Christmas in Florida is a little untraditional but very exciting. Some places in Florida become a festive display of lights, Christmas trees, and even “snow”.
Kick off the holiday season by making a trip to one of these festive towns where you can enjoy walking around the small town in Florida and become mesmerized by the millions of lights.
From towns to cities, these charming places will get you into the holiday spirit.
St. Augustine is our top pick for a Christmas town getaway, and once you visit during Christmastime, you will see why. It’s no surprise that the nation’s oldest city celebrates with many festivities.
This historic town gets a transformation with millions of lights known as the Nights of Lights. It starts out with the Grand Illumination on the first day of the lights complete with other festivities such as music and entertainers.
The lights are lit up from mid-November to end of January and are free of charge to see. You can walk around the town to see the lights or you can choose to see them from the water by taking a boat tour around the bay.
Other events not to miss during the holiday season in St. Augustine are the Lighthouse Illuminations with 21 uniquely decorated trees and the Christmas Parade which is full of festive and decorative floats.
Walk down St. George street or ride the trolley to explore the festivities around town. Be sure to stop by the theater for A Christmas Story play.
If you want a true small town feel, then Mt. Dora is one of the best Christmas towns to visit. The Christmas Lights Festival which lasts an entire month lights up the town with millions of lights.
Walk around the downtown filled with fun shops and delicious restaurants where you can find unique gifts and neat treats.
Donelly park is one of the main areas to explore, right at the main part of town, as it has the most Christmas lights to see. The famous singing Christmas tree can be found at the Sunset Park with twinkling lights and Christmas song singalongs.
Another place not to miss that is decked out in lights is the boat marina. Mt Dora’s boat parade is fun to watch as well and usually takes place in the beginning of December.
Busch Gardens Christmas Town
While it’s not an official town, the Busch Gardens Christmas Town is one not to miss. The park is decked out in 10 million lights that make it feel magical as you walk through.
The Christmas town is full of sparkling lights, seasonal shows, meeting Santa, and delicious food. On some nights, they even have a fireworks display to end the festivities of the night.
The Christmas town is included with admission to the park, so you can enjoy the whole theme park as well as the fun at Christmas town. Most of the Christmas Town festivities begin around 2 p.m. so you can spend the first half of the day in the theme park and make your way to the Christmas Town at two.
The festivities kick off with the Christmas on Ice show that showcases the ice skaters performing a Christmas special. A special visit to the story time with Mrs. Claus as she reads “The Night Before Christmas” is a fun activity and a stop by Santa is a must.
If you’ve done all the roaming around you can do, hop on the Holly Jolly Express to get a scenic ride while listening to Christmas music.
Key West is as South as you can get in the continental U.S. so if you’re looking for a warm winter getaway, this town is the place to be.
Key West is another town that has an annual lighted boat parade where boat owners deck out their boats with lights and decorations. The Christmas parade on land starts on Truman and goes down the island to Duval, ending with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the end of the parade.
Walking down Duval street is fun anytime of the year but at Christmas time it is especially festive. A big way to see all the holiday sights in Key West is to board the Old Town Trolley or The Conch tour train. They will take you around town to see all the best sights in town.
If you want a true Key West experience at Christmas time, take a private holiday party catamaran that includes Christmas food and cookies while enjoying the beauty of Key West.
Largo is located in the Tampa Bay area, the town of Largo has a beautiful Christmas celebration. It has one of the most spectacular displays of Christmas lights at the Largo Central Park. There are a variety of activities that happen throughout the month and even a Ferris wheel and carousel to enjoy.
The park admission is free, but if you want to enjoy the rides it is $6 per ride. The park and lights are open from 5p.m. to 11p.m. starting from the end of November to beginning of January.
On the chillier nights, you can enjoy their firepit and have some s’mores which you can buy for $2 complete with the cracker, chocolate, and the marshmallows that you can roast over the fire. There are other food vendors where you can get delicious treats like funnel cakes and drinks.
