Best Christmas Season Events in and around Amelia Island: Our 2017 Roundup!

The Santa Express, a fun holiday train ride in St. Marys, is led by a 1930s steam train.

The Santa Express, a fun holiday train ride in St. Marys, is led by a 1930s steam train.

Santa sightings, dazzling Christmas lights, gingerbread men and even fireworks shows make up the fantastic holiday season in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.

There are so many events, it would be impossible to keep up without a handy guide to the best family-friendly Christmas events in Fernadina Beach and it’s neighboring communities to the north and south. Bookmark this roundup of Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia Christmas events to keep yourself up to date all season. Be sure to scroll to the bottom, where we list ongoing events that are offered throughout the season.

Do you know of an event that’s not on our list? Email the info to info@mamamelia.com and we’ll add it!

 

Saturday, November 18

2-10 p.m. Adventure Landing WinterFEST / Jacksonville

Join Adventure Landing for the 7th Annual Jax Beach WinterFEST at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach!  Enjoy a variety of winter activities & holiday fun including:

  • Outdoor Ice Skating Rink & Skate Rental
  • Nightly Snowfalls
  • The Alpine Racer 130-foot-long Ice Slide
  • Crystal Creek Lodge featuring winter eats & treats
  • Blizzard Bluff Village featuring Cookie Making, Holiday Carnival Games & More
  • S’more Roasting
  • An Elegant Light Display

This year, WinterFEST has partnered with 12 local charities that will showcase their causes on the donated Christmas trees provided by Rockaway Landscape and Garden Center. WinterFEST is open 2 to 10 p.m. Saturdays Nov. 18 through Jan. 6.  Please view their operating calendar for details at https://jacksonville-beach.adventurelanding.com/event/winterfest/all/.

Wednesday, November 22nd

All Day: Ritz-Carlton unveiling of S.S. Gingerbread / Amelia Island

See the giant ship made of gingerbread make its debut today at the Ritz-Carlton. The life-size gingerbread ship takes up the hotel’s lobby and will continue to be on display throught the end of December. See S.S. Gingerbread pictures and details from a past year here.

5:30 p.m. The Ritz Carlton annual Tree Lighting / Amelia Island

The Ritz-Carlton’s beautiful Christmas tree is on the back porch right on the ocean and decked with thousands of lights. The Ritz is transformed into a Christmas wonderland complete with drinks (hot cocoa!), food, Christmas music and fireworks. Santa will be there, too!

6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Santa’s Wonderland Dinner / Amelia Island

Have dinner with the man himself at the Ritz-Carlton! Enjoy a buffet style dinner, reservations requested. There will be photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus. Elves will be among the other special guests. Discount for children ages 5-12. To make reservations and find out more visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/amelia-island/hotel-overview/calendar.

Friday, November 24th

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fernandina Beach Pajama Party / Fernadina Beach

Dress up (or wake up!) in your favorite Christmas pajamas and come to historic downtown Fernandina to shop the special pajama day sales. Anyone wearing pajamas receives treats and discounts at many of the stores. There will also be a Christmas photo ops (including an appearance by Santa), live performers and other family-friendly activites on 2nd Street. And of course there is a pajama contest! Learn more on the Facebook event page here. 

5 to 8 p.m. Omni Amelia Island Tree Lighting Celebration and fireworks / Amelia Island

Kick off the holiday season at OAIP’s annual tree lighting celebration! Enjoy festive culinary creations, Santa, fireworks and tons of kids activities! Last year, there was a bounce house, hay & toboggan rides, light up archery, crafts, stilt walkers and more! Prices vary for activities. Fireworks begin at 7:30 p.m. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Barnabas Center.

Saturday, November 25

Several times today: Santa Express Train Rides / St. Marys

The magic of Christmas comes alive at Santa Land where Jolly Old St. Nick himself boards the train for the return ride with gifts for all the good little boys and girls.Entertainment all along the way. The perfect old-fashioned holiday celebration. Departs from Theatre by the Trax at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are $17 for adults, $11 for children. Get tickets at stmarysrailroad.com or call 912-200-5235. Also December 2 and 9.  See our pics and review of the Santa Express here.

