The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Celebrations in The Palm Beaches

This is the happening place for South Florida events

When it comes to celebrating the holidays, the North Pole has nothing on The Palm Beaches in South Florida — not even snow. This holiday season, experience nightly “snowfalls” and meet the world’s only 35-foot-tall holiday tree sculpted from sand in West Palm Beach, walk through a 100-foot Christmas tree in Delray Beach, ride the Polar Express in Boca Raton, view a lighted boat parade in Boynton Beach, decorate holiday cupcakes in Palm Beach, and shop for holiday gifts at a lighthouse in Jupiter. Add to the mix seasonal discounts from selected properties, and The Palm Beaches could be the start of your new holiday tradition!
 
Here’s a look at the array of activities, events and deals available this holiday season in cities within The Palm Beaches.
 

Sandi the sand tree
Photo by Kim Seng

BOCA RATON
 
Light Up Downtown Boca Festival and Tree Lighting
Nov. 22, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Mizner Park Amphitheater (MPA), 590 Plaza Real
A series of winter holiday festivities including parades, concerts and more kicks off with a free Holiday Festival culminating with the City of Boca Raton’s and Mizner Park’s annual tree lighting ceremony.
 
47th Annual Holiday Street Parade
Dec. 6, 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Themed “Light Up Boca,” the parade begins at Federal Highway and SE 5th Street, traveling north to the Mizner Park Amphitheater. More than 70 floats and groups will entertain viewers with dance, lights and music.    
 
41st Annual Holiday Boat Parade
Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m.
Beginning at C-15 Canal, the parade will light up the waterways, with bleacher viewing at Silver Palm Park, Red Reef Park and the Wildflower Property. Free boat entry with $10,000 in cash and prizes.
 
Polar Express
Dec. 22, 5:30 p.m., Mizner Park Amphitheater (MPA), 590 Plaza Real
Train rides, pizza, popcorn, hot chocolate and a showing of the “Polar Express” movie at 6:30 p.m. Wear pajamas and bring blankets and chairs.
 
 
BOYNTON BEACH
 
Movies in the Park
Dec. 1, 5:30 to 9 p.m., Ocean Avenue Amphitheatre, 129 East Ocean Ave.
Bring a beach chair or blanket and catch a family-friendly movie under the stars. Free. Food, snacks and beverages available for purchase.
 
Holiday Tree Lighting and Concert 
Dec. 2, 5:30 to 9 p.m., Ocean Avenue Amphitheatre, 129 East Ocean Ave.
Boynton’s 50-foot holiday tree will light up at 6:30 p.m. followed by a concert. Photo op with Santa, children’s activities, holiday gift vendors and food and beverage vendors will be available.
 
46th Annual Holiday Boat Parade 
Dec. 8, 6 to 8:30 p.m., beginning at Boynton Harbor Marina
Celebrate the holiday season Florida-style with the Boynton Beach & Delray Beach Holiday Boat Parade, which can be viewed in Boynton Beach at Intracoastal Park and Jaycee Park and in Delray Beach from Veterans Park. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.
 
Music on the Rocks
Dec. 15, 6 to 10 p.m., Ocean Avenue Amphitheatre, 129 East Ocean Ave.
Enjoy cocktails, food truck fare and a free outdoor concert. Bring beach chairs or blankets. Free parking available.
 
 
DELRAY BEACH
 
100-Foot Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 30, beginning at 5 p.m., Old School Square Park
A month-long celebration kicks off with Santa lighting the famous 100-foot Christmas tree at 7:15 p.m. Enjoy ice skating, mini-golf and more. 

  • Dec. 1 through Jan. 1: From 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day visitors can walk through the 100-foot Christmas tree and see scenes that include a reindeer barn, Santa’s Workshop, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” House and the Train House.
  • Dec. 1 to 23:  On Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. visit with Santa in his Key West-style house next to the 100-foot Christmas Tree.
 

Delray Beach's 100 foot Christmas tree
100 foot Christmas tree in Delray Beach

 
Carols by Candlelight
Dec. 2, 7 p.m., Old School Square Pavilion, 51 North Swinton Ave.
A performance by young local musicians, headliners and host band The Little River Band is followed by the lighting of candles throughout the audience. Proceeds will benefit Old School Square educational programming. Tickets $5-$100.
 
Cookie Cruises With Santa
Dec. 2, 9, 16, 19, 20, 21
Cruise with Santa on the Intracoastal Waterway aboard the Lady Atlantic. $30. Reservations required: 561-243-0686.
 
