The Holidays are here and there are dozens of things going on in St. Augustine between now and New Years. Here are a few of my favorites…
If you are looking for some cool toys for the kids this year, head on down to Olde Towne Toys at 113 King Street, a half block west of the post office downtown between Riberia and ML King. This place has all the fun stuff like Playmobil and Thomas the Train Engine, magic tricks and science experiments, games, toys, and outdoor stuff that you won’t find anywhere else. We need this business in our town. Please support it this Holiday season! FYI: Parking looks tight in the front, but there are spaces on the side of the building and behind.
The St. Augustine Lighthouse’s Luminary Night is Wednesday, December 3rd between 6-9 p.m. If the Lighthouse isn’t beautiful enough by day, it gets even prettier at night when surrounded by hundreds of glowing luminaries. There’s live music performed by local choirs and ensembles, warm hot chocolate, crafts for the kids, and you can even climb the light at night, which is amazing if you’ve never done it. The last few years they’ve even had Santa. As it’s on a Wednesday night this is almost exclusively a local’s event and a place to let your hair down a bit. Best of all, admission is free. FYI: This is a great place to find an “only from St. Augustine” gift.
An event I stumbled on to a few years back that is really cool: The British Night Watch and Grand Illumination (8pm on Saturday, December 6th). Reenactors dressed as British soldiers, complete with fife and drum corps and led by torch bearers, fire a salute and then march around the plaza and then up the length of St. George Street. As a member of the crowd you can fall in behind the soldiers and follow along. It’s a little late but the kids love all the pageantry and, of course, running around the plaza at night. FYI: Many people carry a candle (that’s the “Grand Illumination” part). In past years I’ve seen people selling candles, and some years people just handed them to us!
The Garden Club of St. Augustine’s Christmas Tour of Homes is a low key event where you can see some of the Historic District’s prettiest homes all dressed up for the Holidays. This is really a couples or parents event: Get the kids a sitter for this one and have fun looking. This year’s event will be held Sunday, December 7th, from noon to 5 p.m. FYI: Tickets for this routinely sell out so it’s not too early to buy.
The Bed & Breakfast Holiday Tour is an amped up tour of St. Augustine’s best B&Bs. Spread over two days (Saturday, December 13th, and Sunday, December 14th, from 1-5 p.m. this year), the event features the inns macked out for the Holidays replete with samples of great food from local restaurants along with live music. If you’ve ever wondered what these places look like on the inside, it’s a great opportunity to check them out in style. Like the Garden Tour of Homes, this is a couples and parents event, so get a sitter and enjoy the two days. FYI: Even though they try to keep the inns grouped close together each day, there is still a lot of walking. Also, word travels fast about which caterer is where, and the best food sees big crowds.
A December to Remember (Presented by Community First Credit Union) at the St. Augustine Amphitheater. This is not one event but a series of events spread out over the month of December. This year there are free movies (It’s a Wonderful Life) and a free holiday concert with the Manhattan Transfer. It hasn’t opened as of this writing, but at last year’s events they had an elf village for the kids to play in (as well as a train ride and bounce houses), Santa visits, s’mores and hot cocoa in the fire pit close to the stage, and of course, great entertainment. There’s lots of things going on during the month and everything is truly good for all ages. FYI: Nearly every event is free. The only ticketed event I’ve seen is the Hall & Oates concert on December 6th.
Start the New Year off right with carnival food, live music, and fireworks at the Beach Blast Off at The St. Augustine Pier. The event is located in the parking lot at the pier, and runs from 4-10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, December 31st. Fireworks go off from 8:30-9 p.m. This is really a fun event and it’s early enough for the kiddos to get some New Year’s cheer before the ball drops at midnight. FYI: You can’t park at the pier (obviously), and many of the roads will be closed, but free shuttles run from various locations during the event. Check the website for details.
Have a Very, Merry Christmas from St. Augustine Team! Questions about any of the neighborhoods we have listed with these events? Just contact me at the email up top or email Kate Stevens, my partner and Broker Associate (904-377-2276).
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