Here are our top picks for the best things to do, events and festivals from Key West to Orlando to St. Augustine that are sure to bring out your holiday cheer.
1. Pensacola Winterfest
November 24, 2017 – December 24, 2017
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 21, 2017 – January 8, 2018
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 beloved holiday classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas.
3. Annual Key West Holiday Fest
Key West, November 23 - December 31, 2017
Celebrate Christmas with Santa Claus himself at Key West’s Holiday Fest! Grab a glass of eggnog and tour historic inns, be a part of the two holiday parades (on and off the water), and and visit the harbor of lights
4.63rd Annual St. Augustine Christmas Parade
December 2, 2017
Don't miss 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
November 18, 2017 - January 7, 2018
For 50 days, University of Central Florida's CFE 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
2017 dates to be announced
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. Holiday Happenings
Brevard Zoo, December 22-23, 2017
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! What does Santa do before heading off to the North Pole to gather his reindeer and deliver presents? He gives tours with Mrs. Claus at Brevard Zoo! Bring Christmas spirit to the jungle with night hikes and weekend camps for boys and girls.
8. Christmas Celebration of Lights at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, 2017 dates to be announced
This synchronized light and sound show even has an after-party 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. Santa’s Enchanted Forest
Miami, November 2, 2017 - January 7, 2018
Head down to Tropical Park in South Florida for the biggest holiday event of the year. Win prizes at the carnival booths or give yourself a Christmas thrill on over a 100 rides!
10. 21st Annual Holiday Tour of Bed and Breakfast Inns
St. Augustine, December 9 - 13, 2017
Featuring a "Music 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.
- Updated September 22, 2017