Florida travel calendar for December

Check out festivals and events in December across the state.

This list is organized by region.

Central Florida (including Orlando, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach, Sanford, the Space Coast, Lakeland/Polk and Lake County)

Through Dec. 30: Holidays Around the World, Lake Buena Vista. This Epcot tradition features storytellers, a daily character tree-lighting ceremony and a stunning display of snow-white lights. The moving Candlelight Processional, a favorite of all ages, includes celebrity guest narrators, accompanied by a massed choir and orchestra for a retelling of the Christmas story. 407-939-5277. disneyworld.disney.go.com

Through Dec. 31: Now Snowing Nightly, Celebration. Celebration Town Center hosts nightly snow falls at 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m., along with photos with Santa, strolling holiday carolers, an ice rink, horse-drawn carriages and special events.  407-566-4007. celebrationtowncenter.com

Through Dec. 31: Wekiva Island’s Winter Wonderland, Longwood. For the first time ever, Wekiva Island will add snow to its holiday festivities. Guests can enjoy snow flurries and snow play areas along with Christmas movies, train rides and visits from Santa. Snow flurries every night at 6 p.m. Real snow every weekend in December. Event offerings vary by date. 407-862-1500. wekivaisland.com/winter-wonderland-events

Through Jan. 1: Space Coast Light Fest, Melbourne. The Space Coast Lightfest is a holiday themed drive-through event held at Wickham Park. It is a family-oriented celebration featuring shimmering lights and dazzling animated displays drawing more than 15,000 vehicles annually. 2500 Parkway Drive, Melbourne. 321-576-7556. www.spacecoastlightfest.com

Through Jan. 1: ICE! at Gaylord Palms Resort, Orlando. With more than two million twinkling lights and a 54-foot tall Christmas tree, ICE! is back featuring the magical adventure that is 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. New as of last year is an eight-lane tubing hill covered in snow. Tickets range between $14.99 and $29.99. There are also passes and packages available. Gaylord Palms, 6000 W. Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee. 407-586-4423. ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com

Through Jan. 2: Leu's Holiday House, Orlando. The Leu House Museum's 11-room estate will be adorned with Christmas trees, holiday dioramas and festive decorations throughout the home. 30-minute tours. 407-246-2620. www.leugardens.org

Through Jan. 7: Light Up UCF!, Orlando. Check out UCF's holiday event offering 50 nights of music, lights and ice, where you can skate at an outdoor ice rink outside of the UCF arena, along with carnival rides and special holiday events. lightupucf.com

Through Jan. 8: The Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens Holiday Home Tour, Lake Wales.  Bok Tower Gardens is ready for the holidays! The Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens Holiday Home Tour showcases the 20-room Mediterranean-style mansion at Pinewood Estate beginning on Nov. 28 and lasting for five weeks until Jan. 3. Central Florida designers transform the 1930s winter retreat into a glittering holiday showcase for the event. Holiday Home Tour hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $20 per adult and $9 per child (covering entrance to the gardens and admission to Pinewood Estate for the Holiday Home Tour.) Bok Tower Gardens is located at 1151 Tower Boulevard. For additional information, log on to boktowergardens.org/christmas

Dec. 1: Christmas in the Park, Winter Park. The Morse Museum helps launch the holiday season in Winter Park when it lights up Tiffany windows in Central Park and presents the Bach Festival Choir in concert. This December is the 38th annual celebration of Christmas in the Park. This free event is at Central Park from 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. www.morsemuseum.org

Dec. 2: Holiday Lights Orlando, Orlando. With tree lighting and live music. Free. Lake Eola Amphitheater, 101 N. Rosalind Ave., Orlando, FL, 32801. 407-246-2121. www.cityoforlando.net/holiday 

Dec. 2: Christmas in the Square, Sanford. The City of Sanford celebration will include live entertainment, a visit with Santa, tree lighting ceremony, face painting and balloon artists. 6 p.m. Free. Magnolia Square, 200 S. Magnolia Ave., Sanford, 32771. 407-688-5120. www.sanfordfl.gov

Dec. 2: Downtown DeLand Merchant Holiday Open House, DeLand. Downtown DeLand restaurants and shops will offer holiday discounts and discounts. Santa will be available for pictures in Pioneer Park. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. mainstreetdeland.org

Dec. 2: Light Up Flagler, New Smyrna Beach. From 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Annual lighting up festivity of Flagler Avenue and Holiday Open House. The free event marks the beginning of the holiday season in Flagler County. Expect street closures from Peninsula Drive East to Buenos Aires Street. nsbfla.com

Dec. 2-4: Spooky Empire. Originally slated for October, this annual gathering was rescheduled after Hurricane Matthew. Held at the Orange County Convention Center, the event brings stars and fans of horror together. It's billed as a Rock 'n Roll, horror, Halloween, tattoo and film festival with Weird Al Yankovic plus actors from "A Nightmare on Elm Street," "Friday the 13th," "Halloween" and more. Also this year will be stars from Netflix's hit series "Stranger Things," wrestler Ric Flair, Eddie Munster actor Butch Patrick and many more. 5-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Three-day passes $65, Single-day tickets $35-$40. 11 and under free. 9800 International Drive. www.spookyempire.com

