Santa at the Harbor
Children can visit with Santa Claus from 12-4 p.m. Dec. 15, 16, 22, and 23 at HarborWalk Village. Pictures are available through HD Action Photography.
Breakfast with Santa
Hard Rock Café in Destin hosts breakfast with Santa from 8-10 a.m. Dec. 15 with reserved seating, breakfast and holiday gifts for kids to make for the family. Kids can have picture taken with Saint Nick. Cost is $9.95 and kids under 2 eat free. Call 654-3310 to make a reservation.
Santa Bar Crawl
Destin Nights’ Sixth Annual Santa Bar Crawl will be held at 8 p.m. Dec. 15 along the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. Dress as Santa and enjoy live music, jugglers, street performers and stilt walkers. A $10 donation is encouraged for drink specials all night. Proceed benefit the Salvatiion Army’s Family Care list.
Holiday Lantern Parade
The Third annual Baytowne Holiday Lantern Parade will take place at 6 p.m. Dec. 15 with paper lanterns in the shapes of iconic symbols of the holiday season. Individuals and groups are invited to participate by making their own paper lanterns. Sandestin Homeowners will light up their golf carts and join in the fun as they pass by with parade treats. Call 267-8186.
Candlelight Open House
Eden Gardens State Park’s annual Christmas Candlelight Open House will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. Dec. 15 in Point Washington. Enjoy the traditional luminary walk to the beautifully decorated rooms of the Wesley House and vote for your favorite room.
Admission fees are waived for the evening and the Friends of Eden will provide refreshments in the Pavilion. Donations to the Friends of Eden, a citizen support organization, are welcome.
Breakfast with Santa Claus
Children of all ages are invited to spend a very merry holiday breakfast from 8-10 a.m. Dec. 15 and 16 at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.. 14059 Emerald Coast Parkway in Destin. Greeted by Santa and Shrimp Louie, enjoy a “knee high” buffet catering to little ones; family friendly activities; raffles; photos with Santa; and goodies and treats. Cost is $11.99/adults; $7.99/children 4-12; and children under 3 are free. Make reservations at 650-1881.
Santa Claws Pet Photos
Come out to Destin PetSmart between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 16 to have your pet’s photo with Santa taken for a $10 donation to receive a 4 x 6 print in a Christmas frame. Proceeds benefit Feline Friends of Destin cat rescue. Call 837-3869.
The Walton County Extension Office will host a holiday craft event from 3-5 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Coastal Branch Library in Santa Rosa Beach. Bring the entire family for an afternoon of fun decoration making. RSVP by Dec. 12 at 892-8172.
It’s A Wrap! Kitty Cat!
Feline Friends of Destin will host a gift-wrapping fundraiser from 12-6 p.m. Dec. 15-16 and Dec. 22-23 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Destin. Gifts will be wrapped for donations to support the all-volunteer, nonprofit cat rescue program. Call 837-3869.
Wednesday Night Concerts
Enjoy a special holiday edition of the Concert Series from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 19 in the Events Plaza at the Village of Baytowne Wharf. The Butler Bears, part of the Butler Elementary music program, and the Niceville High School Opus One Choir will perform.
• Dec. 26: The Shrimpboat Cowboys warm up the Events Plaza stage for New Year’s Eve.
American Legion Christmas Party
Destin American Legion Post 296 Auxiliary will have its annual Christmas Party at noon Dec. 19 at the Cracker Barrel in Destin. All Auxiliary members are invited. Please bring a gift under $10 if you wish to participate in the "Dirty Santa.” RSVP at 502-1484.
Festival of Trees
More than a dozen decorated Christmas trees will be on public display during the Festival of Trees from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Dec. 25 at Grand Park in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. Non-profit organizations vie to win cash prizes for Best of Show and People’s Choice awards during the contest. Vote once a day at the Visitor Services Kiosk at Grand Park.
At 2 p.m. Dec. 15, contest winners will be announced with hot chocolate and cookies served.
Enjoy a holiday family tradition in DeFuniak Springs as the Lakeyard lights up with the annual Christmas Reflections displays from 5-9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31. A variety of Victorian, animal and toy soldier cutouts, Santa’s workshop, the grandfather clock ticking away, and the real reason for the season, the Nativity Scene all surrounded by more than 3 million twinkling trees.
