How Are the Holidays Going To Work for Kids This Year?

It’s the first week of November, so naturally parents everywhere are wondering–how the heck are the holidays going to work this year? I’ve already skipped right past my fall and Thanksgiving décor (seeing as I’ve had most of it up since Labor Day) and on November 1st my family and I officially bade farewell to Halloween and said hello to SANTA! Bring on the artificial trees and garlands!

Speaking of Santa…how is that going to work in a world where social distancing and masks are the norm? And crowded tree lightings during a pandemic? A big no-no. While Christmas is certainly not canceled this year, it is sure going to look and feel different. 

Being a local mom blogger, I’m often given access to information ahead of it being released to the general public. So here’s what I know about how the 2020 holidays are going to work this year in Boca Raton, especially if you have kids.

Virtual and Socially-Distanced Santas

Unless you plan to chat with Santa virtually via app, the only Boca venue that has announced a live Santa so far is Town Center at Boca Raton. They will be offering safe and socially distanced in-person visits for families as part of their Simon Santa Photo Experience. Santa arrives on Friday, November 27 and he’ll be ready to review your child’s wish list, 6 feet away, every day until Christmas Eve (Mon-Sat from 1-7 p.m. and Sun from 1-5 p.m.). To confirm, Santa and his helpers will be wearing masks throughout the duration of each visit. Reservations are required. I can’t wait to see how this photo experience pans out.  

Outdoor Holiday Photos & Entertainment

While the rest of the country begins to freeze, this time of year we Boca residents can finally venture outside without sweating for the first time since… about April. All the more reason to take your family’s holiday photos outdoors this year! And I know about the perfect backdrop…

Starting December 4th, Daniel Events will once again work their magic to create a festive holiday photo booth activation at Boca Center. Just like the gorgeous harvest-themed one this October, there will be a fun social media giveaway too! The photo backdrop is free and easy to find, located in front of the former Brio restaurant space, next to En Vogue Boutique and Giano Gelato. We also hear there will be a special mailbox for your kids’ important letters to Santa. 

As for entertainment outside, there are few holiday options in the works. On Wednesday, November 18th, BRIC will be offering a holiday drive-in movie screening of the family classic: Elf! Doors open at 6 p.m. and the movie starts at 7. Admission is only $10, with snack packs available for purchase benefitting the Junior League of Boca Raton. There will be holiday lights, decorations and food trucks onsite too!

And, if you’re craving holiday tunes al fresco, live musicians will be playing every Friday in the Boca Center courtyard starting December 4th. Time to make some dinner plans outside!

Tree “Performances”, Not Lightings

Even though there won’t be any public tree lighting events in Boca this year, starting November 21st, Mizner Park “iTree” musical performances will happen nightly throughout the holiday season at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Located in front of Yard House, each musical light show is 25 minutes long and features more than 32,000 life-like PVC branches, bows, ornaments and 25,000 LED lights. Sanborn Square will also play host to the City of Boca Raton’s traditional 25′ holiday tree featuring more than 7,500 lights. It kicks off the same day.

Rosemary Square in West Palm Beach will display a modern twist on the traditional Christmas tree with their Wishing Tree, a 32-foot-tall LED banyan tree. The Wishing Tree will feature a spectacular holiday light show every night starting November 14th along with a Florida snowfall on the plaza.

The City of West Palm Beach will also welcome back the star of its annual Holiday in Paradise. Sandi, the world’s only 35-foot, 700-ton holiday sand tree, will return to the waterfront on December 5th. New this year will be a synchronized show with the City’s soon-to-be-completed Centennial Square Fountain, where the water will ‘dance’ to the music. Sandi will host nightly music and light shows from 6-10 p.m. through New Year’s Eve.

Because 2021 is coming…bring it on!


Michelle Olson-Rogers is a mom of one and the founder of Modern Boca Mom, a lifestyle website for the stylish & modern South Florida Mommy. She can also be found on Instagram at @modernbocamom.