Florida is a special place to be around the holidays. For one, we promise sunshine and warm weather throughout the entire winter season. While other states are starting to snuggle up indoors and shovel snow, Floridians keep their beach days and sunny disposition year-round! In the State’s capital city of Tallahassee, there are always thrilling events going on – especially around Christmas. Whether you’re a student or a local, Florida’s capital has Christmas activities to keep you entertained during winter break. We’ll provide you with all of the best happenings in Tallahassee this Christmas season and break it down by category so you can find exactly what you’re looking for!
Most people already know that Tallahassee is the State’s capital city. What may be news to you, however, is that the moss-draped city has an interesting history when it comes to Christmas. Did you know? Tallahassee was the first American city to ever celebrate Christmas!
According to Florida History, Spaniard Hernando de Soto spent five months in 1539 in the Apalachee Indian area of Anhaica (which would later be referred to as Tallahassee, Florida.) During his time, Hernando de Soto requested that priests go with him to celebrate his Christmas traditions. Rumor has it, the first-ever Christmas celebration was held in the woods that now holds the present-day capitol building. The rest is history! Celebrating the holidays in Tallahassee is even more special once you learn the nation’s Christmas traditions originated here.
Tallahassee is a student city, meaning there’s always something exciting going on. Once December rolls around, the month gets packed with holiday-themed events for the whole family! Whether you’re looking to shop for Christmas gifts, see a holiday show, learn about a new culture, or get your drink on – we’ve got you covered. We’ve broken down this year’s Tallahassee Christmas events to make sure your holiday cheer is at an all-time high.
Get in the holiday spirit with these upcoming Tallahassee events this Christmas season!
“Jingle bell, run!” That’s how the song goes, right? There’s no better way to head into Christmas than sprinting headfirst! This year’s Jingle Bell Run is being held on December 3rd at S. Monroe St @ Park Ave. If you’d like to participate in the 1.53 mile run, make sure to register beforehand! The race begins at 6:15pm immediately after the Lighting Ceremony, and registration is $15. Sign up here.
Calling all age-appropriate mimosa lovers! Tally’s mimosa bar crawl is being held on December 4th from 11am-3pm. Those wishing to participate must be 21+ and register from 11am-1pm on the day of the event. General admission tickets start at $15 and includes a mimosa-themed menu and drink specials! Warning: you may be crawling by the end of this event.
LeMoyne Arts has a handful of cheery holiday events this year. One of their first events is an ugly sweater contest! Muffins & Mimosas is hosting its Holiday Show Edition on December 10th from 11am-12:30pm. The event welcomes – no, ENCOURAGES – guests to gear up in their ugliest of sweaters in the name of Christmas spirit. Your efforts will not be dismissed! Three winning categories include: Most Artful & Creative Award, Most Festive Award, Best Group Award (limited to 2-6 participants). Tickets for non-members go for $10.
Pubcrawls has a few boozy crawls prepared for this winter, so it’s time to prepare your livers! The Tallahassee Santacon Crawl 2022 is being held on December 10th from 2pm-9pm. The event has teamed up with promoters around Tallahassee to ensure all of the best bars are hit along the way. Pubcrawls dares you to come out in your “sickest red, green, and white attire to steal the show!” Disclaimer: Participants must be 21+ to get their crawl on.
LeMoyne Arts is back again, with another “shining” party! Their Sparkles & Spirits Cocktail party is being held on December 15th from 5:30pm-7pm. Get glammed up in your most sparkly and shining get up and head over to LeMoyne Arts. They’ve got signature cocktails, yummy bites, live music, and plenty of vendors! Dance or shop the night away! Or why not both? Tickets to the party are $25 for nonmembers.
Celebrate Christmas Past, Present, and Future at Theatre Tallahassee’s “A Christmas Carol!” Scrooge’s redemption story is a beloved one, and the theater is adapting Dickens’ original story to highlight the true meaning of Christmas. The mainstage show will be held at the Theatre Tallahassee on select nights from December 9th-18th. Tickets start at $25, and showtimes may vary.
The Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra has brought back Cirque de la Symphonie by popular demand. This time they’ve created an all-new holiday show especially for Christmas! Get mesmerized by their incredible aerial stunts, acrobatics, and new music from the show. There are two separate show times on December 17th, with tickets starting at $36. Important for Tally students: The venue has a “student rush” discount – meaning 30 minutes prior to the show, any remaining tickets are only $10 each! Must show valid student ID.
Pubcrawl is back and merrier than ever! The Tallahassee Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl demands for the sexiest, coziest, and ugliest of Christmas sweaters to fill the streets of Tally on December 17th. They’ve got the hook up with free entry into the best bars in town, exclusive drink menus, and a social media costume contest for the best outfits! Disclaimer: Participants must be 21+ to crawl.
