Christmas on Florida's Historic Coast
Make your Christmas merry and bright with special events to celebrate the season.
The Christmas season in St. Augustine is known for its sensational Nights of Lights holiday display. During Nights of Lights, white lights glow from the sidewalks to the rooftops, over the Bridge of Lions and trail through approximately 20 city blocks in St. Augustine’s Historic District.
When planning a holiday trip to St. Augustine to view Nights of Lights displays, keep these popular holiday events in mind:
St. Augustine’s annual Christmas Parade starts at the Mission Nombre de Dios off San Marco Avenue and continues through the downtown streets of historic St. Augustine. This event is typically held on the first Saturday in December.
Holiday Regatta of Lights
Typically held on the second Saturday in December, this annual holiday tradition features boats decorated with brilliant lighted displays. The regatta will light up St. Augustine’s Matanzas Bay between the Bridge of Lions and Castillo de San Marcos.
Colonial Night Watch Weekend
In honor of the British influence in St. Augustine from 1763-1784, the Castillo de San Marcos becomes Fort St. Marks for the weekend. Step back in time to explore St. Augustine’s rich heritage with a glimpse into British and Spanish military life. Activities include an encampment area depicting 18th century combined Spanish, British, French, colonial militia and Native American military, and the Colonial Night Watch Torchlight Parade.
Castillo by Candlelight
Begin Colonial Night Watch with this special candlelight tour of the Castillo de San Marcos.
Luminary Night at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is a family-friendly tradition with activities for all ages. Visit with Santa, enjoy yuletide refreshments, and see the lighthouse’s spectacular holiday decorations and lighting displays. This event takes place the first Wednesday in December.
Living History Saunter
Living history interpreters present a timeline of St. Augustine’s colonial events in the town’s historic district. Get in on the action from the City Gate, down St. George Street, all the way to Aviles Street.
St. Augustine Art & Craft Festival
The Annual St. Augustine Art & Craft Festival held Thanksgiving weekend at Francis Field, features more than 100 painters, potters, jewelers, photographers, glass and fiber artists, sculptors, and woodworkers displaying one-of-a-kind handmade goods.
December 31st Beach Blast Off
This annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display at St. Johns County Ocean Pier Park features family-friendly activities, including a kid’s zone, photo booth, food vendors, and live music. The event is from 4-10 p.m., and the fireworks display begins at 8:30 p.m.
Click here to discover even more special events during Nights of Lights.