Dec. 2-4: Festivals of Speed, Orlando. A luxury car event based at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes with VIP dinners. Festivals of Speed display of exotics is on Sunday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vehicles are placed for display on the perfectly manicured grounds of this magnificent property. Attendees will enjoy on-site cafes serving the finest culinary offerings, VIP cafes, smooth jazz in the gardens, wine tastings, cigar smokes, luxury lifestyle displays, Fashion shows and more. Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. 4012 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando, 32837. www.festivalsofspeed.com

Dec. 3: 62nd annual Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade, Winter Park. The longest running parade in Central Florida. Free parade through downtown Winter Park along Park Avenue at 9 a.m. Before and during the parade, Leadership Winter Park will host their annual Pancake Breakfast at the Central Park stage from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Free. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org

Dec. 3: Sanford Historic Trust Tour of Homes, Sanford. The holiday home tour has become a tradition in Sanford. The Candlelight Tour is a walking tour where guests stroll through historic homes, enjoy live music and sample appetizers from local restaurants. Dec. 3 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 day of. sanfordhistorictrust.org

Dec. 3: First Saturday Jam, Barberville. The Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts will have its First Saturday Music Jam from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event features music workshops on a variety of instruments. The music workshops are free, but there is an admission price for the Pioneer Settlement. $8 for adults and $4 for children 6-12 years old. There will be food available for purchase. The Pioneer Settlement is located just West of the intersection of US HWY 40 and SR 17. 386-749-2959. www.pioneersettlement.org

Dec. 3: Lighted Boat Parade, Mount Dora. This annual parade is sure be enjoyed by all ages as colorful lighted boats glide over Lake Dora. If you are interested in participating in the parade, contact The Mount Dora Marina at 352-383-3150. 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Free. Downtown Mount Dora. www.mountdorachristmas.com

Dec. 3: Christmas Parade, Mount Dora. See a beautiful traditional holiday parade. 11 a.m. in downtown Mount Dora. Free. 352-735-9629. www.mountdorachristmas.com

Dec. 3: New Smyrna Beach Christmas parade, New Smyrna Beach. The Christmas Parade Land gets under way at 4 p.m. with floats and more floats, traditional marching bands, dance teams and, of course, Santa. nsbfla.com

Dec. 3: Sunset & Symphony Holiday Concert, Lake Wales. Enjoy the sounds of the season with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the Singing Tower carillon as they perform together during one of Central Florida’s favorite outdoor concerts. Families and friends are encouraged to prepare themed picnics and experience a magical evening as the sun sets atop Iron Mountain. Begins at 6 p.m. $20 per person; $8 per child ages 5-12 if you buy tickets in advance. Children under 5 free. Bok Tower Gardens 1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales 33853. 863-676-1408. For details, visit www.boktowergardens.org/Christmas

Dec. 3: Jaycee’s Christmas Parade, DeLand. 68th annual Christmas parade. 5:30 p.m. The parade runs South on Woodland Blvd to Hubbard Ave. delandchristmasparade.org

Dec. 3-4: Norwood's Holiday Food and Wine Festival, New Smyrna Beach. $75 advance for Dec. 3, $40 advance for Sunday Brunch Dec. 4 and $105 Two Day ticket. www.norwoodswinefestival.com

Dec. 3-10: Pop Warner Super Bowl, Orlando. Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. brings its Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheer and Dance Championships to Walt Disney World Resort. www.popwarner.com/championships/footballchampionships.htm

Dec. 3-Jan. 1: Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Studios, Orlando. The world's most famous parade has become a holiday experience for park guests at Universal Studios, featuring some of the most popular balloons and floats from the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. The excitement and pageantry of the parade, complete with a festive tree lighting ceremony by Santa Claus himself, is exhibited each day of the holiday season through the New Year. Included in regular park admission. 407-363-8000. www.universalorlando.com

Dec. 3-Jan. 1: Grinchmas at Universal's Islands of Adventure, Orlando. This annual holiday celebration is based on the beloved Dr. Seuss tale and Universal Pictures' and Imagine Entertainment's Academy Award-winning blockbuster hit, "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure is transformed into a bah-humbug haven by the Grinch. The entire Seussian-themed island is colorfully decorated for the season and guests are invited to meet the Grinch in his lair, which is outfitted with authentic movie props and gadgets. Grinch fans enjoy a live, musical stage show that re-tells the world-famous story of the grumpy Grinch. Included in regular park admission. 407-363-8000. www.universalorlando.com

Dec. 8-11: The Nutcracker, Orlando. The Orlando Ballet rings in the holiday season with visions of sugarplum fairies, the Snow King and more during its annual presentation of The Nutcracker on Dec. 8-11. Hosted at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, The Nutcracker is a favorite among ballet patrons and newcomers alike. For information, visit www.orlandoballet.org

Dec. 10: Daytona Beach Christmas Boat Parade, Daytona Beach. Starts at the Seabreeze Bridge and travels south past Main Street, International Speedway Boulevard, past City Island Park and Silver Beach Bridge before passing by judging grandstands at Halifax River Yacht Club. Several viewing locations are along the Halifax River, but the north side of the yacht club channel, the fishing pier on the channel leading to Halifax River Marina, and dockside of the Chart House Restaurant at the entrance to the Daytona Marina and Boat Works are the best. daytonabeachchristmasboatparade.com

