Top 20 St. Augustine Holiday Events

Surf Illumination

Nov. 17: The holiday season starts at St. Augustine Beach from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17 at the St. Augustine Beach Pier Park, 350 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach. The Christmas tree lights will be turned on and holiday music, free childrens activities, food, drinks and fun will be part of the FREE event.

Holly Jolly Shopping Spree

Nov. 18:  Shop locally in Uptown St. Augustine shops on the Holly Jolly Shopping Spree from 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18.  The Carrera Wine Cellar’s Sparkling Soirée, 67 San Marco Ave., kicks off the event from 9 to 10 a.m. After mingling and sipping, catch a sightseeing trolley (Old Town Trolley Tours) for a a whirlwind shop-a-thon that meanders along San Marco Avenue, with silent auction items and photobooth along the way. Oh, and there is a scheduled layover at Raintree Restaurant, where you will be served a tasty lunch and have a chance to win raffle prizes. Tickets are $45, available at hollyjollyshoppingspree.com

Nights of Lights image from floridashistoriccoast.com

Nights of Lights

Nov. 18-Jan. 31: During Nights of Lights, St. Augustine glows with holiday magic from the ground to the rooftops.  Selected by National Geographic in 2011 and 2012 as one of the 10 best holiday lighting displays in the world, St. Augustine’s Night of Lights features millions of tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the nation’s oldest city. Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays, the spectacular lighting reflects the city’s history and illuminates the beautiful setting for lasting holiday memories. The lights are turned on at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 and come on a sunset each evening through January 31. Go to nightsoflights.com for more details.

  • FREE PARKING & SHUTTLES into downtown —

200 San Sebastian View and 301 San Marco Ave.

Dressing Downton

Oct. 4-Jan. 7: The Dressing Downton exhibit opens Oct. 4 in Lightner Museum’s Grand Ballroom Gallery, 75 King St., downtown St. Augustine. **The gift shop features holiday items and Christmas ornaments! Dressing Downton, Changing Fashion for Changing Times is an exquisite exhibition of 36 costumes and accessories paired to perfection in engaging vignettes, immersed amongst Otto Lightner’s collection of turn of the century fine art and furniture. Many museum pieces in storage and others presently being restored will be on view for the first time as a part of the exhibition, masterfully displayed in the Museum’s Grand Ballroom Gallery. Admission is $19.99 for adults, $14.99 for military/students/seniors, $9.99 ages 12-17, and free for ages 11 and younger. Go to www.lightnermuseum.org/dressing-downton

St. Augustine Art & Craft Festival

Nov. 25-26: This annual festival hosted by the St. Augustine Art Association on Thanksgiving weekend features 150 artists offering painting, pottery, jewelry, glassware, sculpture, fiber art, photography and mixed media at Francis Field, 29 W. Castillo Drive, in downtown St. Augustine next to the parking garage. The event is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25; and 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26. Admission is $2. A Kids Zone will feature rock painting and other free crafts. Go to staaa.org for more details.

Coney Island Christmas

Nov. 30-Dec. 23: Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Margulies weaves together nostalgia, music and merriment in this new seasonal classic. A holiday show for people of all ages and all faiths, Coney Island Christmas, introduces us to Shirley Abramowitz, a young Jewish girl who (much to her immigrant parents’ exasperation) is cast as Jesus in the school’s Christmas pageant. As Shirley, now much older, recounts the memorable story to her great-granddaughter, the play captures a timeless and universal tale of what it means to be an American during the holidays. Coney Island Christmas is on stage November 30-December 23 at Limelight Theatre, 11 Old Mission Ave., in uptown St. Augustine with FREE parking. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. TICKETS: Call 904-825-1164 or choose your seats at limelight-theatre.org

The Light of Christmas

Dec. 1-3, Dec. 8-10, and Dec. 15-25: The annual FREE drive-through Christmas light display called The Light of Christmas is on view at Turning Point at Calvary, 3500 State Road 16, in St. Augustine. Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1-3, Dec. 8-10, and Dec. 15-25. The Light of Christmas features more than a half million lights that create scenes and giant Christmas trees that dance to music. Guests will be asked to turn to a specific radio station to hear the holiday music as they travel the route of The Light of Christmas.  Admission is FREE. For more Information, call 904-829-9795 or go to www.tpcalvary.com

