TAMPA, Fla. — It's officially holiday season in Central Florida. What better way get into the holiday spirit by enjoying local events and festivities with family and friends?
Here are some events across the region to check out:
CURTIS HIXON PARK WINTER VILLAGE
Curtis Hixon Park - 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, FL
Until Jan. 5, 2019
Celebrate the holiday season in Downtown Tampa at the Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park. Located along the Tampa Riverwalk, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is transformed with the sights, sounds and activities of the holidays for children and adults of all ages.
Winter Village Park Tampa
SANTA'S FLIGHT ACADEMY at INTERNATIONAL PLAZA
International Plaza - 2223 N Westshore Blvd, Tampa, FL
Until Dec. 24
Santa’s Flight Academy, a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience, returns to International Plaza and Bay Street from November 8 through December 24. The holiday attraction merges the physical and digital to provide a personalized adventure for every child, and ends with a special visit with Santa.
International Plaza Holidays
VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS STROLL
Henry B. Plant Museum - University of Tampa, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL
Until Dec. 23
During the Victorian Christmas Stroll, visitors will explore the Museum transformed by Christmas trees ranging in height from a few inches to more than 14 feet, 40,000 lights, and hundreds of feet of garland. Decorations include vintage fashions, antique toys, locally sourced items, and fanciful ornaments. With a different theme in every exhibit room, there is something for everyone including an interactive sensory tree activity for visitors with sensory disabilities.
Victorian Christmas Stroll
CHRISTMAS IN THE WILD
Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park, 1101 Sligh Ave, Tampa, FL
Until Dec. 30
Families will experience a merry and memorable evening and immerse themselves in the spirit of the season. From the stunning sights of thousands of twinkling lights, delectable seasonal holiday treats and refreshments, to the wonder and enchantment of wildlife at night – Christmas in the Wild will offer guests of all ages a whimsical holiday experience.
Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park
THE 13 UGLY MEN UGLY SWEATER PARTY
American Social Tampa
601 S. Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa, FL
The legendary 13 Ugly Men bring you their winter wonderland at the dockside of American Social Tampa featuring Santa's village & a second level blizzard dance floor!
13 Ugly Men
UH OH, HERE COMES CHRISTMAS
Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Community Theater - 101 N. Thomas Street, Plant City, FL
Dec. 15 2 PM - 10 PM
15 holiday stories from the international best-selling author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, crafted into a performance of storytelling and song. This charming show takes a funny, heartwarming and often poignant look at the struggle to find the spirit of Christmas.
Plant City Entertainment Shows
CIRQUE MUSICA HOLIDAY
The Yuengling Center - 4202 East Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL
Dec. 16 7 PM - 9 PM
CIRQUE MUSICA HOLIDAY presents Wonderland is a fun-filled concert experience for the whole family featuring the talented cast of Cirque Musica.
Cirque Musica Holiday tickets
COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS CONCERT
First Seventh-day Adventist Church - 822 W. Linebaugh Ave., Tampa, FL
Dec. 16 3 PM - 4:30 PM
Benefit concert to raise funds for the restoration of the 123-year old Steinway grand piano. Concert will feature familiar Christmas tunes with hand bells, choir, piano, organ, chamber orchestra, and more. Free admission, offering collected for piano.
Tampa Adventist Events
SUNDIAL MONEY MACHINE HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY
Sundial St. Pete
Dec. 14 - 16; Dec. 21-23 5 p.m.
The Sundial Money Machine will have thousands of dollars in it for every person who is selected to enter! You’ll have 30 seconds to grab as much cash as you can and put it in the money machine box. After the 30 seconds is up, we’ll count your money and issue a Sun Dollar gift card for the amount you collected. The Sun Dollar gift card is valid at participating Sundial shops + restaurants.
