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Feeling festive: Colonial night watch, torchlight parade and more holiday fun in St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla — Join the Historic Florida Militia in St. Augustine for activities depicting the 18th-century combined Spanish and British colonial militia and Native American military arts culture and lifestyles.

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Guests will be able to watch the militia from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 2 at the Colonial Quarter Museum, 33 St. George Street.

The St. Augustine Colonial Night Watch Torchlight Parade is at 7 p.m. from the Castillo de San Marcos (11 S. Castillo Dr.) to the Governor’s House Cultural Center and Museum, 48 King St., St. Augustine. Click here for more.

Holiday Artisans Market at the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum

December 1: Artists will be in the courtyard from 5-9 p.m. at the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum, 20 Aviles Street, downtown St. Augustine, Florida. This takes place during the First Friday Art Walk and Nights of Lights! Discover unique, handcrafted gifts from local artisans. Don’t miss this festive shopping experience to kick off the holiday season!

Admission is FREE.

St. Augustine Christmas Parade

December 2: The 68th annual St. Augustine Christmas Parade will take place at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 2 in historic St. Augustine, Florida. Beginning near the Mission Nombre de Dios on San Marco Avenue continuing along Avenida Menendez to Cathedral Place, and ending on Cordova Street near the parking garage. Floats, school marching bands, antique cars, community groups, local businesses, and children’s organizations all march in this festive event each year!

Arrive early to find your spot along the route.

Nights of Lights

Every evening through January 28: Nights of Lights begins November 18, 2023, and continues nightly through January 31, 2024. Nights of Lights has been listed among the top ten holiday light displays in the world by National Geographic, During this festival of lights, downtown St. Augustine glows with holiday magic – from the ground to the rooftops. St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights features millions of tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the Nation’s Oldest City. Admission is free. Tour companies offer tours by trolley, boat, bus, golf cart and more.

Details at nightsoflights.com

Old Town Trolley’s Nights of Lights Tour

Daily through January 28: In its 30th year, St. Augustine’s award-winning Nights of Lights is admired by a global audience and is well known as one of the “10 Best Holiday Lighting Displays in the World” by National Geographic Traveler. Take an Old Town Trolley Tour, complete with 3D glasses, to view the lights throughout St. Augustine, Florida.

TICKETS: www.trolleytours.com/st-augustine/nights-of-lights

First Friday Art Walk

December 1: Hosted by Art Galleries of St. Augustine, Friday Friday Art Walk will be from 5-9 p.m. Friday, December 1 in 20+ St. Augustine art galleries! View new art exhibits and enjoy refreshments, cash bars at some galleries, and live entertainment.

Learn more at www.staaa.org/art-galleries-of-st-augustine/

Sykes Family Farms Christmas on the Farm

December 1-2: From 6-10 p.m. every Friday & Saturday through December 16, enjoy the 3/4 mile Christmas light show on a hayride while sipping on some hot apple cider, hot chocolate, or coffee at Skyes Sykes Family Farms in Elkton. Kids’ activities include bounce pads, swings, tube slides, a barnyard ball zone, and more! Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be available for photos, along with campfire, Christmas movies on the big screen, marshmallow roastings, and ornament making.

Address: 5995 Brough Road Elkton, Fl 32033. Tickets: https://sycofarms.com/christmas-on-the-farm/

Vilano Holiday Village Tree Lighting

December 2:Vilano Beach Main Street! FREE events December 2023 during Nights of Lights in St. Augustine, Florida! Details at www.vilanobeachfl.com/vilanoholidayvillage

  • SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 - Tree Lighting
  • 4-6 p.m. Live music by Rick’s Band
  • 6-6:30 p.m. Tree Lighting Celebration & Caroling - Vilano Beach Pier Roundabout
  • 6-8 p.m.Santa & Mrs. Claus Appearance

Surf Illumination at St. Augustine St.Augustine Beach Pier Music by the Sea City of St. Augustine Beach

December 2: 4-8:30 p.m. at St. Augustine Beach Pier Park by the St. Augustine Beach Civic Association. The 22nd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Festival and Bazaar. Surf Illumination is an afternoon and evening of FREE family fun including pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus, favorite holiday tunes played by DJ Dan, kids activities like balloon twisting, face painting, temporary tattoos and over 20 local vendors selling arts, and crafts, clothing, and more!

Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Admission is FREE.

Live music at Marina Munch Food Truck Park

December 1-2: Live music by The House Cats from 5-8 p.m. Friday, December 1; John Winters plays from 12-4 p.m. Saturday, December 2 at Marina Munch. This venue features 3-5 food trucks daily at English Landing Marina, 509 South Ponce de Leon Blvd., Saint Augustine. Drinks (wine, beer, seltzers) at the Marina Cantina are available on-site at this waterfront location.

Silent Sky by A Classic Theatre, Inc.

