Emerald Coast Events | December 2023

Emerald Coast Events | December 2023

December is almost here and as winter whispers its arrival, the Emerald Coast embraces the season with open arms, infusing the air with a sense of holiday cheer. Beyond the sun-kissed sands and salty breezes, December brings forth a tapestry of events that reflect the warmth of community spirit against the backdrop of the expansive Gulf waters. From lively holiday markets to dazzling light displays that reflect off the water's edge, our beach community invites residents and visitors alike to immerse themselves in the magic of the season. Make plans this coming December, where the unique blend of seaside serenity and festive fervor creates an unforgettable experience by the shore.





Café Thirty-A Charity Christmas Ball
When: December 2nd
Where: Café Thirty-A
Description: Café Thirty-A will host its annual Christmas Charity Ball benefiting Caring and Sharing of South Walton on Saturday, December 2nd. From 6- 10 p.m., the restaurant will be transformed with festive holiday décor.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.cafethirtya.com.

Attendees will be greeted upon arrival with a glass of champagne and enjoy passed heavy hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar. There will be a DJ, a commemorative photo booth provided by Epic Photo Co., and a professional photographer. Guests are encouraged to dress in evening attire, black tie optional.

The event will boast a large silent auction and raffle with all proceeds benefiting Caring and Sharing of South Walton’s efforts to provide food and financial assistance to local area families and individuals in need.

Follow Cafe Thirty-A on Facebook or updates, silent auction items coming in, photos and more.

Ugly Sweater Party
When: December 2nd
Where: Louis Louis
Description: 'Tis the Season! Louis Louis will host their Annual Ugly Sweater Bash on Saturday, December 2nd from 8pm 'til late night. Be prepared to get your groove on with DJ Michael Desciple! Bring one new, unwrapped gift for Toys 4 Tots to receive a drink ticket. 

No matter how tacky, itchy, and overly festive some may think Christmas sweaters are, Louis Louis wants to celebrate every inch of green, red, and jingley bells. Deck the halls, don your gay apparel, and get ready to jingle around the clock. It's time to celebrate the customers who keep the restaurant going year-round. Show up in your best Ugly Christmas Sweater to party in Santa Claus style!

Art in the Park's Sk8 2 Cre8
When: December 2nd
Where: Helen McCall Park
Description: Art in the Park presents Sk8 2 Cre8, an event to benefit the skatepark at Helen McCall Park on Saturday, December 2nd from 2 -5PM in Santa Rosa Beach. This free family-friendly event will feature a skate competition with prizes, live music, interactive art activities, food, the unveiling of a new graffiti wall, raffles and a silent auction of custom skateboards. Boards will be on display at the event. All bidding will be completed online. Browse and bid at Sk82Cr8.givesmart.com.

Custom skateboards painted by local artists including Allison Wickey, Andy Saczynski, Bradley Copeland, Garrett Spencer, Justin Gaffrey, Katherine Boggs, Lindsay Tobias, Maxine Orange, Nicolaus Seegal and Wes Hinds. 

Santa Paws
When: December 3rd
Where: HarborWalk Village
Description: Santa Paws is coming to HarborWalk Village and the Destin Harbor on Sunday, December 3rd from 1PM - 4PM! Bring your pets for a photo with Santa. One FREE 4x6 print per pet. Then have yourself a merry little PUP Crawl by checking out Bark Street Market while completing the December cocktail challenge card.

Come out to HarborWalk Village along the Destin Harbor where restaurants, activities and entertainment live year round.

Northwest Florida Ballet Academy Holiday Ballet
When: December 3rd
Where: HarborWalk Village
Description: Northwest Florida Ballet Academy is coming to HarborWalk Village and the Destin Harbor on Sunday, December 3rd at 4:30PM! Following Santa Paws, NFB will take the main stage to for a special holiday performance. 

Come out to HarborWalk Village along the Destin Harbor where restaurants, activities and entertainment live year round.

39th Annual Destin Christmas Parade
When: December 9th
Where: Harbor Boulevard
Description: The 39th annual Destin Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, December 9th, 2023, at 10AM. This year’s theme is “A Christmas Vacation”. The floats will begin at Destin Methodist Church and travel west down Harbor Boulevard (Hwy 98) to Stahlman Avenue. 

Enjoy a family-fun parade featuring floats, boats, decorated cars and golf carts, local bands, and dance companies. Santa will close the parade with his grand entrance on a fire truck. Attendees are encouraged to bring a bag to hold candy and other items thrown along the route. 

Rosemary Beach Holiday Tour of Homes
When: December 9th
Where: Rosemary Beach
Description: Mark your calendars for the Holiday Home Tour on Saturday, December 9th, 2023 in the community of Rosemary Beach. Rosemary Beach Realty & Cottage Rental Company have selected stunning homes, decorated in their finest for this self-guided tour that's guaranteed to get you into the Holiday spirit.

