This Weekend in St. Augustine

Friday, December 19, 2008

This Weekend in St. Augustine , Ponte Vedra & The Beaches

Friday, Saturday and Sunday: December 19-21

Enjoy Florida ’s December weather while getting in shape for the holidays on a guided kayak tour of the Matanzas River or Moses Creek Conservation Area. The Moses Creek tour is 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. on Friday and 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Matanzas River excursions are 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tours are $45 per person and include guide, kayak, gear rental and bottled water. Tours depart from Shady Oyster Fish Camp, 291 Cubbedge Road in Crescent Beach (10 miles south of St. Augustine , off A1A just south of the SR 206 bridge). For reservations or more information, call 904.471.4144 or go to .

Sunday: December 21

Be the first in line to benefit from free admission to the Old Florida Museum for all residents of northeast Florida (plus, ½-price admission for their out of town guests). The museum offers the entire family an exceptional hands-on adventure featuring opportunities to visit three areas from the past – a Timucuan village, Spanish Colonial St. Augustine including Fort Mose ; and a Florida Cracker Pioneer homestead. At each stop, visitors can try their hands at using tools from that period, grinding corn, using a quill pen or operating a pump drill. The Museum also includes the Old Florida General Store – a faithful re-creation of days gone by and stocked with unusual items – many of which have been discounted by up to 40 percent. The Happy Holidays free admission and General Store discounts will be available through January 4. The Old Florida Museum is located 254 San Marco Avenue at the intersection of SR 16 in St. Augustine . For more information, call 904.824.8874; email or go to .

On-going Nights of Lights Tours and Events:

Lace up your skates and head over to the St. Augustine Amphitheatre to enjoy a Winter Wonderland! Winter Wonderland has free admission as well as numerous activities for a minimal fee. Slip down the new 100-foot ice slide, skate in the ice rink and enjoy an evening of falling snow. The ice skating rink is only $10 (skate rental is $2) and the ice slide is only $5. Sleigh rides take place from 6-10 p.m. (adults $10, $5 for children). This winter extravaganza also includes winter games, an Elf village, reindeer games, lighted nature trails, visits with Santa, s’mores on an open fire and much more. The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is located at 1340 A1A South in St. Augustine . Winter Wonderland is open Monday through Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through December 20, then daily from December 21 to January 4 at 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Winter Wonderland will be open 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Christmas Day. For more information, call 904.471.1965 or visit

Enjoy the Nights of Lights from the cozy comfort of the Holly Jolly Trolley! Nightly tours feature festive caroling, hot apple cider and homemade cookies. Handcrafted by Santa’s elves, the magical viewing glasses given to each guest will add even more sparkle to this amazing holiday light show. The trolley departs nightly throughout December from the Visitor Information Center located on Castillo Drive in St. Augustine . In January, the Holly Jolly Trolley will run on Friday and Saturday nights only. Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for children ages 6-12 --under 6 are free. For more information, call 904.829.3800 or

Chug along on a festive special Nights of Lights tour aboard Santa's Big Red Christmas Train. Sing along with the holiday music and enjoy the millions of brilliant lights bedazzling St. Augustine . Tours depart from 3 Cordova Street and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, located at 19 San Marco Avenue in St. Augustine from 6 to 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday through December 28. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children. For more information, call 904.824.1606 or visit

See the Nights of Lights flicker to life each evening from a different perspective – the deck of the beautiful sailing schooner Freedom! The daily sunset cruise departs the St. Augustine City Marina at 4:15 p.m. and returns at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are $45 and include complimentary beverages and snacks. For more reservations, call 904.810.1010.

Experience the heartwarming play, The Quiltmaker’s Gift, while enjoying the St. Augustine Amphitheatre’s Winter Wonderland. Appropriate for all ages, this magical story illustrates what is most important in life – perfect for the holidays! The 30-minute production takes the stage every Friday and Saturday night at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. through January 3. (Note: December 13th performances will be signed for the deaf community.) Tickets are $5 and are available the day of the show at the Amphitheatre or one hour before each show at the Veddy Theatre ticket booth near the skating rink. For more information, go to or email .

Support your local ocean lifeguards while getting a memorable photo taken with Santa at the beach. Dress up the entire family, pets, or kids in their holiday finery and head over to the beach just north of the St. Augustine pier (park at Pope Road and A1A South) from 9 a.m. to noon to get the perfect Florida Christmas photo. Photos come with a holiday folder and are priced at $8 for a 4x6 and $10 for a 5x7. Bring your own camera and take your photos for $5 per pose. Santa will be at the beach for photos at the same time on each Saturday through December 20. All proceeds benefit the South Atlantic Lifesaving Association. For more information, call 904.540.4255.

Be first in line to see two beloved holiday films when they return to the World Golf Hall of Fame IMAX Theater – The Polar Express and Santa vs. the Snowman. Shown on the giant six-story-high IMAX screen, these films create holiday memories for young and old alike through December 24. Tickets for the Polar Express are $10 for adults and $8 for children; Santa vs. the Snowman tickets are $8 for adults with special discounts for children. Tickets may be purchased at the box office or online at . For show times, visit the website or call 904.940.IMAX (4629).

NOTE: St. Johns County residents with a valid ID are always admitted free of charge to Government House Museum , the Lightner Museum, the Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum, the Fountain of Youth, the Ximenez-Fatio House, the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, and the Spanish Military Hospital Museum and the Father Miguel O’Reilly Museum. The daily tours and wine tastings at the San Sebastian Winery are free to everyone. Also, admission is free to everyone at the Authentic Old Drug Store, Fort Matanzas National Monument, St. Photios Chapel, the Peña-Peck House and the Father Miguel O’Reilly Museum. (donations are welcomed)...

For more information on events and activities in St. Augustine , Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at or call 1.800.653.2489.

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  1. This looks like a wonderful Festival!!! I will add it to my list of "to do" while in Miami..
    Melanie R

  2. I like your blog, easy to navigate and very informative.
    Next time I visit the US I will look into those events listed in your blog.



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