Will & Anthony – Broadway Holiday
Dec. 6, 8 p.m., Crest Theatre, 51 North Swinton Ave.
Carnegie Hall headliners and singer-songwriters Will and Anthony Nunziata showcase their tenor voices and harmonies. Tickets $30/$40.
 
Delray Beach Marriott
 

  • Thanksgiving Prix-Fixe Menu: Thanksgiving buffet and dinner in an oceanfront hotel. The buffet is $75 and will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Dinner starts at 5 p.m. and entrées range from $36 to $44. Offered Nov. 23.
  • Christmas Prix-Fixe Menu: Christmas buffet and dinner in an oceanfront hotel. Offered Dec. 25.

 
DEAL

  • Stay for Breakfast: Enjoy complimentary breakfast for two each day of stay. Offered Nov. 1, 2017 through Jan. 31, 2018.

 
 
JUPITER
 
Holiday Shop & Sip Social
Dec. 6, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum
Shop for toys, Florida books, jewelry and tropical décor while enjoying wine, treats, free gift-wrapping and special holiday discounts. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit lighthouse and museum.
 
Maltz Jupiter Theatre

  • Disney Newsies The Musical, Nov. 28 through Dec. 17

Based on the real-life 1899 New York newsboys’ strike, Disney’s Newsies tells the story of the youth who struggle to sell newspapers in order to survive. Tickets start at $58.

  • Christmas Cabaret in the Club Level, Dec. 19, 6 and 8 p.m.

This popular Christmas sing-along features three guest soloists and a choir from the Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts. Tickets are $25.

  • A Motown Christmas, Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m.

The Motowners band pays tribute to the classic Motown years with smash hits by the Temptations, the Four Tops, the Supremes, and more great music from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. Tickets are $45 and $55.

  • Capitol Steps, Dec. 31, 5 and 8 p.m.

Putting the “mock” in democracy, the Capitol Steps present a humorous look at some serious issues in an all-new show to ring in the New Year. Tickets are $55, $65 and $85.
 
 
LOXAHATCHEE
 
Swank Specialty Produce

  • Fall Harvest Brunch, Nov. 26, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Swank Farm, 14311 North Road

Guests gather under the farm’s pole barn for a sit-down family-style brunch prepared by a local chef — live music, mimosas and bloody Marys included. $87 adults, $45 children 4-12.

  • Diplomat Hotel Takeover, Dec. 2, 7 to 10 p.m., Swank Farm, 14311 North Road

After canapes and a craft cocktail using ingredients from Swank Farm, guests will enjoy a five-course dinner with wine pairings. Participating chefs will each present "The Best Dish I Ever Created." Adults over 21 only. $160 per person.

  • Gauchos Asados, Dec. 17, 4 to 8 p.m., Swank Farm, 14311 North Road   

Enjoy a seven-course family-style dinner, live music, craft beer and a hydroponic farm tour led by owner and farmer Darrin Swank. Adults over 21 only.  $160 per person.
 
Christmas with the Chimps
Dec. 20, 10:30 a.m. (suggested guest arrival time is 9:30 a.m.), Lion Country Safari, 2003 Lion Country Safari Rd.
For more than 30 years, Santa Claus has visited man’s closest relative at Lion Country Safari’s Chimp Islands, bearing wrapped gifts for the chimps. This is the only opportunity throughout the entire year that guests can get out of their vehicles to watch the chimps receive presents.
 
 
PALM BEACH
 
Thanksgiving Feast
Nov. 23 at 1, 4 and 7 p.m., Chesterfield Hotel Palm Beach
Traditional slow-roasted turkey along with pan-seared salmon and prime rib are on the Thanksgiving menu. $69.95 per adult, $16.95 per child 12 and under (plus tax and gratuity).
 
Pet Photos With Santa
Nov. 28, 6 to 9 p.m., Palm Beach Outlets, 1751 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard
Bring your furry friend for a holiday photo with Santa and take home a free print. All donations will benefit Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League.
 
Breakfast With Santa & Kids Holiday Party
Dec. 2, 9 to 11 a.m., Palm Beach Outlets, 1751 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.
Enjoy a free breakfast with Santa, followed by activities including crafts, cookie decorating, dancing, music and photos with Santa. Limited space available, reservations required: 844-790-7315.
 
Cookie and Cupcake Decorating Class
Dec. 3, 2 to 4 p.m., Chesterfield Hotel Palm Beach, 363 Cocoanut Row
The hotel’s pastry chef will demonstrate the art of holiday decorating, and children will get to take home their creations. $10 per child; parents attend for free. Reservations required.
 
Celebrate Chanukah With Palm Beach Outlets
Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m., Palm Beach Outlets, 1751 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.
Menorah lighting at 5.30 p.m. followed by light refreshments, music and entertainment. Free.
 
