Los Angeles Times

Florida travel events calendar for December

Check out festivals and events in December across the state.

Featured destination: Key West

Nov. 25- Dec. 20: Key West Holiday Fest, Key West. Live holiday music, games for the kids, free cookies and eggnog, holiday cheer and a chance for photos with Santa highlight this event. Created as a gift to the community, the gala is produced by the Key West Bight Preservation Association and tenants of the Key West Bight. 305-304-2633. www.keywestchristmas.org

Dec. 11, 18: 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. 305-295-1334. keywestinns.com

Dec. 12: 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. 13: Christmas on the Sheriff's Animal Farm, Key West. Kids and adults can visit the Monroe County Sheriff's Office Animal Farm and get a photo taken with Santa. The farm is situated at the county's detention center just outside Key West at 5501 College Road. This event is free and open to the public. 1-3 p.m. Call 305-293-7300. www.fla-keys.com/calendarofevents

Dec. 11: Pet Pictures With Santa, Key West. Pets and kids get a holiday photo with Santa to help support the Boys & Girls Club of Key West. Look for Santa at the Christmas tree at the foot of William Street on the Harbor Walk of Lights. -8 p.m. $20. keywestchristmas.org.

Dec. 19: Violins in Motion Holiday Concert, Key West. A musical performance on the plaza at Green and Elizabeth Streets under the decorated Lobster Trap Tree on the Harbor Walk of Lights. 6:30-8 p.m. Free. keywestchristmas.org.

Dec. 20: Holiday Classic Car Show, Key West. Classic cars will be on the plaza at Margaret Street near the decorated Lobster Trap Tree on the Harbor Walk of Lights. Businesses will be open around the show for shopping, food and beverages. noon-4 p.m. Free. keywestchristmas.org.

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. December tours are from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., both evenings. 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.orgDec. 31: Key West Dachshund Walk, Key West. About 200 dachshunds and their owners take a New Year's Eve stroll through the island's downtown. The annual Key West Dachshund Walk, set for noon Dec. 31, provides an informal, family-friendly prelude to nighttime New Year's Eve revelry. Spectators can watch the fun and meet the canine participants on Fleming Street between Whitehead and Duval streets.
email: keywestdachshundwalk@gmail.com. www.fla-keys.com/calendarofevents

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

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 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 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 Jan. 3, 2016: 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

Dec. 3: 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 36th 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. 4: 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. - 8 p.m. Free. Magnolia Square, 200 S. Magnolia Ave., Sanford, 32771. 407-688-5120. www.sanfordfl.gov

Dec. 4: 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. 4: Light Up Flagler, New Smyrna Beach. From 5:30 p.m. -7:30 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. 4 - 6: 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. 6 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. 5: 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. 5 from 4 p.m. - 9: p.m. Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 day of. Tour begins at 801 Palmetto Ave, Sanford. sanfordhistorictrust.org

Dec. 5: 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. 5: Daytona Beach Christmas Boat Parade, Daytona Beach. Starts at the Seabreeze Bridge at 5:30 p.m. 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. 5: Orlando Pottery Festival, Orlando. With live music and vendors. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. At the City of Orlando Downtown Recreation Complex, 363 N. Parramore Ave. www.orlandopotteryfestival.org

Dec. 5: 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. 5: 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. 5: 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. $6 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. 5: 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! The Christmas Boat Parade will be Dec. 12 along the Intracoastal Waterway and will feature dazzling boats decked in holiday lights, each vying for a prize. On Flagler Avenue. nsbfla.com

Dec. 5: 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. 5: Riverfront Festival of the Season, Port Orange. Enjoy local dance group performances, music, food, entertainment, and photos with Santa. The perfect place to watch the Halifax River Yacht Club’s Christmas Boat Parade. 386-238-4001 www.daytonabeach.com

Dec. 5-Jan. 2: 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. 5-Jan. 2: 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

Nov. 13 - Jan. 3: Light Up UCF!, Orlando. Check outUCF'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. The Holiday Light Show, featuring a light snowfall, will begin at 6 p.m. daily and continue hourly through the night. Prices vary. lightupucf.com.

