It’s the holiday season! Sing it with me! Local events are back with a vengeance and I’ve never been happier about it, especially after last year’s depressing December. I recently looked back at photos from 2020 to trigger my memory and the highlights for us were a pandemic-friendly drive-through at Tradewinds Park’s Holiday Fantasy of Lights and seeing Santa (virtually) at Boca Center.
Not this year, folks!
I want things live and in person. My kid will be sitting on Santa’s (vaccinated) lap and marching in Boca Raton’s Holiday Street Parade as my husband and I share beers in the parking lot at Biergarten. The Nutcracker will be enjoyed on stage, not on a screen this year. Gathering (safely) has never been more important–or essential–to us.
Here are four unique ways to enjoy this month locally AND festively with your Boca kids.
“Sandi” Claus Tree Lighting in West Palm Beach| December 2 at 6:00 p.m.
For a glimpse of the most unique “tree” I’ve ever seen, head north to see “Sandi” Claus, the world’s only 35-foot tree created from 700 tons of sand, in West Palm Beach. Sandi comes to life nightly starting on December 2nd with dazzling musical light shows and over 5,000 lights!
We hear Santa will even be visiting during the tree lighting along with a not-to-miss country music performance…
100 N Clematis St., West Palm Beach
FAU’s Tuba Christmas | December 12 at 5:00 p.m.
Tuba Christmas is back in Boca Raton at the lovely, open-air Mizner Park Amphitheater! One of our favorite FREE events to attend, celebrate the holidays with the lowest instruments in Florida Atlantic University’s brass band. BYO chairs or blankets and be ready to sing along with many festive favorites!
327 Plaza Real, Boca Raton
Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade | December 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Even though seating (and parking) is expected to be tight at Red Reef Park, the 47th Annual Holiday Boat Parade in Boca Raton is a beloved South Florida tradition that lights up the waterways of our Intracoastal. Beginning at C-15 Canal and traveling south, this year the boat parade is coming back for the first time since 2019.
Be sure to plan for those bridge closures in advance!
1400 N. Ocean Blvd., Boca Raton
The Polar Express™ Train Ride on Brightline | Through December 31
How nice it will be when Boca Raton (fingers crossed!) has a little Polar Express action in our own downtown backyard in 2022! In the meantime, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is a magical re-creation of the classic children’s story led by a cast of talented actors on board a real train leaving from Brightline MiamiCentral Station.
Passengers (masks required for ages 2+) will begin the experience by having their golden tickets ready for the Conductor and then enjoy hot chocolate and cookies served by dancing chefs! All will enjoy a reading of the classic book by Chris Van Allsburg and receive the First Gift of Christmas after Santa boards the train to greet families. The ride lasts about an hour and is a huge hit, especially with younger kids. Don’t forget to wear your pajamas!
I’m grateful to be able to celebrate the holidays a little more like normal this year. I hope you feel the same way. Enjoy the month with your families!
Michelle Olson-Rogers is a mom of one and the founder of Modern Boca Mom, an award-winning lifestyle website for the stylish & modern South Florida Mommy. She can also be found on Instagram at @modernbocamom.