South Walton Has Much to Offer for the Holidays

November 28, 2012 by Teresa Lischka

SoWal sparkles every holiday season all along the beaches, on the bay at Eden Gardens State Park, and all the way up to DeFuniak Springs Historic District. Make sure you get in the spirit and soak up the beautiful scenes and events throughout our wonderful holiday season.

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some)! 
This hilarious holiday performance is a tradition for our Seaside Repertory Theatre actors! Two sneak peak performances: Nov 21 at WaterColor Marina Park (2pm / free) and Nov 24 (1pm / $10) at Seaside Meeting Hall Theatre. Regular performances are Thursdays through Saturdays, December 6-29 (7:30pm / $25) at Seaside Meeting Hall Theatre.

Seaside Holiday Celebrations 

November 23 at 7pm. Holiday movie under the stars: ELF! 
November 24 at 4pm. South Walton Holiday Parade and Turn on the Town in Seaside
Annual holiday parade starts at 4pm, tree lighting at 5pm and visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus from 5-8pm. Face painting, caroling and festivities all around town!

Artists at Gulf Place Holiday Open House
November 23 & 24 | 10am-6pm. Join the artists and give the gift of art! The weekend will include art show, live music, food and cheer! Also, Raku firing, jewelry making and kids art. Workshops taking place all day both days. Photo with Santa on Saturday 11am-1pm.

Old Town Holiday in Rosemary Beach

The town of Rosemary Beach is going all out for the holidays starting with the Inaugural 30A 10K & 1 Mile Fun Run on November 22. Cottages for Kids tours and raffle/auction continue November 22-24. Old Town Holiday is kicked off November 23 and 24 with tree lighting and turning on the town, breakfast with Santa, merchant open house, holiday market and bocce tournament. See above link for times and details!

Christmas Reflections
November 23 - December 31 - Many visitors come from all over every year between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve to see the sights and scenes on display around the lake in DeFuniak Springs Historic District. Trees laden with millions of lights illuminate hand-painted figures, nativity scenes, Santa’s elves, whimsical penguins, dinosaurs, huge sleigh and reindeer, palm trees, jumping dolphin, a tribute to the military and too many lighted scenes around the lakeyard to name. The display opens each evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and admission is only $3 per person, with children 6 and under free.

Here Comes Santa Claus Weekend at The Village of Baytowne Wharf
November 23 at 7pm - Watch Arthur Christmas movie under the stars.
November 24 at 6pm - Welcome Santa to Baytowne and cheer him on as he lights the Village Christmas Tree. Stick around for a preview to our choreographed light show, 12 Nights of Lights, and watch as fireworks light up the sky over the lagoon. Hop on Santa’s lap and tell him your Christmas wish! 

Alys in Winter Wonderland
On November 23 join Santa for cookie decorating and holiday cheer! Unwrapped children's gifts accepted to donate to a local Angel Tree Program. 10am-12pm.

Old Florida Holiday & Winter Market at WaterColor
November 24, 5pm-9pm, this holiday extravaganza event at WaterColor Town Center is a true crowd pleaser complete with falling snow, horse-drawn carriage rides around Cerulean Park, bonfires and s'mores, pictures with Santa Claus, lighting of the tree, live music, luminaries around the park, beautiful lighting around Town Center, holiday eats around every corner, hot chocolate, hot wassail and of course a Winter Market full of gifts for all ages! Come out and enjoy the sights, smells, and tastes of the season! 

12 Nights of Lights at the Village of Baytowne Wharf
December 1 starts a festive light show set to your favorite holiday music every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday leading up to Christmas at 6 & 7 p.m. This sparkling event will also be featured during the holiday editions of the Wednesday Night Concert Series at 7 p.m.

Festival of Trees at Grand Boulevard
Come out and enjoy more than a dozen beautifully decorated Christmas trees on public display as area non-profit organizations vie to win cash prizes. “Festival of Trees” is a Christmas tree decorating contest taking place at Grand Park during which the public can vote for their favorite decorated tree. Photos with Santa every Saturday 2-4pm in Grand Park. Trees will remain on display through Christmas at Grand Park in Grand Boulevard.