Nov. 16 - Jan. 4: 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

Dec. 4-6: Norwood's Holiday Food and Wine Festival, New Smyrna Beach. From 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, the Wine de Elegance. $75 Advance. From 1-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5.: The main event, the Grand Tasting -- Grab your commemorative wine glass & enjoy more than 500 wines from around the world. Plus great food and deserts and entertainment. $65 Advance. From 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6:Jazz Brunch -- Enjoy all you can eat brunch, plus all you can drink Bloody Mary Bar, Mimosa's and Red or White Sangria, plus jazz entertainment. $40 Advance. www.norwoodswinefestival.com

Dec. 4: Holiday Lights Orlando, Orlando. With tree lighting and live music. 5-10 p.m. Free. Lake Eola Amphitheater, 101 N. Rosalind Ave., Orlando, FL, 32801. 407-246-2121. www.cityoforlando.net/holiday 

Dec. 5: Jaycee's Christmas Parade, DeLand. 66th annual Christmas parade. 5:30 p.m. The parade runs South on Woodland Blvd to Hubbard Ave. delandchristmasparade.org

Dec. 5-12: 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. More than 60 teams from across the country compete in four age groups from 8 to 14 on the fields of the 220-acre Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Spectator admission is required for all events. Length-of-Event passes (LOE) allow for admission to all days of the event. Daily admission is $16 for 10 and older, $11 ages 3-9. LOE admission is $48 for 10 and older and $33 ages 3-9. 2 and under are free. www.popwarnersb.com/15superbowl/pop.asp

Dec. 11: Santa PAWS, Mount Dora. 11 a.m. to 2p.m. Elizabeth Evans Park at the Mount Dora Village Market. Discover our Pet Friendly Town & WIN fabulous prizes and help local pet charities! www.mountdorachristmas.com/events.shtml

CANCELED FOR 2015 Winter Park Boat Parade & Water Ski Show, Winter Park. Watch the Winter Park Boat Parade & Water Ski Show at the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. In conjunction with the Rotary club of Winter Park, the Polasek hosts its annual Winter Park Boat Parade viewed from the lush Museum grounds on the shore of Lake Osceola. Free. 633 Osceola Ave., Winter Park, FL, 32789. 407-647-6294. www.polasek.org

Dec. 12 : Home for the Holidays Nighttime Parade, Ormond Beach. Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. at Division Ave. and US 1, goes north to Granada Blvd., turns east on Granada Blvd. to Beach Street, turns south on Beach Street ending in front of City Hall at the review area. 386-676-3241. www.ormondbeach.org

Dec. 12: Christmas in the Park with Snow, Mount Dora. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Snow, sledding, Santa, food and games. Donnelly Park. www.mountdorachristmas.com

Dec. 12: 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. 6p.m. to 8 p.m. Free. 407-688-5120. www.sanfordfl.gov

Dec. 12-13: Wine & Chocolate Festival, Clermont. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 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. 12: 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. Admission is $25, $22 for OBHS members. 386-677-7005.www.ormondhistory.org

Dec. 17-23: 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. 17-23. 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. 19: 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. 19: 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 $16 for children ages 3-17 and $10 for adults. 407-916-2550. www.mvpsportsclubs.com

Dec. 25: Fourth Fridays Art Walk, Sanford. A juried art show with exhibits in the Historic Sanford Welcome Center with a walking tour of the art venues and live music. 6-9 p.m. Downtown Sanford, 230 East First Street, Sanford, FL, 32771. Free. The theme for December is "Animals." 407-323-2774. www.sanfordartwalk.com

Dec. 26: 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.-7 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.flaglergallerygroup.com

Dec. 25: 4th Fridays in Artisan Alley & DeLand Art Walk, DeLand. Gather with friends every fourth Friday of the month at Artisan Alley and also enjoy the DeLand Art Walk. DeLand Art Walk is a free, self-guided tour of the Historic Downtown area. Enjoy music, food, drinks, arts, crafts and more. Art galleries, museums, cultural venues, restaurants and boutiques host artists within their businesses on the fourth Friday of every month, rain or shine. Look for an official Art Walk banner in the front of each stop to identify the participating venues. Choose your own route, or begin from Museum of Florida Art. Downtown, 100 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand FL 32720. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 386-738-0649. delandartwalk.com

Dec. 29: 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 Citrus Bowl in downtown Orlando. Game starts at 5:30 p.m. Tickets start at $47 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. 30: Orlando 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. 4: Tampa's Tree Lighting Ceremony, Tampa. Attend Tampa's annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 4 in beautiful Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with the dynamic sounds of the Late Night Brass. Magic 94.9 will be on hand for the Secret Santa Giveaway. Admission is free, but guests are asked to bring a teddy bear that will be donated to children at local hospitals. www.tampagov.net

Dec. 4-5: 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. Dec. 4, 5-9 p.m. and Dec. 5 12-4 p.m. friendsoftamparec.org

Dec. 4-6: 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. 5: Santa Fest 2015, Tampa. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Free photos with Santa Claus, continuous holiday entertainment, make-n-take holiday crafts, hands-on games and Christmas Market. Ice skating is $5 per person. The Rough Rider's Holiday Parade will begin at 11 a.m. The parade will begin at Morgan Street and Madison Street travel west on Madison Street to Ashley Drive, turn north and end at Ashley Drive and Cass Street. Best viewing is along Madison Street. www.tampagov.net

Dec. 7, Dec. 13-15, 17-23, 26-30: Wild Wonderland 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. Tickets on sale soon. 813-935-8552. lowryparkzoo.com 

Dec. 11-12: 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. 11 and Saturday, Dec. 12 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. 5-6, 11-12: 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. 12: 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 - $57. Quarter Marathon - $42. 727-422-1956. www.active.com

Dec. 12: Brooksville Christmas Parade, Brooksville. The annual Brooksville Christmas Parade sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Brooksville will be held Saturday, Dec. 12. 9 a.m. to noon. www.ci.brooksville.fl.us

Dec. 12: BrainDeer 5K, Tampa. The Tampa Bay community will once again come together to support a cure for cancer. The 5K run and walk in Tampa will have participants running along part of a paved 2.2-mile loop drive in the middle of the park. In addition to the running event a Survivor Walk will take participants approximately 1 mile on our Rapids Trail. Advanced registration required. www.milesforhope.org

Dec. 11-12, 18-19: 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 https://www.facebook.com/events/1010855335620705/

Dec. 18-20: 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. Free with donation. Payne Park. 276 South School Avenue, Sarasota. snowfestsarasota.com

Dec. 19-24, 26: Christmas Celebration of Lights, Homosassa. Enjoy Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park decked out for the holidays with thousands of twinkling lights and Christmas decorations. Come and enjoy Sebastian's Winter Wonderland, a spectacular synchronized light and sound show. A variety of entertainment is scheduled and refreshments will be available. Requested donation of $3 adults, $1 children. 352-628-5343. www.floridastateparks.org/homosassasprings/Events.cfm

Dec. 19-20: 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. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday 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)

Nov. 15 - 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. 15. 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. 3: 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. 4-31: 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 $17, children 3-11 $8.50. Call for reservations. 941-639-0969. www.kingfisherfleet.com/cruises-christmas

Dec. 4-5: Luminary Festival, Sanibel and Captiva. More than three miles of luminary candles line the main roads on Sanibel on Dec. 4 and Captiva on Dec. 5, 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. 5: 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, FL.  239-252-4180. Event hours vary. snowfestnaples.com

Dec. 5: Fort Myers Beach 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 Big Game Waterfront Grill, 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. 5: 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. 5-6: Winter Fine Arts Festival, Englewood. The Winter Fine Arts Festival will once again be presented by Olde Englewood Village Association on Dec. 5-6, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day on West Dearborn Street in charming "Olde Englewood Village." oldeenglewood.com

Dec. 11-12: 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, 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. The train departs on Dec. 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $99 each. For details, visit semgulf.com.

Dec. 13: Peace River Lighted Boat Parade, Punta Gorda. The festive display of lights and gorgeous reflections on the water make this annual event a definite must see. At Charlotte Harbor, begins at dusk around 6 p.m. Free. www.puntagordachamber.com

Dec. 16-17, 19-21: 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. 16-20: 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. 16-20. 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. 17: Downtown 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. 26-27: Coconut Point New Year’s Weekend Art Festival, Bonita Springs/Estero. The Fourth Annual Coconut Point New Year’s Weekend Art Festival features fine art and music on Dec. 26-27. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is free. For information, visit www.artfestival.com.

Dec. 31: Downtown Countdown, Fort Myers. Ring in the New Year downtown at the party with the widest variety of entertainment and dining choices. The event starts at 8 p.m. with live entertainment and a ball-drop at midnight. Retail shops and restaurants remain open during the evening. To make downtown's entertainment district the utmost in pedestrian friendly, sections of Hendry, Main, Broadway, Jackson and Bay streets will be closed to vehicular traffic that night. Free admission. 239-321-7100. fortmyersriverdistrictalliance.com

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

Dec. 5-20: Key West 'Bight' Before Christmas, Key West. Live holiday music, games for the kids, free cookies and eggnog, holiday cheer and a chance for photos with Santa highlight this event. Created as a gift to the community, the gala is produced by the Key West Bight Preservation Association and tenants of the Key West Bight. www.keywestchristmas.org

Dec. 1-6: 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 Dec. 2, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Dec. 2-5; 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Dec. 6.  $15 day pass. $25 weeklong pass. 3011 NE 1ST Avenue in Midtown Miami. 917-273-8621. www.reddotfair.com

TBA: Pirates in Paradise, Key West. The Last Key sets the scene for the Pirates in Paradise fest on Dec. 4-7. Among the various activities on the agenda are a pirate sail and attack, a walk-the-plank championship and a pint-sized pirate contest (for kids under 12). Some activities have fees, others like the pint-sized pirate costume contest and walk-the-plank championship, are free. For information, visit www.piratesinparadise.com.

