What could be better than spending time in Jacksonville during the winter holidays? This warm and sunny destination won’t have snow, but that’s not a bad thing. Check out these suggestions for things to do near Jacksonville, FL, to celebrate the season.

Dickens on Centre

Dickens on Centre takes place in early December every year on Amelia Island. Entrance to this old-fashioned festival is free. Once in, get ready to experience Victorian performances, themed entertainment, visits from Santa and more. Wander the vendor booths to pick up a few gifts and holiday decorations. Be sure to stick around for Dickens after Dark, a special affair for adults only. This is the perfect chance to delve into some of the darker aspects of “A Christmas Carol,” with the ghosts of Christmas Past and Christmas Future.


There are plenty of things to do in Jacksonville, FL, too. You won’t want to miss WinterFEST at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville. The kids will love a chance to visit Santa’s workshop, where they can leave their lists after having photos taken. In case you thought you’d be missing snow and ice during the holiday season, the Alpine snow village at WinterFEST will take care of this for you. You can even try the huge ice slide or go ice skating. If you need to warm up, try roasting s’mores over an open fire or grabbing a mug of hot cocoa.

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens ZOOLights

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens hosts an annual holiday extravaganza between mid-December and the first week of January. This ZOOLights event gives you an amazing opportunity to celebrate all of the joys of the season at the zoo. Tour the grounds of the zoo to take in LED lights that turn the exhibits into an amazing wonderland of illumination. A special lighted train also runs through the zoo, and you might fill an empty stomach with roasted marshmallows too.

Kirby Family Farm Christmas Express

Located in nearby Williston, the Kirby Family Farm invites families out to celebrate the holidays between the end of November through the end of December. Hop aboard the Christmas train to tour the farm. As you ride, you’ll be treated to amazing light displays that will instantly get you into the holiday spirit. You can also enjoy lots of other activities at the farm, including an acrobatic show, a magic show and the showing of Christmas classic movies on a huge movie screen. Ride a carousel, play games and enjoy seasonal treats while you’re there too.

Celebrating the holidays promises to be anything but boring in Jacksonville, FL. Things to do keep the whole family happily busy for weeks and weeks during the holiday season.