December 2020 & January 2021: Holiday and New Year events in St. Augustine

Nights of Lights

Daily through Jan. 31, 2021: The City of St. Augustine glows with more than 3 million white lights during the 27th annual Nights of Lights — an event that was recognized by National Geographic as one of the Top 10 light displays in the world. The lights come on at sunset every evening. There are many options for viewing the lights, including driving through in your own vehicle (we recommend weeknights, and in January, for less traffic congestion). From trolley rides, by helicopter, on boat tours, horse & carriage rides, pub crawls, and food tours — see the city in many ways, all lit up during the holiday season. More details at

Elkton’s Bright Lights Drive-Thru at Sykes Family Farm

Daily through Jan 2Sykes Family Farm, 5995 Brough Rd., Elkton, FL 32033, offers a drive thru light display with thousands of gorgeous lights and farm equipment decorated for the holidays. The light show is approximately 3/4 of a mile long with two tunnels and thousands of lights. Ticket purchases include unlimited laps around per night.

From November 28, 2020 through January 2, 2021 from Thursday-Sunday, experience the lights from 6-9:30 p.m. every Thursday and Sunday; and from 6-10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Admission is $20 per car/truck/van with up to 7 people. Tickets can be purchased online at  No refunds, as tickets are valid for the entire season.

The Light of Christmas

Dec. 18-25: 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. 18-25. 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

Very Merry Nights of Lights Scavenger Hunt

Daily through Jan. 31: The 13 Keys Scavenger and Mystery offers an interactive experience throughout the nation’s oldest city. During Nights of Lights through January 31, this scavenger hunt features holiday-themed fun as guests make their way through the historic district under 3.5 million lights – following clues, solving puzzles, and cool photo challenges! This adventure is fun for all ages! What to bring? An attitude for fun, your wits, comfortable weather-appropriate clothing and shoes, and a fully-charged cell phone. The 13 Keys provides everything else you need to have a great time in the ancient city! Book online at or call 904-217-9164.

Villa Zorayda Holiday Tours

Select nights through Jan. 31: The Villa Zorayda Museum offers a Christmas Tree Lighting Holiday Tour during the Nights of Lights season, with a spectacular Christmas tree in the Court of Lions that is lit each night during the event. The Museum goes dark each evening and a dramatic lighting of the Christmas tree takes place. Those who attend a tour will have a chance to view Victorian and traditional decorations throughout every room, as well as more than 100 lit candles — creating a beautiful glow. The Villa Zorayda building is a replica of the Alhambra Palace in Spain. Built in 1883 by Bostonian Franklin W. Smith, the museum features an impressive 135-year-old history, as well as antiques from around the world. For details, visit or call 904-829-9887.

Nights of Lights Sailing Excursions

Select nights through Jan. 31: Float away from the crowds and enjoy stunning views of Nights of Lights from the water. St Augustine Sailing offers three options aboard a luxury sailboat. To book a charter, visit or call 904-829-0648.
✨ TWINKLE PACKAGE: A one-hour charter for $79 per person, with a total of six people on the sailboat. The cruise includes delectable desserts, festive beverages served in a commemorative mug, and a photo to highlight your special memory.
✨SPARKLE PACKAGE: A private two-hour charter (up to six guests) with sweet and savory bites, festive beverages in a commemorative mug, and a photo to highlight your special memory.
✨ GLITTER PACKAGE: A three-hour experience that includes a 4-course dinner prepared by a private chef, wine, signature beverages in a commemorative mug, and a photo to highlight your special memory. Nights of Lights in St. Augustine, Florida runs each evening through January 31, 2021. 

The Nutcracker Ballet

Dec. 18-20: Saint Augustine Ballet presents the 12th Annual Nutcracker to the community — a timeless classic featuring area dance students. This holiday favorite will be staged December 18-20, 2020 in Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St., downtown St. Augustine. Seating is safely socially distanced, with a limited number of tickets available in advance for each performance. Show times are 7 p.m. Friday, December 18; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 19; and 2 p.m. Sunday, December 20, 2020. Tickets are $35, $45 to $50, available at or by calling 855-222-2849.

