Historic City News readers looking for something interesting to do this week have a lot of holiday entertainment choices to select from.
Nights of Lights
St Augustine’s famed Nights of Lights illuminate the nation’s oldest city’s historic district with the gentle glow of more than three million tiny white lights, providing a luminous setting for an exciting agenda of holiday events and fun through January 31. Visit www.NightsofLights.com.
Viva Florida Art Exhibit
To commemorate the 500th Anniversary of Ponce De Leon’s naming of La Florida, the St Augustine Art Association Gallery celebrates the sights and structures, beaches and byways, flora and fauna, history and happenings that are uniquely Florida with a new exhibit. The St Augustine Art Association Gallery, 22 Marine St., St Augustine is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 5 p.m. Admission is Free. Visit http://www.staaa.org
The 6th Annual Winter Wonderland at the St Augustine Amphitheatre is free to the public. Hosted by the St Johns County Cultural Events Division, Winter Wonderland features North Florida’s premiere outdoor ice skating rink, along with our brand new Ice Chute, RC Race Track and Kid’s Room and of course Visits with Santa! St Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340 A1A South, St Augustine. Each activity priced separately. Call (904) 209-0367 or visit www.winterwonderlandfl.com.
Dressing of the Palms
Dressing of the Palms in the Town Center at Vilano Beach complements Nights of Lights where holiday decorations adorn over 200 palm trees along Vilano Road and Coastal Highway in Vilano Beach. Through January. Free. Vilano Beach Town Center, 260 Vilano Road, St Augustine. Phone: (904) 540-0402 or visit www.vilanobeachfl.com.
Tour of Trees
Tour the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse spectacular holiday decorations! The tours of the clubhouse are led by PGA story tellers and take place daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Food and beverages are available in the clubhouse. Visit www.tpc.com/tpc.asp?id=12&page=885.
Holly Jolly Holiday Trolley
Explore St Augustine’s famous Nights of Lights in the cozy comfort of the Holly Jolly Trolleys. Guests of all ages delight at the festive glittering lights throughout St Augustine’s historic area while enjoying caroling, hot apple cider and homemade cookies. Tours depart from St Augusitne Visitors Information Center, 10 W. Castillo Drive, St Augustine. Visit www.trolleytours.com/st-augustine/holiday-tour.asp.
Electric Bus Nights of Lights Tour
See the City lights on a 7 seat silent comfortable all electric vehicle with a city licensed guide giving a fully narrated 45 minute tour covering all the downtown city lights and sights, travelling down both the narrow and main streets. This tour goes where others do not! Nightly departs from parking lot at rear of Love Tree Café, 31 Orange Street at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, 9 pm. Adults: $12. Child under 12: $10. Call (904) 325-0547 or visit www.staugustinegoldtours.com.
Big Red Christmas Train Nights of Lights Tours
The Big Red Christmas Train transports riders through St Augustine’s magical Nights of Lights. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the season while viewing a magical holiday illusion through your free Magic viewing glasses. Nightly tours are $8 for adults and $4 for children and start at Ripley’s Believe It or Not, 19 San Marco Avenue from 6 to 8 p.m. (till 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday). On Friday and Saturday, there will be entertainment in the lines and FREE admission to Santa’s Village! Call (904) 824-1606 or visit www.redtrains.com.
Wednesday and Saturday: December 12 & 15
Historic Weapons Demonstrations at Fort Matanzas
Take the National Park Service’s ferry to Rattlesnake Island and experience daily military life at Fort Matanzas – the 18th century Spanish fort that guarded the southern approach to St Augustine. From 12:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m., authentically clad re-enactors will demonstrate Spanish muskets and cannons at the fort. Admission is free. Fort Matanzas National Monument is located on A1A at the south end of Anastasia Island, approximately 15 miles south of St Augustine. Call (904) 471-0116 or visit NPS.Gov/foma.
Thursday: December 13
Winter Chorus Concert
SJCCA Center for the Arts at St Augustine High presents their annual Winter Chorus Concert. The evening is filled with holiday favorites, culminating in the Hallelujah Chorus. St Augustine High School, 3205 Varella Avenue. Tickets are $5, at the door. Call (904) 547-8530.
Friday: December 14
Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
Singer-songwriter Dan Hicks deftly blends elements of Swing, Jazz, Folk and Country music to create the appealing sound he sometimes calls “Folk Jazz.” The concert takes place at 7 p.m. at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, 1050 A1A N., Ponte Vedra Beach. Tickets are $30 and $35. Call (904) 209-3700 or visit pvconcerthall.com.
Friday and Saturday: December 14 & 15
Amahl and the Night Visitors Opera
The holiday classic, Amahl and the Night Visitors, a 50 minute opera that tells the story of the night the Three Kings, following the star to Bethlehem will take place at St Anastasia Catholic Church, 5205 A1A S., St Augustine Beach. Free parking. Tickets are $15 for adults and children 12 and under are free with an adult. Call (904) 471-5364.
Santa’s Village is open at 3 Cordova Street in St Augustine. From 6 to 9 p.m. guests can visit with Santa, make a craft, enjoy hot cocoa, sing holiday karaoke, play reindeer games or enjoy a movie. Admission is $3, or FREE with the purchase of Red Train Sightseeing or Nights of Lights Tour. Call (904) 824-1606.
Saturday: December 15
Washington Oaks Garden Tour
Join Park Ranger Amanda at 11 a.m. for an hour long tour of the beautiful formal gardens at Washington Oaks! You will learn about the various plants and animals that are found in the park and you will also learn about this park’s fascinating history! This program meets in the main garden parking lot and regular park entrance fees apply. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is located at 6400 North Oceanshore Boulevard in Palm CoaSt Call (386) 446-6783 or visit www.floridastateparks.org.
Changing of the Guard
Presented by the 1740 Spanish Garrison, Spanish Soldier re-enactors will march to St Augustine Government House on the west end of the Plaza de la Constitucion where they will relieve the posted guards. A musket fire volley salute will follow. It takes place in the Plaza at 6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: December 15 & 16
St Augustine Ballet Presents The Nutcracker
The St Augustine Ballet will perform The Nutcracker at Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada Street, Saint Augustine. This magical musical event features elegant costumes, custom-designed scenery, professional dancers and local celebrities, including the Mayor of Saint Augustine. Performances are at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets range from $15 to $30. Visit www.saintaugustineballet.com.
St Augustine Orchestra Concert “Christmas Around the World”
The St Augustine Orchestra Concert will perform festive works from around the world in the Lightner Museum’s Antique Courtyard, 25 Granada Street, at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $15 at the door. The encore performance is on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Christ Episcopal Church, 400 San Juan Dr. in Ponte Vedra Beach. Admission to Sunday’s concert is $10 at the door. Children 12 years old and younger are admitted free. Visit www.staugustineorchestra.org.
Sunday: December 16
Sundancer Yacht Nights of Lights Cruises
Enjoy viewing St Augustine’s brilliant Nights of Lights aboard the 117 foot, two story, luxury yacht Sundancer. The Sundancer is set-up in the holiday spirit with decorations, lights, and holiday music. Starting December 16, cruises will depart nightly through December 30 at 5:15, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. from the St Augustine Municipal Marina, 111 Avenida Menendez . Tickets are $16 for adults, $10 for children ages 12 – 6, and free for children 6 and under. Call 877-446-6465 or visit www.SundancerYacht.com.