2019 Holiday Guide for #DTJax


Nov. 30: Jacksonville Light Boat Parade, 7 p.m., Downtown Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville Light Boat Parade has been a holiday tradition for more than 30 years.Residents and visitors alike gather along the north and south riverbanks in downtown Jacksonville to witness this magical event. The evening then culminates with one of the best fireworks show on the First Coast featuring “waterfalls” off of the Main Street and Acosta Bridges.



Nov 29-Jan 1: Downtown Dazzle: An Illumination Celebration

5:30 until 9:30pm – 225 E. Duval Street – Jacksonville, FL 32202

Downtown offices of the JCC will be illuminated with a holiday light display synchronized to recorded songs of the season broadcast on 94.5 FM



Nov 30: Small Business Saturday @ Downtown Jacksonville, Riverside Arts Market and Brooklyn 

Join us in celebrating the 10th Annual Small Business Saturday by supporting the local businesses we love! In addition to shopping small and supporting local, don’t miss these #SmallBizSat highlights.

Pop Up Market | Visit Jacksonville

12pm – 3pm

Pick up a #SmallBizSat passport from Visit Jacksonville or another one of these participating businesses. Get two stamps to be entered into a drawing! Passports will be stamped upon purchase at the businesses listed below.

Dec. 3: IL Divo: A Holiday Song Celebration, 8 p.m., Florida Theatre

Multi-national, operatic crossover vocal group IL Divo return to perform holiday favorites “Ave Maria,” “O Holy Night,” and “Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful),” from their platinum album The Christmas Collection, and their biggest hits “Regresa a Mi (Unbreak My Heart),” “The Time of Our Lives,” “Si Voy A Perderte (Don’t Wanna Lose You)” and “I Believe in You (Je Crois En Toi).”

Discovered and mentored by NBC’s America’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell 15 years ago, IL Divo has evolved into the pre-eminent tenor powerhouse vocal group with four sold-out world tours to date, more than 30 million albums sold, and 160 gold and platinum albums in 33 countries.

Dec 4: Spirit of Giving Art Walk @ Downtown Jacksonville from 5-9PM

Celebrate the “Spirit of Giving” at Downtown Jacksonville Art Walk which also happens to be the perfect place for last minute, locally-sourced products! #ShopSmall this holiday season. Join us as we partner with the City of Jacksonville to bring the annual Christmas Tree Lighting to Art Walk! 🎄 Our spectacular 56 foot tree has been graciously donated by the Sleiman Family in honor of Eli Sr. and Josephine Sleiman.🎁 The Mayor and Mrs. Curry will be lighting the tree on the main stage at 6:25p.m. Plus, a snow zone, shopping, musical performances, dance performances and more! 


Dec 4.: Christmas in the Cathedral District 

Historic church tours hosted by Basilica of Immaculate Conception, First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, First United methodist church, Mount Zion Ame Church and St. Johns Episcopal Cathedral.  The tour will include church choirs and musicians performing in front of each church and along the tour route. It also features a live nativity scene, free petting zoo and a Bethlehem market with over 30 vendors and the cathedral book store will be open next to the food court. The activities area is on church street. The GoTukin stops will be at each church and Elena Flats which is featured on the tour as a residential renovation seasonally decorated.

The Cathedral District is offering free secure parking for our event. Mount Zion and First United Methodist Vans will be  transporting folks from the Artwalk to the Cathedral District.  Pick up on Laura and Duval Street. GoTukin will be providing transportation between the churches beginning in the Mount Zion Parking Lot to First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville and to Duval Street to tour all five churches.

Dec 4.-Dec 28: Gingerbread Extravaganza at Old St. Andrew’s Church

The Jacksonville Historical Society is proud to welcome over fifty talented builders to the 17th Annual Gingerbread Extravaganza! Builders, bakers, families, friends, students and organizations from all corners of the community will display their handmade edible creations in Old St. Andrews during December. Visitors to the Extravaganza will test their skills in the Scavenger Hunt, vote for the Peoples’ Choice Awards, explore the Gift Shop and enjoy tours of the Historic Merrill House.



