Holiday Happenings Around Town 2023

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Baytowne on Ice | Now–Feb. 4 | Village of Baytowne Wharf

Dust off those skates and get ready for the holidays at The Village of Baytowne Wharf’s Baytowne on Ice. Ice rink is open Sunday, Oct. 27 – Sunday, Feb. 4. Hours vary daily. Visit BaytowneWharf.com.

15th Annual Christmas Bazaar | Nov. 11 | 8 a.m. | Harvest House Destin

It is truly ONE OF A KIND shopping experience with ALL THINGS CHRISTMAS set out on tables November 11th for purchase. Call 850-837-2277.

Wesley House Holiday Guided Tours | Nov. 16-Jan. 9 | Eden State Gardens | Santa Rosa Beach

The Wesley House at Eden State Gardens will be open for holiday guided tours Thursday–Monday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on an hourly basis. This year’s theme is “A Victorian Christmas and all are invited to attend.

17th Annual Holiday Craft Show | Nov. 17 | Destin Community Center

The City of Destin’s 17th Annual Holiday Craft Show will be held Friday, Nov. 17 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. There will be hand-crafted jewelry, wreaths, books, concessions, and much more from over 60 vendors!

Coastal White Christmas | Nov. 17 | Grand Boulevard at Sandestin

Join friends and neighbors on Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. for an old-fashioned holiday parade down the Boulevard culminating in the park with holiday music and the lighting of the Grand Boulevard Christmas Tree. Parade concludes with a visit from Santa! Great opportunity to get your family holiday photo with Old Saint Nick. Bring an unwrapped gift to support our local toy drive. Visit grandboulevard.com.

Santa Arrival & 50 ft. Tree Lighting | Nov. 17 | Destin Commons

Kick off the Christmas season on Nov. 17 when Santa rides in the holiday parade down Main Street in Destin Commons to light the biggest Christmas tree on the Emerald Coast. Have fun with free face painting and photo opportunities with Rudolph and Frosty characters, all set to festive holiday tunes. The parade starts at 7 p.m. and fireworks will immediately follow. Visit destincommons.com.

The Nutcracker | Nov. 17 & 18, 7:30 p.m. | Nov. 19, 2:30 p.m. | Mattie Kelly Arts Center Niceville

Northwest Florida Ballet (NFB) takes center stage at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Fri. and Sat., Nov. 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 19 at 2:30 p.m. for the 44th annual production of The Nutcracker, featuring a cast of more than 140 performers, including international guest artists and over 100 local children. The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFSO), led by NFB Music Director and Conductor David Ott, will provide musical accompaniment for all public performances. Tickets and info: www.nfballet.org/the-nutcracker.

Sparkling Wine & Holiday Lights | Nov. 18 | Village of Baytowne Wharf

A November holiday favorite is the Sparkling Wine and Holiday Lights, Nov. 18, at The Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin. Stroll the beautifully decorated streets of Baytowne Wharf enjoying an evening full of holiday spirit, delicious appetizers and sparkling wine from 4-6 p.m. featuring more than 30 champagnes and delicious appetizers at featured Village restaurants. There’s also plenty of holiday cheer, with carolers and bubbles. End the night with the first tree lighting of the season and Baytowne Whard’s choreographed light show, 12 Nights of Lights. Tickets: www.baytownesparklingwinefest.com.

Turkey Trot | Nov. 19 | Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Join the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort for the 2nd Annual Sandestin Turkey Trot 5K run and 1-mile fun run/ walk on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 8 a.m. Participants are invited to stick around for a post-run tailgate party and a great time for the entire family at the Baytowne Marina at 11 a.m. beers, food, prizes, rewards and the NFL on the big screen. Registration is $45 for adults and $25 for 17 and under. The first 30 people to register will receive a free t-shirt. Visit https://www.sandestin.com/things-to-do/events/sandestinr-turkey-trot to register.