The 2017 event begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, December 2 along San Marco Avenue in downtown St. Augustine. Photo by Renee Unsworth/Totally St. Augustine

St. Augustine Christmas Parade

Dec. 2: Floats, Santa, marching bands, horses, pirates and other units will travel down San Marco Avenue promptly at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 as part of the 63rd Annual St. Augustine Christmas Parade. The parade begins on San Marco Avenue at the Mission of Nombre de Dios and continues through the downtown streets of historic St. Augustine along the bayfront, and ending behind the Visitors Center on Castillo Drive. San Marco Avenue and other downtown streets will be closed during the event. Arrive early to find parking and claim your spot. Contact Linda Abbott, Parade Coordinator, at 904-824-4997 or go to staugustinesocial.com/christmas-parade/

A scene from the 2014 St. Augustine Winter Spectacular dance show by The Dance Company. Photo by Jana Knox Vallone, LoveCountry Photography & Designs

Winter Spectacular

Dec. 2-3: The Dance Company stages this holiday show at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 2; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 3 in Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St., downtown St. Augustine. St. Augustine Winter Spectacular is a family-friendly, entertaining holiday production that follows a young girl’s journey home for the holidays. Filled with a variety of dance styles, characters, and holiday scenes to kick off the season, the show offers an exciting and unique experience for St. Johns County residents and visitors. Tickets are $15 to $25, available at Staugustinewinterspectacular.com or showtix4u.com

Christmas Tour of Homes

Dec. 3: The Christmas Tour of Homes is hosted by The Garden Club of St. Augustine. This walking tour features St. Augustine residences decorated by members of the Garden Club. Go to www.gardenclubofstaugustine.org

Luminary Night

Dec. 6: Community members and visitors are invited to enjoy live music, hot beverages and holiday cheer from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6 during Luminary Night at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, 81 Lighthouse Ave., St. Augustine. FREE to the public, this year’s holiday open house will feature performances by the St. Augustine High School Chamber Ensemble and Guitar Club, and the Anastasia String Quartet, whose Christmas melodies will exuberate from the walls of the lighthouse tower. The festivities will also include a children’s holiday crafts and an opportunity to visit with Santa Claus. The celebration takes place amidst the flickering glow of over 1,500 luminaries spread through the light station grounds. Admission is free. Go to staugustinelighthouse.com

Kids pet a camel, one of many animals featured in A Bethlehem Visit at Ponte Vedra Presbyterian Church. The live nativity always includes animals in its cast. Maggie.FitzRoy@jacksonville.com

A Bethlehem Visit

Dec. 8-9: Take a walk through the town of Bethlehem and see how it might have looked on the night of Jesus’ birth. Seek out the lowly manger and the Christ Child. Hours are 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 10. at Ponte Vedra Presbyterian Church, 4510 Palm Valley Road, Ponte Vedra Beach. A cast of more than 200 people, plus live animals, portray the  residents, merchants and craftsmen. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Admission is FREE. Parking is $5 per vehicle at the PGA Tour lot off County Road 210, with FREE shuttles. The church is located 2.5 miles west of A1A. Call 904-285-8225 or go to www.pvpc.com

Regatta of Lights

Dec. 9: St. Augustine’s annual Regatta of Lights begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 9 on Matanzas Bay, sponsored by the St. Augustine Yacht Club. View boats decorated in lights and holiday decor, all parading along the bayfront near the Bridge of Lions. Arrive early to find parking and a spot to watch the parade. Spectators can view the event for FREE. Call 904-824-9725 or go to www.staugustineyachtclub.com

St. Augustine Historic Inns Coastal Christmas Tour

Dec. 9-13: The 24th Annual St. Augustine Bed and Breakfast Holiday Tour is features five days of festive hospitality, history, and holiday cheer. See more than 20 B&Bs and 10 bonus properties in St. Augustine’s many historic districts, all decorated for the holidays. This celebrated event has become a tradition in St. Augustine, showcasing the ancient city’s array of romantic inns decked out for the season and taste their restaurant partners samples. For tickets, go to www.staugustinebandbtour.com

