Everything You Need to Know About #DTJax for the Holidays

Whether you’re an elf or a reindeer – there’s plenty to see and lots to do in #DTJax for the holidays! Need some gifts? You’re covered. Want to see some holiday shows? Look no further. Love christmas trees and fireworks? Of course you do. So get up and get on down, but remember to be nice because…


‘Tis the Season to Shop Local

Hemming Park Holiday Market
Nov. 30 – Dec. 11 | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

Enjoy festive holiday decorations and Support local small businesses with a rotation of different vendors each day. The markets and food trucks will run 11:00am – 2:00pm for guest of the park to gather and purchase gifts.

Vagabond Flea 
Dec. 12 | 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

Every second Saturday, join Vagabond Coffee Company in Hemming Park to shop vintage finds and handmade goods from local craftsmen and collectors.

Riverside Arts Market: Holidazzle
Dec. 12 | 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Go to the Riverside Arts Market and enjoy all the festivities from lights and decor to photos with Santa and classic holiday movies on stage from 6 – 9 p.m.

Jaxsons Night Market 
Dec. 17 | 5:30 – 9 p.m.

A monthly night market for Jaxsons by Jaxsons, showcasing what makes our community unique including local farmers, local beer, food trucks, fashion trucks, art and food vendors, live music and much more.


Special Holiday Cards from Cathedral Arts Project

Cathedral Arts Project

Send a meaningful message to your loved ones this season with a card featuring original artwork by Cathedral Arts Project students. $20 | Set of 15 cards and envelopes. Orders of 120+ cards are customizable! Cards are available for order here.


Gingerbread House Extravaganza

gingerbread house








The Jacksonville Historical Society 

Monday-Friday | 11: a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturdays through Dec. 23 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Cost: Adults- $5 Children- $ 3

Builders of all skill levels create everything from historical buildings to fantasy creations. For more information: 904- 655-0064


Synchronized Nightly Tree Light Shows

Synchronized Lights

The Jacksonville Landing
Nov. 28 – Dec. 31 | Sunday through Thursday 6 – 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 6 p.m.midnight
Cost: Free

Nightly tree light shows will take place every hour, on the hour through New Year’s Eve and featuring all new light synchronization and music for the 2015 season! The Landing’s 56-foot tree comes to life to the sounds of your favorite holiday songs each evening, performing a 10-minute synchronized light show with more than 78,000 sparkling L.E.D. lights. Each show is free and open to the public. The shows take place Sunday through Thursday 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. (four shows each night) and Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. – midnight (seven shows each night).


Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Grinch the Musical

Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts

Dec. 1 | 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 2 | 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 3 | 11 a.m. & 7 p.m.
Dec. 4 | 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 5 | 1 & 7 p.m.
Dec. 6 | 1 & 4 p.m.

Cost: $38.50 – $93.50

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical features the hit songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” (written by Albert Hague and Dr. Seuss) from the original animated series.

Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the Holiday-loving Whos. Magnificent sets and costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations help transport audiences to the whimsical world of Whoville, while the Music and Book of Mel Marvin and Timothy Mason breathe new life into this timeless story of the true meaning of Christmas. The 2015 production is directed by Matt August and choreographed by Bob Richard based on the original choreography by John DeLuca and originally created by 3-time Tony Award® winning director, Jack O’Brien.

More than 1.2 million theatre-goers across America have been delighted by this heart-warming holiday musical, which The New York Times praised as “100 times better than any bedside story” and the Gannett Papers hailed as “A genius of a show! A total delight for both kids and adults.”

Available for sale as a part of the four-show FSCJ Artist Series Broadway in Jacksonville Series at 904-442-2929.


2015 Holiday on the River Concert and Dance Series
The Jacksonville Landing
Dec. 2 – Dec. 19 | 12 p.m.
Cost: Free

Daily and evening live performances by local schools, churches and dance groups. Performances take place in front of the 56-foot Christmas tree in the Courtyard during lunch and in the evenings.


