Christmas in Florida – 11 Towns

Florida may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of a white Christmas, but it sure knows how to celebrate the holidays in style.

From spectacular light displays to unique holiday events, the Sunshine State offers a variety of festive experiences that are perfect for the whole family.

Town Xmas Features Xmas Rating Kids Rating
St. Augustine Light displays 5/5 4/5
Orlando Theme parks 5/5 5/5
Miami Santa’s Enchanted 4/5 5/5
Key West Boat parades 4/5 3/5
Pensacola Winterfest 4/5 5/5
Tampa Riverwalk lights 4/5 4/5
Sarasota Jungle Gardens 3/5 5/5
Naples Boat Parade 4/5 4/5
Tallahassee Winter Festival 4/5 5/5
West Palm Beach Sandi Land 3/5 4/5
Jacksonville Zoo lights 4/5 5/5

This table should give you a quick overview of what each town has to offer in terms of Christmas festivities and how they rate for the holiday spirit and kid-friendliness. Whether you’re looking for dazzling light displays or unique boat parades, there’s something for everyone in the Sunshine State!

CLICK HERE: Make sure to browse the best Florida tours in December!

So, if you’re planning to spend your holidays in Florida, here are the 11 best towns for Christmas things to do.


Best Light Displays in Orlando

Orlando is a magical place year-round, but it becomes even more enchanting during the holiday season. The city offers a plethora of light displays that are sure to dazzle both kids and adults alike.

Night of a Million Lights

This immersive holiday light spectacular takes place at Give Kids The World Village. It features dancing lights, festive music, and holiday treats. A tram takes guests around the village, making it a convenient and enjoyable experience. Tickets should be purchased in advance.

Dazzling Nights at Leu Gardens

Set in the beautiful Harry P. Leu Gardens, Dazzling Nights offers a stunning display of lights, a redesigned show, and a lit-up rose garden. Tickets range from $22 to $25, and parking is extra.

Cranes Roost Park Holiday Light Displays

This free event includes live music, train rides, appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a fireworks display. Food and beverages are available for purchase.

Lights on Jeater Bend

For a cozy neighborhood experience, Lights on Jeater Bend in Celebration is a must-visit. The display includes 11 homes decorated and synchronized to music, along with fire and water displays.

Best Places to Meet Santa in Orlando

Meeting Santa is a cherished holiday tradition, and Orlando offers several opportunities for a magical encounter with Saint Nick.

The Santa Workshop Experience

Hosted at Icon Park, this experience includes a ride on Santa’s North Pole Express, warm drinks, treats, and a visit with Santa himself. Reservations are required.

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

Get a free photo with Santa at this annual event. Reservations are recommended due to its popularity.

Visit Santa at the Mall

Several malls, including The Mall at Millenia, Altamonte Mall, and The Florida Mall, offer opportunities to meet Santa. Reservations are often recommended to minimize wait times.

St. Augustine

St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city, offers one of the most impressive holiday light displays in the country. The entire city is adorned with twinkling lights, making it a perfect destination for a nighttime stroll. Various events are also held throughout the holiday season.

Great for Kids?

Absolutely! The lights and events are sure to captivate children of all ages.


Tallahassee, the capital city of Florida, hosts a Winter Festival that includes a Jingle Bell Run, a holiday parade, and a lighting ceremony. Elf Night at Dorothy B. Oven Park is another popular event where the park is transformed into a winter wonderland.

Great for Kids?

Yes, the Winter Festival and Elf Night are designed to be family-friendly and offer a variety of activities that kids will love.


Naples is known for its Christmas Boat Parade, where boats are decorated with holiday lights and sail along the water. The city also has a stunning display of holiday lights at Third Street South and Fifth Avenue South.

Great for Kids?

Absolutely, the boat parade is a unique experience that kids will find fascinating, and the holiday lights are sure to captivate them.

Captiva Island

Captiva Island hosts a series of festive events, including a luminary, boat parade, holiday singalong, and golf cart parade. It’s like celebrating Christmas in paradise.

Great for Kids?

Yes, the island’s events are family-friendly and offer something for everyone.

West Palm Beach

The city features a unique 35-foot Christmas tree made entirely of sand. Light and music shows are held every night, along with holiday concerts throughout the season.

Great for Kids?

Definitely! Kids will be amazed by the giant sandcastle tree and the light shows.


Sarasota goes all out during the holidays, from decorating St. Armands Circle to lighting up Marie Selby Gardens. The festivities even extend into January with the annual pineapple drop.

Great for Kids?

Yes, the variety of events makes it a fun destination for families.


Miami is home to Santa’s Enchanted Forest, the world’s largest holiday theme park. Zoo Miami also hosts a fantastic holiday light show featuring your favorite zoo animals.

Great for Kids?

Absolutely, with rides and animal light displays, it’s a child’s dream come true.


Tampa is beautifully lit up during the holidays, especially in Ybor City. Other attractions include Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Busch Gardens Holiday fun.

Great for Kids?

Yes, the variety of events and decorations make it a family-friendly destination.


Pensacola offers a variety of holiday events, including Winterfest, a trolley tour, and a holiday market.

Great for Kids?

Yes, the trolley tour and Winterfest are particularly popular with families.

So, there you have it! These are the 11 best towns in Florida for Christmas things to do. Each offers its own unique take on holiday celebrations, making them perfect destinations for families looking to make the most of the festive season.

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