Are you spending Christmas in the sunshine state and looking for the best places to see Christmas lights in Florida? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. You can still get into the holiday spirit in Florida even if there is no snow- just add Christmas lights!
Of all the best ways to celebrate Christmas in Florida, looking at Christmas lights is one of the best ways to feel some Christmas cheer. Florida Christmas light displays vary; from traditional Christmas trees to boat parades, anything can be covered in twinkle lights!
You can drive through Christmas lights in Florida or wander through stunning light displays in Florida’s many botanic gardens. Places all over the state find ways to mix traditional Christmas decorations with things that are unique to Florida at Christmastime.
This list of places to see Christmas decorations in Florida covers all sorts of holiday activities. However, the one thing they all have in common is beautiful Florida Christmas lights. Maybe you’ll discover a new holiday tradition!
Nights of Lights in St. Augustine
One of the best places to see Christmas lights in Florida is St. Augustine. The award-winning light display in Florida called Nights of Lights has lit up St. Augustine for almost thirty years!
From November through January, more than three million St. Augustine Christmas lights twinkle around the city’s historic district. The Spanish Colonial architecture glows and St. Augustine is bathed in holiday cheer!
Some of the most extravagant Christmas lights in St. Augustine can be found atFlagler College and theLightner Museum. The main city plaza, called the Plaza de la Constitución also features a giant Christmas tree, bedecked in lights.
During the Nights of Lights festival, St. Augustine businesses stay open later than usual so that folks can shop and dine amongst some of the best Christmas lights in FL. Trains and trolleys also offer special tours that take you through the best areas.
Make sure to check out our master post on the Best Time To Visit Florida including a breakdown by month, weather, events, and more!
Santa’s Enchanted Forest in Miami
We couldn’t talk about Christmas lights in Florida without mentioning Santa’s Enchanted Forest in Miami! It is the world’s biggest holiday theme park after all, and one of the most popular things to do in Miami at Christmastime. If you’re looking for Christmas lights in Miami, you can’t miss it!
Santa’s Enchanted Forest has everything- roller coasters, rides, games, magic shows, and giant Christmas light displays (of course). From Santa’s Sky High Wheel to interactive holiday displays, there is no shortage of Christmas lights. There is even a “Christmas Light Show Spectacular”!
Take it all in as you wander through almost 40 acres of fairgrounds while devouring a delicious dessert.
Entrance tickets do need to be purchased for Santa’s Enchanted Forest, but parking is free!
Downtown Mount Dora
The city of Mount Dora is known for its many annual festivals, and they do not disappoint during the holiday season! Each year, the “Light Up Mount Dora” event offers some of the best Christmas lights in Florida.
Mount Dora uses three million lights during its holiday decorating. The center of their Christmas light display is Donnelly Park, but there are decorations throughout the city.
There’s also a fun light display at the marina. In fact, boating is a big part of Mount Dora’s Christmas celebrations. Each year a boat parade leaves from the lighthouse, with small boats all lit up. The Mount Dora Boating Center and Marina also hosts a holiday movie night, where you can watch a classic holiday movie from your boat!
Dazzling Nights in Jacksonville
If you’re looking for the best Christmas lights in Jacksonville you have to check out the Dazzling Nights event. This stunning immersive experience features some beautiful and unique Christmas lights in Florida. It’s great for a date night or as an outing with friends!
Wander through The Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens and take in a variety of Christmas light displays. Walk under a giant star tunnel and beneath glowing Morrocan lanterns, all while listening to your favorite holiday tunes. You might even see some snow!
Be aware that Dazzling Nights tickets must be purchased in advance, for a specific day. Parking is limited, but spots can be reserved for a small fee. There is also a free shuttle from the nearby Winn-Dixie.
Holiday Lighted Boat Parade in Tampa
If you are spending Christmas in Tampa, you have the opportunity to view some of the best Christmas lights in Florida. One of the best ways to see Christmas lights in Tampa is to view the Holiday Lighted Boat Parade!
Just line up along the water, either from your own boat or on land along the riverwalk, and watch the largest lighted boat parade in the Tampa area. Best of all? It’s free!
The parade begins at Davis Islands, goes throughthe Convention Center basin, and thento the Heights where the boats then loop back and head to Sparkman Wharf. This is where judging occurs, as the boats are divided into different parade categories, such as “small motorboats” and “large sailboats”. Winners receive a trophy, and everyone gets some holiday cheer!
For a unique way to see the Christmas lights in Pensacola, climb aboard one of the Winterfest tours! Part tour, part entertainment, a Winterfest ride is sure to get you into the holiday spirit.
Those with kids will enjoy riding the Winterfest Express, a new electric train that will take you into downtown Pensacola, where you can admire some beautiful Florida Christmas lights.
Kids will also love the Polar Express tour, during which performers will sing from the beloved movie, as you all ride a tram through town. Wear your PJs and sip a cup of hot chocolate as you take in Pensacola’s Christmas decorations.
Grown-ups (or those not afraid of ghosts) will enjoy the Scrooge tour, during which the ghosts from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” will also climb aboard!
Each year, Winterfest puts on a performance that begins the First City Lights Festival. See if this year the Grinch can thwart the lighting of downtown Pensacola!
