Christmas Events Worth Driving to See

What could be better than the pre-Christmas gift of a day or evening of dazzling family entertainment guaranteed to make memories for years to come? We’ve checked all over the state to find the best of the best venues for that unforgettable holiday experience—and if you’ve never visited any of these, we believe you will find that they are brimming with joy!

(COVID-19 ADVISORY: Before you go, make sure to call or check the website or Facebook page of each venue in case of schedule changes or adjustments.)

Central Florida

Christmas at Gaylord Palms Hotel

When: November 13 – January 3

Where: 6000 West Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee 

The celebrations at Gaylord Palms Hotel in Kissimmee are beyond ordinary! Get ready to marvel at two million lights, and acres of decorations—and you won’t believe the ticketed activities, including the “Immersive pop-up” interactive “I Love Christmas Movies” experience, the Elf Training Academy, Feast with the Grinch, Build-A-Bear Holidays, Cirque Dreams Unwrapped, Snowball Build & Blast, Gingerbread Decorating Center, #LIT Show, Three Kings Festival, Photos with Santa, and more! 

Reserve tickets before you go and check out FAQs here. 

The Panhandle 

Winterfest Pensacola

When: November 27-28 and December 5, 12, and 18-24

Where: 223 Palafox Place, Pensacola

This award-winning Christmas event returns with Visits with Santa, The Cajun Christmas Experience, and Polar Express Tours this year! [For safety reasons due to COVID-19 Winterfest has cancelled the Elf Parade, Fireworks display, and traditional Performance tours this year.] 

Downtown Pensacola will once again be alive with song, dance, arts and crafts with this long-running, much anticipated Christmas event! Tours and photos with Santa will take place in Plaza Wonderland. And if that’s not enough, the snow (somehow) starts falling and the music starts playing on cue at 5 p.m. on Fridays and at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday nights!

Before you go, check the Winterfest Facebook page and website for updates. 

East Coast Florida (North)

St. Augustine Nights of Lights 

When: November 14, 2020 – January 31, 2021

Where: St. Augustine Historic District and vicinity

If you’ve never been (and even if you have), you’ll be more than dazzled by this annual display of three million lights twinkling all over the historic district of the nation’s oldest city! Featured in its share of lifestyle magazines, “Nights of Lights” has attracted travelers from all over the world. 

Enjoy fabulous shopping, night life, family attractions, restaurants, museums, historic sites—and a wide variety of scenic tours via trolley, helicopter, boat, horse and carriage, electric car—and, of course, by foot! 

Even though several events have been cancelled this year due to COVID-19, there are still more things to see and do than you’ll have time for in one evening! 

East Coast Florida (South)

Sandi Land at West Palm Beach 

When: December 5 – 31, with nightly light shows from 6-10 p.m.

Where: 162 S. Clematis Street, West Palm Beach 

Sandi, the world’s only 35-foot, 700-ton holiday sand tree will be on grand display for its ninth appearance at the waterfront beginning Saturday, December 5. And if that’s not enough sand to get you in the Christmas spirit, there will be 100 more tons of other sand sculptures to visit as well. Sandi will be on colorful display with nightly music and light shows at 6-10 p.m. through New Year’s Eve. 

New this year will be a synchronized show with the City’s soon-to-be-completed Centennial Square Fountain, where the water will “dance” to the music. 

(Directives on facial coverings will be followed in accordance with Palm Beach County mandates. High-touch areas will be frequently disinfected, and hand sanitizing stations will be available.)

For information, call (561) 822-1515.

West Coast Florida

Naples 5th Avenue South Christmas Walk/Tree Lighting/Christmas Village 

When: Friday, December 4 at 5 – 10 p.m. and Saturday, December 5 at 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Where: All along 5th Avenue South 

The biggest Christmas showcase in Naples! A tree lighting will be held in Sugden Plaza on Friday evening. Visitors may enjoy live entertainment, a Living Nativity, skating rink, appearances by Santa Claus, and Avenue dining on both Friday and Saturday. 

Call (239) 692-8436 for info, or check back regularly for info and updates before you go. 

Snowcat Ridge Snow Park

When: Opening date is set for November 20 

Where: 27839 Saint Joe Rd., Dade City, Florida 

Just a half-hour’s drive from Tampa, Dade City’s Snowcat Ridge Snow Park will ensure that every visitor will enjoy a White Christmas—right here in Florida! 

Entertainment options include “Snowy Slopes,” a 60-foot-tall, 400-foot-long hill for family-style snow tubing, along with nightly music and light shows; “Arctic Igloo,” a 10,000-foot snow dome where your family can build snowmen and castles (plus a “bunny slope for kids); and “Alpine Village,” providing beverages, food, and a cozy “campfire” atmosphere to relax and enjoy the music and light shows. 

Find out how to save on admission costs by reserving tickets in advance. 

Stay Safe This Holiday Season

Stay safe while traveling during the holiday season this year. If you have any home, auto, or life insurance needs, contact Florida Farm Bureau insurance. We’ve been serving Florida for over 60 years with affordable, high-quality insurance. To locate an agent near you, use our Agent Finder.