Dec. 10: Orlando Pottery Festival, Orlando. With live music and vendors. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. At the Loch Haven Park Neighborhood Center, 610 N. Lake Formosa Dr., Orlando. www.orlandopotteryfestival.org

Dec. 10: Christmas in the Park with Snow. Featuring Santa, snow, food, games and more. 5- 9 p.m. Donnelly Park at 5th Avenue and Donnelly Street. www.mountdorachristmas.com

Dec. 10: Parade of Lights, Sanford.  Illuminated floats light up Sanford's First Street at this annual event. Marching bands, civic groups and businesses take part in this holiday tradition. Santa will make an appearance. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free. 407-688-5120. www.sanfordfl.gov

Dec. 10: Riverfront Festival of the Season, Port Orange. Enjoy local dance group performances, music, food, entertainment, photos with Santa and more. 4 p.m. The perfect place to watch the Halifax River Yacht Club’s Christmas Boat Parade. www.riverfrontshopsofdaytona.com

Dec. 10: Holiday Tour of Homes, Ormond Beach. Once a year some of the most prestigious homes in Ormond Beach open their doors to allow the public to view them from the inside and out. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission is $25, $22 for OBHS members. 386-677-7005.www.ormondhistory.org

Dec. 10-11: Wine & Chocolate Festival, Clermont. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 11. Wine and Chocolate is the theme for this very special event at this seasonal time of year. Local artists and crafters are invited to display their work. Enjoy live music by incredible bands on an outdoor stage throughout the entire weekend. Lakeridge wine, beer, soft drinks and a variety of food will be available for purchase, along with complimentary winery tours and tasting. 1-800-768-WINE www.lakeridgewinery.com

Dec. 17: Johnny Dee and the Starlights Christmas Sock Hop. Florida's most popular 50's band is back for one night only in Mount Dora. 7 p.m. $25-$30. Mount Dora Community Building Theater, 520 N. Baker Street, Mount Dora. www.mountdorachristmas.com

Dec. 17: Cruisin' Downtown DeLand Classic Car Show, DeLand. Every 3rd Saturday of the month. East Indiana Avenue in Downtown DeLand. Classic cars & rods line East Indiana Avenue in Downtown DeLand. Live DJ, giveaways, shopping and dining. 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Free. 386-738-0649. www.MainStreetDeLand.org

Dec. 17: Snow Fest, Maitland. RDV Sportsplex Ice Den is throwing its annual Snow Fest from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. with ice skating, bounce houses, live DJs, face painting, more than 20 tons of snow for a play area and kid's snow slide and more. Cost is $15 for ages 3 and older. www.mvpsportsclubs.com

Dec. 17: Wekiva Island’s Christmas Boat Parade, Longwood. Watch the procession of boats decked in boughs of holly, tinsel and lights as they sail down Wekiva River. Enjoy food, drinks, snow, gift wrapping and Santa from 5 – 10 p.m. This is a free event. 407-862-1500. wekivaisland.com/event/annual-boat-parade-2016

Dec. 24: Art Walk on Flagler, New Smyrna Beach. Held on the fourth Saturday each month, Flagler Avenue livens up with entertainment and wine tastings at participating venues. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (wine walk 1-7 p.m.). Free ($25 for wine walk). Flagler Avenue, 100 Flagler Ave., New Smyrna Beach, FL, 32169. 386-428-1770. www.nsbwaterfrontloop.com

Dec. 28: Russell Athletic Bowl, Orlando. The bowl features teams from the ACC and Big Ten conferences, and has existed as the Champs Sports Bowl through 2011 and has been taking place for more than 15 years. It is played in the Camping World Stadium in downtown Orlando. Game starts at 5:30 p.m. Ticket prices vary with packages available at varying rates. Russell Athletic Bowl hospitality can include lounge seating, open bars, upscale food and live entertainment. 407-423-2476. russellathleticbowl.com

Dec. 29: Florida Citrus Parade, Orlando. The Citrus Parade, held at 11 a.m. in downtown Orlando, features signature citrus floats made from more than 100,000 grapefruit, oranges and tangerines. The entries include marching bands from across the country. The parade attracts more than 60,000 spectators and an international audience of millions through its television syndication in 150 markets in the United States and Canada. Admission is free. 407-423-2476. www.floridacitrusparade.com

Dec. 31: New Year's Eve Celebration, New Smyrna Beach. There will be a New Year's Eve Party on Flagler Avenue. Fireworks will be at 9 p.m. at the corner of Cooper Street and Flagler Avenue. www.partyonflagler.com

Tampa Bay-Sarasota (including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Tarpon Springs and Homosassa)

Dec. 1-4: St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show. Considered one the largest in-water boat shows on the Gulf Coast featuring hundreds of power boats and sailboats on display in water and on land, including family cruisers, runabouts, fishing boats, sailing yachts, and personal watercraft. Educational activities and special events include boating seminars and youth fishing clinics presented by Hook The Future. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Dec. 1-2, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Dec. 4 at Albert Whitted Park and Duke Energy Center for the Arts - Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin, 400 First Street South, St. Petersburg. $16 adults, free military personnel with ID and children ages 15 and under. 954-764-7642 or 800-940-7642, ShowManagement.com.