The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll in Orlando
It’s no surprise that Walt Disney World has some of the best Christmas lights in Florida. However, for a special holiday tradition, head to Disney Springs.
While Disney Springs is magical any time of year, it is especially so during the holiday season! This is partly because of the Christmas Tree Stroll, one of our favorite things to do in Orlando at Christmastime.
Disney Springs is the section that used to be called “Downtown Disney”. Today it is full of shops and restaurants, and during the holidays, it is decked out with Christmas trees.
If you’re looking for some of the best Christmas lights in Orlando, you’ll find them on the Disney Springs Christmas trees. Each tree is decorated in an honor of a Disney movie or park attraction! The Christmas Tree Stroll takes you on a scavenger hunt to each different tree.
Once you’ve found all the Christmas trees, head to the Town Center, where you might get some “snow” flurries!
Enchant Christmas St. Petersburg
For some truly spectacular Christmas lights in St. Pete, you must visit Enchant Christmas! Advertised as The World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze and Village, you can bet they have some of the best Christmas lights in Florida.
With over four million twinkling lights, make your way through a story-themed maze. Within this magical Christmas village, you can also ice skate, dine, enjoy live entertainment, and shop the Christmas market for gifts.
Beneath the Magical Night Sky dome, you will feel like you’ve been transported to the North Pole as you watch the Northern Lights dance across the “sky”!
Tickets to Enchant Christmas can be purchased ahead of time.
Holiday Lights in Largo Central Park
For the past 25 years, the city of Largo has provided some of the best Christmas lights in Florida. At Largo Central Park, you can stroll through 70 acres of Christmas lights for free!
Largo Central Park uses two million LED lights to decorate the trees and pathways of the park, creating a beautiful holiday light display. This family-friendly holiday tradition also features crafts and activities throughout the season.
While the park is free to visit, there are also rides available for $5 each. Take a spin on a carousel, or ride the Ferris wheel that offers a view of one of the prettiest Christmas light displays in Florida.
The NightGarden in Miami
Another of the best places to see Christmas lights in Miami is at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. From November to January, the garden is transformed into a magical fairyland at night.
The NightGarden is a family-friendly experience and offers a non-traditional option for seeing Christmas lights in Florida. Kids (and those young at heart) will enjoy searching for fairies amongst the glowing trees!
There are interactive exhibits as well as an augmented reality app you can download ahead of time, with which you can help solve a fairy mystery. Plus, enjoy snacks from some of the best food trucks in Miami!
Johnsonville Night Lights in the Garden
If you are looking for some more of the best Christmas lights in South Florida, you can also head to Naples Botanical Garden. During the holiday season, the Johnsonville Night Lights in the Garden event offers some beautiful Christmas lights in Naples.
Take a walk through the garden and admire all of the flora and fauna illuminated in a wash of colorful light. From giant glowing ornaments to strings of Christmas lights wrapped around the garden’s many trees, each section of Naples Botanical Garden is decorated differently.
Plus, each evening also offers live entertainment on the Water Garden stage!
Edison and Ford Holiday Nights
Another of the best places to see Christmas lights in South Florida is at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. Once the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, the estates now make up a museum and botanical garden.
It is thanks to Thomas Edison that we have electric Christmas lights, after all, and his estate continues the tradition. Each winter, thousands of Christmas lights cover the buildings and trees of the estates.
Be aware though that the Christmas light admission price does not include museum admission.
Tradewinds Park Holiday Fantasy of Lights
One of the best ways to see Christmas lights in Florida is by not even leaving your car! At Tradewinds Park Holiday Fantasy Lights, you can bundle the family up and drive through Christmas lights in Florida.
Located in Coconut Creek, Tradewinds Park is decorated each year with big animated holiday displays covered in Christmas lights. There is three miles full of your holiday favorites, like Santa, snowmen, and gingerbread houses. However, there are some Florida-specific displays…such as illuminated pirates!
In keeping with the season, part of the proceeds are donated to Gilda’s Club South Florida.
Rainbow Springs State Park
While Rainbow Springs State Park is a gem at any time of year, it also happens to be one of the best places to see Christmas lights in Florida. Rainbow Springs perfectly captures how to celebrate Christmas in Florida.
During the holiday season, a section of the state park is draped in colorful Christmas lights, covering bridges and buildings. The Christmas lights just add to Rainbow Springs’ natural beauty. Folks can walk among the lights while listening to live music.
Best of all, once a year the park hosts the “Santa Over The Rainbow” event, in which Mr. and Mrs. Claus arrive via pontoon boat!
Dickens on Centre Festival in Amelia Island
For some traditional Christmas lights in Florida, head to Amelia Island. For one weekend each December, downtown Fernandina is transformed into a classic Victorian village, complete with decorations and warm, sparkling lights.
Stroll down the streets of Fernandina and you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a Christmas card. Enjoy costumed characters, caroling, and vendors selling handmade goods and treats.
The Dickens on Centre kicks off with the Dickens Illuminated Procession up Ash Street to the historic district. Participants are encouraged to wear something that glows or glitters!
We hope you are able to visit some of the places on this list of the best Christmas lights in Florida. May they put you in a warm, holiday spirit!