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.
Celebrate the holiday season with The Rep’s holiday classic, Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some!) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday through Dec. 29 at the Seaside Repertory Theatre in Seaside. Tickets are $12.50/students, $25/adults and are available at seasiderep.org, Amavida Coffee, at 231-0733 or at the door.
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.
Freeport Town Planters’ Festival of Trees
Get into the spirit of Christmas at the Freeport Town Planters’ Festival of Trees from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 15 and 1-5 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Freeport Community Center. The trees have been decorated by individuals, organizations, and businesses and will compete for the People’s Choice award to be presented at the end of the show Sunday. There will be a drawing for one of the trees Sunday. Admission is $5. Call 307-5445.
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.
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.
Holiday Wine Walkabout
A Holiday Sparkling Wine Walkabout will be held from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 20 at Gulf Place in Santa Rosa Beach. For $15, pick up a wine glass and merchant map in the Gulf Place amphitheater. Taste sparkling and bubbly wines from around the world and enjoy hors d’oeuvres at each stop on the walkabout. Sol Shine with Geoff McBride will provide live music on the green for the event.
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.
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.
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.