Florida is one special place to be around the holidays! For one, the Sunshine State offers warm weather throughout the winter season. While other states start to shovel snow and snuggle up indoors, Floridians get to keep our beach days and sunny disposition year-round! In the capital city of Tallahassee, there are always thrilling events going on – especially around Christmas. Whether you’re a student at FSU, a visitor passing through, or a North Florida local, Tally promises Christmas activities to keep you entertained this winter break. We’ll provide you with all the best happenings in Tallahassee this Christmas season and break them 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 during 1539 in the Apalachee Indian area of Anhaica (which would later be renamed as Tallahassee, Florida.) During this time, Hernando de Soto requested that priests join him to celebrate his Christmas traditions. Rumor has it, the first-ever U.S. 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 is 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 2023 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? Get into the Christmas spirit this year by sprinting headfirst into it! The 2023 Jingle Bell Run is being held on December 2nd 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.
Tallahassee’s LeMoyne Arts Center celebrates its 60th annual holiday show with a month-long celebration! Join the fun from November 18th – December 24th. Experience the gallery decorated to sparkle and shine all month, with a new holiday pop-up Galleria in the gardens. Want an extra special night out? Head to LeMoyne’s on December 7th for their Dazzling Diamonds Cocktail Party! You’ll get live music, signature cocktails, and more! Tickets are available online for members and non-members.
If only it were possible to squeeze in all the Christmas spirit into one holiday show! Except, what if it was possible? The Theatre Tallahassee has decided to switch things up this holiday season, with an all-new, all-encompassing holiday show featuring every Christmas story ever told (and then some!) You’ll get to experience different holiday traditions from around the world, meet ancient seasonal icons, and sing (nearly) every Christmas carol ever sung! You’ll find this slapstick, comedy fused show one you won’t want to miss! Shows take place from December 7-17th at varying times. You can find tickets online, starting at $25.
The Killearn United Methodist Church encourages you to follow the star to Bethlehem this winter! One of Tallahassee’s seasonal favorites returns with the Living Christmas Story. You’ll be transported back 2,000 years to experience the sights and sounds of Jesus’ birthplace. The event is completely free to attend and drive through. If you really want an immersive experience, park, and catch one of their free hayrides! The setup is complete with angels, shepherds, wise men, Mary and Joseph, and of course the infamous Nativity scene with Baby Jesus! You can find the living story from December 8, 9, 10 beginning at 6:30pm each evening.
This sweeter-than-candy holiday event is being held by Tally’s favorite candy shop! 2023 marks the 13th anniversary of the Lofty Pursuits Christmas. Festivities take place from 1-5pm on December 9th and will feature several musical performances, including The Lofty Pursuits marching band! And we can’t forget a visit from the man in red himself! Bring a camera – Santa Claus is offering free photos, so you won’t forget this day of sugar-sweet fun. The event is free, but we won’t blame you for wanting to purchase some ice cream or candy while you’re 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 an exciting pub crawl prepared for this winter, so it’s time to prepare your livers! The 2023 Tally Santa Bar Crawl is being held on December 9th from 4pm-11:30pm. Pubcrawls has teamed up with promoters around Tallahassee to ensure all the best bars are hit along your merry way. Whether you’re an experienced Santa impersonator or you’re just here for the alcohol, this event welcomes everyone looking for a holiday-themed drinking experience! Dare 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. You can secure a spot online, with tickets available until the day of the bar crawl.
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.
Tallahassee’s premiere showcase for entertainment is hosting a holiday event you will not want to miss! The concert and nightclub venue will be all twinkly and bright with their “How the Moon Stole Christmas” party. Hosted by DJ Demp, your Christmas evening will be filled with music, dancing, and holiday cheer! Disclaimer: This is an 18+ event, with doors opening at 10pm. For more information or VIP tables, contact The Moon at (850) 590-6300. Tickets can be purchased online starting at $10.
The Christmas classic is being brought to life by the Tallahassee Ballet this December! From December 16-17th, immerse yourself in the world of the dancing nutcracker and the picturesque ballet dance moves at the Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Go all out, dress up, and bring the entire family! There are two show times each day, and tickets can be purchased online ranging from $37-75.
The Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra has brought back the magic of Cirque de la Symphonie once again by popular demand! Their 2023 show will feature all-new music and cirque acts that will entertain the whole family this holiday season! You’ll be mesmerized by their incredible aerial stunts, acrobatics, and so much more. There are two separate show times on December 9th, with tickets starting at $29. 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 23rd 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 9th at the Old West Florida Primitive Baptist Association from 11am-3pm.
This Christmas season will be extra bright with the appearance of Soul Santa and Mrs. Claus! The City of Tallahassee Parks is hosting a two-part community event on December 16th. Choose between the LeVerne Payne Community Center or the Walker-Ford and Smith-Williams Center to get a glimpse of the Christmas couple! Important: This event is meant for the little ones! Ages 10 and under can attend once preregistered online.
Are you looking for a fun, cozy evening with St. Nicholas? The Jack McLean Community Center is hosting an event on December 15th to welcome Christmas lovers of all ages! Join in on the fun from 6-8:30pm where you can indulge in free cookies and hot chocolate, get entertained with a holiday film, and even get a free photo with Santa himself! Make sure to have your little ones write up their list beforehand – Mr. Claus is accepting Christmas letters!
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.
Don’t miss the last downtown market of 2023! On December 9th, Ponce De Leon Park and Bloxham is hosting its “Just One More” market in lieu of the holiday season. From 10am-4pm you and your favorite people can join in on the outdoor market event that features over 60 local farmers, artists, bakers, and makers spread out across the two parks. Stay and hang for the musicians playing live music and grab some festive food at the food trucks! It’s the last downtown market of the year, so best to make it a good one!
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 9th. You’ll find handmade arts and crafts by local artisans. Fulfill your Christmas list with 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. If you’re in the giving mood, the event will be collecting canned foods for charity.
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. Takes place on December 16th from 10am-4pm!
Get ready for LeMoyne Arts’ most fun and festive day for the entire family! Festive Family Fun Day happens on December 16th 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.