Winter on the Water

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

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

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

1. St. Johns Town Center Holiday Spectacular- November 9

The 14th annual Holiday Spectacular at St. Johns Town Center will kick off the holiday season date TBA. The festive event will feature a full day of activities, culminating with the lighting of the tree by Santa Claus and fireworks display at 8 p.m. Shoppers will enjoy holiday entertainment including live music from 2-6 p.m., with main stage activities beginning at 6 p.m.

2. WinterFEST at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach- November 22-January 6

Bringing snow to sunny Florida, you can enjoy a variety of winter activities and holiday family fun at WinterFEST including: The Alpine Racer 130-foot long ice slide, nightly snowfalls, outdoor ice skating rink, s’more roasting, and a beautiful alpine village and plenty more.

3. Jax Illuminations 7th Annual Drive Thru Holiday Light Show-November 20-January 4

Bring the family together for this fun Jacksonville Tradition. Load up the family and tune your car radio to our special radio station. Listen to your favorite holiday tunes as you drive through a Million lights that dance, twinkle and sparkle to the music. The one mile drive thru features two mega trees, a 300 ft tunnel of lights, custom Christmas scenes and much more.

Cost Sun – Thur is $20 per car (up to 7 people)
Fri & Sat is $25 per car (up to 7 people),
$35 for passenger vans.

Located 5 min from St John's Town Center at the Morocco Shrine Center, 3800 St. Johns Bluff Rd S, Jacksonville, FL 32224.

Visit, email or call (904)316-5673 for more information.

4. Pete’s Bar Thanksgiving Day Celebration - November 28

It’s a Jacksonville holiday tradition for more than 30 years! Pete’s celebration brings thousands of residents and visitors to the quaint Neptune Beach neighborhood on Thanksgiving Day for food, drinks, live music and a lot of fun.

5. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony-December 4

The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take at 6:25 p.m. in Hemming Park. The 56-foot-tall energy-efficient tree features over 78,000 L.E.D. lights and more than 100 ornaments and performances highlighting Jacksonville’s local musicians.

Cathedral District Churches are opening their doors for our inaugural FREE walking tour and welcoming the public to experience their churches decorated for Christmas. Docents will greet you inside each Sanctuary, and you will be treated to the sounds of choirs and Christmas music while on route.

6. Deck the Chairs - November 23 – January 1

More than fourty American Red Cross life guard chairs will be decorated in coastal-themed designs and lights in Downtown Jacksonville Beach. Kickoff is Saturday, November 23rd with chair decorating, music, hot cocoa, judging and lighting ceremonies.

7. Go Tuk'n Holiday Tours - Various Dates

Experience the Riverside Avondale Preservation Luminaria, Beaches Holiday Lights and the Riverside Avondale Holiday lights with Go Tuk'n. These hour long tours are a great way to experience the cities lights this holiday season. Check out the Deck the Chair event at the beaches or the historic homes in Riverside while riding the three-wheel Tuk Tuks.

Check the tours out at

8. Jacksonville Light Boat Parade - November 30

The Jacksonville Light Boat Parade has been a holiday tradition for more than 30 years. 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. Residents and visitors alike gather along the north and south riverbanks in downtown Jacksonville to witness this magical event. The evening then culminates with one of the best fireworks show on the First Coast featuring “waterfalls” off of the Main Street and Acosta Bridges.

9. The Alhambra Theatre and Dining Presents Elf the Musical - November 27 - December 24

Buddy, is a young orphan who sneaks into the present bag of Santa and is taken back to the North Pole. There he is raised unaware that he is actually a human. In this story, we follow his journey to New York to find his real father.

10. Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour 2019 - December 5

Jazz saxophonist Dave Koz presents Christmas with special friends Jonathan Butler, Melissa Manchester and Michael Lington. Over two decades ago, GRAMMY® nominee Dave Koz launched his first-ever Christmas tour. Now, fans and families across the country await his arrival with the kind of anticipation formerly reserved for St. Nick himself, earning the saxophonist extraordinaire the nickname “Santa Koz.” Together, the four remarkable artists will perform fresh renditions of Christmas classics as well as a Chanukah medley and hits from their respective catalogs.

11. Jacksonville Holiday Market for Makers- November 16-17

Come discover new makers, make memories with your friends at our many photo walls, get your lunch on at the food trucks, tickets include a free tote and entry to over 70+ makers!

12. 28th Annual Community Nutcracker - December 12-14

There is something exceptional about Community Nutcracker that no one can deny. This highly sophisticated production is built purely upon a passion for art and selfless will for an emotionally stirring result.

13. Holiday Pops - December 5-8

Jacksonville’s favorite holiday tradition returns, with the glorious sounds of the season from traditional carols and sing-along medleys to a special Santa Claus dance featuring dancers from Douglas Anderson. Experience the joy and majesty of the holiday with the Jacksonville Symphony and Symphony Chorus in this spectacular event for the whole family.

14. Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl-December 14

The nations oldest and original Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl will be taking place in Jacksonville Beach! The crawl, which includes 12 of the beaches favorite bars and restaurants, will include a night of fun, dancing, and philanthropy.

Buy your

15. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens ZOOLights- December 6 - 8, 12 - 15, 19 - 22, 26 - 29

At the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, the holidays are a time for magic! 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.

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 Express illuminated train, watch Swingin’ at Santa’s Place (a fun holiday review style show) on the Great Lawn, and take pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus, the Grinch and other characters.

Guests can also enjoy additional experiences like roasting marshmallows for s’mores, hot cocoa and adult beverages. More information to come.

16. Beaches Polar Express - December 8 - 9

At this two day event visitors are invited to write a letter to Santa, enjoy cocoa and cookies, make crafts, and enjoy other festivities in the History Park.

17. Trans-Siberian Orchestra - December 12

Experience the sounds of the season with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

18. The Jacksonville Symphony presents First Coast Nutcracker- December 13-15

Under the direction of choreographer and artistic director, Rhonda Stampalia, the First Coast Nutcracker showcases internationally renowned principal dancers, our area’s finest young dancers, and Tchaikovsky’s best-loved melodies performed by the Jacksonville Symphony.

19. Handel’s Messiah - December 14-15

Celebrate the season as the Jacksonville Symphony and Chorus perform Handel’s Messiah, one of the most inspiring works of music ever written.

20. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the Musical - December 20

All of your favorite characters from the original TV special including, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, the Misfit Toys and, of course, Rudolph, come to life in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.

21. Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker- December 22

This Christmas give your family the gift of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker! Step into a simpler time filled with sweet dreams and Christmas magic. With world-class artists, over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets and soaring birds, don’t miss your chance to ring in the holidays with this acclaimed Christmas extravaganza.

22. Ring in the New Year at Topgolf-December 31

Topgolf is ringing in the New Year by throwing one of our biggest parties of the year. Enjoy live entertainment, a chef-inspired menu and an unforgettable midnight celebration. Upgrade to the VIP experience for exclusive access to an all-inclusive Premium NYE Feast with carving station and a bottle of bubbly* to share with friends.

23. TaxSlayer Gator Bowl - January 2

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!

24. Lighting on Springfield Christmas Tree - November 23

To celebrate Springfield's 150th anniversary, a 25’ Christmas tree will be installed in Sesquicentennial Park located at 1527 N Main Street. On Saturday, November, 23rd the community will gather to decorate the Christmas tree and officially light the tree and place the topper. Enjoy music and karaoke provided by DJ Ed Spencer.