Dec. 3-6: 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 250 leading galleries from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa, showcasing works by more than 2,000 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.  www.artbasel.com

Dec. 4: Florida Keys Holiday Festival, Islamorda. 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. 3 - 31: 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. 5: Key West Holiday Parade, Key West. Decorated and lighted floats cruise through Key West Harbor and the waters of the Historic Seaport. Starts at Bayview Park. Watch the parade from Truman Avenue or Duval Street. 7 p.m. Free www.fla-keys.com/calendarofevents

Dec. 5-6: 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 South Florida Fairgrounds. Admission $7 per person, kids under 12 free. Free parking. $2 off admission with website coupon or a canned good. www.bucklercraftfair.com

Dec. 6: Suntrust 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. 954-828-5363. www.fortlauderdale.gov

Dec. 7: 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. 11: 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. 305-295-1334. keywestinns.com

Dec. 11: 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 5:30 p.m. Free. 561-243-1077. catchboynton.com

Dec. 12: 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. 13: Barnacle Under Moonlight, Coconut Grove. Bring a blanket, bring a picnic, bring your friends and family and join us on the lawn of The Barnacle for a full moon concert as the blue moon lights up the skies of South Florida. At The Barnacle Historic State Park. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., music from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. No pets, no alcohol. Admission 10 and older $10 for non-members, ages 6-9 $3, under 6 free. 305-442-6866. www.floridastateparks.org

Dec. 15: 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. 305-451-4502. www.keylargoboatparade.com/

Dec. 17: 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 - 10  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. 305-664-9100  moradaway.org/artwalk

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. 20: Winter Wonders, Islamorada. Winter Wonders is a Pops-in-the-Park family-friendly holiday concert on Dec. 20. The event starts at 4 p.m. in the ICE Amphitheater at Founders Park, Mile Marker 87, bayside. Admission is free. For information, visit www.fla-keys.com.

Dec. 27: The Florida Keys Craft Beer & Bubbly Fest, Marathon. The Florida Keys Craft Beer & Bubbly Fest serves up craft beers, wines and champagnes at the Marathon Community Park & Amphitheater, 200 36th Street (Mile Marker 49), on Dec. 27. Other highlights include a food truck invasion and music. Admission to the park is free. VIP tickets providing food and other perks are $60 each. Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For information, visit www.keysbeerandbubblyfest.com.

Dec. 31: 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 Sun Life Stadium. 305-341-4701. www.orangebowl.org

Dec. 31: New Year's Eve Shoe Drop Celebration, Key West. The Southernmost City celebrates with a shoe drop at Sloppy Joe's Bar; a descending 6-foot red high heel shoe carrying drag queen Sushi 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 293-9600. www.bourbonstpub.com/newyearseve.html

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

Nov. 21 - 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. 800-653-2489. www.NightsofLights.com

Dec. 4: 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. 5, 12, 19: 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; includes service charge. For more info visit www.ritzcarlton.com.

Dec. 6: 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 904-819-6864. www.christmastourofhomes.com

Dec. 12: 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. $25. www.ameliaislandinns.com/

Dec. 12: 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)

Dec. 3-5: Festival of Trees, Newberry. Annual event benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital held in Tioga Town Center. The event features a weekend-long silent auction of decorated trees and wreaths. Event hours vary, donation is encouraged at the door. At The Square at Tioga Town Center. www.tiogatowncenter.com/event/festival-trees-2015-2

Dec. 4: Gainesville Art Walk, Gainesville. A free monthly self-guided tour that combines exciting visual art, live performance, and events in downtown Gainesville. Held 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. 4: 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. Free; park entrance fee is waived. 850-487-4556. www.floridastateparks.org/maclaygardens/Events.cfm

Dec. 4 - 31: 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, open each evening until 8:30 p.m., except Christmas Night, Dec. 25. 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. Entrance fee: $3 per person. Children under 3 are free. 877-635-3655. http://www.floridastateparks.org/stephenfoster