8:30 to 10 a.m. Breakfast with Santa at the Ritz-Carlton / Fernandina Beach

Join the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island for a holiday tradition, Breakfast with Santa. Children will delight in whispering their holiday wishes to Santa and parents will cherish the keepsake picture. Indulge in a lavish buffet adorned with magical gingerbread houses and decorations. Feast on breakfast favorites including a pancake station with fun toppings, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast breads, ham and cheese croissants, an array of delectable breakfast pastries and a holiday cookie station. Reservations requested. Price: $42 per person ages 6 and up, $25 children 5 and younger. Offered the same time and place on Saturdays through December 16, 2017. Details at http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/amelia-island/hotel-overview/calendar.

12 to 1:30 p.m. Santa’s Storybook Tea at the Ritz / Amelia Island

A Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island tradition, this special tea party includes a fireside holiday storybook read by Santa, an afternoon tea with a fantasy buffet of sweet treats including pastries, candy, cakes, cookies, finger sandwiches and a picture with Mr. & Mrs. Claus. Reservations recommended. Price: $55 per person ages 6 and up, $25 for children 5 and younger. Offered Saturdays through December 16, 2017. For more details visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/amelia-island/area-activities/activities/seasonal-events

2-10 p.m. Adventure Landing WinterFEST / Jacksonville

Join Adventure Landing for the 7th Annual Jax Beach WinterFEST at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach!  Enjoy a variety of winter activities & holiday fun including:

  • Outdoor Ice Skating Rink & Skate Rental
  • Nightly Snowfalls
  • The Alpine Racer 130-foot-long Ice Slide
  • Crystal Creek Lodge featuring winter eats & treats
  • Blizzard Bluff Village featuring Cookie Making, Holiday Carnival Games & More
  • S’more Roasting
  • An Elegant Light Display

This year, WinterFEST has partnered with 12 local charities that will showcase their causes on the donated Christmas trees provided by Rockaway Landscape and Garden Center. WinterFEST is open 2 to 10 p.m. Saturdays Nov. 18 through Jan. 6.  Please view their operating calendar for details at https://jacksonville-beach.adventurelanding.com/event/winterfest/all/.

4 to 6 p.m. Fernandina Beach Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony / Fernandina Beach

The annual community lighting of the tree happens smack dab in the middle of downtown Fernandina on Front & Centre streets in the parking lot near Brett’s Waterway Cafe. The festivities will include vendors, performances, pictures with Santa, face painting and a very special light unveiling. Of COURSE there will be treats, too, including hot chocolate and coffee, baked goods for sale by the Boy Scouts. Lights turn on at 6 p.m.

Tuesday, November 28

5-8 p.m. St. Marys White Lighting Parade & Ceremony / St. Marys

The Annual White Light Parade Ceremony begins at dusk amongst the tree lined streets of historic St Marys and helps kick off the holiday season. The public is encouraged to join the processional up Osborne Street. As Santa and Mrs. Claus lead the parade and make their way toward the waterfront, Santa magically turns on thousands of twinkling Christmas lights that will remain lit through Christmas. Once at the waterfront pavilion, Santa will light the giant St Marys Christmas Tree and then take time to sit with all the girls and boys. During this delightful holiday event you’ll be entertained by carolers and dancers and you’ll definitely want to pop into a local business for dinner or hot chocolate. Make sure to bring your camera for a free photo with Santa. Contact the St Marys Welcome Center at 912- 882-4000 or VisitStMarys.com.

Friday, December 1

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Holiday Home Tour / Fernandina Beach

The 10th Annual Holiday Home Tour includes five beautiful Victorian homes located in the historic district of Fernandina Beach, each decorated for the holidays by a local florist/decorator.  Make plans early so you won’t miss this high point of the Fernandina Beach festive Yuletide season. Tickets are $25 if purchased beforehand at ameliamuseum.org. Continues 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

6 p.m. Callahan Christmas Tree Lighting / Callahan

Callahan will light a large tree tonight at the historic Callahan Depot. Callahan Middle School will perform, there will be Christmas carols, a Christmas model train display and Santa will visit.

