Best Kid-Friendly Events in the Amelia Island Area: Dec. 1-7

This week we just can’t help ourselves — it’s ALL about the holidays. This week there’s a Polar Express Experience at Nana Theresa’s charming bakery in downtown Fernandina, a no-cost Christmas in the beautiful waterfront park in St. Marys including gifts from Santa for all, open train rides, dinner and dancing at the Chick-fil-A Jingle Ball and more!

Learn about all these and more fun events in our Top 10 list below. You can also check out our larger calendars using these buttons:

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A Gingerbread House with free cookies and hot chocolate is one of the offerings at Christmas in the Park.

A Gingerbread House with free cookies and hot chocolate is one of the offerings at Christmas in the Park, happening Saturday in St. Marys.

  • SAVE the date! This coming Thursday night, Dec. 7, at 6 p.m. is the annual downtown Fernandina Beach lighted holiday parade. Expect to see pirates, shrimp, and holiday floats including the Jolly Old Elf, himself, coming down Centre Street on this festive night.
  • Review! If you’re looking for a fun location for a mother-daughter mani-pedi, check our Dreamie Nails & Spa in Yulee. Read our (tear-jerking) story of our first mother-daughter visit at Dreamie Nails here.
  • OUR HOLIDAY EVENTS ROUNDUP IS HERE! There is soooooooo much to do in the weeks ahead. We have this giant event guide rounding up the best holiday events, and we’re just getting started, as more fun events are added to the list as our readers tell us about them. Get a first look at the local Christmas events roundup here.

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Dreamie Nails has a special chair for kids while they get their pedicures.

Dreamie Nails has a special chair for kids while they get their pedicures.

Mamamelia’s Top 10 Event Picks for the Week Ahead

1) 12 to 8 p.m. Saturday: 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.

Monkey-Barrel-Ad2) 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

3) Various times Saturday: 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 or call 912-200-5235. Also December 9.  See our pics and review of the Santa Express here.

4) 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday: 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.

5) Friday and Saturday: Christmas In Callahan! / Callahan

The town of Callahan celebrates Christmas in a big way this weekend with the following events:

* 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.

* 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.


6) 7 a.m. Sunday: 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

7) 12 to 1:30 p.m. Saturday: 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

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8) 8:30 to 10 a.m. Saturday: 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

Surf Asylum

9) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday: 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 Continues 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Two-Sisters-Ad10) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday: 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.

PLUS, there’s this fun ongoing event:

2-10 p.m. Saturday: 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 select days.  Please view their operating calendar for details at

Don’t forget this is just a roundup of our top 10 local family-friendly events. There are many more events listed in our special events calendar. Thanks for reading! ~ Mamamelia

Do you know about an event that should be on Mamamelia’s calendar? Tell us about it! This website is managed by busy moms on a bare-bones budget, so it’s a huge help when folks drop us a note about an event when it’s not already on the calendar. If you hear about a great local family-friendly event, send us an email at, message us on Facebook or use the “Submit an Event” link on the website to make sure it gets added to the calendar.

A special thank you to all of the sponsors who help keep Mamamelia going! Please consider using these great local businesses, including:

  • Two Sisters Travel Agency: Whether you’re planning the trip of a lifetime or a quick family getaway, Ginger Joiner can help you find the deals and details that will make it spectacular.
  • Monkey Barrel: This charming shop found in the Spa and Shoppes area of Omni Amelia Island Plantation features babies’ and children’s clothes, toys and gifts.
  • Surf Asylum: This fantastic Amelia Island-based business empowers boys and girls to learn to surf and understand water safety, as the two must go hand-in-hand. Offerings include lessons, summer camp, birthday parties and more!
  • Krisit Garber, Licensed Realtor, Berkshire Hathaway Homesource Chaplin Williams Realty. Call 904-335-7512 or visit to talk about your real estate needs in the Fernandina Beach area.
  • Dr. Anita Renfroe, an accomplished music professor, with lessons open to all ages and levels in the Fernandina-Yulee area. Learn more about the Fernandina piano lessons here.

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