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.
Select show times. Instead of performing Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic, three actors decide to perform every Christmas story ever told – plus Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons from ancient times to tropical pop-culture, and every carol ever sung. A madcap romp through the holiday season!
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 snowflake or star shapes) and complimentary hot apple cider and homemade cookies. Tours depart nightly from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. 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.
63rd Annual St. Augustine Christmas Parade
Floats, Santa, marching bands, horses, pirates and other units will travel down San Marco Avenue as part of the 63rd Annual St. Augustine Christmas Parade. The parade begins on San Marco Avenue at the Mission of Nombre de Dios and continues through the downtown streets of historic St. Augustine along the bayfront, and ending behind the Visitors Center on Castillo Drive. San Marco Avenue and other downtown streets will be closed during the event. Arrive early to find parking and claim your spot.
St. Augustine’s 65th 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.
PAL Day - The 61st Annual USO/St. Augustine Pal Military Appreciation Day
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. The St. Augustine Elks Lodge is located at 1420 A1A South on St. Augustine Beach.
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 claim your tickets in person and show proof of service.
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 at 7 p.m., as well as living history demonstrations at the Castillo de San Marcos throughout the day on Saturday.
Free entrance, $5/vehicle parking. Take a walk through the town of Bethlehem and see how it might have looked on the night of Jesus’ birth. Seek out the lowly manger and the Christ Child. A cast of more than 200 people, plus live animals, portray the residents, merchants and craftsmen.
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Christmas Tour of Homes
The 50th 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 to the landmarks featured on the tour and to the Afternoon Tea and Boutique at the River House. Please note that due to the locations of some of the homes on the 2019 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 pm until 4 pm. 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 go on sale October 1, 2019.
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 26th Annual Bed and Breakfast Holiday Tour will take place on Saturday and Sunday, December 14 and 15, 2019. 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 16, 2019. 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 go on sale on September 3, 2019, and are good for all three days of the tour. The price is $40.00 through the month of September, increasing to $45.00 beginning October 1. The tour fills up quickly, so everyone is encouraged to make their reservations as soon as possible.
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.
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 14, 2019, 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.
11th Annual The Nutcracker
Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St.
4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
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 offers live music, food and drinks, a kids’ zone, and a spectacular fireworks show. FREE entrance. Tickets available for Kids’ Zone activities and food and drink purchases. Fireworks at 8:30 pm.