Saturday, December 2

12-7 p.m. Christmas in Woodbine / Woodbine

Historic Woodbine will have their Christmas in Woodbine Celebration, including a Tour of Homes from 12 – 4 p.m., a soup and sandwich supper from 4-6 p.m., performances by the CCHS students on Bedell & 4th Street from 4-6 p.m., and, beginning at 6 p.m. come out for the lighted Christmas Parade and cap off your evening with a visit from Santa Claus at the Gazebo.

2-10 p.m. Adventure Landing WinterFEST / Jacksonville

Join Adventure Landing for the 7th Annual Jax Beach WinterFEST at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach!  Enjoy a variety of winter activities & holiday fun including:

  • Outdoor Ice Skating Rink & Skate Rental
  • Nightly Snowfalls
  • The Alpine Racer 130-foot-long Ice Slide
  • Crystal Creek Lodge featuring winter eats & treats
  • Blizzard Bluff Village featuring Cookie Making, Holiday Carnival Games & More
  • S’more Roasting
  • An Elegant Light Display

This year, WinterFEST has partnered with 12 local charities that will showcase their causes on the donated Christmas trees provided by Rockaway Landscape and Garden Center. WinterFEST is open 2 to 10 p.m. Saturdays Nov. 18 through Jan. 6.  Please view their operating calendar for details at https://jacksonville-beach.adventurelanding.com/event/winterfest/all/.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Holiday Home Tour / Fernandina Beach

The 10th Annual Holiday Home Tour includes five beautiful Victorian homes located in the historic district of Fernandina Beach, each decorated for the holidays by a local florist/decorator.  Make plans early so you won’t miss this high point of the Fernandina Beach festive Yuletide season. Tickets are $25 if purchased beforehand at ameliamuseum.org.

12 to 8 p.m. Christmas in the Park / St. Marys

Santa is on hand to give every child a stocking and a turn on his knee and the park is full of kid-friendly games and activity stations. Kids love the Christmas train, the cookies and hot chocolate, and the dozens of costumed characters that stroll through the park. This is a completely free event that really spreads the holiday cheer. There’s a Gingerbread House contest and you can relax in the park with blankets and hot chocolate as the day’s event end with a holiday movie. For more information, contact the St Marys Welcome Center at 912-882- 4000.

8:30 to 10 a.m. Breakfast with Santa at the Ritz-Carlton / Fernandina Beach

Join the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island for a holiday tradition, Breakfast with Santa. Children will delight in whispering their holiday wishes to Santa and parents will cherish the keepsake picture. Indulge in a lavish buffet adorned with magical gingerbread houses and decorations. Feast on breakfast favorites including a pancake station with fun toppings, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast breads, ham and cheese croissants, an array of delectable breakfast pastries and a holiday cookie station. Reservations requested. Price: $42 per person ages 6 and up, $25 children 5 and younger. Offered the same time and place on Saturdays through December 16, 2017. Details at http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/amelia-island/hotel-overview/calendar.

Several times today: Santa Express Train Rides / St. Marys

The magic of Christmas comes alive at Santa Land where Jolly Old St. Nick himself boards the train for the return ride with gifts for all the good little boys and girls.Entertainment all along the way. The perfect old-fashioned holiday celebration. Departs from Theatre by the Trax at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are $17 for adults, $11 for children. Get tickets at stmarysrailroad.com or call 912-200-5235. Also December 2 and 9.  See our pics and review of the Santa Express here.

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Callahan Christmas Parade and Craft Fair / Callahan

Callahan’s 44th annual Christmas parade typically steps off at 11 a.m. Parade route forms on Dixie Avenue and will disburse on 5th Avenue. There’s a fun arts and crafts vendor show before and after. Details here.

12 to 1:30 p.m. Santa’s Storybook Tea at the Ritz / Amelia Island

A Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island tradition, this special tea party includes a fireside holiday storybook read by Santa, an afternoon tea with a fantasy buffet of sweet treats including pastries, candy, cakes, cookies, finger sandwiches and a picture with Mr. & Mrs. Claus. Reservations recommended. Price: $55 per person ages 6 and up, $25 for children 5 and younger. Offered Saturdays through December 16, 2017. For more details visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/amelia-island/area-activities/activities/seasonal-events

6 to 8 p.m. Chick-fil-A Jingle Ball / Yulee

Dads and daughters as well as mothers and sons are invited to a special Date Night event. Enjoy an evening of dinner and dancing with special guests Mr. and Mrs. Rich Dempsey of the National League of Junior Cotillion. Start this Christmas season with special memories with your special date. The event is FREE, but you must pay for the cost of your meal. National League of Junior Cotillion strives to teach life skills such as Character Education, Dining Etiquette, Ballroom Dance and Modern Manners. Details here.

