We’ve put together a list of holiday happenings in St. Petersburg, Gulfport and surrounding areas. Stay tuned (online and in print) for more winter-in-Florida fun.
Thursday, November 25 – Monday, January 3
All the Lights See a typically quiet St. Petersburg neighborhood transformed into a holiday light display that once racked up a $4,000 light bill – for just one home. There’s a working railroad, a three-story snowman, bubble machines, and any type of Christmas card prop you can think of. It’s a holiday must-see. Oakdale Christmas House Light Display 2719 Oakdale St. S., St. Petersburg. 6-10 p.m.
Thursday, November 25 – Thursday, January 17
Skate On St. Pete’s Pier is getting a frosty makeover this holiday season into a “Winter Beach.” The seaside space will be transformed into an ice skating rink with real ice, fake snow, vendors and special event nights well into January. St. Pete Pier, 800 2nd Ave. NE., St. Petersburg. Hours vary. $17. Save a skating spot: winterbeachstpete.com.
Tuesday, December 28 – Monday, January 3
More Ice by the Beach Enjoy the seasonal skating rink at the Postcard Inn on the Beach before it melts. The 2,000-square-foot rink will host skaters, hot cocoa and a snow machine. Postcard Inn on the Beach, 6300 Gulf Blvd. St. Pete Beach. Hours vary. $15.
Tuesday, November 30
St. Pete’s Tree Say goodbye to Rick Kriseman and hello to a beautifully lit tree. The City of St. Petersburg is holding its annual official tree lighting ceremony as part of St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman’s Farewell Tour. Smell the pine without the living room mess. North Straub Park, 400 Bayshore Dr. NE. 5-8 p.m.
Thursday, December 2
For Hanukkah What better way to start Chanukah than with a menorah lighting? Add a parade and you have the Chabad Jewish Center of Greater St. Petersburg’s Car Menorah Parade and Chanukah festival in downtown St. Petersburg. The parade of menorah-displaying vehicles begins at the Florida Holocaust Museum and proudly marches toward North Straub Park, where they’ll light the menorah to kick off Hanukkah. Florida Holocaust Museum, 55 5th St. S., St Petersburg. 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Friday, December 3
Boat Parade on the Beach Watch the City of St. Pete Beach’s annual lighted boat parade from the viewing party at Horan Park. Yacht Rock will play holiday favorites while the boats, several Santas, and a spectacular display of neon Christmas cheer sails to the Bayway Bridge. Horan Park, 7701 Boca Ciega Dr., St. Pete Beach. 6-8 p.m. Boaters, email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Tiniest Trees Fir Sale Have your shot at an artist-made holiday tree at an outdoor auction benefiting the Gulfport Historical Society and Gulfport Arts Center. The three foot creations – all crafted by Gulfport artists – will get auctioned off in the Art Village Courtyard. This is a tiny way to celebrate the holidays and support local artists and history Stella’s Sundries, 2914 Beach Blvd. S. 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 4
Whiskey Wonderland Admit it, you’d love to have a say on whiskey other than Jameson. Coastal Creative is hosting a Whiskey Wonderland drink tasting that invites drink lovers to sample some of St. Petersburg’s tastiest (and strongest) cocktails. Jump on either the 11 a.m. or 4 p.m. time slot and remember to drink responsibly. Coastal Creative, 2201 1st Ave. S. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tierra Verde’s Tree Lighting Trek to Tierra Verde for the annual tree lighting in downtown. The tree will be as big and bright as ever and stay lit until the end of the holiday season. See the Christmas cheer while it’s still sweater weather! Downtown Tierra Verde, 1110 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde. 4-8 p.m.
Treasure Island’s Boat Parade Watch festive vessels sail by for the 36th Annual Treasure Island Holiday Lighted Boat Parade and Celebration. Watch the fleet from the Treasure Bay Golf, Tennis & Recreation Center, a spectacular vantage point. Expect a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, live entertainers and food and drinks on site. Treasure Bay Golf, Tennis & Recreation Center, 10315 Paradise Blvd., Treasure Island. 5-9 p.m.
Monday, December 6
Gulfport Tree Lighting The city calls it a tree lighting, but longtime Gulfportians know it’s really a block party that stretches along Clymer Park. Last year, Santa (and some city vehicles) took a driving tour through Gulfport’s neighborhoods, but – thankfully – this year the beloved Gulfport tradition returns to the park with kiddos singing, friends mingling, and – of course – Santa arriving on a fire truck. Don’t forget the ceremonial lighting of the tree, because Gulfport’s one of the only places around that decorates and lights up a living tree. Clymer Park, 5501 Gulfport Blvd. 6 p.m.
Saturday, December 11
Santa Rampage Beard-wearing Santa Claus impersonators are painting the town red this holiday season at the 2nd Annual Santa Rampage. Brought to you by the Witches of Gulfport, this dress-up event invites anyone and everyone to put on their best Kris Kringle digs and “rampage” Beach Boulevard. A photo op will magically appear in front of the Gulfport Casino Ballroom at 5:30 p.m., right before the Boca Ciega Yacht Annual Lighted Boat Parade at 6:30 p.m. Beach Boulevard, Gulfport. 2-9 p.m.
Winter Market Come to the Warehouse Arts District and The Deuces Live for an expansive winter market with 12 participating locations (think The Factory and 22 Food Hall South). Find fun and fresh gifts, clothing and art along the shopping trail. Remember, the luminaries hit at sunset. The Factory, 2622 Fairfield Ave S., St. Petersburg. 3-9 p.m.
BCYC’s Boat Parade Boca Ciega Yacht Club’s 36th Annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade brings Santa’s fleet to Gulfport’s sliver of the Gulf of Mexico. Stand by the shore to watch the lighted fun or register your decorated vessel. Business owners, help support boat captains by donating gift certificates to be used as boat prizes. All salty boat captains receive a prize for their hard work – and bragging rights for their decorations. Want to see it all? The parade will go past Williams Pier & the Gulfport Casino, past Gulfport Beach and into the canals of Town Shores, Pelican Bay, Skimmer’s Point, Bayview Circle, past a portion of Kipps Colony and near PYCC, then along Dolphin Blvd to the Pasadena Golf Club Estates, swinging across the bay to Isla del Sol before returning to our slips. Happy sailing! Williams Pier, 5400 Shore Blvd S. 6-8 p.m.
Madeira’s Boat Madness Another sparkling boat parade to get land lubbers and salty sailors into the holiday spirit. The Madeira Beach 55th Annual Festival of Lights Boat Parade invites onlookers to the Madeira Beach Municipal Marina to watch the fun. Madeira Beach Marina, 503 150th Ave., Madeira Beach. 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Friday, December 17
Holiday Cookie Contest The Gulfport Historical Society’s annual cookie contest returns! Hopeful bakers put their best nibbles forward in hopes of winning cash. Taste traditional, vegan or gluten-free cookies, then work off the sugar high with winter caroling, led by local songsters Jon Arterton and James Mack. Gulfport History Museum, 5301 28th Ave. S. 7 p.m. Free tasting; $5 entry fee.
Saturday, December 18
A Merry Market Gulfport’s third Saturday Indie Fair returns with a theme: Cocktails and Candy Canes. The Beach Boulevard favorite brings holiday-themed art and vendors to downtown. There will be a visit from Santa and the regular Gulfport lineup amongst holiday spirits. Candy cane martinis? Definitely a possibility. Beach Boulevard South. 1-9 p.m.