Below are some great events and light displays happening in our area for the upcoming holidays. Charlotte County is still recovering from Hurricane Ian but most businesses are now fully open and many events are proceeding as planned. Enjoy and have a wonderful time with your friends and family!
Gardens Aglow – Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens from 6-9 p.m. Dec 11-14, and Dec. 18-21. Acres of gardens are decorated with thousands of lights. Roast s’mores by the fire, sip hot cocoa, sing carols and hang out with Santa. $20 for adults; $15 members; $10 age 5-17, free for age 4 and younger. 5827 Riverside Drive, Punta Gorda. https://peacerivergardens.org/ or 941-621-8299.
Ditchfield Family Christmas – December 16 at 7 pm –The Ditchfield Family Singers present a wonderful montage of carols & holiday favorites that capture the spirit and joy of Christmas. A heartwarming and uplifting celebration of all Christmas means – a delightful treat for the whole family. Gulf Theater at the Military Heritage Museum – 900 West Marion Ave., Punta Gorda, FL. gulftheater.org or 941-575-9002.
Joy to the World Charlotte County Concert Band – December 16 at 7:30 pm at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center, 701 Carmalita Street, Punta Gorda. www.charlottecountyconcertband.com .
Saturday Night Before Christmas Eve Boat Parade – December 17 at 6 pm. For info and route visit puntagordaboatparade.com/.
Visits with Santa – December 17, 3 – 7 pm and December 18, 1-5 pm. Fishermen’s Village.1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. www.fishermensvillage.com or 800-639- 0020.
Sandy Claws Holiday Fest – December 17, 18 – Festive fun for the whole family! Take photos with our ambassador animals by the Christmas Tree, decorate holiday cards and more! Iguanaland, 33900 Bermont Rd, Punta Gorda, FL. Iguanaland.com or 941-844-5350.
A Calyp-Soul Christmas with John Patti and his band – December 18 at 7:30pm – A CALYP-SOUL CHRISTMAS kick starts your holiday season… Island style with exciting new takes on some favorite Christmas classics. Steel pan artist JOHN PATTI combines the unmistakable sounds of the islands with jazz and soul music, complimented by the soulful vocals and smooth R&B stylings of singer/songwriter ERIC ERDMAN, creating unforgettable versions of your Christmas favorites! With credentials including performances with Clint Black, Olivia Newton John, The Four Tops, Les Paul, Jerry Jeff Walker, Paul Overstreet, Mac McAnally and more, these world class musicians are guaranteed to give an unforgettable night of music and entertainment. Gulf Theater at the Military Heritage Museum, 900 West Marion Ave, Punta Gorda, FL. Gulftheater.org or 941.575.9002.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party! – December 23 at 6 pm – Come join us for our first ever Ugly Sweater Party! Get those ugly sweaters ready for a fun night of holiday cocktails & great food. Prizes for the best ugly sweater! Beef O’ Brady’s Deep Creek, 24901 Sandhill Blvd, Punta Gorda, FL.
Lighted Cruises – King Fisher Fleet in Fishermen’s Village offers Christmas Light Canal Cruises, one-hour tours of the residential canals to view Christmas lights and decorations on homes, boats, seawalls and docks. Three cruises leave nightly at 6, 7:30 and 9 p.m. through Dec. 31. $29 adults, $19 age 3-11, free for younger than 3. Other tours are offered. 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, #16A, Punta Gorda. www.kingfisherfleet.com or 941-639-0969.
Art Sale – The “Off the Wall” original art sale where guests buy art off the walls at the Visual Arts Center runs until Dec. 30. All the art on the walls is for sale for $200 or less. 210 Maud St., Punta Gorda. www.VisualArtCenter.org or 941-639-8810.
Festival of Lights – on display through Dec. 31 at Fishermen’s Village. In lieu of admission, bring toiletries, canned goods, other non-perishable food items and unwrapped toys to help the Sacred Heart Conference of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul. The Festival of Lights is on display through Dec. 31. 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. www.fishermensvillage.com or 800-639- 0020.
Holiday Nights – Edison and Ford Winter Estates – 5:30 – 9:30 pm Nov 25 – Jan 1. Enjoy exciting new lighting displays, visits with Santa, carolers and musicians, refreshments, family science shows, and more on select evenings. https://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/events/47th-annual-holiday-nights-celebration/.
New Year’s Eve at Fishermen’s Village – Ring in the New Year Fishermen’s Village style! This family friendly event runs from 6 pm-12 pm on December 31 and will keep you entertained throughout the night. Enjoy family fun activities and live music featuring the Shane Duncan Band on Sunset Beach, DJ Michael White at Center Court, a photo booth, tarot card reading, face painting, hair dazzle and more. Plus, don’t miss the fireworks at midnight. FREE. 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. www.fishermensvillage.com or 800-639- 0020.