First Annual Seaside Nutcracker Ballet 
On December 8th at 5:00pm, the first annual Nutcracker ballet will be performed by Alpharetta Dance Theatre and the Dance Academy of Seaside Neighborhood School. The one-time performance is free to the public and will be held in the Seaside Amphitheater. Plans are for the event to become a Seaside annual holiday tradition. Bring your friends, chairs and blankets and enjoy the show!

Luminaria Run at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort
December 8, 5-7pm. Shelter House – Domestic Violence Center and Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort are teaming up for the 2nd Annual Luminaria Run. The course will be lined with more than 2,000 luminarias, lighting the path for the walkers/runners and representing how Shelter House and its community partners light the way to a safer place for victims of domestic violence in Okaloosa and Walton counties. The race includes 5k and 9k courses winding throughout Sandestin. See link for registration and information.

CVHN Christmas Party at Cafe' Thirty-A
December 8, 7pm-10pm. Join Café Thirty-A and Children's Volunteer Health Network/CVHN in spreading a little Christmas cheer!Enjoy live music from The Bottoms Up Band, delicious food and fun with friends! There will be a cash bar and proceeds from ticket sales benefitChildren's Volunteer Health Network. Tickets are $60 online until Friday, Dec. 7, then you can purchase tickets at the door for $75. 

5th Annual South Walton Elf Ride
On December 9th kids and families will meet at the Seaside Post Office at 1:30pm and then take off on decorated bikes at 2pm for a merry ride to WaterColor Fire Station. Upon arrival, there will be Bruno's pizza served with drinks and other goodies. Festivities will include Santa, best decorated bike contest, and face-painting. Each family is asked to bring at least one gift to benefit the South Walton Fire District's Angel Tree

Rosemary Beach Unleashed! Where Everybody is a Big Dog...
December 9, 1pm-4pm. Dogs and owners alike will rendezvous for the 2nd Annual Rosemary Beach Unleashed Community Festival where dogs can compete in a variety of fun competitions – children’s handling, most talented, best trick, a dog fashion show, and more. Music, food, giveaways and an agility demonstration will keep everyone entertained at an event the entire family can enjoy. There might even be a visit from friends from the North Pole. So make plans to bring your favorite furry friend and your family to Rosemary Beach Unleashed – Where Everyone’s a Big Dog! Benefiting Alaqua Animal Refuge and Rosemary Beach Foundation.

Sinfonia Presents Broadway Holiday at Destiny Worship Center
December 14 at 7:30pm Sinfonia Gulf Coast will present all of your holiday favorites in orchestral style. Tony Award-nominees Gary Mauer, who currently plays the role of the Phantom in "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway and Morgan James, who appeared in “GodSpell” and “The Addam’s Family,” perform all of the cherished holiday classics in addition to standard Broadway tunes. From Leroy Anderson’s famous Sleigh Ride to selections from The Nutcracker, this will be the perfect concert for the entire family. If the audience isn’t naughty, Santa just may make an appearance to conclude the concert. Tickets $42.50 per person. Sinfonia box office: 850-269-7129 or online.

Baytowne Lantern Parade
December 15 at 6pm The Village of Baytowne Wharf celebrates the season with a magical night time paper lantern parade featuring commissioned paper lanterns in the shapes of holiday iconic symbols. Watch as twinkling lanterns stroll by, and look for a special appearance by Kris Kringle! Parade registration at above link.

Eden Gardens Candlelight Open House
December 15, 5:30pm-8:30pm, visitors to the park enjoy the traditional walk through the luminaries to the Historic Wesley House and tour the beautiful seasonally decorated rooms. Inside, visitors will be greeted by Civil War re-enactors in period garb who will be the hosts for each room. Refreshments will be served in the Pavilion by the Friends of Eden. Read about Eden Gardens State Park located at 181 Eden Garden Road on the bay in Point Washington.

Be sure to keep your eye on the SoWal Forum, and the SoWal Events Calendar and SoWal Live Music Calendar for tons of great stuff to do all year round.

What will you be doing this season?


Teresa Lischka's picture

A Birmingham native, Teresa could never get enough of the beach so she moved to SoWal as soon as she could. She loves sharing all things SoWal with the world.

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