Our Welcome Center, Stop 20, is temporarily closed. The St. Augustine Ghosts & Gravestones boarding location has changed temporarily to the Old Town Trolley Welcome Center at 1305 N. Ponce de Leon Blvd. These changes will remain until the construction of our new Welcome Center at 27 San Marco is complete (Spring 2019).
Spend the holiday season with friends and family exploring all that St. Augustine has to offer! St. Johns County residents can enjoy the Old Town Trolley tour for FREE when accompanied by a full fare adult paid guest with Hometown Pass.
Guests can see the lights, sing some Christmas carols, and experience all the spirit of the season on Old Town Trolley’s Famous Nights of Lights tour. The tour includes complimentary magical viewing glasses (which turn the lights into glittering snowflakes or star shapes) and complimentary hot apple cider and homemade cookies. Tours depart nightly from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. from Sunday, November 18, 2018, through January 31, 2019. No reservations are required for the general admission tour. A Fast Track Pass is also available this year, which gives guests the opportunity to make reservations for priority check-in for a slightly higher fee. Click here for information about pricing, parking locations, and shuttles, or call (904) 829-3800.
St. Augustine’s 64th Annual Christmas Parade ushers in the holiday season with floats, festive decorations and plenty of fun. Lots of local organizations participate in this event, making it one of the largest parades in Northeast Florida. Holiday season decorations adorn all the entries, from floats to marching bands to antique cars and horses and carriages. Even Santa joins in the spectacle, as visitors and locals alike come down to the historic district to watch the procession. The parade begins at the Mission of Nombre de Dios at 27 Ocean Ave., proceeds south through downtown and then finishes behind the Visitors Center at 10 West Castillo Drive. Spectators can view the parade from the historic streets of downtown St. Augustine. After the parade, everyone is welcome to stop by the Plaza de la Constitución to have pictures taken with Santa.
The 61st Annual USO/St. Augustine Pal Military Appreciation Day will take place on Saturday, December 1, 2018. For this annual event, local attractions offer free admission for all active-duty servicemen and their families and a free lunch is provided by the St. Augustine Elks Lodge. This is a proud local tradition in St. Augustine and a wonderful opportunity to show appreciation to our troops and their families. Lunch will be provided from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The St. Augustine Elks Lodge is located at 1420 A1A South on St. Augustine Beach. For more information, call (904) 778-2821.
PAL Day – Historic Tours of America and Old Town Trolley Tours
Honoring our Veterans, Servicemen and women and their immediate families, we will be offering free admission for our daytime hop on/hop off tour, the Old Jail, Oldest Store Museum Experience, and Potter’s Wax Museum. Must obtain your tickets in person and show proof of service. 167 San Marco Avenue. Call (904) 829-3800 for more information.
Colonial Night Watch
The St. Augustine Garrison and the National Park Service present the Colonial Night Watch. This popular annual event recreates historic Night Watches in garrison towns, where any citizens still on the streets after the gates were locked were required to carry a light so that they could be seen and identified by the Night Watch. The Colonial Night Watch heritage event celebrates St. Augustine’s colonial history with a nighttime torch-lit parade, as well as living history demonstrations at the Castillo de San Marcos throughout the day. Free Admission.
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Christmas Tour of Homes
The 49th Annual Christmas Tour of Homes, presented by the Garden Club of St. Augustine, takes visitors inside seven private homes in the nation’s oldest city. This year’s theme is “Christmas in the City of Lights.” This walking tour gives participants a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these beautiful homes dating from the 1800s decorated with fresh wreaths, garlands and floral arrangements. Rich with the charm and grandeur of the holiday season that is an integral part of historical St. Augustine, this tour is a very popular annual tradition. For those who aren’t comfortable walking, Old Town Trolley Tours offers complimentary transportation from the Downtown Parking Facility to the landmarks featured on the tour and to the Afternoon Tea and Boutique at Government House at the Plaza. Please note that due to the locations of some of the homes on the 2018 Tour, the trolley may not be able to drop guests as close to the homes as in previous years. The walk may be as much as three blocks from the stop to the home in some cases. In addition to the tour, visitors can enjoy Afternoon Tea and a visit to the Garden Club’s “Unique Boutique,” which offers delicious treats and many hand-made items created by the Club’s members. The Afternoon Tea and Boutique will be at the River House (179 Marine St.) and will be open from 12 noon until 4 p.m. Admission: $30 per person. Reservations are required, and the tour usually sells out early, so advance purchase is strongly recommended. The $30 non-refundable tickets are on sale now.
