So Much to Enjoy This Week in St. Augustine!

December 16, 2013
Monday – Sunday : December 16 – 22

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!

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. and the two-acre site will be open at no charge. 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

Viva Florida Exhibit at the St. Augustine Art Association – Through December 29, Florida’s 500th Anniversary year concludes with this popular exhibition at the St. Augustine Art Association celebrating the sights and structures, beaches and byways, flora and fauna, history and happenings that are uniquely Florida. 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

Miniature Historic St. Augustine Village Holiday Exhibit – Through December 29, a miniature village of historic St. Augustine buildings, created by woodworker Leonard Ruel, is on display at the St. Augustine Art Association. This special holiday installation features 39 small-scale replicas of iconic buildings such as the Cathedral Basilica, Villa Zorayda, Government House, the Pena Peck House and others. 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
   
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

Dressing of the Palms in Vilano Beach – Through January 4, 2014, 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

‘Playbook’ Art Exhibit at space:eight Gallery – Through January 30, 2014, space:eight hosts ‘Playbook,’ an exhibition of new works by Roswell, GA, artist George Long and Brooklyn artist Mario Schambon. The new series of works is pulled and pushed from a very diverse set of feelings and adventures fueled by desires, hunger, thirst. space:eight Gallery is open Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. After hours by appointment. 228 West King St., St. Augustine. 904-829-2838 www.spaceeight.com

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 December 27. 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

Monday:  December 16

Sunset/Moonrise at St. Augustine Lighthouse – Enjoy the sunset and moonrise from the most unique perspective in all of St. Augustine – the top of the Lighthouse! This special event includes a champagne toast, provided by San Sebastian Winery, hors d’oeuvres from The Reef and an informative overview of the history of the St. Augustine Light Station. Admission is $25 for non-museum members and $20 for members.  Advance ticket purchase required. 81 Lighthouse Ave., St. Augustine.
904-829-0745 www.staugustinelighthouse.org

Tuesday:  December 17

Salt Air Farmer’s Market – Marineland Marina hosts the Salt Air Farmers Market from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Find an array of fresh, organically-grown produce and other yummy things. 101 Tolstoy Lane, St. Augustine. 904-814-9886 www.marinelandmarina.com

Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday:  December 17, 19 & 21

4th Annual Candlelight Tour of Villa Zorayda – Villa Zorayda staff provide 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. On Tuesday & Thursday, the tour starts at 6 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults; Children 7 – 12 are $6. Children 4 – 6 are free. On Saturday, refreshments are served at 6 p.m. and the tour starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday admission is $17 for adults; Children 7 – 12 are $8. Children 4 – 6 are free. The candlelight tours are not recommended for children 3 and under. 83 King St., St. Augustine.
904-829-9887 www.villazorayda.com

Wednesday:  December 18

Farmer’s Arts and Crafts Market – Farmers’ Market located at the ocean-side St. Johns County Pier Park featuring selections of fresh produce, plants, baked goods, fine art, jewelry and more!  Open 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Rain or shine. 350 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach. 904-347-8007 www.thecivicassociation.com

“Annie” by Murray Middle School – As part of Community First Credit Union’s “A December to Remember,” the St. Augustine Amphitheatre will host a 7 p.m. Murray Middle School performance of “Annie.” Admission is free. 1340C A1A South, St. Augustine. 904-471-1965 www.staugamphitheatre.com

Thursday & Saturday:  December 19 & 21

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

Friday – Sunday: December 20 – 22

Shadows of the Past at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park – Take a nighttime guided tour of the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park to experience the eerie beauty of the Timucua burials and Indian village and the Menendez settlement field by moonlight. Tours start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person. 11 Magnolia Ave., St. Augustine. 904-829-3168 www.fountainofyouthflorida.com/nighttours.html

Historic Weapon Demonstrations at Castillo de San Marcos – National Parks Service volunteers and personnel demonstrate the weapons and relate the experiences of the Colonial Spanish soldier stationed in St. Augustine in the 1740s. Demonstration times are 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults; Children 15 and under are free. The Castillo is open 8:45 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. daily. www.nps.gov/casa

Saturday: December 21

Old City Farmers’ Market – Features locally grown fresh produce, baked goods, plants and more. Located at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Admission is free. 1340 A1A, St. Augustine. 904-471-3733

