It’s the Holiday Season! This year, I couldn’t wait to put up the tree and lights around the house. There’s so much to do in St. Augustine during December, that my list is jammed packed with fun. Here are a few of the events happening around town.
The St. Augustine Christmas Parade (December 3rd, 9am – 12pm)
The Annual Christmas parade is a local favorite with families. The parade starts with local runners running in the Reindeer Run along the parade route. Next, police officers let us know with their sirens that the parade is coming. Watch local businesses, charities, school bands, car clubs and pirates march in the Christmas parade. And, of course, Santa always makes an appearance at the end of the parade on a fire truck. Bring your folding chairs and take a seat anywhere along the route downtown. Get there early and plan on staying a little later since parking and leaving will be a bit of a struggle. Not interested in shopping, head to the Fort where reenactors are camping for the weekend.
Colonial Night Watch (December 3, 7pm-10pm)
Grab your candles and your best singing voice for the Colonial Night Watch. Fun for all ages, you start at the Fort and march down St. George St. Then you join everyone in the square for the commencement ceremony of the holiday season starting. You might want to close your little one’s ears because the Colonial Night Watch will fire their muskets to signify the start of the celebration. After the musket firing, join everyone in the square with their candles and singing carols.
Regatta of Lights (December 10, 6pm-8pm)
Downtown St Augustine isn’t the only thing that lights up this holiday season. Find a spot on the sea wall and watch the parade of boats in the Matanzas inlet. Make sure to get there early, for this is an event everyone loves. MOM TIP: you can only see the boats from the downtown side of the inlet. The parade passes by from the Fort to the Bridge of Lions.
St. Augustine Ballet – The Nutcracker (December 17-18)
My daughters favorite holiday ballet, the Nutcracker. This holiday classic is performed by local students at the Lewis auditorium. We go every year and everyone dresses up for this great event. Our family tradition is that the girls’ grandmother brings them to the ballet and gives them a nutcracker to unwrap and hold during the play. Enjoy the funny rat king and the great performance that will become your family’s holiday tradition.
Phone Calls from Santa (November 14 – December 8)
See the joy in your kids face with a personalized phone call from Santa. This phone call is extra special when Santa has the parents fill out a very detailed questionnaire. Then set up a time for a real Santa to call and ask your kids if they’ve been bad or good. Your kid’s face will light up when Santa already knows how good they are doing in school and what special toys they want. Get the camera ready, it’s a moment you won’t want to forget.
Lights of Christmas at Turning Point (Various dates and times)
Put the kids in their P.J.s, grab some hot cocoa for the kids, and some coffee for the parents, to see the millions of lights at Turning Point. Drive through all the spectacular lights of Christmas, set to holiday music. Your family can also get out for a hay ride, cookies, and stroll through the nativity tent. This is definitely one of my kid’s favorite light shows.
Nights of Lights (November 19 – January 31)
The lights are on in downtown St. Augustine. With so many ways to view the lights, my favorite is riding the train with the family. We like to skip the long lines and reserve a private train to see the lights – an option everyone should consider. Another option is to catch the lights by horse and buggy. This will allow your family to see the lights at a slower pace. There’s also an adult only option with the St. Augustine Tasting Tours – wine included! Stop by the Holiday Tree for a cute family photo. Your family will never forget walking under the trees filled with a million lights.
I hope you and your family have a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year.