A Christmas Story at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall

Dec. 18-20: Celebrate the holidays with hilarity and Apex Theatre Studio this December! On Friday, December 18 through Sunday, December 20, Apex Theatre Studio will present “A Christmas Story,” a full-length comedy based on the beloved film at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. Show dates and times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18-19; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20. Limited capacity tickets are $32 per guest, on sale at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall box office and at More details about Apex Theatre Studio at 

Holiday Heist at the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum

Select evenings Dec. 18-Jan. 2: The Ximenez-Fatio House Museum on Aviles Street in downtown St. Augustine offers a holiday event with a spin — Heist at the Museum: Who Killed Ebenezer Scrooge? The year is 1848. The loveable, kind-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge was found murdered at the Sarah Petty Anderson Boarding House. Authorities believe that the killer is still on the property, but they can’t be certain who committed this heinous act. Eight suspects have been identified, all with strong motives … some not so strong – some aren’t even realistic suspects, the local constable simply doesn’t like them!
There are eight rooms that are potential crime scenes, eight murder weapons, and eight suspects. Who killed Ebenezer Scrooge? Guests have 90 minutes to figure it out. For reservations, call 904-829-3575 or visit

Nights of Lights Under the Sea at St. Augustine Aquarium  

Saturday, Dec. 19: One of the most kid-friendly holiday events in the area, the St. Augustine Aquarium hosts Nights of Lights Under the Sea with two time slots each night on Dec. 12 and Dec. 19 — from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and 6:3o to 8 p.m. The event will include Underwater Santa Claus swimming with the fish, Mermaids meet-and-greet and photo ops, Mermaid Candy Candy Chute, SNOW, Sharks and Rays Feedings, Touch Tank with Starfish and Horseshoe Crabs. Call 904-429-9777 for reservations.

Vilano Beach Saturday Artisan Market at Airstream Row

Saturday, Dec. 19: An Artisan Market will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 at Airstream Row, 190 Vilano Road, just before the Vilano Beach Pier — hosted by Vilano Beach Main Street and Merry Tate’s Airstream Shop. Santa Claus will be available for a Covid-friendly photo op from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a backdrop from Old City Occasions. Vendors include: Crochet with Passion, The Plant Moms, The Honey Lady, and Off with Her Head Hats. In addition to shopping and holiday fun, donations will be accepted for Hopefull Handbags, a St. Augustine-based nonprofit that helps domestic violence survivors. Those who donate will be entered into a drawing to win items from The Plant Moms and Merry Tate’s. Airstream Row weekend hours are 12-5 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 12-5 p.m. Sunday.  Follow these Facebook pages: Merry Tate’s and Vilano Beach Main Street

St. Augustine Beach Art walk and Shop & Dine the Beach

Dec. 19: Take a stroll down A1A Beach Boulevard and visit local artists in various locations including: Embassy Suites Hotel, LYMI, The Art Studio, 14th and 10th Street parkettes, Café 11, Coneheads Ice Cream Shop, The Sunshine Shop, Kookaburra and more! The Beach Art Walk will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, December 19 in various locations St. Augustine Beach. 

A collaboration with the Art Studio of St. Augustine Beach, this event will feature artists and artisans with many diverse items — from paintings, photography, prints, pottery, sculpture, jewelry and stained glass and local authors. Holiday themed pieces as well as affordable gift items will be available — all handmade, all local. Many local businesses are offering something special during the event, from hosting artists, special sales, and even entertainment, there is something for everyone. The City of St. Augustine Beach invites residents and visitors to participate in the festivities. More details at

Swamp Radio Virtual Live Radio Show – Fundraiser for the Florida Theatre

Dec. 22: Swamp Radio, a live radio experience celebrating all things Northeast Florida, will return for a special holiday reunion show on Tuesday, December 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Florida Theatre via live Zoom broadcast. The show’s proceeds will go toward the Florida Theatre Worker Relief Fund to help those impacted by a challenging year navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During the Swamp Radio Holiday Reunion, virtual audiences will enjoy stories, songs, and interviews that celebrate the holidays on the First Coast. A full cast of artist contributors are slated to perform. Best of Jax award-winning comedian Derek Coghlan, a St. Augustine resident, will share a hilarious and moving tale of his family’s Christmas morning hijinks. Author Teri Youmans Grimm’s memories of Bing Crosby and David Bowie will promote a message of holiday unity, and St. Augustine novelist Laura Lee Smith’s cherished Christmas memories are bound to get audiences in the seasonal spirit. The fan-favorite Swamp Lady will also return with advice for getting through the holiday season. Virtual tickets for the Swamp Radio Holiday Reunion are available for a suggested donation of $25. To purchase, visit

