. Don't just give them one thing this year -- give them everything downtown has to offer!



RSI Ribbon Cutting

The paint is barely dry on the newly renovated Buick Building and it's already bustling with activity. Rogers and Willard, the construction company that handled the rehab of the building moved its offices from Crichton to St. Louis Street several weeks ago, and this morning the tech firm RSI cut the ribbon on its new offices.

RSI employs 70 people (all of whom participated in what might have been the biggest ribbon cutting in Mobile's history) and occupies the entire first floor of the industrial-chic space. The Atlanta-based high tech firm plans to eventually house 120 employees in its Buick Building offices.

Expect an announcement soon on a new business going in on the second floor.

The Admiral Hotel Reopening

After a year-long, multi-million dollar renovation, the Admiral Hotel is set to reopen later this month. Now part of the Curio Collection by Hilton Hotels, the Admiral boasts
 stunning meeting spaces and 155 luxurious rooms. 

In addition, there are two dining options, the casual Corner 251 and the more upscale Launch. And for something completely new downtown, the Admiral is cultivating three rooftop apiaries (beehives) and an on-site herb and vegetable garden. 
VMR Agency 

The women-powered marketing firm, VMR Agency, has moved its offices from the Eastern Shore to 308 St. Michael Street. With clients such as The Grounds and Fairhope Brewing, the agency brings even more inspired energy to an ever more creative Downtown Mobile.  
Volunteer Opportunity

If you've always wanted to be part of a record setting event, now is your chance. Elfapalooza is coming up Friday, December 11th, and Mobile will try to set the Guinness World Book of Records for the largest gathering of elves in one place. We think we'll need 2000 elves to be in competition for the record, and that means we'll need 40 volunteers to help with elf management and the official count. If you're interested in helping contact Joanie Stiff at 251-208-1553 or in your elf costume and you can be part of the official count! Costume details are in the event section below.


Movie in the Square  - "Elf"
Friday, Dec. 4th, 5:00 PM
Cathedral Square

Bundle up and bring chairs or a blanket, grab dinner at a nearby restaurant and enjoy a great family holiday movie starring Will Ferrell!

We'll be making elf hats until the movie begins at 6:00. This is a free event.

Quidditch in Cathedral Square

December 5, 2PM

All Witches, Wizards, and yes, Muggles too, are welcome to compete this December above the fields of Cathedral Square! Come enjoy a mug of Butterbeer, craft your very own Wand, and watch talented athletes and excitable children of all ages race around on broomsticks, smacking each other with dodgeballs! This is a free event. More information.

Holiday Cheer at The Bull

December 6

4:00 - 7:00 PM. The Bull. This annual fundraiser for the Child Advocacy Center features a wine tasting, food, live music and auction! For information and tickets, call 251-432-1101.

The mission of the the Child Advocacy Center is to be the Mobile community response to child abuse. They offer a wide range of services to abused children and non-offending family members, and have been in operation for more than 25 years.

Children's Nutcracker Tea Fundraiser

December 5

3:00 to 5:00 PM. A fun-filled afternoon of tea, delicious treats, and a delightful appearance by Mobile Ballet's Nutcracker Dancers. The Mansion will be dressed in all its Holiday splendor and there will be a drawing for 2 tickets to the Nutcracker performance and treats for everyone! Click here for tickets, or call the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion at (251) 471-6364 for ticket information. Proceeds from this event will benefit the continued restoration and operation of the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion.


December 11, 6-9PM

SANTA needs your help to break the Guinness World Record for MOST SANTA’S ELVES IN A SINGLE LOCATION!! Baker High School FAME Academy, Downtown Mobile Alliance, and LoDa ArtWalk invite you to participate in the 2015 ELFAPALOOZA on December 11th in Bienville Square.Admission is FREE! Just be sure to wear your green and red elf costume with pointed ears and pointed hat! Gates open at 5:30 PM and the final countdown is at 7:00 PM.

Mobile Mystery Dinner presents...

"Who Killed the Boss at the Dinner Party?"
December 4, 6:30 PM
Mobile Carnival 

Dinner, wine and three hours of mystery and hilarity.

