CHRISTMAS ON THE COAST (Nov. 22)
“Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus right down Santa Claus Lane …”
It's time for Santa and tree lightings.
The Polar Express
Watch a free holiday favorite, “The Polar Express,” from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 24 on the Events Plaza Lawn at the Village of Baytowne Wharf.
HarborWalk Santa arrives
Santa makes his grand entrance to the Destin harbor at the holiday season kick-off from 12-4 p.m. Nov. 25. Kids will enjoy free activities and can visit with Santa during the free event. The event is free and open to the public. This day and evening is sure to get you into the holiday spirit.
Here Comes Santa Claus
Get in the winter spirit when Santa Claus comes to the Village of Baytowne Wharf from 6-9 p.m. Nov 25 and lights the tree. Kids will enjoy face-painting, crafts, and a fireworks display at 8 p.m.
Visit with Santa
It’s time for children to bring their wish list and visit with Santa at HarborWalk Village from 12-4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 25 to Dec. 17. Children will receive a treat. Event is free.
Christmas Tree Lighting
The 31st annual Christmas Tree Lighting, hosted by the City of Destin, will be held at the Destin Community Center at 6 p.m. Nov. 30. This will be an outdoor event for the entire family with a visit from Santa Claus, entertainment from local choruses, musical groups and more. Refreshments will be served after the lighting of the tree. Donations of canned food will be collected for families in need.
The Christmas Carol
The classic Charles Dickens tale takes a delightful twist in this original adaptation at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 2 and 2 p.m. Dec. 2 in the Sprint Theater at NWFSC. The drama combines vibrant song and dance along with period costumes to bring to life the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit and the spirits of Christmas. Tickets are $25 and include Victorian style desserts and beverages.
The spirit of the holidays will come alive at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast during the annual Holiday Sale in the Gift Shop. The event will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays through Dec. 20. All proceeds support new and expanded healthcare services for our community. Call 278-3081or visit the Guild Gift Shop on Facebook.
Festival of Trees
Display will be up until Christmas at Grand Boulevard for 12 non-profit organizations that will compete to win cash prizes totaling $7,000, including Best of Show and People’s Choice. The People’s Choice winner will be voted on and announced along with Best of Show, Second and Third Place winners, at the kick-off.
Coastal White Christmas
The Town Center in Grand Boulevard will have thousands of white lights through Jan. 1. Every Friday and Saturday night in December enjoy a free, horse-drawn carriage ride around the Town Center while faux snow falls on the Festival of Trees display in Grand Park from 5-8 p.m. Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s Dickens Carolers will sing holiday carols from 5-7 p.m.
Sounds of the Season
The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation and co-presenters Destin Assembly of God, Destin United Methodist Church, St. Peter Catholic Church and Village Baptist Church will present the 22nd Annual Sounds of the Season at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at Village Baptist Church, 101 Matthew Blvd. in Destin. Admission is a new unwrapped child’s toy to be distributed among the participating church’s outreach ministries. A love offering at intermission will benefit the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s community outreach initiatives. This year’s concert will feature guest artist, Sarah Simmons Langston, and accompanying her on stage will be her husband Greg. In 2013, She wowed her way onto the NBC The Voice resulting in all four chairs turning and advancing her to the Final Eight.
Parade of Elves & Toy Drive
Bring the kids, dressed in their best-looking holiday elf costumes, to participate in a Parade of Elves at the new Seascape Town Centre in Miramar Beach from 2-5 p.m. Dec. 2. Activities include face painting, food and drink specials and live entertainment by Chasin’ Jaymie. Kids can visit Santa and compete for best dressed Elf. Admission is $5 to enter the elf costume contest or bring a new toy donation. Proceeds and toys will benefit the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC).
A Downtown Holiday
The Downtown Fort Walton Beach Organization and the City of Fort Walton Beach present the Third Annual "A Downtown Holiday" from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at Fort Walton Beach Landing Park. Tree lighting is at 5:30pm, Christmas shopping and treats, live entertainment, kids activities, and more.
Wednesday Night Concerts — Holiday Edition
Get in the holiday spirit and listen to favorite holiday classics free at 6 p.m. Wednesdays Dec. 6, 13 and 20 in the Events Plaza in Baytowne Wharf. Each concert will feature a choreographed light show and visits with Santa.
12 Nights of Lights
Enjoy a festive light show every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from Dec. 6-30 in the Events Plaza at The Village of Baytowne Wharf. Watch shows at 6, 7 and 8 p.m.
The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Chorale will ring in the season with the annual Holiday Pops concert and carol sing-a-longs at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 in the Mainstage Theater of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville. Tickets are $25/adult and $18/military and youth. Purchase tickets at mattiekellyartscenter.org.
Destin Christmas Parade
The City of Destin’s 33rd Annual Christmas Parade will be held at 10 a.m. Dec. 9 from Downtown Destin Shopping Center (Old Time Pottery) to Stahlman Avenue. This year’s theme is “All I want for Christmas.” 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 with the application before Nov. 30. Call 654-5184 for more information.