Advanced tickets required. rbhometour.com.

2023 Charitable Partners are Habitat of Humanity of Walton County and Shelter House of NW Florida.

Stick around and shop the streets of Rosemary Beach while experiencing something special on every turn!

Learn more: rosemarybeach.com

Eden Gardens Christmas Candlelight Open House
When: December 9th
Where: Eden Gardens State Park
Description: Eden Gardens will once again illuminate the park for an evening that has become a local holiday tradition. The Friends of Eden Gardens State Park invite the public to the Christmas Candlelight Open House throughout the park grounds on Saturday, December 9th from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. 

Everyone's invited! Admission fees to the park are waived for the event. Donations to the Friends of Eden are welcome. 

Over 2000 luminaries will be lit and placed along the garden paths of the park, giving the public the opportunity to experience the magic of Eden Gardens at nightfall.  There will be music and carolers on the grounds throughout the evening, as well as cookies and hot beverages provided by the Friends of Eden Gardens at the Pavilion area.

8th Annual Restaurant Paradis Prohibition Wine Dinner
When: December 9th
Where: Restaurant Paradis in Rosemary Beach
Description: Join Paradis in Rosemary Beach on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:30PM for an exciting evening filled with delicious food and drinks from the Prohibition Era. The annual Restaurant Paradis Prohibition Wine Dinner will kick off with a cocktail hour, followed by an intimate seated, multi-course dinner prepared by Paradis' award winning chef, Mark Eichin. 

In keeping with the night’s theme, guests are encouraged to dress in the Prohibition-era. Benefiting Neurodiversity Resource of the Panhandle, ticket info: TBA

Located on South Barrett Square in Rosemary Beach, visit restaurantparadis.com for menus and more.

Alaqua Animal Refuge Holiday Bazaar
When: December 10th
Where: Alaqua Animal Refuge
Description: 'Tis the season for holiday cheer and shopping with a purpose! Join Alaqua Animal Refuge on Sunday, December 10th as they host a Holiday Bazaar Benefit. Beginning at 11AM, shop beautiful and unique handcrafted gift items by our local artists and craftsmen. Festive music and delicious brunch-style treats will also add to the enjoyment.

Alaqua Animal Refuge believes that every abused, neglected and homeless animal deserves a second chance. The private, nonprofit animal sanctuary is committed to serving the Emerald Coast as the premier no-kill refuge, providing protection, shelter and care to animals in need. Learn more: alaqua.org

Destin Boat Parade
When: December 10th
Where: Destin Harbor
Description: The Destin Harbor will be dancing with holiday lights and cheer during the Destin Boat Parade on Sunday, December 10. The celebration begins at 6PM at Boshamps where boats festively decorated with holiday lights and décor line-up and begin drifting along the Harbor past HarborWalk Village toward the Destin Bridge and Norriego Point.  The evening ends with a bang as fireworks light up the sky.

A fireworks show sponsored by HarborWalk Village will light up the sky at the end of the boat parade. All commercial, charter, and private boats are invited to help light up the Harbor with the true Destin spirit. 

To enter your boat in the parade stop by the Destin History and Fishing Museum or contact the Destin History & Fishing Museum.




Walton Area Chamber of Commerce Fall Golf Classic
When: December 11th
Where: Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club
Description: Join the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce on Monday, December 11th for their Annual Fall Golf Classic at Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club. Breakfast and registration begins at 8:30AM and a shotgun start will kick off the tournament at 10AM. All players will enjoy excellent food, beverages, fun on the course games and the 19th Hole Celebration after the tournament.

The registration fee includes food, beverages, a golf cart, and a chance to win prizes for course events. 




The 10th Annual Grayt Santa Pub Crawl
When: December 16th
Where: Grayton Beach | Hurricane Oyster Bar - Check-in!
Description: The Grayt Santa Pub Crawl takes place on Saturday, Dec. 16 featuring a bar crawl and good food & drink all afternoon and into the night in Grayton Beach, Florida. Crawl begins with 2PM - check in at Hurricane Oyster Bar. $60 per person to crawl!  Big prizes given to the "most naughty Santa", "most nice Santa" and "Most Collaborative Group Costume". By golly it's a jolly good time! 

Register at wholelifefitnessfl.com/grayt-santa-pub-crawl

Grab your friends or meet new friends by spreading the holiday “SPIRITS” through Grayton Beach, FL. The GRAYT Santa Pub Crawl hits all the best local bars that beautiful Grayton Beach has to offer. HO HO HO!

Jolly Elf 30A Half Marathon + 5K
When: December 23rd
Where: 30Avenue
Description: Join in the fun at the Jolly Elf 30A Half Marathon & 5K! Officially, the Jolly Elf is a “virtual” race, offering both a traditional virtual race, which can be ran literally anywhere in the world, and then a “common course" virtual race. Beginning at 11AM, the start for both the half marathon and 5K (common course) will be in the parking lot of 30Avenue in Inlet Beach, adjacent the pedestrian underpass.  Runners will officially have a 48-hour window to run their respective course.  

