The Thanksgiving festivities have come and gone, but the leftovers and holiday spirit remain. Neighborhoods are beginning to dress up for the season as houses become filled with lights, inflatables, Christmas trees and more. Events are in full swing as well between festivals, parades and visits from Santa. Here’s a list of some events you might want to make time for with the family.
18th Annual Holiday Fest
When: Friday, Dec. 2, 4 to 10 p.m.
Where: Founders Park, Islamorada
Details: Enjoy a 35-foot tree that blows magical snow, 30 tons of snow, a visit from Santa and more. A holiday parade begins at 7:30 p.m. Holiday music, a pet parade, a dance performance and more will keep the family entertained.
When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Lignumvitae State Park
Details: Enjoy a boat ride out of Robbie’s Marina to the park. Music will be provided by the Mangrove Swamp Band. There will also be ranger-led tours, games, stories by local historian Brad Bertelli and free cookies and limeade by the Boy Scouts and Winn Dixie. Tickets for $15 are available for purchase at Windley Key State Park.
Chi Sigma 4th annual Bike/Walk/Wagon/Hayride
When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 5 p.m.
Where: Starts at Islamorada Brewery & Distillery
Details: The ride goes through the Morada Way Arts & Cultural District and circles around The Nest and ends at Florida Keys Brewing Co. Register online for $25. Get beer tasters, stocking stuffers and more. Decorate your bikes and wagons and come dressed in holiday attire.
5th annual Shop, Jingle & Mingle
When: Sunday, Dec. 4, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Cirque Salon Studios, second floor of Tradewinds Plaza, Key Largo,
Details: Get a jump on your holiday shopping with local vendors. Enjoy raffle prizes, holiday cheer and more.
Lighted Bike Parade
When: Friday, Dec. 9, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Ride starts at Tropical Realty, MM 103, Key Largo
Details: Join Mrs. Claus on a merry cause. Wear your festive attire and decorate your bike. After the ride, join Mrs. Claus for cookies and cocoa.
Pets & Pina Coladas
When: Saturday, Dec, 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Keys Kritters, MM 100.5, Key Largo
Details: A $5 donation gets you a Keys style picture with Santa, a goodie bag for your pet and a pina colada for you.
Pops in the Park — Joy to the World
When: Saturday, Dec. 10, 4 p.m.
Where: Founders Park, Islamorada
Details: Enjoy a free concert courtesy of the Keys Community Concert Band. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and pack a picnic basket for a family-friendly concert of holiday music, sing-along and a visit from Santa. Special guests are the Burton Handbell Ringers.
Key Largo Boat Parade
When: Saturday, Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Blackwater Sound, Key Largo
Details: This year’s theme is “A Cartoon Christmas.” Sign your boat up for free. Cash prizes are available for most colorful, most original and best use of theme, as well as best business, best boat under 25 feet and best boat over 25 feet. Sign up at keylargoboatparade.com. Best viewing spots include Jimmy Johnson’s Big Chill, Sundowners and Caribbean Club.
Santa Claus & Carolers Come To Town
When: Sunday, Dec. 11
Where: Islamorada neighborhoods Details: Santa, U.S. Marines collecting unwrapped toys and other holiday helpers will begin their journey at 5:30 p.m. at the Islamorada Mobil on Lower Matecumbe. The procession will head north to a number of streets and neighborhoods, arriving at the final stop on Bee Street around 9:19 p.m. Visit the Islamorada Fire Rescue’s Facebook for more information on the arrival times.