Dec. 4: Holiday Open House, City Hall at St. James

Come celebrate this holiday season at the Mayor’s Open House at City Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 4th.  Enjoy children activities in the seasonally decorated atrium and visit the Mayor’s Office on the 4th floor for holiday refreshments!




Dec. 5: Dave Kos and Friends: Christmas Tour 2019, 8 p.m., Florida Theatre

In a career that spans more than three decades, saxophonist Dave Koz has racked up an astoundingly impressive array of honors and achievements: nine GRAMMY® nominations, nine No. 1 albums on Billboard’s Current Contemporary Jazz Albums chart, numerous world tours, playing for multiple presidents, a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and more.



Dec. 5: WQIK Jingle Jam IV at Times-Union Center

Benefiting St Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Thanks to PRI Productions, Jax Events and Kuhn Flowers
DATE & LOCATION: December 5th at the Times-Union Center for Performing Arts – Terry Theater
PERFORMANCE BY: Thompson Square, Matt Stell, Haley & Michaels and Dillon Carmichael


Dec. 5-8: Jacksonville Symphony: Holiday Pops, 7:30, Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts

Jacksonville’s favorite holiday tradition returns, with the glorious sounds of the season from traditional carols and sing-along medleys to a special Santa Claus dance featuring dancers from Douglas Anderson. Experience the joy and majesty of the holiday with the Jacksonville Symphony and Symphony Chorus in this spectacular event for the whole family. And don’t forget your snow boots!



Dec. 6: Cosmic Concerts: Laser Holiday at MOSH 

The Bryan-Gooding Planetarium rocks the First Friday of every month at MOSH! Experience total sensory entertainment as laser lights, high-def images and digital sound collide to create a Cosmic Concert! Cosmic Concerts begin promptly on the hour. Please arrive 15 minutes in advance of show times. Sponsored by Folio Media House.

$10 per person per show | $5 for MOSH Members | $1 Laser glasses



Dec. 6: A Magical Cirque Christmas at Times-Union Center 

The producers of Broadway’s smash hit “The Illusionists” have brought together the world’s greatest entertainers for a spell-binding and incredible new holiday production – A MAGICAL CIRQUE CHRISTMAS!

Experience the magic of Christmas with dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists from all corners of the world, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live. Get into the spirit of the season with this merry treat that’s perfect for the entire family.


Dec 7: The Hip-Hop Nutcracker at the Times-Union Center

A unique and joyful holiday mash-up for the whole family, THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER is a contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music. Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, the production is performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and MC Kurtis Blow, one of Hip Hop’s founding fathers.

Through this remixed and reimagined version of the classic, the dynamic performers of THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER take audiences on a journey that celebrates love, community and the magic of the holiday season.

Dec. 7: The Power of Soul: Christmas Celebration @ Ritz Theatre and Museum

Ritz Tribute Series: A Christmas Celebration: Power of Soul
December 7, 2019 | 8:00 p.m.

ACHS Dance Ensemble, Zack Bradley, Jonathan Brooks. Katryna Del Cabrera, Kayla Cummings, Bernice Green, Kevin Griffin, Sydney Lampins, Patric Young, John Gripper, Mark Hall, Deidra Hills, Legacy, Lyric Law, Felicia Neal, Tim O’Berry, Amara Powell, Govida Simonic, Brooke Spencer, Jimminda Thompson, Kipp Walker, John White, Jazz Zamor & Deborah McDuffie

Dec. 8: Christmas in Candyland @ Sweet Pete’s

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we’re celebrating Christmas in Candyland! Join us for a sweet day, Sunday December 8th at Jacksonville’s beloved candy mansion. Time blocks are available from 11:00am – 3:30 pm and space is limited in each time block. Event ends at 5pm. *Tickets are just $7.50 per child (2 and up) and free for accompanying adults. Limit 3 children per adult chaperone.