JSL New Year’s Eve Midnight Masquerade

Dec. 31: Usher in the new year at an outdoor event hosted by the Junior Service League of St. Augustine. A New Year’s Eve Midnight Masquerade will be held from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. December 31 on the outdoor deck of St. Augustine Fish House & Oyster Company — an exclusive preview event for this newly-renovated restaurant, the former location of Creekside Dinery, at 160 Nix Boat Yard Road, St. Augustine. The New Year’s Eve Midnight Masquerade will include an open bar, live music by popular band The Paper City Hustlers, heavy appetizers and desserts (served individually and plated for safety), a s’mores bar, and a Vannagram & Co. photo booth. 

Tickets are $125 per guest and all proceeds go to help area nonprofits supported by the Junior Service League of St. Augustine. Each year, JSL provides funding for St. Augustine organizations such as the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, Kids Bridge, Tag! Children’s Museum, and others. Tickets can be purchased at

Stand-up Comedians at Jackie Knight’s Comedy Club

Jan. 1-2 and other January dates: Opening in January 2021 after having been closed since mid-March, Jackie Knight’s Comedy Club will host stand-up comedians on the stage at Gypsy Cab Corner Bar, 830 Anastasia Blvd., on Anastasia Island. Friday shows will begin at 8:30 p.m., and Saturday shows will start at 9 p.m. each weekend through January. 

“I’m happy that the laughter will return,” said Jackie Knight, who has offered stand-up comedy shows in St. Augustine for more than 20 years.

On Jan. 1-2, headliner Johnny Mac and opener Nathan Wallace will take the stage. On Jan. 8-9, Tommy Torres headlines, with Cristy B opening, Open Mic Night is Jan. 15, and Doug Canney headlines with opener Harry Stover on Jan. 16. On Jan. 22-23, Danny Johnson headlines with Matt Watts opening. On Jan. 29-20, Danny Niblock headlines with opener Kevin Loftis. 

For reservations, call 904-461-8843. More details at

First Coast Opera’s America’s Singing Sweethearts

Jan. 7: Known as “America’s Singing Sweethearts” of the 1930s, Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy starred in many popular musical films featuring the operetta music of Sigmund Romberg, Victor Herbert, Rudolf Friml, and others. First Coast Opera continues its ongoing series of artist tributes with America’s Singing Sweethearts, celebrating the careers of soprano Jeanette MacDonald and baritone Nelson Eddy. The pair starred in tuneful movies from the 1930s including Naughty Marietta, Rose Marie, and The New Moon, which featured popular music by Victor Herbert, Rudolf Friml, and Sigmund Romberg. MacDonald and Eddy also enjoyed successful careers in opera and musical theater, as well as on radio, and early television. Hosted by Artistic Director Curtis Tucker, First Coast Opera’s tribute concert will feature singing artists from throughout central and northeast Florida accompanied by Brandon Smith on the concert grand piano in Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College.

“First Coast Opera looks forward to resuming live performances in 2021. Concerts have been designed to prioritize artist and audience safety. While programs may look and feel differently than normal, we believe live performances of wonderful music performed by professional performers is both possible and needed,” said Curtis Tucker, First Coast Opera Artistic Director.

Social distancing and safety protocols will be in place for both artists and audience. Tickets are $35 for adults, and $10 for students. Tickets are available at or by calling 904-417-5555.

Saint Augustine Film Festival Virtual Event – Stream 129 Films

Jan. 14-24: The Saint Augustine Film Festival is going virtual in 2021. The 11th annual event will screen 129 films online from January 14-24, 2021. Originally scheduled for January 14-17 in St. Augustine venues, festival organizers have chosen a different option during the covid-19 pandemic, offering online movie-watching for a safe viewing experience. 

“Well, we gave it our best shot. … we thought if everything was outside, then it could be safe,” said Gregory von Hausch President and CEO, Saint Augustine Film Festival. “but, this plague did not miraculously disappear … and the next two months could be worse of all. With all of that in mind, especially the safety of our audience and staff, and not wanting to be socially irresponsible, we announce SAFF2021 will be a totally virtual event.”

More details available at, including a film guide. The films chosen are created by talented independent filmmakers from around the globe. The cost of a Virtual Pass for all 129 films is $100. A pass for 10 films is $75; and a pass for 5 films is $40. For more details, please visit

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