Sundial St. Pete
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
St. Petersburg City Theater - 4025 31st Street South, St. Petersburg, FL
Dec. 7 - 16
$10 - $25
St. Petersburg City Theatre will stage A Christmas Carol as the Holiday Presentation of its 94th season. Scrooge, Tiny Tim, a host of beloved characters and strolling carolers come to life in this spectacular production of the most loved holiday story of all time.
St. Petersburg City Theatre
GULFPORT HOLIDAY CAROLING
Gulfport will host holiday caroling on the trolley Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m. Carolers will meet at the Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd. S. and then board the trolley.
For information, call Lisa Kauffman at 703-517-6469.
Safety Harbor Holiday Parade
The city of Safety Harbor will host its annual holiday parade Saturday, Dec. 15 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
The parade along Main Street will feature floats, vintage cars and Santa.
HOLIDAYS AROUND THE RANCH
Lakewood Ranch Main Street
Dec. 14 6 - 9 PM
Main Street closes to car traffic and revelers will stand in awe as Santa arrives on a horse-drawn carriage. Carolers sing around the fountain leading to the lighting of the Christmas Tree. There will be lots of activities for all, including an outdoor snow slide. Stage performances from local music and dance studios will occur throughout.
Holidays around the Ranch
December 9, 2018: The 35 singers of the Choral Artists of Sarasota lift their voices to “Rejoice!” in a concert of jubilant choral music celebrating the holiday season. “Rejoice!” also marks the 10th anniversary of Dr. Joseph Holt, the innovative leader of the professional choral ensemble. Festive favorites and timeless carols will be preformed. 4 p.m. Tickets: $35 in advance, $40 at the door, $5 student tickets are available with ID at the door. First Church, 104 South Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, FL. More info: 941-387-4900.
December 9, 2018: You're invited to the Chanukah Klezmer Festival featuring the lighting of a 12 foot giant Menorah along with a huge interactive Dreidel House, a Moon Bounce and Hebrew School Performance. In addition there will be a tribute to Pittsburgh, live music with the Freylekh Klezmer Band, a Western Wall replica, along with traditional food and refreshments available for purchase. Sponsored by Chabad of Venice and North Port. Free admission. 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Centennial Park, 200 West Venice Ave.,downtown Venice, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com
December 11 - 23, 2018: The yule tide festivities are back at the Crosley Estate as The Crosley Theater Presents: A Classic Crosley Christmas. Sing carols under the twinkling lights with the Crosley Theater Players then choose two live performances: The Gift of the Magi, Belle’s Story, or A Visit from Saint Nick. Then everyone joins in for our interactive version of A Christmas Carol for laughs and your annual dose of Scrooge’s awakening. There’ll be no Bah Humbug here! December 11-12, 18-19, 23 at 7:30 p.m. and December 13-14, 20-21 at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Crosley Estate, 8374 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL. For tickets and more info click here.
December 13, 2018: It's your chance to enjoy "Deck the Halls at Ca' d'Zan" on the grounds of the Ringling Museum. The mansion is all decked out for the holiday season including a 10' tall tree during extended hours. 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Tickets: $15 Free for members and included with "Art After Five" admission. 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. 941-358-3180. Also on 12/20, 12/27 & 01/03/19.
December 13, 2018: It's time to Celebrate the Christmas season with the sights and sounds of the season including carriage rides, carolers, lighting displays and Santa himself strolling the streets and bringing Christmas Cheer to all. Free. 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Main Street at Lakewood Ranch. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com
December 13 - 15, 2018: It's their 2nd Annual outside guided tour "Walk through the Christmas Story" featuring 12 sets with 65 fully costumed actors. There's also live Christmas music, hot chocolate/cookies, gift for every child, live manger scene with animals and Shepherds scene with more animals. Free. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Liberty Baptist Church, 4249 Bahia Vista St, Sarasota, FL. (The corner of Bahia Vista & McIntosh.)
