Season Your Holidays with Island Spirit
Season your holidays with island spirit on Pensacola Beach, Florida. Escape from the hustle and bustle of the season and enjoy the laid back appeal of holiday events island-style. The month-long family festival includes a Kowabunga Breakfast with Santa, a lighted boat parade and the Surfing Santa Beach parade with plentiful treats.
Travelers on a budget can enjoy great holiday lodging deals and a laid-back appeal during December. This coastal retreat offers a place to stay for every style and budget, from spacious penthouse suites to cozy bungalows to family and-pet-friendly rentals. Each hotel, motel and condo on our beach is close to the Gulf or the Santa Rosa Sound, so most everyone gets a view.
The calendar of events for November 27 - January 1 is as follows:
- Season Lights Up. 6 p.m., Nov. 27. Santa Rosa Island twinkles with holiday lights. Businesses and residents will add a dash of Island Spirit with festive decorations. Free. Tree lighting and caroling at the Boardwalk around the massive live tree.
- Children's Coloring Contest kick off. Dec. 1. Limitless imaginations guide small hands in creating Island holiday works of art. Coloring sheets are available at the Visitor's Information Center, Island Style and Beach hotels. All art will be displayed in Island Style's Tropical Christmas Room. Free.
- Kowabunga Breakfast with Surfing Santa. 8 to 10:30 a.m, Dec. 5 at Surf Burger. This Santa has a surfboard sled pulled by magical dolphins. Kids should have their wish list ready. Free mimosas for parents.
- Holiday Festival of Arts, Crafts, Food and Fun. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, Dec. 6 at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church.
- Gingerbread House Make-and-Take. Noon to 2 p.m., Dec. 6 at Tiki Island Golf and Games. Kids are invited to decorate their own gingerbread house. Bring a bag of hard candies to decorate your Beach version of the traditional sweet house. Free.
- Santa and His Paparazzi Photo Session at Boardwalk. 2 to 4 p.m., Dec. 6. Island memories are forever when you have your photo taken with Santa in front of palm trees decorated by Beach elves. Nominal charge for photo.
- Tis the Season Open House. Lee Tracy, Boardwalk, 2 to 4 p.m. Experience Lee Tracy's Southern charm. Hospitality is the norm and shopping is hassle free. Goodies for kids of all ages. Santa will be in the Amphitheatre for photos. Hope you have been nice.
- Joy For The Beach. 7 p.m., Dec. 7 at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church. This event dishes up abundant Island spirit. Served by high energy singers and performers costumed for the holidays. Free.
- Lighted Boat Parade. 7 p.m., Dec. 11. Pensacola Beach Marina to Flounder's. The sparkling spectacle of decorated vessels parading against a dark December sky delights those watching from the shore or a waterfront Beach business. Children are given light sticks to illuminate the Flounder's landing site. Dozens of captains compete for prizes as the nautical parade delivers Santa Claus officially to the Island. Santa's Workshop will host children of all ages to whisper into Santa's ear. Free.
- Ornament Making. 1 to 4 p.m., Dec. 12 at Days Inn Pensacola Beach. The Gulf of Mexico offers her treasured sand dollars and starfish that evolve into fabulous and festive decorations for the tree. Free.
- Island Style Tropical Holiday Open House. 4 to 6 p.m., Dec. 12. The home of the Christmas Room on the Island. Owners Mario and Jeff invite visitors to get caught up in the spirit. Chat, munch cookies, sip cider and enjoy the original art by coloring contestants. Free.
- Coloring Contest Winners Announced at Island Style. 6 p.m., Dec. 12. Not an easy task, but the judges will award first, second and third places in two age categories. Free.
- Christmas Cantata. 10 a.m., Dec. 13 at the Beach Church. Traditional seasonal music to delight all who care to listen. Free.
- Gingerbread House Make-and-Take. Noon to 2 p.m., Dec. 13 at Tiki Island Golf and Games. Kids are invited to decorate their own gingerbread house. Bring a bag of hard candies to decorate your Beach version of the traditional sweet house. Free.
- Surfing Santa Beach Parade. 2 p.m., Dec. 13. Via de Luna. Delightfully decorated whimsical floats wend their way down the Island's main street sharing holiday joy, candy and trinkets with all who care to catch the spirit. Santa oversees the parade from high atop his bright red fire engine which delivers him to the Gulfside Pavilion where children of all ages can speak to him personally. Free.
- Sip and Sing Caroling Tour. 5:30 p.m., Dec. 18 at Sandshaker. Come early to get your boarding pass for the open air bus which will amble to each island pub, make a quick stop for carolers to entertain patrons and on to the next stop. Must be 21 to ride.
- Adult Coloring Contest. 6 p.m., Dec. 19 at Sandshaker. Let Island spirit bring out your inner artist. We supply the crayons. You supply the imagination. Free. Prizes.
- Rudolph's Red Nose Ramble. 2 p.m., Dec. 20. Starts at Sandshaker. Winners of the coloring contest will lead the way. Ramble, walk or amble to Sabine Sandbar for Island Eggnog, then to Bamboo Willie's. Follow the Red Nose.
- Santa Claus Look Alike Contest and Sexy Elf Contest. 3:30 p.m., Dec. 20 at Bamboo Willie's. Looking for a St. Nick knock-off. Beard, boots and good laugh required. Mrs. Claus or even an elf or two can compete. No charge to enter. Great prizes.
- Santa and His Paparazzi Photo Session at Island Style. 2 to 4 p.m., Dec. 20. Island Santa awaits your arrival in the Christmas room. The sweet smell of peppermint candy canes will lead you right to him. Have your photo taken for a nominal charge.
- Candlelight and Carols. 6 p.m, Dec. 24 at the Beach Community Church. The choir of the Pensacola Beach Community Church invites visitors to join in their Island Christmas Eve tradition of caroling by candlelight. Free.
- New Year's Eve Celebrations. December 31. Ring in the new year with islandwide celebrations. A dazzling fireworks display at midnight from the end of the Gulf Pier.
- Polar Bear Plunge. 2 p.m., Jan. 1 at Paradise Bar & Grill. The emerald waters of Santa Rosa Sound are filled with those hardy souls who wade, swim and scurry to the finish line. Heaping bowls of black-eyed peas wait to warm them. Entry fee benefits the Chamber. No charge to cheer. Passport to Santa's Island Grand Prize Drawing at 3 p.m.