Reservations, tickets, and more info.

Sip and Shop

Dec 8th, 5:00 - 8:00 PM

Bring your friends for an evening of wine, cheese and shopping in Mobile's newest and most exciting gift store, Treasures. You'll find gifts for everyone on your list.

A Christmas Carol

Dec. 9th, 7:30 PM
Saenger Theatre
 All ages will enjoy this magical show set in Victorian-age England during the Christmas season. The production is filled with music, dancing, and colorful characters such as Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley, Tiny Tim, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future; and the fun-loving Fezziwigs! Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Please call 251-602-0630 for reservations!

Learning Lunch - Councilman Fred Richardson

Dec 9th, Noon
History Museum of Mobile

District 1 City Councilman Fredrick Richardson talks about Mobile's Civil Rights Legacy of the Neighborhood Organized Workers of Mobile (N.O.W.), and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Free.

Candlelight Christmas at Oakleigh

Dec. 10th, 4:00 - 9:00 PM
Oakleigh House
A Mobile tradition for over 60 years, Oakleigh's Candlelight Christmas will feature living history tours of the house, Santa Claus, choir performances, storytelling, food trucks, and much more! Tickets are general admission: $12 in advance, $15 at the door; HMPS members: $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Children 12 and under are free! Learn More

Holiday in the Tropics: A South American Christmas

Dec 9th, Noon
History Museum of Mobile

Join the Gulf Coast Exploreum for their family friendly annual holiday event, with a twist! In conjunction with Chocolate! The Exhibition, the Exploreum is celebrating the holidays with a tropical flair, tying in to all things South American and the history of chocolate. More information.

Cirque de Noel

Dec. 12th & 13th, 
Saenger Theatre

The Mobile Symphony Orchestra (MSO) will turn the traditional holiday concert on its head – quite literally – as astonishing acrobats and aerialists soar above the orchestra for Cirque de Noel on Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 13 at 2:30 p.m. at the Saenger Theatre in downtown Mobile. The program combines spectacular circus acts with amazing symphonic music and holiday favorites.

Holiday Shoppers Trolley Trek

Dec 9th, 5:30 - 9:30 PM

Gather your friends for the first annual shopping adventure at three of the top cultural institutions in Mobile. Start at the beautiful Bragg-Mitchell Mansion, all decorated for the Holidays. Shop for unique gifts and enjoy refreshments. Then come aboard the holiday trolley as we trek to the International Chocolate store at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center where there are unique gifts (and chocolate) from around the world. Next trek to the Mobile Museum of Art for great holiday shopping in one of the most beautiful museum stores in Alabama, plus an art market will be going on at the same time. Free refreshments and holiday treats at all three locations. Space is limited, so get your tickets now for a Merry Shopping adventure. Tickets are $20 per person and are available online or call the Exploreum at 251-208-6893

Old Spanish Trail Centennial Conference

Dec. 10 - 12, 4:00 - 9:00 PM
Battle House Hotel

Join antique car enthusiasts as they celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Old Spanish Trail Auto Highway (Government Street/Highway 90 through Mobile). The conference features tours, and car displays. For a schedule and more information, click here.


Dec 11th, 5:00 PM
History Museum of Mobile

It's super! It's special! It's our HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA! It all begins at 5 p.m., Friday, December 11 at the History Museum of Mobile. For the price of regular admission, join the entire Museum gang for: • A Gingerbread House Decorating Contest • Holiday Storytelling • Choir Performances by local school choirs • Dreidel Game Playing • Selfies with Santa Claus • Cookies & Cider Plus, wander through the Museum and see: • A Menorah Display • Railroad Photos by Dr. Joachim Holloway • Miniature Trains in the Friedman Miniature House Gallery. Learn more

Living History Crew on the USS ALABAMA

Dec. 12 &13

Now hear this! The USS ALABAMA Living History Crew will be aboard ship on Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13 for their Drill. The Living History Crew is made up of historical reenactors who demonstrate life aboard the USS ALABAMA during World War II. Among the activities scheduled for the weekend will be a weapons briefing that will explain the types of weapons used aboard the Battleship. Weather permitting, guests will witness a general quarters rush to battle stations as “enemy” aircraft simulate an air attack by vintage airplanes at Noon on Saturday. Learn more.

