The holidays in South Florida are joyful for a lot of reasons, and we’re not just talking about our perfectly warm “winter” weather. We love the holidays down here because the majority of our South Florida community is in a celebratory mood. So much so that this time of year sees an influx of family-friendly events that encourage us to celebrate, sing songs, and bask in the glow of string lights together.
We wanted to highlight some of our favorite events / things to do this year. Here’s our running list:
For the last 22 years, Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek has been the spot for South Florida’s best drive-thru holiday light experience. The whole route is over 3 miles long, and contains a ridiculous amount of lights. All-sized cars are welcome. The light display is open until New Year’s Day.
Here is a drone’s view of the drive.
South Miami’s Tropical Park is home to one of the greatest holiday-themed amusement parks in the country: Santa’s Enchanted Forest. You can’t miss the millions of lights as you drive on the Palmetto between Hialeah and Kendall.
While the whole park is a blast for the whole family, the highlight is the first straightaway when you enter the park. It’s a row of concentrated holiday lights, cheesy-but-entertaining animatronics, a Santa mailbox, and a Rockefeller-esque Christmas tree at the end.
This is a bit outdated, but here’s a promo video for Santa’s Enchanted that will get you excited to visit.
The theme park stays open until January 8th.
One of the largest Chanukah celebrations in the country happens at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale on December 27th. The event is called South Florida Chassidic Chanukah Festival, and it’s been going on for 37 years. This year,’s performers are the world-renowned Orthodox singer Avraham Fried and Jewish Hasidic rock band 8th Day. In addition to the performers, there is a giant menorah lighting ceremony.
FYI: They’re expecting a large turnout for this event– over 10k attendees.
A South Florida parade isn’t limited to the land. We love a good boat parade, especially during the holiday season. Fort Lauderdale’ Winterfest Boat Parade just happened, but there’s another big one that’s coming up on December 17th: the Miami Outboard Club Holiday Boat Parade.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of boat parades, it’s exactly what it sounds like– a line of boats that are decked out with lights and blasting holiday music.
You can ice skate in downtown Fort Lauderdale– it’s true!
Until January 8th at Huizenga Plaza (across from the art museum), you can ice skate for up to 90 minutes per session. If you’re wondering how they keep the ice cold enough, it’s under an air-conditioned tent. Occasionally, the sides will open up for those rare days where the temperature dips.
Here’s a glimpse at the ice.
The ice is ready to go @PanthersParkFTL! Come on down this weekend to ⛸ pic.twitter.com/Ct6BkiSj8k
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) December 2, 2016
We know there’s a bunch of events going around town. What holidays events did we miss? Hope to run into you at one of these hoilday events.