Destin Commons Tree Lighting
Old Saint Nick returns to Destin Commons to light the Christmas tree from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 22. Children and families can enjoy free face painting, photos with Rudolph and Frosty, and a holiday photo booth. The parade kicks off at 7 p.m. as Santa Claus arrives on Main Street to light the tree. Fireworks close the evening.
Santa Arrives at Silver Sands
Silver Sands Premium Outlets welcomes Santa as he arrives on a fire truck at 11 a.m. Nov. 23. Kids can look forward to a variety of cheerful activities, including photos with Santa, face painting and a special surprise from Kris Kringle.
The Nutcracker at Seaside
Join Ballet Pensacola for the seventh annual performance of The Nutcracker at 5 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Seaside Amphitheatre.
Coastal White Christmas Holiday Lights
Starting Nov. 23, visit Grand Boulevard during the holiday season to enjoy decor and programming. The Town Center will feature thousands of beautiful white lights, bringing a festive and inviting spirit to the Boulevard. Open to the public at no charge.
A Holiday Baking Class with Chef Jim Shirah will be held at the Destin Community Center for children ages 8-14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 26 and 27. The fee is $40/residents and $50/non-residents. Each student will learn how to bake and will take home several holiday cookies, treats, and more. Register early or call 654-5184 for more information.
Festival of Trees
Held annually at Grand Boulevard, the Festival of Trees showcases uniquely decorated Christmas trees from 12 local non-profits. The trees debut from 4-6 p.m. Nov. 26 for the public to enjoy and learn more about the missions of these organizations. The trees will remain on display through Christmas Day. Open to the public at no charge.
The Polar Express
Watch a holiday favorite, "Polar Express," at 6 p.m. Nov. 29 on the Events Plaza Lawn at The Village of Baytowne Wharf. Event is free.
Holiday on the Harbor begins with Santa’s grand entrance at HarborWalk Village from 1-4 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Enjoy a Rudolph-themed treasure hunt, free kid’s crafts, activities and letters to Santa. For every letter received, $1 will be donated to Children in Crisis.
Billy Gray Ministries is now holding its annual poinsettia sale. Plants will be delivered to your door Dec. 6 or 7. Delivery area is south of Choctawhatchee Bay from Destin Bridge east to Hwy. 331. Large red or white poinsettias are $25 and medium red is $20. Mail check to Billy Gray Ministries, P.O. Box 6202, Miramar Beach 32550 by Nov. 30 or order online at billy-gray-ministries.square.site
Photos with Santa Claus
Every Saturday Nov. 30-Dec. 21, Santa Claus will be visiting Grand Boulevard for photos from 2-4 p.m. Abrakadoodle Art Education and Parties will offer free, kid-friendly, holiday arts and crafts while waiting.
Wednesday Night Concert Series – Holiday Edition
Get in the winter spirit at the Village of Baytowne Wharf and listen to holiday classics with Valhalla Choir from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 4. Each concert will feature a festive choreographed light show and visits with Santa.
• Dec. 11: Matt McCarty
• Dec. 18: Niceville Opus One
12 Nights of Lights
Enjoy a festive light show from 6-8 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from Dec. 4-21 at the Village of Baytowne Wharf.
Christmas Tree Lighting
The 33rd annual Christmas Tree Lighting, hosted by the City of Destin, will be held at the Destin Community Center at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 with a visit from Santa. There will be entertainment from local choruses, musical groups, etc. with refreshments being served after the lighting. Donations of canned food will be collected for families in need. Call 654-5184 for information.
Kids Classics Club
The featured book for the Kids Classics Club for December is Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol.” Children in third thru fifth grades are invited to join Destin Youth Services Librarian Laura Harris from 4-6 p.m. Dec. 5, 12 and 19. Harris will read from the story each week and children will be provided snacks and enjoy free art expression with watercolors. Those who attend all three weeks will receive a gift copy of the book on Dec. 19. Don’t forget to bring a pillow.