Choose from time blocks between: 11am – 5pm

Activities and appearances include: 

  • Pictures with Santa
  • Story time with Sweet Pete’s famous story-teller, Ms. Darlene Noel
  • Reindeer Ornament Making
  • Letter Writing to Santa
  • Disney Frozen Princesses Anna and Elsa
  • Frozen candy experiments with MOSH
  • Live candy cane pulls
  • And of course…PHOTO OPS GALORE!

Dec. 9: Jacksonville Symphony: JYSO Holiday Concert, 7 p.m., Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.

The Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras perform their holiday concerts, led by Principal Conductor Deanna Tham.




Dec. 10: Highball Holiday: A Variety Show benefitting The 5 & Dime Theatre @ Manifest Distilling

Join The 5 & Dime, A Theatre Company, for our first annual holiday celebration and fundraiser. You can expect an evening full of food, drink, and laughs with some of Jacksonville’s most beloved characters. Dress in your festive holiday cocktail best or keep it casual—it’s all good.

Storyteller Musicians Robert Arleigh White & Charlotte Mabrey
Vocalist David Medina
Pianist Ben Beck
Comedian Tyrone Thornhill

Dec. 11:Ugly Sweater Party for Teens at Main Library Downtown

Tis’ the Season to be Tacky! Teens aged 12-18 are welcome to come in their ugliest and gaudiest sweaters for an evening of festive activities! We’ll be spreading holiday cheer by having fun crafts, games, and snacks. We will cap off the evening by having an ugly sweater contest! Put this date on your calendar and check it twice- you won’t want to miss this event!



Dec. 12: Trans-Siberian Orchestra, 7:30 p.m., Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena. 

A product of the vision and imagination of TSO’s late founder/composer/lyricist Paul O’Neill, “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” began the unique format O’Neill called “Rock Theater” and forged a deep connection with their fans that it turned into the wildly-successful tour, cementing the group’s status as a must-see, multi-generational, holiday tradition and kick-started the trend of Yuletide season tours. This year’s unforgettable multi-sensory extravaganza is set to begin on November 13th and will visit 66 cities for 109 performances across North America before concluding on December 30th.


Dec. 13- Dec 14: 28th Annual Community Nutcracker @ Florida Theatre

Performing annually since 1992, Community Nutcracker has evolved into a treasured holiday tradition in Northeast Florida. Over 200 local performers are involved to produce an artistic masterpiece that embodies the act of giving during the holidays, while bringing the community together in a whimsical, imaginative Christmas celebration of elegant dance and storytelling.

Bringing various performers together to produced the Nutcracker Ballet is only a part of Community Nutcracker’s focus. The philanthropic focus of the Community Nutcracker simply put, is to spread Christmas cheer to all corners of our community, including those who may not have the opportunity to enjoy a full length ballet.

Dec.13-Dec.15: First Coast Nutcracker @ Jacksonville Symphony

Presented by VyStar Credit Union, the First Coast Nutcracker has been a beloved tradition in Northeast Florida for over 40 years. Experience Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet as it should be experienced: with a live, full symphony orchestra, as only the Jacksonville Symphony presents it.




Dec. 14: Holidays in Hemming @ Hemming Park 10am-3pm 

Celebrate the holiday with a full day of family friendly fun inHemming Park, sponsored by Community First Credit Union. Shop with local artisans and dine with the best of Jacksonville’s food trucks; enjoy festive music and seasonal beverages. Children’s activities; leashed pets are welcome.



Dec. 14: RAM Winter Wonder

Look for special holiday craft stations throughout the market.
– Bello Boopie will have a holiday card making station
– Doodlebug’s Design will have a sticket making station
– Kid’s Ornament and craft stations



Dec 14. : Bold City Music Co. Winter Recital @ Jax Makerspace in Main Library Downtown 11a.m.-12p.m.

