Taste of the Holiday
To celebrate the holidays and highlight delicious offerings, Winn-Dixie in Destin will host a Taste of the Holiday sampling event for the community from 2-6 p.m. Dec. 22 at 981 U.S. Hwy. 98. Winn-Dixie team members will take part in the “From Our Family to Yours” program by preparing and serving personal family favorites, recipes kids enjoy.
Ballet Conservatory and Destin School of Music and Dance present the annual production of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, at 2 p.m. Dec. 22 in the South Walton Beach High School Auditorium, 645 Green Trail in Santa Rosa Beach. The program features more than 80 local dancers.
Order tickets at www.FloridaBalletConservatory.com or call 837-1133. Tickets are $15/reserved seating and $20/cash only at the door.
Santa at the Harbor
Children can visit with Santa Claus from 12-4 p.m. Dec. 22 and 23 at HarborWalk Village. Pictures are available through HD Action Photography.
Santa Tuck-In Program
Guests at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort will receive a special visit from Santa, a personalized gift for each child and hear a bedtime story for a small fee every Friday and Saturday through Dec. 22. Proceeds go to Toys for Tots. To make reservations, call 866-657-7271 or email Santa@sandestin.com.
It’s A Wrap! Kitty Cat!
Feline Friends of Destin will host a gift-wrapping fundraiser from 12-6 p.m. Dec. 22-23 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Destin. Gifts will be wrapped for donations to support the all-volunteer, nonprofit cat rescue program. Call 837-3869.
A Classic Christmas
Bass Pro Shops’ Santa’s Wonderland, A Classic Christmas, returns for its fifth year with a more than 3,500-square foot Christmas village full of games, activities and crafts for the whole family through Dec. 24.
With both animated and live elves, nutcrackers, reindeer and more, the village offers an old-time model train area, remote control trucks, a laser arcade, a soft gun range and slot car racing. Activity tables give children opportunity to write a letter to Santa, color and do fun crafts every day of the week — all free.
Santa will be in residence from 3-8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 12-5 p.m. Sundays.
Festival of Trees
More than a dozen decorated Christmas trees will be on public display during the Festival of Trees from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Dec. 25 at Grand Park in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin.
Wednesday Night Concerts
Enjoy a special holiday edition of the Concert Series as the Shrimpboat Cowboys warm up for New Year’s Eve from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 26 in the Events Plaza at the Village of Baytowne Wharf.
Enjoy a holiday family tradition in DeFuniak Springs as the Lakeyard lights up with the annual Christmas Reflections displays from 5-9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31. A variety of Victorian, animal and toy soldier cutouts, Santa’s workshop, the grandfather clock ticking away, and the real reason for the season, the Nativity Scene all surrounded by more than 3 million twinkling trees.
Admission is $3 per person, children under 6 free. A season pass is available for $35 and is good for a vehicle with up to six people. Horse drawn carriage rides are available for an additional fee. Call 974-6774.
Join Fonville Press for cocktails, a variety of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, white chicken chili, and live music by Kyle LaMonica from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 31 at 147 N. Charles St. in Alys Beach.
Blues & Black Ties
V Seagrove hosts New Year’s Eve in style at its Blues & Black Ties event from 6-11:30 p.m. Dec. 31 at 2743 Scenic Highway 30A in Seagrove Beach. Make reservations at 468-0973 to enjoy live music while toasting the New Year at midnight.
Close out 2012 with an incredible celebration on Dec. 31 beginning at 6 p.m. with live music from artists including Tony Lucca (Finalist on NBC’s The Voice), Jacob Jeffries Band, and Brendan James at the Seaside Amphitheater. Also featured will be street performers, children’s activities, and fireworks to ring in 2013 in grand fashion at the stroke of midnight.
The Carillon Beach Institute will host a free concert from 9 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31 on the Carillon Beach Village Green as a special part of the Groovin’ On The Green Summer Concert Series. Bring family and friends, along with your chairs (and blankets) and join the community to celebrate Groovin’ in the New Year.
Harbor Rockin' Street Party
Dine, drink and dance into the New Year throughout HarborWalk Village with the Annual HarborWalk Village Street Party beginning at 7 p.m. Enjoy live music and drink specials throughout all of the restaurants, as well as a rockin’ performance from Jim Beam’s Emerging Artist The Andy Velo Band on the HarborWalk Village main stage. Fireworks begin at 8 p.m. and midnight and the Fifth Annual Ball Drop over the Destin Harbor make this one New Year’s Eve party you won’t want to miss.
Don’t miss The Village of Baytowne Wharf's end-of-year party, Baytowne Countdown, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dance the night away and enjoy breathtaking fireworks as they light up the sky over the lagoon at midnight. The Countdown will feature the sounds of Motown from The Amazing Hat Band from 7-9 p.m. Then get ready for the ultimate Bon Jovi/Journey experience from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on the Events Plaza stage. The event is free.
Pier Park Beach Ball Drop
Celebrate the arrival of 2013 in style during the Pier Park Beach Ball Drop 2012. The Family Celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. and includes stilt walkers, mascots, prize zone drawings, and live entertainment. At 8 p.m., the Family Beach Ball Drop and Fireworks takes place.
The Countdown Celebration starts at 8:30 p.m. and includes live radio remotes, prize zone drawings, special appearance by local dignitaries, live entertainment, fireworks and more. Headliner performance at 10:45 p.m. will be country music star, singer/songwriter James Otto.
The Midnight Celebration features live entertainment, fireworks and the New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop. This free annual event is known for its glowing 800-pound beach ball drop at midnight.
Celebrate Safe-Celebrate Twice
Start in the Eastern Time Zone in Port St. Joe and St. Joe Beach, then travel west to Mexico Beach and celebrate all over again an hour later in the Central Time Zone during Celebrate Safe-Celebrate Twice New Year’s Eve festivities. A free-service shuttle will transfer patrons back and forth between Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe as they celebrate in two different times zones. Call 229-7800.