December 13 - 16, 2018: Step back in time and experience the story of the first Christmas as The Tabernacle Church presents The Living Nativity. Experience "Bethlehem" and enjoy this favorite holiday tradition. Featuring nearly 100 cast members, live animals, and flying angels. Attendees will be able to interact with costumed cast members and kids will be able to pet manger animals. A hospitality area will serve hot chocolate, coffee, and holiday cookies. All performances are held outside, weather permitting. Admission and parking are free. One performance nightly at 7:30 p.m. Church grounds.The Tabernacle Church, 4141 Desoto Rd, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota
December 14, 2018: Get your toes tapping at "Jazz at Two"with the Sarasota Jazz Project Big Band. One of the finest big bands in the Bay area, the Sarasota Jazz Project is dedicated to the preservation, promotion and performance of big band jazz music. The band is comprised of the best available local musicians, many with resumes and careers in performing with name bands and other well known jazz musicians. Directed by George McLain, co-founder. $10 for Sarasota Jazz Club members, $20 for non-members. 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota. More info at: 941 366-1552.
December 15, 2018: Celebrate the Holiday Season as The Manatee Community Concert Band performs: "Celebration! A Holiday Concert." The concerts will be filled with your favorite holiday music. Donations accepts. Free general seating. 7 p.m. Neel Performing Arts Center, 5820 26th St. W., Bradenton, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com
December 16, 2018: Enjoy a concert by the Sarasota Suncoast Concert Band. Showtime is 3 p.m. Admission is $5. Advance ticket purchase is recommended. Call 941-907-4123 for availability. Northminster Presbyterian Church, on Lockwood Ridge, a block south of University Parkway. 3131 61st Street, Sarasota. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota
December 16, 2018: Enjoy the Music of the Season and The 27th Annual First Church Christmas Gala and Carol Sing. "The First Church Singers join in a stirring collaboration with the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra (AMICCO) to perform the popular Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah and The Many Moods of Christmas by Robert Russell Bennett. The combined forces of these two choirs and full orchestra will surround you with the sounds of Christmas at its finest. First United Methodist Church, 104 S. Pineapple Ave, downtown Sarasota. 7 p.m. Parking available in Zenith garage). Free will offering accepted. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota
December 17, 2018: Come out for Ringling by the Bay featuring live music and dancing with Big Night Out. Food and drinks available for purchase. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Admission: $5 - $15. Tickets may be purchased in the Visitors Pavilion on the day of the event. Limited seating is available. Ringling Museum grounds, Bayshore Gardens. 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. 941-358-3180.
December 20 - 23, 2018: More than a million lights shine and twinkle brightly during the Selby Gardens 15th annual "Lights in Bloom" celebration where you can explore and view life-size garden-themed holiday lights that transform the gardens into a tropical wonderland. The tropical holiday paradise includes nightly visits from Santa and his elves (before Christmas Eve), children’s arts and crafts activities and games, plus live entertainment with SoulRCoaster and The Hydramatic. Grilled foods will be available for purchase from the Michael’s on East grill including a cash bar. 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. nightly. Admission: $20 Member Adults; $25 Non-Member Adults; $7 children 5 - 12; Free for those under 5. **Closed on Christmas Day.** Continues Dec. 26 - 30, 2018 and January 1, 2019. 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL.
December 21, 2018: Get your toes tapping at "Jazz at Two" with the Lorri Hafer Quartet. Lorri & Mike Hafer present the “Music of their Life”. Music of composers, such as, Gershwin, Ellington, Jobim, Harry Warren, and the swinging sounds of the Big Band Era and jazz standards. Quartet features former Ellington bassist, John Lamb. $10 for Sarasota Jazz Club members, $20 for non-members. 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota. More info at: 941 366-1552. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota
December 21, 2018: With bells on your toes? It's the Annual Jingle 5k Run/Walk. It's a festive way to enjoy the season and tie jingle bells to your shoelaces, which they will supply, along with lighted flashers.There is Holiday music along the course and live music at the finish plus there is a huge post race party with lots of fun. Registration fees vary from $11 - $35. Day of registration commences at 4:00 p.m. Kids races begin at 6 p.m, 5K Run/Walk begins in waves at 7 p.m. Main Street, Lakewood Ranch. Click here for registration.
