Upcoming Fall & Holiday Events: Winter Vacations in Florida!

The holiday season in Florida shines bright with cheer-filled events for making merry memories. From dazzling light displays to festive parades, there’s no shortage of ways to embrace the spirit of the season across the Sunshine State. We’ve gathered events ranging from charming small-town traditions to spectacular wonderlands brought to life.

Upcoming Fall & Holiday Events

Central Florida

Holiday Magic in the Gardens — Dade City Garden Club, FL

Upcoming Fall & Holiday Events

Get in the holiday spirit by visiting the festively decorated gardens of the Dade City Garden Club on Sunday, December 10 from 1 PM to 4 PM. Families are invited to stroll through the Christmas-themed gardens, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus for photos, pet a llama, and get inspired to celebrate the joyful holiday season in Dade City. Kids can make their own ornament to take home as well as mix up a batch of safe, eco-friendly Reindeer Dust. Homemade Christmas cookies may also be available for purchase. This is a perfect outing for families looking to get into the holiday spirit. Learn more about this free event here

Dates: December 10, 2023

Holiday in the Gardens — Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, FL

Get those creative juices flowing and deck the halls at the jolly Holiday in the Gardens event at Nature Coast Botanical Gardens! On December 2 from 9 AM to 1 PM, local groups can let their holiday imagination run wild by decorating live Christmas trees with unique, weatherproof ornaments to enter the Best Decorated Tree contest. Visitors can vote for their favorite tree from dawn to dusk until January 2. Kids are encouraged to dress up like elves, join a festive parade around the gardens, and talk to Santa. Gather up your elf squad for this community event that is sure to help you get your ho-ho-ho on! 

Dates: December 2, 2023

Holidays in the Highlands — Bok Tower, FL

Upcoming Fall & Holiday Events

Celebrate the holiday season surrounded by nature’s splendor atop Iron Mountain at Bok Tower Gardens’ Holidays in the Highlands. Stroll through poinsettias, begonias, and evergreens, go on a gnome hunt, and let kids create art and explore trails. Step back in time with 1930s holiday traditions inside the Mediterranean mansion including finery in the dining room and a 14-foot tree in the Music Room at El Retiro. Experience daily live carillon holiday concerts by award-winning musician Geert D’Hollander on the Singing Tower. Don’t miss special performances of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker among the flower gardens. With activities for all ages, Holidays in the Highlands offers a magical way to connect with family and embrace the holiday spirit amid the natural beauty of Bok Tower Gardens.

Dates: View Event Schedule 

Surfing Santas — Cocoa Beach, FL

Upcoming Fall & Holiday Events

​​Get ready for some serious holiday cheer at Surfing Santas in Cocoa Beach! What started as a quirky family event in 2009 has grown into an annual extravaganza raising thousands for local charities. On December 24 at 7:30 AM, hundreds of Surfing Santas dressed in full holiday regalia will catch the waves and spread Yuletide joy. Spectators line the beach to watch the record-breaking horde of costumed surfers having a jolly ol’ time in the surf and sun. The festivities benefit the Florida Surf Museum, preserving the state’s gnarly surfing history, and Grind for Life, assisting cancer patients and their families. With its costumes, surfing, and community spirit, Surfing Santas brings a totally unique and fun twist to the holidays.

Date: December 24, 2023

Now Snowing — Celebration Town Center, FL

Experience nostalgic holiday magic at Celebration Town Center’s 24th annual Now Snowing event from November 26 through December 31. This winter wonderland spectacle transports you back to traditional family Christmases with snowfalls at 6, 7, 8, and 9 PM, horse-drawn carriages, train rides, carolers, photos with Santa, and Central Florida’s premier synthetic ice rink. Special highlights include the Holiday Art Festival on December 3rd and a fundraiser on the 10th featuring over 100 reality stars raising money for Give Kids the World. With old-fashioned fun like ice skating, caroling, and sipping hot cocoa as “snow” falls around you, Now Snowing lets you celebrate the holidays in a truly memorable way.

