Santa at The Beach

The most festive time of the year is the perfect time to plan a visit to Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches. From tree lightings and musical performances to mesmerizing winter wonderlands and the annual boat parade, you won’t want to miss the area’s most cherished holiday traditions.

Here are the top 10 holiday events to experience in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches.

Palm Coast Tree Lighting Ceremony

Nov. 30

Kick off the holiday season with the annual tree lighting ceremony at Central Park in Town Center. Children will be delighted to see Santa arrive on a Palm Coast Fire Engine, then lead the countdown to the lighting of the tree. At the free event, kids can write letters to Santa and get creative with arts and crafts. Have the camera ready so you’ll be able to take pictures with the man in red himself!

Fantasy Lights Festival

Nov. 30 – Dec. 30

Coinciding with the Palm Coast Tree Lighting Ceremony is the start of the 14th annual Fantasy Lights Festival. As you stroll around the Central Park lake, you’ll be dazzled by more than 50 animated light displays. Sip hot chocolate, roast marshmallows, take a ride on the holiday train and enjoy a rare snowfall in central Florida. You’ll also enjoy music on select evenings, along with visits from Santa. The Fantasy Lights Festival is free to enter and runs nightly through Dec. 30.

Flagler Beach Holiday Parade

Dec. 7

Santa Claus is coming to town, and at the annual Flagler Beach Holiday Parade, watch him arrive from the sky via parachute! The memorable entrance will be a highlight of the parade, taking place along A1A near the Flagler Beach Municipal Pier. Marching bands, dance troupes, floats and historical cars will entertain everyone in the family.

Palm Coast Holiday Boat Parade

Dec. 7

A cherished Palm Coast tradition and a one-of-a-kind Florida experience, the Holiday Boat Parade celebrates its 37th year this December. After the sun sets, make your way to the Intracoastal Waterway to watch boats decked out in colorful lights cruise down the river. With around 50 boats expected to participate, the parade is considered to be the largest in central Florida.

‘A Merry Country Christmas’

Dec. 7

It’s a Christmas celebration with a Southern twist! All your favorite songs about family, faith and the joy of the holiday season will be sung in authentic Nashville country style and accompanied by fiddles and guitars. The stage at the Flagler Auditorium will transform into a country winter wonderland, with heartwarming harmonies delighting the audience. Tickets for “A Merry Country Christmas, Live From Nashville!” start at $29.

‘A Christmas Carol . . . More or Less’

Dec. 12 – 15

A play within a play is an entertaining way to experience the classic holiday tale from a new perspective. Taking place at the Flagler Playhouse, “A Christmas Carol . . . More or Less centers around an on-the-rocks married couple who operate a small theatre. They are forced to perform all the roles themselves when the cast and crew are snowed in at their homes. Can they save the show—and their relationship? Tickets to the performance are $25.

Choral Arts Society Presents “The Sound of Christmas”

Dec. 13 and 15

Come listen to the songs of the season by the premier performance choir in Flagler County. The Choral Arts Society is a nonprofit music organization dedicated to excellence in the choral music experience. Among its work in the community, the CAS offers scholarships to local graduating seniors who plan to major in music as their future career. “The Sound of Christmas” concert will be held at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Palm Coast. Admission is free, and you can donate to the scholarship programs.

Starlight 5K Bridge Run

Dec. 14

Calling all runners! With a dash of holiday cheer, the Starlight 5K Bridge Run in Flagler Beach is not your average 5K. The evening race starts at 5:15 p.m., across from the beach in Veteran’s Park, with a route that crosses the Flagler Bridge twice. It ends with a post-race party in Veteran’s Park, where runners will get to enjoy free hot chocolate, s’mores and sangria. All participants get glow-in-the-dark T-shirts, and everyone who finishes receives a glow-in-the-dark medal. Registration is available until the day of the race, unless all spots have been filled ahead of time.

Navy Band Southeast Holiday Concert

Dec. 15

It’s a holiday concert that brings together the joy of the season with pride for the country. The Navy Band Southeast will perform Christmas and winter favorites at two shows at the Flagler Auditorium. The Navy Band Southeast is one of 11 official U.S. Navy Bands and includes highly trained professional musicians. The men and women in uniform give an inspiring performance with their musical talent. Their delightful songs are a mix of classic and contemporary songs.

New Year’s Eve at European Village

Dec. 31

The biggest New Year’s Eve celebration in Palm Coast takes place at European Village. A mix of coastal Florida with Old World charm, European Village is a dining and shopping destination that hosts a top-rated farmers market each Sunday. All evening on the 31st, you can enjoy food and drink specials at the restaurants, along with live music, a DJ and dancing in the courtyard. Join the countdown to midnight, when an impressive display of fireworks will ring in the New Year.

Click here to see what else is happening when you visit Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches.