This time of year, our calendars start filling up with holiday festivities, such as gift exchanges, tree and Menorah lightings, holiday musicals, galas and fundraisers, and of course — visits with Santa Claus. Sometimes, Santa can be hard to track down during his busiest time of year! Take a look at the many appearances he is making throughout the holiday season in the Fort Lauderdale area. From photo opps to parades, here are a handful of ways to catch a glimpse of (or even hold a conversation with!) the most popular character of the holiday season.
December 1 | 1–4 p.m.
Create everlasting memories during the fun-filled day of Christmas cheer at the Historic Stranahan House Museum on the first of December. Create holiday crafts, enjoy story time with Mrs. Claus, and take a photo with Santa! The cost is $10 per child and advanced registration is required. Call 954.524.4736 to create an appointment for Cookies With Santa.
December 1–7 | 5:30–8:30 p.m.
Each year, the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens sparkles with holiday cheer, as trees, sparkling lights, wreaths and centerpieces are placed throughout this historic property. Embark on a rare nighttime self-guided tour of the museum to take in all of the delightful decor from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Plus, enjoy a variety of events and attractions throughout the week, including visits with Santa and his elves, Christmas storytelling, strolling carolers, and more. Admission is $15 for adult members and $20 for adult non-members, and $5 for kids ages 6–12 and free for kids under 6.
December 2 | 12–2 p.m.
The Old Davie School Historical Museum is celebrating their 17th Annual Old Davie Christmas, a free event focused on old-fashioned holiday fun. Activities include photos with Santa, pony rides, a petting zoo, old-fashioned games, a hayride, snacks and more!
December 5 | 5:30–8:30 p.m.
The Lauderdale-by-the-Sea community is hosting their annual Christmas-by-the-Sea event, a wonderful night for all ages featuring holiday music, dancing, and entertainment. Plus, peruse the festive and expanded Yuletide Market and visit with Santa, who will arrive by fire truck at 6 p.m. And don’t miss the community tree lighting ceremony at 6:15 p.m.!
December 15 | 7 p.m.
Considered one of the most exciting events of the holiday season in South Florida, the Annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade should not be missed! Featuring a collection of decked-out boats covered in lights, the parade will set sail for 12 miles starting in downtown Fort Lauderdale, heading north to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. Enjoy free viewing along the parade route, including one of the best vantage points — the Grandstand Viewing Area, located just north of Sunrise Boulevard. Make sure you don’t miss Santa by downloading the Winterfest Santa app to track his exact location throughout the evening.
Santa’s Little Helper at Flamingo Gardens
December 15–16 + 22–23 | 2–5 p.m.
On the weekends leading up to Christmas, visit with Santa in the idyllic tropical setting at Flamingo Gardens. Mrs. Claus and the elves need assistance from Santa’s little helpers to give the animals their presents at 3 p.m. The festivities continue as you visit with Santa and other holiday characters, hop on the bounce house, ride the animal train ride through the arboretum, and enjoy holiday music, contests, and holiday crafts. Stay after 5 p.m. for Garden of Lights, featuring tens of thousands of lights decorating the arboretum and Wray Home, holiday scenes adorning the garden pathways, and a spectacular musical light show.
Catch him if you can!
Enjoy your visit with Santa — and let us know what other sightings we can add to the list. Comment below with your suggestions!