Dates: November 26 – December 31, 2023

Enchant — Tropicana Field St. Petersburg, FL

Upcoming Fall & Holiday Events

Get ready for an immersive wonderland of holiday magic at Enchant, returning to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg this season! This whimsical Christmas experience lets you join forest animals on a quest to find Santa’s reindeer bells and save Christmas. Wander through the dazzling light maze Reindeer Games, glide down the real ice skating trail illuminated by Christmas lights, and explore the charming village of artisan vendors and tasty treats. Meet Santa at his workshop, find kid-friendly activities in the Kid Zone, and capture the perfect holiday photo. With interactive fun around every corner, Enchant’s larger-than-life world sprinkled with seasonal spirit is sure to delight. 

Dates: November 24 – December 31, 2023

South Florida

NightGarden — Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, Miami FL

More than just a light show, the smash-hit holiday tradition NightGarden, returns for its fifth season at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami. Featuring over a thousand lights across twelve experience stations, including five brand-new illuminated zones, NightGarden transforms the 83-acre gardens into a magical winter wonderland after dark. Walk the candle-lit paths and explore state-of-the-art lighting effects, dazzling holographic technology, mesmerizing projection mapping, and joyful music that brings the lush tropical landscapes to life. Pose for photos in front of the 12-foot holiday tree dressed in twinkling lights. Marvel at the larger-than-life flowers glowing under the moonlight. At every turn, you’ll discover a new illuminating experience that will fill you with holiday cheer.

Dates: November 10 – January 7, 2023

Boca Holiday Festival — Boca Raton, FL

Get ready for a wonderland of holiday magic at the Boca Holiday Festival on December 9-10 at Mizner Park Amphitheater! This two-day extravaganza features festive fun for all ages including ice skating, rides like a Ferris wheel, visits with Santa, live shows like a Frozen variety show, cookie decorating, face painting, shopping, and tons of holiday photo ops. Savor carnival eats, sweet treats, and gourmet bites from local vendors. With nonstop activities for kids and adults, glittering lights, festive music, and merrymaking, the Boca Holiday Festival celebrates the season in spectacular fashion. Bring the whole family to embrace the holiday spirit at this can’t-miss weekend event. Tickets include all-day admission and unlimited ride wristbands for the best value. Let the memories and magic begin at the jolly Boca Holiday Festival!

Dates: December 9 – 10, 2023

North Florida 

Nights of Lights — St. Augustine, FL

Upcoming Fall & Holiday Events

Experience the magic of the holidays illuminated against the backdrop of America’s oldest city at the St. Augustine Nights of Lights. Every evening from November 18 through January 28, over three million twinkling lights transform St. Augustine into a dazzling winter wonderland. The brilliant display spans the entirety of the Old City including historic buildings, churches, plazas, and the Bridge of Lions. Nightly events like the Holiday Regatta of Lights on the bayfront and the festive Holiday Trolley Tours add to the cheer. With its European flair and historic charm, St. Augustine truly sparkles during the Nights of Lights. From the stunning lights to the holiday concerts, shows, and parades, this six-week celebration has something special for the whole family.

Dates: November 18 – January 18, 2023

Fantasy Lights Festival — Palm Coast, FL

Embrace the holiday spirit at Palm Coast’s Fantasy Lights Festival opening November 25th at Central Park! Stroll along a sparkling lakeside path illuminated by 55 animated light displays all synced to festive music. Opening night features a tree lighting ceremony, live music, food trucks, snowfall, and more magic. Visit Santa’s village to explore elf houses, ride the merry train (weather permitting), and see Santa himself on Sundays before Christmas. Enjoy live music performances on select nights and check out the Holiday Marketplace on December 2nd. Golf cart rides allow everyone to fully experience the merry displays. With dazzling lights, festive entertainment, and community cheer, Fantasy Lights offers holiday fun for all ages, with proceeds supporting local charities and scholarships. 

Dates: November 25 – December 30, 2023