Want to know what Christmas time is like in St. Augustine, well that’s what we are talking about right now.
It’s Christmas time in St. Augustine and yes it starts in November. Why? because there is so much going on here we have to start early to get it all in.
The holidays are especially magical here in St. Augustine, Florida and while this year might be a little different than most, I wanted to share with you my annual “12 Days of Christmas” activities and events to check out if you are visiting the Nations oldest city.
Nights of Lights is a must.
This annual event sees the historic downtown area decked out in sparkling white lights! This city-wide experience sets the town a-glow and can be admired by foot, trolley, cruise by in your car, or even enjoy from a boat in the harbor and don’t forget to walk through the plaza and snap some family shots in front of the Christmas tree.
Elkton’s Bright Nights of Drive Thru Lights
Located just southwest of St. Augustine, it is quick trip out to the Syke’s Family Farm for a drive-through holiday light experience! I love this because it reminds me of the elaborate drive-through light shows I enjoyed as a kid in New York. Its a 3/4 mile ride and will run Thursday – Sundays starting Nov 28
Lighthouse Luminary Night
On December 1st, this historic Lighthouse and Maritime Museum celebrates the season with dozens of candles illuminating the grounds. This year it will be a two part event and the first part will December 1st at 7:00 PM, they will be hosting a drive-through event in the parking lot where there will be festive stations set up along the way for families to enjoy. Be sure to pick up your luminary kit at the museum to participate in the second part of the event on Dec.3 where families around the community will light their luminaries at 6:30 PM on Thursday, December 3rd to be shared via social media through the hashtag #Luminary2020.
Santa Suits on the Loose 5K
For 2020 this annual charity event is being hosted “virtually”, but the tradition of this 5K is one of the funnest in town. Even if you do not participate in the run, you will get a giggle out of a crowd of “Santas” jogging by!
Music at the Museum Dec. 11
This is a perfect opportunity to experience the St. Augustine Orchestra and explore the beautiful Lightner Museum! There are two nights of live performances featuring holiday classics plus the opportunity to score unique [last-minute] gifts in the museum shop.
The Nutcracker Dec 18-20
What is Christmas without this holiday classic?! Enjoy the twelfth annual performance by the St. Augustine Ballet company and bring back your childhood memories of Christmas Eve to life.
Old Town Trolley
What better way to experience the Nights of Lights than on a trolley! Hop on to the iconic orange train for a fun route around town and expect lots of holiday singing, good cheer, and loads of laughing while you take in the lights.
Florida Water Tours
Want a different view of the nights of lights? Check out the two-hour tour offered by this family-owned business. You can hop on the decked-out pontoon boat from Camachee Harbor and you will love experiencing the reflection of the city from the waterfront.
Candlelight Tour at the Villa Zorayda
A little different in 2020, but this is a chance to tour the spectacular artifacts and architecture of the Villa Zorayda the “old-fashioned” way – where hundreds of candles deck out the numerous holiday displays!
St. Augustine Makers Fest
This annual event at the Amphitheatre is the BEST place for unique gift shopping. Featuring local artists and crafts, I always find a perfect gift for every member of the family here – and get to support the community at the same time!
Nights of Pints
The Nights of Lights looks even more spectacular after a nice, local brew! There are multiple breweries that offer a FREE seasonal pint during the holiday season. My favorite spot is the Dog Rose Brewery on Bridge Street – the perfect place to start (or end) your evening around town.
We are so lucky to have beautiful beaches here in St. Augustine, and Christmas Day usually offers warm weather and a great chance for a stroll along the shore after opening presents. I love taking a walk on Christmas and having the opportunity to share see other happy faces making the most of the mild Florida winter!
So, from music and crafts to beers and the beach, there are dozens of things to do in St. Augustine around the holidays. I hope this has been helpful and inspires you to get into the holiday spirit, and I wish you a very happy, healthy and bright season!