Guided Beach Exploration Guana South Beach – Join GTM Research Reserve Docents from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. for a beach walk at the Guana South beach location on A1A, South Ponte Vedra Beach. Learn about the animals that call the beach home as well as seashells and other interesting facts. This is a “Beaches 101” experience that the entire family will enjoy. There is a $3/per vehicle parking fee. 1768 Ponte Vedra Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach. 904-823-4500 www.gtmnerrbeachexploration.eventbrite.com
 
Musket Firing Demonstrations at Fort Matanzas – Reenactors fire flintlock muskets at Fort Matanzas National Monument 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. Admission is free including the ferry ride to and from the island. Fort Matanzas is located at 8635 A1A, 15 miles south of St. Augustine. www.nps.gov/foma  904-471-0116

Tolomato Cemetery Guided Tour – The Tolomato Cemetery is the oldest extant planned cemetery in the State of Florida with burials from the First Spanish Period (1565-1763). Visitor access is limited to the 3rd Saturday of each month when docents provide guided tours. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. The cemetery will be open from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. 16 Cordova St., St. Augustine.   board@tolomatocemetery.com    www.tolomatocemetery.com

“Holiday in the Woods” at Faver-Dykes State Park – From 4-6 p.m., Faver-Dykes State Park hosts “Holiday in the Woods!” The event, between sites 14 and 16 in the campground, features holiday music, hot cocoa and s’mores around the campfire circle. There will be arts and crafts with a take-home project of a natural wreath, a reindeer boot-jack or a pine cone ornament. Chairs provided. Regular park entrance fees apply of $5 per vehicle, up to eight people, or $4 for an individual occupant. 1000 Faver-Dykes Rd., St. Augustine. 386-446-6783 www.floridastateparks.org/faverdykes

Civil Rights & Black Heritage Tour – St. Augustine Black Heritage Tours Inc. will offer a free historic walking tour at 5 p.m. Learn about St. Augustine’s historic role in Black History and events leading up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Tours depart from the Tour Saint Augustine office, 4 Granada Street and encompass several blocks over the course of an hour. Space is limited and advance reservations are required. 904-825-0087 www.StAugustineBlackHeritageTours.com

Navidad En El VieJo San Agustin/Christmas In Old St. Augustine – This annual Heritage Event features the Christmas music and customs of 16th century St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city. This holiday celebration takes place from 6 – 9 p.m. at Mission Nombre de Dios.   Admission and parking are free. 27 Ocean Ave., St. Augustine 877-352-4478 www.floridalivinghistory.org

Dinner & Movie: “It’s A Wonderful Life” – As part of “A December to Remember” the Friends of the St. Augustine Amphitheatre host dinner and a 7 p.m. showing of the holiday classic movie, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.”‘ Admission is free and sponsored by Community First Credit Union. 1340C A1A South, St. Augustine. 904-471-1965 www.staugamphitheatre.com

Saturday & Sunday: December  21 & 22

Santa’s Treasure Hunt – Join the crew of the Black Raven and Santa as they pursue the dastardly Blackbeard across Matanzas Bay to retrieve the stolen Christmas Treasure bag! Lots of sword fighting and an exchange of cannon fire as the Black Raven and Blackbeard’s ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, engage in seagoing fun and and excitement. The Black Raven sets sail at 2:15 p.m. (passengers check-in no later than 1:45 p.m.). Tickets are adults $29.95, child $19.95; seniors $28.95. 111 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine. 904-826-0000 www.blackravenadventures.com

St. Augustine Ballet Performs “The Nutcracker” – The St. Augustine Ballet presents this magical holiday musical event featuring elegant costumes, custom-designed scenery, professional dancers and local celebrities. Performances take place on the stage of Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College on Saturday and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $25 – $30 (discount of $5 for seniors over 65 and children under 12 years old). 14 Granada St., St. Augustine. 904-824-1746 www.saintaugustineballet.com

Sunday: December 22

St. Augustine Community Chorus Celtic Christmas Sing Along – As part of “A December to Remember” the St. Augustine Amphitheatre hosts the St. Augustine Community Chorus ‘”Celtic Christmas Sing- Along.” Admission to the 5 p.m. performance is free and sponsored by Community First Credit Union. 1340C A1A South, St. Augustine. 904-471-1965 www.staugamphitheatre.com

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.