Admission is $3 per person, children under 6 free. A season pass is available for $35 and is good for a vehicle with up to six people. Horse drawn carriage rides are available for an additional fee. Call 974-6774.
Feline Friends of Destin Christmas Party
The Feline Friends of Destin Christmas Party, a volunteer/supporter appreciation event, will be held from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 20 at Johnny O'Quigleys in Destin. Appetizers, soft drinks, and entertainment provided. Join fellow FFoD volunteers/supporters and celebrate what we have collectively accomplished for the rescue cats/kittens of the Destin area in 2012. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or to your FFoD coordinator/board member contact.
Santa at Sandestin
Celebrate the magic of Christmas with a Skype call to Santa or a personal tuck-in from Santa at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort through Dec. 21.
Santa will be available for free Skype conversations from 4-5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Families can simply call him at Skype location name, SandestinResort.
Sandestin will also continue its innovative Santa Tuck-In Program.
Resort guests will receive a special visit from Santa, a personalized gift for each child and hear a bedtime story for a small fee every Friday and Saturday through Dec. 22. Proceeds go to Toys for Tots. To make reservations, call 866-657-7271 or email Santa@sandestin.com.
Ballet Conservatory and Destin School of Music and Dance present the annual production of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, at 7 p.m. Dec. 21 and 2 p.m. Dec. 22 in the South Walton Beach High School Auditorium, 645 Green Trail in Santa Rosa Beach. The program features more than 80 local dancers.
Order tickets early at www.FloridaBalletConservatory.com or call 837-1133. Tickets are $15/reserved seating and $20/cash only at the door.
A Classic Christmas
Bass Pro Shops’ Santa’s Wonderland, A Classic Christmas, returns for its fifth year with a more than 3,500-square foot Christmas village full of games, activities and crafts for the whole family through Dec. 24.
With both animated and live elves, nutcrackers, reindeer and more, the village offers an old-time model train area, remote control trucks, a laser arcade, a soft gun range and slot car racing. Activity tables give children opportunity to write a letter to Santa, color and do fun crafts every day of the week — all free.
Santa will be in residence from 3-8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 12-5 p.m. Sundays.
The Carillon Beach Institute will host a free concert from 9 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31 on the Carillon Beach Village Green as a special part of the Groovin’ On The Green Summer Concert Series. Bring family and friends, along with your chairs (and blankets) and join the community to celebrate Groovin’ in the New Year.
Harbor Rockin' Street Party
Dine, drink and dance into the New Year throughout HarborWalk Village with the Annual HarborWalk Village Street Party beginning at 7 p.m. Enjoy live music and drink specials throughout all of the restaurants, as well as a rockin’ performance from Jim Beam’s Emerging Artist The Andy Velo Band on the HarborWalk Village main stage. Fireworks begin at 8 p.m. and midnight and the Fifth Annual Ball Drop over the Destin Harbor make this one New Year’s Eve party you won’t want to miss.
Pier Park Beach Ball Drop
Celebrate the arrival of 2013 in style during the Pier Park Beach Ball Drop 2012. The Family Celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. and includes stilt walkers, mascots, prize zone drawings, and live entertainment. At 8 p.m., the Family Beach Ball Drop and Fireworks takes place.
The Countdown Celebration starts at 8:30 p.m. and includes live radio remotes, prize zone drawings, special appearance by local dignitaries, live entertainment, fireworks and more. Headliner performance at 10:45 p.m. will be country music star, singer/songwriter James Otto.
The Midnight Celebration features live entertainment, fireworks and the New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop. This free annual event is known for its glowing 800-pound beach ball drop at midnight.
Celebrate Safe-Celebrate Twice
Start in the Eastern Time Zone in Port St. Joe and St. Joe Beach, then travel west to Mexico Beach and celebrate all over again an hour later in the Central Time Zone during Celebrate Safe-Celebrate Twice New Year’s Eve festivities. A free-service shuttle will transfer patrons back and forth between Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe as they celebrate in two different times zones. Call 229-7800.