Learn more and register below:



Seaside New Year's Eve Celebration
When: December 31st
Where: Seaside's Central Square
Description: Ring in 2024 with family and friends in Seaside, FL! Seaside's New Year's Eve Celebration in Central Square begins at 5PM on Sunday, December 31. Activities include arts & crafts, face painting, a live performance by Monsters of Yacht and fireworks.

Schedule of Events: TBA

Seaside's Amphitheater is a beautiful green space in the heart of Central Square where families will often gather for live music, outdoor movies, annual celebrations, children's activities and other fun events.

Learn more:




Baytowne Countdown
When: December 31st
Where: The Village of Baytowne Wharf
Description: Ring in the New Year at the Village of Baytowne Wharf, Dec. 31 from 6pm til after midnight! Dance the night away and enjoy a live band in the Events Plaza and breathtaking fireworks as they light up the sky over the lagoon at midnight. Admission is free and open to the public - 21 & over after 10pm. 20 & Under must be accompanied by a legal guardian after 10pm.

Enjoy their family friendly evening from 6 - 8PM with face painting, kids activities, and LIVE music on the Baytowne LIVE stage. Finish off the family friendly evening with our first fireworks display at 8PM.

Live Entertainment:
5 - 7PM @ Baytowne LIVE Stage || TBD
7PM - 1AM @ Baytowne Events Plaza Stage || TBD




Harborwalk Village New Year's Celebration
When: December 31st
Where: HarborWalk Village
Description: Ring in New Year’s Eve at HarborWalk Village on the beautiful Destin Harbor! Strange Boy begins the celebration with live music at 7:00 PM followed by the headliner band, The New Royals taking the stage at 9:30 PM. Countdown with friends and family until the 2024 Midnight Ball Drop & party into the New Year at HarborWalk Village! Free Event. No reservations or tickets are required!

Sunday, December 31st | 7:00 PM - Midnight
7:00 PM | Live Music by Flash Flood
8:00 PM | Fireworks
9:30 PM| The New Royals




Poppin' New Year's Eve
When: December 31st
Where: Hotel Effie
Description: Hotel Effie, located at The Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, invites you to ring in 2024 at their Ara Rooftop Pool and Lounge. Jam out to live music, sip on hand-crafted cocktails and enjoy the stunning panoramic view of the Baytowne Wharf fireworks shows. General admission and VIP seating are available. 21 and over after 9 PM. Cocktail attire encouraged. Tickets: eventbrite.com/.../poppin-new-years-eve-at...

On Sunday, December 31, access to Ara Rooftop Pool & Lounge will be for ticket holders only. Event will be held rain or shine. No refunds due to weather.




New Year's Eve Beach Ball Drop
When: December 31st
Where: Pier Park
Description: Momentum is building for The New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop at Pier Park. Say goodbye to 2023 and hello to 2024 with a great celebration on December 31 with a New Year's Eve Fireworks Show in Panama City Beach. The fireworks will be held at three locations along Panama City Beach; Russell-Fields Pier, M.B. Miller Pier and Schooner's.

5:35PM | TBA
8:15PM | TBA

For young revelers, there's even an 8 p.m. countdown, with over 10,000 inflated beach balls dropped from nets stretched over the street, followed by fireworks. This FREE event is family friendly and a lot of fun!

On the way to midnight, bands perform for the gathering crowd, anticipating the countdown to 2023 when a huge, glowing beach ball is lowered to signal the start of the New Year, and another great fireworks display. Time Square has nothing on this Panama City Beach NYE party!

Learn more:
2023 New Year's Eve Beach Ball Drop



The Red Bar Jazz Band @ The Red Bar
Nightly | 5:30-9PM
Fireside Sessions @ Kith + Kin 
Mondays | 6-8:30PM
Yoga In the Backyard of Love @ Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse
Fridays | 8AM
Jolly Jubilee @ Destin Commons
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays | Various Hours
Santa Claus is Coming to Town @ Rosemary Beach
Saturdays | 10-2PM
Sounds of Seaside Concert Series @ Seaside Amphitheater
Saturdays | 1-4PM
Brunch & Live Music @ FOOW30A
Every Sunday | 8AM
Brunch & Live Music @ Stinky's Fish Camp
Every Sunday | 10AM-3:30PM
Farmer's Markets
Every Tuesday @ Seaside
Every Thursday @ The Big Chill on 30A
Every Saturday @ Seaside, Grand Boulevard, Watersound & Baytowne Wharf
Every Sunday @ Rosemary Beach, Baytowne Wharf & Hammock Bay
Last Sunday of the Month @ Destin Commons



Planning to be in town? 
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