It's hard to believe the holidays are upon us, but they are... and with them comes a sense of normalcy and excitement in a year that's been anything but. Because it's never too early to start holiday shopping and because we could all use something fun to look forward to, here are 5 unique gift ideas and 5 must do's on Amelia Island during the holidays.
HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS
1) Commemorative 2020 ornament
- 2020 has been one for the record books and although many of us are ready to see it come to an end, we definitely need something to remember it by. Why not an ornament to hang on your tree year after year? Lucky for you, Christmas on the River
in historic downtown Fernandina Beach, is in the holiday spirit 365 days of the year and has the perfect 2020 ornament you're looking for.
2) Sweets for the Sweet
- Handcrafted and born right here on Amelia Island, Amelia Toffee Company
takes the art of toffee making to a whole new level. Each morsel of crunchy goodness is enrobed in premium dark chocolate and studded with roasted California almonds. Stop in for a bag to munch on while you’re shopping for others. Flavors include traditional sea salt, bourbon, coffee, key lime, orange bliss and their seasonal holiday flavor. Pick up a pound of peppermint bark or fudge from Fantastic Fudge
for a delicious holiday treat to keep or give away as a gift. Or, spread the holiday cheer by shopping at Watanut
where you can find assorted nuts and cookie gift boxes worth sharing. Now it's starting to feel like Christmas!
3) Reading is FUN
- Give the gift of reading with a page turning book. Story & Song Bookstore Bistro
offers an eclectic variety of books as well as local art, greeting cards & stationery, weekly events and a delicious bistro serving brunch and lunch. The Book Loft
in historic downtown Fernandina Beach, provides a vast array of books on every subject including Amelia Island and its pirate history as well as the history of Florida and the Civil War. The upstairs loft presents a wide variety of older hardback books - and, if you stay long enough - you may also meet their resident ghost, Katherine.
4) Discover the Spirits of Christmas Past
- There's always that one person on your Christmas list that's hard to buy for. Enter Marlin & Barrel Distillery
to the rescue. Marlin & Barrel is a local craft distillery handcrafting rum, vodka, gin and cello. How about a Bloody Mary gift bag featuring Marlin & Barrel's very own Venture Smoked Pepper Vodka along with a bottle of hot sauce, bloody mary mix and a logo'd glass? Visit their store at 232 South 8th St. and check that person off your list.
5) Get Creative
- Looking for a fun night out with your best girlfriends? Amelia Makery
and Paisley Grace Makery
are Amelia Island's fun spots for ceramic, wood board, and canvas painting. Not only is this a great way to spend time with your favorite folks, it's also a great place to make your own holiday gifts to give. If you're not comfortable going inside the studio, you have the option of take-home kits available for pick-up or no contact delivery. Sign up for a workshop or open painting. Amelia Makery is open Tues-Sat, 10am-5pm and Paisley Grace Makery is open Thur-Sat, 2pm-7pm.
SIDE NOTE: Complimentary wooden ornaments created by Paisley Grace Makery will be available downtown at the Welcome Center for visitors to write holiday wishes on and hang on the Christmas Wish Tree in the Pocket Park next to Amelia Island Coffee. The ornaments will be available starting December 4th and will continue as long as supplies last!
HOLIDAY "TO DO" LIST
1) Dickens on Centre –
December 4 - 13. Amelia Island is celebrating the 6th annual Dickens on Centre
festival a bit differently in 2020. While our traditional street festival will not take place this year, we promise the holiday season will still remain cheery and bright with new, reimagined events and a few unchanged events. Dickens on Centre Dining
experience is a 10-day culinary showcase featuring the island’s most popular dining hot spots offering pre-fixe Dickens-themed or Victorian-inspired menus. Other festivities include carriage rides, amazing chalk artists, live holiday music, store window decorating contest, Christmas Wish Tree, and thousands of twinkling white lights on the trees and buildings of historic downtown. It's still gonna be as fun as the Dickens!
2) Lights, Camera, Action!
- Amelia Island has a robust amateur theatre scene with a range of productions for your entertainment throughout the year. Take in a show at AMELIA COMMUNITY THEATRE
. November features the Amelia Island Dance Festival's An Evening of Dance
while December hosts a main stage production of At Wit's End
, a dramatic comedy about the American newspaper columnist and humorist, Erma Bombeck. AMELIA MUSICAL PLAYHOUSE
is known for its musicals, with all performances featuring a live orchestra. This December, mark your calendar for Scrooge!
A musical take of the Charles Dickens holiday classic, A Christmas Carol
3) I'll Be Home For Christmas
- Five homes in the beautiful downtown historic district will once again be featured during the 14th Annual Holiday Home Tour
, Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5 from 10am-4pm. The Holiday Home Tour is an annual fundraising event presented by the Amelia Island Museum of History and is an opportunity to tour privately-owned homes tastefully decorated for the holiday season. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Amelia Island Museum of History or call 904-261-7378. Why not make a weekend of it and stay in one of our island accommodations
4) An Evening in December - Take part in
a guided, immersive, outdoor experience of the events leading up to Jesus' birth. Stroll along as your guide tells the story of Christmas, ending at a first-century Bethlehem-inspired village. There, you will be greeted by shopkeepers with first-century wares, a petting zoo, and other unique sights. Enjoy complimentary light refreshments before being shuttled back to your car. Come to one of three performances
: Friday, December 4, Saturday, December 5, or Sunday, December 6. Limited tickets per time slot. Amelia Baptist Church.
5) Santa! I Know Him!
- Get ready! St. Nick is bringing his workshop all the way to Amelia Island's Welcome Center (Old Train Depot) in historic downtown Fernandina Beach the weekends of December 5 & 6 and December 12 & 13. Boston Photography has once again teamed up with St. Nick to capture your family’s visit with the opportunity to purchase a digital and/or printed copy of your portrait. Reserve
your space today so you don't miss out! Note: Because your child's safety is priority, there will be no physical contact between St. Nick and your child
. If you can't make it to the Welcome Center during those dates but need to get your wish list to the North Pole, never fear. We will keep a special mailbox there for letters that go straight to St. Nick himself!
Amelia Island offers a myriad of holiday festivities for the whole family throughout the holiday season. Check out the full calendar here
and make sure your holiday plans include Amelia Island.