Winter on the Water in Jacksonville

The holidays are coming and family-friendly, fun events fill the calendar this season in Jacksonville.

Experience holiday extravaganzas, nightly snowfalls, dazzling boat parades, extraordinary light displays and much more. Find out why everyone wants to spend their “Winter On The Water” in Jacksonville!

Here are the WOW events in Jacksonville that will surely get you in the holiday spirit:

Alhambra Theatre and Dining Presents White Christmas, November 17 - December 24

When two WWII GI’s discover the secret their General has been keeping from his family, they use their musical talents to help him out. Tickets can be purchased online.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze, November 20

Cirque Dreams Holidaze dazzles with a brilliant and whimsical family holiday spectacular at the Jacksonville Center for Performing Arts. This annual tradition wraps a Broadway-style production around an infusion of contemporary circus arts. As lights dim and the music swells, audiences will have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads as a fantastical cast of holiday storybook characters come to life on stage. With an original music score, twists on holiday classics sung live, and with new sets, scenery, and storylines, this ultimate holiday gift for the entire family is sure to put a twinkle in your eye.

Deck the Chairs, November 23 - January 1

Celebrating 10 years, more than forty American Red Cross life guard chairs will be decorated in coastal-themed designs and lights for Deck the Chairs in Jacksonville Beach. Kickoff is Wednesday, November 23 and the nightly display continues through New Year's Day.

Dazzling Nights, November 25 - January 1

Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens will transform into a magical wonderland this holiday season featuring a million dazzling lights, shining forests, magical displays and beautiful sculptures during “Dazzling Nights™”, a family friendly adventure that gives guests the opportunity to embark on a three-quarter-mile interactive holiday experience. Tickets must be purchased for a specific time and date.

Check out what our social media ambassador, Elle, had to say about last year's event.

Jacksonville Light Boat Parade, November 26

Vessels of all shapes and sizes adorn their hulls with festive decorations as they float along the north and south banks of the St. Johns River during the Light Boat Parade starting at 6 p.m. Residents and visitors alike gather Downtown along the North and Southbank Riverwalks to witness this magical event. Following the parade, the evening concludes with a beautiful fireworks show featuring the one-of-a-kind waterfall fireworks on the Main Street and Acosta Bridge.

Lindsey Stirling's Snow Waltz, November 26

Lindsey Stirling’s unique interpretation of beautifully nostalgic holiday music will be more dynamic than ever – intertwining dance, trapeze, lyra, and aerial all while delivering an impeccable violin performance at the Jacksonville Center for Performing Arts.

Jacksonville Holiday Market for Makers, December 3-4

Come discover new makers and make memories with your friends at the Market for Makers at The Glass Factory.

Elf The Musical, December 6-11

Elf The Musical takes the stage at the Jacksonville Center for Performing Arts. It's the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

20th Annual Gingerbread House Extravaganza - December 8-27

The Jacksonville Historical Society will host the 20th Annual Gingerbread Extravaganza in a manner which will ensure the health safety of its visitors. The event includes the traditional exhibit at Old St. Andrew’s Church as well as a holiday gift shop, bake shop, silent auction and an online contest to vote for your favorite display.

Holiday Pops, December 8-11

It’s Jacksonville’s favorite holiday tradition with the Jacksonville Symphony. After hearing many beloved holiday songs, you’re sure to be in the spirit of the season. And don’t miss Florida’s only indoor snowfall. Featuring the Symphony, guest singers, dancers from Douglas Anderson School for the Arts, and more.

Pop Up in The Park: Holiday Market, December 11

Expect a day full of local vendors, food trucks, games, and all-around family-friendly fun at James Weldon Johnson Park for Pop Up in The Park: Holiday Marketfeaturing Mr. Joe, Santa Claus, the Let's Ride Brass Band and more. This event is free and dog friendly.

Riverside Avondale Luminaria, December 11

It is a holiday tradition for residents of Riverside Avondale to gather with neighbors and friends or visit our parks and churches by walking the lighted sidewalks illuminated with candles.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker, December 12

A holiday mash-up for the whole family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is back and better than ever at The Florida Theatre. The Hip Hop Nutcracker re-imagines Tchaikovsky’s classic score through explosive hip-hop choreography. A dozen all-star dancers, an on-stage DJ, and an electric violinist bring the traditional Nutcracker story to life in contemporary New York City.

Pentatonix: A Christmas Spectacular, December 14

As one of the most innovative, inventive, and inimitable vocal groups of all time, Pentatonix reimagine, reinvigorate, and redefine a cappella. Pentatonix: A Christmas Spectacular will feature stunning renditions of seasonal staples at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

Jacksonville Symphony's First Coast Nutcracker, December 16-18

A family tradition in Northeast Florida celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year, this timeless masterpiece comes to life with the only performance in Jacksonville with a full, live symphony orchestra.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra, December 16

Catch the legendary prog rock-fueled symphony performing all your favorite holiday classics, the way only they can at the Veterans VyStar Memorial Arena. TSO has taken their debut show, "Christmas Eve and Other Stories," and they've given it a technological overhaul to make it every bit as revolutionary, exciting, and fun as it was when it debuted in 1996.

Cirque Musica Holiday Wonderland, December 16

Cirque Musica Holiday Wonderland brings the joy and excitement of the holiday season like never before to The Florida Theatre. The production features some of the greatest holiday songs of all time performed with the world-renowned cast of Cirque Musica. Experience the chills, thrills, and excitement of the best Cirque performers from around the world performing to your holiday favorites.

Handel's Messiah, December 17-18

“The greatest story ever told…the most majestic music ever conceived.” The Jacksonville Symphony, guest soloists and the more than 100 voices of the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus present music’s most powerful message of faith in THE Messiah of the season".

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, December 30

This annual football game is played at the TIAA Bank Field in Downtown attracting thousands of visitors from out of town. Come experience the excitement as the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl treats thousands of fans to one of the most exciting bowl games in college football.

New Year’s Eve Celebration, December 31

The City of Jacksonville invites you to say goodbye to 2022 and welcome in the New Year at the annual New Year's Eve Fireworks. The waterfront and skyline will serve as a backdrop for this amazing display over the St. Johns River. Fireworks will begin at exactly midnight.