Amahl & The Night Visitors by First Coast Opera & Emma Concert Association

Dec. 13: EMMA Concert Association and First Coast Opera presents Amahl & The Night Visitors at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 13 in Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St., downtown St. Augustine. First Coast Operawill feature a quartet in Dickens’ era costumes singing carols in the Lewis Auditorium lobby, both before the performance to welcome audience and after the performance. Amahl & The Night Visitors features a story near Bethlehem in the first century, just after the birth of Christ. Amahl, a disabled boy who can walk only with a crutch, has a problem with telling tall tales. Tickets are available at emmaconcerts.com

A Seussified Christmas Carol

Dec. 15-17: A Seussified Christmas Carol will be performed by the Limelight Theatre Teen Club at Limelight Theatre.  A whimsical reinvention of Dickens’ most beloved Christmas story in wacky rhymed couplets. With zoot fruited juices and binka bird geese, from Bed-Headed Fred to Timmy Loo Hoo, this tale of glorious holiday cheer is similar to something Dr. Seuss might have come up with — if he ever had his way with the story! Show times are  5 p.m. Dec. 15-16; and 11 a.m. Dec. 17. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for children. Tickets are available at limelight-theatre.org or 904-825-1164.  

The Santaland Diaries

Dec. 15-16: Apex Theatre presents “The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris” with musical guest Duffy Bishop at 8 p.m. Dec. 15-16 in the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, 1050 A1A North, Ponte Vedra Beach. Tickets are $20. NPR favorite David Sedaris’ “The Santaland Diaries” is a hysterical retelling of one man’s experiences working as an elf at Macy’s Santaland. The Seattle Times calls the show’s subject material “quite possibly the funniest thirty-one pages published in the last quarter century.” “The Santaland Diaries” contains mature content and language. Go to pvconcerthall.com

The party scene of the St. Augustine Ballet’s Nutcracker. Photo by Julie Abella Photography

St. Augustine Nutcracker

Dec. 16-17: St. Augustine Ballet’s The Nutcracker is a family friendly holiday classic production. The cast is comprised of student and professional dancers of all ages. Performances are at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 16-17 at Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St., downtown St. Augustine Tickets are $25 and $30, available at saintaugustineballet.com

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Dec. 16-17: Apex Theatre presents “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” at 1 p.m. Dec. 16-17 in the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, 1050 A1A North, Ponte Vedra Beach. Tickets are $15.  The family-friendly production, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” is based on Barbara Robinson’s classic holiday story about a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant. The couple is faced with casting the Herdman kids — probably the most inventively awful kids in history. This is a one-hour performance for audiences of all ages. Go to pvconcerthall.com

St. Augustine Community Chorus

Dec. 16-17The St. Augustine Community Chorus, under the direction of Mike Sanflippo, will open the 2017-2018 concert season with two December performances of From Prophecy to Peace to be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 16; and 2 p.m. Sunday, December 17 in Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, 38 Cathedral Place, downtown St. Augustine. The chorus will be joined by the St. Augustine Youth Chorus, directed by Kerry Fradley. The program will again feature excerpts from Handel’s Messiah, along with the chamber orchestra, and will include the crowd favorite sing along of the “Hallelujah Chorus” as well as several well-known Christmas carols. Tickets are $20 for adults in advance and $25 at the door, $5 for students and military with I.D. Advanced tickets can be purchased at : Carter’s Jewelry, Flowers by Shirley, Herbie Wiles Insurance, Southern Horticulture, Sterry Piano, and at www.staugustinecommunitychorus.org

It’s A Wonderful Life

Dec. 21-23: Apex Theatre presents the Christmas classic “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at 8 p.m. Dec. 21-22, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 23 in the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, 1050 A1A North, Ponte Vedra Beach. Tickets are $25. This beloved American holiday classic will come to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealist George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful night. Go to pvconcerthall.com

 

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