December 21, 2018: Check out Friday Night Free Music with Mindy Simmons (Christmas music) in the Gazebo in Centennial Park in downtown Venice. Bring your lawn chair or blanket. 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Free admission. Downtown Venice.
December 21 - 23, 2018: Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary have a live Nativity scene including live animals: camels, donkeys, goats and other animals. Come enjoy this very special time of year with the all the animals. 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. Adults $18, 12 and under $8. Active Military and Veterans receive free admission. 7101 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.
December 21 - 23, 2018: Experience a Country Christmas at Hunsader Farms complete with hayrides, kiddie train rides, a petting zoo, Christmas village, pictures with Santa, outdoor Christmas movies on a big screen and more than 250,000 twinkling Christmas lights. There will also be food vendors and more. 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Admission: $10, Kids 5 and under are free. Free parking. Hunsader Farms, 5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton, FL.
December 22, 2018: Come sing Christmas carols and hear the Christ child’s birth story on the beach as the sun goes down over the water. Bring your chairs, your blankets for a casual and contemporary early Christmas service hosted by Christmas for Sarasota and Church of the Palms. 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Siesta Key Beach, 946 Beach Rd, Siesta Key, FL.
December 25, 2018: The annual Pinecraft Christmas Parade usually draws over 1,000 spectators to this Sarasota Amish and Mennonite Community for the parade, traditionally held on Christmas afternoon, winding through the neighborhood streets. Started by local resident Mike Miller in 1999, it's the biggest event of the year in the neighborhood. Assemble in parking lot at Der Dutchman restaurant, 3713 Bahia Vista Street, beginning at 1:00 p.m. or right soon after lunch. Parade starts soon after that. Anyone is welcome to ride in parade. Pinecraft is near the intersection of Bahia Vista Avenue and Beneva Road in Sarasota.
Holiday Train at The Concourse
Nov 30 - Dec 23, 2018
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Bring the kids and take a ride on The Concourse Grand Railroad Holiday Train while attending the Celebration of Lights. Board the miniature train, and ride into the snowflake tunnel, past Santa’s workshop, the reindeer barn, and gingerbread house
Holiday Traditions Around the World
Dec 17 - Dec 18, 2018
Center for the Arts @ River Ridge - 727-774-7382
This fast-paced, rollicking musical that takes a joyous around the world tour of the dances, songs and stories from Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and many more
Family Cookie Throwdown: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14, at New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St., New Port Richey. Enter your favorite holiday cookie recipe for a chance to win prizes and bragging rights. Cookies will be judged on taste, presentation and originality. Advance signup is required no later than Dec. 10. To participate in the tasting and judging, bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. Call (727) 853-1279. nprlibrary.org.
Anclote Symphonic Winds presents A Christmas Celebration: 7 p.m. Dec. 14, at Richey Suncoast Theatre, 6237 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. The wind ensemble, under the direction of J.R. Farley, includes professional to semi-professional musicians from the Tampa Bay area. Tickets are $8-$10. Call (727) 842-6777. richeysuncoasttheatre.com.
New Port Richey Shrine Club Christmas Party: 6 to 11 p.m. Dec. 15, at Timber Greens Country Club, 6333 Timber Greens Blvd., New Port Richey. The cost is $40 per person, includes dinner. The public is welcome; RSVP by Dec. 11. Call (727) 845-4190.
