Trade in the cold, slushy snow for white powdery sand this holiday season! With an abundance of sunshine and more than 800 miles of beautiful beaches, it is no wonder travelers from around the country flock to Florida for a sunny December. With all the activities happening around the state, there is a multitude of ways to experience the holidays like never before.
Pensacola Christmas Parade Downtown Pensacola comes alive when more than 50,000 people flock to Palafox Place to enjoy the annual Christmas parade. Come out to this family-friendly parade On December 13 to experience local bands, the famous Blue Angels flight team and area Mardi Gras krewes. Stuff your stockings as floats toss down beads and other goodies to spectators.
Jacksonville Gingerbread House Extravaganza For the 11th consecutive year, the Jacksonville Historical Society is hosting the Gingerbread House Extravaganza fundraiser to raise money for children’s programs, but this is no ordinary bake sale. From Dec. 3-23, you can witness the artistry and detail of the edible creations, providing enough awe to keep your sweet tooth in check. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can submit your own masterpiece to be part of the fun.
St. Augustine St. Augustine Christmas Parade Kick off the Nights of Lights celebration with the annual Christmas parade! On Dec. 6, head downtown to the historic streets of St. Augustine to witness one of the biggest parades in North Florida. Enjoy floats, cars, marching bands and horses, and even the arrival of Santa Claus himself. Don’t forget to stick around to pose with him, as picture opportunities will be available following the parade in the Plaza de la Constitucion.
St. Augustine Ballet presents The Nutcracker On Dec. 20 and 21, the St. Augustine Ballet will present one of the most timeless holiday traditions, The Nutcracker. This classic features a multigenerational cast, including local celebrities, professional guest artists, and the best of the area’s ballet dancers. Be transported to a winter wonderland as you join Clara and the Nutcracker Prince through an unforgettable journey..
New Year’s Eve on Main Street Celebration Ring in 2015 the right way at the biggest bash on Main Street! Be a part of the exciting atmosphere with multiple stages of entertainment, street performers, festival food, attractions for kids, fireworks over the ocean, and even a live ball drop ceremony at midnight. Main Street is the place to be for New Year’s Eve!
The Ocala Christmas Parade Experience a parade like never before at the 59th annual Ocala Christmas Parade! On December 13th, more than 60,000 spectators will line up at the two-mile route to witness this Christmas themed extravaganza. Some spectators have been known to line up the night before so they can “mark their spot” on the parade route. Don’t miss out on the largest nighttime parade in the state of Florida!
Universal Orlando Resort’s Holiday Celebration Beginning Dec. 6 and running daily through Jan. 3, the Holidays at Universal Orlando features one-of-a-kind traditions for guests from one to 92 throughout the destination. At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, guests will smile from ear-to-ear during the heartwarming live show “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular” featuring the Grinch and the Whos from Who-ville. At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade will fill the streets every evening with the same larger-than-life balloons seen in Macy’s famous Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Plus, enjoy incredible live performances by the award-winning Mannheim Steamroller on select nights. This is a holiday celebration you won’t want to miss!
ICE! Featuring The Nutcracker Experience a truly unique winter experience in Florida with ICE!, the award winning display of millions of pounds of ice, hand-carved into amazing sculptures by artisans from China. Experience The Nutcracker like never before, and join in on the icy experience by soaring down one of the two-story-tall ice slides. With the entire exhibit kept at 9 degrees, it is a true holiday event you won’t want to miss
A Night Before Christmas Although Florida may be a long way from the North Pole, Santa Claus will still be making an appearance. But this time, he’s trading in his sleigh for a helicopter, as he’ll be flying into G.T. Bray Park for the annual “A Night Before Christmas” celebration in Bradenton on Dec. 6. Visitors missing the colder weather and flurries will enjoy the 10 tons of snow brought in for his arrival and all will enjoy the family activities in this winter wonderland.
Punta Gorda Christmas Light Canal Cruises King Fisher Fleet, headquartered at Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda, is now accepting reservations for Christmas Light Canal Cruises. These popular, family-oriented cruises tour residential canals to view the town lit up by Christmas lights, displays, and decorations on homes, boats, seawalls and docks. Christmas Light Canal Cruises run every evening from Dec. 4 to Dec. 31, or for those seeking a more intimate Christmas experience, private boat Christmas Light Canal Cruises are available aboard our 35-foot cabin cruiser, which accommodates up to six passengers.
Fort Lauderdale Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade Experience a one-of-a-kind holiday boat parade at the 43rd Annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade! On Dec. 13, hundreds of beautifully illuminated boats are set to sail 12 miles, starting at the Riverside Hotel and traveling east to the Intracoastal Waterway, and north to Lake Santa Barbara. Continuing the tradition stemmed from the non-profit WINTERFEST, Inc., the festival is entirely dependent on sponsorship from local and national corporate sponsors, who bring Christmas to life through the magical boating display
Key West Schooner Warf Bar & Galley Lighted Boat Parade The 24th Annual Schooner Wharf Bar and Galley Lighted Boat Parade is an island tradition that will help you get the holidays started with some tropical festivities that are uniquely Key West. On Dec. 15, this family event combines creativity, beauty, and nautical flair to bring out crowds ready to usher in the Key West Christmas season. Spectators can watch as a wide variety of watercraft, ranging from kayaks to sailboats to Coast Guard cutters pass by in a display of amazing lighting and décor. The parade is not all fun and games, however. There is serious competition among the owners and crews of the many vessels entered in the parade. At stake are more than $20,500 in prizes, and a free raffle valued at over $4,000.
Light Up Key Largo What better way to spend the holidays than with eggnog, caroling, and an appearance from Santa and Mrs. Claus? Embrace the holiday spirit at Light Up Key Largo! The annual tree lighting is to be held at the Murray E. Nelson Government Center and Key Largo Cultural Center, along with live music, decorations, and seasonal food and drinks. With a celebration like this, virtually everyone is guaranteed to be put in a festive mood