6 to 9 p.m. The Polar Express Experience at Nana Theresa’s / Fernandina Beach

Start the fun this evening with a HOT COCOA BAR (weather permitting) at Nana Teresa’s charming bake shop on North 3rd Street in downtown Fernandina. Purchase a cup of hot cocoa and have fun creating your own special drink with items from their buffet: Marshmallows, Peppermint Sticks, Chocolate Sauce, Candy Toppings, Whipped Cream and so much more! BUYGO will be on hand with some special treats and there will be plenty of giveaways and super fun door prizes. The Rendezvous Film Festival will begin screening “The Polar Express” at 7 p.m. on the bakery’s lawn. The showing is FREE, but due to limited space you’ll want to get there early to grab your treats and seats. Kids are encouraged to come wearing their PJs. Feel free to bring a fold-up chair and blanket. Learn more on the Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/121590591843302.

Sunday, December 3

7 a.m. Reindeer Run / Amelia Island

Get active and festive with your kids this year! This event, including a kids’ one-mile fun run, a 5K and a half marathon, includes local carolers who cheer on racers. Finish the race at Main Beach with lots of fun activities. (Santa typically runs the kids’ fun run portion of this event, too!). For more details visit http://www.ameliarunners.com/reindeer-run

Monday, Dec. 4

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Letter to Santa Day / St. Marys

In celebration of National Write A Letter to Santa Day, the city of St. Marys will have special “Letters to Santa” mailboxes located at the St. Marys Welcome Center (9 a.m.-5 p.m.), Alexandra’s Attic (10 a.m.-5 p.m.), and at Market on the Square (10 a.m.-5 p.m.). Make a trip downtown and let your little one “mail” their letter to Santa! They will post some of the letters to their Facebook Page throughout the month of December.

Thursday, December 7

6 p.m.  POSTPONED unitl Dec. 16 America’s Youth Lighted Christmas Parade /Fernandina Beach

America’s Youth lights up downtown Fernandina Beach with the annual Lighted Christmas Parade celebrating “A Musical Christmas.” This can’t-miss parade will undoubtedly include lighted pirate ships, shrimp and other classics no Fernadnina Beach parade could be without. There will be festive floats decked in holiday lights, the local high school marching band, and of course the Jolly Old Elf himself! AMERICASYOUTH.ORG.

Friday, December 8

6 to 9:30 p.m. Opening Night of ZOOLights / Jacksonville

Celebrate the holiday season and create a family tradition admiring the sparkling lights and brilliant hues at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ Fifth Annual ZOOLights event. Thousands of LED lights will transform the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens into a luminous winter wonderland filled with moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees and animal silhouettes. Guests will have the opportunity to view sculptures and performances by local artists including students at UNF, and a fairy village in the Range of the Jaguar. In addition to walking among the thousands of lights strung throughout the Zoo and listening to spirited holiday music, guests can enjoy a unique view of ZOOLights by boarding the Zoo’s lighted train (the train only runs from the back of the Zoo to the front). Guests can also enjoy carousel rides, marshmallow roasting, a 4D theatre and more for an extra charge. Details here.

Hours are as follows on Dec. 8 -10 & Dec. 15 – Jan. 6 Closed Christmas Day

  • 6:00 pm. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday – Thursday
  • 6:00 pm. to 10 p.m. Friday & Saturday

Dickens On Centre / Fernandina Beach

Downtown Fernandina transforms into Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” complete with costumed characters, carolers, a kids zone, entertainment, booths featuring delicious food and merchandise, and visits with Santa in true Victorian fashion. Continues through Dec. 10. Visit the event’s full website here. Some of tonight’s highlights include:

  • Opening at 4:30: Kids’ Zone, carolers, live entertainment, vendor booths and Santa visits.
  • 5pm- Victorian Evensong: St. Peter’s Episcopal church is offering an evensong service with Christmas Carols in the Victorian Style to open the Dickens on Center festival on Friday. They will use the Book of Common Prayer and ushers will wear Victorian attire. Enjoy carols and hot cider at the service.

