4 Exciting Christmas Events in South Florida

Forget Jack Frost. The Ghost of warm weather present will be heating things up in South Florida. So, deck the palm fronds and have a holly, jolly, tropical vacation with these fun-filled Christmas events in and around Miami.

Wild Holidays at Jungle Island
For two wonderful weeks, Jungle Island throws a wild holiday party. Jolly elves, children on “both” lists—even old Scrooges—are welcome to come and get festive with holiday-themed animal adventures.

Visit Joy to the World Holiday Village and take a look at different holiday celebrations around the world. Walk through the tempting Candy Cane Jungle made from giant versions of the red and white-striped candy. Discover wildlife and nature during a live animal show or just enjoy some holiday music. There’s also face painting, story time, scavenger hunts and crafty projects for the kids.

Event Date: Mid-December 2015

Cost: Adults $34.95, Children $26.95, Children under 3 are FREE

Parrot Jungle
1111 Parrot Jungle Trail
Miami, FL 33132

christmas-boat-paradeWinter Boat Parade
For the past 43 years, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Winter Boat Parade has sailed through the holidays. The aquatic procession is always one of the most anticipated events of the year. The theme for this season is “Fairytales Afloat.” Expect a fleet of creative entries and lots of surprises. Previous parades featured elephants, acrobats, a floating fire truck and two famous mice from a popular Orlando theme park.

These bridges over the Intracoastal Waterway provide prime spots to watch the boats go by.

Las Olas Boulevard
Sunrise Boulevard
Oakland Park Boulevard
Commercial Boulevard

Event Date: December 12, 2015 | Parade sails at 6:30 pm and docks at approximately 10:30 pm

Cost: FREE along parade route, $5 at Grandstand inside Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Parade starts at Stranahan House in the New River and ends just south of Atlantic Boulevard at Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach.

food-truck-invasionChristmas Tree Lighting and Food Truck Invasion at Bayfront Park

In Miami, the holiday season officially gets underway the day after Thanksgiving. And while it my be Black Friday, Bayfront Park will be shining brightly when it unveils its 50-foot Christmas tree. With food trucks from local vendors, holiday music and a festive party atmosphere, you’re sure to get in the spirit.

Be sure to put this exciting event on your list a take a break from shopping. Good eats will include Cuban fare, seafood treats and American classics. If you can attend the Christmas Tree Lighting and Food Truck Invasion at Bayfront Park, you can still marvel at the Christmas tree. It stays lit through Christmas day.

Event Date: November 27, 2015 | 5 pm-9 pm, tree lighting at 7 pm

Cost: FREE

Bayfront Park
310 North Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33132

santas-enchanted-forestSanta’s Enchanted Forest
Now in its 26th year, the biggest Christmas-themed amusement park and carnival is back to spread good cheer to all. The focal point of Santa’s Enchanted Forest is the towering 92-foot Christmas tree, and the grounds sparkle with more than 3 million lights.

This family-friendly event features tons of entertainment including magic acts, live shows, games and mazes. You can also hope on exciting rides like roller coasters, merry-go-rounds and tower drops. Of course there will be plenty of food to complement the festivities.

Santa’s Enchanted Forest is located in the heart of Miami—but you can see it glistening from the highway.

Event Date: Now through January 3, 2016 | 5 pm until midnight

Cost: Adults (10-64) $30.84, Children (3-9) $21.49, Seniors (65+) $21.49

Tropical Park
7900 SW 40th Street
Miami, FL 33155

Photo Credits: Sean O’Shaughnessy, Phillip Pessar, Dawn Ashley, Bob Brown via cc