Jacksonville, FL

Family-friendly holiday events in Jacksonville, St. Augustine this weekend

Debra Fine

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Deck the Chairs runs through January 1 in Jacksonville BeachPhoto byDeck the Chairs

There are lots of holiday events around Jacksonville and St. Augustine this weekend. Here’s a list of places to take the family:

Jacksonville Beach

Deck The Chairs is a non-profit organization focused on children's arts and arts programming by providing a free holiday lights and music display featuring decorated lifeguard chairs. This is the 10th year the organization has provided the free light display. Deck The Chairs is welcoming Tuba Christmas back for a fifth season of free holiday concert on December 10 at 1 p.m. Deck the Chairs runs through January 1 at the Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach. For a schedule of events and how you can donate, go to www.deckthechairs.org.

St. Augustine

The 29th Annual Nights of Lights dazzles with more than 3 million white lights adorning every corner of the historic district in St. Augustine. You can also view the lights through Trolley tours that depart about every 30-45 minutes from the St. Augustine visitor’s center through January 28. Tickets range from $69-$89 dollars. To purchase trolley tickets, go to www.trolleytours.com/st-augustine. St. Augustine boat tours also offer a special way to see the lights. Boats run at 6 and 7:30 p.m. every night through January 31. Tickets are $34 for adults, and $15 for children. For tickets, go to www.staugustineboattours.com. St. Augustine Sailing also offers another way to view the dazzling light display. one-hour charters depart from Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor, 3076 Harbor Drive in St. Augustine. Prices start at $89. For tickets, go to www.sta-sail.com. Nights of Lights runs through January 31. For a complete list of events, go to www.visitstaugustine.com.

Holiday Market at the Pier is at The St. Augustine Beach Pier on December 9 from 3-7 p.m. Shop local art vendors, take photos with Santa, and listen to Christmas music. Food will be available for purchase. The St. Augustine Beach Pier is located at 350 A1A Beach Boulevard in St. Augustine.

A Country Christmas on the Farm is hosting a holiday event for the whole family on December 10 at Wesley Wells Farm. Create your own Christmas ornaments, visit Santa, follow the Christmas Story walk, visit farm animals, and shop for Christmas gifts. General admission is $6 per person (23 months and under are free). VIP bundles are $100. Wesley Wells Farm is located at 2680 Ada Arnold Road in St. Augustine. For tickets, go to www.wesleywellsfarm.com.

Jacksonville

ZOOlights transforms the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens into a winter wonderland. Designed with more than 2 million lights and sounds, the 11 themed areas showcase the beauty of the gardens. There will be musical performances, hot chocolate, and Santa. The event is held from Friday to Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m through December 24. Tickets for members are $15-20, and $25-$30 for non-members. For tickets, go to www.jacksonvillezoo.org.

Elf: The Musical is the first show of the FSCJ Artist Series Broadway in Jacksonville 2002/2023 Season. The comedy tells the story of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. After Buddy finds out he’s human, he embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, and help others remember the true meaning of Christmas. Elf: The Musical is playing through December 11 at the Times Union Center at 300 West Water Street in Jacksonville. Tickets range from $40-$124. To purchase tickets, go to www.fscjartistseries.org.

The San Marco Community Christmas is December 9 at 6 p.m. at Southside United Methodist Church. Enjoy a live walk-thru nativity, Christmas crafts, food trucks, and games. This is a free event. Southside United Methodist Church is located at 3120 Hendricks Avenue in Jacksonville.

Go see a Movie in the Park in the historic Avondale neighborhood on December 9. There will be an annual showing of the movie ELF, starring Will Ferrell, free popcorn and hot chocolate. The movie is free, but there will be food for purchase from local food trucks. The movie starts at 5:30 p.m. at Boone Park at 3700 Park Street in Jacksonville.

The Riverside-Avondale Luminaria is December 11, beginning at dusk. Stroll through the Riverside and Avondale neighborhoods to homes and businesses decorated in holiday lights. This is a free event. There are an estimated 15,000 participants this year. For more information, go to www.riversideavondale.org.

The Hip-Hop Nutcracker is playing at the Florida Theatre on December 12 at 7 p.m. Imagine Tchaikovsky’s classic score, but with a hip-hop twist. Tickets are $89. The Florida Theatre is located at 128 E. Forsyth St. #300 in Jacksonville. For more information, go to www.floridatheatre.com.

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I have been a journalist for almost 20 years. My experience includes producing television news, writing news paper articles and web articles, and writing for social media.

Jacksonville, FL
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