How to celebrate Christmas in South Florida

We might not have snow or cold weather, but we have the Christmas spirit. Below are a few special ideas on how to spend the holidays in South Florida, and how to make it worthwhile despite our year-round summer.

Visit Santa’s Enchanted Forest

A “forest” of glowing lights awaits you at Santa’s Enchanted Forest, the world’s largest holiday theme park. Arrive at Tropical Park in Miami for this special event that occurs only from Nov. 2 – Jan. 7. With rides, games and attractions, you can either hop onto a ride or stand under the mistletoe with a loved one. This park has a multitude of exciting options to explore.

Winterfest Boat Parade

Relax upon a rooftop balcony or lounge on the Intracoastal Waterway as decorative boats pass you by. Invite friends to watch this magical ceremony take place, as it is more enjoyable to share the parade’s hex with someone else. Boats are decked out in festive lights and usually blast jolly music to get everyone in the holiday spirit. These boats pass along the Intracoastal from Fort Lauderdale to Pompano Beach on Dec. 9, so make sure you are in accessible range to view the ceremony. If you would like a more stimulating experience, visit Hard Rock’s website in order to attend the parade by sea, participating in the event yourself.

Buy a Christmas tree

Just because there isn’t snow on the ground doesn’t mean that’s an excuse to skip out on buying a Christmas tree. South Florida has a myriad of Christmas trees in all different shapes and sizes. Invest in a real beauty, or settle for my personal favorite, “The Charlie Brown tree.” Buy some tinsel, ornaments and lights to decorate your festive tree. Most importantly, don’t forget about the presents underneath.

Bayfront Park Christmas Tree Lighting

A 50-foot tree lighting ceremony takes place in Bayfront Park on Dec. 4. Watch it sparkle as festive lights surround the perimeter of this humongous tree, and listen to the holiday music playing in the background. Though the event is free, there is limited parking at Bayfront Park, so be sure to make parking arrangements prior to arriving, or park next door at the Bayside Marketplace if spots are available.

Throw or attend a Christmas Party

Whether you dress up as the “Mean Girls” during their jingle bell rock routine or as Jack or Sally from “A Nightmare Before Christmas,” the holidays will be much more enjoyable if celebrated in spirit. Wear your costume to a Christmas party or throw a party of your own, creating more holiday laughs and memories. Don’t forget to bake and decorate cookies for Santa!

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