The holidays are upon us. Though it can be a hectic time with hosting parties, shopping for presents and other items on our to-do lists, enjoy some holiday cheer with these festive tips for family-friendly activities, date nights and group entertainment. Florida’s warm weather is perfect for touring nightly light displays, listening to carolers and watching Santa catch a wave. Happy Holidays.
St. Augustine Spirit
It just wouldn’t be the holidays without St. Augustine’s “Nights of Lights.” The dazzling display’s three million white lights are draped across rooftops, facades, palm trees and the Bridge of Lions throughout the 20-block historic district. Attendees have plenty of time to experience the complimentary event that runs through January 28, and park and ride shuttles ferry them to the fun.
In 1565, Spanish explorers established the oldest continually inhabited European settlement in the U.S. Known as the Ancient City or the Old City, St. Augustine charms residents and visitors to this day with its historic architecture, over 42 miles of barrier coastline and thriving hospitality scene. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following link.
Fort Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse’s holiday reviews hold an old-fashioned charm. Tony Award winner and TV star Sutton Foster’s “Christmas Time Is Here!” covers classics and more (December 19). Irish dancing and glittery costumes are part of the “Celtic Angels Christmas” extravaganza (December 20). Globetrotting tenor Andrea Del Principe’s “An Italian Christmas Night” pays tribute to Pavarotti, Bocelli and other legends (December 21).
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.
Las Olas | Victoria Park
Coral Gables Cheer
Coral Gables puts on a solid presentation for the holidays. Take the tots to “Hot Chocolate with Santa” (Merrick Park, December 16-17) and “Cars & Santa” (Coral Gables Country Club, December 17). Listen to carolers at “Merrick House Holiday Celebration” (December 17) and around downtown courtesy of student choirs (December 14-17). Tour Fairchild’s “A Very Merry Garden” winter wonderland through January 1.
coralgables.com | fairchildgarden.org
From Mediterranean-Revival architecture to the iconic Biltmore Hotel to lush greenery, the historic Coral Gables neighborhood has so much to offer. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following links.
Coral Gables | Gables Estates
Some Santas travel by sleigh, but Cocoa Beach’s prefer to catch a wave. It’s a sight to behold as hundreds of surfers paddle out for the “Surfing Santas” annual fundraiser for local charities like Grind for Life medical assistance and the Florida Surf Museum. Follow thousands of spectators to watch the action in front of Coconuts on the Beach on Christmas Eve at 8 a.m.
Named for the Kennedy Space Center, site of NASA’s SpaceX rocket launches, the Space Coast occupies much of Brevard County. It attracts surfers, cruise passengers (Port Canaveral) and nature lovers looking for pristine white beaches where sea turtles nest. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following links.
Melbourne Beach | Merritt Island
Celebrate the Florida lifestyle by decorating your boat and entering a boat parade or watching the beautiful boats glide by. Both Martin County’s and Indian River County’s separate boat parades on December 16 support Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast. On the same night, view Boca Raton’s “Holiday Boat Parade” along the Intracoastal Waterway from Red Reef Park, Wildflower Park and Silver Palm Park.
miatc.com | myboca.us
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.
Perhaps most famous for its destination mall and namesake luxury resort, Boca Raton also delights snowbirds and locals alike for its arts, entertainment venues and proximity to down-home Delray Beach. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following link.
Garden members can access “Magic of McKee Festival of Lights” before it opens to the public on weekends from December 15-30. It also features treats, Santa and shopping; check the schedule for live music and special additions like a model train display. Help wild animal conservation in attending Palm Beach Zoo’s “Zoo Lights” with an animated Christmas tree and twinkling animal sculptures through January 7.
mckeegarden.org | palmbeachzoo.org
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.
West Palm Beach sits on the mainland directly across from the island of Palm Beach. The growing city has become a destination in its own right for convention and performing art centers, hip restaurants and shopping of all kinds from major brands to vintage wares. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following link.
West Palm Beach