Sounds of the Season
The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) 24th Annual Sounds of the Season will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at Village Church, 101 Matthew Blvd. in Destin.
Horse-drawn Carriage Rides
Enjoy a free, horse-drawn carriage ride around the Town Center in Grand Boulevard from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 6-28 while faux snow falls on the Festival of Trees display in Grand Park. Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s Dickens Carolers will sing holiday carols between 5 and 7 p.m.
Visit with Santa
Celebrate the holidays on the harbor with free kid’s crafts, a Letters to Santa station and a visit with St.Nick from 1-4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 22. All of Santa’s guests will receive a special treat and a free 4×6 photo.
Pancakes With Santa
Have breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 7:30-10 a.m. Dec. 7 at Magnolia Grill in Fort Walton Beach.
on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 7:30-10 a.m. Breakfast available for a minimum donation of $7 person, with funds to benefit NWF Daily News Empty Stocking Fund benefiting the Salvation Army. .
Grayt Holiday Market
Grayton Beer Company will host its Fourth Annual Grayt Holiday Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7. In addition to vendors, the event will include festive craft beers as well as the local brewery’s year-round styles, an appearance by Santa at noon and food for purchase by Grayton Beer Brewpub. The Market will be held in tandem with the Taproom’s regularly scheduled Dog Days Are (R)over where patrons who bring in their dog receive 10% off their tab. The local brewery is currently accepting applications for local vendors, artists and merchants who are interested in selling their handmade goods during the event. A vendor fee of $50, along with the completed vendor application, is required in advance. All vendors are required to provide their own 6’ table. This market is hosted indoors, and vendor space is limited. For more information, email Chelsea@GraytonBeer.com or call 850-399-7004.
Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl
Calling the good, the bad and the ugly! Play a game of drink specials bingo to win raffle prizes as you eat, drink and be merry along the harbor from 7-9:30 p.m. Dec. 7. End the evening with an Ugly Sweater contest at Coyote Ugly Saloon.
Christ the King Concert Series
Conductor Dr. David Ott will present a series of four concerts through February 2020. Christ the King Episcopal Church presents Handel's "Messiah" at 3 p.m. Dec. 7. All concerts at Christ the King are free of charge and open to the public thanks to the support from patrons and church offerings. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. The church is at 480 North County Highway 393 in Santa Rosa Beach.
ADSO Christmas Fair
The Arts and Design Society will hold a very special Christmas Fair at the Art Center on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, when artists and crafters will sell their wares, primarily Christmas-gift-worthy items, in time for the holidays. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be available for a $5 donation, including drink and chips. A bake sale will also be featured. The public is invited. ADSO’s Art Center is located at 17 First Street, SE, in Fort Walton Beach. For more information, call 850-244-1271 or visit the website at http://www.artsdesignsociety.org.
Brunch with Santa
Food For Thought Outreach will hold its first Brunch with Santa from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 7 in the Food for Thought Outreach Full Circle Kitchen, 132 Market Street in Santa Rosa Beach. 100% of the proceeds will support FFT's work fighting child hunger in Walton and Okaloosa Counties. Brunch with Santa will include a special holiday craft area for children, along with holiday decor, music and photos with Santa. Tickets will also include brunch, provided by Maple Street Biscuit Company, along with bottomless mimosas, beer or cocktails. Tickets are $30/adults and $5/children and can be purchased at https://fftfl.org/collections/brunch-with-santa.
Merry Little Christmas Concert
The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast's Second Annual Merry Little Christmas Concert, presented by Pizza by the Sea, will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Grayton Beer Taproom. Enjoy the sounds of the season with live music by Chris Alvarado, Jacob Mohr and Jessie Ritter. Get a head start on holiday shopping with a silent auction. Tickets are$40/person and include heavy hors d’oeuvres and one complimentary beer ticket. Purchase tickets at https://850tix.com/events/. A cash bar will also be available.