Dec. 5-6: Dudley Farm Cane Day, 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. 5: Food truck rally, Gainesville. High Dive Beer Garden & Venue will be hosting local food trucks while the SEC Championship Game plays on three different TVs. Doors open at 5 p.m., live music begins at 7 p.m. Free. 18+ only. 210 SW 2nd Ave, Downtown Gainesville. www.highdivegainesville.com

Dec. 5: 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. 5. There are five stages of entertainment, food vendors, arts and crafts and a variety of exhibitors and a children’s activity area featuring hands-on craft activities and bounce houses. 850-891-3860. www.talgov.com/parks/

Dec. 5-6: 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.-4p.m. Adults $6, Children 6-12 $4. 850-575-8684. tallahasseemuseum.org/marketdays

Dec. 6: Sounds of the Season: An American Holiday, Gainesville. The University of Florida College of the Arts and the School of Music presents its annual holiday concert. Tickets are free and will be distributed at the door beginning at 5 p.m. Show starts at 7 p.m. 3201 Hull Road, Gainesville. performingarts.ufl.edu

Dec. 11-12: Southern Pines Blues and BBQ Festival, Perry. Touted as North Florida's biggest and best blues and BBQ festival, featuring talented blues artists from all over and Triple Crown BBQ competition where the best of the best from Florida, Alabama and Georgia vie for the top prize. There also will be a People's Choice, where you are the judge, and an open backyard competition. At Forest Capital Museum State Park. 866-584-5366. www.southernpinesblues.com

Dec. 12: Annual Holiday Parade and Lawn Mower Parade. Havana. Getting into the holiday spirit has never been more fun – how creative can you get in decorating your riding lawn mower to look like a parade float? Choose a holiday theme or any crazy, zany or fun idea you think can win one of three prizes totaling $300. Now golf carts have been added to the mix, with a separate prize awarded for the most ingeniously decorated golf cart. Food and craft vendors add a festive atmosphere to the day.  Free. 850-539-6900. http://www.havanaflorida.com/events.aspx

Dec. 13: 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. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children. 3201 Hull Road, Gainesville. stopchildrenscancer.org/holiday-traditions/

Dec. 19-21: Santa of the Rainbow, Dunnellon. Friends of Rainbow Springs will once again bring Santa Clause to Dunnellon. Bring a child or become a child yourself for this one of a kind experience. Walk through the wonderland of lights that decorate the headsprings area of Rainbow Springs State Park. See Mr. and Mrs. Clause come up the Rainbow River on a lighted boat and head toward their cottage where pictures are taken. Visit with Santa's elves and listen to carols. 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. SPECIAL admission: $2. 352-465-8550. www.therainbowriver.com/activities.html

Dec. 20: 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

Dec. 11-12: 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. 850-224-0461. www.tallahasseesymphony.org

Dec. 19: 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. 386-497-1216. www.floridastateparks.org/ichetuckneesprings/Events.cfm

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

Nov. 29 - 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. 3, 10, 17: Americana Under the Stars, Santa Rosa Beach. Every Thursday at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park you can find original Americana music, including folk, jazz, blues and more by musicians from Florida and other states at the upgraded amphitheater. Updated schedule of artists and dates can be found at www.luckymudmusic.com. $5 donation to the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park includes regular park admission. 7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459. 850-267-8330. www.floridastateparks.org/park/Topsail-Hill

Dec. 11: 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. 12: 5K Reindeer Race, Panama City Beach. The JL 10K and 5K Reindeer Race & 1-mile Santa Shuffle race starts at the St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach. All runners and walkers are treated to a down-and-back lap along the picturesque and flat loop of one of Florida’s most amazing state parks. Race starts at 8 a.m. 4607 State Park Ln., Panama City Beach, FL 32408. Registration prices vary.  www.jlpanamacity.org

Dec. 13: Holiday on the Harbor, Destin. The Destin Harbor will be dancing with holiday lights and cheer during the Destin Boat Parade.  Come enjoy live music, children's arts and craft and hot chocolate!  Visit with Santa Claus from 12-4 PM.  Boat Parade begins at 6pm.  Immediately following the parade will be a spectacular fireworks display over the Destin Harbor. www.emeraldcoastfl.com

Dec. 31: New Year's Eve Beach Ball Drop, Panama City Beach. Ring in the New Year with a fun beachside celebration. Countdown to 2016 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

Special Correspondent Georgina Cruz contributed to this report

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