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Luminary Night at the Lighthouse
Luminary Night at the St. Augustine Lighthouse is a family-friendly tradition during St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights. On the evening of Wednesday, December 5, 2018, the Lighthouse grounds will open for an evening celebration that will delight both young and old. This popular event is a wonderful opportunity for visitors to get a taste of the holidays, St. Augustine-style. The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum goes all out for Luminary Night, offering children’s activities and holiday crafts, yuletide refreshments, and live music, including a string quartet inside the Lighthouse tower.
Bed and Breakfast Holiday Tour
St. Augustine Historic Inns presents its Silver Jubilee Anniversary tour of over 20 downtown bed and breakfasts decorated for the holidays. This 25th Annual Bed and Breakfast Holiday Tour will take place on Saturday and Sunday, December 8 and 9, 2018. Additionally, a number of museums, historical sites, and other cultural partners will be open in conjunction with the tour on both days and on the bonus day of Monday, December 10, 2018.
Guests are given a tour guide package with a map to help them navigate the tour. Along with showing off their best Christmas presentations, the bed and breakfasts partner with some of the finest restaurants in the area to provide delicious food and drinks throughout the tour. Each inn partners with one restaurant or culinary specialist, so the samplings are representative of the best each individual local restaurant has to offer.
Tickets are on sale now and are good for all three days of the tour. The tour fills up quickly, so everyone is encouraged to make their reservations as soon as possible.
Dance Company of St. Augustine's Winter Spectacular
Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St.
The Dance Company of St. Augustine presents its Winter Spectacular every year in the Lewis Auditorium of Flagler College. There will be two performances in 2018: at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 8, and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 9, 2018. Filled with a variety of dance styles, characters, and holiday scenes, the Winter Spectacular kicks off the holiday season. The Dance Company’s holiday production features its elite Performance Ensemble of high-kick dancers, ballerinas, and acrobats, as well as other dancers and performers from the area. Combined with the dazzling costumes and stage settings, the Winter Spectacular is a great way for visitors and locals alike to get into the mood for the holidays. The Dance Company provides artistic and technical education in a variety of dance styles for aspiring and professional dancers in the St. Augustine area.
Admission: Tickets for the performances vary depending on time of purchase. They range from $15 to $20 if purchased in advance online and from $20 to $30 (if available, and cash or check only) if purchased at the door on the day of the performance. There is limited parking behind the auditorium as well as street parking. Metered street parking is all around the historic downtown area.
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
First Coast Arts and Crafts Holiday Show
Mark Lance National Guard Armory, 190 San Marco Avenue
The First Coast Arts and Crafts Show presents their annual Christmas event at Mark Lance National Guard Armory, just north of downtown St. Augustine. The show offers visitors a chance to browse a variety of handcrafted items, from jewelry and home décor to clothing, candles, artwork, and more. This event is a perfect opportunity to pick up unique holiday gifts. Local food vendors will also participate in the event.
Regatta of Lights
The annual Regatta of Lights takes St. Augustine’s world-famous Nights of Lights onto the water with an amazing variety of vessels showing off their brilliant lighting displays as they parade along Matanzas Bay. Hosted by the St. Augustine Yacht Club, it’s a dazzling sight for spectators along the bayfront between the Bridge of Lions and the Castillo de San Marcos. Viewing is free. From sailboats to trawlers, from yachts to shrimp boats, the Regatta of Lights participants compete for awards for the best theme, most colorful, best in class and best overall. The Regatta is an annual must-see event for visitors and locals alike during St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights holiday festivities.
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Firefighter Chili Cookoff
St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340 A1A South St.
The St. Augustine Fire Department and IAFF Local 2282 will host their 7th Annual Firefighter Chili Cookoff at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on. Admission is free and chili sample tickets are available for a small fee. Proceeds will go towards Pink Heals and Green Hands programs. The Chili Cookoff begins at 2:00 p.m. Guests can sample an array of traditional and alternative-style chili made by firefighters from around the state. There will be plenty of activities for the whole family at the event, including fire extinguisher and jaws of life demonstrations, as well as live fire simulations with fire engines, ladders, and ambulances on site.
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Castillo de San Marcos Holiday Open House
The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument will hold its annual Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 8, 2018, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. This is a free community event hosted by the National Park Service. Guests can experience the Castillo after dark and meet a variety of historic military personnel portrayed by park rangers and volunteers. These re-enactors bring to life the soldiers, sailors, marines and civilians who have served within the Castillo walls throughout its long history, from the 16th through the 20th centuries. Cannon firings will take place at 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend this free Open House and learn more about the history of the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fortification in the United States.
Beach Blast Off
St. Augustine Beach Pier Park, 350 A1A Beach Blvd.
St. Augustine’s most popular New Year’s celebration, the Beach Blast Off takes place at St. Augustine Beach Pier Park with live music, food and drinks, a kids’ zone, and a spectacular fireworks show. From 4 to 10 p.m. Fireworks at 8:30 p.m.