Saturday, December 9

Several times today: Santa Express Train Rides / St. Marys

The magic of Christmas comes alive at Santa Land where Jolly Old St. Nick himself boards the train for the return ride with gifts for all the good little boys and girls.Entertainment all along the way. The perfect old-fashioned holiday celebration. Departs from Theatre by the Trax at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are $17 for adults, $11 for children. Get tickets at stmarysrailroad.com or call 912-200-5235. Also December 2 and 9.  See our pics and review of the Santa Express here.

8:30 to 10 a.m. Breakfast with Santa at the Ritz-Carlton / Fernandina Beach

Join the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island for a holiday tradition, Breakfast with Santa. Children will delight in whispering their holiday wishes to Santa and parents will cherish the keepsake picture. Indulge in a lavish buffet adorned with magical gingerbread houses and decorations. Feast on breakfast favorites including a pancake station with fun toppings, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast breads, ham and cheese croissants, an array of delectable breakfast pastries and a holiday cookie station. Reservations requested. Price: $42 per person ages 6 and up, $25 children 5 and younger. Offered the same time and place on Saturdays through December 16, 2017. Details at http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/amelia-island/hotel-overview/calendar.

11 a.m. Parade for Paws / Fernandina Beach

A favorite sight in downtown Fernandina at Christmas time is an excited, panting, woofing parade of dogs dressed in their best outfits. Dogs of all sizes will parade in adorable Christmas attire along Centre Street. Beginning and ending at the old railroad depot. This event is a hit for the little ones. Benefits Nassau Humane Society. Registration fee $per dog. Register in advance at www.nassauhumanesociety.com or at 10 a.m. at the Old Railroad Depot.

2-10 p.m. Adventure Landing WinterFEST / Jacksonville

Join Adventure Landing for the 7th Annual Jax Beach WinterFEST at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach!  Enjoy a variety of winter activities & holiday fun including:

  • Outdoor Ice Skating Rink & Skate Rental
  • Nightly Snowfalls
  • The Alpine Racer 130-foot-long Ice Slide
  • Crystal Creek Lodge featuring winter eats & treats
  • Blizzard Bluff Village featuring Cookie Making, Holiday Carnival Games & More
  • S’more Roasting
  • An Elegant Light Display

This year, WinterFEST has partnered with 12 local charities that will showcase their causes on the donated Christmas trees provided by Rockaway Landscape and Garden Center. WinterFEST is open 2 to 10 p.m. Saturdays Nov. 18 through Jan. 6.  Please view their operating calendar for details at https://jacksonville-beach.adventurelanding.com/event/winterfest/all/.

3 to 6 p.m. Christmas at the Park / St. Marys

Crooked River State Park invites families to come visit wth Santa Claus and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies at the beautiful park. Free of charge. Details on their Facebook event page.

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 12th Annual Yulee Holiday Festival & Parade / Yulee

Yulee welcomes the holidays with a parade along US 17 across Florida A1A beginning at 10 a.m. followed by an arts and crafts show at the Yulee Ballpark. This year’s theme is “Toy Trains and Candy Canes.” Live entertainment, food booths, bounce houses and Santa appearances for pictures. Lots of fun and entertainment for all ages. Admission is free. For more info., visit http://yhfestival.wix.com/yulee or
https://facebook.com/yhfestival.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas on the Farm at Celestial Farms / Jacksonville

Experience the love, scents, sounds and flavors of Christmas. Celestial Farms is turning its barn into a “Ginger Bread Barn” where you can love on their festive rescued animals, a Nativity that will include foods and products that Mary and Joseph may have found in Bethlehem, and Santa will be available for any last minute requests! Admission and parking is free! No cost to visit Santa, but extra activities like horse and train rides and unlimited bounce house are $3 each.

