December 30, 2013
Monday – Sunday : December 30 – January 5
Nights of Lights – Selected by National Geographic Traveler in 2011 and 2012 as one of the ten best holiday lighting displays in the world, St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights feature millions of tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the Nation’s oldest city. Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays, the spectacular lighting reflects the city’s 449-year history and illuminates the beautiful setting for lasting holiday memories. www.NightsofLights.com

Nights of Lights Tours –  The City of St. Augustine shines a little brighter during Nights of Lights. There are several tours available that make the holiday experience even more brilliant during this special time of year.  Click here for a list of Nights of Lights Tours!

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug at the IMAX Theater – The Hobbit trilogy continues at The IMAX Theatre at World Golf Hall of Fame through January 16. Adults $13, Seniors/Students/Military $12, and Children 3-12 $10. Visit the website for showtimes. One World Golf Place, St. Augustine. 904-940-4133 www.worldgolfimax.com
   
New World in the Eyes of Explorers Exhibit – Through January 5, 2014, this intriguing exhibit of images of the New World and its indigenous peoples and animals provide a fascinating look at the first encounter between the peoples of the Old World and the New World – an epic event that changed the world forever. The exhibit is located in the St. Augustine Visitors Information Center and is open from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. 10 West Castillo Dr., St. Augustine.
www.StAugustine-450.com

For a  list of special eco-tours, food tours, pet friendly tours, and addition events on the VCB’s website click here!

Monday – Saturday:  December 30 – January 4
Dressing of the Palms in Vilano Beach – The second annual Dressing of the Palms along Vilano Beach features palm trees decorated in holiday finery – A Celebration of Coastal Living.  The trees showcase creative talents of residents, artists, businesses, clubs, schools, and organizations.    Vilano Beach Main St., St. Augustine. 904-910-8386 www.VilanoBeachFL.com

Holidays at Colonial Quarter – During the annual Nights of Lights event, the Colonial Quarter transforms into a fantastic holiday wonderland each evening beginning at 6 p.m. The two-acre site will be open at no charge November 23, 2013, through January 4, 2014. S’more stations, hot chocolate, cider and mulled wine will be served up along with the joyous sound of carolers. You can even climb the 35 ft. watchtower for a spectacular view of the city sparkling with white lights. 33 St. George St., St. Augustine. 904-599-2113 www.colonialquarter.com

Tuesday:  December 30  – New Year’s Eve

Beach Blast-Off 2014 – Kick off 2014 in seaside style at this special two-day, St. Augustine Beach event! Enjoy a blast of flavor, ice sculptures, live music, a chili cook-off, great fireworks and much more.  Kids Zone features 10 inflatables, face painting and Human Hamster Balls.  Adults can enjoy beer and wine and more than 30 food vendors.  The Dance Company entertains and there’s dunk tank for laughs — plus amazing ice sculpting!  Monday from 4-8 p.m., the Fire and Ice Chili Cook-off features local  chefs competing in a regional qualifier for the World Chili Cook-off Championship.  Live music begins at 2 p.m. with The Big Picture followed by Midlife Crisis at 4 p.m.; Those Guys at 6 p.m. and Seven Nations at 8 p.m. The fun continues throughout the day on Tuesday (New Year’s Eve) and features the huge fireworks show at 8:30 p.m.  The day’s music lineup includes Man of Color at 2:30 p.m.; Falling Bones at 5 p.m., Mojo Roux at 7 p.m. and Seven Nations at 9 p.m. right after the fireworks. Admission is free.  350 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach   904-829-5681 www.beachblastoff.com

New Year’s Eve 125th Anniversary Gala – Ring in the New Year and celebrate 125 years of the Hotel Ponce de Leon with an evening of historic elegance – dining and dancing the night away.  Flagler College’s New Year’s Eve Gala takes place in the Ponce de Leon Dining Hall from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. Black tie or Great Gatsby Attire.  The evening will include cocktail hour, dinner and dessert buffets, open bar, dancing, and a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $200 per person and benefit the Flagler College Scholarship Fund.  74 King St., St. Augustine 904-829-6481 flagler.edu/our-community/events/nye_ball/index.html

Wednesday:  January 1

First Day Hike: Walk on the Wild Side at Anastasia State Park – Join Park Service Specialists for the First Day Hike from 9 – 11 a.m. and observe what life is like on the wild side.  The walk, from 9 – 11 a.m., starts out with a leisurely stroll through the maritime hammock and continuing through the estuarine habitat.  After a break, the walk continues over the salt marsh, through the sand dunes and finishes on the shoreline.  Participants may choose to only walk the first half or the full 2.5 miles round trip. Suggested items to bring are binoculars, comfortable walking shoes, camera, drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen.  The program is included in regular admission of $8 per vehicle. 300 Anastasia Park Rd., St. Augustine. 904-461-2033 www.floridastateparks.org/anastasia

First Day Hike Faver-Dykes State Park – Ranger-guided .5 mile loop trail nature hike begins near the picnic area and winds along pine flatwoods into the scrub along Pellicer Creek.   While stopping along the way, participants will learn about the wildlife that may be seen in the park, the native flora and fauna, and a brief historical overview of the area.   Bring binoculars, comfortable walking shoes, bug spray and water.  The hike begins at 1 p.m. at the Ranger Station.  Hike is included in admission ($5 per vehicle up to 8 people, $4 for single occupancy, or $2 per person on bicycle) to the park located at 1000 Faver-Dykes Road, St. Augustine.  904-794-0997 www.floridastateparks.org/faverdykes