Norman Brown's Joyous Christmas
Seabreeze Radio (Smooth Jazz 106.6) presents Norman Brown's Joyous Christmas with Bobby Caldwell and Marion Meadows at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in the Mainstage Theater of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville. Tickets are $80 and $40 for this guest event and are available exclusively through the Arts Center's Box Office at 729-6000 or www.MattieKellyArtsCenter.org.
Enjoy your favorite holiday classics with Tuba Christmas, a free unique holiday extravaganza at 5 p.m. Dec. 9 in the Events Plaza at The Village of Baytowne Wharf.
A Christmas Celebration Concert
The 12th annual Christmas Celebration Concert, under the direction of Rev. Kim Cannon and featuring the New River Quartet, ONE, Alleluia Orchestra and Singers, will be at the 9 and 11 a.m. services Dec. 10 at Destin United Methodist Church.
Destin Boat Parade
The Destin harbor will dance with holiday lights and cheer during the 31st Annual Holiday on the Harbor, Destin Boat Parade, from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 10. Fireworks follow the parade and then firespinning on the main stage with Just Add Fire. To participate in the boat parade, contact the Destin History & Fishing Museum's Executive Director, Kathy Marler Blue, at 837-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Billy Claus and The LuLuBelles
Enjoy a memorable family holiday experience at LuLu’s Third Annual Billy Claus and The LuLuBelles free event at noon Dec. 10. Billy Claus, Santa’s warm weather-loving brother who lives in the Caribbean, will help Santa with The LuLuBelles, Billy’s version of Santa’s elves. Billy will visit with the children to hear their wish list to pass on to Santa. Billy and the LuLuBelles will be available for photos with the children. In addition to kid’s arts and crafts activities, Lucy Buffett will read her children’s book, Billy Claus and the Spirit of Christmas.
Celebrate Chanukah with Chabad of the Emerald Coast at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14 on the HarborWalk Village Main Stage. Event is free.
A Rockin’ Holiday
Mary Wilson of the Supremes brings her larger-than-life vocals and amazing energy to the Sinfonia stage for “A Rockin' Holiday with Mary Wilson of the Supremes" at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at Destiny Worship Center in Miramar Beach. Sinfonia's full orchestra shares the stage with her and her band. Purchase tickets at Sinfoniagulfcoast.org.
Santa Cause Pub Crawl
Deck the halls dressed in your Christmas best (tacky sweaters, Santa outfits, elves, etc.) to spread holiday cheer through HarborWalk Village with jolly drink specials at each of the stops beginning at 6 p.m. Dec. 16. Proceeds will go to the Junior League of the Emerald Coast toward restocking their clothing closets for children in the community. Stops include FishHeads and Margaritaville from 6-8 p.m.; Jackacudas and Harry T’s from 8-10 p.m.; Jester’s and Crab Island Cantina from 10 p.m. to midnight; and Coyotes Ugly from midnight until closing.
The 13th annual Emerald Coast Christmas Miracle Needy Children’s Fiesta will be held from 1-7 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Emerald Coast Convention Center on Okaloosa Island. There will be food, games, DJs, singers, church choirs, clowns, magicians, dance contests for bikes, free coats from “Coats for Kids” and Santa and his elves. From 1–2 p.m., only families with children with disabilities will be allowed. Others may enter at 2.
The Northwest Florida Ballet presents Lightwire Theater’s A Very Electric Christmas at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 23 at Destin United Methodist Church’s Life Center, 200 Beach Drive. Show is a magical and cap-tivating tale of family, friendship and hope set to timeless holiday hits including Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey and Tchaikovsky. Box office prices for adults are $35 each and $15 for children 12 and under.
Christmas Community Dinner
Enjoy a wonderful dinner, fellowship, music and much more at the free Christmas Community Dinner from 12-2 p.m. Dec. 25 at the Life Center at Destin United Methodist Church.
New Years Eve Street Party
Dine, drink and dance into the New Year throughout HarborWalk Village from 7 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31. Enjoy live music in the restaurants as well as two firework shows at 8 p.m. and midnight and the 10th Annual Ball Drop Countdown over the harbor. Live concert with January Noise.
Grande Gala New Year's Eve Celebration
Dine and dance into the New Year from 8 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31 at the Emerald Grande Ballroom. Includes a chef selected menu and dinner, reserved seating, live music by Cool Rayz, and a champagne toast at midnight. Dress to impress in formal attire and enjoy the ultimate view of the ball drop and fireworks. Tickets are $125+per person, over 21 only. Call 424-0622 to make your reservations.
Baytowne Countdown | NYE
A free family friendly evening from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 31 with face painting, kids activities, and live music on the Baytowne LIVE stage, finishing off with a fireworks display at 8 p.m. and another at midnight. Dance the night away with live music till 1 a.m., featured on the Events Plaza Stage.