12 to 5 p.m. Amelia Island’s Holiday Cookie Tour of Inns / Fernandina Beach

This tour of some of Amelia Island’s most beloved bed and breakfasts couldn’t be sweeter: it includes homemade cookies (and the recipes to make them) at every stop. Walk, drive or take a horse and carriage ride (included in ticket price) from one venue to the next. Self-guided, at your own pace tour. $25 per- advance ticket (no discount for kids) or $30 day of the event. Get more info at ameliaislandinns.com/cookie-tour and buy in advance if possible, as they do sometimes sell out.

12 to 1:30 p.m. Santa’s Storybook Tea at the Ritz / Amelia Island

A Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island tradition, this special tea party includes a fireside holiday storybook read by Santa, an afternoon tea with a fantasy buffet of sweet treats including pastries, candy, cakes, cookies, finger sandwiches and a picture with Mr. & Mrs. Claus. Reservations recommended. Price: $55 per person ages 6 and up, $25 for children 5 and younger. Offered Saturdays through December 16, 2017. For more details visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/amelia-island/area-activities/activities/seasonal-events

Dickens On Centre / Fernandina Beach

Downtown Fernandina transforms into Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” complete with costumed characters, carolers, a kids zone, entertainment, booths featuring delicious food and merchandise, and visits with Santa in true Victorian fashion. Continues through Dec. 10. Visit the event’s full website here. Some of today’s highlights include:

10am-11am                Amelia Island String Ensemble
11am-11:30am           FBHS Band performance
11am-1pm                  St. Nick photos
11:30am-12pm           FBHS Chorus
12pm-12:30pm           FBHS Saxophone Quartet
12pm-4pm                  Caricature Artist
1pm-2pm                    Chris Thomas Band
2pm-4pm                    Story Telling
2:30pm-4pm               Amy and Dillon Basse
3pm-6pm                    St. Nick photos
4:30pm-5:45pm          Crescendo Amelia
6pm-6:15pm               Royal Amelia Dance Academy
6:15pm-6:30pm          St. Nick Welcome and Reading of The Night Before Christmas
7:30pm-9pm   Stage   A Christmas Carol, one-man performance by Jason Woods

Sunday, December 10

Dickens On Centre / Fernandina Beach

Downtown Fernandina transforms into Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” complete with costumed characters, carolers, a kids zone, entertainment, booths featuring delicious food and merchandise, and visits with Santa in true Victorian fashion. Visit the event’s full website here. Some of tonight’s highlights include:

  • 10am-11:30am           James and Sylvia Kalal
  • 11am-1pm                  St. Nick photos
  • 12pm-12:30pm           Pam Bell’s Christmas bells
  • 12pm-4pm                  Caricature Artist
  • 1pm-2pm                    Dueling Pianos – Michael Murphy
  • 1pm-3pm                    Story Telling
  • 2:30pm-3:30pm          Nassau Community Band
  • 3pm-6pm                    St. Nick photos
  • 3:30pm-3:45pm          Reading of The Night Before Christmas
  • 4pm-5pm                    Gabriel Arnold
  • 5:30pm-7pm               ReVoiced

Tuesday, December 12

6-8 p.m. Live Nativity / St. Marys

“Oh Come All Ye Faithful…” to a Live Nativity presented in Historic Downtown St. Marys. This event takes place on the grounds of Orange Hall and will include live animals, the manger and music.  For more information on the Live Nativity, (912) 510-4041. Watch one of three performances: 6:30, 7, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 16

8:30 to 10 a.m. Breakfast with Santa at the Ritz-Carlton / Fernandina Beach

Join the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island for a holiday tradition, Breakfast with Santa. Children will delight in whispering their holiday wishes to Santa and parents will cherish the keepsake picture. Indulge in a lavish buffet adorned with magical gingerbread houses and decorations. Feast on breakfast favorites including a pancake station with fun toppings, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast breads, ham and cheese croissants, an array of delectable breakfast pastries and a holiday cookie station. Reservations requested. Price: $42 per person ages 6 and up, $25 children 5 and younger. Offered the same time and place on Saturdays through December 16, 2017. Details at http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/amelia-island/hotel-overview/calendar.