Christmas at Pensacola is special with their Winterfest celebration. The downtown of Pensacola transforms into a festive display of lights that light up the buildings and Christmas tree and even
The Elf Parade kicks off the season on the Friday right after Thanksgiving during which you can enter the contests and witness as the city lights up with Christmas lights.
During the Christmas events, there are bands playing, carolers singing, story telling, and many more festivities. Catch a ride on a horse-drawn carriage, the trolley tour that will take you to the Historic Pensacola Village, or the Polar Express.
After all the festivities, make sure to capture all of the memories you make at this celebration with Santa and the Grinch.
Celebration is a unique town that was designed by Disney. It is very close to the theme parks in Orlando and yet it feels like a small town far away.
This town will make you feel like you’re in a Hallmark movie and it’s no surprise as the little town definitely makes an effort to make it magical for Christmas.
Christmas lights, music, ice skating, horse-drawn carriage rides, train rides and of course seeing Santa all make this town one of the best to visit at Christmas time.
To make it even more special, the town has “snow” that falls every night on Market Street. The Tree Lighting Ceremony kicks off the snowing celebrations. It features live music, carolers, and Santa for the event.
There are many free parking lots that you can park in and just enjoy the town without worrying about where to park. Parking spaces that are closer do fill up faster, so be sure to arrive earlier.
Plant City is known as the home of the Florida Strawberry Festival, but in the wintertime the Strawberry Festival Grounds transform into the Christmas Lane.
The Christmas Lane was started by Lane Wetherington, who, every year expanded the light display at his home. The light display eventually outgrew the home and found their new home at the Charlie Grimes Family Agriculture Center.
Christmas Lane is open Thursday through Sunday from the end of November up to Christmas Eve 6p.m. to 10p.m. The tickets are just $8 per person and less for kids under 13.
With live performances, Christmas characters, lights, food, Santa, and over 100 Christmas trees, there is so much to see and do at this event. Find your way through the light maze and see the Living Nativity.
Kids will be especially happy at the KidZone where they have face painting, ornament decorating, a LEGO station, writing letters and taking pictures with Santa. There are even rides for all ages that are $3 per ride or $20 for unlimited rides.
The biggest event of the year at Defuniak Springs is definitely their Christmas Reflections light display and celebrations. With more than 10 million lights, the Chipley Park lights up into a display of lights that reflects beautifully in the lake.
There is live music and performances, festive food trucks, an Express Train, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and Mistletoe Market where you can find unique gifts and delicious treats.
The display is open daily from 9p.m. to 10p.m. and costs $5 per person but walking around downtown and other events happening around town are free to attend.
Dicken’s on Centre, inspired by Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, is how Fernandina Beach celebrates Christmas.
Every week has a Dickens theme starting out with Dickens Dining, Centre Festival, Illuminated Procession, Enchanted Village, and Portraits With St. Nick.
These transform Fernandina Beach into a Victorian Christmas with dining, artisanal vendors, holiday entertainment, and many other festive themed events.
The tree lighting is a tradition held every year that is complete with music, vendors, and baked goods. The beautiful Christmas tree comes to life and kicks of the holiday season so be sure to stop by and see it.
This town sits on the Gulf Coast overlooking Charlotte Harbor. It has beautiful Christmas displays, the best of which is at Fisherman’s Village.
The Festival of Lights at Fisherman’s Village features live musical performances, millions of lights, and fun displays where you can take the perfect Christmas pictures with the family.
As you walk around, you can stop by the shops, get a bite to eat at one of the restaurants, and explore around the marina.
There is a little sand beach where you can sit and relax while listening to the live music and looking out to the water.
The town being on the water, there is of course a boat parade that showcases dozens of decorated boats.
Yes, there is actually a place in Florida called Christmas. This little town doesn’t have too many celebrations like some other places in Florida, but it is a neat place to visit for the boasting rights.
People love to send their Christmas postcards from Christmas so if you do stop by, make sure to grab your postcards with you and send them to your loved ones to be amused.
The streets in this town are Christmas themed so you can drive around and find a street you like. There is also a permanent fully decorated Christmas tree that you can stop by any time of the year.