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 10

The 13th annual Holiday Spectacular at St. Johns Town Center will kick off the holiday season on Saturday, November 10 from 2-8 p.m. 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. Holiday Cocktail Tasting - November 15

NOLA MOCA presents a tasting of holiday libations and hors d’oeuvres. Featured cocktails will take your holiday party to the next level! Take home our recipes or book your holiday party at MOCA and let our skilled chef and bartenders recreate them for you.

3. WinterFEST at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach- November 16th - January 7th

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.

4. Jax Illuminations 6th Annual Drive Thru Holiday Light Show-November 16-December 30

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.

Free hot chocolate and candy canes included.

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.

5. Pete’s Bar Thanksgiving Day Celebration - November 22

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.

6. Christmas on the River at the Jacksonville Landing-November 23

The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take at 7 p.m. in The Jacksonville Landing’s Courtyard. 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. There will be nightly tree light shows until New Year’s Eve.

7. Deck the Chairs - November 23 – January 1

More than twenty American Red Cross life guard chairs will be decorated in coastal-themed designs and lights in Downtown Jacksonville Beach. Kickoff is the day after Thanksgiving with chair decorating, music, hot cocoa, judging and lighting ceremonies.

8. Go Tuk'n Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl- November 23-December 21

Grab your friends, wear your ugly sweater and ride on what everyone is talking about around town - a Tuk Tuk. Go Tuk'n, the luxury limo Tuk Tuk company, is having Beaches Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl every Friday night (starting November 23) at a reduced rate of only $53 per person (pp) (regularly $62 pp). Three stops AND we buy the first drink at each stop!!

Customized tour based on the taste buds of the group so it is not just beer provided. Tour can take up to 24 guests each time (or as few as 2 people). Check them out at

9. Community First Jacksonville Light Boat Parade - November 24

Whether you are on boat or land, experience the transformation of the St. Johns River as boats of every shape and size are glowing with ambiance and decorations that captivate the imagination! The boat parade begins at 6:30 p.m. and the night ends with a wonderful firework display in Downtown Jacksonville.

10. The Alhambra Theatre and Dining Presents Elf the Musical - November 24 - 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.

11. The Piano Guys: Christmas Together - November 26

Back by popular audience demand, The Piano Guys unite traditional Christmas, classical and pop music for their new holiday show Christmas Together.

12. Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour 2018 - November 29

Grammy-nominated saxophonist Dave Koz returns with his annual Christmas tour. Joining him to perform fresh renditions of Christmas classics, and holiday hits from their respective catalogs are Grammy-nominated Jazz saxophonist Mindi Abair, vocalists Jonathan Butler and smooth jazz keyboardist Keiko Matsui.

13. Jacksonville Holiday Market for Makers- December 1

Once inside the door you will be able to enjoy a holiday themed free DIY flower crown station, Engine15 fresh brews on tap, take photos at our many unique photo walls, music and more! December 1-2 from 11am-4pm Tickets starting at $7 & kids under 12 free!

14. 27th Annual Community Nutcracker - December 7-8

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.

15. Holiday Pops - December 7-9

Jacksonville’s favorite Holiday tradition is back and better than ever. Featuring the talents of the Jacksonville Symphony and Symphony Chorus, guest performers and the area’s only guaranteed snowfall.

16. Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl-December 8th

The nations oldest and original Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl will be taking place in Jacksonville Beach on Saturday, December 8th from 5pm-2am! The crawl, which includes 12 of the beaches favorite bars and restaurants, will include a night of fun, dancing, and philanthropy.

This years event will include complimentary shots and cocktail samples, drink specials all night, chance to win thousands in cash and prizes, a ugly sweater contest, plus much more! Dressing up isn't mandatory, but highly recommended. Check in will be held at the Ritz Bar and Brix Tap House starting at 5:00 PM.

Additionally, there will be a Canned Food Drive benefiting multiple local food banks. Please bring non perishable items to check in to receive an additional raffle ticket (up to 5 depending the amount of food) for your support.

Buy your

17. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens ZOOLights- December 8-January 5

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 can also enjoy marshmallow roasting, the 4-D Theater Ride, carousel rides, warm weather “ice” skating and more!

18. Beaches Polar Express - December 8-9

This two day event will take place Friday, December 8, 2-6 p.m. and Saturday, December 9, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visitors are invited to write a letter to Santa, enjoy cocoa and cookies, make crafts, and enjoy other festivities in the History Park.

19. Home Free Country Christmas - December 9

Since winning NBC’s The Sing Off, country vocal superstars, Home Free have released two albums Crazy Life and Full of Cheer and amassed 185 million views on YouTube.

20. Trans-Siberian Orchestra - December 13

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

21. The Jacksonville Symphony presents First Coast Nutcracker- December 14-16

A tradition in North Florida for more than 40 years, The First Coast Nutcracker Ballet is an experience for the whole family. The Jacksonville Symphony plays Tchaikovsky’s classic for a show that will dazzle and delight.

22. Handel’s Messiah - December 15-16

The greatest story ever told…the most majestic music ever conceived. The Jacksonville Symphony and Chorus present music’s most powerful message of faith in THE Messiah of the season.

23. For King & Country: Little Drummer Boy- December 16

Soaring melodies, driving rhythms, theatrical instrumentation and personal themes are the heartbeat of for KING & COUNTRY. The Australian duo, comprised of brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, brings their headlining Christmas tour to Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

24. A Christmas with Rockapella - December 19

For their new Christmas show, Acapella superstars Rockapella will perform holiday classics like “Silver Bells,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” and “White Christmas” with their original holiday hits “The Hope We Hold,” “Christmas Without You,” and more.

25. 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.

26. Horton's Holiday Hayride featuring Rev. Horton Heat, Junior Brown, The Blasters - December 21

The Rockabilly event of the year comes to the Florida Theatre!

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

Celebrate this Christmas with the experience taking North America by storm! Marking the 25th Anniversary Tour, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker features over-the-top production and world class Russian artists.

28. TaxSlayer Gator Bowl - December 31

This annual football game is played at the TIAA Bank Field in Downtown attracting thousands of visitors from out of town. Watch NC State and Texas A&M play and after a Cole Swindell concert to ring in the new year. Come experience the excitement as the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl treats thousands of fans to one of the most exciting bowl games in college football!

29. New Year’s Eve Celebration- December 31

Fireworks are Jacksonville’s most favorite way to celebrate the holidays, join hundreds of thousands in Downtown Jacksonville on New Year's Eve as the city lights up the night to welcome 2019. Live music, food trucks, craft vendors, and family fun all take place next to the St. Johns River.

30. New Year's from Vienna- December 31

The toast of the town! Join Courtney Lewis and the Jacksonville Symphony for another unforgettable New Year’s Eve. The evening begins with an elegant program of Viennese classics, followed by the best New Year’s party in town with the Chris Thomas Band and capped by a perfect view of the fireworks on the river at midnight!

For all the latest happenings in Jacksonville, view our events calendar or check out our annual, trip-worthy events page to see all the biggest festivals and events throughout the year.

31. 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.

All New Year's Eve packages include unlimited game play from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.** for up to six Guests, front row seats to a midnight fireworks† show and party favors to help celebrate NYE in style.

Tickets can be purchased here:

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