Celebrate the New Year with a Trail Walk – The Washington Oaks Gardens State Park will celebrate the New Year with a First Day Out guided hike at 1 p.m. through the maritime hammock and estuary. The walk will start at the Bella Vista Trailhead stopping along the way to discuss flora and fauna and learn about the wildlife that may be seen in the park, and a brief historical overview of the area.  Regular park entrance fee of $5 per vehicle, up to eight people; $4 per vehicle for single occupancy or $2 per person on bicycle applies.   6400 North Oceanshore Blvd., Palm Coast.  386-446-6780 www.floridastateparks.org/washingtonoak

Thursday – Sunday:  January 2 – 5

Limelight Theatre Presents “The Game’s Afoot”– This glittering Christmas holiday whodunit is set in 1936 and features a Broadway star who invites his fellow cast members to a party at his Connecticut castle.  When a guest is murdered, mystery and comedy take center stage.  Performance times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday – Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $25; $22 seniors; $20 student and military. 11 Old Mission Ave., St. Augustine. 904-825-1164 www.limelight-theatre.org

Thursday:  January 2

4th Annual Candlelight Tour of Villa Zorayda – Villa Zorayda staff provides holiday Candlelight Tours of the beautiful St. Augustine villa.  A spectacular Christmas tree decorated in the colors of the Zorayda – red and gold – is located center stage in the Court of Lions.  Over 100 candles are aglow throughout the museum.  The tour starts at 6 p.m.  Admission of $14 for adults; Children 7 – 12 are $6.  Children 4 – 6 are free.  The candlelight tours are not recommended for children 3 and under.  83 King St., St. Augustine. 904-829-9887 villazorayda.com

Friday – Sunday:  January 3 – 5

Portrait & Figure Show – The St. Augustine Art Association hosts a juried exhibition of expressions of the human face and form lending personality to a variety of styles and media. The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday noon – 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 – 5 p.m. Admission is free. 22 Marine St. St. Augustine. 904-824-2310 www.staaa.org

Friday:  January 3

First Friday Art Walk – From 5 – 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month, new exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments are featured at more than 20 participating galleries in St. Augustine.  Tours begin at San Sebastian Winery.  Complimentary shuttle service to most galleries is provided by St. Augustine Sightseeing Trains and Old Town Trolleys. 157 King St., St. Augustine. 904-829-0065 www.artgalleriesofstaugustine.com

Treasure Appraisal – From 6 – 8 p.m., The St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum hosts renowned treasure diver Carol Fismer  who will discuss the museum’s latest addition, a cluster of coins from the acclaimed Taj Mahal Treasures, and appraise coins or similar artifacts brought to the event by local residents.  To have an item appraised, send a photo of it along with a brief description to tracy@thepiratemuseum.com in advance.  The event is free.  12 S. Castillo Dr., St. Augustine. 877-467-5863 www.thepiratemuseum.com

Saturday:  January 4

EMMA Concert:  Philadanco Dance Company – Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, the Philadelphia Dance Company will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College. Across the nation and around the world the troupe is celebrated for its innovation, creativity and mostly African-American traditions in dance. Tickets are $35. 14 Granada Street, St. Augustine. 904-797-2800 www.emmaconcerts.com

Vilano Beach Sunset Celebration – A celebration of a spectacular sunset across the bay featuring dozens of market vendors, live music, local arts and crafts and more at the Vilano Pier on the Intracoastal Waterway.   Activities are from 2 p.m. – dusk.  Admission is free. 260 Vilano Rd., St. Augustine. 904-540-0402 www.vilanobeachfl.com

Evening Nature Program at Anastasia State Park – Park rangers or volunteers present programs on various topics ranging from sea turtles to star gazing.  Programs take place at open-air pavilions with one of the most beautiful scenic backdrops in Northeast Florida as inspiration.  Program included in regular admission of $8 per vehicle.   Times vary throughout year. 1340-A A1A South, St. Augustine. 904-461-2035 www.floridastateparks.org/anastasia

Sunday: January 5

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues at The Raintree Restaurant – Get an inside look at Christmas when eight reindeer spill all the details about the real Santa Claus and the elves; Rudolph’s “little secret;” the true story of Vixen and much more in this entertaining Dinner and a Show.  Some mature content.  Tickets to this exciting dinner theatre experience in the upstairs dining room of the Raintree Restaurant are $39.95 (adult beverages served separately).  Dinner is served at 6 p.m. (5:30 p.m. arrival suggested) and the show begins at 7 p.m. 102 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine. 904-824-7211 www.raintreerestaurant.com

Local Resident Specials 
NOTE:
St. Johns County residents with a valid ID are always admitted free of charge to the Oldest House, the Lightner Museum, the Ximenez-Fatio House, the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, City Walks History Mystery Murder Evening Tour and the Hotel Ponce de Leon Legacy Tours at Flagler College. The daily tours and wine tastings at the San Sebastian Winery are free to everyone. Also, admission is free to everyone at the Fort Matanzas National Monument, St. Photios Chapel, the Pena-Peck House, the Father Miguel O’Reilly Museum and the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum (donations are welcomed). Many other local attractions offer discounted admissions to St. Johns County residents with valid ID.

For more information on events and activities in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com or call 1-800-653-2489.