Don’t celebrate Christmas? No problem! LeMoyne Arts is hosting a Multicultural Holiday Celebration on December 20th from 5:30-7pm. They’ll have a Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Celebration with Rabbi Shields (BYOM: Bring your own menorah, if you’d like!). There will also be a celebration of Kwanza traditions, decorating an edible tree for animals, and more! Get cultured this holiday season at LeMoyne Arts. Tickets for non-members go for $10.
The annual Winter Festival is one of Tallahassee’s biggest holiday events! Held in downtown Tally for the last 30+ years, the festival features lights, music, arts and crafts, food vendors, and extra special holiday displays. The Winter Festival is the perfect family event, with fun activities for all ages. The highlight of the event is the annual Lighting Ceremony at 6pm, followed by the Nighttime Holiday Parade! Pair it with another event: For those participating in the Jingle Bell Run, stick around after! The Winter Festival is also held on December 3rd.
Light up your holiday season with Tally’s best spots to spot Christmas lights!
What’s bright, shiny, and has over a half million synchronized lights? The Allison Christmas Spectacular! The spectacular drive-by light show returns for their 15th year with a light show that’s even bigger and better than the last. The best part? It’s completely FREE! From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, you can drive past the massive light show every night from 6-10pm. This year’s show spans across 4 properties, and has its endless synchronized lights paired up to 13 songs! Disclaimer: Tune into radio station 102.5 FM to hear the show. Lights show is located at 240 Sandy Creek Road
Dorothy B. Oven Park has an ongoing light show starting November 24th through New Year’s Day! The holiday display will run on weekdays from 6-10pm and on weekends from 5:30-11pm. In addition to the nightly lights, this year’s Tallahassee Elf Night will be held in the park on December 15th from 5:30-8pm. Good news! Both Elf Night and the daily holiday light display are open and free to the public. Important: Vehicles not permitted on Elf Night, but parking will be available at the Thomasville Road Baptist Church next door.
Heads up – Santa Claus IS coming to town, and that town is Tallahassee! Keep an eye out for these upcoming events featuring the man in red himself.
2022 marks the first annual Christmas in the Capital City! The event will feature a classic car show, 60+ vendors and food trucks, a toy drive, live performances, and a photo session with Santa Claus! Join in on the family friendly event on December 3rd at the Old West Florida Primitive Baptist Association from 11am-3pm.
Think you can out-eat Santa? Find out at Dave’s Pizza Garage on November 27th. From 4-6pm the pizza joint will have crafts, games, pizza, and Santa! Get your Christmas photos taken with the big man or challenge him to an all you can eat pizza contest. Tickets for adults go for $14, and kids 4-12 for $8. Kids 3 and under eat free! Pets are welcome and encouraged!
Looking for the best Christmas gifts this holiday season? Check out these upcoming winter markets in Tallahassee! Make sure to stock up on hand-crafted and thoughtful gifts for the whole family.
Welcome to one of Southeast’s biggest and most impressive arts and craft shows! During the weekend of December 3rd-4th, get your holiday shopping on with over 300 artists, artisans, and craftspeople. You’ll find works of ceramics, metalwork, clothing, jewelry, photography, and so much more! The event is being held at the North Florida Fairgrounds starting at 10am both days. Tickets are available on-site for $10 and all proceeds go towards supporting the Tallahassee Museum!
Although it’s not specifically a Christmas event, the Lake Ella Growers’ Market takes place every week on Wednesday and Saturday. Want to stock up on fresh produce and other delicious goodies? Head over to Lake Ella to stay full and satisfied this winter.
Feeling crafty this gift-giving season? The Christmas Arts & Crafts in the Park is once again being held at Dorothy B. Oven Park on December 10th. Crafty vendors will be selling pottery, woodwork, jewelry, stained glass, and more. You can even make your own unique Christmas gift for yourself or a loved one! Did we mention? The event is completely free! Join in on the crafty fun from 8:30am-2:30pm.
Calling all elves! Tallahassee’s Automobile Museum is hosting a day of fun for the whole family with their Christmas “Elfin’ Craft Show.” With over 75 vendors, food trucks, and live music with DJ Felix Flo, you’re guaranteed a cheerful time. Entry and parking is both FREE, so don’t miss out on this elfin’ fun event.
Get ready for LeMoyne Arts’ most fun and festive day for the entire family! Festive Family Fun Day happens on December 17th from 11am-3pm. You can expect live performances, story time and face paint for the kids, mimosas and DEEP beer for mom and dad, and a make-and-take craft studio! Tickets for non-members go for $15, kids under 12 get in for free!
Shop small this Christmas at The Fuzzy Pineapple’s Winter Festival on December 24th! From 10am-5pm you’ll find a combination of local student artists, businesses, entertainers, crafters, and growers. The event is kid, dog, and vegan friendly. Plus, it’s completely free to the public! Who says Christmas Eve is too late to get presents?
Looking for cool events going on in Tally year-round? Check out our Tallahassee events calendar and stay up to date with all of this year’s events in Tallahassee.