SOURCE: Visit Jacksonville

Visit Jacksonville

November 20, 2014 08:30 ET

WOW Your Senses This Holiday Season in JAX

The Top 10 "Winter on the Water" Holiday Events in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, FL--(Marketwired - November 20, 2014) - The holidays are coming and family-friendly fun events fill the calendar this season in Jacksonville. Come visit the River City by the Sea and experience holiday extravaganzas, nightly snowfalls, dazzling boat parades, ZOOLights and much more. Find out why everyone wants to spend their Winter on the Water in Jacksonville!

Here are the top 10 events that will surely get you in the holiday spirit:

  1. WinterFEST at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach (November 22-January 12): Enjoy a variety of winter activities and holiday family fun including: The Alpine Racer 130-foot long ice slide, nightly snowfalls, outdoor ice skating rink, s'more roasting, and a beautiful alpine village.
  1. Pete's Bar Thanksgiving Day Celebration (November 27): It's a Jacksonville holiday tradition for more than 30 years! Pete's celebration brings thousands of residents and visitors to the quaint Neptune Beach neighborhood on Thanksgiving Day for food, drinks, and a lot of fun.
  1. Deck the Chairs at Jacksonville Beach (November 28- January 3): The Beaches Winter Light Festival features more than twenty American Red Cross life guard chairs decorated in coastal-themed designs and lights. Kickoff is the day after Thanksgiving with chair decorating, music, hot cocoa, judging and lighting ceremonies.
  1. Christmas on the St. Johns at Jacksonville Landing (November 28-December 31): The 27th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take at 7:00 p.m. in The Landing's Courtyard. The 56-foot-tall energy-efficient tree features over 78,000 L.E.D. lights and more than 100 ornaments. There will be musical performances highlighting Jacksonville's local musicians. There will be nightly tree light shows until New Year's Eve.
  1. Community First Jacksonville Light Boat Parade (November 29): Whether you are on boat or land, experience the transformation of the St. Johns River as boats of every shape and size are glowing with ambiance and decorations that captivate the imagination! The parade begins at 7 p.m. and the night ends with a wonderful firework display in Downtown Jacksonville.
  1. The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra presents The Polar Express (December 7): Experience the magic of the holidays by taking a ride on Chris Van Allsburg'sThe Polar Express. Florida's best Symphony takes on this timeless tale of a boy who still believes in magic of the season.
  1. Beaches Town Center Holiday Celebration (December 7): Starting at 3 p.m. with musical performances, face painting, craft tables for all ages, hayrides and plenty of family fun activities. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by sleigh at 6 pm to lead a bike parade through the beaches neighborhoods.
  1. ZOOLights at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens (December 13-31): Thousands of LED lights will transform the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens into a luminous winter wonderland filled with moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees and animal silhouettes. Guests can also enjoy marshmallow roasting, the 4-D Theater Ride featuring the Polar Express, carousel rides, warm weather "ice" skating and more!
  1. New Year's Eve Celebration in Downtown Jacksonville (December 31): Fireworks are Jacksonville's most favorite way to celebrate the holidays, join hundreds of thousands in Downtown Jacksonville as the city lights up the night to welcome 2015. Live music, food trucks, craft vendors, and family fun all take place next to the St. Johns River.
  1. TaxSlayer Bowl (January 2): Previously known as the "Gator Bowl", this annual football game is played at EverBank Field in Jacksonville. The game matches up one of the top teams from the SEC with a peer from the Big Ten Conference. Come experience the excitement as the TaxSlayer Bowl treats thousands of fans to one of the most exciting bowl games in college football!

Are you ready to plan your visit for one of these family friendly holiday events? Go to for more information on all there is to do, see, and eat in Jacksonville! 

About Visit Jacksonville

Visit Jacksonville is a nonprofit marketing organization contracted by the Duval County Tourist Development Council (TDC) to champion the growth of business and leisure tourism in Northeast Florida. Along with its nearly 400 tourism partners, Visit Jacksonville supports a vital and growing component of the local economy -- with tourism generating $2.2 billion in direct and indirect economy impact annually and supporting 22,000 jobs that span every sector of the economy. For a closer look at all there is to see and do in Jacksonville, go to or contact 800-733-2668.

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