New Years weekend events

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.

New Year’s Eve, Wednesday: December 31

Kick off 2009 in seaside style at this special St. Augustine Beach event! Enjoy a blast of flavor, icy sculptures, and fireworks when several of St. Augustine’s favorite restaurants serve up chili for tasting and judging at the Fire and Ice Chili Cook-off from 4 to 8 p.m. After things cool off from the chili – the Fireworks begin at 8:30 p.m. This display will delight visitors and help usher in the New Year! Admission is free. The Beach Blast takes place at St. Johns County Fishing Pier and Pavilion, 350 A1A Beach Boulevard in St. Augustine Beach. For more information, call 904.829.5681 or visit

Explore this Grand Gilded Age home during a special Nights of Lights evening tour of the Villa Zorayda Museum. An enchanted evening awaits with an audio tour (available in English or Spanish) throughout the two-story mansion filled with a collection of antiques and fineries. Audio tours are $10 for Adults, $2.00 discount for seniors, students and military, $4.00 for children ages 8 to 12, under 7 admitted free. Parking is free with paid admission. Villa Zorayda is located at 83 King Street across from Flagler College in St. Augustine. For more information, call 904.829.9887 or email

Ring in the New Year at one of several dining events offered in the area. Bistro de Leon on Cathedral Place in St. Augustine is offering a special set menu dinner with seating at 9:30 p.m. For details, go to or call 904.810.2100 for reservations and more information. The Barrier Island Inn & Restaurant located on A1A just south of Crescent Beach will feature two dining options, plus the Black Tie Blue Jean Gala. For details, call 904.461.4288 or go to Amici Italian Restaurant, located on Anastasia Island at the intersection of A1A and SR 312 is also offering a special New Year’s Eve menu – for details, call 904.461.0102.

Come see the Limelight Theatre’s special presentation of Women of Country – an all-female country music revue! Tickets are $50 each and include pre-performance champagne and hors d’oeuvres plus desserts at intermission. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Additional performances are scheduled for January 1, 2 and 3 (tickets are $25 each). The Limelight Theatre is located at 11 Old Mission Avenue in St. Augustine. For more information and reservations, call 904.825.1164,

Experience New Year’s Eve in the splendor of St. Augustine’s Cathedral Basilica. The Mary, Mother of God Mass Vigil will take place at 6 p.m. The Cathedral Basilica is located at 38 Cathedral Place. For more information, call 904.824.2806.

Friday: January 2

Join one of St. Augustine’s most popular cultural events on the first Friday of every month. Enjoy the latest exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at over 20 participating galleries – plus, great food courtesy of the St. Augustine Independent Restaurant Association. Tours begin at San Sebastian Winery, 157 King Street. Galleries are open from 5 to 9 p.m. St. Augustine Sightseeing Trains and Old Town Trolleys offer attendees a complimentary shuttle service to most of the galleries. Shuttles run on a continuous loop every 30 minutes. For more information, call 904.829.0065 or visit

Friday, Saturday and Sunday: January 2-4

Venture into the Keepers’ House and Tower at night, learn about the history of the St. Augustine Light Station, listen to paranormal tales and experience darkness inside the St. Augustine Lighthouse. The tours are conducted at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $25 per adult and $20 per child. Children must be at least 7 years old and 44 inches tall to climb the tower. Space is limited and reservations are required. For more information, please call Faith at 904.829.0745 x207.

Saturday: January 3

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

Take the entire family on a two-hour kayak tour of the GTM Research Reserve. Led by a Florida Master Naturalist, the tour passes through a peaceful setting with abundant wildlife. The cost is $50 per person and includes admission to the reserve and education center, kayak rental, equipment, and guided tour. The tour departs from the GTM Research Reserve Education Center at noon. For reservations and more details, call 904.347.1565.


On-going Nights of Lights Tours and Events:

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 daily thru January 4 at 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call 904.471.1965 or visit

Feel the winter chill when the IMAX Theatre at the World Golf Hall of Fame presents Snow Days – a variety of cold-weather movies including Antarctica: An Adventure of a Different Nature; Everest; Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West; and Alaska: Spirit of the Wild. Presented on the giant IMAX screen, the movies transport viewers to a variety of snow-covered locations. Tickets for individual movies are $8 for adults with discounts for children, military, seniors and students. The movies are also included in the theatre’s 10th anniversary promotion that offers tickets to two movies for only $10. Snow Days runs through Sunday, January 18. The World Golf Hall of Fame IMAX Theatre is located at World Golf Village, I-95, Exit 323 in St. Augustine. For more information, call 904.940.4123 or go to .

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

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.

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. 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 or email