Holiday Road Trips from Jacksonville

The kids are about to be “home for the holidays” and we are ready to get out and celebrate the season! But if you’ve hit all the great holiday events in Jax, you might be looking for other events and activities in some surrounding areas! There is a plethora of awesome holiday fun in cities that are easy to reach from Jax! Here are some ideas of places to hit if you are looking to get out of town this holiday season!

South of Jacksonville


Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park plays host to a holiday party like no other with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, held select nights. Enjoy live entertainment, spectacular fireworks and a jolly holiday parade with Mickey, Santa, and other familiar Disney friends. (Seriously the best Santa I’ve ever seen was here) See Elsa light up Cinderella’s Castle with white lights, as well as a magical snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A. Kids will enjoy hot cocoa and cookies, and parents will appreciate the smaller crowds at this separately ticketed event.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Holidays Around the World at Disney’s Epcot

Celebrate the unique traditions of the season from around the globe as Epcot hosts another year of Holidays Around the World. Taking place three times each day, the Candlelight Processional features a stirring retelling of the story of Christmas by a celebrity narrator, set against the inspirational backdrop of a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir. This is a special event, and lines can get CRAZY! So, arrive early or check out the dining packages where you will get priority seating for the show.

Ice at Gaylord Palms

Experience the magic of The Nutcracker in ICE! Join Clara and her Nutcracker Prince for a magical adventure in more than TWO MILLION pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures and four thrilling slides! Relive your favorite scenes from the classic ballet, accompanied by the original Tchaikovsky score. ICE! is an indoor winter wonderland featuring two millions pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures, four ice slides, and much more all kept at a chilly 9 degrees!


Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

This holiday season, experience Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are transformed with wondrous spirit. Watch the live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s classic holiday tale starring The Grinch as the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular returns. Merry and Mayhem combine as the Minions join Santa Claus in the all-new Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s.

Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios Florida

Watch the streets of Universal Studios Florida come alive as they fill with floats and balloons straight from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City in Universal’s very own Macy’s Holiday Parade. Event admission is included with regular park admission.


Christmas Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Florida

Christmas Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Florida

LEGOLAND Florida welcomes the holidays with their Christmas Bricktacular event, held weekends in December. Kids will enjoy a 270,000 brick Christmas tree and festive decorations, as well as daily appearances by Santa Claus. Event admission is included with regular park admission.

Mt. Dora

We love heading down to Mt. Dora! It is cute and quaint and has a ton of Holiday events for a perfect litle road trip. Events include walking parades, boat parades, and Christmas in the Park with snow! Check out all the events in Mt. Dora here!

North of Jacksonville


Savannah Harbor Festival of Lights

Savannah Harbor Festival of Lights

This spectacular display promises to delight the child in all of us with a Unique 2.3 Mile Drive-Thru Holiday Light Experience that showcase over 100 Lighted Displays. This year’s Festival features a Winter Carnival located at Bryan Square, the Riverfront Esplanade and inside the Westin Savannah Harbor Savannah Riverfront Hotel. The Carnival will feature a Ferris Wheel, Carousal & Kiddie Swings and guests can enjoy Hot Chocolate and Holiday Refreshments inside the Midnight Sun Lounge/Starbucks at the Westin. Ticket Prices also include a Glimpse of the Westin Gingerbread Competition Display. Open Daily from 6:30 pm to 10 pm November 24th through December 29th.

Ginger Bread Village & Competition

After you take a ride through the Savannah Harbor Foundation Festival of Lights, grab a cup of Hot Chocolate and take a stroll through the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort and Spa to experience The Annual Ginger Bread Village and Competition. This year’s display is expected to feature over 150 submissions!

Old Town Holly Jolly Trolley Tour

Ride The Old Town Holly Jolly Trolley Tour for the Holidays! Carol your way through Historic Downtown Savannah and learn about Savannah Holiday Traditions including the origin of “Jingle Bells.” Guests will be transported to 1820’s Savannah with a visit to the Isaiah Davenport House to get a glimpse of a typical 19th Century Holiday. The Holly Jolly Trolly will also Transport you to Hutchinson Island to enjoy the Savannah Festival of Lights and Westin Gingerbread Village. Tours start at 6:30 pm and last 2 hours.

Savannah Theatre Christmas Tradition

Savannah Theatre Christmas Tradition

The Cast of The Savannah Theatre will be High Kicking into our Hearts this Holiday Season with their Annual  “A Christmas Tradition” Production. Become transported to a winter wonderland of live holiday music and magic. Be Sure to get your tickets early as this show is one of the best all year and will sell out quickly. Shows Nightly at 8 p.m. and Daily Matinees at 3 p.m.

December Nights & Holiday Lights

It’s Lights, Lights and MORE LIGHTS at the Savannah Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens December Nights and Holiday Lights Celebration. Choose from Eighteen Select Evenings from the Day after Thanksgiving to the Day before Christmas Eve and take a Self-Guided Walking tour through a 10 Acre Christmas Garden Wonderland of more than 250,000 sparkling lights. This tour is stroller friendly!

St. Marys

St. Marys Railroad Santa Express

St. Marys Railroad Santa Express

Journey to Santa’s Village with entertainment all along the way. Witness the magic of Christmas as Santa comes aboard to ride the return trip with goodies for all the boys and girls. Rides will be at 10 am, noon, 2 pm, and 4 pm on select dates.

Do you have any day trips you love to take over the holidays? Let us know!

Jacksonville Mom's Ultimate Guide to Holiday Events in Jacksonville


Kacey Roache
Kacey Roache is a Jacksonville native who lives in Ponte Vedra with her husband, TJ, and her three kids, Lucy, Lucas and Lola. Kacey graduated from Florida State University (Go Noles!) with a degree in interior design. She is passionate about the arts and arts education and has served on the board of Art with a Heart in Healthcare, Ponte Vedra Public Education Foundation for the Arts, Christ Church Creative Academy as well as the PTOs at her kids' school. In her spare time you might find her channeling her inner Serena Williams on the tennis court, performing in community theater, or enjoying the beach with her friends and family. Follow her family's chaos on Instagram: @kaceyroachepvb


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