The Jacksonville area is blessed with spectacular weather during the winter months and there are lots of great activities our families can enjoy.
Yes, You Canvas!
Look up Yes, You Canvas! for a wonderful art experience. Saturday morning classes throughout the winter months feature many great holiday themes. In November and December, paintings include reindeers, gingerbread men and Christmas trees. There is a modest fee for supplies.
The holiday season is in full swing at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, where Megellanic penguins populate Tuxedo Coast. The exhibit is in the zoo’s Play Park, where the kids can enjoy a splash ground and playground.
ZOOlights begins on December 12 with thousands of brilliant, sparkling lights creating a winter wonderland. Enjoy the forests of lighted trees and moving sculptures. Things light up at 6:00pm, and you can check with the Zoo for the cost and Zoo hours.
Living in the South doesn’t mean your family can’t enjoy ice and snow! Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach will transport visitors to an Alpine wonderland during Winterfest through January 11 at select times. Enjoy cold weather activities such as ice skating and nightly snowfalls.
Christmas Made in the South
Christmas Made in the South is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Visit the Prime Osborn Convention Center November 28-30 for hand crafted, one-of-a-kind designs and gourmet food.
A Christmas Carol at the Times Union
For a night of family fun see Charles Jones adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts. This holiday presentation of Dickens’ famous Christmas story features wonderful music and action that will engage even the children. Reserve seats for the family and plan an evening downtown on December 23.
What are the holidays without lights? Jax Illuminations has a great way to create warm winter memories. Their drive thru holiday light display is accompanied by holiday music that you access on your car radio. The lights jump and dance to the music to create a stunning light show that everyone will enjoy. Jax Illuminations is open nightly from 6:00pm – 9:30pm, and the cost per vehicle is $20. For one of the most delightful things to do in Jacksonville, visit their website for more information on prices and vehicle restrictions.
Jacksonville Beach’s Deck the Chairs
Winter is a great time to enjoy our beautiful beaches, and the annual Deck the Chairs exhibit is a great way to enjoy the Latham Plaza and Sea Walk Pavilion at Jacksonville Beach. The Jacksonville Symphony Brass Quintet will perform between 5:30pm – 7:30pm on November 30 at the lighting ceremony. Proceeds of this year’s exhibit benefit the American Red Cross Voluntary Life Saving Corps. The exhibit will go through January 3.
Winter Celebration in Mandarin
The 15th Annual Winter Celebration in Mandarin is hosted by the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society on December 6 from 11:00am – 4:00pm. This great family tradition is hosted at Walter Jones Historical Park, 11964 Mandarin Road. Come for education, entertainment, live music, hayrides, and much more. All of the historic buildings will be open to visitors.
FSCJ Artist Series
Downtown is always a great place to find things to do in Jacksonville, like stroll through the arts district, and enjoy the nightlife. There are wonderful offerings through the FSCJ Artist Series, including some great Broadway shows. A night at the theater is a great holiday gift.
The symphonies, ballets, and opera offerings have restrictions for children, so if you plan on bringing a child be sure to check on the suitability of the show you want to see for your child. For adults, these shows offer an environment that is free of wiggly little ones who have a hard time sitting still.
On January 9 The State Ballet Theatre of Russia will present Swan Lake. This extraordinary company of accomplished dancers will tell the enchanting story of Princess Odette, who is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer. The famous score by Tchaikovsky is one of the most loved pieces of music of all time. The show begins at 8:00pm.
A fun show beginning on January 14 features a light and funny musical revue called, “Star of David.” This show celebrates favorite public Jewish figures, and is based on the popular book by Abigail Pogrebin.
The Cummer Museum & Holiday Shop
The Cummer Museum houses over 5,000 pieces of artwork, a treat in itself. The Cummer Holiday Shop at St. John’s Town Center has unique and special gift ideas for everyone, and December 6th and 7th The Cummer Holiday Shop will partner with Ethan Allen for a special shopping experience. Meet the artists, and for an extra 15% savings get together with friends and register to go as a group. Call (904)899-6036 for details.
On Wednesday, December 7, students from Jacksonville University’s glass blowing program will give demonstrations at the Bubbles and Baubles sale. Museum members get a 25% discount, but even non-members save 15%. The demonstration and sale is between 5:00pm and 8:00pm.
Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning wishes you and your loved ones a happy and memorable holiday season as you enjoy all the things to do in Jacksonville. It is our privilege to have spent more than 40 years serving a city we love. From our families to you and yours, we wish you happy holidays.