A Walton County Christmas
Wednesday Night Concerts
Enjoy a special holiday edition of the Concert Series from 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays in December in the Events Plaza at the Village of Baytowne Wharf.
Folks from around DeFuniak Springs will line up along Circle Drive to watch the annual DeFuniak Springs Christmas Parade beginning at 1 p.m. Dec. 8. Hosted by the DeFuniak Springs Woman’s Club, the parade will feature a variety of colorful floats and marching bands.
Singing Christmas Tree
First Baptist Church of Niceville presents the 27th Singing Christmas Tree, “The Hope of Christmas,” at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and at 3 p.m. Dec. 9.
Tickets are for a $1 donation per ticket. Tickets may be obtained at the church office or by mail. Please include your 1st and 2nd choice of presentation, ticket money and a self-addressed stamped envelope when ordering by mail at 622 Bayshore Drive, Niceville, FL 32578. Call 678-4621.
Destin Christmas Parade
The City of Destin hosts its 27th Annual Christmas Parade beginning at 10 a.m. Dec. 8 at Downtown Destin Shopping Center at U.S. 98 and Main Street. It will proceed down Harbor Boulevard to Stahlman Avenue. The theme this year is Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Call 654-5184.
Holiday Lights in Concert
The Holiday Lights in Concert spectacular is back at Silver Sands Premium Outlets from 5-9 p.m. through Jan. 1. This visual presentation features a display of colorful lights synchronized to all-time favorite Christmas songs.
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.
Christmas Tour of Homes
The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation and Trustmark Bank present a Christmas Tour of Homes from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 8. Kick off the holiday season with a festive tour of selected, beautifully decorated homes in Destin’s gated community of Kelly Plantation off U.S. 98.
The tour begins at the Kelly Plantation Owners’ Clubhouse with light refreshments, Christmas carols sung by the Opus One Choir of Niceville High School and tour map distribution. Patrons can then travel leisurely to enjoy the holiday décor showcased in these homes on tour.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the event and can be purchased at www.MattieKellyArtsFoundation.org/tickets.htm or in Destin at Today's Boutique, Kitchenique, Risa's Interiors, McCaskill and Company, Sarah Carolyn; in Fort Walton Beach at PS Gifts; in Niceville at Bayou Books; or at Trustmark Bank branches (Destin, Miramar Beach, Gulf Place and Seagrove Beach). Call 650-2226.
Destin Boat Parade
The 26th Holiday on the Harbor Boat Parade begins between 5 and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 9. Festivities will be held that afternoon all along the harbor. The parade can be viewed from docks and restaurants from HarborWalk Village. A fireworks show will light up the sky at the end of the boat parade. Call 837-6611.
The Fifth Annual South Walton Elf Ride begins at 2 p.m. Dec. 9 as participants bike, walk or skateboard from the Seaside Post Office in Seaside to the S.W.F.D. Watercolor Fire Station. Adults and children meet at 1:30 p.m. Each family is asked to bring at least one gift to benefit the South Walton Fire District’s Angel Tree.
There will be a bike decorating contest, fire truck tours, Santa and refreshments. Bruno’s Pizza will donate pizza to the participants at the WaterColor Fire Station on CR395. Call 267-1298 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If weather does not cooperate, drop off toys at WaterColor Station Dec. 9.
Rosemary Beach Unleashed
The Second Annual Rosemary Beach Unleashed free community festival will be held from 1-4 p.m. Dec. 9 at St. Augustine Park in Rosemary Beach. This year, dogs can compete in a variety of competitions including children’s handling, most talented, best trick, a dog fashion show, and more. Music, food, dance performances, market and an agility demonstration will keep everyone entertained.
Dogs and owners may take their photos with friends from the North Pole and Dog Peticures available.
Ecumenical Choir of Walton County
Every year this choir of devoted singers and gifted musicians comes together to exalt the Lord and bless the community. This year their presentation, "And On Earth, Peace,” will be performed at 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 9 and 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at Christ the King Episcopal Church in Santa Rosa Beach.
Choir director Adele Armitage provides a unique blend of reverent classical music with some seasonal fun. Christ the King hosts this celebration annually, and there will be free refreshments and an opportunity to browse for special gifts in the warmth of their fellowship hall after each performance. There is never an admission charge, but free-will offerings are returned to the community. Many bring in-date, non-perishable food to help the needy. Call 267-3332.
A Victorian Christmas
A festive night of Victorian holiday traditions with Christmas carols, jolly dancing, decadent desserts, heavenly wassail and a special visit from Father Christmas will be held at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 in the McIlroy Gallery of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville. A Victorian Christmas features the college’s Madrigals Singers, Belle Voci and the NWFSC Dance Ensemble.
Seating is limited. Tickets are $25 each and may be purchased in-person or by phone from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office at 729-6000. All proceeds go to the NWFSC Fine Arts Scholarship fund. Online ticket sales are not available for this event.
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.
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. 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.
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.