Holiday Road Trips Whether you want to escape the stress of decorating and entertaining or just simply need a change of venue for the holidays, there are plenty of festive travel options right here in the Sunshine State. Spend a day, three days or make a holiday road trip out of it, each destination is sure to bring out your holiday cheer. From Key West to Orlando to St. Augustine, Florida Travel + Life deems these holiday events the “Top Christmas Events in Florida”: 1. Pensacola Winterfest November 24 – December 17, 2017 A little bit of snow, a lot of hot chocolate and an abundance of Christmas cheer make this the Panhandle's Christmas stop for the month. Don't miss the Polar Express, the laughable Elf Parade or the Snowball Derby. https://pensacolawinterfest.org 2. ICE! At Gaylord Palms Lake Buena Vista, November 21, 2017 – January 7, 2018 With over 20,000 square feet of hand-carved ice sculptures and two-story tall ice slides, you won’t even notice the 9-degree temperature inside this winter wonderland. (Don’t worry — coats and gloves are provided). This year’s theme is Christmas Around the World. www.marriott.com/hotel-info/mcogp-gaylord-palms-resort-and-convention center/christmas-at-gaylord-palms/csyr9pd/ice.mi 3. Annual Key West Holiday Fest Key West, December 1 - December 31, 2017 Celebrate Christmas with Santa Claus himself at Key West’s Holiday Fest! Grab a glass of eggnog and tour historic inns, be a part of the two holiday parades (on and off the water), and visit the harbor of lights. www.historichideaways.com/events/festivals/key-west-holiday-fest 4. 63rd Annual St. Augustine Christmas Parade December 2, 2017 To kick off the Nights of Lights celebration the annual Christmas parade weaves up and down the streets of the historic city, starting at 10 a.m. Picture time with Santa himself follows in the Plaza de la Constitucion. www.visitstaugustine.com/event/christmas-parade 5. 31st Annual Holiday Festival and St. Pete Illuminated Boat Parade December 9, 2017 Live entertainment on Vinoy Pier and twinkling Christmas lights bedecking boats on the water make this a must-see event in the Tampa Bay area. www.stpeteboatparade.org/ 6. Holiday Happenings Brevard Zoo, December 22-23, 2017 Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! What does Santa do before heading off to the North Pole to gather his reindeer and deliver presents? He gives tours with Mrs. Claus at Brevard Zoo! Bring Christmas spirit to the jungle with night hikes and weekend camps for boys and girls. https://brevardzoo.org/special-events/holiday-happenings 7. Light Up UCF 2017 dates to be announced For 50 days, University of Central Florida's CFE Arena gets into the Christmas spirit with free holiday light shows, film festivals and Orlando’s largest ice-skating rink. www.lightupucf.com 8. Annual Holiday Tour of Bed and Breakfast Inns St. Augustine, December 9 – 13 , 2017 Featuring a "Music Of Christmas" theme, the self-guided tour of 24 historic inns decked out for the holidays is as delicious as it is pretty — culinary treats prepared by local restaurants await you at each stop. Historic and delicious? Yes, please. www.staugustinebandbtour.com www.floridatravellife.com Pictured: Annual Holiday Tour of Bed & Breakfast Inns, St. Augustine; ICE! at Gaylord Palms; St. Pete Illuminated Boat Parade; Key West Holiday Fest.
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