Dec. 2: Tampa's Tree Lighting Ceremony, Tampa. Attend Tampa's annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 2 in beautiful Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. Admission is free. www.tampagov.net

Dec. 2: Tampa's Christmas Market, Tampa. Start your holiday shopping at Tampa's outdoor Christmas Market. Tampa's Christmas Market is held in conjunction with Tampa's Tree Lighting Ceremony and Santa Fest at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. 6 p.m. friendsoftamparec.org

Dec. 2-4: Sarasota Craft Show, Sarasota. Features highly regarded artists from across the nation, plus entertainment and demonstrations by artists. At Robarts Arena. Admission $11 one day, or $13 come-and-go weekend pass; seniors $10; students $6; children under 10 free. 845-355- 2400,  www.sarasotacraftshow.com

Dec. 2-3, Dec. 9-10, 16-23, 26-30: Christmas in the Wild at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa. 6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. It's going to be brrrr-illiant!  Meet Santa and his merry mammals – REAL REINDEER, only at the Zoo. More merriment awaits with charming animated displays, a million twinkling lights, free Zoo rides and traditional holiday treats. Don't miss this Tampa tradition, a whimsical world of holiday magic at the Zoo. 813-935-8552. lowryparkzoo.com

Dec. 3: Santa Fest & Christmas Parade, Tampa. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Admission is free. www.tampagov.net

Dec. 9-10, 16-17: Winter Waterland, Weeki Wachee State Park.  At Weeki Wachee State Park. From 6-10 p.m., a special holiday-themed mermaid show performed at the Riverside Theater by the Wildlife Department with other activities including Santa Claus, kids games and activities, lots of holiday lights and music. Admission $6 for adults. 352-592-5656. www.friendsofweekiwachee.com

Dec. 10: Candlelight Tours of Fort Foster, Tampa. Guests follow a lantern-lit trail through the military Fort, where they encounter living history scenarios. Traveling musicians far from home play folk music to liven up the evening and guests enjoy warm cider & cookies from the ladies from Ft. Brooke/Tampa. Seminole Natives gather across the bridge on the Hillsborough River where they will lead you down a lantern-lit trail to visit a native encampment where you will hear stories of native life in early Florida. A battle reenactments will happen on Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10 after 8 p.m. Public admission is a $5 donation to Hillsborough River State Park Preservation Society per person, people ages 12 and under are free. 813-987-6771 www.floridastateparks.org/hillsboroughriver/Events.cfm

Dec. 10: Main Street Holidays, New Port Richey. Downtown New Port Richey plays host to the annual Main Street Holidays that celebrates the season with family friendly activities and entertainment. Historic downtown New Port Richey is all aglow with holiday lights and decorations, as well as places to shop for those special gifts for the folks on your Christmas and Holiday list. www.nprmainstreet.com

Dec. 10: Hillsborough River Half & Quarter Marathon, Hillsborough River State Park. Hillsborough River State Park. Hillsborough River State Park 15402 U.S. 301 North Thonotosassa, FL 33592. Advance registration required. Half Marathon - $64. Quarter Marathon - $49. www.active.com

Dec. 16-18: Sarasota Snow Fest, Sarasota. One of the few places in Florida to play in the snow, and this one has a nice three-day run. It offers 70 tons of snow for open play areas and four giant snow slides, reindeer (really pony) rides, bounce houses, visits with Santa and ice-skating rink, caroling, food and drink vendors and entertainment. Admission is $7, free for kids 12 and under; rides and attraction prices vary. Noon - 10 p.m. snowfestsarasota.com

Dec. 17: BrainDeer 5K, Tampa. The Tampa Bay community will once again come together to support a cure for cancer. Onsite registration opens at 8 a.m. The 5K run and walk begins at 9 a.m. Gadsden Park, 6901 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa.  www.milesforhope.org

Dec. 17-18: Holiday of the Arts, St. Petersburg. Holiday of the Arts is a juried, fine arts event displaying original handcrafted work by some 90 artists. Admission is free. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at South Straub Park at 198 Beach Drive Northeast in downtown St. Petersburg. For information, visit www.paragonartevents.com

Southwest Florida (including Naples, Fort Myers, Venice, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda)

Through Dec. 31: Festival of Lights at Fishermen's Village, Punta Gorda. Festival of Lights at Fishermen's Village, Punta Gorda. Lighting of the Village kicks off on Nov. 20. View more than one million lights and themed decorations through the Village daily through Dec. 31. Music, food and vists with Santa. 941-639-8721. www.fishville.com 

Through Jan. 1: Holiday Nights at Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers. This annual event showcases the lights and seasonal decorations that fill 20 acres of gardens, the recently restored Edison buildings, and the historic homes on both Estates. 239-334-7419. http://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org

Dec. 2-3: Luminary Festival, Sanibel and Captiva. More than three miles of luminary candles line the main roads on Sanibel on Dec. 2 and Captiva on Dec. 3, creating a glowing way to usher in the holidays. Businesses decorate their stores, sponsor entertainment and provide free refreshments, Santa arrives at the Sanibel Community House with candy for kids. Free.  sanibel-captiva.org/luminary-festival-sanibel-captiva