Hanukkah Celebration: 5 p.m. Dec. 16 at Beth-El Shalom Messianic Congregation, 6209 Congress St., New Port Richey. Celebrate the season with the lighting of a 10-foot menorah, potato latkes, singing Hanukkah songs, dancing, playing games and learning about traditions of the holiday. Bring your own menorah and candles to participate in a united lighting ceremony. Call (727) 375-7502. jewishheritage.net/
Festival of Wreaths
Date: Friday, November 20-Saturday, December 12
Location: Polk County History Center, Bartow
Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Details: Decorated wreaths will be displayed in the History Center from Nov. 20 through Dec. 12 at this fifth annual event. This event promises to be fun and festive for both decorators and bidders alike. Wreaths with exceptional decorating themes will be recognized with the Santa’s Choice designation during the display period. For more information, contact the History Center at 863-534-4386.
Winter Walking Tours
Date: Friday, November 27-Sunday, January 3
Location: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 2:00 p.m. Sunday
Details: Volunteers lead visitors on an hour-long winter walking tour, sharing information about the flora and fauna and guiding visitors through the Gardens from the Visitor Center to the Singing Tower. Included with general Gardens admission.
Elves Shelves Gift Shop
Date: Saturday, November 28-Sunday, December 6
Location: Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 1:00 p.m.-5:00 pm Sunday
Details: This special secret shop is for children only! Gifts will be reasonably priced for children to purchase holiday items for family and friends. Elves Shelves fun includes a wrapping station. Admission is free. Prices vary per item.
Date: The following Tuesdays: December 1, December 8, December 15, December 22
Location: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Details: Be sure to see the vintage Model A’s outside Pinewood Estate, meet historical characters from the 1930s, and catch a few surprise personalities from the past. Tuesdays throughout December. Included with general Gardens admission.
BeFly Bike Tours – Christmas Lights Tours
Date: Fridays & Saturdays: December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19
Location: Beginning at Concord Coffee, Lakeland
Time: 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.
Details: Light lovers can enjoy a magical experience with opportunities to “ooh” & “ahh” over gorgeous holiday displays, much good cheer, and creatively-decorated bikes (and cyclists). Tours cost $30 per person and are limited to 7 adults per group. Bring-your-own-bike is open to all. Reservations required.
Lights of Lakeland
Date: December 4-6; December 11-13
Location: Highland Park Church, Lakeland
Time: 6:30 p.m.- 9 p.m.
Details: Lights of Lakeland 2015 is the TENTH ANNUAL, free walk-thru Christmas experience that the whole family can enjoy! Experience an evening of excitement and wonder filled with your favorite holiday sights, smells and sounds. With over 500,000 lights on display, your family will be able to enjoy: The Grinch, Santa’s Workshop, a reindeer barn, pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus, food trucks, the Sweet Shoppe, a Bethlehem experience with live animals, the General Store for children to Christmas shop on their own and photos with cartoon characters.
Date: Saturdays and Sundays: December 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27;
Monday, December 28-Wednesday, December 30
Location: LEGOLAND Florida, Winter Haven
Time: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (December 20; 26-30)
Details: Bring in the holiday season with a 30-foot tall LEGO Christmas tree made of 270,000 LEGO bricks, life-size LEGO Santa, reindeer and sleigh, festive decorations, LEGO build activity, a LEGO Santa Scavenger Hunt, holiday entertainment and nightly fireworks. LEGO Santa and LEGO Toy Soldier make daily appearances in the Park providing a perfect family photo opportunity.
Florida Flywheelers Christmas in the Village
Date: Friday & Saturday: December 11-12; December 18-19
Location: 7000 Avon Park Cutoff Road Fort Meade, FL 33841
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: The best kept Christmas secret around…the Florida Flywheelers bring a holiday village of sparkling lights, refreshments, & Santa & Mrs. Claus to their tractor site located between Avon Park and Fort Meade. Families can journey through the village on a tram pulled by a tractor while enjoying fun Christmas displays. There are also stops for free hotdogs, cookies, hot chocolate, eggnog and cider along the way. Admission is a monetary or toy donation.
