Celebrate December with Festivals & Fun in The Palm Beaches

December 2, 2019

Bask in the warm winter sunshine this December while participating in the festive celebrations and family-friendly events bringing holiday magic to The Palm Beaches.


Sandi Land tree lighting
Courtesy City of West Palm Beach

December Forecast: Buckets of Sand, Sun & Fun

The City of West Palm Beach invites you to look up—way up!—and witness the amazing Sandi, back at her waterfront home for the annual Holiday in Paradise celebration. The world’s only 700-ton, 35-foot holiday tree is sculpted entirely from sand. Sandi and her friend Merry the Mermaid will make a splash during the Clematis by Night Holiday Tree Lighting on Dec. 5, featuring live music by The Bay Kings Band.

Sandi, dazzling with 5,000 twinkling lights, will shine brightly and sing sweetly every night during December. More magic unfolds as visitors build their own life-size tropical snowmen in SnowieVille, peek into Sandi’s enormous dressing room, and take a swing at the nine-hole Glow FORE It Mini Golf course. Families can visit with Santa, wander through the Saturday-morning GreenMarket and catch a holiday double feature on Dec. 13 during Screen on the Green. This family-friendly event is free to attend throughout the month of December.

Palm Beaches Marathon runners

The Fast and the Fabulous

It’s back, and it just keeps getting better! Runners entering the FITTEAM Palm Beaches Marathon will experience a new-and-improved route this year, racing up Flager Drive and along gorgeous waterside views. This premier winter weekend event begins with the Bill Bone 5K and new 10K race on the night of Dec. 6. Running beneath the glow of holiday lights, racers start and finish under the watchful eye of the world-famous Sandi holiday tree. Take the day off on Saturday to enjoy beaches, restaurants and other local offerings, and be sure to visit the free Health and Fitness Expo at Meyer Amphitheatre, taking place all weekend. Then, return to catch the sunrise while participating in the marathon, half-marathon or relay race on Sunday, Dec. 8.

Holiday Fun Sets Sail

Dozens of decorated vessels will light up the Intracoastal Waterway beneath glittering showers of traveling fireworks during the Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade. The parade starts at the north end of Lake Worth Lagoon and floats north for a grand finale at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. Watch for a special appearance by Santa Claus on the last boat in the parade. And be sure to bring an unwrapped gift to donate to Toys for Tots, as water-bound volunteers stop to collect donations all along the parade route. The fun leaves the dock on Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. in North Palm Beach.

Epicurean Extravaganza

What do you get when you take world-renowned chefs, pair them with mixologists, winemakers and Master Sommeliers, then add in the freshest ingredients and an island paradise? Culinary magic! Mix and mingle with celebrity chefs and foodie legends at the annual Palm Beach Food & Wine Fest. Savor an unprecedented array of gastronomic creations during this four-day festival. Sample dishes ranging from comfort foods to five-course dinners, and sip your way through world-class wines and spirits. Encourage your budding young chef-wannabes with cooking classes, and cheer on your favorite chefs as they compete for prizes. This foodie favorite runs Dec. 12-15.

Boynton Delray Holiday Boat Parade

A Flotilla of Festivities

Celebrate the season in Florida style with the annual Boynton Beach & Delray Beach Holiday Boat Parade. Starting at the Lantana Bridge, a flotilla decked out in holiday glitz will motor south to the C-15 Canal in Delray Beach. Join the landlubbers’ watch party and bring along a picnic meal to enjoy while you take in the colorful view from Boynton Beach at Boynton Harbor Marina. Then dance the night away to live music starting at 6:30 p.m. Just like the Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade, this event is a Toys for Tots gift drive, so be sure to bring a goodie! This family-friendly event takes place on Dec. 13.

Boca’s Biggest Annual Outdoor Party

It’s “Game on!” in The Palm Beaches when you watch teams selected from Conference USA, the American Athletic Conference or the Mid-American Conference take to the field during the 2019 Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl. Catch the action while soaking up fantastic ocean views at Florida Atlantic University’s FAU Stadium. Arrive a week beforehand to score some pre-game fun out on PGA-level golf courses or while trying your hand at a variety of water sports. Participate in team welcome parties, beach parties and pep rallies that are all part of this annual holiday tradition. The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 21.

More Holiday Season Fun

  • Raise a cup of Christmas cheer at the Miracle holiday cocktail bar, returning for 2019 at two locations: Rosemary Square in West Palm Beach and Death or Glory Bar in Delray Beach. This international pop-up will be mixing "naughty and nice" holiday concoctions Nov. 25-Dec. 31.  
  • Mounts Botanical Garden will be aglow once again during Garden of Lights, Dec. 13-29. Tickets are just $5 for kids and $8 for adult members/$12.50 non-members.
  • If you've still got gifts on your list, head to the 29th Annual Holiday Craft Fair in West Palm Beach, Dec. 14-15. Shop eclectic handmade crafts and creations by local and national artists, from fashions and jewelry to home décor, baby items and other unique gifts.  
  • Delray Beach will host its annual Grand Menorah Lighting on Dec. 22 at sundown in Old School Square park.
  • Looking for a proper Christmas feast? The Chesterfield Palm Beach will be hosting a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner in its festively decorated Leopard Lounge. Menu items include roast turkey, maple-glazed Christmas carvery ham and many more mouthwatering creations from Chef Gerard Coughlin. Reservations are required. 

Our holiday schedule is always packed in The Palm Beaches, so be sure to check our full event calendar for more great tree lightings, community events and more. Start planning your perfect trip by ordering our Visitors Guide, and be sure to sign up for our enewsletter for the latest news, events and deals in The Palm Beaches. 

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