Dec. 3: Snowfest, Naples. More than 100 tons of snow is the star of this annual community event in southwest Florida. There will be snow mountains to climb, tobaggan and snow skiing hills as well as ice skating rink, full-scale carnival, arts and crafts, petting zoo, pony rides and more. More than 15,000 people attend the event each year. Snow is cold, so remember to bring gloves or mittens, even if it's 80 degrees out. Cost is $2 per person. 3 and under are free. The festival is at Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples.  239-252-4180. Event hours vary. snowfestnaples.com

Dec. 3: Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade, Fort Myers Beach. Come enjoy some Christmas spirit at the Annual Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Last year there were nearly 30 boats participating and this year promises to be even more exciting. The parade will pass by such establishments as Bootleggers Waterfront Barbeque, Parrot Key Caribbean Grill, Matanzas, Nervous Nellies, Doc Fords and Bonita Bills where you can kick back and enjoy the fun. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 239-454-7500. See more at: www.fortmyersbeach.org

Dec. 3: Christmas Boat Parade, Venice. Parade of decorated boats, from Albee Road to South Bridge. Always held on the first Saturday of December at 6p.m.; rain date the next day. 941-809-8100. venicechristmasboatparade.com

Dec. 3-4: Winter Fine Arts Festival, Englewood. The Winter Fine Arts Festival will once again be presented by Olde Englewood Village Association on Dec. 3-4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day on West Dearborn Street in charming "Olde Englewood Village." oldeenglewood.com

Dec. 3-31: Annual Christmas Light Canal Tours, Punta Gorda. In this picturesque area on Florida's Southwest Gulf Coast, residents deck the decks, docks, seawalls, ship's masts, palm trees, anything and everything that can be festooned with holiday lights, and then rejoice in the kaleidoscope of colorful displays. By lighted boat, or by bicycle, tours take in 50-foot Christmas trees, snowmen, Santa's sleighs, and even more elaborate holiday vignettes as residents revel in this holiday tradition with brilliant light displays on decks, lanais and along the waterways. Cruise the canals of Punta Gorda to experience this family tradition with spectacular illumination of community holiday spirit. King Fisher Fleet at Fishermen's Village. Adults $18, children 3-11 $9. Call for reservations. 941-639-0969. www.kingfisherfleet.com/cruises-christmas

Dec. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20: Christmas Rail-Boat Trips, Fort Myers. Christmas Rail-Boat Trips offer the opportunity to set sail for a holiday light extravaganza. Participants enjoy soup and salad going north to Punta Gorda for a boat tour through Punta Gorda Isles. Then dig into the entrée and dessert on the way back to Fort Myers. Tickets are $99 each. For details, visit semgulf.com

Dec. 10-11: Florida's Creative Coast Weekend, Pine Island. On the second weekend each month November-April, Pine Island businesses offer themed artistic events. Galleries and shops are open extended hours on Friday, many offering special openings. Take a cooking class, or listen to live music. Other special events and workshops are planned at individual shops on Saturday and Sunday. www.pineislandchamber.org

Dec. 12-13, 17: Holiday Pops Concerts, Fort Myers The Southwest Florida Symphony presents Holiday Pops Concerts. The concerts are held at different lcoal venues. Tickets required. For details, visit www.swflso.org

Dec. 14-18: The Christmas Spectacular, Cape Coral. The Christmas Spectacular features pop music of the season, holiday songs and Santa Claus at Cultural Park Theater on Dec. 14-18. Tickets are $19 for adults, $10 for children under 12. The theater is located at 528 Cultural Park Boulevard. For information, visit culturalparktheater.com

Dec. 15: Alive After Five (Formerly Punta Gorda Gallery Walk), Punta Gorda. Held monthly on the third Thursday, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Visit any of the downtown merchants, restaurants and galleries for your game card. As always, there will be live entertainment, food and drink samplings, art, beauty and health demonstrations, a free trolley, and an evening of fun. Free; free parking. 941-505-0130. www.charlotteharbortravel.com/event/punta-gorda-gallery-walk/56/

Dec. 30-31: Coconut Point New Year’s Weekend Art Festival, Bonita Springs/Estero. The Sixth Annual Coconut Point New Year’s Weekend Art Festival features fine art and music on Dec. 30-31. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. 23106 Fashion Drive, Estero. Admission is free. For information, visit www.artfestival.com

South Florida and the Keys (including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Key Largo, Key West and the Treasure Coast)

Nov. 30-Dec. 4: Red Dot Fair, Miami. Art show featuring more than 50 international, modern contemporary art dealers from around the world. Painting, photography, sculpture and more. Opening reception Nov. 30, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.; noon-8 p.m. on Dec. 1-3; noon - 5 p.m. Dec. 4.  Admission prices vary. www.reddotfair.com

Dec. 1-4: Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami Beach. This international art show, American sister event of Art Basel in Switzerland, is recognized as the most important annual art show of its kind in America. The annual edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach will feature more than 269 leading galleries from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa, showcasing works by artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.  www.artbasel.com

Dec. 1: 100ft Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Delray Beach. 5-9 p.m. Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Santa will arrive to light the 100ft. Christmas Tree at 7:15pm. Following the Tree Lighting, Santa will be available for photos in his key-west style cottage next to the 100ft. tree! www.100ftchristmastree.com