Date: Saturday, December 12; Saturday, Dec. 19; Monday-Wednesday, Dec. 21-23
Location: Explorations V Children’s Museum, Lakeland
Time: 10 a.m.-12 p.m. or 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Details: Decorations and holiday fun for kids of all ages. On December 21-23, children can choose to attend Santa’s Workshop at 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and/or Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen at 1 p.m.-3p.m.
Date: Saturday, December 12; Saturday December 19; Tuesday, December 22
Location: Lake Eva Park, Haines City
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Details: Bring your chairs and blankets for Haines City’s Christmas-themed movie series in the park. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase.
December 12- A Christmas Carol; December 19- Elf; December 22- The Polar Express
Winter Ice Skating
Date: Sunday, December 20-Sunday, January 3
Location: The Lakeland Center (George Jenkins Arena)
Time: Times vary by date.
Details: Public ice skating returns to The Lakeland Center this winter with morning, afternoon, evening, and late evening sessions on various days. Click the title link to see times and dates.
Breakfast with Santa – Haines City
Date: Saturday, December 12
Location: Egg City, Haines City (35510 US Hwy 27)
Time: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Details: Join Haines City Parks and Recreation at Egg City where Santa and Mrs. Claus will great the children and pose for pictures. Admission is included with the purchase of a meal. Bring your cameras.
Breakfast with Santa at the Y
Date: Saturday, December 12
Location: Fontaine Gills Family YMCA, Lakeland (2125 Sleepy Hill Road)
Time: 9 a.m.
Details: Join the YMCA of West Central Florida for the annual FREE holiday event at the Fontaine Gills Family YMCA featuring professional pictures with Santa, bounce houses for toddlers and school-age children, cookie decorating, crafts and more.
Date: Saturday, December 12
Location: Homeland Heritage Park (249 Church Avenue, Homeland)
Time: 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Join Polk County Parks and Recreation for live music, photos with Santa, refreshments, a holiday kid zone, outdoor movie, and more. Admission is free.
Date: Saturday, December 12
Location: Downtown Davenport (Lake Play & Bay Street)
Time: 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Winterfest festivities will include a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, electric night time parade, cookie decorating, lighting of Lake Play Park, and a cruise-in with classic cars, vendors and SNOW.
Classic Car Cruise In – 4-8 p.m.
Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus – 4:30 p.m.
Lighting of Lake Play Park – 6 p.m.
Nighttime Electric Parade – 7 p.m.
Date: Thursday, December 17
Location: Winter Haven Recreational & Cultural Center
Time: 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Join us for a fun-filled night that the entire family can enjoy. The event which is open to all ages will feature holiday crafts, gingerbread house making contest, musical chairs and more! Refreshments will be served.
Date: Thursday, December 17
Location: Central Park, Winter Haven
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: Bring the family downtown to frolic in Winter Haven’s very own winter wonderland. There will be 70 tons of snow making up the snow slide and snow pile for children and adults to enjoy. After the kids are done visiting Santa and Mrs. Claus, they can take a train ride, jump in the bounce house, and enjoy all the other activities that will be available.
Date: Saturday, December 19
Location: Dixieland, Lakeland
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: Don’t miss the opportunity for free photos with Santa at Access Church (6-8), live music and holiday drinks at Concord Coffee (6-9), adult coloring at Art Centric Studio (7-9), a special Christmas raffle at A Kind Place (6-8:30), and special deals and desserts at Fat Maggie’s, all located in Dixieland (6-8:30).
34TH ANNUAL HOMOSASSA CHRISTMAS BOAT PARADE
Register at The Freezer
The parade will begin at 6 p.m. at Marker 75 by Bird Island. An awards ceremony will immediately follow the parade at Homosassa Springs Marina. Food and beverages will be available. Awards: residential first place – $500; commercial first place – $500; second place and third place prizes for both residential and commercial.
There will be a captains meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the Freezer.
