Named after the nation's seventh president, Andrew Jackson, the beautiful city of Jacksonville is also known for its beaches, music culture and decadent dining spots. However, this Florida city is one of the biggest and best hosts for holiday festivities and celebrations. For those of you with apartments in Jacksonville, you certainly won't run out of things to do and sights to see throughout the holiday season.
From and ugly sweater bar crawl to fun for the whole family with light shows and holiday performances, you'll surely find something fun to do during the holiday season in Jacksonville. We've listed some of our favorite traditions below complete with dates and times to help you plan your holiday fun.
Jax Illuminations 7th Annual Drive-Thru Holiday Light Show
- Nov. 21, 2019 – Jan. 4, 2020
- Sunday – Thursday: 6:00pm – 9:30 pm
- Friday & Saturday: 6:00pm – 10:30 pm
This is one of my favorite holiday activities to do in the Jacksonville area. If your Jacksonville apartment is near St. John's Town Center, you're less than five minutes away from seeing true holiday magic. My favorite part? This dazzling show can be witnessed without leaving the comfort of your own car (and heated seats!) This mile-long drive-thru features two mega trees, a 300-foot tunnel of lights, handmade Christmas scenes and over one million brilliant LED lights that are synchronized flawlessly to Jax Illuminations' radio station. Guests are able to purchase tickets in advance to avoid a wait. Pour yourself a cup of cocoa and load everyone up in the car to kickstart the holiday season.
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
- Dec. 4, 2019
The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take at 6:25 p.m. in Hemming Park, right down the road from downtown Jacksonville apartments. The 56-foot-tall energy-efficient tree features over 78,000 LED lights and more than 100 ornaments. There can't be a tree lighting ceremony without music, so expect to see and hear performances highlighting Jacksonville's local musicians throughout the night.
Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl
- Dec. 14, 2019
The country's oldest and original "Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl" will be taking place in Jacksonville Beach (yes, it's a real thing). Including 12 of the beach's most well-known bars and restaurants, this bar crawl will ensure a night of fun, dancing, and a canned food drive benefitting local food banks. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time for a discounted rate as well as complimentary drinks (and shots!) If you're lucky enough to live in apartments near Jacksonville Beach, you have no excuse NOT to go.
WinterFest at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach
- Nov. 22, 2019 – Jan. 6, 2020
The closest Floridians get to seeing snow is at Jacksonville Beach's WinterFest. Bringing snow to the sunshine state, guests can enjoy a variety of winter activities such as nightly snowfalls, an ice-skating rink and my personal favorite, the Alpine Racer, which is a 130-foot long ice slide.
Deck the Chairs
- November 29 – January 1
Nothing screams "beach town" more than this event, and I ain't mad about it. Kicking off the night after Thanksgiving, more than 20 American Red Cross lifeguard chairs will be decorated and displayed in Downtown Jacksonville Beach. As always, there will be plenty of holiday music, hot cocoa and even a panel of judges to score the chair designs.
Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker
- December 22
Queue memories of my childhood dream: Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker. This one-night wonder is set to showcase world-class artists, over 200 dazzling costumes and a performance of the season in the Florida Theatre.