Admission: one non-perishable food or hygiene item





Dec. 14: The Santa Stops and Photo Ops event at Main Library Downtown at 11 a.m. 

Get a photo with Santa and attend the Holidays in Hemming festivities.




Dec. 14-15: Jacksonville Symphony: Handel’s Messiah, 7:30 p.m., Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. 

Celebrate the season as the Jacksonville Symphony and Chorus perform Handel’s Messiah, one of the most inspiring works of music ever written. Featuring timeless classics such as “And the Glory of the Lord” and the “Hallelujah Chorus,” the Messiah is the perfect way to share the joy of music with family.



Dec. 15-31: 7th Annual Holiday Trains at MOSH 

The Toy Train Collectors of Jacksonville are hosting a special motorized holiday train display in the Learning Lab at MOSH. The holiday train display will feature volunteer operators available to engage visitors about trains, engineering and model building. The trains will be rotated throughout the day as they travel through a winter wonderland!

Cost: Annual Holiday Trains is included with regular Museum admission.


Dec. 15: Leann Rimes: You and Me Christmas Tour, 7:30 p.m., Florida Theatre. 

Grammy-winning, country music singer and songwriter, LeAnn Rimes will perform her biggest chart hits “Blue,” and “How Do I Live,” and her original holiday songs “Today Is Christmas,” “I Still Believe in Santa Claus,” “It’s Christmas Eve,” and “You and Me and Christmas,” both of which she wrote for her Hallmark Channel holiday movie It’s Christmas, Eve.

Her latest studio album, Re-Imagined, features a duet of “Borrowed” with Stevie Nicks and reworking of hit song “Can’t Fight The Moonlight” Since her debut in 1996, she has won two Grammys, three ACMs, a CMA, 12 Billboard Music Award, sold more than 37 records worldwide and placed more than 40 singles on the Billboard charts.

Kalie Shorr will open.

Dec. 20: Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer The Musical, 8 p.m., Florida Theatre. 

Based on the original TV special, this family Broadway musical brings Santa, Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, the Misfit Toys and, of course, Rudolph to life.



Dec 20: A Christmas Carol at Times-Union Center

This celebrated Charles Jones adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is rich with thrilling ensemble music, alive with color and movement, and is created to tell this great and enduring tale in a manner that people of all ages will enjoy.

Woven throughout this classic tale are beautiful new arrangements and moving renditions of holiday songs such as God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Wassail Wassail, Good Christian Men Rejoice, Away in a Manger, Greensleeves, The Boar’s Head Carol and many more.  Featuring a cast of 23 performers, live musicians, and Broadway-style scenery and costumes, audiences cherish this sumptuous holiday classic.


Dec. 21: The Children’s Christmas Party of Jacksonville, Prime F. Osborn Convention Center

The Children’s Christmas Party of Jacksonville is an annual charity event in North Florida supporting local children. As many as 6,000 children, along with their parents, come to our Christmas Party for a chance to meet Santa, pick out new toys, and have an opportunity to win a new bike. Each child chooses several toys from a selection of electronics, balls, games, musical instruments, preschool learning toys and infant toys. Hundreds of volunteers enjoy handing out toys to the children as well as provide entertainment and security.


Dec. 21: Riverside Arts Market Ugly Sweater Bash 

Wear your ugly sweater and get your last minute hand made Christmas gifts from incredible local vendors.

Santa is traveling all the way from the North Pole to stop at RAM from 11:30am – 1:30pm!



Dec. 21: Buddy The Elf’s Christmas Party at The Volstead

Son of a nutcracker! We’re throwing a party with Angel’s Envy and there’s no better way to do that than with Elf.

We’ll have themed cocktails, an ornament making station, a photo booth and maybe a guest appearance by SANTA, himself.

So, don’t be a cotton-headed ninny-muggin, grab your ugly sweaters and come hang with us.