Riverside Ice

Through January 12th
Cooper Riverside Park

Come skate by the Mobile River every day till Christmas and then several weeks after. Affordable family fun, with lessons for any Mobilians who might not know how to ice skate (crazy, right?). Open seven days a week, make sure you make it down for a true holiday experience.
Hours and more information

Magic Christmas in Lights

Through January 2nd
Bellingrath Gardens and Home

Bellingrath Gardens and Home is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Magic Christmas in Lights in 2015! The holiday tradition lets guests stroll through a dazzling display, which features more than 1,000 set pieces, 3 million lights and 15 scenes throughout the 65-acre Garden estate. In addition, the Bellingrath Home is decorated in its holiday finery and enhanced with beautiful poinsettias. The Grand Opening on the 27th will even feature a fireworks show! Learn more


Chocolate! The Exhibition

Through January 17, 2016
Gulf Coast Exploreum

The Gulf Coast Exploreum has brought to Mobile  a unique and educational exhibition for young and old alike. Chocolate! The Exhibition explores the rich natural and cultural history of one of the world’s favorite treats, tracing chocolate from its origin in the rainforest to its status as a global economic commodity.
Chocolate! and its national tour were developed by the Field Museum of Chicago and was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation. Learn more.

King Tut

Through April 3, 2016
History Museum of Mobile
Experience the life and death of one of history's most legendary kings through TUTANKHAMUN: Wonderful Things from the Pharaoh’s Tomb. The exhibition of more than 100 reproductions of the boy king’s treasures opens October 20 at the History Museum of Mobile. Ten years in the making from the artisans of the Pharaonic Village in Egypt, this collection recreates Howard Carter’s 1922 discovery of Egyptian King Tut’s tomb, the richest archaeological find of all time. Learn more.

History Refused to Die

Through December 20th
Alabama Contemporary Art Center

Featuring over 75 works by 15 Alabama self-taught artists from the collection of William S. Arnett and Souls Grown Deep Foundation, History Refused to Die examines the textured African American experience in Alabama. Special video installation by Tom Leeser. Often referred to as "outsider" or "folk" art, works from this genre of truly astonishing American art are sure to engage and surprise visitors of all ages and walks of life. Learn more.

Holiday Market at the Gallery

Be sure to visit this amazing artist cooperative during ArtWalk, Friday, December 11th. Dozens of local artists working in several different media: paint, wood, ceramics, jewelry, and more. The holiday market is a great place to start (or end) your Christmas shopping!
Learn more.

Riverside Ice

Through January 12th
Cooper Riverside Park

Come skate by the Mobile River every day till Christmas and then several weeks after. Affordable family fun, with lessons for any Mobilians who might not know how to ice skate (crazy, right?). Open seven days a week, make sure you make it down for a true holiday experience.


With 90 interactive exhibits, simulators, displays and theaters, GulfQuest is a place you'll want to visit often.

The exhibits are housed on multiple decks of a life-sized replica of a container ship, so come ready to walk and browse and take your time. There are many places to sit and enjoy the view, both inside the museum and outside overlooking the beautiful Mobile River and the busy of Port of Mobile.

For any additional information, please visit the GulfQuest

Live Music Listing

Looking for some great live local and regional music in downtown? Check out these sources:

Soul Kitchen
Alchemy Tavern

Moe's Original BBQ
O'Daly's Irish Pub
The Listening Room

Lagniappe has a listing of live music in the Mobile area.


What's on the Screen

The Gulf Coast Exploreum with its I-MAX Dome will educate and entertain at the same time! 
Current films, showtimes and tickets

The Crescent Theater features current releases and popular documentaries. Plus, you can relax in one of 10 recliners and enjoy a glass of wine or beer during the show.  

Current films, showtimes, and tickets

About Us

The Downtown Mobile Alliance exists to support the redevelopment of Downtown Mobile through marketing, advocacy and the management of Business Improvement District services.
Carol Hunter
Downtown Mobile Alliance • 251.434.8498 office
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