UPDATED FOR 2019 HOLIDAY SEASON
There’s no doubt about it—Naples is known for its white sandy beaches. From the cool winter breezes to the dreamy sunsets on the Naples Pier, but even on the Paradise Coast, you can enjoy the timeless traditions of Christmas! Tree lightings on 3rd Street South, viewing Christmas parades along 5th Avenue and watching the Nutcracker at Artis-Naples, Christmas Lights at Victoria Park, are just a few reasons why we love Naples during the holidays.
Even locals (like our editors) are delighted by Naples during the holidays. Here is a round-up of our favorite things to do.
Our guide to Christmas in Naples, including holiday markets and festive activities:
Nov. 23rd and 24th: The Nutcracker With the Moscow Ballet
Like a Broadway spectacular, this holiday tradition has it all — glorious sets and costumes, magical special effects, Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music, and exceptional dancing by international stars. Join Marie and her Nutcracker Prince as they travel through a winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes, sugar plum fairies and epic battles between heroic toy soldiers and mischievous mice — the perfect holiday treat for the entire family.
Tickets are on sale now for November 23rd and 24th at 7:00p.m at Artis-Naples.
Nov. 25th: Christmas on Third Tree Lighting & Snow Celebration
Naples’ Christmas starts on Third Street South as the Mayor lights the official beautifully decorated Christmas tree during Christmas on Third when everywhere there are twinkly Christmas lights and wonderful red and silver decorations, music and bells, singing and dancing and delicious treats. Crowds cheer and children watch in awe as Santa arrives while the snowfalls. The crèche is alive at Third and Broad and joy and happiness fill the courtyards and plazas. Snow falls every night for the following week and Christmas on Third – reminds everyone of the pleasures to come.
Join the 42nd Annual Tree Lighting & Festival November 25, 2019, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM with snow showers!
Nov. 30th: Handel’s Messiah
The Naples Philharmonic and Chorus join to present one of music’s most beloved choral works in this rousing holiday classic. Experience the power of the 100-voice Naples Philharmonic Chorus as they present Handel’s masterful oratorio. A commentary on the life of Jesus Christ, Messiah remains Handel’s best-known work, with performances particularly popular during the Advent season.
Tickets are on sale now for November 30th at 7:00p.m at Artis-Naples.
Dec. 6th: Annual Christmas Walk & Tree Lighting Ceremony
If you’re visiting Naples in early December, be sure to attend the 45th Annual Christmas Walk & Tree Lighting Ceremony! This event occurs on December 6, 2019, 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.
Dec 10th: Naples Christmas Parade
Is there any better way to welcome the holiday season than with a parade? On December 10, the streets of downtown Naples will be filled with the incredible talent from the Naples Christmas Parade! It’s taking place on December 10th 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.
Dec. 14th: Naples Christmas Boat Parade
There is nothing more exciting for children and adults of all ages than the Christmas Boat Parade that winds through Naples Bay. But pick your spot carefully and come early. The parade may be viewed from Naples City Dock, Pinchers Tin City, Riverwalk Restaurant, Naples Landing, Kelly’s Fish House, The Boat House on Naples Bay, and Bayview Park. Sponsored by the Marine Industries Association of Collier County. All proceeds benefit the Ricky King Foundation. For more information, on the boat parade visit the MIACC website.
Dec. 14th: 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, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. Check the website for any updates!
Dec. 20th: Candlelight Christmas Carols at Cambier Park
Friday, December 20, 2019 – 6:30pm to 8:00pm. For more information call 239-261-5525 or visit www.naplesgov.com.
Dec. 21st: Winter Fest at Naples Zoo
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 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
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.
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 the side streets. You’ll also find that many of the streets have matching decorations (arches, trees, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 much once you attend one of the many Christmas inspired events around town!
About Naples Florida Vacation Homes
Are you frustrated trying to find a rental for season? Look no more, and secure your stay with Naples Florida Vacation Homes!