With Miami art week behind us, it’s on to the holidays. Florida has its own traditions such as merry boat parades and dazzling light displays. Local theater and dance companies have been rehearsing for their beloved productions such as “The Nutcracker,” while malls and shopping districts are bustling with holiday strolls and Santa selfies. Here’s a look at some favorites places and events to celebrate the season.
It wouldn’t be the holidays in Florida without boat parades. Among several, Fort Lauderdale’s “Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade” celebrates its 50th anniversary on December 11 at 6:30 p.m. The 12-mile route winds east from the Stranahan House along the New River and north on the Intracoastal Waterway to Lake Santa Barbara.
Fort Lauderdale, the Venice of America, is a boater’s and beachgoer’s paradise. But it’s also home to a burgeoning art scene that spills over into art-centric neighborhoods and annual events. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following links.
Fort Lauderdale Beach | Harbor Beach
Holiday light displays are everywhere, but there’s something about them in garden settings that’s especially appealing. McKee Botanical Garden’s “Magic of McKee Festival of Lights” hosts its members-only preview December 10-11, and opens to the public December 16-19, December 21-23 and December 28-30. Also enjoy Santa, model trains and holiday music, movies and treats.
Vero Beach has blossomed beyond the beach and golf course. Its vibrant lifestyle beckons with fitness, family-friendly events, hip breweries and more. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following link.
Holiday Home Tours
Established in 1913, the G.F.W.C. Woman’s Club of Stuart raises funds for numerous charities. Its annual Holiday Home Tour has awarded young women with more than $300,000 in scholarships. Support its mission by attending this year’s tour of five homes followed by a reception on December 12. Motorcoach transportation is provided.
Part of the Treasure Coast that encompasses Indian River, Martin and St. Lucie counties, Stuart is associated with top-notch fishing. Pastel-painted historic buildings and breathtaking waterways make it a favorite destination, too. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following link.
Holidays at the Mall
Aventura Mall brings its A game with holiday activations galore. Its newly unveiled “Twinkling Snowfall,” an installation of 4,000 LED bulbs by New York firm Snarkitecture, simulates snow flurries. Topiary reindeers perched on red benches welcome more selfie moments, while families can also visit Santa’s Workshop and Florida’s largest model train display.
Synonymous with Aventura Mall, among the highest-grossing shopping centers in the U.S., the relatively new city of Aventura was also founded and developed by the same visionary. Its ideal location between Miami and Fort Lauderdale and their respective airports is convenient for commuters and visitors alike. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following link.
Housed in the former Melbourne School, the Henegar Center performs “A Christmas Carol” through December 19. But don’t expect the same old bah humbug version by Charles Dickens. With their new Broadway-style score and witty lyrics, respectively, Steve Parsons and John Popa have reimagined the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the three spirits.
Melbourne balances the historic charm of a small beach town with the urban excitement of nearby Orlando. With its prime oceanside location along the Space Coast, as well as other bodies of water like the Indian River Lagoon, it’s a fishing, boating and water sports paradise. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following links.
Melbourne Beach | Merritt Island
Though “The Polar Express” only dates to 1985, the beloved children’s book and its 2004 film adaptation quickly became a tradition. The Brightline’s “The Polar Express Train Ride” brings the tale to life from December 11-30. One-hour trips depart from MiamiCentral station, which transforms into a winter wonderland with an ice-skating rink and holiday bazaar.