10 Amelia Island Holiday Experiences
Lights, decoration, a historic downtown, and the warmth of Southern hospitality combine to make the holidays especially enchanting on Amelia Island. From the night before Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve, here's a sampling of holiday happenings that will banish even the strongest case of the "Bah Humbugs."
The days are a little shorter, the evenings are a little cooler, and there's so much to see and do. Here's a sampling of the ways Amelia Island comes to life with holiday cheer.
1) A vessel the likes of which you have never seen, the S.S. AMELIA, THE WORLD'S LARGEST GINGERBREAD PIRATE SHIP, arrives at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. It's made of over 600 pieces of gingerbread and festooned with fondant sculpted seafarers. Following the ship's arrival, the 19TH ANNUAL RITZ-CARLTON, AMELIA ISLAND CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING takes place at 5:30PM, with the grand finale of Santa's arrival (exactly how remains a secret, he's taken a train and a vintage car before) and spectacular fireworks. Wednesday, Nov. 25
2) Behold the annual HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING CELEBRATION IN THE SHOPS OF OMNI AMELIA ISLAND PLANTATION. From 5-9PM, families can greet Santa, enjoy live music, a bounce house, snow, festive food and drinks and much more. Through Jan. 1 (2016), the FESTIVAL OF TREES will be held in the Shops; 10 local charities will display trees on the porches of the shops around the lake. Resort guests of Omni Amelia Island Plantation and members of the public can select their favorite tree and/or charity and donate to that cause. Friday, Nov. 27
3) Head to Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach (recently voted one of the "Best Places" in Florida) and shop local - in your PJ's at the annual Black Friday Pajama Party starting at 8AM. Merchants will be offering special discounts and refreshments for shoppers. Dress in pajamas and enter the pajama contest. Prizes will be given for the best individual, best group and most creative pajamas. (Don't forget to get your holiday photo taken at the festive backdrop in the pocket park.) Friday, Nov. 27, 8AM-2PM
4) If you've ever wondered what some of the architectural marvels that sit on Amelia Island's beaches look like on the inside, this is your chance to v
isit six stunning homes at the Amelia Island Museum of History's 9TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY HOME TOUR
. Friday, Dec. 4 and Saturday, Dec. 5
5) See a classic show. Amelia Community Theatre
celebrates the holidays with MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET
, Thursday - Saturday, Dec. 3-5; 10-13; and 17 to 19. Amelia Musical Playhouse
will present a musical version of the timeless Charlotte's Web
. Shows run from December 3-20th, check links to confirm curtain times and to buy tickets
6) Bring the little ones to the CHILDREN'S HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA at the Fernandina Beach Library, with a "lighting of the Library" followed by indoor crafts and readings. Saturday, Dec. 5
7) The whole family can experience "Christmas Past made Present" at the inaugural DICKENS ON CENTRE
in historic downtown Fernandina Beach. Visits from Saint Nick, costumed carolers, performers, seasonal vendors and readings of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas are a few of the ways our Victorian downtown will be transformed into a festive classic. Dec. 4-6th and Friday December 11-13th
8) The sweetness of the holidays come to life with charmingly decked out historic B&Bs featuring their best cookie creations at the Annual Amelia Island BED AND BREAKFAST HOLIDAY COOKIE TOUR OF INNS
. Take a trolley or a carriage ride from inn to inn and collect recipes to bake treats at home. Saturday, Dec. 12
9) Crescendo Amelia Big Band performs "HOW THE BIG BAND STOLE CHRISTMAS: HOLIDAY SHOW WITH CRESCENDO AMELIA". The performance at Amelia Community Theatre features six singers & a 21-piece jazz band. Enjoy the stylings of a classic big band with a few modern twists. Monday, Dec. 21 - Tuesday, Dec. 22
10) Join the City of Fernandina Beach and Light Up Amelia for a unique, family-friendly New Year's celebration at the Downtown Waterfront. Celebrate the ringing in of the new year in conjunction with the Greenwich Mean Time stroke of midnight (7PM.) Live music, a kids zone, vendors, holiday food and drink, all leading up to the dropping of the LED-lighted shrimp. Thursday Dec.31
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Take a look at our holiday stay packages, plus an extensive and continually updated list of Amelia Island's holiday activities.