Holidays in Hemming Park with Winter Village

Winter Village

Hemming Park
Nov. 30 – Dec. 5 | 11 a.m. –  3 p.m.
Cost: Free

Families will enjoy this free event with scrumptious sweet scents, signs of snow, and the Winter Village. Children will enjoy a snow area, polar express train rides, a bounce house, wintery crafts, ginger bread making, an imagination station build-a-thon, holiday story times in the reading nook, and performances by the Crescendo Kids. Peruse the classic holiday markets and stock up on gifts and toys from twenty different local small businesses.


Science With Santa

Science with Santa

Dec. 5 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Cost: $5 per person in addition to Museum admission

Don’t shoot your eye out! Go practice science safety with Santa at the Extreme Science Shows taking place in the JEA Science Theater at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Kids will have an opportunity to tell Santa what they want for Christmas and enjoy holiday-themed educational games and activities from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. for MOSH Members to see Santa first!


Yappy Hour Christmas PAWty

Happy Hour Holiday Pawty

The Jacksonville Landing
Dec. 6 | 2 – 5 p.m.
Cost: Free

B.Y.O.D (bring your own dog) and join the Jacksonville Landing for the final Yappy Hour of the 2015 Season! Live entertainment on the Coca-Cola Riverfront Stage. PLUS, free prizes, giveaways, drinks specials and more from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.!

The Landing Courtyard will be decorated for the holiday season with Christmas Trees and ornaments-a-plenty. Santa’s back and jollier than ever—Yappy Hour is giving back to local humane societies. Free pooch photos with Santa with any $10 value pet food or treat donation, or $10 contribution (first 50 dogs).


Chanukah at The Landing

Chanukah and the Landing

The Jacksonville Landing
Dec. 6 | Noon – 6 p.m.
Cost: Free

Don’t miss the 15th Annual Chanukah at the Landing fair and celebration on December 6 at 2:30 p.m. This year’s musical guest Blues Superstar Lazer Loyd hails from the Holy Land and is in the US for exclusively for this special event. The event will feature bounce houses and activities for children, kosher food and the lighting of Jacksonville’s largest Menorah. It will be located on Hogan Street (between The Landing and Times Union Center of Performing Arts) and the river walk gazebo.

For more information, click here or call 904-262-6641.


Jingle Bell Brunch and Sweet Pete’s Winter Wonderland
The Candy Apple Café & Cocktails
Dec. 6 | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

Santa and Mrs. Claus will make a special appearance at Sweet Pete’s from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 6. All guests will have the opportunity to take a complimentary photo with Santa and enjoy free activities, including story time, crafts, candy-cane stations, and a winter wonderland with “snow” on Hogan Street. Join The Candy Apple Café & Cocktails for a festive Jingle Bell Brunch before or after your visit with Santa. Reservations are required. For reservations, visit or call 904-353-9717.


Holiday Brunch

Cafe Nola

Café Nola at MOCA
Dec. 6 | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Café Nola serves a brunch to help you get in the holiday mood. Select favorites from a buffet of fresh salads, pastries, and hot side items while you wait for your gourmet hot entrée. Pair the brunch with a performance of Circle Mirror Transformation at 2 p.m. (tickets sold separately) and a tour of Smoke and Mirrors at 3:45 p.m. Please call 904-224-0113 for reservations.


Holiday Pops Series

Holiday Pops

Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts
Dec. 10 | 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 11 – 13 | 8 p.m.
Cost: $25 – $75

Michael Butterman, conductor, Jacksonville Symphony Chorus and guest vocalists

It’s Jacksonville’s holiday tradition with the symphony, chorus and guest vocalists. Enjoy all of your heartwarming holiday favorites and don’t miss what’s sure to be Jacksonville’s only indoor snowfall. Bring the entire family to celebrate the season together.


Community Nutcracker

Community Nutcracker

The Florida Theatre
Dec. 11 | 8 p.m.
Dec. 12 | 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Cost: $19.50 – $53.50

Every year, The Community Nutcracker delights audiences of all ages with this holiday classic. More than 200 children from Northeast Florida audition and perform in the production. Additionally, The Community Nutcracker issues 2,000 free tickets to various Jacksonville agencies and organizations to attend a Community Service Night performance. Residents and clients from area nursing homes and non-profit agencies are also able to attend the ballet.