Candy Cane Acres: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 16, Hernando County Fairgrounds, 6436 Broad St., Brooksville. Includes photos with Santa, cookie decorating, a Parade of Trees and holiday lights, Lego and model train display and more. $10 per carload, includes 10 free tickets. Additional tickets are 50 cents each. Call (352) 796-4552. hernandofairgrounds.com
Christmas on Main Street: Brooksville Main Street will host ongoing Christmas events in downtown Brooksville through Dec. 25. Snowfall and the Christmas tree light show at the Hernando County courthouse steps (20 N Main St.) is offered from 6 to 8 p.m. daily, with carolers entertaining from 6 to 7 p.m. Call (352) 540-6409 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Road to Bethlehem" Live Nativity: 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8, at Hernando Park. Provided by Hillside Community Baptist Church.
Kiwanis Club of Brooksville’s annual Christmas Parade: 10 a.m. Dec. 9, through downtown Brooksville. Beginning on Oakwood Drive, and winding down Howell Avenue and Main Street, then turning down Broad Street and ending at Bell Avenue. This year’s theme is "Toys, Trains and Candy Canes." Call (352) 540-3850.
Night of Lights Tour: 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 9, at Hernando Heritage Museum, 601 Museum Court, Brooksville. Tour the decorated 14-room Victorian home. Includes Christmas carols, hot chocolate, cookies and appearances by Santa and his reindeer. Children can write letters to Santa in the museum’s post office, and find the mouse in the house to win prizes. $5 per person. Call (352) 799-0129. hernandohistoricalmuseumassoc.com.
A Christmas Carol: 7 p.m. Dec. 7, 8 and 9 and 2 p.m. Dec. 10, Springstead Theatre, 3300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Reserved seats; $15, $10 students. Call (352) 797-7010. shstickets.com
Winter Waterland: 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 8-16, at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, 6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee. Santa and his elves join the Weeki Wachee mermaids for the annual holiday show which includes a live nativity, light show and holiday activities. This year’s theme is Polar Express. Tickets $8, $5 ages 6-12, 5 and younger are free. Call (352) 592-5656. weekiwachee.com
Hernando Beach Christmas Boat Parade: 6 p.m. Dec. 9, at Hernando Beach Yacht Club, 4163 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach. Doors open at 5 p.m. Decorate your boat and enter or watch the parade from the yacht club. Travels to Marlin Canal, Cheeks Creek canal, Tarpon canal and returns to the dock. Parade entry fee is one new unwrapped toy. Register from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7 at the yacht club. Call (206) 919-8921.
Hernando Youth Orchestra Christmas Concert: 2 p.m. Dec. 10, Stage West Community Playhouse, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. The event benefits the nonprofit organization which began nine years ago by John St. John of Brooksville. 2 p.m. Tickets $10. Call (352) 683-5113.
Christmas Carriage Rides: 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 13 and 20, departing from the Hernando County Government Center, 20 N Main St., Brooksville. $5 per person. Rides depart every 15 minutes. Two different rides available (north district and south district). Call (352) 540-6409.
Homosassa Christmas Boat Parade: 6 p.m. Dec. 16, Homosassa Springs Marina, 10806 W Halls River Road, Homosassa. Parade begins at Marker 75 by Bird Island. An awards ceremony will follow parade at the marina. Food and beverages available for purchase. Call (561) 441-5143 or (352) 302-5779.
Christmas Kaleidoscope: 7 p.m. Dec. 14, Brookridge Clubhouse, 8150 Hampton St., west of Brooksville. The holiday musical revue is a high energy song and dance production. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets $20, season tickets available. Call (352) 610-4901.
Hernando Symphony Orchestra presents "Sounds of the Season" concert: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16, 2 p.m. Dec. 17, at Central High School, 14075 Ken Austin Parkway, west of Brooksville. The holiday program will feature guest soloists, the Nature Coast Brass, performing holiday favorites and a sing-a-long. Arrive early and meet and mingle with orchestra members. Tickets $18 adults, $5 students K-12. Call (352) 515-6993. hernandosymphony.com