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dinner
Dec. 24, 5:30 to 11 p.m. Dec. 25, noon to 11 p.m. Chesterfield Hotel Palm Beach
A holiday feast with all the trimmings. $110 adults, $55 children 12 and under (plus tax and gratuity).
 
New Year’s Eve Gala
Dec. 31, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., Chesterfield Hotel Palm Beach
Four-course menu, dancing to live entertainment, party favors and a Champagne toast at midnight. Reservations required; jackets and ties for gentlemen. $150 per person for 6 p.m. seating (dinner only); $250 per person for 8:30 p.m. seating (dinner plus New Year's Eve Gala).
 
DEALS
 

Home for the Holidays package: Offer includes two nights in a room or suite, a complimentary glass of Champagne on arrival, English breakfast each morning, valet parking, a mixology lesson with two cocktails per person, and towels, chairs and sunscreen to take to the beach. From $335 per night (excluding taxes) based on two adults sharing a classic queen superior room. Valid through Jan. 2, 2018.
 

  • Black Friday: Stores open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, and will remain open until 1 a.m. All stores will reopen later that day on Black Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The first 100 people in line for Santa photos on Black Friday will receive a free gift from tenants and partners. There also will be various Black Friday specials at more than 130 stores with discounts up to 70 percent. 
  • Free Photos With Santa: Palm Beach Outlets is giving each family a gift of two free professional Santa photos along with a digital download of a single image. Valid Nov. 24 through Dec. 24. One giveaway per family, per Christmas season. Some restrictions may apply.

 
 
PALM BEACH GARDENS
 
Downtown at The Gardens’ Holiday Light Show and Tree Lighting
Nov. 25, 6 to 8 p.m., 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave.
This free event features thousands of holiday lights synchronized to classic holiday tunes, activities and seasonal specials from merchants. The holiday light show continues through Dec. 30.
 
Downtown at The Gardens’ Noon Year’s Eve Celebration
Dec. 31, 11a.m. to 1 p.m., 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave.
This family-friendly event includes crafts, face painting, a balloon artist and plenty of noisemakers and hats to celebrate in style.
 
DEALS
 

Team up with family and friends to solve a mystery while creating holiday memories at an “escape room.” During November and December, save $5 per person with the promotion code DTPBH5. 12300 Alternate A1A, Suite 106, 561-247-7691.
 
 
WEST PALM BEACH
 
Tree Lighting at CityPlace
Nov. 11, CityPlace Plaza. Family fun starts at 3 p.m., show starts at 6 p.m.
Dance through the ages and enjoy the season’s first “snowfall” at CityPlace’s Annual Tree Lighting. Free.
 

CityPlace tree lighting
CityPlace tree lighting

 
Nightly Snowfall at CityPlace
Nov. 11 through Dec. 31, CityPlace Plaza
Experience the magic of snow and enjoy nightly fountain shows. Monday through Wednesday 6 and 7 p.m.; Thursday through Sunday 6, 7 and 8 p.m. No snowfalls on Nov. 23 and Dec. 25. Free.
 
Kips Bay Palm Beach Show House
Nov. 25 to Dec. 19, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays noon to 5 p.m., 196 Belmonte Road
In the Florida debut of the prestigious New York City show house, a team of interior designers has transformed a 1920s Mediterranean Revival villa in the El Cid Historic District. Proceeds will help support the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club and The Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County. Tickets are $35. 718-893-8600 x11245.
 
Pedal With a Purpose Along Flagler Shore
Nov. 29, 6 to 9 p.m.
Join the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority in a “Santa Parade on Bikes” along Flagler Shore. Wear your holiday gear. 561-833-8873.
 
Holiday Tree Lighting Featuring “Sandi”
Nov. 30, 7 p.m., Waterfront
The annual City of West Palm Beach Holiday Tree Lighting features “Sandi,” the world’s only 35-foot-tall holiday tree sculpted from 600 tons of sand.
 
Downtown West Palm Beach GreenMarket: Sandi Paws
Dec. 2 and 9
Sandi will offer some holiday cheer to pets, too. On two Saturdays in December, guests can adopt a furry friend on site at the GreenMarket, which has partnered with several local rescue organizations, including Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League and Big Dog Ranch.
 
Screen on the Green
Dec. 8, 8 p.m., Waterfront Commons
Little elves of all ages can join in the Present Parade by decorating cardboard boxes with wrapping paper and ribbon to become walking presents. Santa will make an appearance, and a holiday-related film will be shown.
 