Dec. 2: Florida Keys Holiday Festival, Islamorda. 4-10 p.m. Holiday parade and festival featuring a 35-foot, snow-blowing community tree and 20 tons of snow for fun on snow mountain. Holiday Gift bazaar, food and fun for the entire family. 305-664-4503. islamoradachamber.com

Dec. 2 – Jan. 1, 2017: Visit the Famous 100ft Christmas Tree, Boynton Beach. Open daily 10a.m.-9 p.m. Tree opens 1 p.m. Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. $1 donation suggested. Ice skating rink $7 per 45 minute session. Visit Santa $12 for commemorative photo, $20 for a fast pass to see Santa. www.100ftchristmastree.com

Dec. 3: Key West Holiday Parade, Key West. Decorated and lighted floats cruise through Key West Harbor and the waters of the Historic Seaport. Route includes Truman Avenue and White Street, proceeds down Truman to Duval, where it takes a right and continues on to Eaton Street. Watch the parade from Truman Avenue or Duval Street. Free www.fla-keys.com/calendarofevents

Dec. 4: JM Lexus Sunday Jazz Brunch, Fort Lauderdale. Live outdoor concert series bringing the area's best local jazz artists to the city's scenic Riverwalk the first Sunday of each month. Listen to the soulful sounds on four different stages.  Everyone is welcome to attend, including well-behaved, leashed pets, and there is ample room to set up chairs, blankets and picnic baskets. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free admission.  www.fortlauderdale.gov

Dec. 4: Christmas Tree Lighting at Whitehall, Palm Beach. During the holiday season the first floor of Whitehall, the beautiful residence that is the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, is decorated in traditional Gilded Age magnificence. The 16-foot Grand Hall Christmas tree is the center of Whitehall's holiday celebrations. Festivities include holiday music played on its original 1,249-pipe organ, choir performances and holiday refreshments. The event culminates with Henry Flagler's youngest descendants lighting the Grand Hall Christmas tree. Free with museum admission. 3 p.m. -5 p.m. 561-655-2833. http://www.flaglermuseum.us

Dec. 9: Boynton and Delray Beach Holiday Boat Parade, Boynton Beach. Parade begins at the Boynton Beach Inlet and proceeds south to the C-15 Canal in Delray Beach. Begins at 6 p.m. Free. 561-600-9097. catchboynton.com

Dec. 9, 16: Historic Lighted Inn Tours, Key West. Discover the history and holiday spirit of Key West by touring beautifully decorated historic inns. The tours include creative offerings by local chefs, artists, writers and performers. 305-296-4959. keywestinns.com

Dec. 10: Schooner Wharf Bar Annual Lighted Boat Parade, Key West. Lighted and decorated vessels from rowboats to tall ships proceed around Key West's Historic Seaport and harbor areas. Parade is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Holiday revelers can watch and applaud from bars, restaurants and resorts in and around the Historic Seaport. Call 305-292-3302. www.schoonerwharf.com

Dec. 10: Winterfest Boat Parade, Fort Lauderdale. The Parade stages along the New River and travels east to the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale and north to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. The best way to see the parade is viewing from the Grandstand Viewing Area (just north of Sunrise Boulevard) starting at 6:30 p.m. winterfestparade.com

Dec. 10-11: Buckler's Craft Fair, West Palm Beach. Browse through one-of-a-kind gifts, custom home décor, jewelry, furniture, country and traditional crafts, folk art, dolls, hair accessories, candles, baby items, artwork, pet items, quilts, wearable art, flags, painted glass, yard art, scrapbooking, personalized items, gourmet delights, and more. At the South Florida Fair Expo, 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm. Admission $7 per person, kids under 12 free. Free parking. $2 off admission with website coupon or a canned good. www.bucklercraftfair.com

Dec. 15: Third Thursday Art Walk, Islamorada. Don't miss this month's Morada Way Art Walk! These fun events are held every month in Islamorada on the Third Thursday. Located at mile marker 81.5 on the Old Highway. This event is Fun! The hours of the event are 6 – 9 p.m. It is a free event with no admission charge. Stroll along the Old Highway and Morada Way with family and friends to enjoy the sights, sounds and culinary arts in Islamorada. moradaway.org/artwalk

Dec. 17: Holiday Boat Parade, Key Largo. Blackwater Sound shimmers underneath as decorated boats parade along the shoreline in celebration of the holiday season. Top spots for viewing and libations include Sundowners, Senor Frijoles, the Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort and Caribbean Club. www.keylargoboatparade.com

Dec. 18 - 23: Flagler Museum Holiday Evening Tours, Palm Beach. During this beloved annual event, families tour Whitehall after hours and discover the origins of American Christmas traditions. Guests will have a rare opportunity to see Whitehall by the glow of the original 1902 light fixtures. Every visitor will receive a traditional Flagler Museum Christmas Cracker following the tour. A choral group will sing carols, and holiday refreshments will be served. The Museum Store will remain open for holiday shopping. Dec 18-19: Tours begin at 7:05 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 7:25 p.m. Dec. 20-23: Tours begin at 6:50 p.m., 7:05 p.m., 7:15p.m. and 7:25p.m. $25 for adults, $15 for children under age 18. Advance purcase required, please call 561-655-2833. www.flaglermuseum.us

