Five Ways to Light Up Your Holiday Season
December 17th, 2012 by By Kris Wetherbee
Three miles of luminaries—sand-filled bags with candles inside—light up the holiday December 7 and 8 at the 28th annual festival on Sanibel and Captiva islands. For details, call (239) 472-1080 or visit http://www.sanibel-captiva.org.

Three miles of luminaries—sand-filled bags with candles inside—light up the holiday December 7 and 8 at the 28th annual festival on Sanibel and Captiva islands. For details, call (239) 472-1080 or visit http://www.sanibel-captiva.org.

The holidays are a great time to gather with family and friends, whether bonding over baking, sharing a meal or simply enjoying each other’s company. But the holidays are especially memorable when you get to experience a magical moment together. Here are several fun activities.

Visit Holiday Houses
Captiva Island Holiday Village. Fireworks, fire dancing, musical performances and parades are all within the bays and lanes of this quaint and cozy walkable village November 23 to December 8.

http://www.captivaholidayvillage.com

Fort Myers’ 37th Annual Holiday Nights at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. Twenty acres of gardens and historic buildings are decorated December 1-30. Enjoy a self-guided tour or a follow an estates historian.

http://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org

(239) 334-7419

Pick a Parade
Fort Myers’ 23rd Annual Beach Holiday Boat Parade. The December 1 event starts at 5:45 p.m. at the docks at Salty Sam’s Marina.
(239) 454-7500

17th annual Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade. The season kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 1, with one of the biggest holiday celebrations on the Gulf Coast.

http://www.escape-to-sarasota.com

Pensacola parades: the Lighted Boat Parade December 7, the Downtown Christmas parade December 8 and the Surfing Santa Parade December 9 on Santa Rosa Island’s main street.

http://www.visitpensacolabeach.com

http://www.coxpensacolachristmasparade.org

(850) 932-1500

Clearwater’s Annual Lighted Holiday Boat Parade. Decorated boats cruise the shoreline along the Clearwater Beach intercoastal waterways December 8.
(727) 461-1147

View the Lights
Clearwater’s Downtown Holiday Light Up. Enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas tree lighting ceremony and caroling December 7.

http://www.myclearwater.com

(727) 562-4805

Sarasota’s “Lights in Bloom” and “Rooms in Bloom.” Marie Selby Botanical Gardens hosts the event starting December 15.

http://www.selby.org

(941) 366-5731

Go for a Ride
Pensacola’s Winterfest Trolley Tours. Experience a series of interactive theater performances as you travel through historic downtown November 23, December 1, 14 and 21.

http://www.pensacolawinterfest.org

(850) 435-0914

Fort Myers’ “Christmas Around the World.” Drive to decorated historic homes in downtown Fort Myers and enjoy this 56-year-old tradition December 7-23,
5 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly.
http://www.fmwcc.com; www.BurroughsHome.com

Fort Myers’ Murder Mystery Dinner Train. The train leaves the station for a holiday adventure December 10, 11, 17 and 18.
http://www.semgulf.com; (238) 275-8487

Unwrap a Package
Pensacola’s Winterfest. Experience the magic when downtown turns into a wonderland of fun in December.

http://www.pensacolawinterfest.org

(850) 417-7321

Tallahassee’s Winter Festival. The celebration of lights, music, parades and
the arts runs from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. December 1.

http://www.talgov.com

(850) 891-3866

Sarasota’s Snowfest. The Sarasota Fairgrounds becomes a snowy wonderland of fun, with snow slides, tubing, ice skating, a 20-foot snow globe and more December 14-23.

http://www.snowfestsarasota.com

(941) 706-3102