9 to 11 a.m. Chick-fil-A Breakfast with Santa / Yulee

Come enjoy breakfast with Santa at Yulee’s Chick-fil-A. In addition to yummy food and a visit and photos with Santa, you may even see the Chick-fil-A elf and get a Reindeer Cow headband. Fun! Details here.

12 to 3 p.m. Anna and Elsa at Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop / Fernandina Beach

One of the loveliest bakeries in town is giving you another reason to visit their downtown Fernandina shop: the Frozen sisters! Anna and Elsa will be on hand for photo ops with guests today! Professional digital photos in front of a wintry backdrop will be just $10, or free with the donation of a child’s toy for Hilliard’s Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, which will be distributing it them to needy families. There will also be frozen hot chocolate milk shakes, cupcakes, cookies and a hot cocoa bar! Learn more here.

12 to 1:30 p.m. Santa’s Storybook Tea at the Ritz / Amelia Island

A Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island tradition, this special tea party includes a fireside holiday storybook read by Santa, an afternoon tea with a fantasy buffet of sweet treats including pastries, candy, cakes, cookies, finger sandwiches and a picture with Mr. & Mrs. Claus. Reservations recommended. Price: $55 per person ages 6 and up, $25 for children 5 and younger. Final Saturday this will be offered this season. For more details visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/amelia-island/area-activities/activities/seasonal-events

2-10 p.m. Adventure Landing WinterFEST / Jacksonville

Join Adventure Landing for the 7th Annual Jax Beach WinterFEST at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach!  Enjoy a variety of winter activities & holiday fun including:

  • Outdoor Ice Skating Rink & Skate Rental
  • Nightly Snowfalls
  • The Alpine Racer 130-foot-long Ice Slide
  • Crystal Creek Lodge featuring winter eats & treats
  • Blizzard Bluff Village featuring Cookie Making, Holiday Carnival Games & More
  • S’more Roasting
  • An Elegant Light Display

This year, WinterFEST has partnered with 12 local charities that will showcase their causes on the donated Christmas trees provided by Rockaway Landscape and Garden Center. WinterFEST is open 2 to 10 p.m. Saturdays Nov. 18 through Jan. 6.  Please view their operating calendar for details at https://jacksonville-beach.adventurelanding.com/event/winterfest/all/.

6 p.m.  America’s Youth Lighted Christmas Parade /Fernandina Beach

America’s Youth lights up downtown Fernandina Beach with the annual Lighted Christmas Parade celebrating “A Musical Christmas.” This can’t-miss parade will undoubtedly include lighted pirate ships, shrimp and other classics no Fernadnina Beach parade could be without. There will be festive floats decked in holiday lights, the local high school marching band, and of course the Jolly Old Elf himself! AMERICASYOUTH.ORG.

Sunday, December 17

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Last Minute Gift Market / Amelia Island

Over 40 gift vendors are coming together at the Craft Athletic Club at Ten Acres on Buccanneer Trail to offer unique gifts you can give away for Christmas (or get for yourself!). This kid-friendly event will have Santa, DIY crafts with Paisley Grace Designs, Nana Theresa’s infamous hot cocoa bar and more! Learn more on their Facebook event page.

Wednesday, December 20

6:30-8 p.m. The Journey Kidz Live Jingle Jam / Yulee

The Journey Church invites kids in grades K-5 and their families to join in the fun at their Live Jingle Jam! It will be a fun Christmas celebration for all.

Saturday, December 23

2-10 p.m. Adventure Landing WinterFEST / Jacksonville

Join Adventure Landing for the 7th Annual Jax Beach WinterFEST at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach!  Enjoy a variety of winter activities & holiday fun including:

  • Outdoor Ice Skating Rink & Skate Rental
  • Nightly Snowfalls
  • The Alpine Racer 130-foot-long Ice Slide
  • Crystal Creek Lodge featuring winter eats & treats
  • Blizzard Bluff Village featuring Cookie Making, Holiday Carnival Games & More
  • S’more Roasting
  • An Elegant Light Display

This year, WinterFEST has partnered with 12 local charities that will showcase their causes on the donated Christmas trees provided by Rockaway Landscape and Garden Center. WinterFEST is open 2 to 10 p.m. Saturdays Nov. 18 through Jan. 6.  Please view their operating calendar for details at https://jacksonville-beach.adventurelanding.com/event/winterfest/all/.