Dec. 27–28: Key West House & Garden Tours, Key West. Presented by the Old Island Restoration Foundation, the annual self-guided tours showcase festively dressed Key West homes and gardens. Tickets are $30 and proceeds benefit the Old Island Restoration Foundation's museums, collection and education, grant and scholarship programs. Call 305-294-9501. oirf.org

Dec. 30: Capital One Orange Bowl Football Game, Miami. Two of the top-ranked football teams in the country will compete for the Orange Bowl title. At Hard Rock Stadium. 305-341-4701. www.orangebowl.org

Dec. 31: New Year's Eve Drop Celebrations, Key West. The Southernmost City celebrates with a conch shell drop at Sloppy Joe's Bar; a descending 6-foot red high heel shoe carrying a drag queen at the Bourbon Street Pub/New Orleans House complex; and a pirate wench descending from a tall ship mast in the island city's Historic Seaport. Call 305-294-5717. sloppyjoes.com

Northeast Florida (including Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Flagler County and Amelia Island)

Nov. 24 - Jan. 31: Nights of Lights Festival and Celebration, St. Augustine. This inspiring display of more than two million tiny white lights adorning the palm trees and buildings throughout the city's historic district is based on a custom by the town's original Spanish colonists, who placed a white candle in their windows to brighten the nights during the Christmas holidays. Among special events and activities awaiting visitors: nighttime tours of ancient buildings and inns led by storytellers in period clothing, rollicking train and trolley tours through the narrow brick streets, art walks, a dazzling regatta, Florida ice skating, luminaries in the town plaza, holiday concerts, even a Christmas parade. www.NightsofLights.com

Dec. 2: First Friday Art Walk, St. Augustine. One of the city's most popular cultural events, held the first Friday of each month. Enjoy new exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at 20 participating galleries. Shuttles run on a continuous loop every 30 minutes. 832-779-2781. www.artgalleriesofstaugustine.org

Dec. 3, 10, 17: Santa's Storybook Tea Party, Amelia Island.  A Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island tradition; a fireside holiday storybook read by Santa plus an afternoon tea, with finger sandwiches, pastries, candy, cakes and a picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus. $50 adults and children ages 6 and up/$18 children 5 and under. For more info visit www.ritzcarlton.com.

Dec. 4: Annual Garden Club Christmas Tour of Homes, St. Augustine. Annual tour showcases holiday decorations at a selection of St. Augustine's most outstanding private homes. Enjoy a taste of nostalgia in the colorful and natural floral decorations and arrangements designed and handcrafted by members of The Garden Club of St. Augustine. In addition, a delightful tea is included in the ticket price. The tour takes place from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 and should be purchased in advance because of limited availability 904-686-9320. www.christmastourofhomes.com

Dec. 10: Amelia Island Holiday Cookie Tour, Amelia Island. Sample a signature cookie from each of the inns of Amelia Island's historic structures and take the recipes home with you. Self-guided and self-paced. www.ameliaislandinns.com

Dec. 10: Artrageous Artwalk, Fernandina Beach. Held monthly on second Saturday each month, to open the doors of some of Amelia Island's incredible galleries, featuring photography, pottery, copper, stained glass, watercolor, acrylics and more. Participants can peruse more than a dozen galleries in downtown Fernandina Beach and at the Plantation Artists' Guild and Gallery located at Amelia Island Plantation. 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. 904-261-7020. islandart.org/artrageous-artwalk

North-Central Florida (including Ocala, Gainesville and Tallahassee)

Nov. 24 – Dec. 31: Visual Arts showcase. More than 100 artisans sell gift items and handmade ornaments. $3 per person or $7 per family, members and children under 12 enter free. www.lemoyne.org

Dec. 2-3: Arts & Antiques Fair and Artists League Crafts Expo. Shop for antiques, jewelry, stained glass, enameled metals, ceramics and handcrafted works by members of the Artists League. At the Museum of Fine Arts, at Florida State University. Free admission. www.visittallahassee.com

Dec. 2: Gainesville Art Walk, Gainesville. A free monthly self-guided tour that combines exciting visual art, live performance, and events in downtown GainesvilleHeld the last Friday of each month from 7 p.m. to 10 pm, with many local galleries, eateries and businesses participating. www.artwalkgainesville.com

Dec. 2: Camellia Christmas, Tallahassee. Maclay Gardens State Park invites the community to celebrate the Christmas Season with this annual candlelight stroll through the gardens accompanied by holiday music performed by local artists. Bid on holiday finery for the home or a gift at the silent auction, which will include items donated by local merchants, artists and florists. 6-9 p.m. Free; park entrance fee is waived. 850-245-2200. www.floridastateparks.org/maclaygardens/Events.cfm

Dec. 2 - 24: Festival of Lights, White Springs. At Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, the state park holiday celebration features more than four million lights throughout the park. Named a Top 20 Event in the southeastern United States, visitors can enjoy award-winning holiday sights and sounds throughout the park. Unique holiday light displays include majestic oak trees decorated with thousands of lights, an antebellum Museum dressed in full holiday splendor, a gingerbread village, a candy cane forest, Santa's runway and much more. This year there will be 14 classic festival nights complete with free hot cocoa, popcorn and marshmallow roasting, bonfire, craft activities, snow flurries, train display, gift shop and music throughout the park. New this year are eight drive-through only nights. Regular nights $3 per person, Children 2 and under free. Drive-through nights: $2 per person. 386-397-2733. www.floridastateparks.org/stephenfoster