Opera @ the Waterfront
Dec. 9, 2 p.m., Meyer Amphitheatre, 105 Evernia St.
Join the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority for an afternoon of live opera’s most recognizable arias and ensembles. Bring a blanket and a picnic.
 
GreenMarket: Holiday Booth Decorating Contest
Dec. 16 and 23
More than 90 vendors will be encouraged to decorate their booths and compete for first place in the annual contest. After shopping the GreenMarket for local produce, plants, flowers, baked goods, gourmet foods, teas, coffee and specialty products, visitors will vote for the winner.
 
Palm Beach Post Sunday on the Waterfront: Aloha Islanders Holiday Spectacular
Dec. 17, 4 to 7 p.m., Waterfront Commons
In this high-energy and authentic all-ages Polynesian show, Islanders take the audience through Polynesia using pulsating drums and dances from Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa and New Zealand. Free.
 
Reindeer Games Trivia Night
Dec. 19, 7 p.m., Waterfront
The City of West Palm Beach invites the public to test their knowledge and enjoy an evening of trivia, with rewards for those who know the most about random facts related to the holiday season.
 
New Year’s Eve at CityPlace
Dec. 31, 7 p.m. to midnight, CityPlace Plaza
Spend New Year’s Eve at CityPlace with dining and entertainment venues, live music and hourly snowfalls from 6 to 8 p.m. and at midnight. Free.
 
Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

  • 98 Degrees at Christmas, Dec. 10, 8 p.m., Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. Concert Hall

Join Grammy-nominated 98 Degrees for a holiday concert featuring holiday hits and their signature harmony. Tickets start at $29.

  • A Gospel According to Jazz Christmas, Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m., Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. Concert Hall

Featuring Dove- and Grammy-winning gospel artist Donnie McClurkin, Grammy Award-winning musician Kirk Whalum and special guests. Tickets start at $15.

  • The TEN Tenors: Our Holiday Wish, Dec. 17, 7 p.m., Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. Concert Hall

Join Australia's rock stars of opera as they ring in the holidays with festive favorites. Tickets start at $25.

  • Canadian Brass Holiday Featuring Joel Bacon on Organ, Dec. 21, 8 p.m., Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. Concert Hall
    The Grammy-nominated Canadian Brass quintet welcomes the holidays. Recitalist Joel Bacon will play the Kravis Center’s George W. Mergens Memorial Organ. Tickets start at $15.
  • Christmas Wonderland The Holiday Show, Dec. 22, 8 p.m., Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. Concert Hall

Brightly costumed singers and dancers, plus high-kicking chorus girls and Old Saint Nick himself deck Dreyfoos Hall in a holiday bash for the entire family. Tickets start at $25.

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage, Dec. 23, 1 and 4 p.m., Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. Concert Hall

Charles M. Schulz’s Yuletide tale comes to life complete with favorite Peanuts characters and Vince Guaraldi’s jazz score. Tickets start at $18.

  • Forbidden Broadway, Dec. 27 to 31. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday (New Year’s Eve) at 7 and 10 p.m., Marshall E. Rinker, Sr. Playhouse

This long-running roast features outlandish costumes, humorous rewrites of familiar songs, impressions and swipes at Hamilton and other musical blockbusters. Tickets start at $35 (Sunday 10 p.m. show includes champagne toast).

  • Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert with The Strauss Symphony of America, Dec. 31, 8 p.m., Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. Concert Hall

Blending European singers with local symphonies, this 22-year West Palm Beach tradition also features dancers from Austria’s Europaballett St. Pölten as well as international champion ballroom dancers. Tickets start at $29.
 
Norton Museum of Art

  • Miss Lucy’s 3 Day Dollhouse Party, Dec. 14 through Feb. 4, 2018

The public premiere of a miniature art collection created by Cy Twombly and other established artists for the walls of three dollhouses from Jupiter-based art collector Douglas Andrews and his mother, Miss Lucy.

  • School’s Out Mini-Week, Dec. 26, 27, 28 and 29. 12:30 to 4 p.m.

Each day the museum will present free programs such as mini films, mini musical performances and a create-your-own miniature artwork workshop. Other school vacation programs include story time, drawing, scavenger hunts and games in the garden.
 
DEALS
 

Offering Duck Tour rides throughout the holidays. Save $3 off all tours from Thanksgiving until New Year's Eve by booking with the coupon code DD03. 600 South Rosemary Avenue, 561-844-4188.
 

Enjoy a true high tea experience, where you’ll be treated like royalty. Served Dec. 1 to 31. $28 plus tax and gratuity per guest. 316 Vallette Way, 561-655-3911.
 
 
For a list of more events in The Palm Beaches, visit https://www.thepalmbeaches.com/events.