Festival of Trees | Nov. 21-Dec. 25 | Grand Boulevard

The Festival of Trees at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin runs Nov. 21 through Christmas Day 2023. Participating non-profit organizations compete to win cash prizes totaling $7,000. Cast your vote for the People’s Choice award. Festival of Trees is an annual event in the park at Grand Boulevard shopping center showcasing uniquely decorated Christmas trees from 12 local non-profit organizations. Visit grandboulevard.com.

Christmas Reflection Displays | Nov. 24-Dec. 31 | Defuniak Springs

Starting the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 24-Dec. 31, the City of Defuniak Springs lights up Chipley Park lights with its annual Christmas Reflection Displays, a light display like no other in our area with more than 10 million lights reflecting on the lake and throughout the park. You can view the lights by walking, driving or even taking a horse-drawn carriage ride. A variety of Victorian, animal and toy soldier cutouts, Santa’s workshop, and the grandfather clock ticking away are among the thousands of decorations that adorn these historic grounds. Admission is $5 per person and children 5 and under are free. (850) 978-2999.

Santa Arrival | Nov. 25 | Village of Baytowne Wharf

Here Comes Santa Claus, Saturday, Nov. 25, 6-9 p.m. right down Baytowne Lane! Cheer Santa on as he makes his way to the Event Plaza Lawn to light up the Village Christmas Tree. Santa will start his horse drawn carriage journey into Baytowne Wharf at 6 p.m. and parade around the Village. Then he’ll flip a switch to officially light up the Christmas tree for the holiday season. The fireworks light the sky immediately after around 6:15-6:30. There’s also face-painting, kids crafts and, after the fireworks, visits and photos with Santa. Visit www.baytownewharf.com.

Holiday on the Harbor | Nov. 25 | Harborwalk Village

Holiday on the Harbor kicks off every year with Santa’s grand arrival at Harborwalk Village. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at HarborWalk Village beginning Saturday, Nov. 25, at the main stage from 1-4 p.m. Kids will enjoy crafts, face painting and a Rudolph-themed treasure hunt on Santa’s arrival day. All of Santa’s guests will receive a special treat and a free 4-by-6 photo.

Merry Main Street | Nov. 25-Dec. 23 | Defuniak Springs

Main Street DeFuniak Springs brings back Merry Main Street Nov. 25-Dec. 23! Free to attend, Merry Main Street boasts live music and theatrical performances, an outdoor market, food trucks, rides on the Choctaw Express Train, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, kids character appearances by The Character Clubhouse, and more family fun – all taking place outdoors along Baldwin Avenue in downtown DeFuniak Springs. Events occur 5 p.m. Fridays and 3 p.m. Saturdays until Christmas. MainStreetDFS.org. (850) 296-9051.

Polar Express | Nov. 26 | Village of Baytowne Wharf

A holiday favorite, The Polar Express, will be shown Friday, Nov. 26 at The Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin. Join other movie watchers for this special showing on an LED HD Video Wall on the Events Plaza Lawn at 6 p.m. Visit www.baytownewharf.com.

Holiday Decorating and Networking | Nov. 29 | 5:30 p.m. | Beachworx

Bring a tree ornament, accent pillow, quippy cocktail napkin or other decoration that captures your spirit so we can deck the halls of Beachworx with unique items that remind us of you! Your decoration should be unique to you or your business. Bring a good backstory and keep it PG 13. Enjoy light bites, beer, wine and alternative beverages. Visit thebeachworx.com.

The Nutcracker! | Dec. 9, 5 p.m. | Dec. 10, 2 p.m. | Destin Community Center

Studio6twenty5 presents The Nutcracker Saturday, Dec. 9 and Sunday, Dec. 10, featuring the dancers of studio6twenty5’s children’s program and introducing local Shaye Smith and guest dancer Fredrick Davis as the Sugarplum Fairy and Cavalier. Prepare to be transported into Clara’s magical world of sugarplum fairies, toy soldiers and enchanting adventures.
Saturday doors open at 4 p.m.; Showtime at 5 p.m. Sunday doors open at 1 p.m.; Showtime at 2 p.m. Tickets $16 on sale now at studio6twenty5.com.

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