Dec. 3-4: Market Days. Original works created by 300 juried artists and craftsmen at the North Florida Fairgrounds. Proceeds benefiting the Tallahassee Museum. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 6-12. tallahasseemuseum.org

Dec. 3: The Ichetucknee Time Machine, Fort White. Take a fascinating journey by van into the Ichetucknee forest and visit the site of the 17th Century Mission de San Martin de Timucua. Learn all about the ancient Timucuan capital of Aquacalyquen. We highly recommend you wear long pants, sturdy shoes and insect repellent. Regular park entrance fee, $6 per vehicle, $4 per vehicle with an individual. 386-497-4690.  www.floridastateparks.org/park-events/Ichetucknee-Springs

Dec. 3: Fall Farm and Cane Festival, Newberry. This is the annual Cane Grinding and commemoration of Miss Myrtle Dudley's birthday, at Dudley Farm Historic State Park. Continues the farm family tradition of grinding sugar cane and boiling it into cane syrup, making this a unique old-time community gathering. Visitors to this state park facility can tour the farm, see other activities and craft demonstrations, or take a wagon ride. Syrup and farm products are sold on this day. Included in regular park admission: $8 per vehicle. 352-472-1142. www.floridastateparks.org/dudleyfarm/Events.cfm

Dec. 3: Winter Festival, Tallahassee. As always, the Winter Festival will have much to offer and something for everyone to enjoy throughout a fun-filled, action-packed evening. This year the festival will be from 3 pm to 10 pm on Saturday, Dec. 3. Live entertainment on five stages, arts, crafts and more in the Downtown Chain of Parks and Kleman Plaza. Thousands of runners wearing bells will sprint through downtown for the Jingle Bell Run before the Holiday Parade starts at 7:15 p.m. on the corner of Monroe and Tennessee Street. 850-891-3860. www.talgov.com/parks/

Dec. 3-4: Annual Market Days, Tallahassee. One of the largest and finest arts and crafts shows in the Southeast, featuring handmade creations of some 300 artists and craftsmen. Works include fine arts, ceramics, country furniture, stained glass, woodwork, glasswork, dolls, clocks, pottery, jewelry, sculpture, metalwork, clothing, photography and calligraphy. The event also dishes up a wide selection of mouth-watering foods and refreshments. At North Florida Fairgrounds. Saturday, 10a.m.-5p.m. Sunday 10a.m.-4 p.m. Adults $6, Children 6-12 $4. tallahasseemuseum.org/marketdays

Dec. 10-11: Just One More – A Holiday Art Show. Local artisans come out for the last Downtown Market of the year with art, crafts and other gift-worthy goods. Free admission. www.visittallahassee.com

Dec. 10-11: Santa Bar Crawl. Hosted by the Tallahassee Brew District. $25 ticket and proceeds benefit local charities. santahassee.com

Dec. 11: Holiday Traditions: A Musical Celebration, Gainesville. Enjoy a  wonderful holiday concert at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts featuring area youth choral and orchestra groups. The tradition continues under the direction of Professor Gary Langford, Professor of Music Emeritus at the University of Florida and Conductor of the Alachua County Youth Orchestra.  stopchildrenscancer.org/holiday-traditions

Dec. 17-18: Holiday Magic, Tallahassee. Wrap your holiday season in style by joining the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra at Holiday Magic. A world-class vocal quartet will collaborate with the orchestra in a spectacular evening of music that offers inspiration, entertainment, and plenty of smiles. At Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. 8 p.m. Dec. 17 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 18. 850-224-0461. www.tallahasseesymphony.org

Dec. 18: Pickin' in the Park, Ocala. On the third Sunday of each month, local and visiting musicians perform acoustic music in a scenic area in front of the headsprings at Silver Springs State Park. 1 p.m. Free with paid park admission. 1425 NE 58th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34470. 352-236-7148. www.floridastateparks.org/silversprings

The Panhandle (including Pensacola, Panama City Beach, Apalachicola and Destin)

Through Dec. 27: Niceville Christmas Display "Animation in Motion," Niceville. This Christmas Display features over 600 animated dolls, largest Christmas Village in town with over 1,000 pieces. N-scale, H.O.-scale, O-scale and G-scale model trains. Come visit our Niceville Christmas display and see our new and unique layout. While you are visiting, grab an evening snack. This a great place for family Christmas pictures, so let us be a part of your Christmas memories. Many activities will be available for the family. thenicevillechristmaslady.com

Dec. 9: Holiday Pops! Concert, Niceville. The sounds of the holiday season will fill the air as the NFSO, joined by the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorale, performs some of the most beautiful season music ever written. It's an evening for everyone with popular holiday fare, a carol sing-along with eh audience, and festive holiday and Christmas music. Tickets $25 each for adults. 7:30 p.m. mattiekellyartscenter.org

Dec. 31: New Year's Eve Beach Ball Drop, Panama City Beach. Ring in the New Year with a fun beachside celebration. Countdown to 2017 begins at 8 p.m., when streets will be closed to traffic, live entertainers, prizes and a midnight fireworks display caps it all. At Pier Park. 850-233-5070. www.visitpanamacitybeach.com

Copyright © 2017, The Virginia Gazette