1. Pensacola Winterfest
Pensacala, November 23-December 30
A little bit of snow, a lot of hot chocolate and an abundance of Christmas cheer make this the Panhandle's Christmas stop for the month. Don't miss the Polar Express, the laughable Elf Parade or the Snowball Derby.
2. ICE! At Gaylord Palms
Lake Buena Vista, November 10-January 1
With over 20,000 square feet of hand-carved ice sculptures and two-story tall ice slides, you won’t even notice the 9-degree temperature inside this winter wonderland. (Don’t worry — coats and gloves are provided). This year’s theme is a tribute to DreamWorks' Animation TV classic Merry Madagascar, but there’s still plenty of plain old-fashioned Christmas decor to enjoy too.
3. Nutcracker Key West
Key West, December 15-16 and 19-22
Trust us, this is unlike any Nutcracker performance you’ve seen before. The classic performance gets a South Florida tropical twist to match Key West’s funky cultural tastes and traditions.
4.58th Annual St. Augustine Christmas Parade
St. Augustine, December 1
To kick off the Nights of Lights celebration (pictured), the annual Christmas parade weaves up and down the streets of the historic city, starting at 10 a.m. Picture time with Santa himself follows in the Plaza de la Constitucion.
5. Light Up UCF
Orlando, November 16-January 6
For 50 days, University of Florida's UCF Arena gets into the Christmas spirit with free holiday light shows, film festivals and Orlando’s largest ice-skating rink.
6. 26th Annual Holiday Festival and St. Pete Illuminated Boat Parade
St. Petersburg, December 8
Live entertainment on Vinoy Pier and twinkling Christmas lights bedecking boats on the water make this a must-see event in the Tampa Bay area.
7. Christmas in the Keys
Marathon, November 30-December 2
It’s a little-known fact that Santa vacations in the Keys three weeks before Christmas every year to rest up for his big night. Now that the secret’s out, you can celebrate with the jolly man himself (and his laid-back Key West attire).
8. Christmas Celebration of Lights at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, December 19-24
This synchronized light and sound show even has an after-party on December 26 so you can keep the holiday spirit alive after the presents have been unwrapped and the last of the eggnog has been polished off.
9. Coconut Grove Candy Cane Village
Miami, December 21-23
Sugar-coated surprises and snow showers every night (really!) make this family-friendly event the perfect place to get that Santa photo. Carnival rides and a larger-than-life gingerbread house are just the icing on top.
10. 19th Annual Holiday Tour of Bed and Breakfast Inns
St. Augustine, December 8-9
Featuring a "12 Days of Christmas" theme, the self-guided tour of 24 historic inns decked out for the holidays is as delicious as it is pretty — culinary treats prepared by local restaurants await you at each stop. Historic and delicious? We'll see you there.
And don't forget about your furry friends!
Yappy Hour Christmas Paw-ty,
Jacksonville, December 16
Dress your pup in his best holiday garb for the Santa's Little Helper costume contest. Prizes, entertainment and giveaways make this an event to howl about. But the best part? Holiday photos galore (who doesn't love wagging tails and Christmas lights?) Besides, dogs need Santa pictures too.