Join them for the 24th Anniversary production of a holiday classic.


The Children’s Christmas Party of Jacksonville








Prime Osborn Convention Center
Dec. 12 | 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Free to Duval County Children in Need (infant through 12 years old) and their parents/guardians/chaperones. First come/first served. No application or registration required.

The Children’s Christmas Party of Jacksonville is a non-profit charity organization. Their mission is to provide toys to Jacksonville’s children who otherwise might not receive gifts for the holiday. For more information, go to


21st Annual Tuba Christmas

Tuba Christmas

The Jacksonville Landing
Dec. 12 | 2 p.m.
Cost: Free

More than 150 Tubas join together to play some of your favorite holiday classics. You don’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind event. The Landing will be filled with beautiful sounds as tuba players of all ages play your favorite holiday music.


A John Waters Christmas 

John Waters

The Florida Theatre
Dec. 15 | 8 p.m.
Cost: $39 – $100

Like a wayward Santa for the Christmas obsessed, legendary filmmaker and raconteur John Waters (Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, A Dirty Shame) rides into town on his sleigh full of smut spreading yuletide cheer with his critically acclaimed one-man show, “A John Waters Christmas .”

Putting the X in X-mas, Waters’ rapid-fire monologue explores and explodes traditional archetypes as he shares his compulsive desire to give and receive perverted gifts, a religious fanaticism for Santa Claus, and an unhealthy love of true crime holiday horror stories.


Bowzer’s Rock N Roll Holiday Party

Bowzer's Holiday

The Florida Theatre
Dec. 17  | 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $35 – $65

This holiday season, Bowzer is coming back with his annual holiday party!
Best  known as the gangly  slender armed greaser from the 1950s band Sha Na Na, Bowzer performed with the band at Woodstock, and in the film version of GREASE, at the high school sock hop. Later he  was  the successful host of The Match Game and Hollywood Squares.

See Santa, Watch a Christmas Story, and Feed Jacksonville

A christmas Story

The Florida Theatre
Dec. 19 | 2 p.m.
Cost: Free with canned good or non-perishable food donation.

First ACT, the nonprofit Florida Theatre’s young professional networking group, presents the film A Christmas Story, to benefit Feeding Northeast Florida. The 1983 classic tells the tale of Ralphie, who has to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa to get him the perfect gift for the 1940s. Made possible by sponsorship from the ALG Law Group, admission is only by a donation of food! To see the movie, bring a gift of canned or nonperishable food for each adult or child. Feeding Northeast Florida will be on site to collect your food donations.


Handel’s Messiah

Handel's Messiah

Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts
Dec. 19 | 8 p.m.
Cost: $25 – $75

Michelle Merrill, Conductor | Jacksonville Symphony Chorus and guest vocalists

The greatest story ever told… the most majestic music ever conceived. The Jacksonville Symphony and Chorus present music’s most powerful message of faith in THE Messiah of the season.


First Coast Nutcracker


Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts
Dec. 18 | 8 p.m.
Dec. 19 | 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Dec. 20 | 2 p.m.
Cost: $18 – $50

Enter the magical world of childlike imagination. The First Coast Nutcracker Ballet has been a tradition in North Florida for 40 years. Experience it with Tchaikovsky’s music as only the Symphony can play it.

Dazzling costumes, brilliant sets, internationally renowned principal dancers, and our area’s finest dance corps bring Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece to life.


Winter Discovery Camps

Winter Camp

Dec. 21 – 30 | 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cost: $60 per day; extended care available for additional charge. Members receive a 20% discount.

Need free time to finish your holiday shopping and baking? Kindergartners through fifth graders are welcome for a week of scientific fun at MOSH Winter Discovery Camps December 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30. Daily camp themes tailored to age groups include Frozen Fun, Winter Galaxy, Wild Weather and The Nutcracker! Campers will also get to explore museum exhibits, including Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters. MOSH Winter Discovery Camps are from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.


