What to do with the Kids for Christmas in Southwest Florida

The holiday season comes to the Sunshine State with faux-snow forecasts, tree-lighting ceremonies and meet-and-greets with Santa.

BY November 21, 2022

Nov. 21

The North Pole on Third | 45th Annual Tree Lighting & Snowfall Celebration, Naples

Santa Clause rolls in on a vintage fire truck for the 45th-annual tree lighting to kick off the season’s festivities in Old Naples. Running through December, expect nightly faux-snowfalls, live music and local vendors lining the streets with holiday-themed treats. Bring the kids by to meet with St. Nick in his workshop for photos, and don’t forget to take selfies in front of your favorite decked-out storefronts and use the #ChristmasonThird hashtag on social media to enter into a gift card drawing. 

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Nov. 25-Dec. 23, Dec. 26-30, Jan. 1

Johnsonville Night Lights in the Garden at Naples Botanical Garden

The Garden’s greenery glows with thousands of lights twinkling along to live music for this seasonal event. Watch live bands on the Water Garden Stage while kiddos play in the camping exhibit on the nearby performance lawn, with hotdogs served on select nights. Stroll through the gardens to see the towering skeletons—inspired by Mexican icons and traditions—from Ricardo Soltero’s La Catrina Calavera installation glowing in the foliage. And don’t forget to wander through Patrick Dougherty’s illuminated, winding STICKWORK sculpture.

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Nov. 26

Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Gulf Coast Town Center, Fort Myers

This year, the tree illuminates to the tune of a Broadway-inspired variety show. Expect kickline dancers, cirque acts and festive characters flitting around the shopping center. Little ones can paint ornaments, write letters to Santa and take photos with Mr. and Mrs. Kringle. All proceeds benefit Community Cooperative.

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 Nov. 28

CKids: Chanukah Disco at Chabad Charlotte County, Punta Gorda

This kid-centric Hannukah celebration puts the ‘light’ in ‘peace and light’ with a glow-in-the-dark dance party, a competitive dreidel spinoff and chances to decorate glowing cupcakes. Of course, the festivities wouldn’t be complete without a ceremonial menorah lighting and music throughout the evening. 

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Nov. 30

Christmas Tree Lighting & Holiday Cirque at Mercato, Naples  

An electric violinist, local dance troupes and the largest live Christmas tree in Southwest Florida make this a can’t-miss holiday event for the family. Stick around for cirque performances on the lawn after the sun goes down. 

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Dec. 2-3

5th Avenue Christmas Walk and Tree Lighting Ceremony, Naples 

For an evening rooted in tradition, bring the family to the historic shopping district for the 49th annual two-day festival featuring a live nativity scene. Kids will swoon for visits from Santa and other beloved characters (Elsa and Spiderman were both spotted in the crowds last year.), while you shop the all-day holiday market to check off your gift list. 

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Dec. 3

Collier County SnowFest 2022 at Paradise Coast Sports Complex, Naples

Get ready for nearly 100 tons of snow piled into mounds for the 38th annual festival. There are also spaces for ice skating, bounce houses and a holiday train spread throughout the park. After navigating the holiday maze, finding all the ‘snowballs’ on the scavenger hunt and tubing through the snow, relax on the lawn with a screening of Will Ferrell’s Elf on a 32-foot screen. Kids can also visit with Santa at any time during the event.

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Dec. 10

44th Annual Christmas Parade, Punta Gorda

Local dance groups, performers and festive floats decorated to follow this year’s ‘Fishing You a Merry Christmas’ theme cruise from Charlotte Performing Arts Center to Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center to celebrate the season. Channel your inner angler with your kiddos to participate with your decked-out vehicle. 

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Dec. 19

Chanukah at the Circus at Cambier Park, Naples

Balloon twisting, face painting, jugglers and an acrobatic stunt show dazzle in this holiday celebration. Feast on latkes and chocolate gelt—or circus staples, like popcorn and cotton candy—play booth games and witness the lighting of a giant Ferris wheel-shaped menorah. 

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Nov. 25, 26, Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17

Christmas at the Farm at Farmer Mike’s U Pick, Bonita Springs

Celebrate the holiday season farm-style with themed hayrides, faux snowfall, s’mores over the fire and story time with Santa. The agricultural site becomes a winter wonderland when it’s illuminated for its annual Field of Lights. And there’s a Christmas tree market for those looking for a real fir.

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