The holiday season in St. Augustine is filled with so many fun things to do and traditions to keep. Keeping track of everything during this chaotic season can be tricky, so here’s a holiday bucket list I created with my family’s favorite activities.
1. Take in the sights at Night of Lights: St. Augustine is known for our Nights of Lights that run from November 23, 2019, to January 31, 2020. Walk, ride, or float around historic downtown and enjoy viewing the millions of lights.
2. Make chili and/or attend a chili cook-off: On a cool night make some chili, or if cooking is not your thing, attend the 9th Annual Fire Fighter Chili Cook-Off at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on December 7th, 2019.
3. Watch the Christmas Parade: Wave to Santa and watch St. Augustine’s 65th Annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 7th at 9am. The parade begins at The Shrine of Our Lady de La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios and ends at the Visitor’s Center.
4. Check out Surf Illumination: Check out the lights at the St. Augustine Pier on December 7th. From 4pm to 7pm enjoy festivities including local food, music, and even a visit from Santa!
5. Watch the Holiday Regatta of Lights: On December 14th check out the boat parade along St. Augustine’s bayfront.
6. Participate in a fun run: From Turkey Trots to Santa Suits on the Loose 5k, there are plenty of options for the holiday season. This will also make you feel a little better about eating a dozen cookies and drinking too many peppermint mochas!
7. Take photos with Santa: I love this holiday tradition! It’s so fun to see how kids react to Santa each year. Find out where to see Santa here.
8. See The Nutcracker Ballet: Watch The St. Augustine Ballet perform the classic ballet on December 21st and 22nd, 2019.
9. Volunteer: Give back this holiday season. So often we lose the true meaning of the holiday season and get wrapped up in the material side. The Salvation Army and The Tesori Family Foundation are just two of many charities with holiday volunteer opportunities.
10. Snuggle up and watch a holiday movie: Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone, A Christmas Story, Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street … so many to choose from! Most streaming channels have specific sections dedicated to the holidays so it should be easy to find a movie everyone will love.
11. Read a holiday story: Snuggle up with the kids and read How the Grinch Stole Christmas or another holiday favorite.
12. Have a picnic lunch or dinner: Take advantage of our beautiful weather and have a picnic at the beach or park.
13. Go on a pub crawl: Leave the kids at home and go on a holiday pub crawl through downtown.
14. Go shopping at a local business: Even if it’s not Small Business Saturday, check out one of St. Augustine’s many awesome local businesses for gifts. Declaration & Co. is one of my personal favorites.
15. Bake cookies: Bake and decorate cookies with the kids. One of my favorite holiday traditions!
16. Have a pajama day: Spend all day in your coziest pajamas, preferably while you’re baking cookies.
17. Attend or host a cookie exchange: Every year I look forward to my friend’s annual cookie exchange. If you don’t attend one already, start a new tradition with your friends and family.
18. Decorate a gingerbread house: We love getting gingerbread house kits from Publix. My kids have so much fun decorating (and eating) their houses.
19. Go for a pajama drive to look at local neighborhood lights. Nights of Lights is spectacular, but even more amazing are the house decorations that might be just around the corner.
20. Make holiday cheer bags to hand out to neighbors. Think “boo” bags but with a holiday twist. Include things like candy canes, hot cocoa mix, etc.
Here’s a printable bucket list to hang on your fridge or tuck away in your car. Right-click on the image below, “save as” and print OR click here for the pdf to print.