Happy Holidays from AuthenticFlorida.com! There are so many wonderful and festive holiday events this time of year, and it was hard to narrow it down … even in 2020 with COVID-19 being our Modern Day Scrooge! This year’s holiday happenings may look a little different, but that doesn’t mean you and your family can’t have a safe and fun season. Check out a few of our favorite Authentic Holiday events in Florida!
2020 Inverness Christmas Parade
When: December 12th at 12:00 pm
Where: Inverness – East on SR 44 (Gulf to Lake Hwy) from Hendrix Ave. (Pizza Hut) to Highland Blvd.
What: This year the Inverness Christmas Parade wants to take you back to a simpler Christmas time with homemade gifts and holiday traditions! Their theme this year is A Vintage Christmas! The parade route will go east on SR 44 (Gulf to Lake Hwy) from Hendrix Ave to Highland Blvd.
Looking to make it a day trip? Check out our favorite things to do on Florida’s Adventure Coast here!
32nd Annual Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade
When: December 5th at 6:00 pm
Where: Fort Myers Beach – The parade begins at Salty Sam’s Marina and will pass many restaurants on the back bay.
What: This Christmas boat parade, voted the 5th best holiday parade by USA Today last year, is back and better than ever! The parade route starts at Salty Sam’s Marina and passes restaurants on the bay like Parrot Key Caribbean Grill, Original Shrimp Dock, Matanzas on the Bay, Nervous Nellie’s, Bonita Bill’s, Dixie Fish Co. and Doc Ford’s.
9th Annual Christmas Light Ride
When: December 5th at 7:00 pm
Where: Retro City Cycles – Ivanhoe Village & College Park
What: Hosted by Retro City Cycles and One Heart for Women and Children, this holiday event in Florida is a bike ride through Ivanhoe Village and College Park to see the holiday light displays! Starting at Retro City Cycles, the ride will be about 6 miles at a casual place – all are welcome!
Cocoa Beach Boat Parade
When: December 12th at 6 pm
Where: The parade starts at Marker 101 which is near Centennial Park on State Road 520 (across from Cape Canaveral Hospital).
What: Dozens of boats decked out in holiday decor will be along the shores of Cocoa Beach. The Rotary Club recommends several viewing locations for COVID-19 safety!
More info: cocoabeachrotary.org
When: Now through January 3rd
Where: Leu Gardens, Orlando
What: Located at Leu Gardens, this holiday event in Florida is a three-quarter-mile interactive experience with lights, displays, and sculptures! Tickets cost $22 per person.
More Info: dazzlingorlando.com
Daytona Beach Christmas Boat Parade
When: December 5th at 6 pm
Where: On the Halifax River – Seabreeze Bridge to Halifax Harbor Marina
What: Starting at the Seabreeze Bridge and ending at the Halifax Harbor Marina, Daytona Beach will be lit up with lights and decor on boats of all sizes!
More info: daytonabeach.com
Looking to make it a day trip? Check out our favorite things to do in Daytona Beach here!
Hometown Holiday at the Park
When: December 11th and 12th, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: 1039 Kingsley Avenue, Orange Park
What: The Hometown Holiday at the Park is in its eighth year and bursting with holiday cheer! The whole family can enjoy Christmas fun with tours of the decorated houses, live musical entertainment, pictures with Santa, shopping in the Christmas village, food vendors, and even a magical lighted trail ride!
Looking to make it a day trip? Check out our favorite things to do in Clay County here!
When: November 19 – January 2nd, (Sunday-Thursday 6 pm – 9:30 pm, Friday-Saturday 6 pm – 10:30 pm)
Where: Morocco Shrine Center Jacksonville
What: Jax Illuminations is a COVID-safe drive-through holiday event in Florida! Drive through holiday lights that have been synchronized to holiday music. Tickets start at $20.
More info: https://jaxilluminations.com/
Jolly Creek Holiday Festival & Marketplace
When: Now through January 2nd, 6 pm – 10 pm
Where: Boggy Creek Airboat Adventure, Kissimmee
What: Located in Kissimmee, Jolly Creek is an outdoor winter wonderland with festive holiday fun for the whole family! Located at Boggy Creek Airboat Adventure, experience Christmas concerts, photo opportunities, Christmas crafts, scavenger hunts, meet Santa, and more!
More info: https://www.jolly-creek.com/
Marco Island Christmas Boat Parade
When: December 12th, 6 pm
Where: The Esplanade, Marco Island
What: Enjoy a festive evening full of beautifully decorated boats! The Marco River will be full of boats sailing adorned with holiday lights and decorations. Recommended viewing spots include The Esplanade on Smokehouse Bay and Snook Inn on the Marco River.
Looking to make it a day trip? Check out our favorite things to do on Florida’s Paradise Coast here!
Night Lights in the Garden
When: Now through December 23rd, December 26th-30th, January 1st-3rd (6:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
Where: Naples Gardens, Naples
What: Located in Naples Gardens, stroll illuminated pathways, live musical performances, beautifully lit sculptures, as well as a seasonal menu of delicious foods! Due to COVID-19, Naples Gardens has a dramatically reduced nightly capacity with suggested event paths and masks required in high traffic areas.
When: Ongoing throughout the season
Where: Snowcat Ridge, Dade City
What: Snowcat Ridge is Florida’s first snow park! Located in Dade City, there will be a 400-foot tubing hill, Arctic Igloo with real snow, and also an Alpine Village full of shopping! Tickets start at $24.95 which includes 2 hours of tubing and also access to other facilities.
More info: snowcatridge.com
Looking to make it a day trip? Check out our favorite things to do in Dade City here!
Snow Days on the Space Coast
When: December 19th & 20th, 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Where: Sand Point Park, Titusville
What: At Sand Point Park, Snow Days on the Space Coast is a festival including 24 tons of real snow, real snow slides, snow play areas, and also more! You’ll also get to experience beautiful light displays, pictures with Santa, hayrides, holiday arts and crafts, food vendors, and family fun activities! Tickets range from $13-$15 per person
More info: https://www.hopenb.org/events/snowdays/
Looking to make it a day trip? Check out our favorite things to do on the Space Coast here!
Twinkle!!! A Drive Through Holiday Light Display
When: December 18th, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: 7900 Old Kings Road, Palm Coast
What: Drive through one mile of holiday displays in the safety of your own car at the Florida Agricultural Museum! You can also zoom with Santa in his workshop at the Caldwell Dairy Barn and shop for Christmas snacks and treats!
Looking to make it a day trip? Check out our favorite things to do in Palm Coast here!
Winter on the Avenue
When: December 4th: 5 pm – 9 pm, December 5th: 9 am
Where: Park Avenue, Winter Park
About: Winter Park is hosting their annual holiday festivities including a holiday tree lighting on December 4th and also a “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas parade on December 5th. While the socially distanced viewing pods are sold out, you can still live stream the event on the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.
More info: events.cityofwinterpark.org
Looking to make it a day trip? Check out our favorite things to do in Winter Park here!
Winter Wonderland of Lights
When: December 4th & 5th at 11 am – 12 pm
Where: Central Winds Park, Winter Springs
What: Winter Springs is hosting a free drive-thru holiday light experience in partnership with local businesses! Santa himself will also wave to visitors throughout the route at this Christmas event in Florida!
More info: winterspringsfl.org
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