The warmer climates of Florida and its many beaches are a great place to getaway any time of year. When winter brings cold temperatures and even snow in many other parts of the country, Florida’s welcoming warmer temperatures have tourists flocking to the area for a winter and a Florida Keys Christmas break. Add some island sand and sun and you’ll be marking days off until the day you arrive. Make your Christmas getaway extra special this year by adding some island-style Christmas cheer.

Sledding with Santa

Go sledding during your Florida Keys Christmas vacation, even when the temperatures in the 60s and 70s. The Lakewood Ranch YMCA is hosting one of Santa’s first major local appearances in Bradenton this holiday season. See Santa and make special gift requests and take photos, enjoy hot chocolate, arts and crafts, holiday treats, and more and sled on real snow! The event takes place Sunday, December 12 from 1-4 PM at the Lakewood Ranch Branch YMCA located at 5100 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. in Bradenton.

Christmas on Bridge Street

Holiday cheer comes to Bridge Street on Anna Maria Island for an all-day Christmas bash. The family-friendly community event features Santa, live music, treats, arts and crafts, and more. Beware, Santa isn’t confined to a single roped-off photo booth. You’ll spot him and his elves roaming the historic Bridge Street Pier as he spreads the joy of the season to visitors and locals alike. Make sure to stop by the 45-foot-tall Christmas tree for some photos there, too. The event takes place December 15.

Lighted Boat Parade

While many towns around the country are confined to the city streets, Anna Maria Island takes its parade to the waves. The free event features plenty of boats trimmed out in holiday cheer as they cruise down the parade route from Cortez Bridge to Longboat Pass and end at Bradenton Beach Marina. Get the best view from the Historic Bridge Street Pier. Make sure to stay to the end, as Santa makes a special appearance at the end of the line of boats. The event takes place December 15 and begins around 7 p.m.

Lights of Palmetto

Cruise the area and look at the beautiful Christmas lights and holiday décor. Palmetto, Florida is just a short drive from the keys and its Lights of Palmetto display lights up the night daily throughout the month of December. There is also a Santa mailbox where the kids can drop off their wish lists, and a new Snapchat filter to use to enhance your photos of the event. Display hours are Sunday through Thursday 7-10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 7-11 p.m. The lights go out January 7 until next Christmas.

Holiday Escape Room

Help save Christmas! Santa’s “Naughty and Nice” list has gone missing, and he can’t complete his gifts without it. He and the elves have looked high and low, but the list seems to have disappeared. You can help Santa and the elves find the list at the holiday-themed “Crisis at the North Pole” escape room at Premier Escape Adventures. The special room is available on a limited basis, so make sure to book in advance.

Christmas Dinner

Part of vacation is letting go of your cares and worries and just enjoying yourself. While you can create a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings at your vacation rental, there are several restaurants around the keys that will be serving up holiday cheer along with a traditional Christmas meal. Reservations will be required. You can also ask about takeout and delivery of the meal if you want to avoid the crowd.

Christmas Church Services

The churches found along the shores of the Florida Keys will be celebrating the reason for the season. Many hold Christmas Eve and midnight services, as well as special services throughout the day on Christmas Day. Check with your chosen place of worship for their schedule, and you may even be able to celebrate the holiday with a beachfront service.

Island Fun

While there are plenty of fun holiday activities that include lots of time with Santa and glowing lights, there are still plenty of activities for you to enjoy in the Keys. Spend some time at the beach, visit museums, galleries, and other hot spots, tour the island, and make sure to pick up some fun souvenirs at the shops and boutiques.

Christmas in the Florida Keys

Make your Christmastime Florida Keys getaway full of water, sand, sun, and holiday cheer when you visit this Christmas. While you’re scheduling all the fun activities and attractions you’ll visit, don’t forget to book a vacation rental with Rent the Keys. Choose a one-bedroom unit for your small family or Christmas sweetheart getaway, all the way up to a six-bedroom for a cheer-filled party for your larger family or group. Cook up a favorite Christmas treat or the traditional Christmas meal in the fully equipped kitchen. Gather together in the open living area and watch your favorite Christmas movie together. Enjoy private outdoor spaces like patios, decks, or balconies. Close your eyes and take a nap or get a good night’s sleep before more Christmas cheer and fun in a private bedroom. Choose a premium unit for upgrades like stainless steel appliances, wood floors, and more.

Contact us today to book your Florida Keys getaway this Christmas!