Destinations Winterfest Jacksonville

Published on August 2nd, 2018 | by Sun Gold Soap


4 Things To Do In Jacksonville During the Winter

Many snowbirds head down to Florida for warmer weather, but this state has a lot more to offer than just the warmer temperatures. To enjoy Christmas lights, holiday cheer, and events that’ll keep you busy all winter long, make a stop at Jacksonville, Florida during your next winter trip.

Jax Illuminations

Inspired by childhood holiday memories, the creators of Jax Illuminations set out to recreate the Christmas light viewing trips they would take around the neighborhood as kids. Spanning a mile, this event is a collection of over 500,000 lights synced to holiday music that you can tune into with your car radio.

While you do have to purchase tickets, they’re only $20 per car, which isn’t a bad price for a trip down memory lane. Jax Illuminations offers a chance to slow down for a few minutes and enjoy time spent with family, all while getting in a dose of holiday cheer.


Imagine taking almost every aspect of the holiday season and cramming it into one place, and you have Winterfest. This event is full of your wintertime favorites, like ice skating, making s’mores over an open fire, and visiting Santa.

Winterfest also has things that you might not expect, like a huge ice slide where you can race your friends and family to the bottom and a peek inside Santa’s workshop. The best part about Winterfest is that you can visit anytime from mid-November to early January.

Winter on the Water

During Winter on the Water, over 25 events take place over the course of two months. Here, you can experience some events that are specific to Jacksonville, such as seeing the city’s symphonic orchestra perform or watching the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, which includes a 56-foot tree and over 78,000 lights.

You can also catch all of the holiday classics, including “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “The Nutcracker,” and photo opportunities with Santa. To make sure you catch all of the winter events, use Hotel Planner to find the best Jacksonville hotels. Staying close to all the action is the best way to make sure you experience everything.

Zoo Lights

While Zoo Lights is an event that’s part of Winter on Water, it involves too much good stuff not to call it out separately. In fact, there are mini-events within this event, which is what makes this month-long function so great. All across the park, you’ll see lights and hear holiday music. Visitors can also take an illuminated train ride through the park to see all of the lights.

Depending on which day you go, you’re likely to encounter different themed events, which range from pajama and costume nights to a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party. You can also find things across the park like s’mores kits, ice skating, and 3-D showings of “Rudolph.”

If you’re looking for a winter wonderland, Jacksonville might be the place for you. With events spanning the course of two months, Jacksonville is sure to have something for you and the whole family.

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