Saturday, December 30

2-10 p.m. Adventure Landing WinterFEST / Jacksonville

Join Adventure Landing for the 7th Annual Jax Beach WinterFEST at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach!  Enjoy a variety of winter activities & holiday fun including:

  • Outdoor Ice Skating Rink & Skate Rental
  • Nightly Snowfalls
  • The Alpine Racer 130-foot-long Ice Slide
  • Crystal Creek Lodge featuring winter eats & treats
  • Blizzard Bluff Village featuring Cookie Making, Holiday Carnival Games & More
  • S’more Roasting
  • An Elegant Light Display

This year, WinterFEST has partnered with 12 local charities that will showcase their causes on the donated Christmas trees provided by Rockaway Landscape and Garden Center. WinterFEST is open 2 to 10 p.m. Saturdays Nov. 18 through Jan. 6.  Please view their operating calendar for details at https://jacksonville-beach.adventurelanding.com/event/winterfest/all/.

Saturday, January 6

2-10 p.m. Adventure Landing WinterFEST / Jacksonville

Join Adventure Landing for the 7th Annual Jax Beach WinterFEST at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach!  Enjoy a variety of winter activities & holiday fun including:

  • Outdoor Ice Skating Rink & Skate Rental
  • Nightly Snowfalls
  • The Alpine Racer 130-foot-long Ice Slide
  • Crystal Creek Lodge featuring winter eats & treats
  • Blizzard Bluff Village featuring Cookie Making, Holiday Carnival Games & More
  • S’more Roasting
  • An Elegant Light Display

This year, WinterFEST has partnered with 12 local charities that will showcase their causes on the donated Christmas trees provided by Rockaway Landscape and Garden Center. WinterFEST is open 2 to 10 p.m. Saturdays Nov. 18 through Jan. 6.  Please view their operating calendar for details at https://jacksonville-beach.adventurelanding.com/event/winterfest/all/.

Ongoing Christmas Events in Northeast Florida

Now through December 28: S.S. Gingerbread boat at the Ritz-Carlton / Amelia Island

This life-size gingerbread boat is a local institution at Christmas, made by the team of chefs at the Ritz-Carlton and displayed in the hotel’s beautiful lobby. You can drop by the Ritz any time to admire the ship and get pictures. See S.S. Gingerbread pictures and details from a past year here.

Weekends throughout December: Enchanted Christmas Village / Jacksonville

Open the first three weekends of December (Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings), the Enchanted Christmas Village features holiday fun — including nightly snowfalls — in Ponte Vedra. Also open Christmas Eve weekend open Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We have crafts, local vendors, bounce houses, wagon rides through the Enchanted trail, pictures with Santa, yard games and photo op cut outs. Christmas TreeEvery hour on the hour, starting at 6pm, come see our 30ft Christmas tree perform a beautiful 10 minute light show. The village will bring out the kid in everyone. Stage entertainment includes a DJ, carolers, bands, solo artists, chorus groups, and more. Entertainment varies each night. Follow our Facebook page for updates on the village, contests, and messages from our partners! Tip: Book pics with Santa in advance. Learn more at http://www.jacksonvillechristmas.com or call 888-486-6413.

December 9 through January 7: ZOOLights / Jacksonville

Celebrate the holiday season and create a family tradition admiring the sparkling lights and brilliant hues at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ Fifth Annual ZOOLights event. Thousands of LED lights will transform the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens into a luminous winter wonderland filled with moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees and animal silhouettes. Guests will have the opportunity to view sculptures and performances by local artists including students at UNF, and a fairy village in the Range of the Jaguar. In addition to walking among the thousands of lights strung throughout the Zoo and listening to spirited holiday music, guests can enjoy a unique view of ZOOLights by boarding the Zoo’s lighted train (the train only runs from the back of the Zoo to the front). Guests can also enjoy carousel rides, marshmallow roasting, a 4D theatre and more for an extra charge. Details here.

Hours are as follows on Dec. 8 -10 & Dec. 15 – Jan. 6 Closed Christmas Day

  • 6:00 pm. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday – Thursday
  • 6:00 pm. to 10 p.m. Friday & Saturday
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