We will be collecting new and gently-used Christmas gifts to donate to the Children’s Home Society of Florida.

And remember: The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

Dec. 22: Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker – Matinee, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Florida Theatre.

Step into a simpler time filled with sweet dreams and Christmas magic with world-class artists, over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets and soaring birds. Don’t miss your chance to ring in the holidays with this acclaimed Christmas extravaganza that  The New York Times calls a “Knockout” and “Hot Ticket!” Celebrate this cherished holiday tradition and relive the dream with Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. Get tickets for the whole family now!



Dec. 29: Hemming Park’s Totally Lit Hanukkah Party from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Join Hemming Park and the Jacksonville Public Library for our annual celebration of Hanukkah and its related traditions. We’ll enjoy live music, storytelling and crafts; dreidel games and more. Menorah lighting at 6:15. This event is free and open to the public.



Dec. 31: Jacksonville Symphony: New Year’s Eve: Jazz Age, 9 p.m., Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. 

It’s the biggest New Year’s Eve celebration in town. Party like it’s 1919 as Courtney Lewis and the Jacksonville Symphony revel in the 100th anniversary of Prohibition, The Roarin’ Twenties and much more, followed by a party featuring the sounds of the Chris Thomas Band, and capped by fireworks seen from the best viewing location on the river. Get your tickets early as this party sells out every year.



Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve FireWorks, Downtown Jacksonville along St. Johns River. 

Say goodbye to 2019 and ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display over the St. Johns River. Make your way down to the waterfront with friends or family before midnight to snag a great seat for the festivities. Fireworks will begin exactly at midnight.

This year fireworks will be launched from a barge on the St. Johns River between the Hyatt and Double Tree hotels and high above the St. Johns River from the Acosta Bridge. These locations are able to be viewed from both the North and South banks in Downtown Jacksonville in addition to viewing from Brooklyn and under the Fuller Warren Bridge where the Riverside Arts Market is held.


Dec. 31: MOCA New Year’s Eve pARTy

The MOCA NYE PARTY, presented by HASKELL, is for the adventurous, the visionary, and the creatives of our city.

Ring in 2020 at MOCA’s Countdown Bash: a dance party featuring DJ Geexella, live music by SouLo, surprise art performances, fabulous eats by MOCA CAFÉ, and an open bar throughout the night with signature cocktails by Manifest Distilling.

Dress is creative glam. No black tie required.


Dec. 31: A Roaring New Year’s Eve at The Volstead

Swing on by for the biggest night of the year! NYE 2020 is coming up and we’ve got you covered (with FREE COVER), plus signature cocktails, a free champagne toast at midnight and dancing the night away with live music by Dirty Bird and the Flu.

Celebrate our SIXTH birthday with us and let us properly send off 2019.

Table reservations and bottles of champagne are available for sale.

Dec. 31: JJ Grey and Mofro NYE with the Commonheart

Southern soul rock band and Jacksonville natives, JJ Grey & Mofro, will rock us into 2020!

Their hit songs include “The Sweetest Thing,” “Lochloosa,” “The Sun is Shining Down” and more!

From the days of playing greasy local juke joints to headlining major festivals, JJ Grey remains an unfettered, blissful performer, singing with a blue-collared spirit over the bone-deep grooves of his compositions. His presence before an audience is something startling and immediate, at times a funk rave-up, other times a sort of mass-absolution for the mortal weaknesses that make him and his audience human.

Dec. 31: Chart House NYE Party

Take a trip back to the ’20s and ring in 2020 with Chart House Jacksonville!

4-Course Menu

Live entertainment begins at 9:30PM

Raffles throughout the night. Swag bag for every guest.

Champagne toast included in 2nd Seating. Additional Alcohol Available for Purchase.

View our New Year’s Eve Blog for more celebration ideas!

Email to submit an event to our event calendar or to this blog post. Please include event details and a photograph.