Weekend full of entertainment choices

Visitors Bureau
Communications Director Jay Humphreys with the St. Augustine Visitors and Convention Bureau reported to Historic City News today there are many choices for entertainment in America’s Oldest City this weekend.

Friday: December 12

HOLIDAY FAVORITES AT IMAX
Be first in line to see two beloved holiday films when they return to the World Golf Hall of Fame IMAX Theater – The Polar Express and Santa vs. the Snowman. Shown on the giant six-story-high IMAX screen, these films create holiday memories for young and old alike through December 24. Tickets for the Polar Express are $10 for adults and $8 for children; Santa vs. the Snowman tickets are $8 for adults with special discounts for children. Tickets may be purchased at the box office or online at www.wgv.com . For show times, visit the website or call 904.940.IMAX (4629).

SUNSET/MOONRISE TOUR
Be a guest of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and enjoy viewing the sunset and moonrise from the most unique perspective in all of St. Augustine! This special event includes a champagne toast, provided by San Sebastian Winery, atop the tower and an informative overview of the history of the St. Augustine Light Station. The tour is from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at the St. Augustine Lighthouse located at 81 Lighthouse Ave. in St. Augustine. The fee is $25 for non-museum members and $20 for members, reservations are required. For more information or to reserve a spot call Pam at 904.829.0745.

Friday and Saturday: December 12 &13

SANTALAND DIARIES
Add some spice to your Christmas with this hilarious one-person play describing the trials and tribulations of a man who portrays an elf in Macy’s Santaland. Local actor Ian Mairs is the star of this satirically funny play. Performances begin at 7 p.m. each evening at The Cultural Center, 50 Executive Way, Ponte Vedra Beach. Tickets are $15. For more information, call 904.280.0614 or go to www.ccpvb.org .

Saturday: December 13

REGATTA OF LIGHTS
Regale your eyes with a holiday parade of boats from 15 to 85 feet in length – sailboats, trawlers, shrimp boats, and many other vessels all-a-glitter with brilliant lighted displays ranging from patriotic to whimsical. Awards will be made for the best theme, most colorful, best in class, and best overall. Beginning at 6 p.m., the boats will light up Matanzas Bay between the Bridge of Lions and Castillo de San Marcos. The Regatta of Lights is hosted by the St. Augustine Yacht Club. For more information, call 904.824.9725 or visit www.sayc2000.com.
Note: Be a part of the regatta aboard the Victory III or the Schooner Freedom! The Schooner Freedom Sunset Cruise departs at 4:15 p.m. and will participate in the regatta. Tickets are $45 per person. For reservations and details, call 904.810.1010. Tickets for the Victory III’s Regatta Cruise are $25 each and may be reserved through Friday by calling 904.824.1806 x210. (On Saturday, some tickets may be available from the Scenic Cruise office at the City Marina.)

HISTORIC WEAPONS FIRING DEMONSTRATION
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 10:30 a.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. For more information, call 904.471.0116 or visit www.nps.gov/foma.

COOKIES AND MILK WITH SANTA
Meet Santa at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park for a fun morning of stories, milk and cookies. Each child will decorate their very own holiday cookie and create special holiday crafts while Santa entertains with Christmas stories. This event for children 3-11, is from 10:30 a.m. until noon and will be repeated on Saturday, December 20. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $15 children/$5 adults for members; $18 children/$8 adults plus park admission for non-members. For more information, call 904.824.3337.

SANTA’S GARDEN CELEBRATION
Bring the entire family to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus in the beautiful setting of Washington Oaks Gardens State Park. The Santa Celebration takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features holiday activities for children including movies on a big screen, hands-on arts and crafts, and sing-alongs and a gingerbread house contest. There will be complimentary hot chocolate and peppermint white hot chocolate, plus food vendors, a holiday plant sale, wreath and ornament making, live entertainment and fresh Christmas trees for sale. Admission is one unwrapped toy per vehicle or one non-perishable food item per person. The toys and food will be distributed to needy families by the Flagler County Marine Corps’ “Toys for Tots” program and the Church Women United Foundation. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is located at 6400 North Oceanshore Blvd., (A1A) in Palm Coast. For more information, call 386.446.6783.

HASTINGS HOLIDAY PARADE AND ART SALE
Enjoy the Hastings Christmas Parade and make you way down Main Street to visit five galleries offering local art and other goodies. Shops and galleries open at 10 a.m. and the big parade gets underway at 11 a.m. For more information, call 904.692.4446

Saturday and Sunday: December 13 & 14

15TH annual Holiday Tour OF BED AND BREAKFAST INNS
Tour St. Augustine’s historic Bed and Breakfast Inns, all decorated in holiday finery. In addition to being able to enjoy each Inn’s dazzling Christmas season displays, tour participants will sample taste treats throughout the Holiday Tour: Each Inn unites with one of St. Augustine’s leading restaurants and confectioners, who serve complimentary samples. The tour takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. each day; half of the inns welcome visitors on Saturday, and half on Sunday. Tickets in advance are $35. Net proceeds from the Holiday Tour will benefit the St. Augustine Record’s Empty Stocking Fund, which assists needy families during the holidays, and the expansion of St. Francis House, which offers food and temporary shelter to the homeless. For more information, call 904.819.3566 or visit www.staugustineinns.com.