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
Emerald Coast Theatre Company presents Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12-14 and 19-21; 2 p.m. Dec. 15 and 22; and educational field trips at 10 a.m. Dec. 13, 18 and 19 at 560 Grand Boulevard, upstairs, in Miramar Beach. Tickets range from $28-$32 and are available at https://www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org/on-stage.
This holiday tale is a charming celebration of fan favorite characters from Pride and Prejudice, honoring the legacy of Jane Austen’s humor, playfulness and wit in a family holiday theatrical production.
Ice Skating Extravaganza
Baytowne on Ice hosts the fourth annual Ice Skating Extravaganza at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin. The event will feature two performances by Dylan David Moscovitch and Kristin Cowan. Both shows are free. Before and in between the shows, skate around with the pros who will be on the ice sharing tips and tricks.
Holiday Pops Concert
Sinfonia Gulf Coast presents its Holiday Pops Concert from 7:30-10 p.m. Dec. 13 at Village Baptist Church, 101 Matthew Blvd. in Destin. Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-nominated singer/actor of the stage and screen Matthew Morrison will be featured. He joins Sinfonia’s full orchestra for an evening of the most cherished holiday medleys, plus many of the songs that he has performed throughout his career including his role as Mr. Schuester on Fox’s musical comedy series, “Glee.” Tickets range from $29.50 to $55 per person, with student tickets $20. Guests can purchase tickets at sinfoniagulfcoast.org or call 460-8800.
The City of Destin’s 35th annual Christmas Parade will be held at 10 a.m. Dec. 14. This year’s theme is “Santa’s Workshop.” The floats will start at Downtown Destin Shopping Center (Old Time Pottery) and travel west down Harbor Boulevard (Highway 98) to Stahlman Avenue. Please stand on the north side of Harbor Boulevard to watch the floats. For those who wish to put a float in the parade, applications are available at the Destin Community Center. In lieu of an entry fee, each entry must make a donation of a new toy for a local charity, to be dropped off at the Destin Community Center. Applications must be turned in no later than Dec. 6. You may drop them off in person, fax to 654-8998, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Call 654-5184 for information.
From 5-7 p.m. Dec. 14 at The Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin enjoy some of your favorite holiday classics and visits with Santa.
33rd Annual Destin Boat Parade
Enjoy a Sunday full of holiday activities and cheer on the Destin harbor, including the 33nd Annual Holiday Boat Parade Dec. 15. Visit with Santa Claus starting at 1 p.m. at the Main Stage then enjoy a special performance of The Nutcracker by the Ballet Conservatory of the Destin School of Music & Dance from 5-6:30 p.m.
Holiday Movie Night
Enjoy dinner at your favorite HarborWalk Village restaurant and then watch "Elf" under the stars from 7-9 p.m. Dec. 21.
The Village of Baytowne Wharf's Event Plaza turns into a Winter Wonderland full of real snow from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 21. Slide down an ice slide, make snow angels, and enjoy a day of frosty fun for the whole family.
Join HarborWalk in a special Menorah lighting featuring traditional foods, crafts and more from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 22.
Don't miss The Village of Baytowne Wharf's end-of-the-year celebration from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. The family-friendly evening features face painting, kids’ activities, and live music on the Baytowne Live stage, finishing off with a firework display at 8 p.m. and midnight.
Head to Seaside to bring in the New Year at 5 p.m. Dec. 31 in the Seaside Amphitheater with live music, face painting, street performers and crafts. The fireworks show will begin at 9 p.m.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks Dinner Cruise
Ring in the New Year aboard SunQuest Cruises’ Solaris yacht from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Dine. Dance. Cruise into 2020. The New Year’s Eve Cruise is exclusively for guests 21+ and includes five chef-inspired courses, a midnight champagne toast, live entertainment, party favors, and the best view of the fireworks show at midnight. The 125-foot Solaris yacht is docked at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Reservations required at www.SunQuestCruises.com or call 650-2519.