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Christmas in Naples, FL: Annual Events and Shows (2017 Update)

Naples is normally associated with its gorgeous beaches, great fishing, wonderful outdoor opportunities, and high-end, luxurious opportunities to travelers, but not for its great Christmas events.

This is a shame, because Naples is a popular winter destination that gets into the holiday spirit as much as any Northern town with its public events and decorations. The only thing missing is the snow and the really, really cold weather.

Attend the Annual Christmas Walk & Tree Lighting Ceremony

If you’re visiting Naples in early December, be sure to attend the 44th Annual Christmas Walk & Tree Lighting Ceremony! This event occurs December 7, 2017, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Aside from the tree lighting, there will be choral groups, dance and theatre troupes, bands, and so much more! This is a special tradition for us in Naples and one that visitors should not miss.

Enjoy a TubaChristmas

TubaChristmas is definitely one of the most unique holiday events that come to Naples! It began in 1974 in order to pay tribute to a famous tuba teacher, William J. Bell, who was born on Christmas Day. The event is meant to showcase the tuba and the euphonium (the smaller version of a tuba). The event is taking place December 14, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. Check the website for any updates!

Get Wild at Winter Fest

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens hosts the wildest holiday event! Winter Fest allows visitors to see the zoo animals receive their Christmas presents. There’s nothing quite like watching a huge lion or tiger clawing into a beautifully wrapped present! The event also features a meet and greet with the big man himself: Santa Claus! Winter Fest will take place December 15 through 17.

Watch the Naples Christmas Parade

Is there any better way to welcome the holiday season than with a parade? On December 12, the streets of downtown Naples will be filled with the incredible talent from the Naples Christmas Parade! It’s taking place from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and is completely free to attend. There will be floats, fire engines, bands, dance troupes, and (of course) a special appearance from Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Public Tree Lightings

There are several public tree lightings around town. The most well-known are the ones along Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South. These tree lightings are accompanied by professional choral groups, choirs from local churches and schools, dance troops performing for the public, music ensembles performing holiday favorites, and community groups; they’re both open to the public with the purpose of bringing the community together for the Christmas season.

Decorated Neighborhoods

In addition to the public tree lighting ceremonies, there are festivals and neighborhoods that decorate to help celebrate the Christmas season. For example, don’t forget to tour Victoria Park, a neighborhood that unofficially decorates for Christmas, but each home puts out a display so much in the holiday spirit that even Santa Claus wouldn’t miss seeing it!

  • Palm River. Located off of Immokalee Road between Airport and Goodlette, Palm River is usually nicely lit with a few houses that go all out.
  • Pelican Bay. Many of the ungated neighborhoods of Pelican Bay are brightly decorated for Christmas. Enter at Pelican Bay Blvd. and meander around. The association decorations are especially pretty and make really good photo backdrops.
  • Port Royal. This very upscale neighborhood off Gordon Drive in south Naples offers brightly lit, beautifully decorated large homes and mansions.
  • Victoria Park. Located in North Naples off Airport Road (about 1 mile south of Immokalee), Victoria Park has some of the most over-the-top holiday lights displays. The biggest displays are usually on a the side streets. You’ll also find that many of the streets have matching decorations (arches, tree, candy canes) lighting the way. Victoria Park has a luminaria display on Christmas Eve that attracts thousands. Be prepared for a VERY slow drive and huge crowds.
  • Willoughby Acres. Another North Naples neighborhood, Willoughby Acres is located off Immokalee just north of Palm River. In previous years almost all houses have been lit.

Christmas Festivals

Festivals held around Naples at Christmas time include Festival of Trees, held at Venetian Bay, Grand Illuminations, which is also held at Venetian Bay, and the Christmas Parade held on Fifth Avenue South. Please also don’t forget the many Christmas parties held around town by local businesses, and holiday-inspired concerts by various performance groups in the area.

Holiday Concerts

The most notable are the ones by the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, in addition to the annual Nutcracker performance by the Miami Ballet at The Artis.

Special Events

Many of the major attractions in Naples, like the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, will hold special events to help celebrate the holiday season. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary holds its own Christmas market at the beginning of the month, while the Mercato holds its own tree lighting ceremony and Christmas celebration. The Village on Venetian Bay also holds a special tree lighting ceremony that it holds every December.

New Year Events

As the days get closer to New Year’s Eve, Fifth Avenue South holds a special Art in the Park that also functions as an arts festival. Known as the Naples New Year’s Arts Fair, come here to purchase art, watch dancers, music ensembles and dramatic troops perform, and enjoy Fifth Avenue South. Art in the Park festivals are held more often during the month of December because of the prospect of giving unique gifts, however this is the one you cannot miss.

Conclusion

If you have chosen to spend the holidays here with us at Naples Vacation Homes, don’t worry! You will find plenty to do that will get you into the holiday spirit!

The nice thing about staying in a vacation rental is that you can have that chance to cook proper holiday meals for your family, entertain either your new friends that you met in Naples or those you are well acquainted with from home who decide to visit, and take your time to get that local experience during the holiday season!

The only thing you will find missing is the snow and the below 30 degrees Fahrenheit weather, and you might not miss that that much once you attend one of the many Christmas inspired events around town!

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