Sunday: December 14

HANDEL’S MESSIAH
Enjoy the multitude of talent that the St. Augustine Community Choir presents in their annual performance of excerpts from Handel’s Messiah at the Cathedral Basilica located at 38 Cathedral Place. Performance is at 3 p.m. A $5 freewill offering is accepted at the door. For more information, call 904.824.2806.

SPANISH “BELEN’ NATIVITY CRAFT AT ST. AUGUSTINE ART ASSOCIATION
Enjoy this special presentation by artisan and art historian Elizabeth Gessner about the Old World Spanish craft of miniature Nativity scene construction at the St. Augustine Art Association Gallery. The holiday offering takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. and will feature a special “Belen” exhibit and will give participants a fascinating large-screen view of the Bethlehem village-building process, from visual storytelling and figure selection to creating a believable landscape environment using a host of found materials. The presentation culminates with refreshments and a holiday musical performance by harpist Mary Jane Ballou. Admission is $10 per person. The St. Augustine Art Association Gallery is located at 22 Marine Street. For more information and reservations, call 904.824.2310 or visit www.staaa.org

LUMINARIES IN THE PLAZA
See St. Augustine’s historic Plaza de la Constitucion aglow with hundreds of candlelit luminaries from 5 to 8 p.m. Join the St. Augustine Pilot Club in singing traditional carols as they present this brilliantly fun event. For more information,
call 904.824.2486.

CHRISTMAS ON VILANO
Enjoy local musicians, dancers, carols, cookies, hot cider and coffee at this special Christmas presentation at the beautiful new Pier Pavilion in Vilano Beach. Sponsored by the Church at Vilano, this holiday event takes place from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 904.808.8304.

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On-going Nights of Lights Tours and Events:

WINTER WONDERLAND
Lace up your skates and head over to the St. Augustine Amphitheatre to enjoy a Winter Wonderland! Winter Wonderland has free admission as well as numerous activities for a minimal fee. Slip down the new 100-foot ice slide, skate in the ice rink and enjoy an evening of falling snow. The ice skating rink is only $10 (skate rental is $2) and the ice slide is only $5. Sleigh rides take place from 6-10 p.m. (adults $10, $5 for children). This winter extravaganza also includes winter games, an Elf village, reindeer games, lighted nature trails, visits with Santa, s’mores on an open fire and much more. The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is located at 1340 A1A South in St. Augustine. Winter Wonderland is open Monday through Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through December 20, then December 21 to January 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Winter Wonderland will be open 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Christmas Day. For more information, call 904.471.1965 or visit www.staugamphitheatre.com.

HOLLY JOLLY TROLLEY TOUR
Enjoy the Nights of Lights from the cozy comfort of the Holly Jolly Trolley! Nightly tours feature festive caroling, hot apple cider and homemade cookies. Handcrafted by Santa’s elves, the magical viewing glasses given to each guest will add even more sparkle to this amazing holiday light show. The trolley departs nightly throughout December from the Visitor Information Center located on Castillo Drive in St. Augustine. In January, the Holly Jolly Trolley will run on Friday and Saturday nights only. Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for children ages 6-12 –under 6 are free. For more information, call 904.829.3800 or www.trolleytours.com

SANTA’S BIG RED CHRISTMAS TRAIN TOUR
Chug along on a festive special Nights of Lights tour aboard Santa’s Big Red Christmas Train. Sing along with the holiday music and enjoy the millions of brilliant lights bedazzling St. Augustine. Tours depart from 3 Cordova Street and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, located at 19 San Marco Avenue in St. Augustine from 6 to 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday through December 28. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children. For more information, call 904.824.1606 or visit www.redtrains.com.

SCHOONER FREEDOM NIGHTS OF LIGHTS TOURS
See the Nights of Lights flicker to life each evening from a different perspective – the deck of the beautiful sailing schooner Freedom! The daily sunset cruise departs the St. Augustine City Marina at 4:15 p.m. and returns at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are $45 and include complimentary beverages and snacks. For more reservations, call 904.810.1010.

THE QUILTMAKER’S GIFT AT WINTER WONDERLAND
Experience the heartwarming play, The Quiltmaker’s Gift, while enjoying the St. Augustine Amphitheatre’s Winter Wonderland. Appropriate for all ages, this magical story illustrates what is most important in life – perfect for the holidays! The 30-minute production takes the stage every Friday and Saturday night at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. through January 3. (Note: December 13th performances will be signed for the deaf community.) Tickets are $5 and are available the day of the show at the Amphitheatre or one hour before each show at the Veddy Theatre ticket booth near the skating rink. For more information, go to www.veddytheatre.org or email info@veddytheatre.org .

BEACH PHOTOS WITH SANTA
Support your local ocean lifeguards while getting a memorable photo taken with Santa at the beach. Dress up the entire family, pets, or kids in their holiday finery and head over to the beach just north of the St. Augustine pier (park at Pope Road and A1A South) from 9 a.m. to noon to get the perfect Florida Christmas photo. Photos come with a holiday folder and are priced at $8 for a 4×6 and $10 for a 5×7. Bring your own camera and take your photos for $5 per pose. Santa will be at the beach for photos at the same time on each Saturday through December 20. All proceeds benefit the South Atlantic Lifesaving Association. For more information, call 904.540.4255.

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