An Irish Christmas

Irish Christmas

Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts
Dec. 21 | 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $24 – $64

An Irish Christmas brings just about everything to the table – joy, hope, laughter, friendship, and celebration of life. Take a journey through Christmas in Ireland and celebrate the great traditions of Irish mythology, enjoy superb music-making, singing of Christmas carols and great storytelling, all led by an award-winning cast of Irish dancers, in a night that sparkles with life and a bit of ‘magic!’ For tickets and more information call: 904-442-2929


A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts
Dec. 22 | 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $13.10 – $48.65

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.

For tickets and more information call: 904-442-2929


The Ten Tenors: Home for the Holidays

The Ten Tenors

The Florida Theatre
Dec. 22 | 8 p.m.
Cost: $35 – $65

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and what better way to celebrate the holiday season than with international singing sensation The TEN Tenors!

With soaring versions of Joy to the World, Sleigh Ride, White Christmas, Amazing Grace, Winter Wonderland, Feliz Navidad and more, Home for the Holidays is a magical experience for the whole family that will dazzle, delight and captivate audiences. Join Australia’s rockstars of the opera as they amaze and enthrall with their unique selection of traditional and contemporary seasonal favorites that celebrate the spirit of the season.


The District Church’s Christmas Eve Eve Gathering

Christmas Eve Eve

The Florida Theatre
Dec. 23 | 7 p.m.
Cost: Free

Join The District Church for a night of celebrating Christmas in our great city! You will be greeted with love by their Guest Services Team, they will sing Christmas songs about Jesus, and Pastor Boyd will preach from the Bible about the One who rescued the world. They can’t wait to celebrate Jesus’ birth on Christmas Eve Eve with you!

For additional information please visit


Christmas Eve Dinner

The Candy Apple Café & Cocktails
Dec. 24 | 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Cost: $30

Start a new holiday tradition with Christmas Eve dinner at The Candy Apple Café & Cocktails. Guests may order from a $30 prix fixe menu, which includes a glass of wine, appetizer, entrée and dessert. A children’s menu will be available, as well. Reservations are strongly encouraged.For reservations, visit or call 904-353-9717.


UP Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Unity Plaza
Dec. 26 – 31 | 11 a.m – 6 p.m.
Cost: Free

Enjoy this community celebration with holiday-themed outdoor activities, performing arts, and live music culminating in the New Year’s Eve Family Bash!


New Year’s Eve Dinner

Pre Show PrixFixe-2

The Candy Apple Café & Cocktails
Dec. 31 | 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Cost: $65

Celebrate the end of 2015 and new beginnings in 2016 with a prix fixe New Year’s Eve dinner at The Candy Apple Café & Cocktails. Executive Chef Jamey Evoniuk will prepare a four-course dinner, and all guests will receive complimentary glass of Prosecco. The restaurant will serve dinner until 12 a.m.; the cost per person is $65 plus tax and gratuity. A complimentary Champagne toast will be held at midnight. Reservations are strongly encouraged. For reservations, visit or call 904-353-9717.


Christmas Hangover Music Showcase








Hourglass Pub

Dec. 26 | 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Cost: Free

Hungover from Christmas? Come get your hair of the dog. Join Hourglass as they fill the house with fantastic sound!


New Year’s Eve Celebration at The Jacksonville Landing


The Jacksonville Landing
Dec. 31 | 4:00 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Cost: Free

The Jacksonville Landing will ring in the New Year with live music and fireworks!

For more information visit: 


Calling All Businesses!

We want to know what your business is planning to do for the Holidays & New Year’s Eve. We are looking to feature these in upcoming blogs/posts and partner with other organizations to advertise what’s happening Downtown.

Please let us know if you are:

  • Hosting events during the holidays and especially on New Year’s Eve
  • Offering any specials or promotions (food, drink, sales) during the holidays

Contact or  904.634.0303 x 225 to provide details. Any information is appreciated!