December 1-3: “Silent Sky” is a heartwarming and joyful account of Henrietta Leavitt, a pioneering scientist in an era when women lacked the right to vote. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $25. The Waterworks, 184 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine. Tickets: www.aclassictheatre.org

Live music at Colonial Oak Music Park

Gullah Geechee Heritage Festival

December 2: Experience the Gullah Geechee Heritage Festival, where traditional music, dance, food, and crafts converge in a special, free event. Enjoy performances by Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Doug Carn and Elaina Monique, and the Gullah Geechee Ring Shouters. Plus, join the Rail to Trail Bike Tour at 9 a.m. Festival hours are from 12-5 p.m., and admission is free. This event benefits the SEA Community Resource Center. Armstrong Park, 4950 Harvey Ave., Elkton. www.gullahgeecheefestival.com

St Johns Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve

December 1-4: The St Johns Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Monday, located at 8310 CR 13 S in Hastings, Florida. The botanical garden is dedicated to conserving rare and endangered species of plants from around the world, as well as natural resources and native plants and animals. Guests will find over 350 species of palms, 300-year-old oaks, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and even more flora and fauna around the property. Visit stjohnsbotanicalgarden.org to learn more about guided tours, monthly animal shows, and classes that cover identification, landscaping, and planting, among other topics. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Monday. Learn more at www.stjohnsbotanicalgarden.org/

Lighthouse Illuminations (20+ themed trees) at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum

November 22-January 13: Visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum during Nights of Lights in St. Augustine, Florida to see Lighthouse Illuminations: Tides, Tidings, and Trees. Discover 20+ uniquely decorated trees at this special after-hours event. Explore the Keepers’ House and grounds illuminated by lights and garlands, and enjoy a sensational view of Nights of Lights from the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and the Lighthouse’s Fresnel Lens. Spots fill up quickly with limited availability so please book ahead. TICKETS: https://store.staugustinelighthouse.org/Events.aspx

Nights of Pints

November 17-January 31: The 2023 Nights of Pints kicks off November 17 at three craft breweries in St. Augustine, Florida! The event coincides with Nights of Lights. Shirts are available through January 31. Beer cards are honored after January 31! You will be able to purchase your $35 shirt and punch card good for one free pint at each of the three participating breweries:

  • Dog Rose Brewing Co.
  • Ancient City Brewing
  • Bootlegger Beach Brewing Jack’s BBQ
  • The event benefits the following local organizations:
  • Fish Island Community Alliance
  • THE PLAYERS Championship Boys & Girls Club

ONGOING EVENTS

Ancient City Tours

Ancient City Tours offers 90-minute PRIVATE walking tours by a trained, licensed professional tour guide that will take you through life in St. Augustine, from Ponce de Leon to Pedro Menendez to Henry Flagler and more! ... A private history tour can adjust and adapt your experience to meet your desire. Call 904-827-0807 or visit http://www.ancientcitytours.net/

St. Augustine Amphitheatre Farmers Market

Every Saturday, the St. Augustine Amphitheatre Farmers Market is held from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. with 100+ vendors and artisans offering local produce, flowers, baked goods, art, prepared food, home goods, and other items. Free admission and free parking.

The Tasting Tours, LLC — Culinary, wine, beer, Spirits of St. Augustine

Experience the food, wine, beer, and spirits of St. Augustine on The Tasting Tours! Choose from the Corks and Forks Culinary Tour (Historic District/Strolling); Wine and Dine Culinary Tour; Island Boulevard Culinary Tour (Anastasia Blvd/Chauffeured); and the ‘Boozy Brunch’ Culinary Tour (All districts/Chauffeured). TICKETS & DETAILS: www.thetastingtours.com

St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum

Self-guided tours are available from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. seven days a week at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. Climb the lighthouse, view exhibits in historic buildings on the property and learn about the nation’s oldest port. Dark of the Moon Ghost Tours also are available. Tickets & Details: staugustinelighthouse.org

Old Town Trolley Tours

Hop on and off the Old Town Trolley at attractions and other hot spots through historic St. Augustine. This is a fun way to see the nation’s oldest history and learn history tidbits. Tickets & Details at www.trolleytours.com/st-augustine

Tours of the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center

Explore 450+ years of African American history at the Lincolnville Museum & Cultural Center, 102 M.L. King Avenue, in the Lincolnville area of downtown St. Augustine. Hours are 10:30 am – 4:30 pm Tuesday-Saturday. Learn more at www.lincolnvillemuseum.org

Fort Mose Historic State Park

Fort Mose Historic State Park is a 40-acre waterfront historic site located at 15 Fort Mose Trail, off U.S. 1 North in St. Augustine. Fort Mose Historic State Park is the site of the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in what is now the United States. In 1738, the Spanish governor of Florida chartered the settlement of Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, or Fort Mose for short, as a settlement for those fleeing slavery from the English colonies in the Carolinas. Learn more at https://www.floridastateparks.org

Magic Hideaway at Casa Monica Hotel

Every Friday & Saturday through January: Magic Hideaway, a boutique two-hour magic experience, is offered by Magician Bill Abbott each Saturday evening at the iconic Casa Monica Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection. Tickets and additional info are available at magichideaway.com

Historic House Tours - Ximenez-Fatio House Museum

Located on the oldest street in America, the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum was built in 1798 by and Spanish merchant and his Minorcan wife. The house was then owned and run by women throughout the 1800s as a boarding house. Self-guided audio tours and guided tours are available Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Step back in time when you stroll through the historic house, detached colonial kitchen, gardens, and grounds. More details at www.ximenezfatiohouse.org

Saint Augustine Historical Society - Oldest House Museum Complex

Daily: Tour the oldest house in Florida and other historic buildings at the Saint Augustine Historical Society - Oldest House Museum Complex, 14 St. Francis Street, downtown St. Augustine. This museum and grounds are maintained by the St. Augustine Historical Society. Visit staughs.com to learn more.

Lightner Museum New Exhibits

New exhibits celebrating the 75th anniversary of Lightner Museum, 75 Granada St., in downtown St. Augustine. Learn more at lightnermuseum.org


Information summary and details are provided by Totally St. Augustine at https://totallystaugustine.com/.

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