Christmas & Holidays

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 11- December 24

Regardless of what's on your holiday shopping list, the St. Johns Town Center is your shopping headquarters! Enjoy the dazzling 32-foot tree and take advantage of a photo opportunity with Santa who will be available at the Santa House near Dick’s Sporting Goods to hear holiday wish lists. Shop local and national brands at some of the best stores in the country.

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

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. The Alhambra Theatre and Dining Presents Bruce Allen Scudder's Christmas Carole - November 22- December 24

Get into the holiday spirit at this classic Jacksonville venue. The Alhambra is the oldest operating dinner theater in the nation and its performances and menu are a Jacksonville favorite during the holidays.

4. Pete’s Bar Thanksgiving Day Celebration - November 23

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 on the River at the Jacksonville Landing - November 24 - December 31

The 31st 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.

6. Deck the Chairs - November 24 – 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.

7. Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour - November 25

Jazz saxophonist Dave Koz presents the 20th Anniversary of his Christmas Tour with special guests David Benoit, Rick Braun, Peter White and Selina Albright. Two decades ago, GRAMMY® nominee Dave Koz – a nice Jewish boy – launched his first-ever Christmas tour.

8. SiriusXM Presents The Brian Setzer Orchestra's 14th Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour - November 25

The iconic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and three-time Grammy-Award winner Brian Setzer (“Rock This Town,” and “Jump Jive An’ Wail”) and his 19-piece orchestra whip up a huge dose of retro holiday cheer with their Christmas Rocks! Tour.

9. Holiday Cocktail Tasting - November 29

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.

10. 98° At Christmas - November 30

Pop quartet, 98° (Nick Lachey, Drew Lachey, Jeff Timmons and Justin Jeffre) return to the stage to perform Christmas classics from their soon-to- be released holiday album, and their biggest hits!

11. This Wonderful Life - December 2

This Wonderful Life is a one-man play beautifully acted by Jeremy Kendall. Based on the iconic 1946 holiday favorite film, It’s a Wonderful Life, the production brings to life over 32 familiar people in an amazing display of physical and verbal virtuosity.

12. A Hip Hop Nutcracker with Emcee Kurtis Blow - December 3

The Hip Hop Nutcracker re-imagines Tchaikovsky’s classic score through explosive hip hop choreography.

13. Holiday Pops - December 7-10

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.

14. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens ZOOLights - December 8-January 6

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!

15. 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.

16. 26th Annual Community Nutcracker - December 8-9

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.

17. Trans-Siberian Orchestra - December 14

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 15-17

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.

19. Handel’s Messiah - December 16-17

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.

20. The TEN Tenors: Home for the Holidays - December 20

Direct from Australia, The TEN Tenors perform traditional and contemporary versions of holiday favorites “Joy to the World,” “Sleigh Ride,” “White Christmas,” “Amazing, Grace,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Feliz Navidad” and more.

21. It’s a Wonderful Life - December 22

Film with Orchestra.

22. A Charlie Brown Christmas Live - December 22

The Emmy® and Peabody award-winning story by Charles M. Schulz has been a longstanding tradition, warming the hearts of millions of fans since it first aired on television over 50 years ago. Now, the live on stage adaptation of the classic animated television special brings all your favorite characters to life - all set to the unforgettable sounds of the Vince Guaraldi musical score. Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang in their journey to uncover the true meaning of Christmas.

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

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.

24. Community First Jacksonville Light Boat Parade - December 30

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 7 p.m. and the night ends with a wonderful firework display in Downtown Jacksonville kicking off the TaxSlayer Bowl celebrations.

25. TaxSlayer Bowl - December 30

This annual football game is played at the EverBank Field in Downtown attracting thousands of visitors from out of town. The game matches up one of the top teams from the SEC, the ACC, the Big Ten Conference or Notre Dame. Come experience the excitement as the TaxSlayer Bowl treats thousands of fans to one of the most exciting bowl games in college football!

26. New Year’s Eve: Orchestral Lunacy - December 31

Internationally acclaimed performer Tomáš Kubinek brings hilarity and charm to the Symphony stage in a work of grand music, madcap brilliance and old world panache.

27. 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 2017. Live music, food trucks, craft vendors, and family fun all take place next to the St. Johns River.

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.