It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…Even though it’s still warm enough to be Summer here on the Emerald Coast! Since November 1st, stores have been stocking shelves with Christmas decor, shopping centers have had their trees up, and your
overachieving neighbors have their lights up already. (If you already have your lights up, you get a round of applause! My husband has a very strict “December Only” Christmas policy.) Truth be told, I JUST took down our Halloween decorations…It’s been a long month, and we started off November by celebrating Christmas at Disney World, so my 4 year old daughter and I are really ready to start decorating!
I am looking forward to our Christmas Traditions, possibly more than decorating. I LOVE to look at lights. It’s probably my favorite tradition this time of year, so I, for one, am glad for those of you who have your lights up already! My absolute favorite Christmas Tradition in our coastal town is the Destin Christmas Boat Parade. (I also manage the 2 largest tour boats in Destin, so it’s basically mandatory!) If you’ve never seen the Destin Harbor lit up by its many boats at Christmas time, you’re truly missing out, as it is a sight to behold. If you love looking at Christmas lights as much as my family does, I’ve put together a short list of some of our favorite dazzling and dancing displays in this area.
Holiday on the Harbor floats through Destin Harbor on Sunday, December 12 at 6:00pm. The fleet is illuminated by twinkling lights, icicles, inflatables, and even dancing lights. Vessels parade Eastward to line up, and process to the judges at Margaritaville while their glimmering lights dance along the Destin Harbor and the East Pass. Ending with Fireworks over HarborWalk Village, this is a Destin Tradition you can’t be a Scrooge about!
If you didn’t get enough of decorated boats lighting up the night, (because, who could?) Niceville’s 3rd Annual Christmas Boat Parade will be hosted by Emerald Coast Marine on December 19 at 5:00pm.
While you’re over in that area, there are 2 additional dancing displays that are not to be missed! Check out Geek Lights on the Corner at 201 Antiqua Way, and Troon Goon Christmas at 1074 Troon Dr. E. We make it a tradition to cross the Bay each year to watch these shows, and they don’t disappoint! From songs and characters the kids love, to a choreographed dancing light display, they are perfect for the family. There is no cost, except the Mid-Bay Bridge toll, if you go that route. Geek on the Corner does also collect voluntary donations for a local charity. https://www.facebook.com/GeekLightsontheCorner/
Sowell’s North Pole Christmas Light Display at Sowell Farms features a drive-through display with over 1 million lights. Winners on
ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight,” their shimmering show is truly remarkable!
Make the trip over to Milton any day from November 26 through December 26 to immerse yourself in this winter wonderland Located at 7650 Sowell Rd. Milton, FL, Sowell’s is open 5:30-9:00pm and the cost is $15 per car to drive through, so load up your Suburban. Pile some kids in the back like they did in the Drive-in Movie days! Snacks are also available, and a BBQ truck is open select nights.
Speaking of movies, The Village of Baytowne Wharf will give you that Hallmark Movie feeling this Christmas season with their 12 Nights of Lights event. On Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from December 1-22, the Event Plaza will light up the night with a twinkling tree at 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00pm. Ice skating is available nightly, and on Wednesdays, Holiday Concerts and Visits with Santa take place as well.
Don’t miss the Holiday Lights in Concert at Silver Sands Outlets while you’re searching for the perfect gift. Nightly from November 22 through December 31, the tree by Saks Off 5th will sparkle, shimmer, and shine to favorite Holiday tunes every 30 minutes from 5:00-9:00pm.
If you enjoy strolling and shopping in the evenings as the streets are lit by the glow of Christmas lights, Grand Boulevard’s Coastal White Christmas is where you want to be.
Going on nightly from 6:00-10:00pm, now through January 2, so there’s no need to rush if the “Holiday Rush” already has your calendar packed! https://facebook.com/events/s/coastal-white-christmas-holida/1461167614234192/
If slow drive-through displays are more of your “speed,” you’ll definitely want to check out Christmas Reflections in DeFuniak Springs. 10 million lights reflect upon the perfectly round Lake DeFuniak, illuminating Chipley Park with various themed displays of animals, toys, and traditional decorations. Running November 26 through December 31, from 5:30 to 9:00pm, the cost for a carload is $10.
If your Christmas Traditions include looking at lights, you’ll be “dazzled” with these shows. If your Christmas Traditions don’t include looking at lights, what are you waiting for?! These are some “bright” ideas to start with!
Merry Christmas and may God Bless you and your loved ones during this special time of year!